Friday, January 9, 2015

How the Gospel of Matthew works

Before I whiz past the end of the book of Matthew, I want to elaborate on how coming to belief in Jesus might work, using my 1970's self as an example. I'm sure I'm quite typical.

First, there is the personal need. I was in the midst of two-decade long struggle with depression and anxiety that ended up being very easily fixed (10 years later), but which was a mystery to me, my parents and my doctor. Second, I was rooming with a guy that became born-again due to personal crises, which put me in proximity to The Word. Third, I had personal crises of my own. Fourth, the people of the church are warm, supportive and encouraging. That is enough to get me started. Then I started to read the New Testament.

Matthew works as a catalyst for deeper belief if you know very little about the Old Testament, or have never seriously thought about the implications that the Supernatural has on the Natural world. That was me. I'd been exposed to the Bible since my childhood, but probably never read an entire Book in any span of a year. Reading Matthew with such a vague, non-resistant background left me open to assume that the OT was true, that the depiction of Jesus was thereby true, and that he represented this message of love and redemption that would be foolish to deny. So, as I mentioned several posts ago, I probably got 5 or 6 chapters into Matthew, and was hooked. I read straight through Revelation (probably too fast for thoughtful reflection!) and was totally on-board with the program.

That's how it works.

Stay the hell away from the OT!

As you can guess, I didn't stay away from the OT, I read through at least Deuteronomy, and I realized that there was an extraordinary mis-match between what the NT presented and what the OT presented. Eventually, I thought it through, and the rest is history.

I still remain fascinated by the whole idea of religion, with Christianity being an easy target for study due to familiarity with it.

It's nothing personal. It's just life, the universe and everything!

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