As I’m proceeding through Matthew in my yearly read, there seems to be a “ratcheting up” of the fact that Jesus is the Messiah – God in the flesh, The One that has been foretold in the Old Testament (as far back as Genesis 3) that will reconcile sinners to a Holy God.
In Matthew 12:15-21 the section heading in my Bible is “God’s Chosen Servant.” It speaks of the works of Jesus – the healings – and the purpose? (v17) “This was to fulfill what was spoken about by the prophet Isaiah.” And then goes on to quote Isaiah 42:1-3…”Behold my servant whom I have chosen…” The ties to the Old Testament prophets are unmistakable in the Gospels, Jesus is the One. It’s a good reminder that all of scripture points to Jesus. There is one story line of the Bible – it’s God’s plan to redeem his people from their sin, and it centers around his chosen way of doing that – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, His Son. All of scripture is about Jesus. The Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to understand the Word. Look at Jesus’ own words after his resurrection in Luke 24:44-45: “…everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.“
One thing that my heart keeps being drawn back to is that Jesus is not “optional.” As Chandler says you have to do something with this truth. Later in the passage in Matthew 12, Jesus himself in Matthew 12:30 says “Whoever is not with me is against me.” There is no middle ground and the stakes could not be higher. On one side is freedom from sin, life abundantly here, eternal life to come, and peace in our hearts because we have peace with God. On the other side, is slavery to sin, futility of life here, no peace in our hearts because we do not have peace with God, and an eternity spent apart from God in punishment.
God please use your Word and your Spirit – open our hearts to understand you more, to submit ourselves to you, and to live lives that glorify you.