Scripture: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20; Psalm 19; and Matthew 21:33-46 (N.B. Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80: 7-15; and Philippians 3:4b-14 – Proper 22 Year A)
Today’s scripture is:
- The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20);
- Praise for how God has made Himself gloriously known in nature, in the word and in history (Psalm 19); and
- Jesus gives notice to the religious authorities in the Parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21).
Meaning at the Time.
Such a great passage. Paul says:
- He has ‘no confidence in the flesh’.
- His great pedigree as a Jew, one of the people of God, just gets in the way.
- It is all just trash compared to knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.
- His righteousness comes from God Himself, not from human practices.
- He wants to follow Christ, copy Him, become his apprentice, graduating in death to eternal life – he doesn’t know how.
- He hasn’t made it yet, hasn’t grasped how it works.
- But he keeps going, reaching out towards Christ.
- He’s not looking back but forwards.
- He keeps going towards the finish line, to the medals, to the winner’s podium, and the applause.
Meaning for Today.
Everything that Paul had in Christ we have in Christ. He is a hero of the faith, but that doesn’t matter: we have everything that he had.
God’s law, his word, the inspirations of the Bible, of history and nature all speak to us and help us along, but they are not the goal. No human is worth following or able to stop us: we answer directly to God through Jesus now.
Paul has reached the finish line, he died some 1,945 years ago and he has arrived at his goal. We press on to the same goal, the same reward.