Matthew 15 – Bible Study
Weekly I have an online Bible Study conference call with my Legacy sisters & this week I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Share” In the 1st few verses Yeshua brings out 2 good points: a) we shouldn’t judge b) careful not to be a hypocrite
In these verses He is directing his comments toward “religious” followers & their focus on He & his disciples transgressing the traditions of the elders. (one of man’s add’l 613 laws)
Yeshua reprimands the scribes and Pharisees from Jeruselum showing how God’s laws are not transgressed & He reveals how even they have conformed His laws to suit man and his view of needs thru their traditions. He does this thru the commandment Honor thy Father and Mother. I can speak personally on professing to walk with Jesus yet justifying for years not speaking to my parents and bad mouthing them. For years, I held hurt, anger, bitterness toward them based on their abusive and at times cruel treatment of me. Not to mention their racist attitudes & they way they hated on anyone of color. I was sure God did not mean for me to honor them when their behavior was not worthy of my respect or honor. In time He taught me, holding a grudge and all the anger within only defiled me. It did not change anything, did not change who they are, & affected many areas of my life including the life of my daughters because out of the heart the mouth does speak. So do you think they heard much of anything good out of my mouth about their grand-parents? Nope. And even though I tried to mend fences a couple of times things would go bad quick. Both their fault and mine, they were still who they were and I was quick to pounce and again cut them out of our lives. Ok, you get my point. Do you think God left me alone about this disobedience and defilement sitting within my inner garden? He took me right on into Verses 8 & 9 which talk on how we talk the talk of Christ but, my heart was far from Him. Right when I felt like I was growing in God, living in the cutest cottage with a fabulous garden and with a family that made me feel like I was part of the family, I got a call (or should say calling) from my parents & God. My parents called asking me to leave my family and friends, and come take care of them. At 1st I was like, “you are kidding right?” I didn’t say that directly to them but, I did say it to Jesus. I told them I needed a few days to pray about that. Well the next 3 days all I could hear was the Holy Spirit saying, “ Honor thy Father & Mother, this is your calling – will you Honor Your Father God and obey or is your love of God lip service?.” The next few days I spent convincing myself of the benefits of being obedient and that maybe just maybe some much needed healing could take place. Yes, I went. The next 3 years were most assuredly transforming and nope not easy. I can say it was a time of lots of weed pulling in the garden of my heart but, ultimately God’s seed deeply rooted within me over the years, begin to come forth. It was amazing to see and hear what Love & Forgiveness can do.
Can I say I am always obedient to His Word, No. I am still a work in progress. I can say, my relationship with Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit sure have grown and I do hear, see, and listen quicker now. And out of that, I consistently see His harvest intended for my life come to fruition. The coolest things is My inner garden, just like my natural garden outside is Awesome to watch as it transforms and grows. Not to mention, those He uses to assist in the cultivating of my inner garden. Carol, a friend here, of which I am working in her garden, made the comment the other day, Isn’t it awesome how God brought us all together? How He uses us to lift one another up. I just love Char’s morning encouragement text & the relationship that’s growing between us all. And now we are your family here.
As I was writing my presentation for Bible study it hit me, my most significant experiences in life always start in a Garden. Then verses 13-20 made more sense. Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are the blind leading the blind. It was not wrong I had left my parents alone in their blind ignorance. What was wrong was that I had been walking with Jesus for some time and still had not understood it was my MOUTH that was defiled & planting bad seed in the hearts of my children and grand-children. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts and blasphemies. These were the things that had defiled me, affected some of my relationships, and slowed the growth of good fruit in my inner garden. I could have stepped away, prayed for them, and taught my daughters, grandkids, and others that no God doesn’t expect us to allow abuse or to enable racism yet, He does expect us to share His Words of Truth when the doors open in a loving way, He does expect us to forgive as He forgives us, and if the seeds planted are accepted Great and if not, dust my feet and step away and Leave the Issue to HIM to handle.
The rest of the chapter shows the introduction to Gentiles being accepted into the heart (kingdom) of God. read it for yourself. Did you see how Yeshua was obedient to his calling at all costs initially? Not answering the woman’s pleas as He had been called to the lost sheep of Israel. Yet, He couldn’t find it within his heart to send her away. Then thru her pleas and reply “even dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table” it was revealed to Him her belief even though she was considered a lowly dog (non believer-Gentile) was just as strong, even stronger than many in the house of Israel. In the sharing of her Faith His heart melted in compassion and her prayers/pleas were answered…that very hour her daughter was healed. Yep, I believe this was an eye opener for Yeshua, a growing time, a time God showed Him His Word was meant for All His Creation. First those that were deeply rooted in His Word but, lost and then those seeds that had been falling into the heart gardens of the gentiles. Those seeds had taken root and were coming forth too. Then he goes on healing great multitudes showing how the Faith of the multitudes made compassion grow within Him and from that Faith & His heart of mercy and compassion Much can be brought forth from little.