Isaiah 10: The overall message in this chapter is that Assyria will not escape God’s judgment. As I read this chapter and this book overall I can’t help but think of the book by Rob Bell, What is the Bible. He argues, convincingly, that the Bible is pretty much a metaphor and guide, not to be taken literally. I need to reread what he says about the amount of violence of the Bible. Because these chapters are all about God wanting to destroy entire groups of people. Yikes.
Thankfully this chapter ends a little better. The people are told that those who survive will end up ok.
Here’s another informative sidebar from the CEB version:
Isaiah 11: The overall message here is the renewal of God’s promise. The text describes an idyllic King of the Davidic line. The text doesn’t refer to anyone specific, instead just talking about the peace that will come with this new King.
Isaiah 12: A psalm of thanksgiving. The text explains that after the arrival of this King, the people will thank God for rescuing them. As in, they are thankful that God is no longer mad with them and that they are alive. Kinda strange that this occurs. It’s pretty much like saying “we realize you destroyed many of us all because of how bad we were, but thanks for taking us back in.”
Matthew 11: Originally wrote about this on 4/6. We learn that Jesus leaves his disciples to spread his message to other locations. John the Baptist hears of Jesus from prison and sends his disciples to ask Jesus if he is the one who was foretold. Jesus shares to those who would listen about the importance of John the Baptist and his ministry. Jesus then points out how the people continue to resist his and John’s work and ministry. He condemns the people in the towns where he performed miracles because they continue to NOT believe in him and who he is. Their hearts haven’t changed yet. Jesus then thanks God because he made it possible for babies to recognize what Jesus has done but not adults.
Matthew 12: Originally wrote about this on 4/9. Jesus really begins to test the waters in this chapter. The Pharisees get angry with Jesus because they believe that since his disciples picked wheat from the fields on the sabbath that they broke the law. Jesus’ response is interesting. Here’s what the CEB notes say for his response:
Jesus’ response has four points: (1) He finds evidence in 1 Samuel 21:1-6 that dealing with a human need like hunger is more important than a strict application of the sabbath law. (2) Drawing on Numbers 28:9-10, he first shows that the needs of the temple outweigh the need to keep the Sabbath, then claims that he and his mission are more important than the temple. (3) Borrowing language from Hosea 6t:6 (see Matt 9:13), he insists that, just as God’s compassion lies behind the sabbath law, so God’s compassion takes priority over that law. (4) Finally, as the Human One, Jesus has the authority to interpret how the sabbath law ought to be put into practice. (p. 27 NT).
The Pharisees also get mad that Jesus heals someone on the Sabbath. He points out that they are quick to help their livestock on the Sabbath, so this shouldn’t be a problem. They are trying to charge him with something.
Jesus proceeds to heal the entire crowd at the dismay of the Pharisees. The text clearly indicates that Jesus was aware of their plans and didn’t care. Much of the rest of this chapter focuses on Jesus responding to the different charges from the Pharisees and others. It ends with Jesus’ mother and brothers waiting to speak with him. He seems to dismiss them and says that his family is actually his disciples and those people of faith. Dang! That’s rough.