Be. Become. Do. - Day 06

Day 06 - Monday, September 18
Read Matthew 8

In Matthew 8, Jesus uses a term that he will continue to use throughout the Book of Matthew to describe himself: “Son of Man.”  Just taken as three words, it seems like a very simple and generic description.  This is especially because Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, a far more impressive title.  But ‘Son of Man’ is an Old Testament term that can be found primarily in two places.  First, God addresses the prophet Ezekial in those terms regularly.  Second, there is a Messianic prophecy in the Old Testament Book of Daniel.  Daniel 7:13-14 says, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.  And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”

On the one hand, it’s a reference to a significant prophet.  On the other hand, it’s a reference to the Messiah.  So which one is Jesus connecting himself to?  The answer is that he is being intentionally ambiguous.  The term “Son of Man” both reveals and conceals.  The purpose of this is that Jesus wanted to continue to teach and serve and if he began with overt declarations then he would have been arrested at the very beginning of this ministry.  So he began his ministry telling evil spirits to not reveal his identity, telling people that he had healed to not share the story widely, and using terms like “Son of Man” instead of “Messiah.”  However, when looking back after his death and resurrection, the veil was pulled back and it became clear that Jesus was referencing Daniel 7 and not the Book of Ezekiel.

Reflection & Prayer
For this reading plan we will be using a tool to guide our study of Scripture that’s called the S.O.A.P. Method.  It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.  We recommend you use a journal with this method and write out your thoughts on each of these areas for each day of reading.  It doesn’t have to be long-winded and you don’t need a fancy journal.  But for anyone that has not journaled before, the benefit is that it often helps us focus and avoid distractions during prayer and Bible study.

S.O.A.P. Method

Scripture - Pick a verse or two that stood out to you and write it in your journal.  Be looking for a “Holy Spirit Highlight.”  What did you read and think “I needed to hear that” or felt like it was written just for you?

Observation - Now write some observations about the verse(s) or passage. What is this passage or verse saying? About God? About people? How is Jesus revealed in these verses? 

Application - Now write a few sentences on how this passage applies to your life. Is there truth about God that you are to believe? A promise to receive? Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of something you need to do or stop doing in light of God’s truth? 

Prayer - Now write out a prayer to God in response to this Scripture. This is a way to turn God’s Word to you back to Him. Be honest and express your heart to Him. God always listens and He delights in your prayers. (Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 15:8)
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