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Archive for the ‘Matthew’ Category

Read Matthew Chapter 2

1. Who came to Jerusalem according to Matthew 2:1?

Going Deeper: What extra-biblical information regarding the wise men (magi) can youfind? Where were they believed to have been from?

2. What were the wise men (magi) asking according to Matthew 2:2?

3. What was Herod’s response to the inquiries of the wise men in Matthew 2:3-4?

4. What was Herod told by the chief priests and scribes in Matthew 2:5-6?

5. What did Herod do according to Matthew 2:7-8?

6. What do the wise men do after meeting with Herod according to Matthew 2:9-10?

7. What was their response to seeing the star in Matthew 2:10?

8. Where were Jesus and his mother according to Matthew 2:11?

9. Approximately how much time is thought to have passed between the birth of Jesus and this visit by the wise men (magi)?

10. What was the reaction of the wise men (magi) to seeing the child and his mother in Matthew 2:11?

11. Why did the wise men not return to Herod as he had asked?

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Read Matthew Chapter 2
1. When do the events of Matthew chapter 2 take place?

2. Herod is a name like “Pharaoh” or “Czar.” Which “Herod” is being referred to in Matthew 2:1?

Going Deeper: Why is he called Herod the Great? Who were his sons?

3. Where was Jesus born according to Matthew 2:1?

Going deeper: Why did Yeshua need to be born in Bethlehem?

4. Copy Micah 5:2 here. Meditate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

Going deeper: When did Micah live and prophesy?

5. Where is Bethlehem located? What does the terrain of the area look like?

6. Who else was from Bethlehem according to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)? Provide scripture references where you can.

7. What do you learn about Bethlehem from the following verses?
Genesis 35:19

Joshua 19:10-16

Going deeper: What is the situation in Bethlehem today? Is it part of Israel? Explain.

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Sometimes scripture is so confrontational that it stings. I have felt that sting more than once from Matthew 7:1-5. The Amplified version is particularly prickly.

Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. For just as you [hypocritically] judge others [when you are sinful and unrepentant], so will you be judged; and in accordance with your standard of measure [used to pass out judgment], judgment will be measured to you.

Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5 (Amplified)

I have struggled at times asking, “Why, Adonai, is it that another’s sin, is so obvious to me? Why is it especially true of those close to me–those to whom I should show mercy, compassion? And why, God, does their sin become so bothersome, like a persistent itch that just won’t be ignored? Why is their sin so noticeable to me, and yet my own sin is hard to remember–it flits away after a few brief moments of remorse?”

I haven’t received the answer to my questions, but rather I believe God has suggested a strategy to deal with the problem. The solution (or treatment) as it were to this myopic vision problem is to shift my attention attention back to the Truth.

The truth is God is still on His eternal throne. The sin of someone else, no matter how much we love them or our life is entwined with theirs, doesn’t change the truth. It may be a temporary denial of the truth by them, but it does not change the truth.

My job in most situations, is to pray that God will show the offender the truth and gently bring them into a loving realization of the break in fellowship caused by the sin. This is obviously not always as easy as it sounds, but God calls me to wait on Him, to avoid thinking of myself, my hurts, but rather to seek God’s wisdom and healing for wounds and offenses.

The servant of the Lord must not participate in quarrels, but must be kind to everyone [even-tempered, preserving peace, and he must be], skilled in teaching, patient and tolerant when wronged. He must correct those who are in opposition with courtesy and gentleness in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and be led to the knowledge of the truth [accurately understanding and welcoming it], and that they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26

I must continue to confront myself with God’s Word, soaking in it and meditating on it to such an extent that through it, God can realign my heart–my thinking, and return me to a place of love for my neighbor. The second greatest commandment of Yeshua is “to love your neighbor as yourself.”

If I am in fellowship with the Father, through His Word, the Spirit of God (Ruach HaKodesh) will fill me. “The fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

The sin of another is, therefore, just another distraction the adversary will use to disturb unity and cause me to take my focus off of the pursuit of righteousness and peace with Adonai. It will blind me to the Messiah and His completed Work of redemption.

What another has done or said to me is never relevant as a justification for wrong attitude or conduct on my part. My response must be to love my neighbor. In doing so, I am assured of never losing focus on the important issues–issues of eternity.

 

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Read Matthew 1:18-25
1. Who was Mary’s betrothed (husband)?

2. How is Joseph described in Matthew 1:19?

3. What was the punishment for adultery under the Mosaic Law? (Hint: Leviticus 20:10)

4. What was Joseph’s plan for dealing with Mary and her pregnancy in Matthew 1:19?

5. What happens to Joseph as he is considering these things in Matthew 1:20?

6. What does the angel tell Joseph in Matthew 1:20-23?

7. What will the baby’s name be? What does it mean?

8. Copy Isaiah 7:14 here. Mediate on this

9. During what time period did Isaiah prophesy?

10. Copy Isaiah 7:14 here. Mediate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

11. What do you learn about Joseph in Matthew 1:24 to 25?

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of Adonai and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Read Matthew Chapter 1
1. According to Matthew 1:1, from whom is Jesus Christ descendant? Why is this important? (Hint: Isaiah 11:-1-2)

2. See how many of the following questions you can answer without looking them up. Later in the study we will review the passages that discuss each person’s life. Keep track of your Biblical literacy!

What was Abraham known for?

What was Isaac known for?

What was Jacob known for?

Who was Judah?

Who was Tamar? How was she related to Judah?

Who was Boaz’s wife?

Who was Uriah?

Who was the wife of Uriah?

Who were Solomon’s parents?

What was Solomon known for?

What was Jehoshaphat known for?

What was Hezekiah known for?

What was Manasseh known for?

What Josiah known for?

3. Why were they brought to Babylon?

4. To whom was Jesus born according to Matthew 1:16? Who was her husband?

5. How many generations were there from Abraham to David?

6. How many generations were there from David until the captivity in Babylon?

7. How many generations were there from the captivity in Babylon until Christ?

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of Adonai and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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As discussed in yesterday’s post, some characters from the Christmas story , despite their close proximity to the miracle, miss Christmas entirely.

We can make a case that the chief priests and scribes missed Christmas.  As strange as it sounds, those whose life was dedicated to the scriptures, to God’s law and teachings, missed God’s arrival as foretold in prophecy.

In Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 2:1-2), Matthew tells us that after Jesus was born, Kings from the east came to Jerusalem looking for “the King of the Jews.”  Herod, when he heard this unsettling news immediately called for his experts in the field, the people most knowledgeable about such things.  He called the Chief Priest and the scribes, the experts in Jewish religion and writings.

As expected, these men knew exactly what the Kings of the east were referring to and where the “King” would be born.  Despite that knowledge, they had no presence in Bethlehem.  No one was monitoring the births of boys in town.  No one seemed to be watching for a Messiah in Bethlehem at all.

The words of the prophet Micah were no more than pen strokes on a parchment scroll.  The knowledge of God that these men had never translated into faith in God, so they missed Christmas.

We don’t want to judge them too harshly as this could happen to you or to me.  We might, like those men and others like them, mistake the mere knowledge of God, the knowledge of His Word and even a role as a religious leader as sufficient to satisfy God.  Beware, even the religious leaders, the most “Holy” men of their time, missed Christmas.  Knowledge of God doesn’t equal saving faith in God.

If you do not have a personal, intimate, saving relationship with God.  If you don’t know Him (not just of Him), you can change that today.  Pray the following prayer to change your status from outsider, to child of God.  Don’t miss Christmas.

Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner, and I have broken your law.
I need a Savior; I cannot save myself.  Please allow your shed blood to cleanse me of my sin. Forgive me and cleanse me.  I want to live for you, to submit myself to you, to be a child of God.

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In preparation for the coming celebration of Christmas, arguable the second most significant celebration in the year, Read Matthew 2:1-12 and see how many of the following questions you can answer.  If you have questions or are unsure of something, please post a comment.

  • What caused the Kings to come to find the Christ child?  Who did they say they were looking for?
  • What was Herod’s response to hearing what the Kings from the east had to say?
  • What is Herod’s plan with regard to this “king of the Jews” that has been born?
  • What was the reaction of the Kings to seeing the star (v. 10)?
  • What was the response of the kings from the east when they saw the Christ child according to Matt. 2:11?
  • What is your response to the Christ child?  Do you worship Him?  Tell others of what you have seen Him do in your life?  Perhaps this coming year, you want to make your response to the Christ child more evident
  • What gifts did they bring to Jesus, the King?  (v. 11)
  • What does each gift signify or foretell?

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In preparation for the coming celebration of Christmas, arguable the second most significant celebration in the year, Read Matthew 1 and see how many of the following questions you can answer.  If you have questions or are unsure of something, please post a comment.
  • What horrible news does Joseph receive in Matt. 1:18?
  • How does Joseph come to terms with Mary’s pregnancy according to Matt. 1:19-25?
  • Read Luke 1.  According to Luke 1:26, who came as a messenger from God to Mary?
  • Where was Mary living at the time of this story?
  • To whom was Mary betrothed?  Of what lineage was her betrothed?
  • How does Gabriel greet Mary in verse 28?
  • What is her reaction in verse 29?
  • For what job has Mary been chosen according to verse 31?
  • How does Gabriel describe Jesus and what He will do in verses 32-33?
  • What is Mary’s very practical question in verse 34?
  • What is Gabriel’s response in verse 35?
  • What separate proof of the authenticity of his message does Gabriel offer in verse 36?
  • What is Mary’s response to the message from God through Gabriel in verse 38?
  • Who does Mary go to visit during her pregnancy according to Luke 1:36-41?  Why?
  • What happens to Elizabeth when she hears Mary’s voice?  Why is that significant?

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Sometimes we are told to “Make a joyful shout to the LORD” (Psalm 100) and  “Praise Him with clashing cymbals! (Psalm 150)”  Other times, we can be quiet.

We can be quiet in His strength

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says,  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The picture here is of oxen pulling a plow or a wagon.  The two animals would be yoked together.   A yoke is “a device for joining together a pair of draft animals, especially oxen, usually consisting of a crosspiece with two bow-shaped pieces, each enclosing the head of an animal.”  In order to be yoked together, animals must be comparable in size, stamina and desire to work.   This provides an important spiritual lesson to the believer.

When we are yoked to Jesus, we go where He goes (by necessity).  Because of the yoke, we must look at what He looks at, see what He sees.  By being joined together like this, we benefit from His wisdom and His strength, and we can just be quiet.  Sometimes it is good to just walk alongside Jesus, yoked to Him, quietly learning from Him.

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The gospel of John represents one piece in a four-part testimony of the life of Jesus.  This is important because the Bible requires that there be two witnesses to establish a fact.  The use of four gospels each based on testimony of eye witnesses makes the totality of the gospels very credible.  The fact that each of the gospels is not identical to the others adds to the overall credibility.

If one were to interview four eye-witnesses to any event in history, each of them would emphasize different facts and provide a different presentation of the information depending on their audience.  That is exactly what we find in the gospels – four unique but internally consistent testimonies of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, a real man who lived a real life in Israel.

Looking at all four gospels, we see that each is addressed to a different audience, for example, the Gospel of Mark is written with a gentile (primarily Roman) audience in mind.  Little detail of Jewish history or culture is included.

The Gospel of Matthew is written to the Jewish reader.  Matthew starts off with a very detailed genealogy of Jesus and emphasizes  Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah.

The Gospel of Luke was written to a gentile audience.  In as much as Luke was a physician and educated in Greek, he writes a more detailed, carefully researched gospel focused on Jesus as the Son of Man a Savior sent to save the lost sinner.

The Gospel of John was written with a strong emphasis on the deity of Jesus Christ.  John wrote to encouraged believers and to call unbelievers to faith in Jesus Christ

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