Saturday, March 16, 2013

Jesus Christ – God’s final Word

I am studying in Matthew during my devotions these days.  I have never studied deeply in the synoptics, or perhaps I should rephrase that - I have never studied systematically through any one of them.  I have traveled through John, as well as several of the wisdom literature books, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, James, and some of the epistles.  But never the synoptic gospels and so last month as I was finishing up in Proverbs I was pondering which book to take up next, and I chose Matthew.  So this morning as I was reading through Matthew 2:19-23 I took up this line of thinking...

Matthew 2:22b "And being warned by God in a dream..." How many times do we see warnings by God in dreams since beginning this exploration of Matthew?
·         1:20  Admonishment to Joseph to take Mary as his wife.
·         2:12  Warning to the Magi not to go back to Herod.
·         2:13  Warning to Joseph to flee to Egypt.
·         2:19  Message to Joseph to return to his homeland.
·         2:22  Warning to Joseph not to settle in Judea.

In addition to all these divine warnings/messages are the Magi and their understanding of the Star of David, "We have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him."

God is interested in his people! He speaks to men!

But does this mean he still sends messages via dreams?

Read Hebrews 1:1-4, "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."

...and now Hebrews 2:1-4, "Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?"

So God speaks to us in these last days by His Son, Jesus the Christ... And not just the red letters either, but every page of the New Testament speaks of Christ.  How and why He came, and what He accomplished, and to whom He did it for, and when and where all this took place.

"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9) 

"For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." (2 Cor. 1:20)

"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Cor. 4:6)

God DOES still speak to us!  But He does it through Christ.  The trouble is that we often do not want to hear what He has to tell us!  Oh and aren't we proud.  Aren't we sophisticated.  Aren't we critical.  Oughtn't we to be humble?  Is it not a spirit of humility we should be clothed in?

 In today’s passage we read of a man, Joseph, who had to submit to Gods messages by dreams and angels- not once or twice, but 4 distinct times!  And do we not have a more sure witness?  Look at 2 Peter 1:19-21, "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." 

Let us resolve to honor God's final word to us, Christ, for we have His message!  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8)

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