Blessing in the Struggle (Matthew 5:11-12)

Jesus had just told all His new followers that God would bless them as they opened up to this ‘New Kind of Faith’, this new relationship with God, through Jesus himself. Now He has to turn a corner and let them know that this will cost! It may be hard! He changes the subject fromContinue reading “Blessing in the Struggle (Matthew 5:11-12)”

An New Kind of Faith–Matthew 5:1-10

It’s one of the most famous passages of Scripture: The Sermon on the Mount.  It has been parsed, studied, expounded upon…and with good reason: These are powerful words! Yet, I sometimes wonder if, in all our ‘studying’ we miss the bigger picture. Jesus, beginning His public ministry, goes to a place where He can beContinue reading “An New Kind of Faith–Matthew 5:1-10”

Drop It! –Matthew 4:12-25

Jesus began His public ministry, essentially taking the baton from John the Baptist and moving it way forward. John had said “repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand”, and that’s the exact message Jesus started with. Jesus, however, didn’t just have ‘prepare the way’ in mind; He had “it’s here, now” in mind!Continue reading “Drop It! –Matthew 4:12-25”

Matthew 4:1-11: The Test

Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, we read that “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted” (John 4:1). We have to understand, however, that for all us us, GOD does not ‘lead us into temptation’, but rather, He ‘delivers us from evil’ (ala Matthew 6:13). For Jesus, though, there was something uniqueContinue reading “Matthew 4:1-11: The Test”

Matthew 3–Jesus takes over!

After John had been baptizing people, telling them to ‘repent’ and to ‘prepare for the Kingdom’, he said that “one is coming who’s sandals I am not fit to carry” (Mt. 3:11). He said that this One would bring judgement–especially on religious leaders and those who thought they were already righteous. John said “I baptizeContinue reading “Matthew 3–Jesus takes over!”

Matthew 3–Produce Fruit!

Repentance, as I shared yesterday, has to do with turning a new direction and starting a new way of life. From John’s perspective, he was encouraging people to repent and prepare…prepare for the coming Kingdom (which would be brought from Jesus, who was coming). However, when John looked up and saw Pharisees and Sadducees comingContinue reading “Matthew 3–Produce Fruit!”

Matthew 3–Prepare the Way

As I read through Matthew Ch. 3, a few points stand out, and a few questions arise: First, I notice that decades have passed since the events of Matthew 2, and I always wonder: What was Jesus’ childhood like? The only real hint we’re given is in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom andContinue reading “Matthew 3–Prepare the Way”