February 07, 2020 – Friday
Matthew 8:11-12 NIV
11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
If you search through your Bible you will find seven instances of weeping (or wailing in some versions) and gnashing of teeth with six of them in Matthew and one of them in Luke. Last night I attended Calvary Chapel’s Thursday evening Bible Study where Luke chapter thirteen was being discussed and completed. One of the verses was 28There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. This led me to want to take a look at the phrase weeping and gnashing of teeth, so today we will take a look at the first occurrence in Matthew.
A short note, Acts 7:54 has gnashing of teeth in the NASB and Psalm 35:16 also has gnashing of teeth in the NRSV. There may be a few others but these are all I found in a quick search at Biblegateway.com.
Now let’s return to our verses for today where Jesus is telling those watching and listening His conversation with the Roman Centurion asking or pleading for help a servant of his who is suffering terribly. It was at this moment Jesus asked a question He did not need to ask as He surely knew the answer, Shall I come and heal him?
Why did He ask the question? It was so all present could hear the Centurion’s answer which revealed his great faith in Jesus’ ability to heal his servant when He would just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Jesus and everyone having heard words of great faith from a Gentile, a Roman Centurion no less, verse ten tells us When Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those following Him, Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. Then having provided context, we come to our verses for today and now will discuss verses eleven and twelve. First of all in stating many will come from the east and the west is a clear cut announcement that many Gentiles will be in heaven. This was a shock to the Jews listening to what Jesus was saying. Then came the other shoe, when Jesus stated their Jewish identity was no guarantee of entry into the kingdom. Though Jews were the sons of the kingdom, they might very well end up in hell (Guzik).
Thus along with the Gentiles who would not make it into heaven, there would be Jews who would not make it into heaven as well. In the darkness of hell, what would those there be doing? They would be weeping and gnashing their teeth. Of course weeping suggests great suffering and horror and the gnashing of teeth great despair. All too often people think little of what hell will really be like. Here Jesus makes it clear it will be a place of great suffering, horror, and despair resulting in much weeping and gnashing of teeth.
When you go to church this weekend, think about your relationship with Jesus and how He wants you to join Him in heaven and not end up in hell weeping and gnashing of your teeth.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton