THOUGHTS FROM MATTHEW

March 25

Text: Matthew 11:25-27

At that time Jesus answered and said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes.  Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight.  All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (NASB)

Jesus spent much of his time with the common person.  No bound Bibles existed to read.  No Bible aids assisted a personís search and studyóno concordances, no Bible dictionaries, no Bible atlas, no commentaries, no special focus books.  Most people were too poor to afford a hand-written copy of ONE book of what we refer to as the Old Testamentóassuming that they could read.  Most of what they knew about Godís will came from listening and remembering.

Included prominently among those Jesus associated with and taught were the social outcasts.  Religious society said these persons learned the wrong values and behavior.  The proper way to limit their ungodly influence on a religious society was to ostracize them.  Jesus was often criticized for associating with and teaching such people!

In that circumstance, God through Jesus did something remarkable.  In a religious society it is too common for religious leaders to become a special group who possess prominence and control.  The common person knows littleóhe or she merely does what religious leaders tell him or her to do.

That is not what God wanted!  Salvation was to belong to the everyday person!  By Godís design, salvation was to be understandable to everyday peopleónot the property of religious specialists!

Salvation was amazingly simple!  (1) Know your need.  (2) Turn from your evil.  (3) Trust Jesusí identity and relationship with God.  (4) Enter the Christ.  (5) Learn Godís character and values.  (6) Behave and think as a person who belongs to God.  That was and is the key to living in Godís mercy and grace!

Suggestion for reflection: How do you seek to live in Godís mercy and grace?  (Read Romans 7:14-8:11.)

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