Praise ye the Lord Jesus Christ . Yesterday I realized, dancing is like writing and today confirm that writing is like dancing. How I love to write.
We are reading the New Testament together as a church and it has been a blessed exercise for me. I am again today, seeking to share my notes and reflections of Matthew 22.
I start with a pivotal verse from Psalms 110 which the Lord refers to in Matthew 22 and which sets the tone of the message of the chapter, I believe. It is from the beloved KJV version
The Lord said unto my Lord,
Sit thou at my right hand,
until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2 The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:
rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness
from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent,
Thou art a priest for ever
after the order of Melchizedek.
Here we see in this chapter , three groups of people , the Pharisees, the Saducees and the Scribes going about to plot and to seek to trick or trip Jesus up about taxes, the resurrection and the law, but how Jesus continued to ‘rule in the midst of his enemies’. Jesus had an answer to every scheme and plot that they had huddled together devised, and brought forth planning to topple or overthrow him. They failed miserably. Throughout, our Jesus continued to personify, grace, wisdom and truth.
Perhaps the beauty of the chapter 22 , is the famous parable about the wedding feast and the wedding garment. Most of us can visualize and get into the essence of what Jesus was trying to convey from this parable. Who would refuse an invitation to a royal wedding and from a King ? Who would attend a royal wedding dressed inappropriately? Of course Jesus is not referring to a natural wedding, nor a physical garment but he is talking about spiritual issues, invitation to accept the free gift of salvation and with it inherent righteousness which only accepting him can give. The righteousness of God can only be accepted through Christ Jesus. We can hear about Him but his seal , his identity has to be on our hearts for that day when the King will be present to inspect. There are many people in our world, good people who believe that their good works and how they are dressed will be sufficient for them to be accounted ‘should’ (they say) there be an afterlife. There are many people who have heard about Jesus, think he was a good man, a good prophet but they haven’t taken the next step to receive him as their personal savior . These people are therefore not covered, not dressed, not yet ready for the marriage feast and certainly wont pass the scrutiny of the Kings steely gaze.
What we see and can conclude from Matthew 22, he exasperated them with his wisdom – he silenced the accuser. In all he said and did he quoshed , countered every ordinance, rule and regulation , bringing it to the obedience of his lordship and majesty both before , during and after the cross.
Lord we thank you for the spirit of truth and grace in which you walked and which we seek to emulate. Lord we want to declare that your word in us continues to grow and prevails. As the Psalmist wrote (acknowledging you so many centuries ago) so we write and acknowledge your deity your lordship , your majesty over us and over all. We write not as the scribes with the dead letter, rotes and rights of the law, but with the unction of your blessed Holy Spirit.
We thank you because you have lived up to your promises. You have sent the rod of your strength . Those called by you continue to rule and reign and are empowered to lift up your Holy name . We want to render to you the fruit of our lips and the prayers and worship from our hearts. We will rule in the midst of our enemies.
Lord you have given us power with men and power with you. You teach our hands to war and our fingers to fight. You have made us like sharp threshing instruments and our feet like hinds feet. We hold on knowing that you have gone to prepare a place for us.
Help us to prepare our hearts and our garments for that great supper which will certainly take place and not too long from now.
We want to be there, we want to see you, we want to know you more . Let us see your glory and the half that has not yet been told.
Dress us in your righteousness. Seal us with covenanted promise.
Give us the bright and morning star.