Wednesday, October 03, 2012

October 3, 2012 [“Happy Birthday, Elly!!] … Jesus Sets Out In Ministry

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 277

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Matthew, Chapter 3 To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Mark, Chapter 1 To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Luke, Chapter 3 To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: Matthew 3: 1-3; 7-8; 11; : [NLT] … {30 years passes from Matthew 2; and the tax collector author again uses scripture to bring John the Baptist into the picture of Jesus’ life and times. John’s message, preparing the way for the Messiah, parallels that of Isaiah, 700+ years earlier, … that all must confess, repent, and live in obedience to God’s word. In the words of my Parson’s commentary, “The people were expecting a prophet like Elijah (Malachi 4:5; Luke 1:17), and John the Baptist seemed to be the one!” So, many flocked to follow this strange man in the wilderness. } 1 In those days John the Baptist began preaching in the Judean wilderness. His message was, 2 “Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” … 3 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: … ‘Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming! … Make a straight road for him!’” [quoting from Isaiah 40: 3] …  
{The two most prominent religious groups of the days so often made a show of their religious ways and practices; and as Jesus would later, John the Baptist railed against their show of religion, preaching that their lives must be evidence of “living sacrifice” as the Apostle Paul would later write about in Romans 12: 1-2.} … 7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to be baptized, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming judgment? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God. …  
{Baptism, especially by Old Testament tradition was a sign of commitment to obedience to God’s will and His way from His word; and John the Baptist, being the last in the line of true Prophets, in his ministry of repentance, baptized in this tradition; but he preached that the Messiah would bring in a new type of baptism involving God’s Spirit, which was a foreshadowing of Pentecost, when God’s Spirit would be given to anyone who believed on the finished work of The Messiah.] 11 “I baptize with water those who turn from their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is far greater than I am—so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  
{Finally in Matthew 3 we have that poignant and powerful scene where Jesus appears and asks John the Baptist to baptize Him, even thought John feels inadequate to do so. But Jesus explains that this is necessary for Jesus and John to be obedient to God, the Father, so that Jesus could launch His public ministry modeling what all must do to witness to faith in what He, the Messiah, would later accomplish on the cross. What a scene this must’ve been! … And note in verses 16-17 the persons of the TRINITY are distinctly described for any who may doubt this orthodox Christian doctrine.] 13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John didn’t want to baptize him. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by You,” he said, “so why are You coming to me?” 15 But Jesus said, “It must be done, because we must do everything that is right.” So then John baptized Him. 16 After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him.”  
Highlight Passage: Mark 1: 1 : [NLT] … {And here we’re introduced to the Gospel by John Mark, usually called “Mark,” who was not one of the twelve Disciples, but was very close to Paul when he traveled to Asia Minor in the 1st century. This gospel was written to Christians in Rome and was likely the first of the Gospels recorded, with all but 31 of the verses quoted or referenced in the other three Gospel accounts. Mark was writing to document – for believers – the reality of Jesus and His earthly ministry as The Messiah. There are more miracles performed by Jesus documented in this book of Scripture than any other of the Gospels, including John’s writings, which focused on miracles. Mark was trying to show, beyond doubt that Jesus was Whom He claimed to be – the Son of God in the flesh.} 1 Here begins the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.  
{In rather short scenarios, Mark documents what some of the other Gospel writers expand upon in the beginnings of Jesus’ ministry on earth, including John the Baptist preaching repentance, the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan. And then, Mark launches into brief descriptions of the outset of Jesus’ ministry, including his public preaching with power and authority, His choosing of the disciples by the beach in Capernaum, and some of His early healing miracles. Mark obviously wanted all his readers to get as much of Jesus as Mark could package in a small document; and in a fast-paced, almost news-reporter style, he showed that Jesus was the “real deal,” our Messiah in the flesh, come to save the world. I hope all reading with me here will read through Chapter 1 of John Mark’s book and see his attempt to make Jesus come to life for his readers, … i.e., all of us.}
Highlight Passage: Luke 3: 23 : [NLT] … {In the 3rd Chapter of Luke, the Greek Physician continues his detailed historical style of documenting the truth about Jesus and His life, including His public ministry, describing many of the same scenarios described by John Mark and Matthew in the chapters reviewed in today’s chronological study. However, Luke writes from the perspective of telling the story for ALL who might desire to know of The Messiah, including Greeks or other Gentiles. And in Verses 23-38, Like gives another account of Jesus’ genealogy, .. this time tracing Jesus all the way back to Adam, showing that Jesus was related to all Jews and all people. } 23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry. … 

My Journal for Today: I’ll not be writing much here today. My comments concerning these New Testament passages in my chronological reading session today can be read above in the bold comments concerning each of the three chapters in three of the Gospel accounts of Jesus. And I do hope that any who’re reading with me will simply read the three chapters and be touched, as I was, by the sincere attempts of these three Gospel writers to document the truth of Jesus as He was launched by God’s Spirit into His public ministry, carrying out the will of His Father, who gave His blessing to His Son in this season of introducing the world – in the flesh – to the Lamb of God.

It’s powerful reading and a study well worth the effort, even if you’ve read these chapters in your past. I was touched, in a very personal and powerful way this morning, as I read of John the Baptist obediently baptizing Jesus and what that scene must’ve been like when God, the Father, gave His blessing upon His Son by sending His Spirit in the form of a dove and declaring openly and audibly, for all to hear there, that He, the Father, was well pleased with His Son coming in the flesh to save the world from themselves.

And that was me He was blessing, because I – like you – am one of those who was in bondage to my own sin; and Jesus came to do all that Isaiah prophesied (in Isaiah 61: 1-2 and Jesus repeated later in Luke 4: 18-19) would be the mission of The Messiah. And now, from these authors, we read of Jesus beginning His season of redemptive ministry on earth, which would culminate later with His blood shed on the cross and His resurrection to show that death and sin had been defeated … FOREVER.

Praise to my Lord, … for the reading and study of these Gospel accounts.

My Prayer Today: … Thank you, Lord, for these writings, which document so clearly Your life and times on this earth. Amen

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