From Handbook to Scripture, Day 212
READING: MATTHEW 17
Matthew builds a solid case that Jesus fulfills the qualifications for Israel’s Messiah in His lineage, His healing ministry, and His teachings. He does this by using more Old Testament quotations and allusions than any other New Testament book (almost 130). The expression “what was spoken through the prophet was fulfilled” recurs nine times in this Gospel but does not appear in the other three Gospels. This is a book of fulfillment in which Jesus as the Christ or Messiah uniquely fulfills the Messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible and offers Himself to Israel as her King. This is seen in the phrase “the kingdom of heaven,” which appears 32 times in Matthew and is found nowhere else in the New Testament. This is an important theme, because the Jewish reader would wonder why Jesus did not overthrow the Romans and establish the promised kingdom if He was indeed Israel’s Messiah.
Prayer: Lord, You veiled Your preincarnate glory and humbled Yourself in Your incarnation, Your servant ministry, and Your redemptive death. I rejoice that the story does not end there but continues with Your glorious resurrection, Your ascension, Your second coming, and Your eternal kingdom.
Meditation passage: verses 5, 22–23
From Transforming Prayers, vol. 1
The Grace of Holy Remembrance
Father, You have never left me alone. Even when I feel that You are distant and removed, I know that I am still in Christ, seated with Him at Your right hand. You have allowed seasons of fullness and of dryness, times of abundance and of profound need. I know that You are more interested in my character than in my comfort, and that You use everything to forge godly character in my life. You have called me to fidelity to the process rather than to live only for a product. Give me the grace of holy remembrance, so that I will frequently review all that You have done for me during my journey with You. May I call to mind Your faithful acts, Your provision, Your patience, and Your great acts of deliverance. Apart from You, I have nothing and am nothing.
From Handbook to Renewal
My Relationship to God––God’s Salvation and Forgiveness
From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, sexual immorality, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evil things come from within and defile a man. (Mark 7:21–23)
I do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to me, but I rejoice that my name is written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
As many as received Christ, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12–13)
Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The wind blows wherever it pleases, and we hear its sound, but we cannot tell where it comes from, or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. (John 3:3, 5–6, 8)
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)
Everyone who drinks ordinary water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water You give will never thirst. Indeed, the water You give becomes in us a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13–14)
From Memory Verse Guide
Level 2 > Loving Others Compassionately > Husband and Wife
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)