Be. Become. Do. - Day 07

Day 07 - Tuesday, September 19
Read Matthew 9

For anyone familiar with the Gospels, it can be confusing why some of the stories seem out of order from one another.  The answer lies in the difference between ancient and modern biographies.  In modern biographies, the lives of people are described in careful chronological order because that’s the “right” thing to do.  However, in the first century, that is not how Greco-Roman biographies were organized.  Instead, the culture at the time valued putting together stories from someone’s life to help make a point about the kind of person they were.  This feels very odd to our modern, western sensibilities but was completely normal at the time.  In fact, the three authors of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, & Luke) would have read the different orderings of each other's Gospels and declared that all three were accurate simply because placing things in chronological order wasn’t a value.

In Matthew’s Gospel, as an example, in the last few chapters he has been combining stories that illustrate Jesus’ authority over many different realms of life: nature, sickness, demons, sin, and even death itself.  Matthew is illustrating that Jesus’ divine authority is over all the same things that God has authority over.  In other words, Matthew is illustrating that Jesus is God.  And he is intentionally taking different events from the life of Jesus and putting them next to each other to make that illustration more clear.

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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