The One Year New Testament

January 8

Matthew 4:12-25

Matthew 4:12-25

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

Reflection

Jesus begins his ministry by proclaiming the coming kingdom (Matt. 4:17). This is a merciful reminder that the heavenly kingdom will one day arrive in all its glory, though we must realize that this kingdom is available only to those who repent (v. 17). For now, Jesus brings an initial taste of the kingdom of God with him everywhere he goes, and God’s rule is clearly seen in his ministry. In the presence of Jesus, disease, affliction, pain, demonic oppression, and disability all begin to disappear. Additionally, Jesus does good to people from many lands (v. 25), not merely to his own people. He is fulfilling ancient promises that said the Messiah would heal his people and make them a light to the nations (Isa. 19:16–24; 35:5–6; 49:6).

Having received this mercy, the church today is called to be a place where the people of God extend mercy to others from all backgrounds and nations in the name of our merciful Savior.

Romans 3:1-8

Romans 3:1-8

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,

“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you are judged.”

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

Reflection

God’s “oracles,” the Old Testament Scriptures, are one of his greatest gifts to his people (Rom. 3:2). Since Christ’s coming, “Scripture” now includes two Testaments, Old and New, and they are crucial for our faith. In fact, Paul will remind us that, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (10:17).

The Scripture forms the people of God, and in all ages this is a priceless gift. The Old and New Testaments are the divinely inspired words of God to his people, regardless of whether they have been faithful to obey his Word (3:3– 4). God and his words are entirely true, faithful, and righteous.

Psalm 145:9

Psalm 145:9

The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.

Thoughts For Prayer

The God of mercy has called us to show others the same mercy he has shown to us. Pray that God would continue to use you and your church to reflect his heart of mercy to the world around you.

Missions Prayer Requests More

  • August 14, 2020

    Supported Workers: The Women's Clinic of Cleveland

    Country: United States of America

    Pray for a member of their staff who has COVID-19. Pray for wisdom and discernment as they plan to re-open the Clinic in September. Ask the Lord to grant strength and endurance to the staff as they deal with challenging clients whose hearts and minds are set on abortion. They are thankful for the Pregnancy Resource Centers who have assisted their clients.

    Jilin Province (province of China) (Asia). In the large and urban cities, there is a much lower percentage of Christians. Pray for churches to be multiplied in urban areas, especially as increasing numbers of rural people migrate to the cities. Pray for protection against the recent rise of pseudo-Christian cults that target house churches to steal away believers. From Operation World DVD-ROM 2010, www.operationworld.org