This message comes from and is inspired by the Gospel of Matthew. Now let us first examine that. What then is the gospel and who is Matthew? Christendom proclaims the Gospel to be the good news that Christ has died for our sins and has risen again. We know Matthew to have been a reformed tax collector, whose faith allowed him to drop all that he knew and was secure in to follow Jesus. With this knowledge, oh what a comfort it is for our text to be prefaced in this way. Before we even begin we know we are to be met and encouraged by the good news, from one of the “faithful.” Now Matthew begins the book chronicling the genealogy of Jesus, tracing back his bloodline through King David.
The Text Reads: Matthew 1:1-16 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Chris, the son of David, the son of Abraham. To Abraham was born Isaac; and to Isaac, Jacob; and to Jacob, Judah and his brothers; and to Judah were born Perez and Zerah by Tamar; and to Perez was born Hezron; and to Hezron, Ram; and to Ram wasa born Amminadab; and to Amminadab, Nahshon; and to Nahshon, Salmon; and to Salmon was born Boaz by Rahab; and to Boaz was born Obed by Ruth; and to Obed, Jesse; and to Jesse was born David the king. And to David was born Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah; and to Solomon was born Rehoboam; a nd to Rehoboam, Abijah; and to abijah, Asa; and to Asa was born Jehoshaphat; and to Jehoshaphat, Joram; and to Joram, Uzziah; and to Uzziah was born Jotham; and to Jotham, Ahaz; and to Ahaz, Hezekiah; and to Hezekiah was born Manasseh; and to Manasseh, Amon; and to Amon, Josiah; and to Josiah were born Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon, to Jeconiah was born Shealtiel; and to Shealtiel. Zerubbabel; and to Zerubbabel was born Abiud; and to Abiud, Eliakim; and to Eliakim, Azor; and to Azor was born Zadok; and to Zadok, Achim; and to Achim, Eliud; and to Eliud was born Eleazar; and to Eleazar, Matthan; and to Matthan, Jacob; husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Therefore all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the time of Christ fourteen generations.
Now as you well see that was a very painstaking process. Why then would Matthew go through such lengths to begin the story in this way? A genealogy is a record of ones ancestry, and Matthew wanted us to know that Jesus was a true human being, born of Man and inspired by the divine. He also wanted the Jews to know Jesus descended from King David, as only a descendent of David could be king of the Jews. All of this is to be a heuristic device, or a lens by which to see that the Kingdom of God is within you. Let us revisit the text for a moment:
Matthew 6:26-34 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like on of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or With what shall we clothe ourselves? For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Now in this God has not called anybody to be anybody’s fool! Though that plant did not toil nor worry about its next meal, it assuredly continued its’ process of photosynthesis, and relied on God to supply the sunlight necessary to carry on. This parable as with most is more figurative than literal, and should be taking in that light. To many of us get caught up in the literal, in the defined, in the prepackaged, linear interpretation of the nonlinear, limitlessness that is our God. “Well the WORD says, ask and you shall receive, pray and you shall be answered.” OK and that same WORD says that faith without works is dead. You pray for a job and stop looking for one and get back to me on how well that working out for you! You pray to pay bills wile frivolously spending your earnings on name brands, clubbing, gambling, or good drinks, and let me know when you get an answer! The problem is that a lot of us are getting these answers in a still small voiced that says quite simply, “No.” We are just too stubborn, set in our ways, and caught up in the game to listen to the voice of reason and change. We are far too busy waiting on this theistic ideal of God to reach out of the cosmos and into our situation to enact change, when the non-literal word of God is telling us in no uncertain terms to look within for divine guidance, and enact our own change. Search for the kingdom by knowing yourself. Now try that on for size…
This principle is unchanging and undying despite your situation, whether you want to call it a “Secret” or by any other name, but its no secret that you can’t successfully build or add to yourself without first knowing yourself! We find ourselves being met with trying times in a turbulent world. But be ye not dismayed. To be dismayed is to be deprived of courage and filled with bewilderment. Be ye not dismayed! I don’t care nor does the universe, what cycle you think you’re caught up in or what maze you can’t find your way out, but if you learn yourself, you goals, your dreams, your aspirations, and strive onward in that singular direction; you will find your way out. In saying this, I’m not so naïve as to tempt the lie that this is easy, or that there won’t be pitfalls and hurdles, but with perseverance and the knowledge that the fuel of the cosmos lies within you, you will triumph. Many of us share our largest hurdle, being that of confusion. It forces us to spread ourselves in all different directions each thinner than the last, until there’s nothing of any use left. A similar hurdle is trying to please everyone, not to be confused with doing what is right. But know when doing the will of God, the divine that dwells within you, you cannot and will not please everyone, usually not even most.
Matthew gave us an example of this in the text: Matthew 8:28-34 And when He had come to the other side into the country of the Gardarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they wee coming out of the tombs; they were so exceedingly violent that no one could pass by that road. And behold, they cried out, saying “What do we have to do with you, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now there was at a distance from them a herd of many swine feeding. And the demons began to entreat him saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Begone!” And they came out, and went into the swine, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters. And the herdsman ran away, and went to the city, and reported everything, including the incident of the demoniacs. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they entreated Him to depart from their region.
Here Jesus casts our demons yet still did not please all because of the consequences of casting those demons out. Many would ask why Jesus cast the demons into the swine? You can’t let a lion out of cage and expect to maintain control with out putting him into another. If Jesus could not please everyone, I suggest you stop trying. Now in this journey of self discovery, self actualization, and the realization of the divine within you, watch what you say. Do not give dogs what is holy and do not throw your pearls before the swine, lest they trample them under -foot and turn to attack you. Matthew 7:6 Hear and understand; not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. Matthew 15:10 Let not your good be evil spoken of, and forsake not the assembly, whether you are of like minds or in disagreement, for there is strength in numbers, and knowledge comes from discerning truth of more than one source. Thank you and may God bless and keep you, and move through you unto others.
Auxilio ab alto By help from on high Br. Maurice D. Ravennah 10-7-08