O, New Testament.....how I'm loving reading you!!!
Let's get started and learn a bit about Matthew!
~~~His name means gift of Jehovah
~~~He was a tax collector....and Jewish people despised tax collectors
~~~He demonstrated that Jesus of Nazareth is the long awaited Messiah, the King of Israel, who fulfills the Old Testament promises
Chapter 1 reveals the ancestry of Jesus who was a descendant of King David and of Abraham....which all led up to Joseph, Jesus' earthly father.
Mary was "espoused" (engaged) to be married to Joseph. Before the marriage...while she was still a virgin...she became pregnant thru the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was going to break off the engagement, but an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and advised him to marry Mary.
Matthew 1:21 - And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
I got so excited when I came upon the very first RED words....words that Jesus spoke!!!
Matthew 3:15 - But Jesus said, "It should be done for we must carry out all that God requires."
Jesus spoke these words because John the Baptist was reluctant to baptize Him....saying that he wasn't worthy.
Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights and He was hungry. The devil came to tempt Him at his weakest point....which is exactly how he does us today, too. I've always thought it was so hilarious that the devil told Jesus that he...the devil...would give Him all the kingdoms in the world if He would bow down and worship him....when it wasn't his to give in the first place!!! But...if you think about it....it's just the same as some of the crazy things that the devil does to try to get us to sin today!!! Jesus reply to the devil was, "Get out of here, Satan." And, angels came and took care of Jesus. Do you ever wonder how often God sends His angels to take care of us, too....even when we aren't aware of it?!?
Jesus began to preach.
Matthew 4:17 - "Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near."
Simon and Andrew were brothers....and they were also fishermen. Jesus told them to come and follow Him and He would show them how to fish for people. (our pastor told us that Jesus met them on their level....something they could understand....fishing)
Jesus then called, the brothers, James and John....and they left their boat and their father to follow Jesus.
Crowds of people followed Jesus as He healed every kind of disease and illness. In Chapter 5, Jesus gave what is known as "The Sermon on the Mount". You can click here for more info, so that I won't have to type so much...;)
Part of The Sermon on the Mount included the Beatitudes.
I really like this about giving to the needy....
Don't do good deeds publicly to be admired by others - don't brag about what you do. Give your gifts in private and our Father who sees EVERYTHING....will reward you.
Like this verse a lot....
Matthew 6:21 - Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
This is part of Jesus' teaching about worry!
Wonder why it spoke to me....
Matthew 6:26- 28 - Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing.
Matthew 6:30b - "Why do you have so little faith"?
Matthew 34 - "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."
Matthew 7:3 - "And why worry about a speck in your friend 's eye when you have a log in your own."
Matthew 7:12 - "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and prophets."
Religious leaders began to question Jesus' healing, calling it blasphemy...and asking if He thought He was God. What an understatement!!!
In Matthew 9:9.....Matthew was called as Jesus' disciple.
The woman who had suffered for 12 years with constant bleeding came up to Jesus, touching the fringe of His robe. She was ceremonially unclean because of her bleeding....and made whoever she touched unclean, also....but, by touching Jesus, she was made clean!!
Jesus chose His twelve disciples....
Simon (also called Peter)
Andrew (Peter's brother)
James and John - brothers and sons of Zebedee
James (son of Alphaeus)
Simon (the zealot)
Jesus sent out the 12 disciples with instructions....
Matthew 10:14 - If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave.
Matthew 10:20 - "For it is not you who will be speaking, it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."
Love this verse....
Matthew 10:30 - And the very hairs of your head are all numbered!!!
When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, the Pharisees accused Him of working...so they called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus. The Pharisees were more concerned about rules than human need.
Matthew 13:57 - "A prophet is honored everywhere except in His own hometown and among his own family."
John the Baptist was beheaded at the request of Herodias
Jesus went away to the hills to be by himself and pray while his disciples got into the boat. A storm came up and the disciples were in trouble. In the early morning, Jesus came toward them, walking on the water and the disciples were scared. Jesus told them it was Him....then, Peter wanted to walk to Jesus on the water, too. So, he got out of the boat and walked toward Jesus...but he started to sink as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus and onto the storm.
Same for us today....we can't keep our heads above water unless our focus is on HIM!!!
Matthew 15:7 - "It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth."
Again....Jesus fed a crowd of 4,000 men, in addition to the women and children....with 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish....with 7 large baskets left over.
Matthew 16:26 - "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world, but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?"
Well, precious followers....that sums up my recap for this week's reading. Next week, we'll finish up Matthew and head into Mark!!!
In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!
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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.