February 10, 2024
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DAY 042: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Today, we continue our study of the life of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus continues to perform many miracles and call out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and other teachers. Jesus rewards great faith and helps His disciples see the truth and what is to come.
Take a moment to ask God to help you understand today’s reading: Matthew 14-16. Now take a few moments to read Matthew 14-16 and contemplate what you have just read. Take some time for personal prayer with God. Let today’s journey 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 14-16: John the Baptist is beheaded by Herod the tetrarch, who comes to (falsely) believe that Jesus is John the Baptist returned to life! Jesus feeds the 5,000* and, after praying, returns to His disciples by walking on water. Simon Peter has a faith failure as he walks toward Jesus on the water. Pharisees and teachers of the law from Jerusalem came to Jesus, accusing the disciples of breaking tradition because they didn’t wash their hands before they ate. Jesus’ teaching on this was simple: what a man puts in his mouth does not defile him, it is what comes out of a man’s mouth that defiles him. Jesus feeds the 4,000.** The Pharisees and Sadducees demand a sign from Jesus of proof of who He is. Jesus replied “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” (See Jonah 1:15-2:10) Jesus is referring to the three days He would be in the tomb. Peter is the first disciple to acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God. The chapter concludes with Jesus predicting His death. (Matthew 14:1-16:28)
Read chapters 14 and 16 and ask yourself these questions: Can you think of a time when your prayer was answered in an unexpected way? What prophesies were fulfilled in today’s reading? Why is it important to recognize the prophecies fulfilled?
*The feeding of the 5,000 took place in Jewish territory. Jeremiah Study Bible footnote Matthew 15:32.
** The feeding of the 4,00 took place in Gentile territory. Jeremiah Study Bible footnote Matthew 15:32.
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