Breaking Open the Scriptures
Scriptures for August 10th: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133, Romans 11:1-2, 29-32; Matthew 15:10-28. Theme: Are you a witness to the truth of What Christ can do? Song: UMH 140 – Great is Thy Faithfulness
Romans: Paul reminds us that as gentiles, we are just as much a part of the family as the Jewish people. God accepts us as we are, we don’t have to change our identity in order to be a Christian. Jesus died for the right for us to be just who we are. Jews do not believe in original sin. But the scripture reminds us that we are indeed sinful. God knows that we are sinful. God claims us, even in the midst of our fault. Jesus cleans us up, and forgives our sins and glorifies God for the right to do the work. If we are thankful for what God has done for us, then we will be witnesses. We will not only live a life as free from sin as possible, but we will also tell others what God has done for us, and what God is prepared to do for others.
Matthew: For the Jewish community, purity is everything. It is a part of their religion to keep clean. They are not willing to be around anything that will make them spiritual unclean. Being unclean has nothing to do with dirt, it is about a perception. Jesus tries to dispel the myth that something outside of your own spirit can make you unclean. It is what comes or of your spirit , out of your mouth that make you unclean. In the second half of the scripture, a woman tests Jesus determination to save all of God’s children. She was not a Jew, yet she asked to be healed. At first Jesus says that he can’t do anything, but he is soon reminded that God sent him to save all. It was her faith that saves her daughter, not her nationality. The same for us. We have to be careful not about what we put in our mouths, but what comes out of them.
Questions: How is your life a witness to what God has done in your life? How have you received the mercy of God even in your disobedience? What do Christians and Jews have in common in the way that we worship God? Have you ever seen a Christian disrespect their faith by the way they talk with other people? What does it mean to be spiritually clean? Who do you need to pray for God to bless, even though they may not deserve it?