I don't know why, buy I held off reading until today. I'm sure there is some form of significance for it that I'm just yet able to understand. I woke up before the puppies today for the first time ever. I was rather eager to get going and read the good news of the gospel and I am happy to say my day has started off right.
I never understood why Matthew was the first Book in the Bible until today, But the message hit me loud and clear today. In the first few chapters it deal with what was culturally significant at the time. starts out with Blood lines: Abraham to David, David to Exile in Babylon, then Babylon to Jesus. Then it states a few of the things that the Jews would be looking for, such as Jesus's family going to Egypt so that they could say he came out of Egypt and then Joseph moving to Nazarene (Both facts that are insignificant today but would have been what the "in the know" Jew would be looking for).
To me though, this is where it got interesting. I'm sure that everyone has heard about how Jesus's Ministry was only for a very short part of his life, But Matthew in a very short language tells us the bare bones of how Jesus had to prepare for his ministry. First he went out to be baptised by John the Baptist. A simple Gesture that is entirely complex when you think about how and why Jesus didn't need it. Whatever you belief as to why he got baptised the simple fact remains that he did. The second thing that I thought was incredibly intriguing was what happened next. In Chapter 4 Jesus was tempted by the devil. He was told to turn Rocks into Bread, Jump off a building to command angels, and the devil offered him "ruler over all the land he could see". Of course Jesus passed these three tests with flying colors with Witty retorts.
I guess my main take away from today was that Before Jesus could start his ministry on earth he had to endure what I can only assume was awful. Lets face it, often we may believe that the devil is staring us right in the face hidden in whatever adversity we may be faced with, But here Jesus is literally being stared in the face by the devil and being tempted. This is where I read into the pages further today than any other day, correct or not. Before Jesus could do the most important work of his life, he first had to hit the lowest of lows. He needed to be Tempted by the devil himself.
The rest is history, immediately after that Jesus went up and assembled a top notch team of disciples and followers "fishers of men" and went directly into the Sermon on the Mount. This Sermon I personally believe to be one of the more inspiring Speeches in the history of man kind, telling us that it is not the rich and powerful that will truly win out in the end. But truly those humble followers who place others first.
One thing I've always wondered about the Sermon on the Mount is why we as a people (we includes me) leave out the second half. True, the first half is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and the second half is in pesky paragraph format, but it does teach us some important truths about not giving up on marriage except in the case of adultery, controlling your lust (I believe this was personally directed more toward our generation that first century Jews), and controlling anger. Powerful stuff but like it or not it is stuff that is part of the good news of Christ and should be treated as such.
My final take aways from today: today's Scripture was a big deal. I like a lot of people out there, I'm going through a ruff patch financially. we have 3 appliances broken and I am looking at the most real threat of losing my home I have ever faced. The lesson Jesus taught today, was that this is the calm before the storm. Not that things will get worse financially or anything like that, which they might, but that big things are coming in life and my small issues are not important. I heard a good saying the other day: "Don't tell God how big the storm is, tell the storm how big your god is". I can promise that God is bigger than whatever storms we may be facing.
thanks all, and I hope everyone day finds you well.