Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 25 - Matthew 22

Today's reading in our daily plan is Matthew 22. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Jesus tells a parable about a king who prepares a wedding reception. The idea is that everyone is invited into the Kingdom of God (and, later, Heaven) but only those who prepare themselves will get in. In the parable a man is ejected because of his clothes, which probably signifies that he chose to have faith in himself (by wearing his own clothes) instead of having faith in God (by donning the wedding clothes).
  • A group of religious leaders, Sadducees, try to trap Jesus with a difficult question (in verses 23-33) about details of the resurrection. Jesus answers their question and then proves from the bible that their disbelief in resurrection is wrong. In this conversation Jesus shows us a truth about marriage: it ends at death. After death, those who trust in Jesus become "married" to God. God gives us marriage now to provide for our needs and teach us about him. Therefore, it's important that marriage prepares us for heaven. We can do this by loving our spouses like Jesus loves us.
  • The Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a couple of tough questions, including asking him to state the  greatest commandment (verses 34-40). Jesus says the greatest commandments are to love God and love people, and that if you truly do that, you will live out every commandment. 

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • In this chapter we learn that life is about saying yes to God's invitation through faith, and then living a life of loving God and loving people.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Jesus says we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. What do you think all that means? Certainly, Jesus is telling us that our love for God can't just be a little bit of fondness or faith. Jesus is calling for passion. Do you feel like you love God in that way? What could you do today, and this week, to grow your heart for God?
  • Jesus also says we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. What would it look like for you to love others as much as you love yourself? What would it mean for how you use your time? How you spend your money? How you treat people? So, what will you do to start loving people the way Jesus is asking you to love people?