Daily Word

Matthew 20

Read Matthew 20 – It’s not fair; it is grace.  The economy of Jesus is based on who he is and not what we do.  It is very strange to us earthlings.  In Christ, we get his mercy and not what we deserve. 

The parable of the vineyard workers displays this concept in verses :1-16.  All the workers get fair pay of a day’s wage whether they worked all day, or only showed up at the end.  How did you feel about this?  Were you happy to see those hired on last getting paid as if they had worked all day?  Did your heart expect those hired first to get a bit extra?  

Jesus predicts his death again.  Beloved, there are things going on all around us as we navigate life in this broken world, but one thing remains the most important – Jesus lived, bled, died and was resurrected so that we could have eternal life with him.  Whatever is happening in your life right now, do not get too far away from the loving truth of the Cross.

Jesus asks a question, “What do you want?” He first asks James and John’s mother :21, and then he asks the blind men :32.  

The mother does not understand what she is asking for and Jesus tells her exactly that.  The motive was wrong; it was essentially for prestige. Jesus said NO.  Can you think of a time Jesus said NO to you?  It doesn’t take much hindsight to know what a blessing a NO is!

Now the blind men stirred Jesus’ heart to compassion.  They received the blessing of sight they asked for and their response is wonderful.  Verse :34 concludes with, “Instantly they could see!  Then they followed him.”  

Beloved, may this wake you up to the joy of your Salvation!  You are saved, follow Jesus in gratitude for this gift that he earned on the Cross and freely gave to you.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 23

Read Deuteronomy 23 – Why yes, I am blushing – I feel as if the LORD just had “the talk” with me.  You know, the talk one’s parents have when a child is on the cusp of puberty. So, let’s TALK.  

“If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD.” :1 I had to look at what the commentators had to say, Smith, Henry and Guzik, the LORD is referring to men who were associated with the pagan culture, and they were unable to be circumcised as was required of the LORD, so they would not be suitable within the assembly of the LORD.  Likewise for illegitimate persons, although there is disagreement on what it is meant by illegitimate, and it was suggested it is those born through incest.  

There were restrictions against the Ammonites and Moabites for ten generations because they did not offer hospitality when Israel came out of Egypt.  But the Edomites (relatives of Israelites through Esau, Isaac and Rebekah’s son, Genesis 25) and Egyptians (because Israel lived among them as foreigners) they were not to detest.  

The LORD addressed nocturnal emissions, saying that the men who experienced them would need to stay outside of camp all day, bathe toward evening and could return at sunset.  I wonder what this looked like in practice.  Was it shameful?  Did these men get teased?  

The LORD addresses another bodily function, relieving one’s self.  They were explicitly told to go outside of camp, to the designated area and cover excrements with a spade.  He explains why in :14, saying it is because he, the LORD their God moves around them in camp to protect them and defeat their enemies.  Also that he must not see any shameful thing among them or he will turn away.  

I find myself full of questions about this; how about you?  I am trusting that it will all make sense in heaven… I am also wondering if the need to relieve oneself will be removed in our eternal form?  Wouldn’t that be convenient?  

Our chapter goes on to cover other things, giving escaped slaves refuge, temple prostitutes and their tithes, loans, vows, and how to behave in the neighbors vineyard.  The LORD has expectations and standards for his children, and I doubt he blushed or fidgeted when he gave the TALK.