Scripture Reading for Wednesday, March 26
Reading: Matthew 5:17-20
Christians can often forget that our Christ, Jesus, was born into a Jewish context. He lived, ate, and obeyed the laws and faith of the Hebrew people. As fully God and man, he had come to fulfill the promises of scripture begun in Genesis, and in that fulfillment to also extend God's plan of salvation so that everyone could become his special people through belief in Jesus Christ.
There is a misconception, that before Jesus, God only sought to save the Israelites; however even a quick reading of the Old Testament will show that God wasn't just in the business of saving the Hebrew people; rather through the Hebrew people God brought about the salvation of other nations. Jonah's reluctant witness brought the Ninevites to repentance. The actions of Daniel in the heart of Babylon brought about repentance. These and many more stories show us that the Israelites weren't just meant to be saved for their own sake. Rather God intended to use them as means of revealing his glory and his holy nature to all of the nations of the world and call all of the world to repentance.
The work of Jesus then wasn't to squash what God had done before an to start it all over again; rather what Jesus Christ has done is make it so that even non-Israelites can become part of God's witnessing people to a world in need of salvation.
Some believe that our salvation is personal. By this I mean that we have been taught by our culture often that our faith is only to be lived out as a personal experience. Certainly God saves us, he provides a means for us to live with him in eternity; but his salvation isn't just for that reason. Just as we talked about God's forgiveness extending through us, God also intends that our faith would be a sign and pointer to the need for repentance in the lives of others. As God's holy people we are the light on the hill pointing people towards God, and that is not something to be kept personal.
Questions for Reflection or Journaling
- What does it mean to you that, if you follow Christ, you aren't just saved for yourself?
- How are you letting God use you as a sign and pointer towards himself?
God in heaven, show us today how we can be a point of light in the darkness as we reflect the glory of your son, Jesus Christ. Provide us with the strength today to step out into our world as signs and pointers towards you. Help us proclaim today the need for repentance, not for our glory God, but for yours.