Last Sunday, August 15th, at CrossHope Chapel, we enjoyed the 22nd chapter of Matthew and discussing Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet, and the questions posed to Jesus with the intention to trap Him up in front of the people there in Jerusalem.
The parable of the wedding banquet was rich with Jesus’ warning that the work of the winning the world with the gospel was going to be taken away from Israel and given to the church. That happened 3 and a half years after the crucifixion of Christ in AD 34 when Saul oversaw the stoning of Stephen and persecution scattered believers to the Gentile cities.
The gotcha questions presented to Jesus from the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Herodians back-fired and didn’t achieve their ill-intended purpose. In fact, Matthew records that “from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions” (Matthew 22:46, NIV).
If I had to point to a single most important highlight from Matthew 22, it would probably be verse 29. Matthew 22:29 is a reply by Jesus to the Sadducees and is a very important truth that is applicable today.
Jesus’ reply was, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29, NIV).
In the immediate context the Sadducees were trying to trip Jesus up with a what-if scenario, and in this case their ignorance of Scripture showed along with their lack of faith to allow for God to work it out.
We are not much different today than they were, because we easily embrace error when we are ignorant of what Scripture actually says. Without a study of God’s Word we become subjects of other people’s opinions on what-if scenarios.
Isaiah 8:20 warns us to discern what others say by this test: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Too often we yield our mind to individuals because of their credentials or charisma without consideration of biblical truth or the place where their message is leading us.
We may buy-in to someone’s argument because it doesn’t strike us as being unbiblical, but before we realize it we discover it has led us to a place of discomfort, paranoia, or away from the “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23) given by the Holy Spirit.
When it comes to identifying truth, Isaiah 28:13 gives us further insight into the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture and allowing it to interpret itself, when it references, “But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
If you noticed, Jesus also told the Sadducees that they were in error, not only by their ignorance of Scripture, but by not knowing “the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). When we do not know the power of God we do not have faith in Him to do whatever it is that we need Him to do for us.
When we are not focused on the proven power of God, we easily assume worry, anxiety, and even responsibility over things that God already has full control of. We forfeit our peace, contentment, and trust in God’s protection, provision, or outcome when we fail to keep our eyes focused on the power of God.
It is the work of Satan to distract our minds from the power of God and the truth of Scripture and thanks to an inundation of misinformation through digital media, his job is getting easier.
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, let’s not give the devil any footholds in these trying times, but let us stand on the Scripture and the power of God.
This coming Sunday, August 22, 2021, we will open to the 23rd chapter of Matthew and continue talking about the events of Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem.