09.5 BSF Matthew Week 9, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Pop-Quiz Time for the Apostles.

Let’s review.

They heard the sermon on the mount where Jesus told them not to worry.

They heard Him teach them how to pray.  They also heard the promise that God will answer those prayers.

They heard Him speak with authority, above that of any one in the temple.

They heard Him speak of coming to fulfill prophecy.

They saw His authority over all forms of infirmities and His ability to heal.

They heard Him say to leave your old life behind, don’t rely on what you used to know and do but follow Him first and only.

So, here comes the pop-quiz.  Where should you test a bunch of fishermen?  How about, on a boat?!?

How should the test be conducted?  How about a storm?  Something along the lines of, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat…” (see Matthew 7:25)  What, oh what, would a wise man do???

What did they do?  Pray or panic?  They panicked.  Oh, you of little faith.  C- grade at best!  (get it? “below “c” level”…sorry, bad storm on the sea pun!)

I don’t mean to be hard on the apostles.  How often do we do the same thing?  How often do I?  I hear the words, I understand them and I want to apply them, but when storms come up, I go blank, I rely on myself, I show my “little faith.”

But, like the apostles, Jesus saves me.  And, let’s be clear, this must have been a major storm… these were guys who made their living on the water… they knew a deadly storm.  But, Jesus tells us we don’t need to fear even the deadly storms.

We don’t even need to fear the demon possessed.

I thought it interesting that the demons are aware of their ultimate outcome.  “Did you come to torture us before the appointed time?”  They know what is ahead.  They know who is in control and who is the judge, the administrator of justice.

But how often do we fail the test, too?  Do we put worry about livelihood over faith in eternal life?  Do we put profit concerns over prophecy fulfilled.  What is eternal life and salvation worth?  2000 pigs?  I would hope so.

Finally, when we are called to follow Jesus, we are also appointed a place for that calling.  The demon possessed man wanted to get out of town.  He wanted to start anew.  But Jesus had a special mission field for him and it was in his own backyard.  This may have been the hardest mission field imaginable – but he obeyed.  What an amazing transformation.  From living in the tombs of the dead to being the one inviting others to eternal life!

My Answers:

12.
a.
Jesus was sleeping, he got up and rebuked the storm

b.
Authority over nature

c.
They had heard Him call Himself Lord, they had seen others put their faith in Him – would he then die in a storm?  Did they trust the power of the storm over the power of God

d.
Heart issues – Ezek 36:26

13.
a.
lived in the tombs – so violent that no one could pass that way

b.
The demons identified Jesus for whom He is, the Son of God.  They identified that there was an appointed time at which the demons would be tortured

c.
Asked to come with Jesus but Jeses did not let him and told him to stay and witness

d.
To leave – they loved their livelihood more than their lives.  Swines over Salvation.  Profit over Prophecy Fulfilled.

e.
“keep faith under wraps – it may offend someone and lose a sale”  We don’t want our faith to interfere with our livelihood

09.4 BSF Matthew Week 9, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

What is THE most important thing?  What is the ONE thing that over-rides everything else?

Many manufacturing companies list Safety as the #1 objective.  Nothing ever trumps safety.  For other organization it may be honor, for others service above self.  For being a christian, a Christ follower, it means Christ is #1.  Anything we put ahead of Christ means that Christ is not #1.  We must leave our old lives behind, our old way of doing things and our trust in the comfortable things we thought we knew before learning the real truth.

Does that mean Christ is in-compassionate to families and death?  Absolutely not.  Look at His response in John 11:33 in the family’s mourning of Lazareth.  But He does mean that even this most extreme and basic thing – feeling sorrow for the loss of a loved one, cannot be placed as something above God.

Following Jesus means He is out in front of you.  This is not easy.  I grow impatient and rush ahead, looking in my rear-view mirror for Jesus to “have my back.”  But that is not following.  That is trying to drive forward using the rear view mirror.  That is an accident waiting to happen.  If that were how a bus driver operated their bus, they would be unfit for their job.  If that is how we live as christians, we are unfit for service.  But it means patience.  It means waiting on God’s timing and following Him even into places and things that I am not comfortable doing on my own.  That would mean relying on Him first and only!

My Answers:

10.
a.
Following Christ is not an occupation.  The church may compensate and support individuals in ministry, but it is not like the teachers in the synagogue who received housing, room and board for their adherence to the law

b.
What do you put first in your life?  God or something else – if tell God to wait, then He is not first

c.
No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God

11.
a.
It must be first in your life, nothing is of a higher priority, not family, not self – It is not for personal gain or comfort, but it is a calling and it is work

b.
My rewards for my ministry are not on this world.   I need to be more patient and wait on the Lord.  I need to put Him alone above and before everything.

09.3 BSF Matthew Week 9, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

In each of the healings I was struck by the unconditional gift they embody.  It wasn’t “let’s make a deal.”  It was freely given.

There is so little in our actions with others that is unconditional.  So much of what we do is deal making, “what’s in it for me?” WII-FM?  quid pro quo.

But that is not the nature of the “feast”.  It is not purchased by anything we do and actions we take to try to take credit for buying our way into the feast are an insult to the one who actually paid the price.  It is an invitation that is open to all people, from the sun rise to the sun set, regardless of race or politics, origin or upbringing.

But when we are healed we are expected to act like one who has been healed.  Peter’s mother-in-law got up.  She did not languish.  She did not continue to act as one who is sick.  She got up and got to work.

Where do I need to get up and get to work?  In what actions must I become unconditional?

My Answers:

6.
a.
Faith, care for others, authority, trust, recognition of power and authority

b.
Addressed as Lord,  concern for servant, do not deserve to have you, “just say the word”

c.
Trusted in Him alone.  Prayerfully asked for Him to take all things over.

7.
a.
All people, Gentiles:  Mal 1:11, My name great from sun rise to sun set; Is 19:23 Egypt/Assyria worship together

b.
Eternal life

C.
The saved come seeking from far and near, but some “in the faith” have received their reward through their religiousness.  Good people don’t go to heaven, saved people do.

8.
a.
It is His nature to heal – there was no request or plea, He just did it with a single touch

b.
got up and began to wait on Him

9.
a.
Is 53:4 took up infirmities and bore our diseases

b.
There was a cost of healing – a power that was released.  But Jesus took on all human form and paid this cost freely, without discrimination and without recompense

c.
healing is unconditional.  Jesus has absolute authority over any affliction (or anything else).  He rewards faith

09.2 BSF Matthew Week 9, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

In today’s lesson we see the first “I am” statement of Jesus recorded in the gospels.  “I am willing”. This is different than saying I will.  It is not a promise of some future fulfillment, it is an attribute of who Jesus is and an insight into the grace for which He came to earth.

“The prescribed ritual for the healed “leper” is of interest. Three separate ceremonies are required: for the first day (Lev. 14:2–8; also invoked for houses, 14:48–53), the seventh (14:9), and the eighth (14:10–32). The first-day ritual is performed by the priest outside the camp or city from which the “leper” has been banished. Cedar wood, crimson cloth, and a live bird are dipped into an earthen vessel containing a mixture of fresh water and the blood of a second bird. The “leper” (or “leprous” house) is sprinkled with this mixture seven times, after which the live bird is set free. The “leper” is admitted into the camp or city after he washes his clothes, shaves all his hair, and bathes, but he is not allowed to enter his residence. That is permitted him on the seventh day after shaving, laundering, and bathing again. On the eighth day he brings to the sanctuary oil and sheep for various offerings – whole, meal, purification, and reparation. The whole and purification animals may be commuted to birds if the “leper” is poor. However, the reparation lamb and log of oil may not be changed, because the blood of the lamb and the oil are needed to daub the “leper’s” right ear lobe, right thumb, and right big toe.” from: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0012_0_12153.html

How interesting that readmission into fellowship required the blood of a lamb and anointing with oil.  The sacrificial lamb and the anointing oil of a King with no substitution allowed.

How interesting that Jesus did not just seek just to heal the leper, but He sought to make repairs of not only his body but his connection with others.  This is a man who would have been denied for some time the feel of any human contact.  Not only would others have been afraid of catching his disease, but it would have made them unclean and prohibited them from their worship.  But Jesus’ first action is to touch him.  And, even knowing that the now healed leper would disobey and fail to return to the synagogue and submit to the law, Jesus still healed him.  That disobedience had a cost which Jesus also bore.

My Answers:

3.
Simple prayer – prayer of faith, not begging – Knowing that God has the power

4.
a.
Reached out and touched the man with leprosy

b.
Filled with compassion

c.
I am willing, be clean, don’t tell, go do the sacrifices commanded

d.
healed him and sought to reconnect him to the community, but the man disobeyed, which prevented Jesus from going into towns

5.
His care for the leper – That he didn’t just want to heal, but for reparation