Current Studies

Useless (Ezekiel 15)

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:8 CSB)

Peter’s concern is that the Christians he is writing to would become useless and unfruitful toward God. In general, no one wants to be useless. We especially do not want to be called useless. It is a pretty derogatory term to tell someone that they are completely useless. But how sad would it be to call the people of God, “useless and unfruitful”! This is the problem that the Lord is dealing with regarding his people in the book of Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 15-17 God is using three pictures to show the problem with his people and what needs to be done. The first issue we are going to see is in Ezekiel 15 and it is the problem of being useless to God. What happened to God’s people, what can we learn from them, and how we can avoid being useless to God?

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Rejected (Matthew 12:38-50)

It sounds like a reasonable request. “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” Jesus been performing miracles and signs. In Matthew 12:38 some of the scribes and Pharisees answered that they want to see a sign from Jesus. So what is the big deal? Why doesn’t Jesus simply perform a sign for anyone who asks? Why would this request become a teaching topic that goes through the rest of Matthew 12?

Now it is important to note that this is not a new paragraph. This is the same audience that we have observed for at least half of chapter 12. The scribes and Pharisees are answering what Jesus just said, which some of the translations bring out clearly (ESV, LSB, NET, NKJV). Remember that Jesus has healed a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute. The people were now wondering if Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Son of David (12:22-23)…

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Broken (Ezekiel 12-14)

So I’m telling you this, and I insist on it in the Lord: you shouldn’t live your life like the Gentiles anymore. They base their lives on pointless thinking, and they are in the dark in their reasoning. They are disconnected from God’s life because of their ignorance and their closed hearts. (Ephesians 4:17–18 CEB)

The apostle Paul speaks to a great problem: people who are in the dark because of the way they reason about life. Their lives are based on pointless, futile thinking. It is because of this that they are disconnected from God. They are in the dark and thus their hearts are closed and they lack understanding. This might be a surprising assessment to you when speaking about people in the world. But imagine if this was how Paul described the people of God! You do not have to imagine it because, amazingly, the prophet Ezekiel said this about God’s people. Open your Bibles to Ezekiel 12…

To read more of this lesson click here.

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