Re:Verse passage – Matthew 14:22-33 (day two)
But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
What are some of the obvious takeaways from this familiar story? 1)When you trust Jesus he will enable you to do things you never dreamed possible. 2)If you take your eyes off of Jesus you will fall.
I was actually drawn to something in the middle of these two. When you step out and follow Jesus you can expect the winds to come up around you to blow you off course. When Peter stepped out of the boat the seas were already disturbed, but that didn’t stop him from trying to get to Jesus. It is one of the most pure acts of Peter’s ministry. He saw Jesus and he knew he had to be near him. It didn’t take long, however, that the winds and waves reminded him that he wasn’t on solid ground.
All of these statements are true. What we must pray is that when we are in the midst of where Jesus has called us to be, we will not take our eyes off of him, or let ourselves be distracted by the noise of the wind.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 14:14-21 (day two) “…so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Vs. 15b
This is actually a pretty practical request. The disciples were weary and not prepared to handle the crowds that were eager to see Jesus. Seeing that there was no markets or means to get food near, the disciples were convinced the best decision would be to send them back to their homes. It makes sense. The crowd would be fed, and able to sleep in their own homes. Jesus saw it differently.
Do you ever lose your sense of wonder in God to the idol of practicality? Do you make judgements about a problem solely on the basis of what will be easiest, or what is best? The disciples were right in their assessment, but they missed the God-sized opportunity to share the gospel. Don’t miss Jesus in your desire to make everything make sense.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 12:9-13 (day two)
Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. vs. 9
As we examine the life and ministry of Jesus one thing we should take note of is how much time he spends with people. His ministry is marked by walking, talking, and eating with people-where they are. It is a reminder to us that much, nay most, of what we are called to do happens outside the walls of our church buildings. However, I love this gem of a verse that is tucked in this miracle story. Jesus worshipped. Jesus took the time to be a part of the regular rhythm of worship that God had instructed Moses so many generations before. Worship honors God. He commands us to worship. He deserves our worship. Worship also equips us to do the things we are called to do in the world. This new year let’s be like Jesus. Let’s worship together and see how God grows our calling.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 9:20-22 (day two)
And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.
You are not going to sneak up on Jesus. This woman, who was ceremonially unclean, had many reasons to not be seen. Her presence likely caused a commotion, but amid the bustle of the crowd she saw her opportunity and she took it. If only she could get near him and touch the hem of his cloak. But Jesus doesn’t work like that. You are not going to surprise Jesus. He knows you and your afflictions far better than you do, so come to him openly and receive what this woman found: freedom from her condition, and a new-found faith that healed her soul. Come into His light, and receive the healing that only he can offer. Let the promise of the new year lived by His Spirit bring the healing.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 9:20-22 (day two)
And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; 21 for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” 22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.
“When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.””
The shepherds knew little of who this child was or would be. They had an angelic visitation that told of his birth, and they went to be near this child…and their lives were changed.
The ailing woman knew enough about Jesus that she, too, desired to be near him, and her faith in him made her well.
This is the heart of the gospel. Get near Jesus. You will be changed. Merry Christmas.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 8:23-27 (day two)
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. vs. 24
Jesus was with his disciples…and the storm came anyway. Many of his disciples were well acquainted with the water, and many made their living from fishing…and the storm scared them. We should not think that we are any different than the disciples. Storms will come, and often in the areas where we should be most prepared. Don’t think that a life lived following Jesus will mean one that is free from conflict, pain, or suffering. Is that where you find yourself right now? Take comfort from the disciples next actions. They ran to Jesus. He had a word of rebuke for allowing the storms to shake their faith, but he cared for them. He quieted them, and the storm. Let him be your peace in the storm today.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 8:14-17 (day two)
He touched her hand…vs. 15a …and He cast out the spirits with a word. 16b
With a touch and a word Jesus made a difference. We may not have Jesus healing abilities, but we surely have the ability to spend time with someone who is in need of comfort. Surely we have a word of kindness for one experiencing grief, loss, or pain. Jesus spent much of his ministry teaching us to identify our neighbors. He doesn’t ask us to cure cancer. He asks as to show love as we have been loved. To show mercy as we have been shown mercy. Sometimes the path to complete restoration can begin with a touch and a word.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 8:1-4 (day two)
And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
Make no mistake, Jesus came to change the world. This insurgency, however, was not going to be hung up on a gospel of miracles. The true miracle is a surrendered heart that is ready to worship Jesus regardless of what would happen next. Jesus sends this healed man to worship as was the custom. Yes it was incredible. Yes it was a miracle, but Jesus was more concerned with a heart ready to continue in the faith and serve as the Spirit will lead. Is this your testimony.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 4:1-11 (day two)
And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. vs 2
There is so much about this passage that speaks to me. As if we needed further proof that Jesus was fully human, Matthew records his hunger. Food will play an integral part of Jesus ministry, but in this passage we see that he is understandably weakened by a lack of nourishment. This is also a beautiful picture of Jesus being an example for us. Before beginning his earthly ministry Jesus sets a pattern of intimacy with the Father for us to follow. Before any endeavor we must seek his face, his blessing, and his guidance.
Re:Verse passage – Colossians 4:7-18 (day two) Greet the brethren…vs. 15a
No man is an island…These words were penned by the great poet John Donne. Paul, like Donne, understood that since God has created us for community he has made us to work in community for a greater Kingdom purpose. At the end of his epistle, Paul is wise to include all those who co-labor with him to that great purpose of distributing the gospel of Jesus. Whether they were hand-delivering the letter, reading it aloud, maintaining the church in Colossae, or Laodicea, they were all part of God’s design to change the world.
No single pastor is called to do the work of the church. We are built for community, and every link in the chain matters to the great purpose to which we have been called. You are not alone in this fight, you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.