Archive for September, 2009

Are the subject of

Matthew 4


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enter John the Baptist

Matthew 3

is the text for today.

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Today we’ll read

Matthew 2

This is a very well-known narrative text … but what does God open up to you in a new way as you read this today?

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Saturday bonus

Over here at into the Bible Saturday is a day of grace.  It’s a day to catch up if you’ve fallen behind, or to re-read some of your notes from during the week and ask yourself ‘how has my life with God gone this week?’ or to put it in another way ‘how did reading/contemplating this affect my life as a Christian?’ If you feel like sharing what looking back at this week opens up to you feel free to add a comment.

For me this Saturday morning left me feeling a bit bereft – I was hungry for more of the Word. So I dipped into Proverbs over breakfast and looked at Proverbs 9. It’s interested how folly is personified as a woman isn’t it? Are we women exceptionally foolish I wonder? I read this first in NLT today (still reviewing the transformation Bible) but then skipped over to the Message because I love the refreshing way scriptures are put there.

Both the NIV and NLT are more circumspect … and so the way the end of Proverbs 9 is put in the Message was a real shock

The woman named Folly is brash.
She is ignorant and doesn’t know it.
She sits in her doorway
on the heights overlooking the city.
She calls out to men going by
who are minding their own business.
“Come in with me,” she urges the simple.
To those who lack good judgment, she says,
“Stolen water is refreshing;
food eaten in secret tastes the best!”
But little do they know that the dead are there.
Her guests are in the depths of the grave.

Call me naive but I’d never read this passage this way before!

Have a blessed weekend, see you all back here on Monday when we dive into Matthew 2!

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Today we work though Jesus’ geneology. Who does Matthew say Jesus is? Who are his ancestors and how did Jesus come to be born?

Matthew 1

A reminder.

The point of this site is to help us all get back into the Bible. It’s important you allow the Bible to read you as you read it.

Earlier I posted the following guidelines
(but you are of course free to read in any way that works for you these are merely suggestions!)

1. Read the chapter posted until God highlights something. Stop there. Make a note of the verse and allow the Holy Spirit to show why that verse in particular was a ‘reuma’ moment i.e. important for you at this time.

2. Later on read the whole chapter again – and reflect on it.

3. Share some thoughts or questions in the comments if you feel you’d like to.*

*Please note your very first comment will need to be approved (in order to filter out spam). Since I fast from the internet on Fridays this may cause you some frustration today. My friend eija hosts this site (and is definitely the technical brains behind its operation) and might be around to authorise your comment. Please be patient with us. Your first comment will appear once it’s been approved and from then on it’s plain sailing!

Be blessed!


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Tomorrow we start Matthew officially (see below) but if you wake up hungry for the word (as I did this morning) then why not take a look – as I did -at the the first seventeen verses of Matthew and see  what God opens up to you.

Matthew 1-17

Boring geneology… right? and why on earth does the NT start with this list of names?, most of which are almost unpronouncable and many of whom are pretty obscure!

Some thoughts in the comments …

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Matthew – who was he?

Tomorrow (Friday) we will start reading the Gospel of Matthew.

It’s one of the longer books in the New Testament (maybe even the longest I didn’t check!) and has 28 chapters. Since we are committed to reading five chapters a week (a chapter a day Monday to Friday) leaving Saturday as a day of grace (i.e. catch up) and Sunday as a day of rest -it’s going to take us until November 3rd, so I do hope all of you are in this for the long haul!

  • Friday 25th September Matthew 1
  • Monday 28th Sept – Friday 2nd Matthew 2 – 6
  • Monday 5th – Friday 9th Matthew 7 -11
  • Monday 12th – Friday 16th – Matthew 12-16
  • Monday 19th – 23rd Matthew 17-21
  • Monday 26 – Friday 30th Matthew 22-26
  • Monday & Tuesday 2nd-3rd  November  Matthew 27-28.

Before we jump in however, let’s spend a bit of time finding out who Matthew was – and who he was writing to.

The Transformations Bible writes

Although Matthew tells us little about himself in the book that bears his name, he was clearly one of those people whose lives had ben transformed by Jesus. Matthew’s own experience with the Lord is recorded in Mt 9:9-17 and it is a beautiful example of the grace of God

I like how the Message puts it

Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” Matthew stood up and followed him.

10-11Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?”

12-13Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”

Matthew’s old name was Levi … but Matthew means ‘the gift of God’.

Matthew opened his heart to Jesus and became a new person. It wasn’t easy. He had to give up his old way of life. Matthew also opened up his home.  Again quoting the Transformation Bible:

Matthew knew that most, if not all, of his old friends would drop him when he bagan to follow Jesus, so he took advantage of the sitatuion and invited them to meet Jesus.

I love that, don’t you?

Tom Wright is one of my favourite theologians and writes

Matthew’s Gospel presents Jesus in a rich, many-sided way. He appears as teh Messiah of Israel, the king who will rule and save the world. He comes before us as the Teacher greater even than Moses. And of course, he is presented as the son of man giving his life for us all. Matthew lays it all out step by step and invites us to learn the wisdom of the Gospel message and the new way of life that results from it.

So, to continue quoting Wright “Here it is .. Matthew for everyone” … See you tomorrow!

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