Join us today for an episode about the reason we are called to enjoy the view...
Today's episode is focused on Deuteronomy 34: 1-12 and Matthew 22: 34-46...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Deuteronomy 34: 1-12 and Matthew 22: 34-46. I share how we are called to enjoy the view and find our rest. I also share how Jesus calls us to see the real majesty of the Kingdom of God.
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Episode 1369: Face to Face
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1369 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:07] Barry Moline: I'm Barry Moline. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to connect with others is key.
[00:00:25] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this. The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.
[00:00:39] Scott Maderer: Can you see yourself there? Can you see yourself living that way, driven by love and not by division? Driven by love and not by hate. Driven by love that allows us to see the God in all of us rather than any differences between us. [00:01:00] Shaped by loving care for those who need us and those who don't. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:01:10] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you
[00:01:36] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about Deuteronomy, chapter 34, verses 1 through 12, and Matthew, chapter 22, verses 34 through 46. I share how we are called to enjoy the view and find our rest. And I also share how Jesus calls us to see the real majesty of the kingdom of God. In Deuteronomy, chapter 34, [00:02:00] verses 1 through 12 says, Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho.
[00:02:09] And the Lord showed him the whole land, Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtha, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all of the land of Judea as far as the western sea. The Negev, and the plain, that is the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zor. The Lord said to him, This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants.
[00:02:37] I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there. Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, and the Lord's command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Piar, and no one knows where his burial place is to this day. Moses was 120 years old when he died.
[00:02:58] His sight was [00:03:00] unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab 30 days. Then the period of mourning for Moses was ended. Joshua, son of Nun, was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him, and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses.
[00:03:19] Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt. against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of Israel.
[00:03:41] Matthew chapter 22 verses 34 through 46 says, When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest? He said to him, You [00:04:00] shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
[00:04:05] This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all of the law and the prophets. Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question, What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?
[00:04:22] And they said to him, the son of David. And he said to them, How is it then that David, by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet. If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son? No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare ask him any more questions.
[00:04:46] One thing to be aware of, as... I began to talk about Deuteronomy is that there is a alternative reading that comes from the lectionary For this week, it would be from Leviticus, and in fact, [00:05:00] it's the echo of where the love your neighbor as yourself. Part of the Matthew passage comes from love. The Lord your God comes from exodus, but love your neighbor as yourself.
[00:05:12] Comes from Leviticus. But I wanted to look at Deuteronomy as well, because this has such a wonderful, rich image of what it means to be allowed to catch sight of your destination, see the promised land, so to speak, see the end of the journey. In Deuteronomy 34, Moses is climbing yet another mountain.
[00:05:37] which happens to be one of many that happened during all of this story, but at this end, Moses is up there and he's hanging out with God. He's hanging out with his friend again, and of course, Moses is up there and he's taking in the view. Moses and God stood up on that mountain and God points out all [00:06:00] of the highlights of the landscape before them, and names the tribes that would settle there in the future.
[00:06:07] And Moses seems to look around but not say anything. Here's the dream of the destination of the journey. Here's the end. Here's the final moment right there before him. And then there's the line that says that Moses won't be going into that land. He was given the gift of seeing it, but he will never set foot in it.
[00:06:35] And at one level that... Sounds like punishment, and maybe it is. Maybe Moses had failed during the journey, his anger issues, different things that he had done. Maybe he'd done something wrong. And that's one way of reading it. But I kind of wonder if maybe in the end it's more of a kindness than a punishment.
[00:06:58] If you look forward a [00:07:00] little bit at the next book and what happens after Moses passes on. This settling in to the promised land isn't a walk in the park. Maybe instead of a punishment, it's a chance to finally lay down the mantle and rest. He'd done the best he could leading a group of people who didn't really want to be led, and maybe now God is saying, rest now Moses, you lived a life of loving God and loving neighbor, even when both were harder to love than you realized, and even when you said yes in the first place.
[00:07:35] Moses is put forward as the preeminent prophet, a man of power and wisdom, but what made him so unique that he knew God face to face, or rather that God knew him face to face. That's what made Moses the preeminent prophet. Nothing about Moses, but about that relationship that he had [00:08:00] with God. Go forward to the Matthew passage and you look when the disciples caught Jesus looking at them.
[00:08:09] I wonder if they thought of those words from Deuteronomy, if they were thinking about what was happening, if they had somehow caught a glimpse that he was the son of God, the very real presence of God was walking with him, recognizing that they were knowing God face to face like Moses had. And that seems to be the question behind the question on that day of teaching.
[00:08:35] If you go back up, it started with a story about a feast or a wedding banquet, an invitation that some took lightly, and they regretted that. Then there's the question that the Pharisees raised about taxes, and the Sadducees raised about resurrection and marriage and divorce and the women after. And then there's this question, the next test about [00:09:00] the commandments, the commandment.
[00:09:02] Matthew says the Pharisees gathered together and then one came out with this question, and they say it's another test. Sure, it was a test. Everything seems to be a test, a way of trying to put him in his place. But at the same time, it might be a little differently. If you look at the Mark version of this story, he tells this story a little differently.
[00:09:24] And he says that maybe Jesus messes with their head a little bit at the end of this, even in the Matthew versions with the devil, David and his son and the Lord and that kind of question that he turns around and asks them. But regardless, whatever's behind the question, whether it's a test or not, Jesus does what Jesus does and gives an answer that talks a life giving truth, whether you want to hear it or not.
[00:09:51] It's right there. He answers the questions as if it was an honest question that they really wanted to know the answer to, and he pulls on [00:10:00] tradition. He's not the first person to declare that these two statements, one from Exodus and the other from Leviticus, are the preeminent statements when it comes to the commandments.
[00:10:11] In fact, the Pharisees had said this themselves. They couldn't argue with this answer. He leaned into the teaching that they all knew. It seems in a way, Jesus was trying to give the safe answer, but if you've looked at this, Jesus doesn't tend to give the safe answer. He wants them to actually hear what it means, wants to see what it means, not just the surface level.
[00:10:38] In fact, he basically is saying this commandment, these commandments, these two things put together are not just laws or rules to follow. Like making sure you stop at the stop sign or don't go through a yellow light or whatever it is. No, they're more than that. These are guides to life [00:11:00] itself. These are the essence of life itself.
[00:11:03] These aren't a path or a rule to follow. Instead, they're the destination. They're not just good advice. This is about how to live in a way that's authentic to walking with God face to face. It's who we're supposed to be, not what we're supposed to do. If we are the ones who love God with all that is within us, but we, then we should see our neighbors as an opportunity to love God more, because we should love the God in them.
[00:11:38] Love them in wholeness and with hope and with joy, regardless of what they look like or sound like or do. But Jesus answers this question, maybe he's taking us up on the mountain and showing us that destination, showing us the kingdom of God, saying, Can you see it? Can you [00:12:00] see the promised land? The place where when we all live with this commandment, this is a description of who and what we will be when we're all together.
[00:12:11] Can you see it? Can you see yourself there? Can you see yourself living that way? Driven by love and not by division. Driven by love and not by hate. Driven by love that allows us to see the God in all of us rather than any differences between us. Shaped by loving care for those who need us and those who don't.
[00:12:37] Worshipping as if it's the most important thing to do. That love defines us, lifts us, and heals us. And at that point, some questions just won't matter that much anymore. That's, it won't matter who's in charge. It won't matter what tradition is. It won't matter what the law is. It [00:13:00] will matter that we all draw closer together and see the face of God face to face.
[00:13:08] Thanks for listening.
[00:13:15] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to Facebook. com slash inspired.
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He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' – Matthew 22: 37