February 3, 2024
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DAY 035: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Today, our journey continues through the book of Matthew. Our journey is beginning to reveal that the law is not a way to righteousness and, in fact, was used as a means of justification: self-justification. Our journey has revealed that the law’s purpose is to identify sin and not to save from sin. Our journey has revealed that justification by faith is the only acceptable avenue to righteousness that God acknowledges.
Take some time to pray about today’s journey, Matthew 11-13. Pray, asking God to help you understand the true meaning of His intended meaning, Read Matthew 11-13. 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 11-13: John the Baptist sought, through his disciples, clarification on who Jesus was. John the Baptist and Jesus stirred up the hierarchy of the Jewish religious leadership, by John the Baptist’s preaching the Messiah is coming and Jesus preaching that He, in fact, was the long-awaited Messiah. It seems that the only issue considered, by their opponents, was what it would cost in status and position. Jesus is a healer and, more importantly to the Jewish establishment, He is Lord of the Sabbath. Jewish leadership found fault, in the form of breaking a Sabbath law, with everything Jesus and His disciples did on the Sabbath. They measured Jesus using a standard that assumed accepting Him as Lord and Savior meant loss to them. It is a finite measuring system. An infinite measuring system would measure a relationship with Jesus by what would be gained: eternal life and joy with the Creator of all. Jesus begins teaching in parables, stories that lend themselves to a greater meaning than the obvious facts of the story depict. The parables told in chapter 13 depict two principle themes: one is the way a person lives his life ultimately determines that person’s eternal destination. The second is about the separation of sinners from the righteous when Jesus returns to reign over His eternal Kingdom. (Matthew 11:1-13:58)
Read chapters 11 through 13 and consider the following: Jesus was not the expected Messiah by many. Why? Consider your idea of Jesus, does it align with the Jesus in the Bible? What prophesies did Jesus fulfill? Why is it important to recognize the prophecies fulfilled?
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