The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 9:18-26

While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”
19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.
20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.
21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.”
22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
23 When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing,
24 He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him.
25 But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
26 And the report of this went out into all that land.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Holiday Season

As we are entering the holiday season, specifically the Judeo-Christian holidays, I am reminded of the fact that Jesus was Jewish, and, thus, a product of Jewish culture.

Because of the upcoming holidays, it would seem appropriate for us to read and explore the Gospel of Matthew, the first of the gospels.

Originally written for the Jewish people, the Gospel of Matthew presents Christ as the Son of David, as well as, the Son of Abraham.  Matthew begins writing by tracing Jesus’ genealogy to King David, and, later, connects many events in the life of Jesus with predictions about Him in the Old Testament, a good number of which have already been fulfilled.

So, let’s dig in to exploring this next book of the Bible, The Gospel of Matthew, praying, along the way, that God’s Holy Spirit will be our guide as we read.

“Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

Recently I’ve embarked on a Bible Study journey* that sheds light on, and explains, the challenges and upheaval that our world is facing today in many places including the United States.

Tucked away in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings 11-14 and 2 Chronicles 10-12 is the history of events that occurred in the life of the Nation of Israel right before that kingdom was divided in two.

Having been selected by God to represent Him and His ways, the descendants of Abraham, the Nation of Israel, missed the mark more times than not, leading to a life of discipline and judgment resulting ultimately in captivity.  This decline was in direct proportion to their disregard and ultimate rejection of God’s guidance, His ways, and His commands.

Sounding quite similar to the condition of our world today, I am reminded of the words wise King Solomon penned long ago in Ecclesiastes 1:9: “…there is nothing new under the sun.”

Interestingly, this same King Solomon, often considered the wisest man to have ever lived, even he, made many unwise decisions.  By compromising and subsequently disregarding and disobeying God’s commands, the Bible tells us, King Solomon met the demise of his own influential life, in addition to the demise of the entire nation he was entrusted to lead.

But God…

Yet, God in His loving mercy, still yearned for the hearts of His people to turn to Him, just as a parent would for a prodigal child.  And another part of God’s love is that He also provided a Redeemer, His Son, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit to saves us all from our sins, (and from ourselves), and guide and help us, along the way.

Sadly, if, as Solomon did, we don’t recognize our need for God’s help, and follow God’s ways, consequences like what we are seeing in our world today will result.  The choice is ours to make.

On a more trivial level, the practice of not reading an owner’s manual is common to mankind.  How many of us choose to read the owner’s manuals of earthly products we purchase or use?  Some of us do, and others of us don’t.

However, on a more life-threatening and life-enduring level, the consequences of not following the directions in the manual provided for us by the Creator of mankind, in this case, the Holy Bible, can lead to catastrophic results, such as we are witnessing today.

Ultimately, that decision rests with each of us; and that encouraging news means the choice is up to you and me to make! Which begs the question: Who or what will you choose for direction and guidance?

May God bless you with His wisdom and love!

Number 6:24-26

*BibleStudyFellowship – People of the Promise “The Kingdom Divided”