Someone is writing a Bible commentary that’s easy to understand… and apply. InterVarsity Press has recently delivered the second book in their Resonate Series, The Gospel of Matthew: God With Us by Matt Woodley. Check out the description of the book…
They say the Bible is true, but does it ring true? Does it resonate? In this journey through the Gospel of Matthew, Matt Woodley considers the audacious idea of a God with us–confronting us in the midst of all we’ve invested ourselves in and dedicated ourselves to, and encouraging us with the promise that the God who made us has a better life in mind for us. The Resonate series recovers the ancient wisdom of Scripture for a complex world. The stories and insights of each book of the Bible are brought into conversation with contemporary voices of hope and lament–the cultural messages we interact with on a daily basis. The Scriptures become a meeting ground where God is confronted with the pressing concerns of our day, and we are confronted in turn with a fresh experience of God’s truth.
Pretty cool, right? Even cooler is the fact that there’s a group of people working through the commentary right now sharing their thoughts chapter-by-chapter on Woodley’s take on Matthew’s Gospel. Here are a few highlights from Part 1 of the book, which focuses on Matthew 1-4 and the identity and mission of Jesus…
Pastor Darryl Dash looked at the commentary’s section dealing with the Christmas story and shared the following:
“Woodley does an admirable job explaining the importance of the opening genealogy. “Don’t let Matthew’s dull-sounding introduction fool you. This is adventure-storytelling at its best,” he writes. He helps us break through the sentimentality that surrounds Christmas and see that significance of Jesus’ names. He knows how to write. For instance:
A nice God, a decent God, a semi-loving God, a predictably righteous God would send us some help, maybe an angel or a prophet or a sacred text —- at least some advice. We could respect and admire a God like that. But the Gospel of Jesus’ mercy goes far beyond conventional righteousness, decency and niceness. At Christmas God became a naked baby. You can’t get more vulnerable than that.”
Pastor Todd Littleton takes a look at Woodley’s treatment of John the Baptist and his call to repentance:
“Repentance as theological theme is often out of favor with the modern mind. Yet, Woodley insists the movement toward God in repentance mirrors the move God makes toward people in the Incarnation. Rather than get mired in the ordo salutis of which comes first, Woodley transcends the debate and moves right to the reality. A real Jesus evidences God’s move toward people. Real repentance responds to that move with favor not dis-favor.”