Monday, October 08, 2012

October 8, 2012 … Carry His Cross Today

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 282

 Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Matthew 12 To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Mark 3 To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Luke 6 To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: Matthew 12: 15-16; 22-24 : [NLT] … {In studying Matt. 12, one will note Jesus being confronted, tested, and tempted to commit breaches in God’s law, mostly by the Pharisees. But in each instance Jesus carefully and compassionately teaches the religious leaders, and the people, about the intent of God’s law being the expression of God’s love. And the passage I’ve selected below illustrates how Jesus’ life/living were in fulfillment of God’s prophesy in scriptures like Isaiah 42: 1-4, which the Pharisee simply could not abide, motivating them to begin plotting Jesus’ death, thinking Him to be an agent of the devil. } 15 But Jesus knew what they were planning. He left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them, 16 but he warned them not to say who he was. 17 This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him: {Matthew then quotes Isaiah 42: 1-4}22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was both blind and unable to talk, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. 23 The crowd was amazed. “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?” they wondered out loud. 24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” 
Highlight Passage: Mark 3: 13-19 : [NLT] … {Jesus’ following is growing; and He carefully instructs the followers not to tout His miracles to others, not wanting to create such a furor quite yet, since His time on earth was so short to complete what God, the Father wanted Him to finish before He was to be taken to the Cross.} 13 Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called the ones he wanted to go with Him. And they came to Him. 14 Then he selected twelve of them to be his regular companions, calling them apostles. {Here, and in Luke 6: 12-16, the Apostles are listed by name. And in both lists, note that Judas Iscariot is listed last with the descriptor that he would later be the one to betray Jesus.}
 Highlight Passage: Luke 6: 17-49 : [NLT] … {In this chapter, besides a parallel account of Jesus choosing His inner core of 12 Disciples, whom he called “Apostles” (which means “ones who are called out”), Luke also gives his version of what we know of as the “Sermon on the Mount.” } 17 When they came down the slopes of the mountain, [having chosen His inner 12 Disciples] the disciples [i.e., all the followers of Jesus, not just the inner 12] stood with Jesus on a large, level area, surrounded by many of his followers and by the crowds. There were people from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from as far north as the seacoasts of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him and to be healed, and Jesus cast out many evil spirits. 19 Everyone was trying to touch Him, because healing power went out from him, and they were all cured. 20 Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said, … 
{In verses 20-49, Luke quotes Jesus giving what most believe was the sermon on the mountain, which parallels Matthew’s account of a similar sermon in Matthew, chapters 5-7

My Journal for Today: As we’re moving into the New Testament in my chronological trek through the Bible, I’m finding it hard to journal, especially trying to encapsulate and give reference to these parallel passages from the four Gospel accounts, written by four authors intending their descriptions of the life of Jesus for four different reader groups. Jesus did so much of significance in His short ministry on earth; and these four accounts are so important for those of us who want our lives to reflect Christ by application or reflection into our world today.

Today, for my study Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe a portion of Jesus’ early ministry and how, carrying out the will of His Father, Jesus became a miracle magnet, gleaning many followers, from which He chose 12 to be his inner core of followers, The Disciples, whom He called His “Apostles,” and in whom He, the Lord, gave special gifting and power.

But these authors also document how Jesus’ early ministry aggravated the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Jewish teachers (i.e., Rabbis) of Jesus’ day. And these self-appointed “models” of Jewish virtue began to even plot Jesus’ death, being so up-tight and jealous of Jesus’ following. Jesus simply didn’t fit the mold of The Messiah or “The King,” whom they were awaiting, … to lead them out of bondage to the Romans. And He certainly didn’t fit their mold of a Rabbi or religious leader, healing people on the Sabbath and performing miracles which these Pharisees couldn’t match. And Jesus was calling them out with all those stories and parables which He was using to whip up His disciples who were growing in numbers.

 My take-away principle here today is that when we stand in the gap for TRUTH (i.e., and that, of course is a Person, Jesus, … not a concept), we can expect the worldly establishment to balk and to do all they can to kill the “Jesus” in us. Today, we see this clearly as the world simply can’t take Jesus’ message, preached clearly from His word, The Bible, … messages which proclaim that abortion is sin … or … that homosexuality is sin … or … that a man marrying another man is sin. No, the world would see this as “normal,” and anyone who says otherwise, should be silenced, or even eradicated.

So, if you’re out there being a “Jesus” to the world, don’t expect anything different that our Lord faced in His world and day. And there are those in this world who are like Jesus, and who are being martyred for their beliefs and positions. Maybe that’s why Jesus (in Luke 9: 23) said that His disciples would be ones who would have to carry their crosses daily in denying self and following Him.

So, dear friend, I hope you’ll join me in picking up the cross of Christ and carrying it today … for HIS glory.

 My Prayer Today: … Lord, give me the strength to carry Your cross today. Amen

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