Matthew 5:1 – 15:39
Day 69 of the Bible in 90 Days brings us to the Gospel of Matthew. This first book of the New Testament presents us with the “Good News” (gospel) in a way that has not been presented in the History of Mankind until this point. God revealed to us in Jeremiah 31:31-34 that the day will come when a new covenant will arrive. It will be different than before. God will put His law in the minds and write it on the hearts of the people. They will have a personal relationship with the Almighty God. Matthews Gospel makes this perfectly clear by revealing that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah.
Matthew (also known as Levi) was a tax collector in Capernaum before he became a disciple of Christ. He is the author of this Gospel and he included himself in the list of apolstles (Matt 10:3). He wrote to a Jewish audience (being a Jew himself) and that is why he quotes or eludes to more Old Testament writings than any other New Testament Gospel. Matthew experienced the forgiving grace and salvation of our Lord even though he was a sinful tax collector. His life was changed when he met Jesus. He made a total commitment to follow Christ. Matthew was written to present the ministry of Christ and the message that all who repent and commit their lives to follow Christ will be saved. Matthew acknowledges that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the son of David who has come to establish his kingdom and be the final perfect sacrifice, suffering for the sins of man and defeating death on the cross by his resurrection.
Scripture Matthew Matthew 15:7 – 10
7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.”
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into your mouth does not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth, that is what defiles you.”
Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders of the day and they asking Jesus why his disciples are breaking the tradition of the elders by refraining from washing their hands before they eat. Jesus clearly points out that it isn’t what goes into the mouth that makes us unclean, but what comes out of the mouth. Jesus reveals their motivation as he quotes the Old Testament scripture from Isaiah. In doing so, he tells the religious leaders their hearts are far from God and they and only honor Him with their lips.
Our Lord has come to show His amazing love, forgiveness and grace to all who will listen. The Pharisees (religious leaders) were looking past God and focusing on their man made traditions causing them to miss the message God was delivering. Their hearts were not seeking God but instead, seeking to make themselves appear honorable to God with what they say. Jesus, the Christ, came to earth to seek and save the lost. We will miss his wonderful message if our hearts and minds are set towards man made rules and teachings. Instead, God wants our motives and our actions to be pure and sincere towards Him. If we do this, what comes out of our mouths will be honoring to our Heavenly Father.
Father, thank you for the example of your Son Jesus Christ. I praise you for the awesome love and compassion He displayed as he ministered here on earth.