Who Are Those From 'East and West'?

A Question of Identity

I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 8:11, 12 (NASU)

This section of the Gospel of Matthew is part of a larger series on the demonstration of Christ’s power through miracles.

The Word Endures Forever

Perfection’s Impossibility

Perfection is an incredibly difficult, and ultimately impossible, goal to attain. This is true in the life of man in a moral sense, and also just in day to day experience where we will inevitably make mistakes. This is true in a manufacturing sense where all materials have a degree of imperfection, the concept of entropy means everything will at some point break down, and design flaws eventually occur. This is true in the realm of government where, inefficiency and corruption aside, the best worded law will never perfectly encompass every situation.

Unsure Ground

Shaken Confidence

Of all the various kinds of natural disasters which can befall man, few have the same terrifying psychological impact as an earthquake. While a hurricane can be incredibly destructive, the mind can connect the powerful wind with the great storm and modern science can warn those in the storm’s path. Floods can arise quickly and with little warning, but are still at least mentally connected with great rainfall. However, man is accustomed to trusting in terra firma to remain firm and steadfast. When the very ground betrays us and begins to shake, it can destroy not only our property but also our nerves.

Sacrificing Our Own Children

A Very Wicked Practice

In the 7th Century B.C., the people of the Kingdom of Judah committed deeds of abomination so despicable in the sight of God that He decided to destroy the nation a few short years after. Man had been well practiced at committing sin, and both Israel and Judah were no exception. However, none of the idolatry, injustice, immorality, or other behavior had matched what was encouraged by King Manasseh. He encouraged the people to engage in child sacrifice, causing his very own son to “pass through the fire” (2 Kings 21:6, NASU).

Change for the Better

Imperfections of Life

There are things our lives that we would like to change. We all have bad habits we would wish to break, choices we wish we had made differently, and other factors outside of our personal control which frustrate us. When one considers the reality of personal sin in light of the Bible’s teaching, this feeling of a need to change should grow exponentially. It is, of course, through Christ that any such change is possible, by being washed of His blood and conforming ourselves to the pattern of His life.