Do you know I am getting paranoid about what I have and haven’t already published? I simply don’t know how to keep track of that without continually going through my archives post by post, which I don’t have time for this morning. Do any seasoned bloggers have tips? In any case, hope this is new!
Here is something that has always fascinated me in the early part of the Gospel of Matthew. I wrote this up as I worked my way through that book in December. Again the importance of every word of Scripture:
There are generally a couple of things that really strike me each day…Do you remember awhile ago I mentioned Chiniquy’s brilliant assessment of the scene at the foot of the cross? He deduced that, if Mary were “mediatrix” – mediating between Jesus and men – this would have been the perfect situation in which to make that clear. Jesus and Mary were both there (of course!) and the dying thief delivered his request directly to Jesus, without being re-directed to Mary…Brilliant!…Well, today I noticed again something I have highlighted other times when I have gone through Matthew. Another little Mary moment.
Here are verses 10 and 11 of Matthew 3:
“When they (the Wise Men) saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him”
What kind of faith would we have if one word of those verses was changed just a very little bit? What if it said, “and they fell down and worshiped them? We would have a whole different faith and religion, wouldn’t we? But “they worshiped him”. Scripture is so very careful to point that out. Knees were bending in Mary’s presence but they were not all all bending for her. If God wanted Mary to be honored with any kind of religious veneration this would have been the perfect place to indicate that. But it is specifically denied.
The Roman Catholic Church maintains it is appropriate to give Mary a non-veneration veneration and a non-worship worship through hair-splitting distinctions. But, all the while, God is looking at the knees. (And that includes the “knees” of the heart, of course, but I am noting what we as humans can see!). If the knee bends in any variation of religious devotion or worship of another human being it is blasphemous and idolatrous. That simply can’t be undone with Jesuitical distinctions.
The Wise Men, non-Jews from Babylon, (?) understood this. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego understood it when they refused to bow before Nebuchednezzar’s image, at the risk of their lives. (Wouldn’t it have been easy to think, “My knees are bowing but my heart is not.”?) The Protestants of the Reformation era understood it when they refused to bow before the bread-made-God. Actually, this was the specific issue over which many laid down their lives.
God is just so bottom line. Our tendency is to equivocate and deny the obvious. His is to say the posture of the heart is shown perfectly clearly through the posture of the knees.
May my knees ever be faithful!