Jesus and the Kingdom of God. The Book of Matthew. Matthew 6:9, The Lord’s Prayer starts: ” Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come…” This invocation is found in many rabbinic prayers of the post NT period. Though the hallowing of the divine name could be understood as reverence done to God by human praise and by obedience to his will, this is more probably a petition that God hallow his own name, i.e., that he manifest his glory by an act of power, in this case, by the establishment of his kingdom in its fullness………………………………….. Matthew 6: 19-20, Jesus said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” This and the rest of the chapter are taken mainly from Q, a collection of the “sayings” of Jesus. The controlling thought is summed up in 6:24, which is the following: “No one can serve two masters…you cannot serve God and mammon.” Mammon is an Aramaic word meaning wealth or property. That leads to 16: 9, which says: “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” “Dishonest wealth” means “mammon of iniquity.” Mammon can mean that in which one trusts, if one feels secure being rich, for example. The characterization of this wealth as dishonest expresses a tendency of wealth to lead one to dishonesty……………………………… Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” Righteousness here means the saving activity of God. The cops on TV will shoot someone and call it a “righteous shoot.” They are delusional, as are the real cops who are killing black men. Its hard to believe that a black man was shot by a cop AFTER George Floyd, and another man was pinned to the sidewalk in a similar fashion to Floyd. When will those cops take their job security seriously, because the public is fed up-across social, political and racial lines. Bad cops will be terminated, if only to save someone’s ass…………………………… Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate: for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” These verses are part of a series of antitheses, contrasting two kinds of life within the Christian community, that of those who obey the words of Jesus and that of those who do not. Most of the sayings are from Q and are found also in Luke. The metaphor of the “two way” was common in pagan philosophy and in the OT. It should be said that Mark’s gospel was written first, and Matthew and Luke patterned their gospels after Mark’s, adding other information and rewriting other parts. John isn’t one of the synoptic gospels because his is vastly different………………………….. Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” The attack on the false prophets is continued, but is broadened to include those disciples who perform works of healing and exorcism in the name of Jesus, but lead evil lives. Entrance into the kingdom is only for those who do the will of the Father. On the day of judgment the morally corrupt prophets and miracle workers will be rejected by Jesus. It is so difficult to know the will of God. Does one put one foot in front of the other and do the next obvious thing? Does one write up a plan for the day and put God in it somewhere? Does one make a list of improvements for one’s life? Or does one start with prayer and meditation? Start reading the Bible? My spirituality included AA, so I say the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”(The information comes from the Catholic Study Bible, NABRE)

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