Wednesday, 13 June 2012

An Apology

Ok so I've fallen behind with the blog. Just to encourage you though I am still going with the readings, but I just haven't had the time to blog. Perhaps I was a little over ambitious.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Day 24: Matthew 18

Jesus' followers are to humble themselves like children, forgive each other and treat sin seriously

Jesus followers jockey for position. Jesus sets a child before them, one who has no position or rights, and tells them to be like them. He also tells them to accept people like them. They are to treat each other rightly as well!

The rest of the chapter is taken up by what this will look like They are to fight sin and temptation (no doubt with an eye to Judas and his impending betrayal). They are not to despise each other (after all God has specially rescued them. They are to speak to each other privately and then with someone else before publicly rebuking someone (what they do here will have consequences in eternity so aim to win, not destroy your brother). They are to forgive each other because they have been forgiven as shown emphatically by the parable He tells.

Day 23: Matthew 17

Jesus is God's true Son, greater than Moses or Elijah- listen to Him and trust Him.

Jesus takes some of His disciples up a mountain and they get a glimpse of His glory. This is not the Kingdom of Heaven coming, this is not the end, although Peter seems to think this is permanent. In fact they still haven't grasped that the cross must come before the Kingdom. They haven't grasped that 'Elijah' has come because they didn't expect him to suffer and die either. They don't understand the pattern of the Kingdom. Moses and Elijah appear on the mountain. Two great prophets of Old, but it is of Jesus that God says 'This is my beloved Son'. The application is to listen to Him, which we see the disciples starting to do.

When he comes down the mountain His disciples have been unable to heal someone. The reason given is their lack of faith (in Jesus). Faith here again is highlighted as the crucial ingredient for the disciples, but also what they lack.

The chapter ends with a veiled challenge to Jesus. Does he pay His taxes. Jesus does, in obedience to the earthly authorities, but uses this to teach Peter again that He is the Son of God (and therefore actually exempt from the temple tax).

Apologies for the delay in this and for these next few ones.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Day 22: Matthew 16

Jesus is the Christ who will suffer, but the disciples, who will suffer, don't get it

What a chapter! After Jesus has been making the blind see, the deaf hear, the mute speak, feeding well over 9,000 people with a packed lunch, the Pharisees demand a sign! They don't get another one, those who don't have even what they have will be taken, only Jesus death and resurrection. The disciples still don't understand parables, even though He can't be complaining they don't have enough bread! But they do understand who Jesus is (kind of), but this is revealed to them by God. Their recognition of Him will be the foundation of the church that will storm the gates of Hades, rescuing sinners from the clutches of death- what they do here on Earth will have eternal consequences.

But they don't understand that Jesus must suffer. Jesus even calls Peter Satan as he tempts Jesus with a cross-less Christianity- satanic thinking being the thoughts of men. Jesus goes on to explain its necessity and also the fact they too will carry a cross and suffer and die. The way of discipleship is the way of the cross.