As I was reading these passages I noticed a difference in focus from the old testament to the new testament. In Genesis we find the history of a family and there is a lot of talk about descendents and who settled where and what land was owned by who. Wells and livestock, riches and birthrights. There is the fear of death or bodily harm by Issac when he is in a strange land. So much so that he lies.
“When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”Gen 26:7 NIV
But in Matthew, we see a heavenly focus. Men who are more worried about their place in heaven than their place in society.
“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Mt 18:1 NIV
They have left everything behind to follow this man Jesus. They want to know how to please God in a way that will have eternal effects. And Jesus tells them.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 18:3-4 NIV
He also talks about sin and the lengths we should go to to avoid it, even bodily harm. Wow!! I don’t know about you, but for me I have enough trouble just turning off he TV sometimes or staying away from the refrigerator to avoid temptation.
After reading these things I am left questioning myself. Where is my focus? What or who do I love more? Do I care more about heavenly or earthly things?
God, Help me to remember what really matters. Help me to do things that will matter for eternity. In Jesus name, Amen
Allen Tanner (allen4myfamily)