Sunday, May 28, 2017

Explore the Bible, Personal Study Guide: Matthew 14-28, Spring 2017 by Rodney Woo (Editor), Argile Smith

5 of 5 stars  *****

The Gospel of Matthew is about the life of Jesus, His teachings, and his promise that He will always be with His disciples. This study guide concentrates on the last six months Jesus spends on this earth as a man and God. The group is asked about the divinity of Jesus from the beginning to the end of this Spring lesson. 

Matthew writes about his experience with Jesus and records His words during a time the apostles are challenged about their faith. Jesus goes from being exalted, praised, and adored when he first enters Jerusalem on a young donkey, fulfilling scripture, to suffering the persecution, humiliation, betrayal, and eventual death on the cross. The fear that fills the apostles is very real, very human, and very connected to life in the world. Even though Jesus tells His followers that He will defeat death by the sacrifice of His life, they still fear the Jewish hierarchy who seek to crush the rebellion, as they saw it, the Nazarene caused. 

The major event upon which Christianity bases itself is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His appearance to the apostles and over 500 others before He ascends to heaven. Matthew records the significance of the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enlightening the apostles so they can carry out Christ's Great Commission, spreading the Gospel to all corners of the world. 

They, men, are not to convert but merely bring the words of Jesus and the covenant He makes with mankind. The Holy Spirit does the conversions, the counseling, and the connecting to Jesus who justifies so that, with repentance, mankind may be sanctified by the grace of God. This is the born again being who follows the path of Jesus in the Spiritual realm with everlasting life rather than giving into the selfish desires of the world and the flesh. The new covenant also allows each person to speak directly to the Holy Spirit, the Son, and the Father; all God in one Trinity.