Studying Jesus in 2015
Studying Jesus this year is something that has me just plum ecstatic! Last year I was in the Old Testament. I didn’t enjoy that much. I was like, “Oh yeah, I need to read my Bible today…” Some of the chapters were exciting, but once I hit Ezekiel, it wasn’t fun to me. I was just counting down the days until Matthew!!!
Bible study has been a passion of mine since I was in middle school. I don’t like taking other people’s word for something as complex as the Bible. I like to study it myself, as well as listen to excellent preachers and teachers who have had way more theological training than I have!
Today I read Matthew 10. Here are a few things I learned from Halley’s Bible Handbook:
-“It took Jesus about a year and a half to complete his choice in disciples, and then they were with him about two years.” (page 435)
– I guess I knew this, but I never really THOUGHT about it: In Jesus’ day, there were no newspapers. The ONLY method he had to get his message out was word of mouth. Wow. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. 😉
– When the disciples began to follow Jesus, they were following him as POLITICIANS, because they thought Jesus came for an EARTHLY throne. They had no idea they were becoming preachers. Haaaa!! Jesus told them “kingdom of heaven” countless times, but I don’t think it sank in until he’d been crucified and resurrected!
IF they had realized that by following Jesus, they were in the process of becoming preachers, making history, and would one day also be martyred, do you think they would have followed Jesus so readily?
Maybe yes, maybe no, but that just goes to show we’re better off not knowing our futures…
-The disciples’ role was simply to tell the story of Jesus. I love that. I think of myself as a storyteller myself. I hope that I can learn to do a better job of telling the story of Jesus. (Jesus and his disciples also healed the sick and raised the dead as they went. Now that would be a great power to have!)
Those were all points from Halley’s, but I want to add a couple thoughts. I love studying Jesus because he was the only man that never sinned. The rest of us, even the ones that think they are starch-clean-perfect, sin probably every hour.
This was my favorite set of verses from chapter 10. This sums up to me the GREAT LOVE of Jesus. Not one of us, even our greatest heroes, will ever “arrive” at perfection. Even once we accept Jesus, we must always seek his forgiveness and rely on his grace:
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33
Who will go on to DENY Jesus THREE times?
And do you believe that Jesus will deny Peter before God in heaven? No, no, he will not, and that is why you cannot take out one verse from the Bible and try to build your theology around it. This is not a contradiction at all. This is called taking the Bible and understanding it as a whole, rather than thinking you can isolate a few words and say that they are contradictory.
Peter was the most famous of the disciples. Jesus said of Peter, “That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18.
Peter was forgiven of this sin that he had committed. We all sin. We all need Jesus.
To me this is just another example of the amazing love of God. God knows what we are, and he LOVES us. He will never twist our arm to come to him, but if we seek him, we will find him.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not thereofore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-30