Life Recovery Bible - Page 52



Page 1244 / M atthew
REFLECTIONS ON MATTHEW
insights A BOU T
TH E PER SO N O F J ESUS
The mention of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba in Jesus’ lineage in Matthew 1:1-16 is significant. Each
of these women was almost certainly non-Jewish in ethnic background. Yet God used them along the way to
prepare for the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Similarly, God often employs people from diverse and unusual
backgrounds to accomplish his purposes. His grace is stronger than the presumed limitations of our past. He
can use us regardless of our background.
In Matthew 3:13-15 Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus had no real reason to follow John’s call
to baptism because Jesus had never sinned and had no reason to repent. Jesus was baptized anyway because
it was the right thing to do, and his actions modeled the importance of baptism to others. We who seek
recovery need examples of those who do the right things for the right reasons, thus modeling a balanced
life. As we proceed in the recovery process, we can become a model for others in need of recovery. Being an
example for others through our words and deeds will not only help others but also encourage us to persevere
in our own recovery.
In Matthew 4:23-25 Jesus offered healing and restoration—physically, spiritually, and interpersonally.
He provides recovery from the pain of abuse and dysfunctional relationships, areas that trouble an ever-­
increasing number of people. Such recovery is extended through faith in Jesus Christ. Through him, true
recovery is open to all who believe in him. No part of our lives is beyond his healing touch.
insights CO NCER N ING
O BS TACLES TO R ECOV ERY
In Matthew 1:18-25 Joseph was in a difficult predicament. His fiancée, Mary, had become pregnant, so he
was considering how he could break their engagement quietly. But when Joseph was shown that the Holy
Spirit was responsible for the pregnancy, he immediately changed his decision about breaking the engagement and obeyed God. He married her as the angel of the Lord commanded, despite the rumors that would
surely surround their marriage. Pride can easily become an obstacle to the restoration of our damaged
relationships. We should resist pride and obey God as Joseph did.
When we enter recovery, we should not mistakenly think that our faith and spiritual growth will insulate us
from temptation. On the contrary, in Matthew 4:1-2 Jesus was actually led into the wilderness by the Holy
Spirit for a prolonged siege of temptation. This should serve as a fair warning that temptation may follow
quickly on the heels of a spiritual high. God often uses such trials in our lives to remind us of how helpless
we are without him.
In Matthew 5:10-12 we are reminded that persecution can be a real problem for us as we try to live by
God’s principles. Old friends may try to intimidate us into giving up on recovery. Family members may be
threatened by the changes we are making and try to discourage us. We must realize that it is more important
to please God than other people. As we do things God’s way, we will be set free from our destructive and
codependent relationships. Then we can build healthy relationships with others and continue to strengthen
our all-important relationship with God.
In Matthew 6:19-34 Jesus made it clear that living for personal gain will only lead to great anxiety. Materialism and anxiety are two enemies of recovery. They often work together to lead us away from a balanced
life. We need to realize that the essence of life is not found in the possession of things and that worry about
the future availability of material things is never helpful. We are powerless to change the future and must
trust God to take care of us and empower us in recovery. As we entrust our lives to him, we will no longer
need to worry about what is around the corner.
People who refuse to admit they need recovery are usually the first to stand in the way of someone else’s
recovery. Instead of praising God for the miracle that Jesus performed, in Matthew 12:9-12 the Pharisees





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