The Book of Matthew Part 4

Dearest Road Mappers,

 

I hope you all are enjoying your Fall and getting excited to head into the holidays!

 

Welcome back!

(Photo taken by Isaac Taleno)

(Photo taken by Isaac Taleno)


This blog we will talk about the last two books of Matthew and the next blog we will close this book and begin......Acts!


The next two books focus on Church Administration(14-18) and The Judgment(19-25).


These last two books focus on Peter's great confession, the transfiguration, the third prediction of death, the way to Jerusalem, and the last great conversation.


THE TEXT:

Matthew 14-16

CRISIS APPROACHES


The 5,000: 14

After the death of John by Herod , Jesus began a series of withdrawals from Galilee.

We see this in 14:13, 22; 15:21, 29, 39; 16:4-5, 13.

In one of these instances Jesus fed the 5,000. The act of “taking” the bread, “giving thanks,” “breaking” it, and “giving” it creates somewhat of a hint or a prelude to the last supper.


Let's address something that's mentioned in 14:13, “little faith.”

While many have now used this to define faith as something to be quantitative, it's actually unlikely that this would be the meaning of the expression. In Mark's gospel when he tells the same story he doesn't use the phrase “little faith,”  but he asks, “Why do you not have faith?”(Mark 4:40) Likewise with Luke in his gospel asks, “Where is your faith?” It's more likely that the expression of “little” or “great” faith are metaphors for the presence or absence of faith.


Purity & Purity Laws: 15

Jesus already reversed the contamination of impurity in some of the healings by contact with lepers, blood, and death:

  • Leper 8:2-3
  • Woman with hemorrhage 9:20
  • Dead girl 9:25

But here in chapter 15 Jesus addresses the purity laws in responding to a question he was asked about the ceremonial laws of washing of hands:

  • He points out that the practice of washing hands was not written in the Torah but only in the Halakah(oral law).
  • Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of all this legalism with the questions and accusations.
  • He makes clear that true purity comes from the heart: 15:10-11, 16-20


Peter's Great Confession: 16:13-20

Jesus asks, “Who do you think I am?”

  • Peter was the one offered the confession that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God
  • Then Jesus gives a pun on Peter's name:
    • In Greek, Petros or Petra, means rock.
    • Jesus says, “upon this petra” he would build his community
  • When he speaks about the “gates of Hades” he is making a metonymy referring to the realm of death. For example: even death would not overcome Christ's church.


Matthew 17-20

FINAL WITHDRAWAL FROM GALILEE


The Transfiguration: 17:1-13

The transfiguration is something that is widely misunderstood or just not understood in general, so let's take a good deep look at it:

  • Neither Moses nor Elijah ended their lives in ordinary ways
  • Moses was 'buried' by God himself at Mt. Nebo/Pigsah(Deuteronomy 34:1, 5-6)
  • Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind of fire in 2 Kings 2:11
  • Together, Moses and Elijah represent the witness of The Law and witness of the prophets

When the three are together on the mountain- Moses, Elijah, and Jesus- the disciples saw them, then God spoke and a cloud appeared, and they fell to their faces. After Jesus told them to get up and have no fear, Moses and Elijah were gone. When the three were together in the cloud it was The Law, the prophets, and the fulfillment. When Jesus walks about alone it represents him fulfilling The Law and all that was prophesied.


LINKING THE THREE EVENTS:

  • Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ
  • Peter's confession is reshaped by Jesus' announcement that he will die in Jerusalem
  • The experience of Jesus' future glory confirms the triumphant outcome


John the Baptist fulfills the prediction of the coming of Elijah

  • “See I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.” Malachi 4:5
  • Though John himself disclaimed his role as Elijah(John 1:21), Jesus indicated that he fulfilled the prediction of Malachi(Matthew 10-13 and Luke 1:17)


The Third Prediction of Death: 20:17-28

In addition to his suffering from the Jewish leaders the second prediction adds that he would be 'delivered up' or betrayed. Now, Jesus adds that he will be turned over to the Gentiles, mocked, and crucified. Though earlier Jesus had used the cross as a metaphor for discipleship(16:24), now he indicates that his death will actually be by crucifixion. Thus, the 'cup' then becomes a metaphor for his suffering, and his death will become a substantial payment(or ransom) for others.


Matthew 21-22

ON TO JERUSALEM


Triumphant entry: 21:1-17

Riding on a donkey was a symbol of peace. Jesus arrived in Jerusalem with people chanting Hoshia-na! Which means Save Now! And soon after his arrival Jesus drove out the money exchangers who turned the Temple Courts into a market.


Three parables about whom God accepts 21:28-22:14

  • The parable of the two sons validates John the Baptist’s ministry. It wasn't those who claimed acceptance, but those who did God’s will that were accepted.
  • The parable of the vineyard farmers uses the known imagery of Israel as God’s vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7). Here, the story of the rejected son moves to the rejected stone and the loss of a privileged status for the Jewish nation.
  • The parable of the wedding banquet shows that anyone may come; however, all who come must come in an appropriate manner.


Controversies in Jerusalem

Various groups now challenged Jesus, hoping to entrap him and diminish his reputation among the people. Controversies of the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Scribes tested him publicly. These controversies led to the last great conversation, the conversation about the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders and the fall of the temple.


Paying tax to Caesar 22:15-22

The question asked is a lose-lose situation....'is it lawful to pay tax to Caesar'

Here's why: if he supported the tax, he would lose popular support and if he objected, he could be reported as a resister.


Marriage in the Resurrection 22:23-33

The Sadducees question probably came out of an ongoing debate with the Pharisees over the idea of the resurrection(a question intended to discredit the reality of resurrection). Jesus' answer was double-edged. Not only did the Sadducees limit God's power to create new conditions, he also said that 'in the resurrection' those resurrected would be 'like the angels.' Jesus' quotation of Exodus 3:6 is in the present tense, indicating that God could hardly be the God of those who ceased to exist.


The Great Commandment 22:34-40

The difference between the greatest commandment and the Torah was simple: the Torah had 613 commandments and Jesus had one.


Who is David's Lord? 22:41-45

All agreed the messiah would be a descendant of David. There are three figures in view in Psalm 110, Yahweh (LORD), Adonai (my Lord), and David (the author of the Psalm). Jesus seemed to know his opponents would agree that Adonai in Psalm 110:1 referred to the Messiah.


Matthew 23-25

THE LAST GREAT CONVERSATION


The Seven Woes

These “woes” use language that actually be received as curses.

Here they are:

…for preventing people from coming near to God 23:13

…for winning converts to a distorted religion 23:15

…for using a hierarchy of oath-formulas to evade the truth 23:16

…for nit-picking tithing practices while ignoring justice, mercy and faithfulness 23:23

…for the outward show of holiness but inward corruption 23:25

…for exalting external religion for appearances while harboring internal wickedness 23:27

…for extolling past prophets while murdering present ones 23:29

Each woe begins with a hypocrisy.


Jesus gives a conversation about the temple and addresses three things

  1. The destruction of the temple 24:1-2
  2. The “coming” of the Son of Man 24:3, 27, 30, 37, 39, 42, 44, 50
  3. The “end” and the question we ask is, does this “end” refer to the end of the temple or the end of the age? Most agree Jesus was referring the end of the temple

When reading Matthew24 and 25 the question is....is there a transition? No doubt Jesus starts with the temple, but where does he go from there?

What conclusions can we draw?


Next we will move on to the Passion of Christ, not the movie!

Let's take the next days to read the end of Matthew a few times. Yes, a few times. Read chapters 26 and 27 a few times over to have a fresh and ready look into how deep we will go.

It will get more heavy, the weight of his glory that is.


Let's be ready and praise Jesus!


One encouragement for this week is this:

“Whatever happens, never stop praising the Lord.”


I heard it once from a friend, and it has stuck with me for years.


God bless you my sweet Road Mappers,

Much love

Megh

xo

The Book of Matthew Chapters Part 3

Dear Road Mappers,

 

Hello sweet loved ones. Thanks for your patience, it's been some crazy weeks on the other side of the world here! But nevertheless, let's get at it.

 

We've been going deeper into the gospel of Matthew and this week we will continue that! To begin let's read Matthew 11-13, this will take us through the third and fourth books of Matthew.

 

Going into the third book of Matthew: Hidden Revelation we will look at a few parables, healing on the Sabbath, and the conflict of John the Baptist.


THE TEXT


Matthew 11-13

TEACHING, CONTROVERSY, AND PARABLES


Controversy: chapter 11

The first controversy was between Jesus and John's disciples in 11:2-24. John the Baptist had been imprisoned by Herod because he rebuked Herod for violating the Torah(The Law, the first five books of Moses, Genesis-Deuteronomy) by marrying his sister-in-law. The advice Jesus gave John in 11:4-6, “...tell John what you see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” suggests that John must be content without a miracle of deliverance from prison.


A large part of understanding this gospel is understanding the four major Jewish sects:

  1. Pharisees:
  • Middle-class separatists
  • Lay theologians
  • The Pharisees upheld both the Oral and the Written Torah
  • They were closely allied with the scribes(the copiers of the spoken words of people)
  • And they were linked with the synagogues
  1. Essenes:
  • They set high value on apocalyptic literature
  • Thought that the priesthood was corrupt and saw themselves as the true Israel in exile
  1. Sadducees:
  • Upper-class and mostly priests
  • They upheld the importance and all in all supremacy of the written Torah
  • They were the primary influence on the Sanhedrin(the ancient Jewish court system, an assembly of men) and the second temple
  • They didn't believe in the resurrection and angels
  1. Zealots:
  • They were known as 'Freedom-Fighters'
  • They upheld the Maccabean idealism
  • They stood against and opposed Rome in an act of respect and obedience to the Torah, or “Zeal for the Torah”
  • A main part in the first and second Jewish revolts


Controversy: 12:1-14

In the beginning of chapter 12, we see controversy of Jesus healing on the Sabbath, before getting weary or frustrated why people would get mad at Jesus for healing on the Sabbath we must gain a better understanding of what the Sabbath meant to the original readers of Matthew.


The heart of the Sabbath:

  • The Torah(written law)
    • The five books of Moses
    • The Torah was the oldest and the most sacred part of the Holy Scriptures
    • When Jesus says, 'it is written' he is referring to The Torah(for example: 4:4, 7, 10 and many more scriptures)
  • The Halakah(oral tradition)
    • Halakah was derived from the Hebrew word for “to walk”
    • The Halakah was believed to be from God but not included in The Torah
    • The Sabbath regulations and rules typically fell into this category rather than The Torah itself


With this being said, Jesus fully supported The Torah, but he rejected the Halakah and counted it as non-binding human tradition, and not of The Torah. 

  • Jesus defended his disciples' breaking the Halakah by referring to irregularities of David and the priests(12:3-5; 1 Samuel 21:3-6, Numbers 28:9-10)
  • Jesus appealed to the prophet Hosea, saying that God desired mercy and not tradition or ritual(12:7; Hosea 6:6)
  • He gave himself the very distinguished title of “Lord of The Sabbath”(12:8)
  • Jesus then declared it was lawful to “do good” on the Sabbath(12:12)


Jesus the Servant: 12:15-21


Matthew refers to a passage in Isaiah 42:1-4 here, speaking of one of the fulfillment’s of Jesus in a paraphrase. In Isaiah the Servant is at both times: “the whole” and “the one.” This was a big deal in Judaism, the relationship between the Servant and the Messiah: because both are seen to have the role of restoring broken relationships between Israel and God(Isaiah 49:5-6). However, we see in Isaiah that the suffering of Servant was not linked to atonement sufferings of the Messiah. Jesus and the disciples had to make this link clear to people. We have two persons to compare:


The Servant

The Messiah

Suffering

Kingly

Sin-bearing

Reigning in Power

Anointed

Son of God

Universal Savior

National Savior


The people had two different ideas of people: a Servant and a Messiah. One point that needed to be made was that these two were to be one: The Servant Messiah. To open the eyes of the people to see that Jesus was indeed both.


Controversy: 12:22-50


Here the controversy about Beelzebul brings up questions about the unforgivable sin: blaspheming the Holy Spirit(12:30-32). This is the act of rejecting the source of forgiveness while willingly and knowingly hardening your own heart toward God.


The “sign of Jonah” brought up a question about sign-seeking as not good enough ground for true faith(12:38-39).


When Jesus' family attempted to remove him it raised the question of natural(physical) ties versus spiritual ties(12:46-50).


Parables: 13


The seven parables in this chapter have a focus on the kingdom and what God's rule will look like. Jesus taught that God's reign will look extremely different that what was commonly expected and popular among the people.


  • Rather than in an apocalyptic burst, the kingdom will come gradually (Mustard Seed and Yeast)
  • It will involve personal choice (Sower) and deep commitment (Hidden Treasure and Pearl)
  • In the end, God would separate out of his kingdom those who do not belong (Weeds and Dragnet)


Some of these parables are even explained in the chapter as well, but the main point to remember is the kingdom to come and what it will actually look like. Jesus gives us an idea here.


That's it as far as the text goes this week.

Take your journal, write notes, write pictures God gives you, and ask questions.


Soon we will come to more practical ways to apply this to our lives!

Have any ideas already?

Share them! With me, with your friends, your family, or 29:11!


We always want to live out what we learn of God.


I pray that new revelations of Him will come up this week, for each and every one of you.


Much love and blessing,

All the glory to Him,

Forever and ever,

Amen

Megh

xx

The Book of Matthew Part 2

My sweet Desert Road Mappers!

This week I first want to open up and ask how the last week went?

There is a comment section at the end of every blog! Feel free to leave questions!

For those who want to ask maybe deeper, bigger questions, feel free to email me at meghaugust@gmail.com anytime.

Let's get into more of Matthew then...

Last week we started with the first book of Matthew, all about discipleship. There were stories of John the Baptist, Jesus being tempted, the sermon on the mount, Jesus being baptized, and about the Torah and Jesus' purpose.

This week we will dive into the second book of Matthew, Apostleship. Now, keep in mind the book itself is not divided into these separate 'books,' but these are well accepted divisions of the book among many scholars.

The second book on Apostleship is from Matthew chapters 8-10 and these chapters focus on the early ministry of Jesus.

THE TEXT:

Matthew 8-9

THE TEN MIRACLES:

Something that we should keep in mind with this section is the idea of ritual impurity. What is ritual impurity? I'm referring to what is considered impure by The Law, which is what the Jew's would know and practice. As Matthew was written first and foremost for Jews, we need to consider their understanding to better understand what is being said in this gospel.

So, the issue of ritual impurity is caused by various sorts of contact which would ban someone from temple worship. Typically, Jews would avoid such contact in any way as to not be banned from the temple. Another topic we should be aware of in the next chapters is the language used by Matthew concerning demonic issues. There are two Greek words used which mean to be “possessed” by a demon and to have an evil spirit. In this gospel Matthew uses the term that refers to being “possessed.” The verbiage that Matthew uses in reference to the demonic powers is three Greek words that mean: to drive out, to enter, and to come out.

Be sure to keep this information in mind when studying the 10 miracles!

These two chapters tell stories of ten miracles. Let's talk a bit about each one:

1.     The Leper Healed-

Jesus touches this man, when no one else would because he is ritually impure. Why is this significant? Instead of the uncleanness being transferred to Jesus as it normally would, the sanctity and holiness and cleanliness of Jesus transferred to the leper (8:14).

In one way this expresses that Jesus is truly divine, because in the Old Testament only God is perfectly holy in Himself, anything else that is holy is only because it is in the presence of God. That holiness couldn't transfer. Anywhere God manifests himself, that place becomes holy because he is fully holy, which is why in the Tabernacle it is called The Most Holy Place: because God is there.

1.     Roman Officer's Servant Healed-

When Jesus offered to go with the Roman officer to his home (8:7), Jesus became vulnerable to ritual impurity from contact with Pagans (John 1:28).

1.     Peter's Mother-In-Law Healed

2.     The Calming of The Storm

3.     Two Demon-Possessed People in Gadara Healed

4.     Healing of Paralyzed Man

5.     Synagogue Ruler's Daughter Raised from The Dead-

When Jesus touched the dead girl (9:25), he reversed the ritual uncleanness of contact with a dead corpse by raising her to life.

For references about these laws, refer to the books of Leviticus 19:14 and Numbers 19.

1.     Woman With Bleeding Hemorrhage Healed-

In Jesus' robe being touched by the woman, the ritual uncleanness of contact with blood was reversed by Jesus' act of healing (9:20-22).

References to The Law can be found in Leviticus 15:25-27, 31.

1.     Two Blind Men Healed

2.     The Demon-Possessed Deaf Mute Healed

All of these miracles point to Jesus being, and having, the full power of God. As we read in these chapters, ritual impurity was sincerely important to the Jews in the time of Jesus.

Matthew 10

THE TWELVE:

10:1-4

The number “12” seems to have been a deliberate play on the original 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus chose 12 men:

1.     Simon- also known as Peter.

2.     Andrew- who was the brother of Simon.

3.     James- was the first apostle martyr.

4.     John- was the brother of James and the two were referred to as Sons of Thunder.

5.     Philip

6.     Bartholomew- we assume he was the same as Nathanael.

7.     Thomas- also known as Didymas.

8.     Matthew- also known as Levi.

9.     James Bar Alphaues- sometimes called James the Less.

10.  Simon

11.  Thaddaeus

12.  Judas Iscariot- treasurer who betrayed Jesus.

THE SECOND GREAT DISCOURSE:

10:5-42

This section focuses on the Twelve's mission in Galilee. Some thought that what Jesus said to the disciples, about going into Galilee, was training for going into the nations later. If Jesus was preparing them for the missions work in the church, it would make sense why he said some of the things on their journey. So this discourse became somewhat of a double reference: something for now and something for later.

This week has much detail and information about specific people and experiences, but it is certainly important.

In this next seven days, take some time in prayer and see what God has to say about what he wants you to learn from some of this.

But let's take a minute and look at the calling of the twelve. What is significant about this?

Jesus called the twelve and sent them out, preparing them to spread the gospel and warning them of persecution for it. One of his main points Jesus makes is that all things are under control, even when it's all out of control.

What can this mean for us? Do we feel like life is spinning out of control sometimes? Do you feel like you don't have a hold on things?

Take out your journal you've been keeping for the study, and write down some areas you feel you have lost control in your life. Maybe you're feeling this in the sense of relationships or at work, perhaps in your ministry or in your daily busy life. Make a list and spend some time in prayer, giving these things to God and asking him to take control or bring you peace.

We must remember, God has us in his hands and has control of all things, even our crazy hearts.

Be blessed this week.

In all hope and love and prayer,

Megh

xo


The Book of Matthew

Dearest Road Mappers! Ready to continue into our newest road trip?!

Over this past week we should have read the first seven chapters of Matthew, doing so will take us deeper into this first section of the gospel.

If you haven't seen last weeks blog, be sure to scroll down and read some of the background given for the book of Matthew.

The book of Matthew was taught in my School of Biblical Studies by Dan Lewis, a now retired theological professor from the University of Michigan.

Picture by Dillon Clinton

Picture by Dillon Clinton

THE TEXT:

Matthew 1-2

The first two chapters tell the birth story in narrative form.

The beginning of chapter one focuses on the genealogy of Jesus. In v 6 we see that David is in the line of genealogy of Jesus, the talk of the line of David is important because the prophet Nathan says that the line of David as kind will never end. From the evidence that this book was written to a mainly Jewish only audience we can assume that the original reader would know this prophecy as it is widely known in Jewish culture. It being written that Jesus is a descendant of David shows that Jesus was a legitimate king of Israel.

One of the major focuses we will study in Matthew is the fulfillment of Jesus. It begins right in chapter two, v 15 there is a quote, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When God says this about Jesus, he shows that Jesus fulfills all that Israel was supposed to be, but never was.

  • This shows when Israel was taken out of Egypt, Jesus also taken out of Egypt
  • Israel passes through the Red Sea, Jesus passes through the Jordan
  • Israel and Jesus both pass through the desert and are tempted
  • Both Israel and Jesus are servants YHWH(Yahweh)
  • Jesus suffered exile on the cross, Israel suffered exile when they were taken by Assyria in 722 BC

Jesus went through everything Israel did, but he didn't fail.

These next chapters take us into the first book in Matthew.

Book One: Discipleship.

Matthew 3-4

JOHN THE BAPTIST:

These two chapters tell the stories of John the Baptist, Jesus' baptism, and Jesus' temptation in the desert.

So, a little about John. Baptism was already a part of the ritual before entering the temple precincts, ritual purification baptisms were well-known. John's baptisms were not directly linked to any of these known baptismal practices, but instead was directed towards general “confession of sins,” which in turn implied that the people of Israel were alienated from God.

John is VERY CLEAR in his text: do not depend on your Jewish genealogy.

He tells them not to say, “I'm all good because I'm a son of Abraham.” But God says: “I can make sons of Abraham out of the rocks of the sea.” What this did was it showed the Jews that they needed salvation, they weren't saved by their genealogy.

People came to hear John because he said 'the kingdom of God is near' and everyone believed John to be a prophet.

So, John preaches the time is near and about the one who comes after him will bear the spirit and is the spirit(it's not the thought of the king and spirit being one, but that when one comes, the other will also). However, it was the idea that the Messiah himself would be the bearer of the spirit. Because Messiah means anointed one: so he is the one who bears the spirit and is able to give the spirit.

JESUS' BAPTISM:

As John is preaching, Jesus comes to be baptized. Jesus' explanation 'to fulfill all righteousness' probably focuses on Jesus' life of obedience.

Why does Jesus come to be baptized? It is NOT because he is repenting, but because he is fulfilling the righteousness. He is the Son of God, and like God's children he passes through the waters.

This is the Red Sea v the Jordan.

The descent of the dove on Jesus and the heavenly voice in 3:16-17 have long been understood to be the manifestations of Holy Trinity all at the same time

Why does it show righteousness when he is baptized? It fulfills a righteous pattern that ancient Israel was supposed to be God's son, but Israel failed terribly so now there is a righteous son, who is fully obedient.

JESUS TEMPTED:

To help us understand why Jesus was tempted, we need to remember that Jesus is living out the story of Israel. After Israel passed through the sea, they passed through the desert and were tempted.

After Jesus passed through the waters(baptism), he is lead to the desert to be tempted just like the ancient son(Israel)....

WITH ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE: Israel failed miserably, but Jesus God's obedient son is perfect in obedience.

Matthew continues to refer to Jesus as the true Israel.

The 40 days Jesus spends in the desert matches the 40 years Israel spent in the desert of Sinai, even though Satan is the tempter, it is God who leads Jesus into the desert.

In a sense, everything that ancient Israel experiences: so does Jesus.

A few things about Jesus to keep in mind about Jesus:

  • Jesus preached, “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (4:17)
  • There are three focal points of the gospels
    • Jesus' mighty acts
    • Jesus' sayings
    • Jesus' passion
  • When people call Jesus 'lord' it doesn't necessarily mean they are believers, but it is a Greek way of saying 'sir.'
  • As far as, what did Jesus look like?
    • If you were a Roman, you had buzzed hair.
    • If you were Jewish, you had shoulder length hair.
    • If you were gay, you had really long hair.
    • Most Jewish men had beards.
  • In the 21st century as we are obsessed with all things visual, we have to remember it is not an essential part of the character of Jesus.

Matthew 5-7

SERMON ON THE MOUNT:

There are four ways to understand the sermon on the mount:

  1. Perfectionism: you must do all this in order to be saved.
  2. Impossible Ideal: you ought to have done all this- see what poor creatures you are.
  3. Interim Ethic: pull yourselves together, the world will end soon.
  4. Living Faith: you are forgiven, so live a new life out of thankfulness.

All of the Beatitudes seem to come across as going against Jewish ideas. The poor were not merely the economic poor or the powerless poor, but those who understood their own spiritual bankruptcy.

The mourners were those to whom the evil of the times was a continual grief. The way of meekness and mercy contrasts with the way of power.

Internal purity and peace, not armed resistance, was the way to demonstrate that someone was God's child.

JESUS AND THE TORAH:

What is the Torah?

The Torah is the first five books of The Bible

  1. Genesis
  2. Exodus
  3. Leviticus
  4. Numbers
  5. Deuteronomy

These books contain the stories of creation, the flood, the first covenant with Abraham, the exodus from Egypt, Moses, the tabernacle, the law, the sacrificial laws, and much more.

Jesus declared that he was not overturning the Torah nor the prophets, rather his mission was to see the Torah and prophets fulfilled out to their full meaning.

The first book here in Matthew focuses on discipleship and Jesus.

For next weeks blog, read Matthew chapters 8-10 and we will come back with a blog on Book Two: Apostleship. I'm excited!

Keep that journal close to you and write notes and questions, and comment your questions here!

 

Much love and blessings,

I am praying for you all every week.

 

xo

Megh

2 Timothy Part 2...

Alright Road Mappers, let's get into it!

First, I want to say sorry for the delay! Some technical difficulties and busyness got in the way.

So …onto the Bible!

We've read through 2 Timothy; now let's get a bit deeper into the text.

THE TEXT:

2 Timothy 1:1-18

Paul begins his final letter, first reminding Timothy of his calling, his gift, and his faith to the gospel. Paul opens the letter with reminding Timothy of his calling, which we will see through the entire letter. In 1:9 we see a contrast of Paul saying that his holy calling is not because of his works, but because of God's purpose and grace. Paul here reminds Timothy that it's not because of anything he has done, or will do- but it is God's purpose and grace for Timothy to know him, and continue to build the church and spread the gospel.

2 Timothy 21-26

This chapter is all about loyalty to Christ. Paul urges Timothy to remember Jesus because “the Lord knows those who are his.” (2Tim 2:19) Let’s take a look at this quote.  Paul reminds Timothy that he is the Lord's and that the Lord knows him. This is significant because it is clear from Paul's words that Timothy is discouraged and needs to hear these things to continue on. In the beginning of this chapter, Paul uses a metaphor of a hard-working farmer. He uses this metaphor of the hard-working farmer that gets the first share of the crops to encourage Timothy to keep being a hard worker for the gospel and he will see the first fruits in Ephesus and elsewhere.

This is key… especially in the church as pastors or leaders: keep on keeping on being the hard-working farmers for the gospel to see the fruits! To see people's lives changed!

2 Timothy 3:1-17

In chapter three we have a warning and reminder. The warning is for the people at the end times and a reminder to Timothy of his knowledge and beliefs. The chapter begins with a list warns Timothy about the people who will be walking in godlessness. Beyond a list of warnings, Paul tells him how their end will be. In v14, Paul gives Timothy a command, “continue in what you have learned and firmly believed.” This is for Timothy to be encouraged that the gospel is worth all suffering and Timothy has fully believed and has learned the truth. As Paul expects to die soon, he is leaving a final push for Timothy… a push to keep the gospel going in his absence.

2 Timothy 4:1-22

This whole chapter is the last encouragement to Timothy. Paul opens with a command to Timothy, to preach the word. This is important because Paul, his spiritual father, knows that Timothy knows the truth and he wants Timothy to preach and know it's worth it. When Paul writes in v7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” He is referring to the fight he has urged Timothy to fight in earlier passages in the letter. When he says that he has fought the good fight and has finished the race, Paul is saying that his time to end has come and he is handing everything to Timothy and encouraging him to continue forward. The good fight for the gospel has come to an end for Paul, one of the gospel's mightiest warriors, and he hands the torch of the gospel to Timothy. Full of emotion in v9, Paul asks Timothy to come to him as he has been deserted by other fellow workers. This is Paul in rawest emotional form, on his death bed, abandoned and longing for the friendship of his beloved son, Timothy.

That's it. That was Paul's final word in the entire Bible. So, what now? What do we do with this?

How can we apply it to our lives?

What I have for you are some journal questions, to help you process this.

Grab a pen and your journal you've already used for this study and take time to pray and process these questions:

What gifts do I have?

Where is my calling?

Who do I serve?

What does the scripture say about my calling and gift?

Who are believers that are examples to me?

What can what I see in 2 Timothy help to get me through?

Do I think the gospel is worth it?

Whether the CEO of a company, a grocery bagger, a student, or a pastor of a church: let's ask ourselves what we are doing to further the gospel.

Because it is worth it. All of it. One hundred percent.

So, let's move on and close these books in prayer and giving the glory to God.

As asked, we will move on with a gospel.

What better way to go deeper in the word of God than to study and get to know the man it was all about: Jesus.

We will spend the next five weeks on Matthew, because the book is basically divided into five smaller books.

For the first week let's read through chapters 1-7, these chapters together create the first book in Matthew.

Matthew was first listed among the gospels as far back as we can trace it in history. That doesn't mean it was written first, but it was always listed as first in all Hebrew text. Matthew is a part of what we call the synoptic gospels (Matthew + Mark + Luke). These three gospels tell the same story, somewhat even in the same order.

Who is Matthew?

We have no exact proof of Matthew's authorship. The title 'according to Matthew' that it says in Greek shows hints that someone else put the title there, that Matthew may not have even been the author. The name Matthew means gift, and in Luke and Mark he is given the name 'Levi.' It is only in the gospel Matthew that he is referred to as 'Matthew,' making it possible that it is a nickname. One thing we know for sure is that Matthew (or Levi) was a chosen disciple of Jesus.

The main idea for this book is that Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the law and prophets and is a legitimate heir to the line of David.

Why was this book written?

To show that Jesus is the true king of the Jews and the true Israel & Son of God.

While reading the first seven chapters this week, journal any questions or revelations you have from the word.

Look forward to next week getting deeper into this text!

All for his glory & in his name,

Megh

xo

 

 


2 Timothy Bible Study

Let's walk in the gifts God gave us! Whether it's serving in the church, standing on the curb with a sign like my dear friend Anthony Conley, or joining the Creative Family Nights at your very own 29:11 Church home, it’s your gift. No matter what it is God has given each and every one of us gifts. And, like Timothy, he wants us to walk out in those gifts on a daily basis. A pure example of this is the Living Room Sessions: Volume I EP that was just released. The whole team of amazing friends put their desires and hearts in God's hand and used their gifts to produce a holy and pleasing offering of worship to God. Let's all walk in our callings like this.

 This 2nd blog will focus on 2nd Timothy. The book is a short four chapters so in the next few days I want you to read all of them. Take the same journal you've been using and write some notes or questions or highlights as you read. Keep an eye out for two big themes in 2 Timothy: remember/remind and encouragement. Maybe even highlight or mark in your Bible every time Paul says something of that sort.

 Some background on 2 Timothy:

This book was also written by Paul to Timothy a decent amount of time after the first letter. The setting of 2 Timothy is unique because Paul is expecting to die. This is his 'final word.' At this time Timothy is facing much difficulty in the church, and he's gotta be asking, “Is it worth it?” Second Timothy is Paul's answer to him.

 IS IT WORTH IT?

 Timothy is encouraged to not fear, he is told not to be ashamed, that he will only be strengthened by grace, constantly told to preach, and he is repeatedly warned to expect suffering. Paul is afraid that Timothy is fearful and ashamed of the gospel and himself (Paul). Timothy needs to be encouraged; he needs to teach in the time of persecution, he needs to preach against the false teachings: Timothy is clearly in a tough situation. He is seeing his friends leave the mission field, watching people abandon Paul, and Timothy's beloved spiritual father/ mentor is on his death bed. IS IT WORTH IT?

Well, is it worth it?

Paul's answer is ‘yes’... like you will see in the letter. It's absolutely worth it. The gospel is worth it. Jesus is worth it. And Paul is in the perfect position to say that: imprisoned, abandoned, beaten, and dying.

Read the whole book of 2 Timothy and in a few days we will have a new blog post which will end the series of 1 & 2 Timothy. Then look forward to the 1st of April when we will start with a new book.

 Much love and blessings,

xo

Megh

 

Welcome to Reading The Bible

My sweet 29:11 family!

Hello and greetings from Germany!

For those who don't know who I am, my name is Meghan Augustson. I am a missionary outside of Munich, Germany and I work with Youth With A Mission YWAM is a global missionary organization striving to reach each and every person on this wonderful earth with the love of Jesus and the knowledge of his word. I work in a school here that we run called the Creative School of Biblical Studies; in fact, I was a student in this school in 2013. It's a nine-month-long program where we go through the Bible five times, each book individually, and study using the inductive method. This simply means we allow the Bible to speak for itself and we study it in the context of itself. We research the historical background of each book, the authors, the original readers, and then the text itself. It was certainly the most intense nine months of my life, but I consider it one of the greatest things I have ever done. After I finished my school in 2014, I went to Kyiv, Ukraine for a teaching program for the bible school graduates. We spent one month in Kyiv preparing teachings as a team of 11 teachers and then split off into different countries on three different continents for two months to teach. I went on to Germany, Greece, and Ukraine. I taught anywhere from non-believers to pastors how to study the bible, how to teach the bible, and took them from Genesis to Revelation in the text. It was quite the experience!

After all of that I was able to go to America for two months from December to February. And that's when I heard of what my awesome friends did! They planted a church! And they call it 29:11 Church. Spending two months in Arizona was a dream, because I hadn't been home in two years! And to come home to a place like 29:11 Church and call it home? More than I ever could have asked for!

When Mark asked me to begin writing a blog on Bible study to be able to keep in touch with the church and be involved, though an ocean and continent away, I was honored. I am so inspired by each and every one of you in 29:11 Church and beyond thrilled that I get to call myself a small part of this great family.

So with all that being said, let's start with some Bible study, our road map to knowing God more!

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For the first blog series called, “Timothy, the Young and Mighty Teacher” we will be going through 1 & 2 Timothy! Woo! So this means that we will have a few different blog posts going through the two books.

For the first blog we will go through 1 Timothy 1 – 5:2. You can read it all at once or split it up over the next day or two. Another tool I would recommend you to get is a journal and a pen. Write down what you are ready daily and any thoughts, even if its just a few words regarding what the scripture is saying to you.

The first thing we want to do is read, so take a seat and read 1 Timothy 1-5:2 before reading further.

I use the ESV bible, but feel free to use what you prefer. You can download different translations from an app called YOUVERSION that you can get on your mobile phone. Although I prefer a bible that’s right in front of you, a mobile version is an awesome tool to have with you wherever you go.

Now that you've read what we will talk about, I want to give you some background of the book of 1 Timothy now.

Timothy's father was a Greek Gentile; his mother and grandmother were believing Jews and those two taught him everything he knows. Timothy lived in Ephesus and led the church there. The church in Ephesus was a growing church where God was surely moving. However, there was a temple of a goddess in Ephesus - The goddess Artemis, the goddess of fertility. The way the local Ephesians would worship her was to go to her temple and have sex with the temple prostitutes. Artemis still had an effect on people after they became Christians. As we see in Acts

19, the Ephesians were passionate about idols. There were Jews and Greeks in the churches, and the Greek philosophy had much influence. The Greek philosophy revolved around reasoning, pro-counsel, and a lot of magic. We also see that Paul had much impact on the city of Ephesus and the Ephesians looked up to Paul. The people of Ephesus are also a group of people who are easily influenced, and seemingly easily swayed, which becomes a problem for the church.

So, Paul and Timothy were pretty tight. Timothy had been travelling with Paul since his second missionary journey (we can read this in Acts), and Paul became what was like a father to Timothy. In many different places in the Bible Paul expresses how much he loves Timothy and how special he was to Paul. Paul one time even says he had 'no one like Timothy.'

The relationship of Paul and Timothy is important to understand before going deeper into the letters to Timothy because we can begin to understand Paul's role in Timothy's life and the authority he has earned to say the things he says to Timothy.

So what exactly was happening in Ephesus when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy?

False teachings were a big problem. For examples:

1.     Dualism- two parts: spiritual and physical. They were struggling with the dualism belief. They believed that all earthly matter is evil, only the spirit is good, and there is a complete separation between God and the world. Because they believed the earth is evil, they also believed that an evil God must have created the world. Therefore if God was evil, they believed that he wasn't the true God because the true God wasn't evil and couldn't touch anything evil. This means they believed that there was more than one God: an evil creator and a good God in heaven who couldn't touch anything evil.

2.     The Gnostics believed that the god that made the world was Ialdaboth, a Hebrew god. In this story of the world, the serpent is the hero taking them out of evil. It then showed Adam and Eve knowledge and they believed that knowledge is the way to salvation. Eve was believed to be the mediator between the serpent and man.

3.     Asceticism- matter is evil, body is evil, and spirit is good. They believed in leading a life of self denial with strict food laws to keep the desires of the body minimal. They fasted to reach the spiritual sphere and escape the earthly lies. They starved themselves to have hallucinations, which they believed to be heavenly visions.

4.     Libertinism- opposite of asceticism: they lived a crazy life with no boundaries, they did whatever they wanted, and believed that the body wasn't really important because it wasn't connected with the spirit. Those who practiced this often indulged their bodies in whatever pleasure they could.

5.     Jewish- and then the Jews were there, still teaching the law above grace.

The point of all of this is that it's not just the Gentiles causing problems, the Jews were as well. The Jew’s and the Christian’s beliefs were being tainted and they both were big problems facing the church.

So, what does Paul have to say about this?

Notice the instructions to Timothy, he doesn't just want the church to shut its doors and do things in private, instead… Paul wants the church to take action through prayer and building up strong leaders with good character. It's important for Timothy to understand Paul's point.

THE TEXT:

1 Timothy 1:1-20

This chunk of text is about false teachings and that Jesus came. Here Paul opens his letter to Timothy foretelling false teachings that will come and a reminder of Christ's sacrifice. This reminds us today that Jesus came and changed everything; he came for the sinners and not the already saved.

1 Timothy 2:1-3:13

This section is written specifically towards the church: how to run the church. In this section we specifically see the infamous passage about women speaking in the church. A key term we need to remember is the word 'learn' that is used in 2:11. Paul doesn't completely rule women out; he says they should learn, quietly in the church. Why? …because during this time, the women were  false teachers and were teaching about Eve and different theologies. The men believed it because of the high view of women the Ephesians had from Artemis and the stories of women being the mediators. Paul basically wants them to be quiet and learn the truth so to not falsely teach. More or less to rebuke the proud attitude the women had and reshape the culture.

In this section of text Paul gives Timothy specific instructions and lists to give him a clear structure and practical ways to move forward in leading the church.

1 Timothy 3:14-5:2

This text is directed towards Timothy about faith and godliness as a leader. Paul urges him to teach the truth in faith and godliness to save the people. He encourages Timothy that he knows the truth and wants to see Timothy be more confident in his position. Paul really emphasizes Timothy's gift in teaching and that people will be saved through the Truth of his words.

 

Look for our next installment in a few days. We will post a couple of these a week.