September 17, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Wednesday after the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 119:113-128, 1 Kings 8:22-30, 1 Thes. 2:17-313
Evening – Psalm 119:129-144, Mt. 10:16-31

Commentary, Matthew 10:16-31

Our Lord’s commission to the disciples continues in tonight’s reading.  It is not the kind of speech leaders generally use to inspire and encourage people.  Our Lord speaks of persecution, scourging, imprisonment, and death in His service.  Obviously His words look beyond the ministry on which He is sending the disciples in Galilee.  His words look on to the time after His own execution when His Church will be persecuted in Israel and the world.

The disciples should expect opposition, often violent opposition.  They should expect to be treated as the Lord Himself was treated, and it should be enough for them to be like their Master in this sense (Mt. 10:25).  Therefore they should not fear their enemies or the ordeal before them.  They should fear only God.  This means they will endure the sufferings, and will not stop ministering as Christ directs them.

Our reading closes with a reminder that God sees and watches over the disciples in their service (vss.29-31).  The sparrow has never been considered a valuable bird.  Most people think it is not beautiful to look at or pleasant to hear.  In Galilee, sparrows were often captured and eaten.  They could be purchased very cheaply.  So the sparrow was considered a lowly bird. 

To the world, the Church is like the sparrow.  Yet God’s eye is on the sparrow.  Not one of them falls without His knowledge.  If He knows about the sparrows, He knows about His servants, even down to the hairs on their heads.  If He watches over the sparrows He watches over His servants, and they will be blessed.

Scripture and Commentary, Tuesday after Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 118, 1 Kings 8:12-21, 1 Thes. 2:1-13
Evening – Psalm 11, 113, Mt. 9:36-10:15

Commentary, Matthew 9:36-10:15
The Apostle Matthew, like the other Gospel writers, was more concerned about theological order than chronological order.  So we are not quite sure when Christ sent out the Apostles ( still only disciples at this point).  Mt/ 9:35 tells us Jesus went into the cities and villages preaching the Gospel, and it seems that He would not send out the disciples until He had first taken them with Him on the  kind of mission on which He is sending them.  So, after Christ completed His first trip through Galilee, He sends out the disciples.

They are to be entirely dependent upon God.  No money or food is allowed to go with them.  They must take what is offered and provided for them in the places they visit.  .