What enormous miracle would He do next? Well let me tell you! It may not seem like a miracle to you, but allow me to assure you it was!
7:15-20 - So a false teacher could NOT produce fruit...yet we like to attack people who are doing great ministry leading people to Jesus and discipleship, and we call them false prophets
7:24-27 - Storms come to ALL of us, but the question is, "What is your foundation?" And its good to answer that question before the storm comes.
CHAPTER 8 8:4 - Only a priest could determine a person's reintegration into the religious community. Jesus knew that and wanted this man to be reintegrated
8:20 - Homeless Jesus! Where is THAT Christmas card? Where is THAT Christian imagery?
8:23 - The disciples followed him. What kept any members of the crowd from following him? What kept a mass of people from trying to be one of those on the boat with Jesus whom they were all following and listening intently to?
8:29 - I'm always stricken by the fact demons know Jesus so well! I think, possibly, demons KNOW Jesus better than a lot of Christians.
CHAPTER 9 9:2 - Amazing that FAITH is trusting hope in what we cannot SEE and yet Jesus can SEE our FAITH and perceive our thoughts (9:4)
9:4 - Why do you THINK evil in your HEARTS? - I wonder why we've so easily disconnected our brains from our hearts
9:11 - "Why does your teacher eat with...sinners?" I wish people would ask that about me, but alas, I'm often too afraid to eat there. I'm a pastor, for cryin' out loud! Think of the implications!
9:14-15 - Jesus' ministry provides what fasting seeks: communion with God's presence, forgiveness, salvation, guidance
9:18-26 - FAITH says, "If God...then it WILL happen." I am not so sure I have much faith in light of todays reading.
9:35-38 - It seems if it's not one thing its the next for Jesus in these few verses and these three chapters. Jesus is just going, going, going. Sometimes even while he's talking, someone comes to him in need. He is teaching, proclaiming, curing, and healing. He is curing EVERY disease and EVERY sickness.
When it would seem burnout is impending, you read verse 36.
"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them BECAUSE they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Basically he realizes the outrageous amount of hurt, disease and NEED in the human condition.
Then verse 37-38
"The harvest is plentiful" = there are A LOT of hurting people everywhere...always
"Therefore ask the Lord to send laborers" = ASK the Lord in faith and prayer that he would send people to serve the harassed, helpless, and hurting
BEWARE: Don't think you can pray for laborers in order to skirt your responsibility to BE a laborer
Reading through the Gospels in 30 days. If you still want in on it, we are only 2 days in. Thats only 6 chapters to read today to catch up. 3 chapters a day, 4 Gospels, 30 days
* I got this idea from a friend of mine, Justin Wallace, who has done this challenge before and is currently doing it again with us.
I am including my quick reflections here on my blog. Please feel free to include your reflections here as comments for others to read.
CHAPTER 1 1:1-17 - It is always striking how many women are included in Jesus' lineage, but whats more, it is interesting to note that there are whores and other "questionable" characters in that line
1:23 - This is why the Christmas story is so vital and crazy and wonderful. "...and they shall call him Emmanuel, which means God with us." Just take a second and reflect on how HUGE that is! GOD....WITH US!! Here...in flesh...WITH US.
2:3 - The NRSV says that "Herod was frightened and all Jerusalem with him". I knew that Herod gets uber-pissed later, but I never caught that, at first, he was frightened...and so was all Jerusalem
3:2; 4:17 - The Kingdom HAS COME near. We misunderstand this verse gravely when we state that the Kingdom is near or that it is coming near...this is very clearly a past tense statement of a present reality...the Kingdom HAS COME...it is here...going on right now
3:8 - "bear fruit worthy of repentance" (NRSV) - what does that mean do you think?
5:6 - "If you HUNGER and THIRST for righteousness...you will be FILLED" - Could I really define my heart with a HUNGER and a THIRST?
5:11 - "Blessed are you who are persecuted...ON MY ACCOUNT" - NOT because you're an ass
- How would 5:19 compare and come alongside "the least of these"?
5:42 - "Give to EVERYONE...do not refuse ANYONE." - Another instance when Jesus is clearly stark where we like to be muddy and faint...I'm sorry; I mean where...I...like to be muddy and faint.
5:47 - "What more are you doing than others?" - A haunting question I am slow to answer today.
6:2-6, 16,18 - "They will receive their reward...you will receive your reward." They will receive the reward they wanted which was attention, but if we do as Jesus has called us, we will receive our reward as well. The question here is, "What reward do you seek?"
6:11 - "give us this day our DAILY BREAD" - this is to say, give us what we need and not beyond that. We do not seek to hoard and consume more than we actually need.
6:21 - "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be" - At Christmas time, I wonder how much we have connected LOVE to what sort of gift I get/give.
6:33 - If you choose NOT to worry, Jesus gives you an action plan.
WHAT ARE YOUR REFLECTIONS ON Matthew 1-6
LISTENING TO: "Light" by Matisyahu
Studies show that more and more people know less and less about the Bible. Less and less people read Scripture regularly enough to form even an elementary sense of what the Bible contains. Each generation knows less than the one before it, and that is unnecessary. What is more, there are less and less people who have a true and accurate understanding of who Jesus Christ is.
I do not want to be a part of that group.
So I am embarking on a challenge to read through the gospels in 1 month. Would you take the challenge with me and defy the growing statistics of people with little understanding of Scripture and our Jesus?
BEGIN TODAY, DECEMBER 1
3 Chapters, 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), 30 days
Check in here for my reflections and please leave your reflections as comments.
Challenge others to engage with us!