This year we have covered the first seventeen chapters of The Gospel According To Matthew.
Matthew chapters 18 and 19 are two crucial chapters of the New Testament. These chapters have the answers (HOW/WHY) church today is NOT creating the value needed to bring about God's Will on earth as it is done in Heaven.
However, people miss the solutions presented by Jesus because they lack the foundational doctrine. We will see most churches today do the OPPOSITE of Matthew chapters 18 and 19.
In order to more fully appreciate the information, we spent last month getting foundational background.
Two weeks ago, we concluded Matthew 18 and looked at a practical application of confrontation from John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress". Last week we looked at a complex confrontation between the Pharisees and Jesus in Matthew 19. In the previous post, we covered Matthew 19:10-15. Here is the summary:
Matthew 19:3-15 documented a complex confrontation between the Pharisees and Jesus. The confrontation concerned doctrine already covered in Jesus' Premiere Teaching.
Bunyan showed us a Profitable confrontation that followed Matthew 18:15-17. We ought to confront people claiming to be Believers by asking them a question concerning doctrine and focusing on definitions. Where they contradict the Bible, we ought to point it out. If they get upset and make excuses for ending the discussion, they are proving they are not a Believer. This confrontation is a key to helping the church doing its part to bring about God's Will on earth as it is in Heaven. Failing to confront people in this manner is hindering God's Will!
Matthew 19:3-15 showed an Unprofitable confrontation. It motivated the Pharisees to destroy Jesus.
Yesterday's post completed a Feedback Loop that began with Matthew 18:1-4. Jesus stated the kingdom of heaven belonged to the little children...
"16 And behold, one came to him and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? One there is who is good: but if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments."
(Another confrontation! This one is NOT by a Pharisee trying to trap Jesus. It is more like Bunyan's confrontation. However, there are two subtle points that are lost with the ASV's presentation of this passage. Here's Young's Literal Translation of these two verses:
"16 And lo, one having come near, said to him, `Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have life age-during?'
17 And he said to him, `Why me dost thou call good? no one [is] good except One -- God; but if thou dost will to enter into the life, keep the commands.'")
(The confronter called Jesus "Good teacher". First, EVERYONE called Jesus "Teacher (Rabbi)"...even people who did NOT like Jesus. Jesus was a Rabbi...a Teacher.)
(Second, the confronter called Jesus "Good" and Jesus stated ONLY God is "Good". What does this mean? What is your definition of "Good" and "Evil". I am continually amazed at "Christians" who use the words "good" and "evil", yet can't define them! This is Doctrine!)
(As we saw during the Roman Series:
-"Good" means it creates...something minimal was created.
-"Perfect" means that maximum profitability was attained...nothing more could have been created.
-"Pleasing" is in between.)
(Think about it this way...if God tells you to plant 100 seeds, you obey but only plant 30 seeds, are you in God's Will?)
(You really only have two responses:
1) No - then you are stating that you are out of God's Will whenever you aren't perfect.
2) Yes, but you aren't in His Complete (or Perfect) Will - you can be in God's Will even when you aren't perfect.)
(Look at the parables Jesus told. There's usually three levels of profitability: 30 fold, 60 fold, 100 fold. There isn't anything greater than "100 fold". I believe 100 fold is perfect. Anything from 1 fold and above is good...and pleasing is somewhere in between. (We have already addressed this point during this Series in Matthew 13. Also, remember Romans 8? God working all things to "good" would mean that He could take your avoiding planting any of the 100 seeds and make an opportunity to at least plant 1 seed.) If you can show me where this is wrong, I will listen gratefully.)
(Jesus stated that ONLY God was able to create in the Long Term. This statement from Jesus was consistent with what Jesus said in John 8:28! "28 Jesus therefore said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things." The secret to Jesus' successfully accomplishing His mission on earth was to let God do EVERYTHING through Him. This is GRACE. Jesus constantly pointed people towards God...NOT Himself.)
(The confronter asked Jesus how he could attain Salvation. Remember, this confrontation took place during the dispensation of the Law. So, the answer was to do the commandments...which is what Jesus answered.)
"18 He saith unto him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honor thy father and mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
(The confronter then asked Jesus which commandments ought he to keep. Jesus gave several examples.)
"20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I observed: what lack I yet?"
(The confronter stated he had done ALL of these. The confronter was a Believer! Then the confronter asked what he lacked. Some people interpret this as meaning the confronter was NOT a Believer...that he didn't feel satisfied he was saved. ACTUALLY, the verse stated he was a Believer and then he introduced a new topic: perfection. In fact, Jesus understood this and THAT was exactly how He responded...)
"21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and..."
(What is the rest of the verse? Take a moment to complete the verse out loud.)
(I have partially quoted this verse and asked over 100 pastors, teachers, and "Christians" to complete this verse. ONLY two people have ever done this successfully! I have even seen television ministers misquote this passage...and then display the passage as a television graphic with the same incorrect presentation!)
(Was this your answer? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and...come, follow me.)
(Here's the entire verse...)
"21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."
(Jesus told the confronter to sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and then he would have treasure in Heaven. This is Spiritual Value. This is Reward. THEN, separately, Jesus told him to come and follow Him.)
(The confronter's first question dealt with Salvation. The confronter's Question about "lack" dealt with Reward. People who don't know the difference between Salvation and Reward interpret this story incorrectly.)
(Most people omit the treasure in Heaven portion. They present a Jesus who stated the confronter ought to give and get nothing in return. They present a "Jesus" who was a Begger. A "Jesus" who was NOT moral. A "Jesus" that didn't give a Reason and a Value when He made a request.)
(Actually, Jesus was the Perfect Leader. He ALWAYS gave a Reason and a Value when He made a request.)
(Selling his PHYSICAL possessions and giving them to the poor would result in SPIRITUAL value...which is what we need to bring about God's Will on earth as it is in Heaven! Then the request to follow Jesus was an opportunity to do Offensive Spiritual Warfare to bring about God's Will...and gain even more Reward! Remember, in the Bible, EVERY person who did successful Offensive Spiritual Warfare did NOT have PHYSICAL wealth. They did NOT have "cares of the world"!)
(Jesus offered the confronter the opportunity to get Reward AND further God's Will! What was his response?)
"22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sorrowful; for he was one that had great possessions."
(This confrontation ended with the confronter walking away sorrowful. WHY? Because he had great PHYSICAL possessions. He had cares of the world!)
"23 And Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, It is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
(This next point has been well taught and there are many resources to get the details. Here is a quick explanation...)
(The "needle's eye" was a narrow passage through the wall surrounding Jerusalem. The ONLY way for a camel to get through this narrow passage was to unburden itself of its PHYSICAL cargo AND kneel.)
(Jesus stated it was easier for the camel to get through this narrow passage than for a rich man because the camel would rid itself of its PHYSICAL possessions and humble itself...the rich man is unable to do either of these things!)
"25 And when the disciples heard it, they were astonished exceedingly, saying, Who then can be saved?
26 And Jesus looking upon them said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
(Again, the disciples concluded the confrontation by asking Jesus a Question because they didn't understand. Is it any wonder we are unable to understand these passages and apply them correctly if the disciples didn't understand the message?)
(Notice, the ending of this passage implied the rich man was now NOT a Believer! WHY? He didn't handle Jesus' confrontation well. The rich man committed Second Dimensional Sin! The confronter made a request to look past Salvation to Reward. Jesus told him how to get Reward...and the rich man then rejected Jesus. The rich man was hypocritical by not following through on something he asked for! Remember, hypocrites don't make it to Heaven.)
(Hopefully, the intent was the same as the end of Bunyan's confrontation: help the person go COLD now so they have plenty of time to Repent and go HOT later.)
Jesus was confronted by a rich man. Jesus' handling of the confrontation resulted in Doctrine that would help bring about God's Will on earth as it is in Heaven.
However, the church's incorrect interpretation of these verses today results in people HINDERING God's Will!
Tomorrow, we will conclude Matthew chapter 19...