Matthew tells us that this Jesus is the embodiment of Yahweh’s salvation that his name means, “Yahweh Saves.” There are two ways that we can understand Christ conducting himself. He could have his authority from Satan so he is only deceiving his followers or he can have his authority from God. I think that his authority is from God, but who do you say empowers Christ? This is the question that Matthew desires us to answer.
Acts 6 lays out a complaint which recalls for us the Old Testament tragedies when Israel complained against the Lord. It seems as if the New Testament church is just like the redeemed people of Israel who can only complain about the Lord’s shepherding care. Why is it that the Lord does not consume them? Why is it that the Apostles actually concede and act on this complaint?
Christians are very familiar with Hebrews 11 which is sometimes called the “Heroes of the faith.” There is no doubt that they suffered on account of their convictions, but what moved them? Is the point that they believed or is the point that they walked in the faith? What does it mean that they walked in the faith?
The Apostle Paul uses this strange language that Christ was made sin. How can a holy God be made sin? Is the Apostle Paul just trying to shock us for no reason? Is Paul laying out some sort of heresy? What can the Apostle possibly mean by this language?
There is no doubt that Christ is the standard of wisdom. He is the embodiment of wisdom and so we would expect his followers to embrace him. We find that not only do the pharisees question Christ’s credibility, but so do John’s disciples. What basis do they have to question them? Did Christ do something wrong or are they out of line?
We are a sinful people confirmed in sin and have no hope apart from the Grace of God. It is a blessing that the Lord shows his grace to us, but how do we know that his grace in enough? How do we know that the promises of the Gospel are enough to save? How do we know that having Christ as our priest is enough for our entrance into heaven?
Christ comes to the other side of the sea and is in his home town and district. It would seem that everything is going to go well because now Christ is among his own people who should embrace him. We find that Christ announces the significance of his office by forgiving sins. Christ came to redeem us from our sins so why would Christ’s forgiving sins be so controversial?
God is a just God, and God cannot overlook an offense. This is pretty serious considering we have heard that we naturally hate God and our neighbor. So, how did we get in this position? Is there a way to escape this place where we find ourselves?
When Christ goes outside the land we would expect Christ to be embraced with open arms, but that is not the case. In fact, Christ encounters satanic forces, and then the men of the city affirm the satanic rebellion. What does this tell us about the status of man? What does this tell us about man’s nature desire for God? What does this tell us about the grace of Christ?
If we were left with the news that we are a people who naturally hate God and our neighbor then there is no reason to continue to move forward in life. In fact, our lives would be meaningless without any purpose at all. However, the message of the gospel is not something where we just hope we will arrive. If we are sinful, if we naturally hate God and our neighbor, then how do we really turn to the Lord?