Wednesday 09 November 2022

Bible Book:

Then Peter said in reply, 'Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?' (v. 27)

Matthew 19:27-30 Wednesday 9 November 2022

Psalm 110


Today’s passage comes from a section of Matthew’s Gospel where he records Jesus’ final journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, teaching and meeting various people on the road. It follows on from verses we have studied over the last two days, where Jesus encountered a rich young man (19:16-22) and warned his disciples that it would be very hard for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom of God (19:23-26).

 Peter’s response to Jesus today seeks to contrast the behaviour of the rich young man with that of the 12 disciples. Unlike the rich man, they have indeed left everything to follow Jesus, as Matthew has recorded earlier (4:18-22, 9:9-13).

In his reply, Jesus alludes to several Old Testament passages.

First, there are references to Daniel 7, where the prophet is given a dramatic vision of the future. This is a crucial text for Jesus and is the probable source of the enigmatic phrase ‘Son of Man’, which Jesus uses to refer to himself in verse 28. It is also a passage from which Jesus will quote directly at his trial before the High Priest (Matthew 26:63-64). It states that “thrones were set in place” for an “Ancient One” and his divine court, who proceed to judge the nations (Daniel 7:9).

 The second key reference is to Psalm 122:3-5, which also speaks of thrones and judgement, and mentions 'the tribes' as well. These were the historic 12 tribes of Israel that we find in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 27:12-13). It is almost certain that Jesus chose 12 disciples as a direct allusion to this number (Matthew 10:1-4), marking the beginning of a renewal of Israel.

 A final point to note as we seek to understand today’s challenging passage is the meaning of the verb ‘judge’. In this context, it does not mean condemn, as some anti-Jewish readings of this text have assumed. Rather, it should be understood like the ancient Judges of Israel found in the Old Testament book of the same name. The Judges had a judicial role but more importantly were leaders of their people, guiding and protecting them, like a good shepherd.


To Ponder:

  •  How do you respond to today’s passages? Does it make you feel frightened, confused, or something else?
  • What does Jesus mean when he speaks of “the renewal of all things” (v. 28)?
  • Does the final verse of the passage help us interpret everything that has gone before? 


God of the first and the last, renew your world and raise up leaders worthy of your example, that all might know the reality of your kingdom of justice and joy. Amen.

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