“Something greater than the temple is here.” — Jesus, Matthew 12:5. What is greater? The New Covenant!
2 When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue [Jesus IS understanding and knowledge; His kingdom will have no end!].
Yesterday, we discovered that Jesus called people to a new way of seeing things. He called them to “metanoia”(repent), which is to change the way we see and believe, to think differently, because He was bringing the kingdom (Matthew 4:17). In His sermons, He interpreted the Scriptures (OT) in an unusual way. He claimed that He was from the Father (God) and that He knew how the Scriptures were intended. We looked at the first 12 verses and saw that He really did call the people to a different standard. If we were to keep reading, we would see that He also called them to a higher standard:
- Anger is like murder;
- Lust is like adultery;
- Oaths are like swearing falsely;
- Retaliation is like unforgiveness;
- Love your enemies and pray for them;
- Give to the needy, pray, and fast in secret;
- Place the kingdom of God first in their lives;
- Treat others as they want to be treated;
- and obey His words.
Why would Jesus make such bold claims? Who gave Him His authority? For that answer, we turn to John 8:42,
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I came forth from God and am here; for I have not even come on My own, but He sent Me.
Jesus went on to tell them,
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you; but I do know Him, and I follow His word.
He even went so far as to claim oneness with the Father, “I and the Father are one” John 10:30. As they picked up stones to kill Him, he asked, 31 “I have shown you many good works (miracles) from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” A little later on, Jesus invited the religious leaders one more time to believe Him, “37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Jesus claimed to be sent by God–but it’s more than that. Jesus came forth from God, as in, He came out of God. John spent the first part of chapter one describing and explaining Jesus’ deity. We know Him as the Second of the Trinity. Jesus’ Godhood is what gave Him the right to interpret Scripture and to set new policy (the New Covenant). Let us praise Jesus today as One of the Trinity and yet lives in each of us.
Abba, knowing that You are God is a great boost of confidence for me. I can trust You to know exactly what I need and that You will guide me on life’s path. I know that You came so that we could have close fellowship with You right now; we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven. Speak to our hearts this morning, Lord. We want to see You and hear You plainly. Amen.