December 16

Text: Matthew 9:8

But when the multitudes saw this, they were filled with awe, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.   (NASB)

Matthew saw in Jesus a man who did unheard-of things.  In Matthew 9 Jesus forgave sins, selected a tax collector to be a follower, associated with “the wrong people” because they needed him, did not teach his disciples to do some traditional things like fasting, raised a synagogue official’s daughter from death, healed believing blind men, and made a demon leave a man who could not speak.

The effect of Jesus doing these “not done” matters was the opposite of what many would expect.  The religious leaders said either, “He cannot do that!  Only God can do that!!” or, “He will create the wrong impression!  He gets his power from Satan, not from God!”  However, the common people glorified God (not Jesus) for letting people have such authority.  Is it not fascinating that religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus’ acts and attributed his power to Satan, but the typical person saw God at work in Jesus and his followers?

God’s acts do not depend on our expectations.  People of no generation have God “figured out” or determine what God can and cannot do.  Too often in every generation people want to make God dependent on them instead of learning how to be dependent on God.  God has never appointed a human consulting committee whose purpose is to determine what God can and cannot do.  The issue is never “I would not do it that way!”  The issue is always “God does it His way!  He acts; we trust.”  Would you create a universal Savior through a public execution and a resurrection rather than a regimented compliance system? 

Suggestion for reflection: Does God have to function in ways that make sense to you before you can trust Him?  Who is God—you or Him?  (Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.)

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