Today I began reading the Gospel of Matthew to see what questions Jesus asked. Matthew’s account gives a genealogy, a brief account of the birth of Jesus, and an introduction of John the baptist all before the baptism of Jesus and witness accounts of his ministry and speaking.
The first question Jesus asks comes in Matthew 5 and it’s doozy!
b13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” –
I mulled on it many times before I moved on, I mean what kind of question is that? “The salt of _____” is considered a good thing. Salt is for flavor and preservation, and Jesus is calling his disciples to preserve His words and bring his flavor of love to the world.
Thankfully, he goes on to explain again, this time using light, and it makes more sense. It’s as if Jesus knows us just like he knows his disciples, we need to hear His teachings in more than one way to understand what He is saying!
The next series of questions, when lumped together, caused me to say aloud, “Wow.” Here is the whole section, with just the questions highlighted:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Jesus is challenging us to go beyond the normal: To love those who want nothing to do with us; To greet people beyond our circles of friends and family.
Today, Jesus question, “What are you doing more than others?” is going to go with me. How can I go beyond the norm to reach people with His love?