I'm in the midst of Peter Kreeft's book You Can Understand the Bible: A Practical and Illuminating Guide to Each Book in the Bible. As with all of Kreeft's books, this one comes with a big ol' MamaT Thumbs Up. Way, way up.
Here's what hit me last night:
Many modern readers dislike Matthew's Gospel because of its hard sayings, its warnings against riches and worldliness, its announcement of divine justice and judgement, and its demand for good works. If we dislike this book, then this is precisely the book we need most. For we need to know the whole Gospel. It is precisely those aspects of it that we still find repellent and try to avoid that we need most--not those we already understand and love.
Perhaps the most challenging passage in the whole Bible for the Christian is one of Jesus' last sayings before His trial and death, taken from the parable of the Last Judgment (25:31-46). It ends with these thought-provoking words: "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (v. 40). If a thousand Christians really believed that and lived accordingly, the next century would be shaped by a thousand saints.
And the money question is: Do I want to be a saint?
Yes or No.
It's that simple.
Not easy, but simple.