Week of Mar 31st

Walking Through the Book of Matthew

March 31st – April 6th

Week 4:  Parables, Kingdom of God, King Arrives, & Warnings

Sunday- Matthew 18, focused on 18.21-35

How large were these debts?  It is clear that 10,000 bags of gold represented a sizeable sum of money- probably millions of dollars.  It was an enormous and hopelessly insurmountable debt.  By contrast, the fellow servant in Jesus’ example owed a hundred silver coins- a much more manageable debt, equivalent to perhaps three- or four-months’ wages.  Certainly, this puts things in perspective of God’s grace. 

Monday- Matthew 19, focused on 19:16-26

Are we saved by faith or by obeying God’s commands?  If this were the only thing Jesus said about salvation, it might sound as though strict adherence to the commandments could earn us a place in heaven.  But Jesus said much more to explain this verse.  For instance, he spoke of outward obedience as an indicator of the condition of a person’s heart.  He stressed that our relationship with God must be our primary focus, but that sincere obedience should grow out of authentic faith. 

Tuesday- Matthew 20, focused on 20:1-16

Does this scripture make you feel uneasy?It does many, yet it explains the extravagant love of God.The thief who hung on the cross next to Jesus never did amazing things in Jesus’ name or fed the poor, yet his faith confirmed that he would indeed would soon be in paradise with Jesus.Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t make me pay what would be “fair” to be with him in eternity.

Wednesday- Matthew 21:1-22, focused on 21:1-17

Why did Jesus ride a donkey instead of a Warhorse?  Donkeys or mules were often associated with leaders.  By riding this young colt, however, Jesus demonstrated his humility and gentleness.  He also fulfilled one of the prophecies of Messiah (Zechariah 9:9) and because this king would be a completely different king of king from any the world had ever known.  Zechariah was painting a picture of the coming king’s humility and grace.

Thursday- Matthew 21:23-46, focused on 21:33-45

Are the Jews no longer God’s chosen people?  Jesus was speaking to the chief priests and Pharisees.  These leaders though of themselves as the wardens of God’s kingdom through Judaism.  The use of the Greek ethnos (translated people) does not indicate a new ethnic group but an organized community.  Jesus was referring to his coming church, which would include both Jews and Gentiles. 

Friday- Matthew 22, focused on 23:1-14

What does it mean that many are invited but few are chosen?  Many (perhaps “all” in view of the Semitic usage of “many”) are invited to enter the kingdom of God, but only a few will become rightful citizens of heaven.  God’s invitation must be accepted, followed by appropriate conduct.  Proper behavior is evidence of being chosen. 

Saturday- Matthew 23, focused on 23:29-39

Why was Jesus so angry with these leaders?He was angry because of their hypocrisy, six times in the chapter Jesus called them hypocrites.The religious leaders had exchanged the holy for the hollow.They were concerned with appearance rather than substance.They made a show of obeying God’s law but consistently violated the spirit of the law.Worst of all, they were leading other people to do the same.Jesus, by contrast, said that he desires genuine spiritual commitment.