Covered: Matthew 3-8
Not Covered: –
Scripture Memory: Knowing God’s Will – Psalms 139:13-14; Jeremiah 9:23-24
William Shakespeare wrote in his play, As You Like It, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players;”
Never was there a more true statement, especially today. Everyone is looking for their 15 minutes of fame large and small through interactions on social media, by attracting followers on Twitter, readers of blogs, listeners to pod casts. We are now concerned about personal branding. It seems that many are looking to be on some type of stage to comment, project their personal brand and make a statement.
In this weeks reading, we watch God set His stage for the beginning of His Son’s public ministry. The passages clearly state it, but it was also observed. That is Jesus came at a particular time for a particular purpose on the stage of the world. Here’s how Paul said it: Ephesians 1:9–11(NLT)
9God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. 10And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
God set the stage for Jesus, like the coronation of a King. Jesus is the King who has come.
First, He had a forerunner and one who announced His arrival: John the Baptist (Chapter 3)
Second, He had to be prepared through trial (Temptation in chapter 4)
Third, He called his first apprentices (a.k.a. disciples)
Then He was ready. Matthew lists as his first extensive teaching in chapters 5-7. It is what we call the Sermon on the Mount. It was preached on the tall banks of the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. In it Jesus sets a new standard for life in His Kingdom. He answers some critical questions that I’ll paraphrase. Read through them. Which ones challenge you the most? Which give the most comfort?
If we live out this high calling by the power of the Holy Spirit, we’ll put Christ on display on the stage of this world for all to see!
- Who is really blessed? (5:1ff)
- What are we to do as children of the King, those he called lights? (5:13ff)
- What is Jesus’ relation as King to the law and Prophets (the Old Testament)? (5:17ff)
- What is the source of murder that should concern us as citizens of God’s Kingdom? (5:21ff).
- How are we to conduct ourselves sexually within the community of God’s Kingdom? (5:27ff)
- How should we consider marriage within the rule of God over our lives? (5:31ff)
- What does it mean to be a person of your word within God’s community? (5:33ff)
- What should I do when I’m wronged as I live as a citizen of God’s Kingdom? (5:38ff)
- How should I respond to my enemies? (5:43ff)
- How should I practice generosity and my concern for those in need? (6:1ff)
- How should I practice prayer and what is a template for prayer? (6:9ff)
- How should I practice spiritual disciplines, especially fasting? (6:16ff)
- Where should I store up my treasures? Why? (6:19ff)
- What am I to do with all my worry? With what can I replace them? (6:25ff)
- How should I respond to sin in my life and others? (7:1ff)
- What assurance do I have God hears my prayers? (7:7ff)
- How am I to treat others? (7:12)
- What is at stake if I don’t follow Jesus as Savior and Lord — King? (7:13-14)
- For what and who am I to be on guard as I live? (7:15ff)
- What should my focus be as I follow Jesus as King? (7:21ff)
- What am I to build my life on? Why? (7:24ff)
Written by: Kevin McKee
Photo Credit: Banter Snaps