January 27, 2024
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DAY 028: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Wow! There is so much to discover in today’s journey. It is awesome! It is revealing! It is discovering Christ at work in the world through you! Wow! What a journey!
Ask the Lord for His understanding of Matthew 8-10. Read Matthew 8-10. Let’s journey!
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 8-10: Our journey today begins with Jesus healing the leper, healing a Roman centurion’s servant, and, later, healing Mary, Peter’s mother-in-law. These actions (healing, restoring life, and interceding in a spiritual matter) are shaking things up (stirring the pot) moments. The obvious was that Jesus had authority over sickness, the leper; that Jesus aided His enemy, the Centurion’s servant; and that Jesus had authority over spiritual matters, Mary. (The Jewish people of that time believed fever was the sign of a spiritual problem) Jesus, at the very early stages of His ministry, demonstrates to the Jewish leadership that He has authority over ALL! Our journey continues with Jesus’s outreach to the people who the Jewish leadership of the day would have looked down upon. The healing of a paralyzed man caused Jewish leadership to challenge Jesus as a blasphemer. Jesus was displaying He had authority over sin. When Jesus restores the life of a synagogue leader’s daughter, Jesus challenges the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the latter who believed that all life ends at death. Jesus sends out His disciples (sent ones), with instructions on how they were to conduct themselves while out sharing the message. (Matthew 8:1-10:42)
Read chapters 8 through 10 and ask yourself these questions: Who are the people accepting Jesus? What does that tell you? Is something holding you back from fully following the Lord? What is Jesus telling you?
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