Jan 8, 2022

(Genesis 8, Matthew 8; Optional Psalm 8, Proverbs 2:1-2, 16-22)

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GENESIS 8 – Gen 8:1 – “But God remembered Noah..” – this does NOT mean that God had FORGOTTEN Noah (though it may sometimes have FELT that way after a year in the ark). God uses this phrase all through Scripture when His sovereignly planned time has arrived for Him to act on behalf of His people.

Gen 8:17 – After all the depravity we’ve seen in Gen 3-7, we might be surprised that God reaffirms His command from Gen 1 – “be fruitful and multiply on the earth”.  No matter how different we appear, every single person on earth comes from this ONE FAMILY and their obedience to this command.

Gen 8:20-22 – After a year in the ark, the first recorded act is WORSHIP to God. Don’t miss the pointer to Jesus. God, pleased with the sacrifice, promises escape from judgment for MANY people (compare Gen 8:21-22 with Isa 53:10-11).

Gen 8:22 – A portion of the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” comes from here: “Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above, join with all nature in manifold witness to Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.”

MATTHEW 8 – The Biblical Jesus will not stay in our little boxes! Not surprising for the One called both the Lion AND the Lamb (Rev 5:5-6). Jesus fulfills prophecy from a Jewish prophet (Matt 8:17, quoting Isaiah 53:4), AND commends the faith of a Gentile centurion and makes clear that He has not come for Jews only (Matt 8:10-13). He draws NEAR to touch a leper (commanded to keep their distance in the OT), but ALSO has the ability to heal at a distance. Note both the TENDERNESS of Jesus in Matt 8:2-3 and the TOUGHNESS of Jesus in Matt 8:12, 21-22. Jesus demonstrates absolute authority OVER all kinds of people, all kinds of disease (even the dreaded leprosy), power OVER demons and nature. AND the centurion correctly recognizes that Jesus is also UNDER the authority of God the Father (study Matt 8:9-10 – “UNDER authority”). Matt 8 is telling those with ears to hear that Jesus is both God in the flesh AND the Son of God. He is absolutely EQUAL to God the Father in essence and power, AND happily submissive to His Father. [Side note – don’t miss the implications to the absolute EQUALITY of a husband and wife AND that a wife is to submit to her husband – compare 1 Pet 3:1-7 and 1 Cor 11:3-12.]

This helps us understand the secrecy of Matt 8:4 (and throughout the Gospels).  Matt 8 is overflowing with evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. But many Jews of Jesus’ day had only paid attention to the power and kingly authority of the Messiah seen all through the OT (Old Testament), and had missed that He is ALSO the suffering servant of Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Though Jesus clearly understood Himself to BE the Messiah, His favorite term for Himself was “Son of Man” (see Matt 8:20 and many others). A careful reader will connect to Daniel 7:13-14, where “son of man” is connected to the One who approaches the throne of God the Father and is given “dominion and glory and a kingdom, that ALL peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”

What is YOUR response to this Biblical Jesus? There are beautiful examples of the proper response in Matt 8.  1) The humility of the leper in Matt 8:2 and the centurion in Matt 8:8.  2) Peter’s mother-in-law being healed and immediately serving Jesus in Matt 8:15.  3) The disciples’ amazement in Matt 8:27.  There are some responses we’re not told. How did the two people that were reminded of the COST of following Jesus in Matt 8:18-22 respond? And then there’s the sad response of Matt 8:34. You’d think that after the miraculous deliverance in Matt 8:28-33 that the entire town would want to follow Jesus. But no, they begged Him to leave. Maybe some were afraid of His power. Maybe some reflected that a Jesus who didn’t ask permission to destroy a herd of pigs has authority to radically change ANY area of life. What’s YOUR response?

Optional Psalm 8 – Looking at nature (Ps 8:3) should cause a believer to burst into praise like that in Psalm 8 (and don’t miss the connection with God’s awesome control over nature in Gen 6-8 and Jesus’ stilling the storm in Matt 8).

Ps 8:4 – Note the balance of HUMBLING and ENCOURAGING truth (look for this balance all through Scripture). Humbling when we consider the phenomenal GREATNESS of God (Ps 8:3). Encouraging that the Creator of all things is mindful of and does care for people.

Ps 8:6 – Note the connection with Gen 1:26. Heb 2:5-9 shows that ultimate fulfillment of Ps 8:4-7 applies to Jesus.

Optional Proverbs 2:1-2, 16-22 – Godly parental wisdom applied to being “delivered from the forbidden woman”. But make sure that you WANT to be rescued from sex that God forbids but our world celebrates. Don’t miss the theme (AGAIN, and many more times in Scripture) of the TWO PATHS in life. One leading to blessing and life, the other leading to judgment and eternal destruction.