Today's reading through the Community Bible Experience takes us through Matthew 1-7 where Jesus shows us a completely different reality from what was known. In a sense, Jesus was turning everyone's world upside down. For example, the Messiah was born in the small town of Bethlehem and His parents had to flee from the Roman rulers. Think about that for a moment! The parents of the Savior of the world had to leave their country and live in Egypt for a while in order to protect Him. When you think about it, it really seems opposite of what God would do, doesn't it?
Where the opposites really start happening at a greater pace is when Jesus was an adult and He was baptized by John the Baptist. When John protests and tells Jesus that he should be baptized by Him, Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness," Matthew 3:15 (NIV). But in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), He gives us many opposites:
- Jesus didn't come to abolish the Law and prophets, He came to fulfill them.
- It is better to go through life missing a body part than to allow that part of your body to cause you to sin.
- Don't ever make an oath - just be honest enough so that what you say is known to be true.
- Give to those who ask.
- Love your enemies.
- Don't flaunt your good deeds and righteousness to others - that is private between you and God.
- Keep your prayers honest and simple.
- Don't store up treasures here on earth - our heavenly treasures are eternal and far more important.
- Seek God first and He will supply your needs.
- Don't worry - God knows your needs.
- Don't judge - work on your own issues.
That is a very convicting list, isn't it? It really does turn our world upside down and give us a new reality. This is a reality that isn't seen through human eyes, but it is God's reality that He revealed to us through Jesus. When you think about it, God's reality is truly a blessing because it is so much better than our human reality.
Which opposite is convicting you most today?
This post is linked with Sharing His Beauty.