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One of my new year’s resolutions is to read the New Testament through, again. I’m reading The New Testament in Modern English. I’ve had it for a long time and it’s my favorite because it’s so easy to read. So to keep myself focused for the year I am going to make a weekly blog post with my summary of what I have read. I hope it sparks an interest in others to read the Bible. The first week is Matthew 1-5.
The first 17 verses in chapter one covers the lineage of Jesus Christ. It’s basically the genealogy of Jesus all the way from Abraham. Beginning in verse 18 we learn about the virgin birth of Jesus to Mary and Joseph. Joseph had a message from an angel explaining that Mary had been chosen by the Holy Spirit to give birth to a son who would save his people from their sins. Joseph married Mary and named the baby Jesus as the angel instructed him to.
Chapter two tells the story of Jesus being born in Bethlehem. King Herod was upset because Jesus was a child born to be king of the Jews. He sent the wise men to find Jesus under the pretense that he wanted to worship him, too. He actually wanted to kill him. The wise men took gifts and worshipped baby Jesus but were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod. Then an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to escape with his family to Egypt so King Herod couldn’t hurt them. They stayed in Egypt until Herod died. After that, an angel told Joseph that it was safe to move his family to Israel but on the way he was warned to go to Galilee. This is where they settled in a small town called Nazareth.
John the Baptist arrives and is preaching in the deserts of Judea. This is where he says, “It is true that I baptize you with water as a sign of your repentance, but the one who follows me is far stronger than I am-indeed, I am not fit to carry his shoes.” Later in the chapter Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. John felt that he was not worthy to baptize Jesus but Jesus said, “It is right for us to meet all the Law’s demands-let it be so now.” So John baptized him and when Jesus came up out of the water the heavens opened and the Spirit of God came down like a dove and rested on him. A voice came from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
In chapter 4 Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert being tempted by the devil, but Jesus would not succumb to the temptations. Finally, he said, “Away with you, Satan”, and the devil left him alone and the angels came to care for Jesus. After that, Jesus began his ministry in Galilee and began to pick his disciples. Brothers Peter and Andrew were the first chosen, followed by James and John, who were also brothers. All 4 of these men were fishermen. Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching and preaching the good news of the gospel. People with various ailments were brought to Jesus and he healed them. He was followed on his journeys by enormous crowds.
The first 10 verses in Matthew 5 are known as the Beatitudes. These were taught during the Sermon on the Mount They are a good guide to live a happy Christian life.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
- Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- Blessed are the clean in heart, for they will see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Sermon on the Mount was Jesus preaching to multitudes of people from a mountain top. He educated his disciples during this time. Some subjects he taught on were murder, adultery, divorce, making oaths, and loving our enemies.
Stay safe out there. Next weeks reading is Matthew 6-10.