Ranking; December 29, 2022

Matthew 2:15 And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Matthew is the most thoroughly Jewish of the Gospels. Recent linguistic analysis by computer indicates it was probably written originally in Aramaic, and then translated into Greek. Writing for Jews, Matthew was careful to note various fulfillments of prophecy. There was certainly plenty for him to use! I have long found it interesting that the various “minor prophets” had so many Messianic references. The specification of Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah, quoted by the teachers of the Law that Herod checked with, is from Micah, and this is from Hosea. Those prophets were “minor” only in the sense that their books were short! We evaluate people by various standards, and those standards rarely if ever agree perfectly with God’s evaluation. Just yesterday I referenced Paul’s statement that “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12) He also said, “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.” (1 Corinthians  4:3) I’m sure that when we get to heaven we will find many “unknowns” in places of great honor, and many “big names” hard to spot, if they indeed make it there at all. We need to let God be in total charge of “grading,” and simply focus on our own faithfulness and relationship with Him.

I certainly didn’t expect to go this direction when I started writing! However, God knows what we need, and He indeed guides us. As a school teacher I am very familiar with grading, and it’s not unusual for me to be surprised by students’ test scores. Sometimes students who seemed exceptional in class barely squeak by on the exam, and sometimes students I had hardly noticed get extremely good grades. I need to remember that it’s God who has created my exam, and He’s the One grading it, too! (This is very much on my mind because I have to create three exams within the next week.) My school teaching requires me to evaluate others, but my focus needs to be on the only true Judge, seeking to please Him and encouraging others to please Him as well.

Father, thank You for this reminder, particularly when I’m involved in testing others. Help me pass Your tests, doing Your will as You desire and intend, on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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