February 20, 2021, DAY 49: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR: Matthew 17-19

February 20, 2021

MATTHEW 17-19
DAY 49: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

As we continue our journey through the Gospel of Matthew, we continue to study Jesus’ teachings, all of which remain applicable today and forever more.

Take a moment to pray for God’s understanding of His Word for our journey. Today our journey take us through the Gospel of Matthew chapter’s 17-19. Are you ready? Let’s begin!

The Gospel of Matthew appears to have been written with Jews as the intended recipients. It contains many references to Old Testament prophecies, linking them to Jesus and demonstrating that Jesus was the awaited, prophesied Messiah. During the time of today’s reading, Rome was under a time of change, adjusting to the rule of an Emperor instead of being ruled by the Senate. Julius Caesar had been killed in 44 BC, plunging Rome into civil wars, civil unrest, and civil lawlessness. Julius’ nephew, Gaius Octavian, who later became Caesar Augustus, consolidated his power and became the first Emperor of Rome in 27 BC, and remained in power until his death in AD 14. Upon the death of Augustus, Tiberius became Emperor. King Herod, ruling Judah as a client king for Rome, was near the end of his life at the time Jesus was born. Herod died between 4 and 1 BC, after which, his sons divided the region.

Matthew 17-19: Our journey today begins with Jesus’ Transfiguration on top of a high mountain, witnessed by Peter, James, and John. The Transfiguration is God confirming and acknowledging Jesus as Lord and God. After coming down from the mountain, Jesus heals a demon possessed boy whom His disciples could not heal. Jesus told His disciples they couldn’t heal the boy because they had “so little faith.” This is sobering. Jesus is talking to His disciples. This gives us something to think about. Jesus predicts His death and being restored to life. His disciples are confused. Jesus tells Peter to pay the temple tax. When the disciples question who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus instructs them (and us!) to become like children, placing unwavering faith in our Heavenly Father. Jesus warns of the consequence that will be faced by anyone who causes a person to forsake Him. Think about the number of interactions with people we encounter every day: scary verses! The Parable of The Wondering Sheep concerns followers of God who wander away from their faith. Jesus compares God’s love for a straying believer to that of a man who had a sheep wonder off. He rejoices when He finds him. Jesus continues with instruction for dealing with sin in the church. Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees regarding divorce. Consider Jesus’ response and compare it to how divorce is viewed and used in the world today. Jesus shows His love for little children, confirming that bringing little children up in the way of the Lord is a parental obligation. Our reading today concludes with the story of the rich and Heaven. (Matthew 17:1-19:30)

Read chapters 17 through 19 and ask yourself these questions: What prophesies were fulfilled in todays reading? Why is it important to recognize the prophesies fulfilled? How is your faith? Is there something on which you need to work?

Godspeace!

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