Posts with the category “be-become-do”
Be. Become. Do. - Day 25
by Compassion Creative on October 13th, 2023
Highlight The Resurrection of Jesus is absolutely fundamental to Christianity. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:13-15 that “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” So the account of the Resurrection in the Gospels is extremely important and worth digging into. One of the interesting things about the Resurrection account is that the first witnesses to the Resurrection were women. This is interesting because their value as witnesses in ancient Jewish culture was worthless. They were literally considered to be untrustworthy witnesses to the point that their testimony wasn’t allowed in legal proceedings. This is interesting for two reasons.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 24
by Compassion Creative on October 12th, 2023
Highlight Few scenes in the crucifixion account are more dramatic than the release of Barabbas. While we don’t have all of the details about Barabbas’ history or crimes, the historical context tells us quite a bit. We know that capital punishment was not the sentence given to mere robbers or criminals. It was often reserved for insurrectionists. In Greek, Barabbas is called a lestes, which the Jewish historian Josephus would often use for those who were caught trying to rebel against the Roman Empire. It is likely that Barabbas was an insurrectionist and was condemned to die the very next day. In fact, many scholars believe that the reason that there was a third cross already prepared for Jesus to be crucified on was because it was Barabbas’ cross and he was the one that was supposed to be crucified between the two other men (also called lestes, or the plural lestai) who will die with Jesus. If you want to find our place in the story of the crucifixion, look no further than Barabbas. Jesus took our place on a cross prepared for us so that we could go free.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 23
by Compassion Creative on October 11th, 2023
Highlight The Gospel accounts do not attempt to describe Judas’ full motivation from deciding to betray Jesus. There are several theories. One is that it was triggered by his anger after being rebuked following Jesus’ anointing (John 12:1-8 records this rebuke). Another is that his name “Iscariot” may have been a transliteration of the Latin sicarius, which was a zealot rebellion movement at the time. This theory holds that Judas was a member of a Jewish sect that wanted to see Rome over-throne but as it became more clear that Jesus was not a Messiah bent on political domination Judas’ disappointment ended in betrayal. This theory is supported by the fact that Jesus uses the anointment to again report his upcoming death when Judas was hoping for reports of conquest and justice.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 22
by Compassion Creative on October 10th, 2023
Highlight Jesus’ description of the Final Judgment is a text that has been debated for centuries. The biggest area of debate is regarding the identity of who Jesus refers to as “my brothers” and “the least of these.” Some interpret Jesus to be referring to the poor and needy and downtrodden, which seems to fit the fact that they are clearly in dire need. However, the most likely identity is connected to Jesus’ first term - “my brothers.” It’s likely that Jesus is referring to his followers and the main idea of the teaching is Jesus saying that our treatment of his followers is no different than our treatment of him.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 21
by Compassion Creative on October 9th, 2023
Highlight Let’s just say it directly - Matthew 24 is confusing. Many of the passages in Scripture that describe the parousia (The Second Coming of Jesus) are confusing because they are filled with imagery and metaphors. We can find some comfort in the fact that the disciples themselves were also confused, so the verse we should focus on in Matthew 24 is the “bottom line” that Jesus gives them.
Be. Become. Do. - Week 05 Launch
by Compassion Creative on October 7th, 2023
Welcome Welcome to Week 5 of the 2023 Be. Become. Do. Reading Plan This reading plan is designed to partner with Compassion Christian Church’s sermon series of the same name. This is a series all about how we are each invited to embrace a life where we will be with Jesus, become like Jesus and then live our lives doing what Jesus would do. In order to better apprentice under Jesus, we are going to spend our reading plan following his ministry by reading an eyewitness account written by one of his disciples: Matthew.
Be. Become. Do - Day 20
by Compassion Creative on October 6th, 2023
Highlight Chiastic or chiasm is a literary technique that presents a concept and then repeats it back in reverse order. The structure puts the emphasis on whatever is placed at the middle of the structure. The Bible is full of chiastic patterns and many famous quotes follow this structure.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 19
by Compassion Creative on October 5th, 2023
Highlight All throughout the Gospels one can see the rise of frustration the Pharisees and religious leaders have towards Jesus. With each parable, miraculous healing, and tricky question, the dislike toward Jesus builds. Until finally he is teaching in the temple and they are asking question after question, and his answers continue to frustrate and even silence them.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 18
by Compassion Creative on October 4th, 2023
Highlight The last parable in Matthew 21 is a very condensed retelling of the Old Testament. Let's set the stage: God = landowner, nation of Israel = vineyard, Jewish leadership = tenants, Old Testament prophets = servants, and Jesus = the son. With this in mind, Jesus is pointing out the cycle of disobedience that appears throughout the Old Testament. The tenants are to take care of the vineyard. But when the landowner sends servants to check in and reap the fruit, the tenants believe they are in charge and know more. They mistreat the servants and even kill the son. The Jewish leadership had not steered the people of Israel well and God was fully aware. Therefore, Jesus claims that the kingdom will be taken away from them, and given to those who will produce fruit.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 17
by Compassion Creative on October 3rd, 2023
Highlight The book of Matthew was originally written as a letter. Chapters, verses and chapter titles were all added much later. And sometimes, those chapter titles can be slightly misleading. For example, chapter 20 starts with a parable titled “Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard” (NIV) or “Laborers in the Vineyard” (ESV).
Be. Become. Do. - Day 16
by Compassion Creative on October 2nd, 2023
Highlight In these chapters, Jesus begins to focus more on the attributes a person should possess. As mentioned in previous days, the Jewish people were looking for a Messiah who would come in power and might. Yet, Jesus states in these chapters that his kingdom is for those who are like children, humble and unencumbered by social status (18:5-9 & 19:13-15). It is for those who seek reconciliation with their brothers and sisters (18:15-20), for those who show forgiveness (18:21-35), and for those who are not just focused on following the law, but rather their hearts are transformed (19:16-22). These are the attributes of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Be. Become. Do. - Week 4 Launch
by Compassion Creative on September 30th, 2023
Welcome to Week 4 of the 2023 Be. Become. Do. Reading Plan! This reading plan is designed to partner with Compassion Christian Church’s sermon series of the same name, which you can find information about right here. This is a series all about how we are each invited to embrace a life where we will be with Jesus, become like Jesus and then live our lives doing what Jesus would do! In order to better apprentice under Jesus, we are going to spend our reading plan following his ministry by reading an eyewitness account written by one of his disciples: Matthew.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 15
by Compassion Creative on September 29th, 2023
Highlight “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Ben Franklin In Matthew 17, Jesus speaks on both death and taxes. We will get there in a moment. Let’s start first on the mountain. Two key Old Testament heroes are Moses and Elijah. Moses wrote the Torah, first five books of the Old Testament, and God established his law through Moses. Then Elijah is one of the more known prophets of Israel and was expected to come again before the Messiah to restore all things in preparation of the Messiah’s coming. These two figures are extremely important in the Jewish faith. These Old Testament prophets appearing with Jesus on the mountain is a key reference to who Jesus is. He is better than Moses because he comes to fulfill the law. He is better than Elijah because he comes to truly restore all things and bring justice and true worship. While Moses and Elijah are important old Testament prophets, Jesus is far more important.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 14
by Compassion Creative on September 28th, 2023
Highlight When we read the Gospels it comes from a place where we are already aware of the ending. Jesus suffered, died, and was raised to life again. But the disciples did not know the ending. So when Jesus predicts his death for the first time, it is not surprising the disciples deny what he is saying. They knew the Old Testament prophecies that spoke of a messiah, like King David, who would sit on the throne and reestablish his kingdom. That was their idea of the messiah. They were not expecting the messiah to suffer, even though the prophets spoke of this.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 13
by Compassion Creative on September 27th, 2023
Highlight Two important cultural contexts appear here in chapter 15. The first is found while Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and teachers of the law. They approach Jesus, asking why his disciples do not keep the Jewish tradition of washing their hands before eating. Jesus strategically answers by asking his own question that leads to reveal their lack of understanding. Many of the Jewish laws were based on things being clean or unclean. Often if you touched or were in contact with something unclean, you would be cut off from the community for a day or days before being able to complete the required sacrifice and washes to be claimed cleaned again. For the leaders, they believed by having unclean hands you would defile yourself and become unclean. Jesus said it is not what goes in that makes you unclean, rather it is what comes out of your mouth that defiles you, because it comes from the heart.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 12
by Compassion Creative on September 26th, 2023
Highlight At first glance, these miracles seem to be disconnected. Yet looking closer, Matthew is highlighting the disciples' lack of understanding more than the miracles being performed. In the feeding of the five thousand, the dialogue is between the disciples and Jesus. The disciples are in favor of sending the crowd away, rather than providing food. Jesus is in favor of showing compassion and providing for the needs of the people. They seem to misunderstand Jesus’ mission and lack the faith that it can be done. Fast forward, it is the middle of the night with a storm surrounding them and they see a “ghost.” Their fear is real, but once Jesus says it is him, they still doubt. Not until the storm is calmed do they seem to connect Jesus as “the Son of God” and worship him for who he is. As you continue to read, notice the placement of miracles and where Matthew points out the disciples' lack of understanding and then understanding of who Jesus is.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 11
by Compassion Creative on September 25th, 2023
Highlight In Matthew 13, Jesus speaks to the crowds and his disciples about the Kingdom of Heaven. His use of parables, which is a simple story used to illustrate a spiritual lesson, are common throughout the Gospels. He even states in verses 11-17 that “he speaks in parables for the prophet Isaiah to be fulfilled, ‘that those seeing do not see, and those hearing do not understand.’” Yet, when the disciples ask him for the meaning of the parables, he is quick to explain and even ask if they understand.
Be. Become. Do. - Week 03 Launch
by Compassion Creative on September 23rd, 2023
Welcome Welcome to Week 3 of the 2023 Be. Become. Do. Reading Plan. This reading plan is designed to partner with Compassion Christian Church’s sermon series of the same name, which you can find information about right here . This is a series all about how we are each invited to embrace a life where we will be with Jesus, become like Jesus and then live our lives doing what Jesus would do In order to better apprentice under Jesus, we are going to spend our reading plan following his ministry by reading an eyewitness account written by one of his disciples: Matthew.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 10
by Compassion Creative on September 22nd, 2023
Highlight Matthew 12 focuses on the religious opposition that Jesus and his followers experienced. The Pharisees were a group of religious leaders who, in order to prevent their fellow Jews from breaking God’s law, enforced further regulations of their own design. One such area that was loaded with extra regulations was the day dedicated to God and rest: The Sabbath. The opening scene between Jesus and his disciples is particularly interesting because it gives an example of a conversation that was much more tense than modern western readers may immediately recognize.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 09
by Compassion Creative on September 21st, 2023
Highlight Chapters 11 and 12 focus on the disappointment and opposition that began to arise in response to Jesus’ ministry. The disappointment is expressed through a surprising source - John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin and the one who prepared the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry. He had been faithful, but that had landed him in prison (and would ultimately cost him his life). This led to his own struggle with doubt in the true identity of Jesus.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 08
by Compassion Creative on September 20th, 2023
Highlight Matthew 10 is the second of the five discourses that form the organization of the Book of Matthew. Matthew 10:37-39 is the perfect example of a famous idea put forward by C.S. Lewis (the famous Christian author) that he dubbed the “trilemma.” Here is Lewis - “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” - C.S. Lewis
Be. Become. Do. - Day 07
by Compassion Creative on September 19th, 2023
Highlight 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.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 06
by Compassion Creative on September 18th, 2023
Highlight 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.”
Be. Become. Do. - Week 02 Launch
by Compassion Creative on September 16th, 2023
Welcome to Week 2 of the 2023 Be. Become. Do. Reading Plan. This reading plan is designed to partner with Compassion Christian Church’s sermon series of the same name, which you can find information about right here. This is a series all about how we are each invited to embrace a life where we will be with Jesus, become like Jesus and then live our lives doing what Jesus would do In order to better apprentice under Jesus, we are going to spend our reading plan following his ministry by reading an eyewitness account written by one of his disciples: Matthew.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 05
by Compassion Creative on September 15th, 2023
Highlight Jesus ends his famous Sermon on the Mount with four warnings, each with a paired contrast: two ways, two trees, two claims, and two builders. The theme of these contrasted pairs is to make it abundantly clear that there is no neutral position that someone can hold on Jesus. You either follow him, or you don’t. One of the reasons this is so important can be shown in the response of the people at the end of his sermon: “they were amazed by his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority.” (v28-29) They don’t just mean that Jesus had a lot of confidence. They mean that he is personally claiming authority that no one else claimed. When prophets would teach the things of the Kingdom of God, they would end with “Thus says the Lord,” showing that their authority comes from Him. But Jesus has been saying, “But *I* say to you.” This claim to authority is unique, and the crowds recognized it as a claim to Messianic authority, even if they didn’t fully understand the true purpose of the Messiah. The authority that Jesus has claimed in his teaching is about to be confirmed in the performing of miracles.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 04
by Compassion Creative on September 14th, 2023
Highlight Verse 1 sets up the first half of the chapter. This is a principle that unites the next three examples that Jesus gives. A Jewish audience would have thought of specific behaviors when Jesus said “acts of righteousness,” and the first three things that would come to mind are almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. These are exactly the next three things that Jesus addresses, and the structure of his teaching is the same for all three. But in the first verse, Jesus tells us the fundamental idea that we must remember - our motivation matters. Doing what is good must be a response to the love and goodness of our Father, not in order to receive the praise of others. The structure is the same - First, a warning not to do the act in order to receive praise from others. Second, a guarantee that if you ignore this warning you’ll get exactly what you are looking for and nothing more. Third, instruction on how to do the same ‘act of righteousness’ in secret. And finally, an assurance that your Heavenly Father will both see you and reward you.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 03
by Compassion Creative on September 12th, 2023
Highlight The Sermon on the Mount is the first of five great teachings of Jesus recorded for us by Matthew. This is yet another example of the way that Matthew is intentionally connecting Jesus to the Old Testament. This time, it’s a connection between Jesus and the great teacher of Israel’s history: Moses. Moses was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and bring them to the Promised Land. Moses was the intermediary between Israel and God, speaking to them about God’s law and how they were to be distinct from the world around them. Moses’ teachings were recorded in five great books, the Torah, which make up the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Matthew builds his account of Jesus’ life around five teachings to draw a connection between Jesus and Moses.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 02
by Compassion Creative on September 12th, 2023
Highlight The Temptation of Jesus is a fascinating passage of Scripture. To understand what’s happening, one of the important things to remember is that Jesus is the fulfillment of not only Old Testament prophecies, but also the one who does perfectly what others have failed to do. In Exodus 4:22, the nation of Israel is called “God’s son,” but ultimately Israel fails to obey their Father. In the Temptation, Jesus is the better Israel who succeeds where they failed. Jesus was taken into the wilderness after his baptism like Israel was led into the wilderness after their deliverance from Egypt. Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness; Jesus spent 40 days. All of the Scripture references quoted by Jesus are from Deuteronomy 6-8, which is a period of time when Israel faced its early testing. In every way, Jesus succeeds where we have failed and is the fulfillment of all the things that God originally intended for us.
Be. Become. Do. - Day 01
by Compassion Creative on September 11th, 2023
Highlight The Book of Matthew’s primary purpose, like all of the Gospels, is to record the words and life of Jesus to show his divinity and capture his teachings for His followers. But each Gospel was written for a different audience, and therefore has been tailored for that audience. Matthew’s audience is culturally Jewish people, so he puts extra emphasis on showing how Jesus’ life matches the prophecies in the Old Testament about God’s Messiah (“Anointed One”).
Be. Become. Do. - Week 01 Launch
by Compassion Creative on September 9th, 2023
Welcome to Week 1 of the 2023 Be. Become. Do. Reading Plan. This reading plan is designed to partner with Compassion Christian Church’s sermon series of the same name. This is a series all about how we are each invited to embrace a life where we will be with Jesus, become like Jesus and then live our lives doing what Jesus would do In order to better apprentice under Jesus, we are going to spend our reading plan following his ministry by reading an eyewitness account written by one of his disciples: Matthew.