Read the Red (no.2)
Below is the second red phrase which we have had about one month to contemplate:
Matthew 3:15 (NIV) 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
Again, there were some great responses from readers in regards to this second red phrase. Please know that your contribution is what makes this set of blogs so very much worthwhile.
Also, feel free to comment on previous editions of this Read the Red series of blogs. Being further removed from an object will at times give us a more clear–and certainly a broader–perspective on what it is we should focus.
So, on to the task at hand: Read the Red (no.2).
There were three words that caught the attention of our readers:
There were a few ways in which the word “now” was interpreted. The first referenced our first Read the Red phrase in that Jesus might be saying, “Do not wait to seek me. Come to church, immediately.”
Others thought that it might be speaking to the person whom is already sitting in church, and we all know this person–very, very well. During an invitation to stand and turn their lives over to Christ, this person sits back in a sea of doubt as wave after wave (“I am not ready…” or “I will next time…”) pounds against their desire to act. The thought being that Jesus himself is coaching us on to take that step of faith “now.”
For some of the readers, the word “now” went along with the word “righteousness” whereas if a person were to turn their life over to Jesus or be baptized in the Holy Spirit then that person would immediately–despite ANY past sinfulness–be brought into right standing with God.
This was, in my opinion, the true gem of a find by the readers. The word “us” seems to make it clear that Jesus tells us that we are not going to be alone in this adventure of life. That He promises to be with us each and every step of the way.
What’s more, is the thought that not only does Jesus want to be with us but that He needs to be with us during our walk. Making the individual decision to go to church or to say that we are a Christians is not enough. We have to “turn it all over” to Jesus and join into partnership with Him.
The word “righteousness” as referred to earlier can be defined as either being correct by Devine declaration or conforming to the revealed will of God. Seems to make sense then that if we can interpret Jesus’ words as an invitation to be righteous, then simple logic would lead us to the assumption that He does indeed desire for us to be righteous.
The fact that Jesus chooses to use the word “righteousness” may imply a bit of foreshadowing as well. Consider the passage below where the word “righteousness” is used not once, but twice:
Psalm 40:9-10 King James Version (KJV) 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
Could it be that those words spoken to John the Baptist were a foreshadowing of the Great Commission that was essentially beginning there in the River Jordan?
Read the Red (no.3)
Now, on to our next phrase in the series (NOTE: we are pulling from the book of Matthew again since there seems to be a more complete quote as compared to the other gospels):
Matthew 4:1-11 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
The idea is simple: Isolate and focus on those words and parables in the Bible that are written in red-those attributed to our Lord Jesus Christ.
What do these words, isolated an on their own merit say to you? To what other thoughts or scriptures do these words lead you?
Your questions, comments, and answers are always appreciated. But please remember that for this particular set of blogs, your participation is essential.
Reminder: You can feel free to leave a comment below (and thus begin an open discussion), or you might be more comfortable sending me your thoughts and questions via the Contact page.