Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 323

The scriptures read are Amos 9, Psalm 115 and Matthew 17.

Amos 9. God will sift his people as with a sieve, shaking out the sinners.

Notice God mentions his being involved in all nations, not just Israel.

The chapter ends with a picture of not just restoration but blessings flowing like waterfalls and rivers of wine!

Psalm 115. Another great piece of choral work by King's College Cambridge as they straightforwardly sing this psalm.

Matthew 17. Is Matthew consciously paralleling Exodus 24:16 in talking about the 6 days before the Transfiguration on the mountain? Jesus' radiance recalls Moses' in Ex. 34:29. Both Elijah and Moses met with God on Mt. Horeb. The cloud covering also has Old Testament parallels. And the divine voice echoes Deuteronomy 18:15. (Thanks to the IVP Bible Background Commentary for pointing these out.)

Jesus doesn't come down the mountain to find idolatry, as Moses did, but insufficient faith to cure an epileptic child.

Jesus' answer to this question of whether he pays the temple tax reveals 2 things: first, that he is claiming messianic status by pointing out that the sons of kings don't pay taxes and second, that Jesus is willing to pay a tax that he doesn't think he should.

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