Reading Thru Matthew
In chapters 1-9 of Matthew we read about the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies in Jesus who is the Christ. Jesus is the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Man, and the Son of God. He came to save His people from their sins; He overcame every temptation of the devil with Scripture; He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven; He healed every kind of disease and sickness among the people; He taught with authority in the Sermon on the Mount about attitudes, influence, righteousness, reconciliation, lust, divorce, sacrifice, love, prayer, forgiveness, priorities, worry, judging, narrow way, warnings, judgment day, and the urgent need to act upon what you hear. Jesus marveled at the great faith of the centurion and praised Him before all. Jesus had compassion on the people because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Many are lost and dying in their sins with few workers. Be a shining light for Christ to not just brighten someone’s day but to help change the lives of others forever through the gospel! If you are weary and heavy laden from the scary news of this crisis we face, learn from Jesus’ example so that you might have rest for our souls.
In Matthew chapters 10-19 Jesus sent out His disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and preach the kingdom of God was near. The disciples were to be as shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves because they were going to be hated by all, persecuted, and families would be divided for confessing Jesus before men. Jesus told them not to fear man but God and realize that losing your life for Christ’s sake is much more valuable and important than denying Him before men and losing your soul. Jesus performed miracles in many cities but he rebuked them because they refused to repent. Jesus taught in parables about the kingdom of heaven to weed out those who were interested in the gospel from those who weren’t. He used parables to teach about reception of the seed into human hearts, sowing the good seed in the field, mustard seed, hidden treasures, pearl of great value, and dragnet. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for invalidating the word of God for the sake of their tradition and said that their worship was in vain for teaching the precepts of man rather than the commandments of God. Jesus promised that He would build His church and His kingdom would be established based upon the fact that He is the Son of God and death would not prevail against that happening. Jesus tells His disciples on many occasions that He would go to Jerusalem, suffer persecution, be killed and raised from the dead on the 3rd day. Peter rebuked Jesus because his mind was on the physical while Jesus wanted His disciples to learn to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. Jesus used a little child to rebuke His prideful disciples to become like them or they wouldn’t go to heaven. Jesus taught about how to handle someone who sins against you, to forgive others as God has forgiven you, and that God has joined together husband and wife for life. There is only one scriptural reason to divorce your spouse and marry another and it is for adultery. Riches will not earn your right to get to heaven but we must be willing to give up all to follow Jesus but we will be blessed with treasures in heaven in the end. What a day of rejoicing that will be!
In Matthew chapters 20-28 the Scriptures mainly focus on the last week of Jesus’ life. Jesus continues to teach in parables about the kingdom of heaven: Laborers in the Vineyard; the Two Sons; the Landowner; the Wedding Feast; the Fig Tree; the Ten Virgins; and the Talents of which His main emphasis is for His disciples to be working in His vineyard; to be alert & ready for His coming back; & the Judgment Day. Jesus has to rebuke His disciples again in their desire for greatness in His kingdom. If you want to be great, you need to learn to serve others from the example of Jesus (who came to serve and give His life a ransom for many). Jesus had to cleanse the temple again just as He had done at the beginning of His ministry for making merchandise of the temple sacrifices. Jesus exposed the Pharisees as hypocrites before all who were going to persecute, kill and crucify His messengers. They would reap the evil they had sown in the destruction of Jerusalem along with the unbelieving Jews in which Jesus gave many signs for His disciples to escape the coming judgment. Jesus established the Lord’s supper; Peter denied the Lord three times as prophesied; Judas committed suicide after betraying Jesus; the crowd asked Pilate to release the murderer Barabbas, and for Jesus to be crucified in spite of Pilate’s desire to set Him free. Jesus is scourged, crucified on the cross, and is raised from the dead on the 3rd day just as He has said. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God having all authority in heaven and on earth and tells His disciples to make disciples of all the nations by baptizing them and observing all that the Lord had commanded. May God help us to do the same!