First sentence: Chapter 14 Theme: The forerunner, John the Baptist, is beheaded; Jesus withdraws but is followed by the multitude; He feeds the five thousand and sends His disciples over the sea into a storm, then walks on the water to them.
I am reading the Bible in 2020 using the daily M'Cheyne (Robert Murray M'Cheyne) plan. I thought it would add a layer of substance to in addition to the four chapters a day, to also read commentaries for those chapters. For that I am using Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. But the plan goes through the New Testament (and Psalms, I believe) twice. So now that I've finished Henry's commentary for the New Testament, I am tackling the New Testament commentary section of J. Vernon McGee's series.
This is not my first time reading J. Vernon McGee. I've read twelve or so of his commentaries. (Most recently his volume on Matthew 1-13). Overall, I like his laidback, casual, straightforward, tell it like it is approach to teaching Scripture. There is something so grounded and down to earth about him. Each reader is "his" friend. It's hard not to feel like he is a friend too.
One of the things that I love about McGee's commentaries is that he just speaks timeless truths.
We fail to realize that the solutions today are not in government nor in human imaginations but in God.
Unbelief is sin. I am willing to make this confession: I wish that I believed Him more. He is worthy to be believed; I ought to believe Him fully, but the problem is with me. And I suspect that the problem is with you, also.
My friend, these are the two things that all of us have to be clear on in order to be Christians. We have to know who He is, and we have to know what He did. We need to know these things in order that we might exercise faith and be saved.
Only the Holy Spirit can make Christ known to any person. No man today can call Jesus “Lord” but by the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit of God can take the things of Christ and reveal them to us.
We have a responsibility today to give out the gospel because it is the only thing that can save people. This is a tremendous revelation. Who is sufficient for these things? You and I have a responsibility that is awesome indeed!
It is satanic for anyone to deny the facts of the gospel which are that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead. It is satanic when a man in the pulpit will deny these truths. The substitutionary death of Christ is the only thing that can save us, my friend.Many people interpret this verse, “Let him deny himself ice cream” or “Let him deny himself some luxury down here.” What this verse says is “Let him deny himself!” You already know that the hardest person in the world to deny is yourself. To deny myself dessert is hard enough, but to deny myself is difficult indeed.
To deny myself is to put self out of the picture and to put Christ in the place of self. “And take up his cross, and follow me.” We are not to take up Christ’s cross but our own cross. There is a cross for you and a cross for me—that is, if we are going to follow Him.
Do you want a good motto for your life? I suggest these two words: Jesus only. He is the One who is the authority. I hope you will mark those two words, Jesus only, in your Bible.
I am afraid that our school systems are using our children as guinea pigs for humanistic philosophies. Young people are paying an awful price in the contemporary schoolroom. My friend, we have a tremendous responsibility before God in this area.
If God forgave our sins in the same way we forgive others, none of us would be forgiven. But after we have become children of God, because we have been forgiven, we are to forgive.
My friend, when you come to the Lord Jesus Christ, you must tell Him your need. If you are coming to Him for salvation, you must tell Him that you are a sinner and need His salvation. If you don’t, you will not be saved. That’s the offense of the cross. Everybody would like to come to the cross if they could bring along the perfume of their self-righteousness and good deeds. But, my friend, you and I haven’t any goodness at all, none whatsoever, to present to God. You can no more sweeten human character with training and psychology and education than you can sweeten a pile of fertilizer out in the barnyard with Chanel No. 5. We have to come to Him as sinners and receive Him as our Savior.Many people have joined the church and are religious and think they are Christians, but they are not. They can perform their church rituals and give mental assent to the doctrines, but they are not genuine believers unless there has been a transformation in their lives.
Here we see the gentle Jesus using the harshest language that is in the entire Word of God. No prophet of the Old Testament denounced sin as the Lord Jesus denounces it. Here in Southern California this section was called to the attention of a liberal preacher. He didn’t even know it was in the Bible—he had never read the Bible! In our day there is a misunderstanding of who the Lord Jesus really is. Liberalism gives the impression that all He ever talked about was love. One of the banners that was carried about in a protest march in Berkeley a number of years ago bore the slogan “Jesus Yes, Church No.” A senator from Oregon made a great deal of that, maintaining that the church is giving the wrong impression, that this generation wants Jesus, but that they don’t want the church as it is. Well, I agree that the church in general is giving the wrong impression, but the main problem is that they have really misunderstood who Jesus is. He is not the “lovechild” that the liberal thinks He is. Certainly it is true that He loves sinners and died for sinners, but also He is going to judge sinners. We need to have a correct perspective of Him. Therefore, He is the One who is misunderstood in our day.
The Lord is speaking in harsh terms in these verses in Matthew. He is serving a cup of tea that is a little too strong for a great many of the liberal-minded folk of this present hour. Jesus Christ was no love child. He came to earth to die for your sins because He loved you, but if you reject Him, He becomes your Judge.
The arch of the gospel rests upon two great pillars: (1) the death of Christ, and (2) the resurrection of Christ.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible