“Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israeld have I found such faith. 11I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”I feel like this is Jesus opening up God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to people outside of Israel. It’s also indicative of the idea that faith in Jesus is what will get you there and not acts or righteousness. Of course, this doesn’t discredit everything else that Jesus just got done saying in His sermon, either. If you have faith, you would know that your treatment from God will be reciprocated from your treatment of your neighbor. Jesus goes on to Peter’s house and heals his mother-in-law. I didn’t know he was married. I had to do some digging around for that one. I found quite a few sites that include that this is the same Peter that is an apostle but they had differing things to say about what that means for believers, followers, Catholics, Protestants, priests and so on. Because of the conflict, I’m not going to link any as I don’t subscribe to any specific idea I found. If he was married, good for him. If he was a widower and that’s why his mother-in-law was mentioned and not his wife, than that’s unfortunate. If he was married and stayed married throughout the time he followed Jesus, became the “rock” the church was founded on, and then martyred, that sounds like it was pretty rough on both of them. I did find myself wondering why I didn’t know he was married and what other little details I’ll find about the other apostles. I had always assumed they were all young and unattached and I see how misguided that was. Aside from that, the story of his mother-in-law is rather non-descript. She’s sick and then she’s healed and starts serving him. Nothing special, unfortunately. This same section includes that a lot of other people were brought to Jesus to have demons cast out or to be healed and He did so. It says that He was fulfilling yet another Isaiah prophecy with it:
“He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”This is part of Isaiah 53, which pretty much foreshadows the rest of Jesus’s story. Jesus’s words in the next section about the dead burying their dead has always confused me. I get the sentiment that following Him is more important, but aren’t there concerns and laws about dead bodies laying about? Or is He talking about the people who are there with the father are dead anyway and they should do it because this person who wants to follow Jesus will live beyond this life and they’ll be in that outer darkness from the centurion conversation? The story about calming the storm while they were in the boat has always been a favorite. I think most people like it because we want God to take care of our problems just that way. I know it’s not right, but it’s the kind of thing I’d love to just be possible. It reminds me a lot of that image of a mom standing around a whole bunch of kids crying about something while she’s trying to take a nap or read or something and she just yells “enough!” and they all stop and go away. I mean, I get that the point is something about that Jesus can control the weather and the sea and it starts to lay into the ridiculous amount of authority He has over everything, but I also love that He’s annoyed. The last story is a crazy one with demons and pigs and the demons get cast out into the pigs who all run into the water and drown themselves. I was marveling at how the people would see this amazing feat over these demons and then want Jesus to leave. He just saved them all from the demons, why wouldn’t they be more grateful? And my husband, who is amazing and who really helps me with the big picture sometimes, just asks what I thought the likelihood was that those pigs had been a pretty big source of food in the area that was gone now. I guess I’d start wondering what we were going to have left to eat if this person hung around “saving” people and killing all the livestock. It seems like a pretty crazy image, a whole herd of pigs running into the water and drowning themselves.
For downloadable study guides, click here. Chapter links go to the ESV translations at Biblehub.com but I’m reading from the ESV Global Study Bible, which is available for free on the Kindle Reading App.