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Today we will finish Matthew 4. Read Matthew 4: 12 – 25.
God has entered time-space history. We have observed his birth and the traumatic details that surrounded it. We know nearly nothing of his childhood … so perhaps it was an ordinary life for a young Jewish boy growing up in Galilee at that time. Perhaps it included synagogue school, growing up in a family with multiple siblings, Sabbath observances, apprentice training under his dad and community living in Nazareth. We watched as he was anointed for his life-work through baptism and was tested and proved righteous in the wilderness More >
Read Matthew 4: 1 – 11
Did you notice that Jesus was “led by the Spirit” in order to be tempted? You mean, that was the purpose? That was the reason? Did Jesus know about this purpose? He had just received such beautiful confirmation from God Himself … and now this? He was fasting … he was in a desolate region. I think the battle with temptation went on the full 40 days and nights. Jesus was in intense spiritual warfare. But why was this necessary?
I think we get a clue when we look into the word “tempted”. It is More >
Our reading today is Matthew 3: 13 – 17. As you read, don’t forget the scene and the activity described in verses 1 – 12 of chapter 3.
In chapters 1 and 2 of Matthew, we see Matthew describing Jesus as the Messiah … and the King. Then John begins announcing that the kingdom of heaven (the kingdom of God) is near. OK … we have a kingdom … but where is its king? ”Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.”
John didn’t want to, did he. He thought it should be the other More >
Today we are in Matthew 3: 1 – 12. John the Baptist splashes onto the scene in Judea. These verses that tell of his work.
Have you seen the commercials utilizing “the most interesting man in the world”? I actually would nominate John the Baptist for that title! I am so intrigued by him. We read of his birth circumstances in Luke 1. When did he go into the wilderness to live? Were his parents still living? What did they think about his life choices?
People were flocking out of the cities and towns to hear him preach, to be baptized by him. More >
Today, our reading is Matthew 2: 13 – 23.
I find several lessons for me as I read these familiar words. Think with me …
1. Joseph … righteous Joseph … did you notice how long it took him to decide to respond to what the Lord had said? He did not argue … he did not give God a different plan that would suit him better … he did not complain that it was too hard, too much to ask of him. He just got up, collected his little family, and left for Egypt. I am touched by the beauty More >
As we continue with Jesus’ story … today, read John 19: 17 – 27. Since we are not covering very many verses, read slowly, carefully, meditatively. After reading … come back.
The soldiers took Jesus’ clothes. I have read such horror stories from concentration camp experiences during WWII about people being stripped, humiliated, violated. We don’t even want to be screened at airports because it feels like our privacy is being violated. I can’t imagine … and yet the prophet Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 50:7 when speaking of the coming Messiah, “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not More >
Today, read Matthew 2: 1 – 12.
We see three “players” in the verses we read today.
First, we see King Herod … and he was “disturbed”. These Magi from the east were asking about the birth of a King of the Jews? But Herod was the king of the Jews … and his offspring would be the next in position. Herod was “disturbed”. Herod had the position and power … he had the wealth and control. He had made himself useful to the Romans through the civil wars of Palestine so Rome trusted him. He was the only ruler of More >
Read Matthew 1: 18 – 25.
I have never paid much attention to Joseph. He has always seemed to me to have a “bit part” in the birth story of Jesus. This time through, I am seeing him with different eyes. And I am amazed at him!
We know so little about the man. Some of the facts we glean from this first chapter of Matthew include:
- Descendant of Abraham through King David
- of the tribe of Judah
- father’s name was Jacob
- betrothed to Mary
- a righteous man
A word about the betrothal custom in Jewish families at this time in history: most marriages were arranged at More >
Read Matthew 1: 1 – 17.
I know, it’s a list of names … many of which we have a hard time pronouncing … most of which are not in our current “popular baby names” lists. This reading at first glance may seem like an exercise in futility … or one that is pointless … but I encourage you to read it anyway. After you read, come back here and I will share a couple of observations with you.
Welcome back. Now, what in the world is the point? Why would Matthew begin a book with a list like this? We would More >
Let’s begin …
The Gospel of Matthew is one of the three synoptic gospels. The other two are Mark and Luke. That merely means that the three are similar. They tell the story of Jesus’ physical life on this earth. Chronologically, the first one written was Mark. And it is assumed that Mark was the prime source for Matthew and Luke.
Some interesting numerical facts … 1. nearly 90% of the material in Mark is reproduced in Matthew 2. Mark has 661 verses … Matthew has 1068 … Luke has 1149 3. Only 24 verses in Mark More >