Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Lord is in the detail

Before i started Relay i wasn't that systematic in my Bible reading. I'd read it every day more or less, almost always going through a book, sometimes new testament, sometimes old, but there was never any grand plan, any route i was following to help me see Christ through a sixty six book lens. When Relay started i began to follow the Mccheyne reading plan that takes you through the whole Bible in one of two years, or in my case, something like fourteen months! And that was really good, and very helpful in seeing the grand scheme of scripture unfold.

One thing i did miss was the chance to linger over a passage and soak it up though. That's what i'm doing now, in Matthew, with the help of the very excellent John MacArthur commentary series. Normally i read about four or five verses a day, which seems very slow (and is) but its helped me to see some of the detail. And the Lord is in the detail. Jesus oozes through every crack in Matthews gospel, His truth and light shine brightly from every part of the story. So here are some things i've learnt so far.

Chapter 1
Jesus is a royal King and a gracious King. The King of the Jews had to come straight through the line of David, and Jesus did. And look at some of the people in Jesus genealogy. Tamar and Rahab were prostitutes, Ruth was a Moabite, and yet Jesus had them in His line. Jesus was descended from them. In chapter one we see so clearly the work of God in our salvation. What does His name mean? The Lord saves. Who announced His coming? The Holy Spirit. Who's plan was it? The Fathers. God is all over the plan of salvation.

Chapter 2
We begin to see more clearly that Jesus was no ordinary child. The magi were eastern King makers. Who would rule next was up to them in their land. They called Jesus 'the King of the Jews'. Herod's upset reaction to this is more evidence that this baby was special, this baby was to be a King. The Gold signifies His regality, the frankincense His divinity, and the myrrh His humility. What a birth! What a Son, The true Son as his calling from Egypt and the fulfillment of Scripture demonstrates.

Chapter 3
The King has a herald, and opposition. The herald will soon decrease and the opposition be sifted like wheat. Jesus is supreme. And humble. Jesus approaches John to baptise Him that all righteousness might be fulfilled. Jesus will go about things in the right way, there's no doubt about that. I love how Trinitarian this part is. The Spirit descends, the Father speaks, the Son is King. The Father is well pleased. No other sacrifice pleased God. This one will. The King is truly here.

Chapter 4
The King is tested. He overcomes because of who the Father is. He is a trustworthy God. He is a God worth suffering for. All the Devils riches do not come close to relationship with the Father, all the bread in the world will not taste as sweet as doing the Father's will. Jesus succeeds in the desert where Israel failed. He is the perfect Son. Jesus starts His ministry, at the right time, in the right place with the right words. I'm struck by His sheer majesty. Always moving to the tick of the divine clock. And what is His message. Repent. Change your mind, turn your mind around. Turn your actions around. He calls men. Fishermen to be fishers of men. He calls them with absolute authority. Ordinary blue collar men, not leaders or teachers. Fishermen. And they follow Him.

The first four chapters of Matthew reveal so much glorious detail about Jesus, i can't wait for the next twenty four...

1 comment:

thebluefish said...

I'm particularly curious about what you make of the next three chapters in a Jesus-centred way.

Makes so much more sense when read with Christ in view!