Sometimes a small thing in Scripture carries within it a huge and powerful truth. That’s what we’re looking at today… an earth-shaking teaching from Jesus, when He asked, “Have you not read what God has spoken to you?”
In Matthew 22, Jesus was dealing with the Sadducees, who in my mind were the liberals of that day. These people did not accept the authority of ALL Scripture. In fact, they only accepted the authority of the first five books, called the Pentateuch. And they were challenging the teaching that there would be a resurrection of the dead.
I encourage you to take an important few minutes to look at this in detail. Like I said, to me this principle is earth-shattering and reveals eternal truth about God and His Word.
Let’s start with verse 29. “Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying….” Let me stop right here for a moment. Do you see that question? Jesus said, “have you not read that which was spoken to you by God….?”
He continued, saying.…I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”
Why were they astonished? Jesus was not only teaching them a kingdom doctrine about resurrection which God had taught to Moses, but was also telling them that when God spoke to Moses, He was speaking to them! His answer should send us into a state of being wide awake, as if cold water had been thrown on us. Why? Because the principle He taught us here is earth shattering, in my opinion.
When Jesus responded in verses 31-32, notice how He applied that Scripture. These were actually words spoken by the Lord directly to Moses fourteen centuries ago. But Jesus didn’t treat these words as simply something historical that had been spoken hundreds of years ago. He said: Have you not read what was spoken to you by God?
This is very powerful. Do you see the deeper truth Jesus taught those who were open to understand? The Scripture is never out of date. It’s never just a record of human experience. It is an unchangeable record of God’s Word spoken to all mankind throughout the centuries. It is in fact… still speaking.
It is God speaking to you and to me today… even if it was written thousands of years ago. That’s the authority of Scripture as Jesus understood it and presented it. He challenged those to whom He spoke to recognize that God was speaking to them as surely as He spoke to Moses. This Scripture established a doctrine of God’s kingdom that is unchangeable.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines…” Hebrews 13:8-9. Since God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit never change. And the Word of God that has been given us never changes… then our Christian doctrine should never change–only our understanding of it deepens as we mature.
Today more than anytime in history, the world is being deceived with every wind of doctrine and every evil work. As Christians we are being told that our doctrine must change to align with the culture… and the world. Too many churches and teachers are wolves in sheep’s clothing, leading the body of Christ into the dangerous territory of deception and false doctrine in order to appear relevant.
“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” Ephesians 4:14-15.
It is this very danger that Jesus warned us about when He was asked, what would be the signs of the last days? “And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.” Matthew 24:4.
We MUST NOT change the Word of God. Not through a paraphrase version of the Bible, or a new translation. Not because of a preacher, or an author’s message. Not because of a supernatural experience, a vision, or a feeling. Not because we want something different, and not because we are trying to be politically correct. God changes NOT! “For I am the Lord, I do not change;” Malachi 3:6.
The Word of God is alive and will continue to be living for every person who reads it, hears it, and accepts it. What God has spoken is able to save and transform… because it is alive with kingdom power. When it is changed into a false doctrine, the life of God within it is not longer available to do it’s work.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Luke 21:33.
Jesus was an outsider and certainly not politically correct. And He was killed for it. As followers of Christ we must also be willing to lay down our lives for our untainted faith in Jesus and His teachings.
With God nothing is impossible!
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