Genesis 3:1-4:26, Matthew 2:13-3:6, Psalm 2:1-12, Proverbs 1:7-9
Today is the second day of January, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is great to be here with you today on day two of our grand adventure through every book, every chapter, every verse in the entire Bible, welcome back. This is sort of move in week, where we just kind get our bearings and our rhythm and then realize, pretty quickly, how poignant the Bible is and can be. And so, as we just began the journey yesterday, we began four books Genesis, in the Old Testament. Matthew, which is the first book of the New Testament. And then Psalms and Proverbs, and that’s a lot of moving in, in one day. And so, we’re taken a few days just to kind of go over, kind of give an overview of what it is we’re reading. And so, we oriented ourselves a little bit to the book of Genesis yesterday. And we’ll do the same thing when we get to the book of Matthew today. But before we get to Matthew, we have another step forward in the book of Genesis. We’re reading from the New Living Translation this week, Genesis chapters 3 and 4.
Introduction to the Book of Matthew:
Okay, so yesterday we began the book of Matthew. We didn’t talk much about the book of Matthew. But if we will recall, we read an extensive line of genealogy that led us all the way to the birth of Jesus. And then, we went through the birth narrative and we we’re just talking about how we just came through this season. And so, it’s very familiar in our minds. And I mentioned that those genealogies, although they may not be the most interesting things to read or hear, are very important when we come across them in the Bible. People that we met in the book of Matthew yesterday, are all people that we will get to know. Every single one of those names are people that we will encounter again, as we move our way through the Old Testament. Which brings us to today, where we kind of dive into day two in the book of Matthew. But let’s just do a little fly over. Matthew is a part of a grouping of books, just like Genesis is a part of a grouping of books. So, yesterday we talked about Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; the first five books in the Bible. They are known as the Torah, as they are grouped together or the Pentateuch. So, Matthew is a part of a grouping of books. And you probably already know this, but Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are known as the four Gospels. And each one of the Gospels, and we’ll go through them in order, so we did spend quite a bit of time here at the front of the year with Jesus. Because the gospel narratives of the story of Jesus life and ministry, and his teachings. And as Christians we center our lives around what He was teaching and what He is teaching. So, in the New Testament, we will be moving right through the gospels. So, we get to kind of walk right alongside Jesus, be in the crowds with Him. Be among the disciples, become a disciple of the Savior Jesus, as we move through the Gospels. Matthew was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, so he walked with Jesus literally and heard Jesus on a daily basis. He was a disciple. So, he had devoted his life to following his Rabbi, following Jesus as a rabbi and they came to understand that Jesus was more than Rabbi. But we’ll get to that as we move through the Gospels. Nevertheless, Matthew had first-hand knowledge of what he’s talking about. And as we will discover, Matthew in his previous life before becoming a disciple of Jesus, was a tax collector. So, he was, he was a hated person and he was very just disliked because to the Jews, Matthew’s a Jew collecting taxes on behalf of Rome, from the Jewish people. And so, he’s looked at like, basically like a trader. And the way that taxes worked in the Roman Empire among people like the Jewish people, somebody or somebodies with lots of money, would approach the Roman government and say we want to collect taxes from Roman and then they pay a bunch of money to basically buy the rights to collect taxes on behalf of Rome. And then those people who bought that right, hire people to actually go do the dirty work and collect the taxes. And in the process, you can imagine that there is corruption involved and so, there’s over taxation that ends up in the pockets of the tax collector. And so, these people are not well-liked. So, when a Jew is collecting taxes on behalf of Rome for another, from another Jew, that just seems disingenuous. And so, they were not liked. And so, the first thing we should probably just kind of understand here is that Jesus called as one of his 12 disciples, people who would live and walk with him during his earthly ministry. He called a person nobody liked. He called an outsider. That is not only riveting but important, because as we read through the book of Matthew, there’s a lot of things that happen but the outsider. Or rather the inclusion of the outsider in God’s kingdom is something we will see quite clearly, if we’re looking for it. And we can nod our heads yes, and shake our heads yes, thank God that He loves the outsider, but the challenge then becomes, how are we treating the ones on the margins? How are we treating the outsider? Because we have an example of Jesus, and we claim to be His followers, His disciples, we claim that our faith and our goals are to become like our Savior, to become Christ-like. If we do not conduct ourselves in any way like Jesus, then what are we saying? Words are just falling from our lips that mean absolutely nothing. They’re just a black puddle on the floor, they mean nothing. Jesus called Matthew. Matthew left everything to follow Jesus. So, we’re getting the perspective of a person who left a certain kind of life and entered a completely different kind of life and was utterly transformed. The text, itself, in the book of Matthew, is aimed at Jewish believers. It’s a very Hebrew centric gospel, it quotes from the Old Testament more than any of the other Gospels do, and it works harder than any of the other Gospels do to reveal Jesus fulfilling Hebrew prophecy. More than that, and if this is your first time through the Bible, like if you’ve wandered in here going, I’ve got to find some sort of rootedness in spirituality, we get to meet Jesus, we get to walk alongside Jesus, we get to know Him pretty well, and we get to know His style. And we to see His rabbinical teachings, in the way that you would teach in parables. Which are like, which are like illustration stories that have layer, after layer of meaning that can be pondered. So, that the meaning is far greater than the amount of words that were used to tell the story. And there are over 20 parables that are in the book of Matthew. So, we’ll obviously read every word of them. And then lastly, we will see and we will hear Jesus speaking about a kingdom. A kingdom that is of God. In fact, it’s God’s kingdom. And Jesus speaking to Hebrew people, they weren’t unfamiliar with this concept. And they wished for God’s kingdom, but they were in a position, and we’ll go through all of the story, as we go through the Bible, but they were in a position in the first century, when Jesus was upon the earth, where they lived in a land that had been, at one point, their ancestral homeland. But at this point in history, it was part of the Roman Empire. It was a province of the Roman Empire, the province of Syria. But what the Hebrew people wanted was to find a Messiah, some leader, a Messiah, a godly character, a godly person, who could rally people together, and would lead people in the truth but that would also lead them into battle, to overcome miraculously Rome, and throw them out of the land, and then they could have this kingdom of God again, they could have their land back after a millennia. So, Jesus comes walking through the countryside, village-to-village, speaking to people who understand this concept and have this seething rage toward Rome because they are marginalized and oppressed. And He announces the kingdom of heaven is at hand, they’re listening. This could be that guy. He could lead them into battle. And so, Jesus continues to teach about the kingdom of heaven. And it turns out that the kingdom of heaven isn’t something that’s coming. It’s something that is. Is here. Is now. And is coming, its fullness is coming, but it’s here now. And so, Jesus reveals the kingdom of God. And it’s not the kingdom that the people were expecting. And we’ll get to see the tension that arises from that. So, there’s a little bit of a flyover of Matthew. Let’s dive into our day, to our second reading from the gospel of Matthew, which will be chapter 2 verse 13 through 3 verse 6.
Okay, so we’ve already spent some time talking about Matthew. And I don’t want to overwhelm us with all kinds of information but as we’re moving in, it’s really, really important that we get oriented to the story and understand what’s going on here. And the book of Genesis today, we found out what happened to us, because yesterday, we’re reading through the creation narratives and we’re getting this glimpse of things as they were intended to be. So, yesterday I was just saying like let’s take a step back and look around and we have to acknowledge that something happened because this isn’t perfect. We have all kinds of conveniences and a beautiful planet to live on, that sustains our lives, but we are a mess. Something happened. And that’s what we get to see in the book of Genesis today with the third chapter of Genesis. One of the saddest moments in the Bible and there are some sad moments in the Bible, but this is one of the saddest of them all. We know the story as the fall. The fall of mankind and knowing that sets up the trajectory of the rest of the Bible. The rest of the story. God made something perfect, including perfect human beings, who wanted knowledge of good and evil, instead of trusting God to sort that out. And we have been using this knowledge ever since to understand something that is far beyond our understanding, the love of God. And we have made a colossal mess out of an awful lot of things, as we all know. We broke the story. I mean, that’s what we see here in Genesis 3. We see what happened. The rest of the story is one of a God who will not stop putting things back together again and inviting his people to be intimately involved in that process. And it’s very easy to think and I’ve thought like, I mean I’m a child who grew up in a pastor’s home, so the Bible stories are stories I’ve heard from before I could even talk. And this story of…of the garden of Eden and the fall of man and the talking serpent and the swinging swords from the Angels guarding the entrance to the garden of Eden, like I can still see this imagery from my childhood trying to imagine it. But even as a child, I was like why would God put that tree in the garden in the first place, if it were the possibility of breaking the whole plan? Why is that there? Why did they even get that choice? And as I have pondered that over decades, I have come to realize that love can’t actually be love, if there’s no way out. That’s more like slavery. And an enslaved human being can do all sorts of things that they hate, and connect all sorts of ways that aren’t true, including faking love, in order to avoid consequences. But love offered from the heart, a covenant of love, that’s not something that can be faked, it’s either true or it’s false. God loved what He had made. He called it good and very good. He loved the children that He had made. He came to walk with them in the cool of the evening. Love isn’t love, if there’s no way out. And the tree was that opportunity, and we took the opportunity. And we can blame Adam and Eve, we can do all that kind of stuff but we’re doing the same thing every day, because what is ultimately happening in the book of Genesis is deception was introduced into the story. This serpent is having this conversation with Eve saying, really, God said you can’t eat this? You’re not gonna die if you eat this. God’s afraid of you eating this. God’s holding out on you, if you eat this you’ll become like God. You’ll know good and evil. You won’t need this God who is withholding important information from you. Become God yourself. Eat the fruit. That has been our story ever since. But we will see as we read through the Old Testament and now that we’re reading through the Gospels and the life of Jesus that God has been putting things back together, ever since. Then we will continue with that journey going forward tomorrow.
And Father, we thank You for Your word and we thank You for allowing us to gather, to be in the world at this time, with this technology and able to be far-flung all over the world, representing all kinds of different cultural contexts, all stripes and flavors of theological persuasion. We’re able to come here together, around the Global Campfire and immerse ourselves in what the Bible says by simply reading and absorbing it together. Thank You for this gift. And, Holy Spirit, although this may be the first time that we ask this year, it won’t be the last, lead us into all truth. This is something promised in the Scriptures. We believe that You will. Our role will be to be openhearted and openhanded as You lead us. So, thank You for inviting us to this grand dance, as we take the adventure of a lifetime through the Scriptures. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home base, it is the websites. It’s where we find out what’s going on around here, home of the Global Campfire that we come around every day and gather. The Daily Audio Bible app will allow you to see and interact with all things are on the website. So, download the app from the App Store that’s associated with your device. Just look for Daily Audio Bible and you can download the app for free, so check that out. And while we’re doing some checking out, check out the different sections like the Community Section. There are links to get connected on social media or begin to follow. But in the Community Section we’ll also find the Prayer Wall, which will become an invaluable resource for us, as we navigate through the year, because it’s always on and never off, it’s always there. We can always go there. Can’t sleep, want to focus outward instead of focusing inward on the problems that are keeping you awake, want to put your mind toward others, go to the Prayer Wall. Read what people are asking for prayer and what how they’re sharing their lives and their stories, pray for them. Let them know you prayed for them. Or maybe you can’t sleep because you’re getting crushed and you’ve been dragging chains around so long that you can’t move anymore, and you feel alone. You’re not. Go share your story. Let your brothers and sisters come around you, the Prayer Wall is always there for us, as we navigate through year together. So, check that out.
If you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible. First of all, thank you, humbly, we wouldn’t be in this if we weren’t in this together. And now, we’re in year 18, seven days a week. So, we’re in this together. And I thank you. There’s a mission here, to bring the spoken word of God read fresh every day and offered freely to anyone who will listen, anywhere on this planet, any time of day or night, and to build community around that rhythm of showing up every day. That’s what we call the Global Campfire, coming together every day, knowing for certain, this isn’t a solitary journey. We are not on it alone. So, if that is life-giving to you, then thank you for your partnership. There is a link on the homepage dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996 Springhill, Tennessee 37174.
And as always, if you have a prayer request or encouragement that you want to share, you can hit the Hotline button in the app, that’s little red button up at the top or you can dial 877-942-4253.
And that’s it for today, I’m Brian, I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here, tomorrow.
Prayer and Encouragements:
James The Teacher, my friend, I’m Sparky in Texas. I heard you on community prayer brother, about your daughter’s recital and it really hit home with me. As you know, my kids moved to Northwest, up around Portland with their mother. The day before they flew out, for the last time before moving, I had had a real tough time with the build-up. And the day before they left, I stayed up really late, really stressed out. And then that next morning, when my parents were flying out with them, they left at probably 430 or 5 in the morning, and I was so tired that I missed them leaving at the airport. And it crushed me, absolutely crushed me. And I could not forgive myself over it. I beat on myself. I knew my ex-wife was probably gonna do some beating on me too. And out of all of that, it occurred to me that God might not have wanted me there for a reason, in a weird way. We don’t understand, and I’m like you, I’m dead set, point on when I’m at work, running crews, running guys. And then it seems like I can miss things, ADD-ish at the house, and I feel like I fall short. But God’s got you. He knows what’s supposed to happen. And your daughter still loves you man. There’s many more, hopefully. Love you dude, good to hear from you.
Good morning, Daily Audio Family. This is God’s Chosen, calling from California. Channel to all the special needs parents, all the care givers and all those who have been praying and uplifting us in this prayer line. It’s been so encouraging. I myself, am a parent of a special needs daughter. But I thank God for His daily strength. She’s 7 years old. We begin our day with Psalms and we end our day with Psalms. And I’m gonna sing a song with her. Right here. This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. We will rejoice, we will rejoice, and be glad in it, and be glad in it. This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay. And I’m so happy, so very happy. I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart. And I’m so happy, so very happy. I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart. Amen. Amen.
This is Jersey Jane for Jesus. And my prayer goes out to Greg from Southwest Sweden, I believe you said. Your wife is under terrible stress. Your mother-in-law is having stomach issues. You are having trouble finding a job until you finish your courses. I pray that all these things, calm down. That you should find work. That the stress in your wife’s job, should lessen. That it would be surrounded with peace. That her co-workers are kind and good and godly. That is the main thing, that they are godly. And I pray the blood of Jesus over your mother-in-law. That she be healed, through Jesus’s healing hands. And I wish you also, a Happy New Year, Greg. And it was nice to hear from you. And I pray, and I pray, and I pray. Amen.
Good evening, this is Peggy in Texas. And I come, asking for prayer for Ben my son. It was almost a year ago that I requested prayer for him. That was when he entered the emergency room of a local hospital. And he was diagnosed with COVID 19. He was placed on a ventilator and was there for 3 months. And had a feeding tube, of course. And all kinds of things happened to him during those months. He was, had a collapsed lung and he had a heart valve infection and he had another infection and then he had, he had a massive stroke, somewhere along the line. He was able to be removed from the ventilator in April and actually, since then, he has really been hospitalized or in a physical therapy rehab place, 12 of them as right now, as of right now. It’s been so hard. It’s been catastrophic. Ben, Ben needs prayer. He has tremendous tremors. And those tremors make it impossible for him to hold onto the bars and try to stand. We, he had surgery on both feet to straighten them in order that he might be able to stand. He has not had the opportunity to do that. He is suffering. It hurts to see a child suffer. He is a wonderful man; he loves the Lord. Has raised a precious family, four children, they are all out in their first jobs, after graduating from college. And he has a lovely wife. Ben’s illness has been catastrophic in so many ways.
Hello, no, are you sure. No, not Pelim. I never. Ah man, you just never know. I guess I just took this community for granted. I just, I never called and told him. I never told him how much he means to me. I never told him how much I enjoy his calls. I never told him. Man. Melissa, you’re one. I think you’re amazing. I think you’re great. I love when you call. I love your intro, I love your voice. I love how much capacity you have for everybody. You’re amazing and I just pray to God that He blesses you. Renzo, Renzo man, you’re special bro. You’re special kid. You’re special. I wish there was a way that you could share your music with us, man. I just, I wanna hear it bro. Man. There’s so many. There’s so many. You guys are special. I just can’t, I know death happens, I understand it. I know it. But I just, I just never told him. I never told him. It doesn’t matter but. I just wish I could have told him. God bless every one of you guys. Shawn 3:16.
Hey, my Daily Audio Bible siblings. Good morning. I just could not let this year go by before I say, Happy New Year to all of you. You’re all my siblings, young and older. So many of you have blessed me during the year, 2022. Thank you, Brian, Jill your voice in music. It’s amazing. I love being here. I love this family. For real, you guys are my family. I love you guys. You guys are my church. This is what I enjoy the most, though I do go to church on Sundays. And I enjoy it but this is my favorite part, my Daily Audio Bible. I want to wish you a Happy New Year, may this year, the new year bring us closer to the Lord. May we be consistent with the reading of the Bible. Yeah, I was consistent for the whole year of 2022, it’s amazing. I cannot do it without God and your prayers. So, yeah, I just wanted to tell you how much I love you guys. You guys are important in my life. Thank you for all your encouragement, your prayers. Oh, I have so many favorite ones here. This is Minita from Lambart. God bless you. I love you so much.