Archive for the ‘First Person Story’ Category

Matthew 12:38-42 Jesus and the Sign of Jonah

Seriously!?! How blind can you be?

Seriously!?! How blind can you be?

We are still with the same crowd as during the last couple of days in our study. It consists of Jesus, MANY people wanting healing (including a man who was blind and mute as a result of demonic oppression), Jesus’ disciples, a group of scheming Pharisees and some scribes. Jesus had left the temple a while ago because of the Pharisees’ accusations and their plotting behavior. Of course, even the Pharisees followed Him. A couple of days ago in our study we saw how the Pharisees made THE greatest mistake possible. They said that Jesus’ work was being accomplished by Beelzebul, the Prince of Demons. Jesus met that remark with righteous indignation. After a short pause, the Pharisees are ready to try again.

Jesus continued to address the Pharisees while He is also talking to the crowd. The crowd was so awed by the healing miracle, that they were finally wondering if Jesus was more than just a prophet or teacher, but promised The Messiah instead. Jesus told the group to look at His works and to judge for themselves, because good works can’t come from a bad source. Read more »

Matthew 12:22-32 Oh No You Did NOT Just Say That About The HOLY SPIRIT!

you said what

You said WHAT!?!

Jesus has left the scheming Pharisees behind in the town and is out in an unspecified place healing anyone brought to Him. He has been fulfilling God’s prophecy about Him in Isaiah when who should appear but MORE troublesome Pharisees.

Matthew tells us that one of the people Jesus healed while He was in this place is a man oppressed by a demon that made him both blind and mute. As expected, Jesus heals this man and he is able to both see and speak. I’m not making light of this miracle but reminding us all that Jesus healed ALL those who were brought to him. I don’t know where this man’s faith was on the “believing spectrum” because he was “brought” to Jesus. Was he brought because he couldn’t get there himself physically, or were his friends intervening in his situation on his behalf?  Was he simply brought to Jesus by Jesus’ disciples after making his way to the meeting place? However he got there, Jesus met his need in full.

The people in the crowd following Jesus were amazed by this healing! I’m sure the man was overjoyed too. I was a little confused by the people’s reaction, because Jesus has been healing for a while now. Until I realized that they were now asking themselves if Jesus was actually David’s son, the prophesied Messiah. Many people were coming to Him every day knowing that He could heal them. They were accepting Him as a prophet or teacher. Now they were recognizing Him as the Messiah. Read more »

Matthew 9:20-22 Jesus Heals a Desperate Woman

woman reaches out to touch Jesus clothes

The hem of His garment

(Sorry in advance. This is a bit longer than usual)

Yesterday we took a look at the story of Jairus that sandwiched the story of today; the woman with the issue of blood. Today we are going to take the time to meet her personally. As a woman I hate nearly everything about my monthly cycle and am reluctant to even talk about it, but for this woman’s sake I am going to step into her shoes and walk a few miles in them today with you beside me.

We don’t have a lot of information to go on when constructing a story about this woman. I believe she was between the ages of 24 and 50. I get this because of the usual age of onset of menses is about 12 and she has suffered with her issue for 12 years, making her at least 24 years old. She is probably not over 50 because that is roughly the age when menopause begins. So we are somewhere in between.

She is destitute because she has spent all her money on doctors. So we know she had to have some kind of money or income before this all began. I don’t know how she could have survived starvation if she didn’t have some kind of regular income, unless she became a beggar. I don’t know of any other story in the bible about a female beggar though. She couldn’t be a prostitute with her condition, so that income is out. She could have been married and had a husband that, though he couldn’t touch her, still cared enough about her to give her enough money or food to simply stay her alive. Did she receive support from the church like the widows were supposed to? Her original money could have been her dowry. Read more »

Matthew 9:18-19 & 23-26 Jesus Heals Jairus’ Daughter

mother feeling head of sick child

The start of a very long day for Jairus

Matthew is an abbreviated story teller. Mark and Luke go into more detail in their accounts of this story. Matthew, Mark and Luke tell this story with the story of the woman with the issue of blood sandwiched in the middle of the story of Jairus’ encounter with Jesus. Those two stories are linked forever chronologically, in our minds, and spiritually to some extent. I would like to separate them for our study though. I want to put us in the picture again, like we did with Matthew’s first meeting with Jesus. Also, since Matthew was a “get to the heart of the matter” story teller, I will be bringing in details from Mark and Luke’s recollections. I’m going to take the liberty of naming Jairus’ wife Anna and his daughter Rebecca. This will make telling the story, and reading it, much easier.

Early in the morning Anna hears a sound coming from Rebecca’s room. Anna goes in to find Rebecca moving about in her bed. Anna believes Rebecca is having a bad dream. Anna sits down on the side of the bed and puts a hand on Rebecca’s arm to calm her and gently wake her from her sleep. Anna notices that Rebecca’s arm is very warm. Anna speaks softly to Rebecca to try and wake her. Rebecca responds with a moan and attempts to open her eyes. Anna is now a bit anxious as she reaches for Rebecca’s forehead. Rebecca is burning up with fever! As a mother, Anna has dealt with fevers before but this one is very high. She calls out quickly for the servant to bring her cool water and some cloths. Moments later the servant girl appears carrying the requested items. Anna begins attempting to bring Rebecca’s fever down. Read more »

Matthew 9:9-13 Jesus Calls Matthew

Jesus at tax booth

Matthew, Follow Me

We finally get to meet our author in today’s passage. Jesus meets him as He is walking along the road. Matthew is sitting in his tax boot collecting taxes. Was that anything like a toll booth where you have to pay to pass on the specific road? I wonder where Jesus was going on this trip.

I want to take a little bit of time and see if I can imagine what this meeting looked like. Ok. Matthew is dressed in his business suit. He wasn’t wearing fine clothes because that would tempt robbers to attack him. He wasn’t dressed is scruffy clothes either because he had to command respect from those he was collecting taxes from. He may have been wearing some kind of official uniform or an official seal on his clothing that made him recognizable as a duly sworn tax collector for the Roman government.

Tax collectors were notorious for squeezing every last penny out of those they collected from, authorized or not. I’m thinking Matthew probably collected more than he was required to but didn’t resort to extortion like others did. My reason for this is that I don’t think Jesus would have called him as a disciple if he was overly abusive. But then again, Paul was used mightily by Jesus and was said to have been a disciple untimely chosen. Read more »