This has been one of the must fulfilling studies of scripture I have ever embarked on. Through my personal study, weekly discussions with my co-teacher and women's pastor, leading discussions with my small group of precious women, and preaching three messages to a gracious large group, four major themes emerged for me from Matthew.
When they came to the crowd, a man [with a demon-possessed son] approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” … Continue reading Jesus Gives Us Power and Authority
On February 22, 2022, I had the honor of giving a message for the Tuesday Morning Bible Study at my church on Matthew chapters 8 and 9. Here is a written version of my message or you may watch the video.
My reading of the Biblical book of Hebrews came to a sudden halt. Where have I heard that before? These familiar verses resound in my head because they are from the prophet Habakkuk. His cry to the Lord 2700 years ago continues to resonate with familiarity.
Public insults. Conflict. Persecution. Prison. Confiscated Property. The readers of the the New Testament letter of Hebrews experienced all this in the early days of their walk with Jesus. While I cannot attest to this kind of suffering, I do know trial—wrecked car, bureaucracy headaches, ant infestation, health issues, the passing of loved ones. Like the early Christians, I too need the author’s counsel on facing trying times.
Conspiracy theories, alternate realities, rash prophecies, disinformation, and big lies are ancient techniques used to create fear—and subsequently claim the only solution to calm it—thus gaining followers. While disturbing in the sociopolitical sphere, I find these especially troubling when supported, spread, or believed by those representing Jesus. How do I respond? What do I focus on amid the myriad speculations, half truths and fake news?
"How will I know this for certain?" Zechariah asked and God called his question unbelief. Mary asked "How will this be?" and God said she believed. So why was Zechariah’s question not acceptable and Mary’s was?
Mary was between 13 and 16 years of age when the angel visited her (according to most scholars) because that's the age girls got married in those days. But I wonder if my friend isn't onto something? I wonder if God chose a young girl because she also had child-like faith?