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Bible Pathways - Oct. 1, 2008


October 1

Matthew 1

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Matthew writes presenting Jesus, KING OF THE JEWS (2:2): (A) His royal lineage (1:1-17); (B) His God-given Name (1:21; Acts 4:12); (C) His miraculous birth (1:22-23; (D) confirmation by the wise men (2:1-11) and (E) the enemy's horrifying murder of all the babies in an effort to destroy the Child Jesus (2:16). About 30 years pass and John the Baptist is preaching near the Jordan River (3:1-2). WOW — he baptizes Jesus (3:13-17)! In Chapter 4 Jesus stops the devil with the Word of God (vss 1-11)! John goes to prison and Jesus goes fishing for men (4:19).

The wise men from the east followed His star (2:2) on their long difficult journey to Jerusalem where they asked King Herod: Where is He that is born King of the Jews.

The wise men (magi) were the priests among the Persians, and were the intellectual and theological leaders of their nations. There was no similarity between these wise men and the present-day occult astrologers and fortune-tellers. While Daniel was in Babylon, he associated with the wise man of his day as one of them (Daniel 2:18). Undoubtedly the wise men (4:6) had both Daniel's and Baalam's prophecies of the Messiah (9:26; Numbers 24:17). It is entirely conceivable that they were led to Jerusalem seeking the King of the Jews by being fully acquainted with the Book of Daniel.

One thing that could have kept the scribes and the chief priests from joining the wise men in search of the Messiah King was a closed mind. What could Gentile "outsiders" teach them? And, without a doubt, they would have feared Herod who would see them as traitors.

Herod is typical of the enemy of Christ; he befriends the wise men only so far as it would serve his own ends. Like all Jerusalem (Matthew 2:3), the world is often "troubled" concerning any interest in Christ. But wise men will settle for nothing less than His presence (2:1-2).

The search will cost you time when all else must be put aside to gain Christ. Expect some people whom you encounter to be "troubled" about you taking your devotion to Christ too seriously; eventually you may have to continue your search alone.

All of us need to ask ourselves: "What is the ruling passion, the supreme concern of our lives above all else? Are we devoted to Christ himself? Or are we serving a cause, a movement, or institution, like the scribes?" Some have become so consecrated to a creed and so dedicated to a cause that they lose sight of the King of kings.

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Thought for Today:

The object of our worship must be Christ Himself, not godly things, actions, or methods of service.

Word Studies:

1:18 espoused =b> engaged; came together =b> had physical relations, she was a virgin; 2:16 mocked of =b> deceived by; coasts =b> surrounding regions; 3:8 fruits meet for repentance =b> a life that confirms your change of heart; 3:15 Suffer it to be =b> Allow it to be; fulfil all righteousness =b> do all that God requires.

Cross References:

For Matthew 1:23: See Isaiah 7:14. Matthew 2:6: See Micah 5:2. Matthew 2:15: See Hosea 11:1. Matthew 2:18: See Jeremiah 31:15. Matthew 3:3: See Isaiah 40:3. Matthew 4:4: See Deuteronomy 8:3. Matthew 4:6: See Psalm 91: 11-12. Matthew 4:7: See Deuteronomy 6:16. Matthew 4:10: See Deuteronomy 6:13-14. Matthew 4:15-16: See Isaiah 9:1-2.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide • Arabic International Shortwave Broadcasts for the month of October sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer • English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Bertha Love • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Marie Lynn Smith • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official/s [listed on their birthday/s] and the state/s represented (statistics from The Original U.S. Congress Handbook): Rep. Devin Nunes (CA) • Country (Religious statistics from Operation World and Religious Freedom in the World): Haiti (7 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: French and Creole • Religious freedom • 75% Roman Catholic; 17% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord in times of trouble; He will shelter you (Psa. 27:5).

Memory Verse for the Week: James 5:10

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