Matthew 16 Series | Part One
If you've been following my blog for awhile, you may know that I've been reading the Bible chronologically. It's taken me much longer than I had originally planned, because occasionally I've gotten sidetracked or "swept away" by other devotionals or group plans, but I'm still continuing on in my journey from cover to cover. I'm currently in Matthew, and if you've ever read Matthew before, you know how much wisdom it holds. The book, in its entirety, is full of so many "nuggets", but I was struck particularly by chapter 16, recently.
I post on Instagram a lot of what I learn from my daily readings (and, effectively, #instagramatemyblog), but God spoke to me in so many ways in Matthew 16 that I just had to write it all out in "long form". Since none of the things He spoke to me really fit together -- they each have their own theme -- I'm making this into a little series. So, here we are.
So the back-story is that in Matthew 16:1-4, the Pharisees and Sadducees are testing Jesus, and are demanding that He perform miracles and show them signs from heaven. They are such a doubtful group, but we all know that and have come to expect as much from them.
What is more surprising, to me, is how doubtful Jesus's disciples still are! In verses 5-12, the disciples are confused about something Jesus said. Jesus said, "Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees," and the disciples start discussing amongst themselves what He must've meant; they're confused, because they hadn't brought any bread with them! Why would Jesus be talking about bread? We don't have any bread!
Well anyway, He wasn't talking about bread. He was talking about what the Pharisees and Sadducees produce: basically, lies. He was reminding the disciples that, first of all, it doesn't matter if they don't have bread. Twice already Jesus had performed miracles where very few loaves of bread fed very many thousands of people. But second and more importantly, He was reminding them that they need to be aware of the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees, because they are faithless.
What I Took Away:
Jesus knows the disciples are confused, and He says to them, "Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember...?"
And here is where I had my aha! moment.
My aha! moment didn't really have anything to do with bread, or lies, or even miracles. God spoke to me right there in Matthew 16:9, and He said: "Do you not remember, Tawni, that time when I... or the time when I... or the time when you read... or the time when so-and-so told you this and you knew it was from Me... Do you not remember all these things I've shown you? And you still need confirmation? You need yet another sign from me? Come on."
God confirms things for me all of the time. When I ask Him to, He answers. But, like my very own six year-old, who sometimes annoys my husband and I by repeating himself over, and over, and over again, I ask God the same questions over, and over, and over again. Ad nauseam. Even after He's already responded.
So what did I take away from this part of Matthew 16? I forget too quickly. I take for granted that God speaks to me, and more often than not, I doubt when I hear from God that it is, in fact, Him speaking to me, and I demand, just like the Pharisees, grand miracles and signs from heaven.
How about you? What is a truth that you too often forget? What do you continue to ask of God? Is there something He's calling you to that you need constant confirmation of? Do you need repeated reminders of one of His many promises to you? Is it, perhaps, how much you're loved? That you're accepted just the way you are? That your works are not what He's after?
Whatever it is, know that you're not alone. You're not the first one to ask God the same thing over and over again. You're not the first one to nag like a six year-old, and you're certainly not the first who has ever forgotten a promise, or doubted a sign from Him. But you don't need to do it anymore. You can rest in Him.
At least until you have to ask again. (Because, let's face it, we're human.) <wink>