Friday, September 28, 2007

Double Headed Turtle

In case you haven't noticed. Today, I posted the picture of a turtle with two heads in the upper right hand corner of my blog. When I first saw this picture, I said to myself this is hilarious. A turtle with two heads. What a freak of nature - or not. Maybe, this little fellow was created for a purpose. I'm not saying that the Word of the Lord came to me through this little guy. Nor am I trying to create some new cool 2 headed turtle doctrine. However, this little fellow did make me ponder a couple of questions. What would life be like for this poor little turtle? I would assume that anything with 2 minds would have a lot of trouble getting anything accomplished unless one mind learned to put off his selfish agendas, his views, his goals, his ambitions, etc. and let the other take the lead. I believe we in the body of Christ often do find ourselves in just this position. How do I follow the leading of Christ and still accomplish the things I want to accomplish. I think the answer is simple, if any man be in Christ he is a new creation. It is essential that believers understand that in Christ we are a new creation with a new perspective. No longer should we see ourselves as the south end of a north bound double headed turle being drug around against our will. The new perspective is this I get to serve Christ by doing the things that he did. When I do something to my brother I have done it unto Christ. When my enemy hits me on the cheek, I turn to him the other. We should be servants, following the example of Christ, and love him by loving his people. Understand this, YOU ARE THE EMBODIMENT OF CHRIST ON THIS EARTH. It is not that we dont get to go where we want to go and do what we want to do, but as we go, we are sharing the love of Jesus, sharing the gospel, proclaiming the good news.

Col 1:18 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Matthew 1:1-17

In our first study we discussed the first 17 verses of the Gospel of Matthew. I will attempt to re-emphasize some of the points discussed. First of all it is important when reading anything to take into account who the recipients of the letter were. In this case, it would be the first century Christians, or "Jewish-Christians" if you will. The original recipients of this gospel would recognize things Matthew was saying that we modern Christian readers could overlook if not careful. That is why it's extremely important to read the scriptures not just as timeless truths the we can apply to our lives today or as an instruction manual for living a Christian life, but to read it through the eyes of the original recipients. In its historical context. Then, and only then, will we come to an understanding that is worthy of applying.

What would a first century Christian see in these first seventeen verses? Up until now, all I have ever seen was a list of names beginning with Abraham and ending with Jesus. However, a first century Christian would have easily seen a family tree that was impressive and compelling. To quote Tom Wright, "It would be the equivilant of a roll of drums, a fanfare of trumpets, and a town crier calling for attention. Like a great procession coming down the street, we watch the figures at the front, and the ones in the middle, but all eyes would be waiting for the one who comes in the position of greatest honour, right at the end". The procession would have looked something like this. Abraham, our founding father, to whom God made great promises. He would be given the land of canaan, and nations would be blessed through his family. This promise would be ultimatley fulfilled through Jesus. Also, the first century Christian would understand that Jesus' lineage was traced through David the great King, whom God made future promises of lordship over the whole world. Even though the babylonian exile made it seem all these promises were lost forever, drowned in the sea of Israel's sin and Gods judgement. However, the prophets of the exile promised that God would again restore Abrahams people and Davids royal line. At the time of Christs birth Gods chosen people were living in what they beleived to be "exile" under Roman rule. To quote Tom Wright again,"This sets the stage for Jesus the Messiah to come onto the scene and rescue his people. They would also recognize that the child that comes at the end of this line is God's anointed, the long-awaited Messiah, to fulfill all the layers and levels of the prophecies of old".

I pray that the bible begin to come alive for you as it is beginning to for me.

2Ti 2:15 Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.

A Place For Everyone

I have created this blog to discuss the For Everyone Series Bible Commentary by Tom Wright. We will begin with the Book of Matthew. It is my desire to better understand the Bible and share that knowledge with others so that the body of Christ may be built up and God may be glorified. This blog is my attempt to pass on what I am learning through this series, as well as listen to any of your ideas. Please feel free to share any ideas on the subjects we discuss. More to come.