Genesis 26:17-27:46, Matthew 9:1-17, Psalms 10:6-18, Proverbs 3:9-10
Today is the 12th day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible, I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you in the rolling hills of Tennessee. I’m coming to you wherever it is that you are on this planet. And what a joy, what a joy that we can take the next step forward in community as we continue to take steps forward through the Bible. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Version this week. Genesis chapter 26 verse 17 through 27 verse 46.
Okay. So, in the book of Genesis we’ve got some family issues happening in Abraham’s family. Of course, Abraham has already passed on. Isaac is now the patriarch of the family. His sons Jacob and Esau are in conflict with one another over the family blessing. Isaac has reached old age, he’s at the end of his life. So, who will the next patriarch of the family be? And Isaac’s wife, Rebekah hatches a plan because she wants it to be Jacob and that’s what happens. Jacob will become the next family leader, but not before he has to go on the run from his brother Esau. And, so, Jacob will go all the way back. Remember the story of the servant who went to find a wife for Isaac, back to Abraham’s people, way back to the North East? That’s where Jacob is headed and there is some interesting drama waiting for him, but we’ll have to wait until we get there.
In the New Testament, Jesus has begun his ministry, and everyone’s checking Him out. But h’s just getting going. He doesn’t really have a bunch of enemies at this point. A lot of times we can just assume that the elite religious leaders were just against Jesus from the get-go, but they weren’t. They were very intrigued by Him, but we start getting clues as to why there’s going to be antagonism and, ultimately, plots against Jesus life. In today’s reading Jesus healed the paralytic man by telling him that his sins are forgiven. Okay. So, for the Jews, especially the religious Jews, this was thought of as blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins. And, So, Jesus was making a declaration about who He was and this confused many religious leaders. And then, in the next scene, Jesus finds Matthew, who is a tax collector, who is basically seen as a Jewish person who has sold the Jewish people out for their own gain. So, basically, how this worked was that the Roman Empire, so, the Roman government, collected taxes from the people. But the way that they would disperse this authority was to, essentially, offer for sale the right to collect taxes. So, only the ultra-wealthy could get in on that action. And they would get the license to collect taxes and then hire people to go and actually do the dirty work. So, these local tax collectors would collect taxes, but they would collect more and they would line their own pockets and the people just had to suck it up and pay it. They did not want to be in trouble with the Roman authorities. And in many cases people were taxed to the point that they couldn’t survive. And there was no good way for commoner to seek justice in that kind of situation. So, these local tax collectors were hated. They were looked at as cronies and crooks, corrupt. And, so, while the religious leaders would rail against them and the injustice and brand them as sinners, Jesus goes to Matthew and then has dinner in Matthew’s home. This is very confusing to the people, especially the religious leaders because they think they’re speaking out on behalf of the people and the injustice that’s being done to the people by this over taxation. And then on the face of it, it looks like this new rabbi, this Jesus, is cozying up to the system. So, Jesus is showing that His way is a bit different. He could join the ranks and just be outspoken against tax collectors and sinners and all of the injustice that is happening to the Hebrew people. And He could stir up the people and incite them to, maybe, rise up and rebel. But this had been going on for well over a century and these people had gotten crushed a number of times. They had been victorious some as well, but it has been a long hard road. Jesus is doing what Jesus always does. He’s not reacting to the situation that’s right in front of Him. He’s going behind all of that to speak into the root, the cause. And, so, He’s going after Matthew’s heart. He’s going after a tax collectors heart, essentially, revealing that to change a corrupt system you have to change the hearts of the people who run it. So, when He’s questioned about this, His response was saying, people who are well aren’t the ones who need the doctor. Sick people need a doctor. I didn’t come to call the righteous. I came to call sinners. These kinds of behaviors are the things to get Jesus on the radar with the religious leaders. And very soon we’ll encounter an instance of another thing that gets Him in trouble, and that is what He chooses to do on the Sabbath. So, rabbis have wrestled all along with the Sabbath day and the command to not do any work on the Sabbath day. But you can’t just command don’t do any work on the Sabbath day, that has to be defined. What is work? And that has been being wrestled with for a long time by religious Jews. So, like, even today in Israel on the Sabbath day, there are elevators in hotels that will just go from floor to floor to floor to floor and just keep repeating so no one has to push a button, because pushing a button could be constituted as work. Jesus has a different interpretation and He’ll talk about it, but it gets Him in trouble. But what we can see beginning to emerge is that Jesus, as a Hebrew man, is willing to break with tradition and to reinterpret tradition. And this becomes a major component of Jesus ministry. So, we should pay attention to it because it invites us to look at the places that we’ve planted our feet in cement and we can’t move.
Father, we invite You into all of this, all that we have read today, these dramatic and fascinating stories, and we’re beginning to see just how much humanity is dripping from these stories. And we are clearly seeing that, yes, culture is different, clothes are different, times are different, but we can certainly relate to these stories, because these are human stories, and they reveal a lot about our own lives. So, come Holy Spirit, plant Your word into our lives today. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Good morning. It is Monday, 8 January and I’ve just finished listening to this morning’s podcast. And the reading in Genesis today reminded me quite strongly that there are stories in the Bible which don’t sit well with us and that I really don’t like. I was there thinking why, why, why is this in here? Why would you do that? But then I’m reminded as well that there are times when I’m stuck in a hard place. I am in a cave or wherever and I can’t see a solution to the problem. There is literally no way, it can’t be done. There’s just no way this thing can be resolved or a happy ending can come from this. And then I engineer a solution myself. And call myself and say, well, how can I get out of it and I come up with something. And it’s not necessarily the best thing or the most helpful thing to do, but it gets me out of that situation. But then I’ve got to live with the consequences of that. Where, what I should’ve done, and what perhaps Lot and his daughter should’ve done, is seek God through the words of Matthew today. Seek God, ask God, ask God the solution. God, I am in the situation. What can I do? Please send help. And that’s, as I was going, reminded us. It’s so, so important to seek God in all things. Remember who you are. You are a child of God. You are loved by God. God wants us. Ask Him. He wants us to talk to Him. He wants us to love and trust Him to get us out of that situation. Father God, I am so sorry the times when I haven’t asked, for the times when I haven’t trusted, and I’ve gotten myself out of it. Please help me to trust You wholeheartedly in the future. In Jesus name. Amen.
Hello this is Dave from North Carolina. I’m calling with a praise report and I wanted to share something else. My praise report is that in the new year we decided to listen to the Daily Audio Bible with our kids before bedtime at night and so far that is working great. So, thanks for that. The other thing I wanted to share is something that happened this week. There was an exchange with someone on Facebook and it made me realize that I don’t bring glory to God when I beat myself up for…like…someone complimented me about, you’re doing a great job with this…with a certain thing. And I was like, no, I’m…you know…I kind of argued with her…no I’m not good kind of a thing. I just think that in the new year I want to focus on believing what God wants for me in my life and none of us are perfect while we are here on this earth and we will mess up and we should ask for forgiveness, but we also shouldn’t waste a lot of time and energy just beating ourselves up. We should be focusing on God and what His plans are for us and just basically get right back on the horse when we mess up and focus on Him and what His plans are for our lives. It’s just something that was on my heart that I wanted to share with the rest of you as well. Have a great day, and thanks for this community.
Good morning DABber’s. This is Walda, the burning bush that will not be devoured for the glory of our God and King. I’m actually calling to just say, you know, thumbs up to China for Daily Audio Bible Chronological. And I have a 10-year-old kid who’s literally been listening to you since he was born. And Max, yes Max. Oh he loves Max. When he was younger, like four or five years old, he was like loving listening to Max. I also have a 20-year-old son who is a prodigal son right now. And I have mixed emotions as I listen to the very first podcast…and sorry…I’m getting a little emotional. But China, we love you. I’m so proud of you. I’m so, so proud of you. I’m so proud of what you’re doing and I pray that God will continue to bless you. May God protect your life. May He protect you in the future. I pray the for the future you, for the adult, and I know you’re already almost an adult. Adult China, I pray for you, that God will sustain you and continue to guide your path, that the word of God will continue to bring forth that which God has planted in your heart. I’m so, so proud of you. And I pray for all the parents who have prodigal kids. My 20-year-old is now seriously addicted to heroin. And he’s gone astray. But I praise God because God will finish what He has started. And I thank God for kids like China, for women like China who can be a light. And I pray for all the China’s out there, all the girls and boys who have grown up in the Lord in our still holding what they have, what they learned from their childhood, and I pray for…
Hello daily audio Bible family. This is Nathan from Bloomington Illinois. I just want to welcome all newcomers to our family. I was going to say strap in, but don’t strap in to tight because God’s going to move you and you don’t want to be standing so firm that you can’t be moved. So, I just wanted to throw that in there is an extra. So, Brian was talking about forgiveness and…oh my gosh…that is so powerful. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve been wrong and we can justify our anger and where we are in life, but that locks us, it freezes us into a life, a lifestyle, deeming it that won’t let us go because we have not let go. So, if you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve forgiven someone who’s done you wrong. One, they probably don’t expect you to do that because you can be mad at them and should act mad, but that’s not what God teaches us. He says, forgive one another and I will forgive you. You know, that’s already been done. So, we have to let go. We have to let God. Because when we say the words, I forgive you, there’s a release of our emotion, there’s a release of that angriness and bitterness and tension and stress and anxiety and everything else that goes with it that’s also released and God is then able to do work through you. Keep that thought. Have a great day. Make it a great day.