Monday, November 23, 2009

Enjoy the goodness of God in Matthew 8 and 9

I have been reading Matthew with a group on Facebook, and in the process have been feeding my intellect and hopefully my spirit with a greater awareness of who God is, what he is like and how he operates.

Last week, I just completed and really enjoyed Matthew 8. Quintessentially, this chapter focuses on God's goodness. Nobody's prayer or request in Chapter 8 was denied. All who asked, even when they doubted God's favour got what they wished, including those who asked Jesus to leave their coast.

I loved that entire passage, as through it, we see a God who answers prayers through the intercession of his son and the will of his son. Here, Jesus not only granted people what they desired, but he also granted demons their desires as shown by him giving them permission to enter into swine.

As such it was a lovely passage of revealing the royalty, kingship and authority of Jesus, whose mission was and is to be entreated of and petitioned by people for favours.

The revelation and representation that Jesus gave of his Heavenly Father, God the Father, reflects one of God being a God of goodness, wanting to be entreated of and petitioned by people for favours. It also reflected that God wants to help and satisfy the needs and wishes of all his human subjects for improvement of their condition.

I also want to pull out some puzzling ideas based on Jesus' interaction with demons. Jesus was seen by the demons as being their tormentor/punisher. They asked him if he came to torment them before their time (Matthew 8 : 29).

Then they requested that Jesus send them into swines and used the bodies of the swines to go into the sea.

This act made an entire village forbid Jesus to enter into their city, as these people were perhaps afraid of losing their livelihood. The whole event made it seem as the demons used this prevent the people from being willing to listen to Jesus.

Jesus being the gentleman that he is, gave them their request and left their coast.

Chapter 9 exhibits the contrasting levels of faith by people in God. Some persons believed that they could just touch Jesus without asking him to get their miracle. Others believed that Jesus need to come into their house and touch them in order to get their miracle.

What this tells me is that God is so good to us no matter what our level of faith is. Some of us do not have to ask/petition God before our wish is granted. We just believe in our hearts, and God acts on that belief without us asking.

Others want to audibly ask God.

While others want God to work in a certain way before they are satisfied that he answers their prayers.

May you be like one who has a high level of faith, recognising that God is inherently good and wants to grant you favour today and every other day. May you know that he awaits for your petition and faith to do something spectacular for you to improve your condition. If he granted the wishes of rebellious demons and people who had little faith, what would make him not want to grant your wishes for a betterment of your condition.

God's blessings.

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