Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral virtue, and in your moral virtue,
knowledge ;

Friday, July 29, 2011

Matthew Chapter 1

So, its time to talk about chapter one. You may be wondering about the unusual picture of baby Jesus. I will explain the picture later. The first 17 verses are genealogy (a family register tracing the descendants  and ancestral relationships of tribes and families). Ungers Bible Dictionary has a a lot of good information on genealogies if you want to read more. The reason Matthew gives us the genealogy is in the first verse. He wants to show us the record of Jesus the messiah, the son of David, the son  of Abraham . He is showing us that Jesus is qualified to be the messiah and king through his family history in accordance with the prophecies .( Exam. Jer.23:5-6). This genealogy would have meant a lot to the Jewish people  of that day. They would have understood exactly what Matthew was trying to convey with this genealogical record.
So on to verse 18 and this is where the picture comes in. In remembering Matthew chapter 1, we are going to remember that the first 17 verses are genealogy and verse 18 is where the story of the (one) only begotten son is born. If you lay the 8 down on it's side you will see that it slightly resembles a swaddled baby. (yes I'm serious).
 Even if this seems crazy to you or makes you slightly annoyed, I guarantee you will remember the swaddled baby in verse 18.  So on to the rest of chapter 1,
I find it interesting that in verses 18-25 that we see that the story of the birth of Jesus is told from Joseph's view point. In the book of Luke, the story is told from Mary's point of view. Joseph seems to have been a cool, take charge kind of guy. It says he found out she was expecting, he decided not to disgrace her or have her killed, as the law commanded, but to kindly put her away. Then an angel appeared to him in a dream, gave him the facts and he got up from his sleep and went and took Mary as his wife. Did he bang on her door in the middle of the night? I guess we can ask him when we get to heaven. He also kept her a virgin because he knew that the messiah was to be born of a virgin. He was an awesome guy who was obedient to God. That's  all God wants. A person who listens to God's word and is obedient to it, is a person God can use .
Ok, so to remember chapter 1  

the first 17 verses are genealogy
Start practicing remembering this as you go to sleep at night!
Have to go. Hannah needs lunch! Start reading chapter 2!
love nancy


Monday, July 25, 2011

About Matthew

Matthew gives us details about the birth of Jesus that we don't get from any other Gospel. Matthew was a Jew from the tribe of Levi. (let me know if you need more info on this) His proper name was Levi. The Levites were the tribe that cared for the temple and became scribes and priests of the Jewish people. Matthew was probably very well trained in the Jewish laws and scriptures. He probably knew the scriptures and was very familiar with the prophecies about the messiah to come. Some where along the way he had rejected his heritage and upbringing and became a tax gatherer for the Roman government, which made him a traitor in the eyes of his own people. His social contacts were Romans. He would have had a Roman guard assigned to him to help him enforce the collection of the taxes for Rome. He also would have had a relationship with the Roman who received the taxes he collected. These would have been his friends. We find out in chapter 9 that Matthew gives a dinner for Jesus that includes other tax gatherers and sinners. This is no doubt the reason that Matthew had inside information into Herod's court, the slaughter of the two year olds and the arrival of the wise men even though it had all taken place almost 30 years earlier.

Ok, so, Time to read the first chapter! Always pray!! Pray for the help of the Holy Spirit to give you understanding and rememberance.

Read the chapter at least five times, not all at once. Take some time in between . Next blog I'll talk about chapter 1  and the word association for remembering what is in Matthew Chapter one. I am hoping that this turns out to be the easiest (and dare I say fun)  Bible study you have ever done.

Comments, questions and concerns are always welcome

Friday, July 15, 2011

I started this way of studying because  I wanted a way to remember what  I was reading in the Bible. I found that I would study, study, study and then move on to another book, only to forget what was in the book that I had just read.  I started with the book of John and when I got  all 21 chapters "remembered", I  decided to start the book of Matthew with the ladies  at  church. I am  applying  the same principles as I used with the book of John.                                                 

  My goal is to help women, including myself, not to just read the bible, but to remember what is in the chapters and books that they are reading. I am using a combination of word association and my own personal life experiences to remember the scriptures. We will be going through chapter by chapter, applying my "formula" for remembering. As you read through I'm sure you will develop your own "formula" for remembering the scriptures. You will be surprised at the recall you will have of your bible when you start this. We will not be memorizing scripture. We will be remembering what is in the separate chapters. As an example , John 4, the word fast has 4 letters, Jesus fasts for 40 days and forty nights, Jesus appoints 4 apostles, Peter, Andrew, James and John. I now can remember what is in John, Chapter 4 just by using these  simple word associations.
I'm just getting started. I'm sure there will be bumps along the way. I will be praying for all of you ladies who are willing to give this a try. I will always welcome your feed back.
God Bless