God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 5 - John 1:15-51; Matthew 4; Luke 4-5: Jesus Tempted and Teaching

Today’s Reading: John 1:15-51; Matthew 4; Luke 4-5

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Jesus was tempted to cut straight to the goal of His Ministry. He turned it down.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Jesus passed all three temptations given by the Devil.
He went throughout Galilee healing the sick. Nazareth rejected and threw Him out of the city.
Jesus taught the massive crowds from a boat.
John pointed everyone to Jesus, the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Andrew and Simon (now named Peter) followed Jesus because of John the Baptizer. James and John also followed Jesus.
Philip called Nathanael to join.
Jesus forgave the sins of a paraplegic. To prove His Authority, He healed them man, too.
Jesus ate with sinners because they needed an invitation to a changed life.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

John the Baptizer understood his purpose and remained content with it.

The Old Testament was full of examples of people having power and instead of staying content with setting things right they exercised their power to the fullest extent. John the Baptizer, however, understood his purpose was to call people to Jesus. He did just that. When God's Chosen Messengers stay behind the Message, God can set things right.

Philip told Nathanael to "Come, see for yourself" (John 1:46).

It is a small thing, but Philip's statement when Nathanael questioned Jesus' Authority provides the best response anyone can have when dealing with another person's prejudices. The answer wasn't a refutation of Nathanael's prejudice or an attack on his character. Racists, bigots, etc. need to see their prejudices are wrong because it prevents them from seeing the truth, not because it is inhumane or uncultured. When they see how God works through the people considered worthless based on their background, they give glory to God.

The Devil's three temptations touch the most dear parts of a person's life.

The first dealt with a physical problem—hunger. Jesus would not perform cheap parlor tricks to solve His physical problems. The second dealt with pride. Even as the Son of God He would not force God to perform cheap parlor tricks to prove His Faithfulness. With the third, Jesus could have finished His Ministry by gaining control of the entire world. He could have backstabbed the Devil by worshiping long enough to get the power then setting things right afterwards; however, He would have compromised His Holiness in the process. Shortcuts in ministry meant to bring more people to Jesus will eventually fail because we sacrificed our holiness—God's Power in us. The world will be won to God through seeing His Awesome Holiness, not His cheap parlor tricks.

Jesus' answer to his Nazarene neighbors describes a huge problem in God's Kingdom—familiarity.

The two examples Jesus used, Elijah and Elisha, were two of the greatest prophets Israel had. Yet during their days, no Israelite would listen to them. We struggle to hear hard truths from people we know well. When we know a person's weaknesses, it's hard to see beyond that to listen to their challenges.

Jesus came to set things right in the world, not only to heal the sick.

This was mentioned yesterday, but today's passage has another example of the same. Jesus first healed the lame man's relationship with God. Then Jesus healed the man to prove His Authority. The priority was on the relationship with God. The physical issues were healed, but were secondary to the main goal—set things right with God. This was the reason He ate with sinners, not because they were outcasts but because they were outsiders. They needed their relationship set right. Jesus came to set things right—first relationally, then physically.

Are you helping the outsider set their relationship with God right?

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