I remember once when my wife and I were going to turn an enclosed porch area on the back of our house into an extra bedroom for our boys. We planned and considered how this could be accomplished and what it would take. We drew a lot of diagrams on napkins and contemplated this task – and then realized it was too big for us and had to be hired out. A friend from church did construction jobs like this agreed to take on our project. What I still remember was the great sense of satisfaction and even surprise when he set out to tear sections out and rebuild others, because there was a big difference between this project in theory and seeing it in action. It turned out much better than we had imagined.
That’s a lot like what’s happening in our study in Matthew. We’ll be reading the last part of Matthew chapter 4 this Sunday and we’ll finally see the start of Jesus’ ministry.
In v15-16, Matthew identifies Jesus’ work as a fulfillment of a prophecy given by Isaiah, 600 years earlier. Light dawning on people living in darkness is how the action of the kingdom of God is described. What is your impression of this metaphor? What do you think it means, and how does that inform your understanding of God’s purposes for humanity?
We then read about Jesus’ first disciples. We’ll be unpacking the dynamic of rabbis and talmidim (disciples) on Sunday morning – but succinctly put: if these guys were working in the family business, it was because they didn’t measure up for normal rabbinical activities. Yet Jesus chooses these fishermen to be his close associates who will set out to imitate him. What does that tell us about God’s rule in action? Who is it open to, and what action does he call his disciples to (v19)?
V23-25 provide a summary of the excitement that was building around Jesus. What is it that he is becoming famous and sought out for? What is this revealing about God’s rule in action – what is intended? In all three of these examples, what is it about this that makes it good news?
Looking forward to this study! Happy Father’s day in advance – and don’t forget it’s Surf-N-Grill this Sunday, and if you want to be baptized, follow this link to sign up online: sign up!
See yez’ Sunday!