05/08/F – Knowing the Scriptures and the Power of God

Numbers 4:1-49; Mark 12:18-34; Psalms 48:9-14; Proverbs 14:30-31

NT: “Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and questioned him: “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife behind but no child, that man should take the wife and raise up offspring for his brother. There were seven brothers. The first married a woman, and dying, left no offspring. The second also took her, and he died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. None of the seven left offspring. Last of all, the woman died too. In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be, since the seven had married her?” Jesus spoke to them, “Isn’t this the reason why you’re mistaken: you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God?” …One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which command is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, teacher. You have correctly said that he is one, and there is no one else except him. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to question him any longer.” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭12:18-24, 28-34‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

The Sadducees were a sect of Jews that did not believe that there was resurrection after death. They believed your life ended when you died. In order to challenge Jesus, they concocted a very unlikely hypothetical scenario to try to snare Him in a logical trap and prove how preposterous an idea resurrection was. Jesus’ response to them was that their entire belief system was mistaken. Why? Because they didn’t know the scriptures and they didn’t know the power of God. So many times I see people, that believe in God, go down logical rabbit holes and get lost because they don’t know the scriptures and do not know, nor factor into their thinking, the power of God. On the other hand, the scribe who was an expert in the scriptures, posed a different question to Jesus in order to trap Him as well. But the scribe, who knew the scriptures, couldn’t refute the truth when Jesus presented it to Him… and Jesus actually commended him, telling him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Before we start coming up with our own belief systems, we should first make sure that we know the scriptures… and we need to know God and His power. Do the things that we believe line up with the whole of scripture (not just one out-of-context proof text) and do they take into account the power of God?

Psalms: “God, within your temple, we contemplate your faithful love. Like your name, God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with justice. Mount Zion is glad. Judah’s villages rejoice because of your judgments.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭48:9-11‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

The word translated here as contemplate is an interesting word. It actually means to become like or resemble. Basically, as you consider something, the more you consider it and think about it, the more you begin to resemble and become like the thing you are thinking about. The people of God… citizens of the Kingdom of God, should ever contemplate the checed (faithful covenantal love, mercy, goodness) of God… and as they do that, they will grow to resemble Him. They will become those who do good, show mercy, and love faithfully. Through His people, who have been changed into His likeness, His character and His praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Oh how we need to know (and contemplate) the scriptures and the power of God.

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