Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Matthew's Connections

Well, I talked last time about how I learned that Matthew specifically is the gospel writer that focused on Jesus being the Messiah in fulfillment of prophesy. Once again time has elapsed, but being holy week I find it appropriate to elaborate on the same concept.
In the beginnings of this book Matthew shows that the very way in which Jesus came into this world has been foretold:
1) In how his lineage traces back to David which was prophesied centuries before.
2) In how he will come to us: MT 1:23 : "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means "GOD WITH US"

I have to stop right there for a moment and try my best to conceive that the God of the universe put on human flesh and came here to be with us, to lead us back into relationship with him, pretty amazing.

His coming, The character of Jesus and his Mission were revealed to us centuries before in Isaiah 11: 1-5
1.A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2.The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD -
3.and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4.but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5.Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

A week before his death Jesus rides in to Jerusalem on a Donkey, prophesied in Zechariah 9:13

In Matthew 16:21, 17:22-23, and 20:17-19 Jesus predicts his death and resurrection for the first second and third times to his disciples.

During his last week he predicted Judas' betrayal (MT 26:20) and Peter's denial (MT 26:34)

So all of these scripture references tell us how the birth life and death of Jesus Christ was no coincidence at all, in fact the only time in history where so many events and prophecies all came true.... but more importantly point to one thing [person] that is Jesus.
Why is that so important? Because we're all broken and hurting in some way or another, no matter how hard we try to mask it. Jesus came to make it right. He came to sooth us, he came to show us that we don't have to pretend we're something that we are not, he came to give us perspective that in a crazy world where there is disease and death, and money is never enough and people are critical and jobs are hard to find [insert your stressers here] that none of that matters. He came to free us from all of those worries and give us hope for eternal life.
He came to tell us that he already knows we're not perfect, and he still loves us anyway. You don't have to become a better person to begin a relationship with Jesus. He wants you right now EXACTLY the way you are... and there is freedom in knowing that he already knows your worst thoughts and deeds, he understands why you thought or did those things and he still wants to use you to be a light for his ETERNAL kingdom.
Now that's the kind of Lord I want to bow down to for ever and ever... how bout you?

"Look to the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life" MT 6:26-27

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bible Readiing

Okay, here's the problem about not posting very often... I have too many things to talk about; hence forced to be general in order not to drive my reader(s) crazy!

I'll share a piece of my journey today.... please don't laugh [about how long it's taken me] but I started reading my NIV Bible cover to cover a LONG time ago... and have just these past couple weeks had the joy of diving into Matthew which is the first book of the new testament. Now, if you went back I mean WAY back in my posts you'd probably be able to figure that it has taken me 2 and a half years to get to this point. (reading an average of 5 days a week) However I have been digesting each and every verse, lesson, story along the way, including all of the "life application study notes" [which are great and very helpful].

So I'll share some basic knowledge that I have attained in these past couple weeks...

I Enjoyed the last several books of the OT. They are all written by prophets who had some form of communication with God and were to [and did] deliver the message to the people. The common theme being "To Shake the people of [mainly Jerusalem because they are God's Chosen people] out of their complacency and urge them to return to God" And also to give them hope for a future and deliverance through the Messiah who Christians believe to be Jesus Christ.

I have also learned that the reason or one of the reasons Matthew is the first Gospel (written account of Christ's life) is because the purpose of his teachings was "to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal King" or in other words to prove that Christ's life was a fulfillment of prophesy and promise by God.
This information may be trivial to some and profound to others... In any case, it's something that I learned and found that by reading consecutively its really helping me to make connections that I otherwise would not have.

Hmmm.... There are so many other things that I would like to talk about because I am just drinking this in and enjoying Reading about Jesus's teachings... many or most of which I have read through in random order... what a difference it makes to chew on each piece and reflect. It's helping me to think things though and evaulate my own perspective.

So anyways my intention is to post more often and chat about/brain dump my learnings.

In closure, I want part with a recent finding [like 5 minutes ago]
While writing paragraph 4 of this blogpost, I pulled out my old friend Meriam Webster just to see what he/she had for a definition of Gospel.... interesting that one of the definitions is : "any information which is accepted as unquestionably true."

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