Matthew 1:1-17

The Genealogy of Jesus

1A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[a] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Eliud,
15Eliud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.[b]

 

Almost every Christmas in the Catholic church, they would threaten to read a much longer narrative of Jesus’ genealogy. I remember praying, “Please, don’t let them read that whole thing!!”

What I have learned since that time is how important where Jesus came from really is. Jesus was fulfilling the old testament prophecies, which was very specific about the origin of the Messiah. More on Matthew to come…

thoughts…

Tomorrow – 4/16, I am going to fast and pray through dinner. I want to really spend some time praying on what God wants me to do with my life: job-wise, family-wise, etc.

If you read this blog, it would be awesome if you could also pray for me on these issues. I will be praying for wisdom, discernment, courage and peace on these issues.

Thanks!!

Colossians 4:1 – 18

1Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Final Greetings

7Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[a] circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

10My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

16After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

17Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

18I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

I think it is interesting that he begins this chapter with a reminder to masters of slaves that just as they have authority on earth, God has authority over earthly masters in heaven. It seems to me to be another way of saying, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

The other striking element of this particular passage is the paragraph that talks about prayer. Colossians actually addresses prayer quite frequently for such a short book. He talks about being in prayer for others constantly, just as much as he asks others to pray for him. It reminds me of the importance of prayer as a cornerstone and foundation of the church and our relationships with others. This is a very convicting message for me personally because I know that I do not dwell in prayer as I should. More on that later.

I love that Paul always remembers the “mundane” stuff in his notes. I always find it interesting to see his little messages to others and I love to see who he is talking to. I am always encouraged by the women he talks to – Nympha who has a church in her home. How cool is it that she went out on a limb and hosted a church in her own home? That takes boldness!

I was also encouraged by Paul’s seemingly cryptic message to Archippus that he finish the work that God has given him. Isn’t that how it is for each of us now? God has a purpose for us and we should see to it that we complete it.

Colossians 3:18-25

Rules for Christian Households

18Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

It is so hard to read the first verse of this because I don’t like the “s” word. But the important thing is that vs 18 does not exist in a vacuum. It is immediately followed by “husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” If I submit, it is easier to love me and if Frank loves me, it is easier for me to want to submit. When all is working as it should, it becomes easier for us to take on our appropriate roles. The last verses, 22, remind me to work for Jesus, not for man. It doesn’t matter that these men were slaves, but it does matter that we act with integrity at all times – both when people are watching, but even more importantly when people are NOT watching.

col 3:1-17

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I love that Paul reminds us that Jesus died for everyone’s sins, not just the sins of the Jews. And I love that he tells us to “put on” virtuous behavior because that is not our first inclination. When it is convenient to be kind, we are. Paul knows that it has to be a conscious effort to be patient and gentle.

colossians 2:13-23

13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,[b] God made you[c] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.[d]

16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

20Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

I haven’t really read Colossians in a while and I find myself struggling to keep up with it. Paul covers so much ground in just a few sentences that it can be difficult to digest the first sentence by the time I’m on the second. THe general idea, that I am grasping, is that Christ conquered the old law. I should not bind myself to the law because I belong to Jesus and not to this world. How I measure myself should be based on Jesus and not the law/rules that are no longer relevant. Again, I am feeling that I need to evaluate more closely what I believe and make sure it is based on the Bible and Jesus and not superstition, fear of the world, etc.

out of order…

The following verse was quite powerful to me:

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
James 3:9-10

It reminded me of a speech a HS English teacher gave my senior year about remembering that everyone is someone’s child. I think if we remembered that each of us is God’s creation, we’d be much nicer to one another. And more honest. And more loving. Hmmm.