Matthew that is. As in the book of the bible called Matthew. I’m so funny. Or lame. Let’s split the difference and call me nerdy.
Wait, why are you bringing the bible into this, I thought this was a lose weight / recipe blog?
It is, sort of, but really it’s a “getting my shit straight” blog – which means that God has to be involved because I’m no good at this on my own. Don’t worry, the next post will have tacos in it. Hooray!
I’ve started studying Matthew, because why not just start at the beginning? I don’t know the bible nearly as well as I should, so I’m going balls to the wall here, as in reading commentaries and everything.
One commentary I read is from here and the other is from here. Right now I’m reading one chapter, reading both commentaries and then I listen to my dad’s teachings from Matthew here. Pops is good about teaching the text in a way that applies it to your life, so I figured I would glean all I could from the text before I heard what dad taught and then listen with a better understanding of how he came to those conclusions, (and hopefully I’ll start coming to those same conclusions before I listen to his teachings.)
Rather then go through and re-word everything the commentaries and teachings taught me I’ll just tell you what really stuck with me from the passage.
Matthew Chapter One:
Oh wow, you’re really getting deep here aren’t you? Hear me out. Matthew opens his book with a genealogy. Boring. I know, or at least I thought so until I read the commentaries. In his genealogy there are several ladies listed. Now, it was not a normal practice back in that misogynistic day to put ladies in genealogies. But Matt did and he mentioned some really… um… interesting ladies too. The first mentioned, Tamar, dressed up as a prostitute so that her father-in-law would sleep with her and give her a son, another, Rahab actually was a prostitute, (and gentile to boot) who God saved because she helped the Israelites destroy her home town; Ruth wasn’t Jewish and Bathsheba, (Her who had been the wife of Uriah,) cheated on her husband while he was away at war.
So, why did God choose these women for Matthew to mention? I’d like to think that it’s because God really likes us. He likes us so much that he chose to redeem everyone through Jesus, even women, even prostitute women! (There are some messed up dudes in the genealogy too, but I’m a lady so I like talking about the ladies.) It’s not just about redeeming though, he goes so far to call us mess-ups his family. He likes us so much that he doesn’t just say, “Okay, I guess I’ll forgive you because of Jesus.” He says, “Yeah, of course I forgive you and in fact I’m writing you in on the family tree now.” I think that’s so cool.
Mary got an angel in her face to deliver the message that she was getting knocked-up without any of the fun. Joseph though, who I’m sure just thought that Mary was cheating on him only got a dream. But, it seems like that’s all it took. I think if I were Joe I might have needed an angel in my face too. I think he was someone who really loved the Lord though and had come to a place in his life where he could distinguish God dreams vs. bad felafel dreams. Which makes me wonder if that’s why God chose him. I mean, I know God chooses to work through the screw-ups all the time, but I think it would be good to strive to be more like Joe, who didn’t just get a dream, but responded to it. God will talk to Joe through dreams several more times, and in one instance Joe gets up and responds that night. I want to be someone that, who when God speaks, responds immediately. Personally, I’m an internal debater. “Was that really God? I’m just not sure.” But, I think if a person studies the word and keeps the communication flowing with God, well, then that quiet whisper of a voice becomes a little more real. Theoretically. I don’t really know, I’m not there yet.
So yeah, that’s what I got out of the first chapter of Matthew.