Genesis 1:1-2:25, Matthew 1:1-2:12, Psalms 1:1-6, Proverbs 1:1-6
Today is the 2nd day of January. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is awesome to be here with you today. We set sail yesterday into this new year and we’re barely away from shore, but we are certainly on the voyage of the year and of a lifetime as we go through the entire Bible this year and do it together, do it in community and it’s hard to describe what that’s like until you make one trip and we are on that trip. We’re just all sort of getting moved in for the year, kind of getting everything situated, understanding where everything goes and how it all works and that’ll happen, we just step-by-step day by day a little bit more gets unpacked and then we find a rhythm and off we go, sailing through the year. So, we established yesterday that will be reading a little bit of the Old Testament, a little bit from the new Testament, a little bit from Psalms, and a little bit from Proverbs every day as we take this journey. And we did that yesterday, but every time that we come to a new book, we will talk about it, give a little context, that’s a big deal around here, the context of any particular book. This helps us to understand who it was written to, when it was written, and what it was trying to communicate, and how those who had originally heard it would’ve understood it so that we can contextualize it into our own lives appropriately and get the knowledge that God has bestowed upon us through the Scriptures. So, we began in the Old Testament yesterday with the book of Genesis and we talked about that. Today when we get to our New Testament portion we’ll talk about the book of Matthew, which we began yesterday, but, like I said, we’re slowly moving into the year finding our rhythm. So, before we talk about Matthew let’s go into the book of Genesis and see where we are in the story. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Genesis chapter 3 verse 1 through 4 verse 26
Introduction to the book of Matthew:
Okay. So, now we have come to our New Testament reading for the day, this will be our second day in the book of Matthew and we talked about the book of Genesis yesterday to get into our year and so now let’s talk about what we’re reading in the book of Matthew. Matthew, just like Genesis is a part of a grouping of books and this particular grouping of books has four titles in it: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and these are known as the Gospels. Now, in terms of time, like, when these books were written, Mark is the first of the Gospels to be written, followed by Matthew, then by Luke, and then by John. So, we’re reading the book of Matthew first and you might think, like, why are they not in the order they are written? We’ll get to that in a second. The first three Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the synoptic Gospels and their called this because they share the same blueprint and it is thought that that blueprint is the gospel of Mark, the first gospel. So, Matthew, Mark, and Luke share a lot of the same stories, actually in a lot of the same exact wording, but not entirely. So, Mark comes first, you know, it’s sort of the first roughhewn gospel written about the life of Jesus ever. This happens, maybe 10, 15 years after Jesus death. The gospel of Matthew comes about a decade, decade and half later and Matthew has a specific purpose. Yes, it’s utilizing some of the stories found in Mark but it expands upon those stories and it’s written for a specific purpose, to reveal that Jesus is the fulfillment of so much of what had been foretold in the Old Testament, which is a fitting way to begin the New Testament, by reviewing that the Old Testament prophecies have and are being fulfilled in this person of Jesus - God in the flesh come to earth. Now, Matthew is one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and so he speaks, you know, with the voice of a first-hand witness to the events that are recorded. And, in terms of Matthew, as we’ll see, Jesus calls him, but he was a tax collector. And in the first century he worked for the Roman authorities he’s collecting taxes from his Hebrew brothers and sisters and so these people are thought of as traders and that’s why the tax collector in the New Testament is like an outcast person, they betray their own people and exploit their own people and so their hated, but, you know, they’re willing to do it because it’s a lucrative thing and they can become wealthy up and above and be perceived more as aligned with the Roman culture instead of the outcast Hebrews. So, when Jesus calls Matthew he has everything to lose and he leaves it all behind and follows Jesus. So, from that perspective what we’re reading is from a man who gave up a life that he knew that was working for him in exchange for this fantastic leap of faith to follow a man that he believed was the son of God. And, you know, since the topic of the Gospels is centered around the life and ministry of Jesus, we’ll start to get to know Jesus pretty well in this book and we’ll start to understand His personality and His style, and we’ll encounter over 20 parables in the gospel of Matthew. And parables are like symbolic picture stories that Jesus used a lot in his ministry to not just, you know, give information, but to draw a picture that spoke to something deeper, the issues of the heart, the interior life, where, according to Jesus, the kingdom of God is, and is coming, and is now, and is among us. And that is one thing we will be hard-pressed to miss in the book of Matthew, the rumblings of the kingdom of heaven, and that it is near, and that it is now, and that Jesus came to not only be the king of this kingdom, but to announce it. And, so, we take our second step from the book of Matthew. Today, Chapter 2 verse 13 to 3 verse 6.
Okay. So, we covered some significant territory and were not like even away from shore yet, right? We’re just like day two into our voyage through the Scriptures and we’re just getting out of the harbor and we’ve covered some significant territory. Today in the book of Genesis we see one of the saddest portions of Scripture that we’re going to encounter and there are some pretty sad scenes that we’ll find in the Bible, but this one is particularly sad because it sets the trajectory for the human race. There’s a garden and it’s called Eden and there’s a tree of life and there’s a tree of the knowledge of good and evil and we probably all know this story and we know that Eve has a conversation with serpent and she eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that she was forbidden to eat from, she gives the fruit to Adam, they eat. This is known as the fall of man and, you know, it’s sad on a number of levels but it’s a sad scene to see God walking in the garden at the end of an evening looking for his children to spend some time with them and their hiding and they never knew to hide before, they never knew fear like that before, they ever knew they were naked before. And, so, when God finds them He says, “what are doing here?” And they’re like, “I was naked, so I hid.” That right their friends pretty much describes our lives if you’ll think about it for a moment. I was naked, I was exposed so I hid. And it’s just sad because God looks at them and says, “what have you done?” And here we are here, here we are, and this is the trajectory that we chose and now we see how we got from there to here, and we see murder introduced and we see hatred introduced into the story in today’s reading alone. So, there’s this plenty to think about and meditate upon just from the book of Genesis today.
And then we came to the New Testament and we read from the book of Matthew and we discussed Matthew already, but probably if you were paying attention, you can see that, you know, like you can’t turn around in the book of Matthew without Jesus fulfilling some sort of prophecy. That is the intention of this particular gospel, is to connect those dots from the ancient Hebrew story to what God was doing in the world when Jesus came because it was a new thing and people were having a very, very difficult time and we’ll talk about that as we move through the entire new Testament. Matthews gospel as well as so many of the other writers in the New Testament are to reveal to the Hebrew people this is not a surprise, this is been foretold all along, what is happening is something that we have been looking for and waiting for. And we’ll see how that story pans out and how it unfolds as we continue in the book of Matthew and through the rest of the Gospels.
And then we get into our reading from Proverbs today and we’re told that the fear of the Lord, and this is the awe and respect, the overwhelming awareness of how sovereign and how powerful and how almighty that God is, and there’s no way we can comprehend that with our minds. So, we come to a place of silence and awe because there’s no way to…its too…God is too powerful, too big, too beyond us and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and it is a fool who despises wisdom and discipline. So, this is just day 2. We aren’t even out of the harbor and the Bible is speaking to the depths of our identity. I mean, stir that around in your cup today, “I was naked and so I hid” and realize how much that describes your life or meditate upon the fact that the fear of the Lord is beginning of knowledge, that’s where we start, that is the starting point and there’s so much there to contemplate.
Father, we thank you for your word, we thank you for bringing us into this new year and letting us set sail once again for a journey that will take us physically all the way around the sun and we will experience all of the seasons of where we live on this planet and every day will be a new beginning for us and we will have the opportunity to make choices that are going to matter and are gonna add up to what this year of our life looks like. And you have given us a gift that no matter what is going on we can consult and we can come back to and you can speak to us through your word. And, so, we are grateful and we’re looking at it and seeing this does touch everything and you’ve touched some deep things in our lives today alone, but by the time this year is over you will have…you will have touched everything about our identity and who we are and we will have choices to make. And, so, come Holy Spirit. Lead us into all truth. This is your promise and this is why we come here, to allow your word to speak on its own behalf, to hear every word that is in this book and to understand its context, and not to not be confused about it anymore. And the less we become confused about your word the less we become confused about our lives because it is showing us how to live here. So, we thank you and we invite you. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.