BIBLE 2018 | Week 9

February 23, 2018 | Mark and Scott McAndrew

I Corinthians 1-2 | Sunday: At least in terms of immoral conduct, Corinth has to be one of the worst situations Paul has to address. Some were divided into factions, finding their identity in their favorite pastor rather than the gospel; some were getting drunk on communion wine, some were doubting the entire doctrine of bodily resurrection, and some were guilty of sexual immorality.

With all this in view, if you were Paul, how would you have started your letter to this church?

I would have started by reprimanding them and calling out their errors. I would probably have shown irritation and frustration in subtle (or not so subtle) ways. While Paul does rightly call them to repentance in numerous areas, that is not how he begins.

In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul begins by giving thanks to God for the work of grace He has begun in their midst. This is amazing. It shows us that we should seek to identify evidences of grace in believing friends when we go to lovingly correct them. See especially 1:4-9.

In 1 Corinthians 2 Paul contrasts two forms of wisdom: the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world. Worldly wisdom is drawn to a good outward show. In Corinth, people were drawn to great orators. They would identify with certain spokespersons and find their identity in them.

In some ways we may see this in the political sphere. While Christians should care about politics in a healthy way, there is a way to begin to identify ourselves with a particular politician or political spokesperson. We then begin to demonize those who oppose are specific views and we begin to feel anger, even hatred, toward those who oppose our ‘talking head’. This can also cause unnecessary division within the body of Christ. We must make sure the gospel is our identity rather than our views on education, economics, foreign policy, etc. — even though those things are not insignificant.

This carnal worldly wisdom can also worm its way into theology. Paul has mentions in chapters one and three that some members said, “I follow Paul,” others, “I follow Apollos,” others, “I follow Cephas [Peter],” and perhaps most pretentious of all, “I follow Christ” (meant in a divisive/self-righteous sense, rather than a humble/genuine one).

I have been guilty at times of finding my identity in a particular pastor or writer rather than in Christ and Him crucified. Have you?

Genesis 32-35 | Monday: Genesis 32-33 hold together as one powerful and emotional story. Essentially, after fleeing from Esau for his life years earlier, Jacob now supremely fears seeing Esau face-to-face. He believes his future is in the hands of his murderous brother.

However, the Lord proves to Jacob that the One who controls his future is not Esau, but the Lord Himself. Jacob wrestles all night, not with Esau, but with God in the form of a man. When the sun rises he looks upon His face and is spared. Jacob obtains the blessing, but is wounded in the wrestling match and leaves with a limp. He is then enabled to face Esau with courage and is embraced and welcomed by him.

What can we learn from this?

The Lord shows Jacob that however much we fear human beings all this is like a shadow compared to how we should fear the Lord. In the end, Jacob looked up the face of God and was spared, leaving the wrestling match with only a limp.

How?

This points forward to Jesus, the true and better Jacob who wrestled with God on the cross and was crushed and abandoned. Jesus took the blows of justice we deserve so that now we can look upon the face of God and live.

However, the mark of those who have met the true God is that they leave His presence humbled over their sin. They leave with a limp.

For an NAC sermon on Jacob wrestling with God, see here.

Judges 17-21 | Tuesday: These chapters contain some of the most disturbing stories in the Old Testament.

Judges begins with a double introduction (1:1-2:5; 2:6-3:6) and concludes with a double ending (17-18; 19-21).

Tim Keller is helpful here:

“The passages in between [the double intro and conclusion] showed us how God rescued Israel, but here we are given two case studies of the kind of spiritual condition he rescued them from. That is why the final chapters barely mention the Lord. They are showing us what life was like when Israel was left to their own resources. This view of humanity without God is so bleak that these passages are almost never preached upon or even studied.”

Keller says regarding the ends of Judges 18:

“Evil does not usually make people incredibly wicked and violent – that would be interesting, and tends to wake people up. Rather, sin tends to make us hollow – externally proper and even nice, but underneath everyone is scraping and clutching for power, in order to get ahead.

Only by worshiping the real God can we escape this boring fate and know the blessing of coming to the house of God, the Lord Jesus, the One who has the words of eternal life.”

Judges 19 contains one of the most disturbing stories in the Bible. Why is it included at all?

Psalms 24-26 | Wednesday: Tim and Kathy Keller wrote this commenting on Psalm 24:

“God’s glory also means his inexpressible beauty and perfection. It does not glorify him then, if we only ever obey God simply out of duty. We must give him not only our will but also our heart, as we adore and enjoy him, as we find him infinitely attractive. And there is no greater beauty than to see the Son of God laying aside his glory and dying for us (Philippians 2:5-11).”

D.A. Carson gives a brief summary of Psalm 25.

“David is in danger of being overwhelmed by enemies and thereby put to shame (Ps. 25:2). He wishes to learn the ways and paths of God, to be taught God’s truth (25:4-5). He begs that God will forget the sins of his rebellious youth (25:7); moreover, he recognizes that there are times when his iniquity is great, and needs to be forgiven (25:11). David confesses that he is lonely and afflicted, full of anguish (25:16-17). He speaks afresh of his affliction and distress, alludes once again to his sins, and feels threatened by the increase of the enemies who hate him (25:18-19)…”

Carson then goes on to point out that these things that David mentions in this Psalm are:

“tied together in various ways. For example,…Because of the trouble he is suffering, he is not only afflicted but lonely (25:16)―anguish in one arena so often breeds a sense of desperate isolation, even alienation. Yet the final petitions of the psalm do not descend into a wallowing self-pity, but sum up the connections already made: David needs release from his enemies, forgiveness for his sins, relief from his affliction, and personal integrity and uprightness, all bound up with the protection of the Lord God himself.

Here is a wholesome self-awareness. Sometimes our prayers for relief from loneliness are steeped in self-love; sometimes our requests for justice fail to recognize how endemic sin really is, so that we remain unconcerned about our own iniquity. Yet here is a man who not only knew God and how to pray, but knew himself.”

Psalm 26:11 says: “But as for me, I shall walk in my intergrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.” The Gospel Transformation Bible has this powerful reminder: “The ultimate way in which God secured this redemption and grace was in the sending of his own Son, to whom God was not gracious, so that grace could be extended to sinners such as David―and us.”

Job 17-18 | Thursday: In Job 17 we have what Christopher Ash calls a: “foreshadowing of the experience of the Lord Jesus Christ…Jesus too felt the longings both to be comforted and to comfort. He too knew in all its fullness what it was to be identified with sinners, from his baptism to his cross. He experienced in its unadulterated intensity the holy hatred of God against sinners. He too knew that he had a clear conscience, in fact that every moment of his life he did what pleased the Father (John 8:29), that his life and his death were the expression of a perfect obedience.”

In Job 18 we have Bildad coming back for round 2 of his arguments. D.A. Carson points out that Bildad has a note of desperation in his argument this time. Carson says: “When the argument is weak, some people just yell louder.” Christopher Ash says that Bildad’s: “sermon is so fundamentally misapplied that it needs to be consigned to the incinerator of failed sermons.”

Carson says that Bildad basically is saying that Job is not only wicked but ignorant of God. Then Carson continues with a reflection on this charge that Bildad lays against Job:

“At one level, what Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar keep saying is entirely in line with a repeated theme of the Scriptures: God is just, and justice will be done and will be seen to be done. Everyone will one day acknowledge that God is right―whether in the reverent submission of faith, or in the terror that cries for the rocks and the mountains to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6). The theme recurs in virtually every major corpus of the Bible…Not to have judgement would be to deny the significance of evil.

But to apply this perspective too quickly, too mechanically, or as if we have access to all the facts, is to destroy the significance of evil from another angle. Innocent suffering (as we have seen) is ruled out. To call a good man evil in order to preserve the system is not only personally heartless, but relativizes good and evil; it impugns God as surely as saying there is no difference between good and evil.”

Isaiah 45-50 | Friday: If you would like to see perhaps the strongest statement in the Bible on why God does what He does in history, look no further than Isaiah 48:9-11.

For more on this passage and theme, see this article.

Matthew 23-25 | Saturday: After a long lists of woes that Jesus pronounces in Matthew 23, he says in verse 37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”

Carson comments on this verse and says: “During it (Jesus’ ministry), he often longed to gather and shelter Jerusalem as a hen her chicks, for despite the woes, Jesus, like the “Sovereign LORD” in Ezekiel 18:32, took “no pleasure in the death of anyone.”

Matthew 24-25 have an emphasis on the coming judgement of God and we are reminded to “be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24:44). The Gospel Transformation Bible asks this question: “How can Jesus’ diciples be ready for his arrival?” Later in the notes they give this answer: “they are to make the most of the opportunities and resources God has given them.”

So, are we making the most of the opportunities and resources God has given us?

I am reminded of John Calvin who even towards the end of his life he kept making the most of the resources God had given him. When he was told he should rest when he was nearing the end of his life, Calvin famously responded: “What? Would you have the Lord find me idle when he comes?”

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BIBLE 2018 | Week 8

February 16, 2018 | Mark and Scott McAndrew

Romans 15-16 | Sunday: Romans 15 shows us Paul’s desire. To paraphrase, Paul’s holy ambition was to “preach the gospel where Christ has not been named.”

What is it that you long to do with your life for the sake of the kingdom? Is your ambition holy? Is it in line with what Scripture teaches? Is it mainly about your own glory or about the glory of Jesus?

Our ambition may not sound as dramatic as Paul’s, but it is still wise to have one. What is your holy ambition?

Romans 16 gives us some insight on what false teachers often look like. Look carefully – they are often outwardly smooth and attractive. Paul writes that “by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive” (v. 18).

For a classic message by Piper on Romans 15 called ‘Paul’s Holy Ambition’, see here.

Click here for Piper’s free online book called ‘A Holy Ambition’.

For a helpful message by Piper on false teachers from Romans 16, see here.

Genesis 28-31 | Monday: God chooses the girl nobody wanted. Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, yet God showed special love to Leah for just that reason. God loves to favor those who are not favored the most in the world. This is why most of us are Christians. When we consider who we were when God called us to Himself, we have to conclude that we were nothing special.

Think of the Apostle Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 1:26-31:

“26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'”

Or think of the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 11:

“25 At that time Jesus declared, I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

God often chooses to bless those who are least impressive so that no one will think that God chooses us because of our brilliance, or moral accomplishments, or outward attractiveness, or our strength.

As Jeremiah wrote,

“23 Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.'” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Our boast should be in the Lord alone.

For an NAC sermon on Genesis 29 called The Girl Nobody Wanted, see here.

Here is a shorter video segment.

Judges 12-16 | Tuesday: Tim Keller shares some helpful thoughts on Judges 13:

“[W]e are told that, as usual, ‘the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord,’ with the familiar result that God gives them over to their enemies, in this case the Philistines (13:1).

The phrase ‘did evil in the eyes of the Lord’ has been a repeated refrain in Judges (2:11; 3:7, 12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6) – this is the last time it appears. Although in fact, there is a phrase which appears twice in the double conclusion of the book, which says the same thing in a different way: ‘in those days … everyone did what was right in his own eyes’ (17:6; 21:25).

The writer is making the point that many of the things the Israelites did were not evil ‘in their eyes.’ In other words, by their perception, most or all of their behavior was perfectly acceptable. They did not go about thinking: I know this is evil, but I am going to do it anyway. Yet, ‘in God’s eyes,’ the behavior was wicked.

This teaches us two truths about sin. First, the definition of sin. This term ‘the eyes of the Lord,’ in contrast with our ‘ow eyes,’ teaches us that sin does not ultimately consist of violating our conscience or violating our personal standards or violating community standards, but rather consists of violating God’s will for us. . . .

Second, these phrases show us the deception of sin. They remind us how easily self-deceived we are. The Israelite had psychological and cultural rationalizations and supports for their sin, so they were in a kind of ‘group denial.’ In their own ‘eyes’ or perception, there was nothing wrong with what they were doing. There was a deep, suppressed knowledge that they were out of touch with God, rejecting his will (Romans 1:18); but at the conscious level, they had no over guilty and they had lots of explanations for their lifestyles.” (Judges for You, p. 124-5).

As we see Samson, and others, making obviously foolish and rash decisions, we should stop and think.

Where in my life am I doing things that might be obviously or subtly foolish from a biblical point of view but which I may be trying to rationalize as normal – even good?

At which points are our ‘eyes’ more important in judging our lives than God’s?

Psalms 21-23 | Wednesday: Psalm 21 is connected with Psalm 20 which we looked at for last weeks reading. As the ESV Study Bible points out, “These two Psalms form a pair of royal psalms. Psalm 20 is a prayer that God will give success to the Davidic king, particularly in battle. Psalm 21 gives thanks to God for answering the request of Psalm 20.”

A the the Gospel Transformation Bible points out, “David trains believers to pray for more than just everyday nusances. We must also pray ‘your kingdom come’ (Matt. 6:10), and this psalm assures us that these things will happen.”

Psalm 22 is almost impossible to read without seeing Jesus so powerfully potrayed. This is a great Psalm to meditate on during Good Friday.

“In an unparalleled way,” writes Jonathan Parnell, “Psalm 22 captures the suffering of the Messiah in the first person… ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ and, ‘I am a worm and not a man,’ and, ‘I am poured out like water.’ We step inside the mind of the afflicted man — of Jesus — to feel his pain and see his faith.”

What was to a lesser extent true of David became fully and literally true in the death of David’s greater Son. Of all the words Jesus could have chosen to express His anguish on the cross, He chose the opening words of Psalm 22. We stand on holy ground as we read these words which proceed from the midday darkness of Calvary.

Psalm 22:14-15 says: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.” Adrian Rogers powerfully said: “The One who made all the oceans and rivers and fountains of water was parched with thirst as He died for you and me.”

Psalm 23 is a wonderful and famous Psalm. Verse four says: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” This is such a comforting promise for us as believers. Adrian Rogers pointed out however that “Jesus walked that lonesome valley of death all by himself.”

Job 15-16 | Thursday: In Job 15-21 we have what D.A. Carson calls “a second cycle of arguments from Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, with responses in each case from Job. In many ways the arguments are repeated, but with deepened intensity. Almost as if they are aware of the repetition, the three friends say less this time than in the first round.”

As we read through the arguments from Job’s friends we should remember this warning from Carson: “There is a way of using theology and theological arguments that wounds rather than heals.”
“This is not the fault of theology and theological arguments; it is the fault of the ‘miserable comforter’ who fastens on an inappropriate fragment of truth, or whose timing is off, or whose attitude is condescending, or whose application is insensitive, or whose true theology is couched in such culture-laden clichés that they grate rather than comfort.”
Job_and_his_friends.jpg
In times of suffering in his own life, Carson was on the receiving end of what he calls “extraordinary blows” from fellow believers. He then turns the tables on himself and says, “Such experiences, of course, drive me to wonder when I have wrongly handled the Word and caused similar pain.”

Isaiah 40-44 | Friday: This is the beginning of one of the most important portions of the Old Testament. Isaiah 40-66 is one of the most quoted and alluded to sections of the OT in the New Testament. It helps us better understand the four Gospels, Acts, and Revelation (not to mention numerous NT books).

The basic promises in Isaiah 40-66 at least include:

  1. the Lord will return to Zion (in the person of Jesus rather than a pillar of cloud);
  2. a messenger in the wildness will prepare the way (the Elijah-like figure of John the Baptist)
  3. Israel will become a light to the Gentiles (the nations!);
  4. Israel will be perfectly represented by a mysterious ‘Suffering Servant’ who will endure the ultimate exile away from God, suffering for the sins of others, though being innocent Himself. He will be buried after death and will yet have prolonged life (pointers to a resurrection).
  5. Upon the return of the Lord (Yahweh), the kingdom will come on earth as in heaven, including a New Jerusalem and a New Heavens and New Earth (new creation).
  6. Israel will finally be rescued out of exile.
  7. When all of these things occur, it will be evident to all that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is the only true God. He is the only God who predicted these events before each of them took place. He is sovereign over world history, unlike the mute and deaf idols that the nations worship.

These promises are all fulfilled in the New Testament era, but in ways that were hard to imagine by the Old Testament saints. This is why Paul calls fulfillment of the OT promises in Jesus a great “mystery.” It is something partially hidden that has now been revealed. These aspects of the gospel were partially known and yet not fully grasped before the resurrection of Jesus.

This is why the disciples were so shocked when Jesus said He was the Messiah/Christ and yet He was going to be betrayed and killed. They didn’t have a category for a suffering Messiah. This further explains why that first Easter morning was such a shock.

Matthew 20-22 | Saturday: Matthew 20 begins with a parable about the workers in the vineyard. D.A. Carson points out “that this parable is primarily not about the workers at all but about the amazing grace and compassion of the employer.”

“God’s grace makes some who are last first. The point of the parable,” Carson concludes, “is not that all in the kingdom will receive the same reward but that kingdom rewards depend on God’s sovereign grace.”

Matthew 20:28 is such a powerful verse that says: “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

“At this point,” writes Carson, “Jesus presents himself—the Son of Man—as the supreme example of service to others.” If we are finding it difficult to clothe ourselves in humility and if we are stuggling with various forms of pride, I think it would do us all good to dwell on verses like Matthew 20:28.

In Matthew 21:23-27 we have this powerful exchange between Jesus and the chief priests and the elders:

“And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ Jesus answered them, ‘I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?’ And they discussed it among themselves, saying, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “From man,” we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.’
Jesus’ reply in this passage is “masterful.” The question that Jesus responds with is “far more profound” than a “simple rebuke.” Carson continues:
“Far from avoiding the religous leaders’ question, Jesus answers it so that the honest seeker of truth, unswayed by public opinion, will not fail to see who he is, while those interested only in snaring him with a captious question are blocked by a hurdle their own shallow pragmatism forbids them to cross. At the same time Jesus’ question rather strongly hints to the rulers that their false step goes back to broader issues than Jesus’ authority, it is because their previous unbelief has blinded their minds to God’s revelation.”
Toward the end of Matthew 22, Jesus responds to the question about what the greatest commandment in the law is with these words:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (v. 38-39).
Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that we will never do the second command of loving our neighbors as ourselves until we have done the first, “so we must start with the love of God.”

BIBLE 2018 | Week 7

February 9th, 2018 | Mark and Scott McAndrew

Romans 13-14 | Sunday: Romans 13 emphasizes that obedience to our governing authorities is a big deal, along with paying taxes and giving appropriate honor. Don’t forget that the ‘governing authorities’ Paul spoke of here would end up being the ones who took Paul’s life later.

Romans 14 is about loving our brothers and sisters who have different convictions than we do on matters of lesser importance. For a passage with the same theme, see 1 Corinthians 8.

Genesis 24-27 | Monday: Genesis 24 is not merely a romantic story put in the Bible for sentiment. It is yet another example of God supernaturally orchestrating events so that His promise to Abraham will come true.

God has promised to make Abraham into a great nation, yet Abraham only has one legitimate heir to this promise: Isaac. If Isaac cannot find a wife from among Abraham’s distant relatives, then he will end up marrying an unbelieving Canaanite woman and that will threaten the fulfillment of the promise.

So God makes sure that Abraham’s servant finds the right woman: Rebekah.

Genesis 25 has the birth of Jacob and Esau. Note that Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah, but she was not able to conceive. He prayed for her and God answered his prayer and she gave birth to twins when Isaac was 60.

That is 19 years of persistent prayer before his prayer was answered! Wow. Let us not give up on praying for those we know who do not yet know Christ.

Genesis 26 shows Isaac lying about his wife (“She is my sister”) to King Abimelech. This is a repeat of last week’s reading (Genesis 20) where Abraham did the same thing. (Likely this is not the same man, but a son or grandson of the other king.)

Genesis 27 is about Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing. For more, see below.

For an NAC sermon on Genesis 24 (dating and marriage), see here.

For an NAC sermon on Genesis 27 (Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing), see here.

Judges 7-11 | Tuesday: Should we, like Gideon, lay out ‘fleeces’ in order to find God’s will for our lives? Is this how we are to apply this famous story? Well, no, we shouldn’t. For a helpful explanation, see this video:

For a brief video about how we often misread the story of Gideon, watch here. 

Psalms 18-20 | Wednesday: Psalm 18 says, “They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me” (v. 18-19).

Matthew Henry says of this passage:

Can we meditate on verse 18, without directing one thought to Gethsemane and Calvary? Can we forget that it was in the hour of Christ’s deepest calamity, when Judas betrayed, when his friends forsook, when the multitude derided him, and the smiles of his Father’s love were withheld, that the powers of darkness prevented him? The sorrows of death surrounded him, in his distress he prayed.

He then adds:

God made the earth to shake and tremble, and the rocks to cleave, and brought him out, in his resurrection, because he delighted in him and in his undertaking.

Psalm 19 tells us in the first two verses that: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”
John Piper commenting on these verses says:
God is talking to the world all day and all night, every day and every night, everywhere in the world…. The ministry of the sky is a ministry of communication about God. Day and night everywhere in the world God is speaking to all people about himself. Not about nature…. What God is speaking about in the sky is beyond the sky, namely, himself.
Piper then tells about being on a writing leave. He would walk from his cottage to the place where he would write and he said on that walk:
The air would be lucid and cool, and the morning sun would be spangled in the ripples of the lake down the hill through the pine trees, and the leaves of the sweet-gum and the oak and the maple and the hickory trees would be all ablaze with gold and green, and up through the branches I would see the sky bright and clear and blue. And all I could do was look up and feel, “Glory, glory, glory!” And I knew, immediately, without words and without any extended reasonings: this is the way God is. These are but the outskirts of his ways and the beams of his beauty.
Psalm 20, according to Matthew Henry, “is a prayer for the kings of Israel.” He points out that “even the greatest of men may be much in trouble.” Therefore “even the greatest of men must be much in prayer.”

Job 13-14 | Thursday: In Job 13 Job says in verse 4 that his friends are: “worthless physicians.” They are not helping his pain. Christopher Ash points out that the friends’ medicine is not the gospel medicine that Job needs. In verse 7, Job says: “Will you speak falsely for God and speak deceitfully for him?”

D.A. Carson comments on the verse and says that Job’s friends:

cannot find concrete evidences of gross sin in Job’s life, yet they think they are speaking for God when they insist Job must really be evil. Thus in their “defense” of God, they say things that are untrue and unfair about Job: they “speak wickedly on God’s behalf.” How can God be pleased with their utterances? Ends do not justify means.

It is always important to speak the truth and not fudge facts to fit our theological predispositions. Far better to admit ignorance or postulate mystery than to tell untruths.

As we read through Job’s speeches in chapters 13-14 it is important to remember what Christopher Ash points out in his commentary:

[T]he speeches of Job give us a unique insight into what it feels like for a believer to experience God-forsakenness. And therefore they help us to understand and feel the darkness of the cross.
Ash later adds:
In his suffering Job foreshadows the man who will enter fully into the misery of being identified with sinners in life and death…who will experience in all its horrors the final penalty for sins, and who will taste death on behalf of sinners.

Isaiah 34-39 | Friday:

Isaiah 34 is the fate of those who trust in man.

Isaiah 35 is the future of those who trust in Yahweh.

Isaiah divides pretty cleanly into two major sections: chapters 1-39 and 40-66. 

(Coincidentally, there are 66 books in the Bible and 66 chapters in Isaiah; and also, the Old Testament is books 1-39 and the New Testament is books 40-66. This really is nothing more than a coincidence, but it can be helpful for remembering Isaiah’s outline.)

Isaiah 36-37 really contains the central historical event of Isaiah’s lifetime.

The first part of Isaiah (1-39) largely a build up to the events of chapters 36-37. This is where Assyria, after destroying Israel (the Northern Kingdom) in 722 BC, almost destroyed Judah in 701 BC, but was defeated by Yahweh miraculously just in time. The destruction of the army left Assyria’s king, Sennacherib, defeated and ashamed.

This great event points forward to the ultimate defeat of our greatest enemies, sin and Satan himself.

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities [Satan and his demons] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (Colossians 2:13-15)

Isaiah 40 is a massive turning point that we’ll get to next week. As a sneak preview, Isaiah 40-66 is one of the most quoted and alluded to parts of the Old Testament in the New Testament.

For an entire NAC sermon on Isaiah 36-37, see the link below.

For an NAC sermon that covers all of Isaiah 36-37, see here.

For a fantastic message by Mark Dever on Isaiah 36-37 (which the above sermon was partially based on), watch here.

For a message by D.A. Carson on the temptation and downfall of Hezekiah in Isaiah 38-39, watch here or listen here.

Matthew 17-19 | Saturday: We should remember what David Platt says as we read through Scripture: “Our goal…is that we would behold the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Matthew 17 begins with what Platt calls “one of the most exhilarating, awe-inspiring, and worship-evoking portraits of Jesus in this Gospel.” What Platt is talking about is the transfiguration of Jesus. Peter, James, and John are as D.A. Carson says “privileged to glimspe something of his preincarnate glory.” We too get to see his glory powerfully revealed in this passage.

D.A. Carson continues by reminding us that “this glorious sight would one day prompt Jesus’ disciples to marvel at the self-humiliation that brought him to the cross…” We too should marvel at the self-humiliation of Jesus. A helpful verse to think on as we read through Matthew 17 would be Hebrews 1:3 that says: “Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

Matthew 18 ends with the parable of the unforgiving servant. As we read through this parable we should be reminded of our sin against God. Jerry Bridges points out that the 10,000 talents that the servant owes is a representation of “our moral and spiritual debt to God.” Bridges reminds us that: “we all are represented by the first servant who owed ten thousand talents. Our debt to God is utterly unpayable.”

In the parable the servants 10,000 talent debt is canceled. Bridges reminds us that: “It cost the king tremendously to forgive his servant’s debt.” As we read this parable we should be reminded of the cost of our redemption. Jerry Bridges tells us that: “it cost God to forgive us. It cost him the death of His Son. No price can be put on that death, but God paid it so He could forgive each of us of the enormous spiritual debt we owed to Him.”

In light of the enormous cost of our redemption how can we turn around and then withhold forgiveness, mercy, and kindness from others?

Bridges once again is helpful here when he says:

This basis of our forgiving one another, then, is the enormity of God’s forgiveness of us. We are to forgive because we have been forgiven so much. Until we acknowledge that we are the ten-thousand-talent debtor to God, we will struggle with forgiving people who have wronged us in significant ways or people who continue to wrong us.
Matthew 19 ends with the story of the rich young man. The young man tells Jesus that he has kept the commands that Jesus listed. However, this young man had only observed “the outward stipulations” of the law, as D.A. Carson puts it.
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Carson continues by pointing out how “because of his wealth” this young man “had a divided heart. His money was competing with God.” This reminds me of a quote from Elisabeth Elliott, when she said, “Money holds terrible power when it is loved.”

After the young man leaves, Jesus tells his disciples how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. The disciples are ‘greatly astonished’ and they say: “Who then can be saved?” Jesus powerfully tells them in verse 26: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

What the young man in this story needs and what we need is (as Carson puts it): “the triumph of grace.” If we are believers today then we should remember that “God, with whom all things are possible” has worked a triumph of grace in our lives.

BIBLE 2018 | Week 6

February 2, 2018 | Mark & Scott McAndrew

Romans 11-12 | Sunday: In Romans 11, Paul seems to predict a massive revival amongst ethnic Jews around the time of Christ’s second coming.

Romans 12 is the turning point in the letter. Chapters 1-11 have been packed with the good news of what Jesus has done for us. Chapters 12-16 are packed with how we should respond to this good news; namely, with wholehearted obedience.

Genesis 20-23 | Monday: 

Genesis 20 tells the story of Abraham lying to a King Abimelech about Sarah, his wife. Why is this in the Bible? Well, remember, the promise that holds Genesis (and all of Scripture) together is the promise that God will bless all the nations of the earth through Abraham’s offspring. The drama focuses on the fact that, up til now, Abraham and Sarah can’t have offspring. If Sarah becomes Abimelech’s wife and they sleep together, then Abraham will never be able to get her back as his wife and see the fulfillment of this massive promise that they will have a son.

If Abraham and Sarah fail to have a son, then God will prove to be a liar, and the genealogical line from Abraham and Sarah down to Jesus will never exist.

A lot is at stake here. So what happens? God saves the day (through giving Abimelech a threatening dream) despite Abraham’s unbelieving, cowardly lie. God is the hero.

Genesis 22 is one of the most powerful pictures of the gospel in the Bible. Compare Genesis 22:12 with John 3:16 and Romans 8:32 (see here).

Genesis 23 is about Sarah’s death and burial. Why is so much time spent on Abraham buying a burial plot for Sarah? God promised to give Abraham’s offspring this land. However, this burial plot is the only part of the Promised Land that Abraham will ever own in his life. He must walk by faith, not by sight. This burial plot is like a downpayment on his final inheritance.

What does this have to do with us?

God made good on His promise to Abraham that his offspring would possess the land more than 400 years later. The downpayment of the burial plot guaranteed the inheritance.

The Holy Spirit, who dwells inside of us, is our downpayment on our full inheritance. This includes being in the immediate presence of God on the new Earth in resurrection bodies (see Ephesians 1:7-14).

For an NAC sermon on Genesis 20 and the sovereignty of God, listen here.

Judges 1-6 | Tuesday: The Kingdom of God is God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule and experiencing God’s blessing.

We have seen God create His people by making Sarah’s barren womb conceive Isaac, and making his great grandchildren fruitful in the land of Egypt for 400 years. Now they are a nation made up of millions of people. On Sinai, they were given God’s rule (the law of Moses). After 40 years in the wilderness, they have taken the promised land under Joshua’s leadership.

Things are looking very good. God’s people are now in God’s place under God’s rule and look like they are on the verge of experiencing God’s abundant blessing . . .

That is where Judges begins.

However, in the first chapter we see half-hearted obedience and partial disobedience. We see a lack of trust in God as the people lean on their own common sense.

Chapter two is when the cycles begin. See the video below for the repeating cycle that dominates the book of Judges:

For an extremely helpful overview of Judges, it is hard to beat this from the Bible Project.

Psalm 15-17 | Wednesday: Psalm 15. Tim and Kathy Keller offer this wonderful prayer that goes with this Psalm: “Lord, the sins of my tongue are so many! Forgive me for talking too much (because of pride), for talking too little (because of fear), for not telling the truth (because of pride and fear), for words that are harsh and cutting, for hurting others’ reputations through gossip. Purify my words with your Word. Amen.”

Psalm 16:11 is a beautiful verse that says: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Colossians 3 tells us to set our affections on things above. Psalm 16:11 is a wonderful verse to help us do that.

Thomas Watson said: “Here joy enters into us, there we enter into joy; the joys we have here are from heaven; the joys that we shall have with Christ are without measure and without mixture.”

Thomas Brooks adds this: “The joy of the saints in heaven is never ebbing, but always flowing to all contentment. The joys of heaven never fade, never wither, never die, nor never are lessened nor interrupted. The joy of the saints in heaven is a constant joy, an everlasting joy, in the root and in the cause, and in the matter of it and in the objects of it.”

Psalm 17:8 says: “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,” Tim Keller comenting on this verse says: “In Christ, astonishingly, God does indeed see us as perfect (Philippians 3:9-10)…Remind my heart that when you look on me you find me ‘in Christ’ and see beauty.”

Job 11-12 | Thursday: Something to remember as we go through Job is that Zophar, Eliphaz, and Bildad don’t have a category for innocent suffering in their theology. D.A. Carson says: “There is no category for innocent suffering. Job must be very wicked, for he is suffering much; the only reasonable option for him is to turn from the sin that must obviously be engulfing him.” Of course this causes the friends of Job to embark “on a course that condemns an innocent man.”

Isaiah 29-33 | Friday: During our sermon series in Micah we spent a lot of time talking about Assyria. They destroyed the Northern Kingdom (Israel) in 722 BC and they destroyed much of the Souther Kingdom (Judah) in 701 BC. Isaiah refers to this soon-to-happen event repeatedly in these chapters.

Also, we talked about how 185,000 men from the Assyrian army were whipped out by the angel of the Lord in a single night (see Isaiah 37:36-37). This event is also referred to several times in these chapters of Isaiah (for instance, see Isaiah 31:8-9).

Matthew 14-16 | Saturday: Matthew 1-3 introduce Jesus as the true and better Israel, Moses, and David. Matthew 4-7 shows Jesus announcing and teaching on the Kingdom of God. Matthew 8-10 shows Jesus bringing a foretaste of the Kingdom into daily life. Matthew 11-12 shows a mixed response to Jesus, which is mostly negative. Matthew 13 is filled with Jesus’ parables. Jesus tells parables that speak of a mixed response to His Kingdom message as well as a redefinition of the Kingdom.    

In Matthew 14 after the death of John the baptist we see the never failing compassion of Jesus on display once again. Verse 13 tells us that Jesus withdrew in a boat to a desolate place by himself. However, the crowd follows after Jesus and as soon as Jesus goes ashore he is swarmed by the crowds. Verse 14 tells us: “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” David Platt tells us that: “Jesus was (once again) moved with compassion for them, even for those who were superfically attached to Him…Even in the face of such shallowness, Jesus was compassionate.”

In Matthew 15 Jesus tells us: “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me.” As we prepare our own hearts to worship every week or just as we prepare our hearts to go to work in the morning this is a great verse to keep in mind. We need to remember as David Platt says: “that worship is all about spiritual affection. It’s about our hearts lifted high to God.”

What are some practical ways that we can work on our hearts in this area?

I think John Piper helpfully answers when he says: “And the answer would seem to be that we get up in the morning and we get our hearts fixed on Christ. We go to him and renew our satisfaction in him through his word. And then we enter the day seeking to express and increase that satisfaction in all that God is for us in Jesus.”

Matthew 16 contains a central moment in this gospel. Peter finally declares Jesus to be the Christ (Christ = Messiah; it means “Anointed One” – the Davidic King). Jesus agrees and then redefines the Christ as a suffering King rather than an outwardly triumphant king. Peter thinks this is nonsense and rebukes Jesus. Thus we see one of the major themes of Matthew. Who is Jesus? Chapters 1-16 show us He is the Christ/King of God’s Kingdom. Chapters 16-28 will show us Jesus redefining the idea of Christ and Kingdom. This King is a suffering servant who will die for the sins of His people.

At the end of Matthew 16 Jesus famously says: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” D.A. Carson helpfully reminds us that: “Death to self is not so much a prerequisite of dicipleship to Jesus as a continuing characteristic of it.”

There is a great Bible Project video on this part of Matthew here.

BIBLE 2018 | Week 5

Romans 9-10 | Sunday: Romans 9-11 is challenging. What is really going on here?

Paul just finished Romans 8 on the mountain top of God’s promises. Why the sudden shift in tone to the agony and anguish of Romans 9:1-4? Paul knows his audience. As we finish Romans 8 many people are wondering, what about the Jews? God made promises to Israel and yet most of Israel has rejected their Messiah. Does this mean God’s promises can’t be trust? Has God’s word failed?

If God lied to Israel, then the promises of Romans 8 are compromised.

For more, you can watch this:

For a full, in-depth message on Romans 9, see this by John Piper.

Genesis 16-19 | Monday: Chapter 16 is “a poignant reminder of the strong temptation to take matters into our own hands when God’s promises seem to be beyond fulfillment. Sarai’s desire for children to fulfill God’s promise bypassed her calling to trust the Lord and his own timing. . . . God’s people are called to trust him no matter how hopeless his promises may seem” (GTB, p. 24).

Note the echo of Adam and Eve in the action of Sarah and Abraham. In both cases you have sinfully passive men exercising bad leadership (or no leadership) and wives taking the initiative into their own hands and leading their husbands into further disobedience:

“[Eve] took…and…gave some…to her husband…and he ate” (Gen 3:6).

“Sarai…took Hagar…and gave her to…her husband as a wife” (Gen 16:3).

Genesis 17 is about the covenant of circumcision. Here is a great, brief explanation of this strange Old Covenant sign:

Genesis 18-19: For an NAC sermon covering Sodom and Gomorrah, listen here.

Joshua 21-24 | Tuesday: The suspicion between the tribes in chapter 22 points to the fact that “[e]veryone – Yahweh, Joshua, and the Israelites – seem to expect a short honeymoon. Once more the superiority of the new covenant is exhibited, with no less than God himself – the Holy Spirit – as the Alter of Witness a permanently indwelling Gift who seals our reconciliation and a deposit guaranteeing our final redemption” (GTB, p. 294).

Joshua 23-24 are is the powerful final word spoken by Joshua to the people before his death. There is much that can be applied to our lives here.

See the kind of person Abraham was when God called him. How should this encourage us?

Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many.'” (Joshua 24:2-3)

Psalm 12-14 | Wednesday: Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Tim Keller writes, “Every sin is a kind of practical atheism – it is acting as if God were not there” (The Song of Jesus, p. 20).

Both Psalm 12 and 14 are quoted by Paul in Romans 3 as describing all of us before the Spirit changes our hearts. We are all born “uttering lies” and “flattering” our neighbors. “There is none who does good” or who “seek after God.” When we read the descriptions of evil doers, we should say, “That is who I was by nature. I seek after God now only because of grace.”

For a confessional on Romans 3, listen to Jerry Ediger here.

Job 9-10 | Thursday: Job speaks of his conflict with the Lord by saying, “There is no arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both. Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me. Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself” (9:33-35).

How does this point toward the gospel message?

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

Could this mediator be the arbiter Job longed for?

Aren’t you thankful that you’re living on this side of the cross?

Isaiah 23-28 | Friday: This is not an Isaiah reading you want to skip! After spending several chapters predicting the destruction of specific nations in Isaiah’s own day, the prophet then looks forward to the final judgment of the whole world (ch 24) and the resurrected dead enjoying an eternal feast in the New Jerusalem (ch 25).

“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food. . . . He will swallow up death forever” (25:6-8).

Does the Old Testament teach about the resurrection of the dead? Isaiah 25:7-8; 26:19 are pretty clear.

Matthew 11-13 | Saturday: Matthew 11-12 tells us how people are responding to Jesus.

“Resistance to Jesus’ ministry has appeared occasionally but now begins to build significantly, occasioned first by the innocuous questions of John the Baptist, then through the overt hostility of the Jewish religious leaders” (ESV Study Bible, p 1842).

First, there are those, like John the Baptist, who are struggling with doubt about Jesus (see 11:2-3). Second, there are some who think Jesus may actually be the Christ, the son of David (see 12:23). Third, there are those, like the religious leaders, who are outright opposed to Jesus and even want to have Him killed (see 12:14, 24).

Matthew 13 is packed with parables. Why? The parables were a sign of judgment (see Mark 4:10-12). Likely the people were in such a dead spiritual place (as seen in the previous two chapters) that were Jesus to tell them plainly about the kingdom, it would have caused Him to be killed prematurely.

The parables are meant to mask the truth. That’s why Jesus says, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive” (13:14). Those who truly want to know the meaning of the parables must come to Jesus in private and ask – which is exactly what the disciples do. “His disciples came to him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable'” (13:36).

 

For an NAC sermon on Matthew 11 (John the Baptist, doubt, and rest), listen here.

How do you seek to influence (rather than manipulate) your husband?

January 23, 2018 | Mark McAndrew

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. (1 Peter 3:1-2)

Several people have asked where the line is between seeking to influence your husband versus trying to manipulate your husband.

This is a challenging question.

As far as I can tell, manipulation is different from spiritual influence in at least two major ways: motive and goal.

First, manipulation is motivated by selfishness, not love.

Second, the goal of manipulation is to change the outward action of someone (in this case, your husband) for your own convenience or advantage.

Spiritual influence is motivated by a love for your husband and with the desire/goal to see him transformed first inwardly, then outwardly, by the gospel. It also seeks to stay within the biblical parameters Scripture has laid out for how wives should relate to their husbands.

Manipulation is about winning a personal preference battle. Love is about laying down your preferences for the good of another.

If a wife desires her husband to lead spiritually for the good of their marriage and family, this is a holy desire. If she is unwise, she will speak demandingly of her husband and nag him about this until he either shuts down or gives in. This puts her husband in a lose-lose position. If he disobeys his wife, he disobeys God. If he obeys his wife, he is now following her lead.

However, if she is wise she will do at least three things.

First, she will pray. She will pray for her husband in the quietness of her heart daily, repeatedly, even hourly. The Lord loves to answer the humble prayers of submissive wives who long for the spiritual growth of their passive husbands.

Second, if she catches her husband doing something right (taking some kind of spiritual initiative) she will praise him for it and encourage him in it humbly and gladly.

Third, on occasion, she may have a private, calm, loving, gracious, humble, conversation with him about her desires and wishes. It may be best in these situations not to offer advice or solutions, but rather to calmly and humbly present a concern and seek his council.

These “concerns” should never be shouted out in a desperate moment in the midst of a disagreement or argument. (That goes for both husband and wife.)

In marriage there is often a tendency to store up our frustrations (keeping a record of wrongs) until we finally boil over in some moment of conflict. We then pour out the ‘record of wrongs’ on our spouse in a crushing, punishing, unloving kind of way.

How should she approach her husband?

John Piper helpfully says:

Patiently, full of prayer, full of hope, and full of forbearance and occasional efforts to draw him into conversation about her longings for him.

By occasional efforts to draw him into conversation about her longings for him, I mean the opposite of nagging. Nagging is day after day, coming at the guy sideways, top down, underneath, and communicating by body language and sideways comments that he is not measuring up. That destroys the relationship. It paralyzes the partner. It feels hopeless, and it feels like love is vanishing.

Rather, I’m referring to an occasional and intentional, “Can we talk honey? Can we go out to lunch and just talk about something I want to talk about?” Do it when you’re not tired or angry. It should be an appointment, and it shouldn’t feel undermining or threatening. Then she can lay out her heart for him, say what she needs to say, and ask him if he is willing to do more.

[For the rest of his answer, see here.]

CAN YOU GIVE AN EXAMPLE?

I asked Kelly for a specific illustration of manipulation.

She said that after a husband has upset his wife in some way, the wife may be tempted to storm off and hide away in the bedroom sulking, waiting for her husband to come fix things. This is manipulative and selfish.

However, if a husband has acted selfishly toward his wife, she has a wonderful opportunity to practice forgiving grace that might actually get to his heart. Instead of huffing off or angrily telling him how bad a leader he is being, she can draw strength from the wells of the gospel. Grace can enable her to overlook the offense and treat her husband with gospel motivated love instead of trying to get even or hurt him back.

This is very close to the kind of behavior I imagine Peter was thinking of. Read the passage one more time:

1Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external . . . 4but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God [not their husbands] used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. (1 Peter 3:1-6)

A WORD FOR THE HUSBANDS

To the husbands, it would be good to ask your wife at least monthly, “How are we? Is there anything about my schedule that you think should change? Is there anything about the way I am behaving that is spiritually harmful to you or the family?”

By doing this, the husband is still leading (and leading well), but he is also giving his wife a clearer voice than she might otherwise be able to have on these kinds of issues.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)

**WHAT ABOUT ABUSIVE HUSBANDS?**

If a wife has a verbally abusive husband, she should speak to the elders of her church immediately and if necessary contact the police. If there is actual physical abuse, she should immediately contact the police.

What is a “peaceful and quiet spirit” really?

“Wives . . . let your adorning adoring be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:4).

After the sermon Sunday, several people were asking what exactly this “gentle and quiet spirit” looks like in reality.

For clarification, you can be outgoing and yet possess this spirit. You can also be shy/quiet and lack it. Peter isn’t describing a natural personality trait because this “gentleness” is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).

The opposite if likely a “rash and fretful spirit.”

Matthew Henry wrote a short book on the gentle/meek and quiet/tranquil spirit. You can read a great short summary of it here. I found it very helpful personally.

 

 

______________________

One last thing.

The exact term Peter uses for “gentle” is occurs only three other times in the New Testament. See if they shed some light on its meaning.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'” (Matthew 21:5)

Also, Peter’s term for “quiet” (or tranquil) is only used one other time.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but both times “quiet” (hēsychios) appears it seems to be in the context of ways Christians can try to win unbelieving authority figures to Christ.