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It is Written!
by Pastor Alex Lindsay
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Reference: Matthew 22:23-33

"… You do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God." - Matthew 22:29

In Matthew 22:23-33 (cp. Mark 12:18-27) Jesus was asked a question insincerely. The question needed an answer. But Jesus also needed to address a greater problem that existed in the questioners. Jesus saw two major problems:

  • The error of not knowing the Scriptures

  • The error of not believing in the power of God

Jesus dealt with the hypothetical question, which was based on Deuteronomy 25:5-10. The Sadducees were being insincere because they did not believe in the resurrection. So, they never intended to be satisfied with Jesus' answer. Like many people today, they just wanted to see if they could tangle things up with tricky questions. Jesus gave the correct answer. Then He went after them with an important challenge:

  • Don't try to be an authority on the Bible when you are ignorant of its teachings.

  • Don't try to relegate the Bible to just a piece of literature which is a collection of stories, rules, and ethics. It is a book of unlimited power, that is given to us by an all-powerful God. Note: "I am the God of…" not "I was the God of…"

The following examples give us hints of how we might minister the Scriptures as Jesus did. Remember, we are not just following the example of a dead hero. Jesus is alive and wants to work in other people's lives through His Word, through you today.

Powerful Pointers:

Jesus' complete comprehension of all Scripture and His bold authority as the Son of God, doubtless makes it a little intimidating to imagine speaking exactly as He did. Nevertheless, the more we absorb and comprehend the Scriptures and their meaning, we shall be able to use them effectively and confidently, more and more. Here are some great truths that Jesus highlighted.


Hosea 6:6 - Mercy, not just religious accuracy!

"…Go and learn what that means…" - Matthew 9:9-13 cp. Hosea 6:6 - Jesus would eat and associate with sinful people. Others thought they should avoid people that did not act as well as they did. Legal obedience may seem righteous (right), but we are not godly (like God) unless we get involved with people and seek to help people find grace and mercy.

Matthew 12:1-8 (note vs. 7) - On the sabbath day, Jesus allowed the disciples to take a little grain from the fields to settle their hunger. They were not harvesting the crop, just eating a few bites. Jesus was criticized for working on the sabbath. He cited other situations where human need was met on the sabbath day. Then He cited Hosea 6:6 again.


Isaiah 56:7; Psalm 8:2 - The house of prayer and child-like purity in worship!

"… It is written…" - Matthew 21:12-16 (note vs. 13) - Jesus took action in the temple to stop the disrespectful practice of dishonest marketing of animals for sacrifice. He cited Scripture that focused on God's house being "The House of Prayer" (Isaiah 56:7). Note that Jesus also defended the sincere worship of others by citing Psalm 8:2. See also Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46.


Isaiah 29:13 - Empty lip service? Or, heart-felt obedience to God's Word?

"… It is written…" - Mark 7:5-7 (note vs. 1-13) - The Jews had many unbiblical teachings, which detracted from God's pure Word. Jesus cited Isaiah 29:13 and revealed God's thoughts about their hypocrisy. See also Matthew 15:1-8.


Matthew 19:4 - Marriage: A divine institution - man's tampering is not welcome!

"…Have you not read…?" - In Matthew 19:1-6, Jesus was asked about marriage and divorce. Jesus went back to the original design and creation of marriage. In Genesis 1:26-28, God made them in the beginning "… Male and female…" Jesus added, "What… God has joined together, let not man put asunder." These Scriptures are being ignored or defied today, in an open rebellion.


Mark 12:10-11 - Worship and serve God His way - not by man's opinion!

"Have you not read this Scripture…?" - Mark 12:10-11 - In Mark 12:1-12, Jesus was describing the attitude and motives of the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders (Mark 11:27). He cited Psalm 118:22-23, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes." This helps us to show, prophetically, that Jesus truly is the Messiah. It also helps us to appreciate the problems of man-made religion, which often work at cross purposes with God's true worship and service.


The Law of Moses, The Prophets, and The Psalms - The whole Bible is a book about Jesus!

"… It is written …" - Luke 24:44-48 - As Jesus continued equipping the disciples, after his resurrection, He caused them to understand many things that were written "…In the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning Me." Jesus would have you learn of Him in the passages of the Old Testament. See John 1:45; 5:39,45-47; Acts 3:18-26; 10:43; 26:22-29; Ephesians 3:1-12; Colossians 3:16; II Timothy 3:15-17; I John 5:9-11.


Suggested Reading:

  • Today's Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic? (Walter J. Chantry - Banner of Truth)

  • The Gospel According to Jesus (John F. MacArthur - Zondervan)

  • Jesus Christ disciple Maker (Bill Hull - Revell, or Baker - updated edtion).
Originally delivered November 13, 2022
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