Matthew 11-12, Psalm 135
Substituting for Pastor Jeremiah today is guest blogger Jonathan S. Have you ever come across a child or adult who thinks he is entitled to everything? Perhaps you were irritated by this behavior or you even found it to be your own. We all have run into those people at customer service, all bent out of shape about being ripped off or mistreated. Even though Jesus did not have the stereotypical “entitlement attitude” the Pharisees had it out for him. Jesus was often criticized for acting in ways that were contradictory to the Law and his occasional claims to be equal with God probably didn’t help this. Though Jesus had the right to entitlement, He was anything but entitled in how He acted. In chapters eleven and twelve of Matthew, we see Jesus effectively doing ministry in the face of tough questions from the Pharisees. In chapter 11, Jesus is asked by John’s disciples, “Are you the One who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Jesus answers, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.” Jesus does not respond saying outright one way or another but He simply states His actions as proof to who He is. In this way we should be able to hold up our actions as proof of Christ’s work in us. In chapter 12, Jesus is accused by the Pharisees of casting out demons by possession of them. Jesus refutes this ferociously saying that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Throughout the chapter, Jesus answers the Pharisees honestly and with truth. In both actions and words Jesus meets questions and opposition with truth and we must do this as well. When faced with these same things, we must first check our attitude. Are we acting or feeling entitled? Then we must check if our actions are truthful and lastly we must check if our words are truthful. If all these check out, then continue to respond in truth, but if not it is important to repent before trying to respond in truth. God is faithful in all He does. Throughout history, this can be see and appreciated. Take a moment after reading Psalm 135 to think about how God has been faithful to you this last week.