Gospels in 40 Days – March 15
Welcome to our study of the gospels during the Lenten season. Lent is the Christian tradition of preparing for the resurrection of Jesus by taking intentional steps to grow closer to God during the 40 days before Easter. The tradition mirrors Jesus going into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days, where he was tempted by Satan but was able to resist, strengthen, and grow his ministry for the days ahead (Matthew 4). Typical Lenten observances include fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline.
To join the study, pick a reading plan to follow, journal on the day’s reading using the SOAP method of Bible study (see “What’s SOAP?” on our website for details), and check in for daily posts from our study leaders. We hope you will join us this season, intentionally stepping toward God!
Matthew was a tax collector before he knew Jesus, but once he got the call, he left it all to follow Jesus as one of the twelve apostles. Matthew was raised in the Jewish tradition and knew scripture well. His gospel is placed perfectly at the beginning of the New Testament to connect the Old to the New. He often references Old Testament scriptures that are fulfilled in Jesus, and his gospel’s purpose is to show that Jesus is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for.
Clicking on the following links will take you to the Bible Gateway website where you can read the NIV version of today’s reading:
ALL OF IT: Matthew 17-18,
MOST OF IT: Matthew 18:1-20
HIGHLIGHT REEL: Matthew 18:1-5
What does it mean when Jesus says we need to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven?
Faith Like a Child | Rebecca Hoyt
Matthew 17:20 – He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 18:4 – “Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
A mustard seed was the smallest seed known in that region. Because the time was near when Jesus would no longer be with them, physically, the disciples needed to exercise their faith more than ever. They would have to learn to depend solely on His unseen presence. Jesus reminded them again He was about to be betrayed, killed, and on the third day, He would be raised up. The fact that the disciples were exceedingly sorrowful showed that the mustard seed of faith had yet to take root.
My Bible notes in verse 18:4, to be a mature believer is one who is completely dependent on God to meet all of their needs (like a child). Words that stuck out to me in these verses are faith and humble. My family had a pretty calm 2016. But, wow, 2017 is not going so well. One of my kids has had health problems for 2 1/2 months, my husband has had a lot of back pain, we had to give away our beloved family dog due to my allergies getting worse, and we just found out someone got a hold of my husbands SSN and tried to file taxes with it!! (And we are going to move this summer.) I pray every night to help these things, but I wonder if I’m putting my full faith in Jesus; am I depending on Him fully and putting all these situations completely in His hands. It is a good thing God gave my daughter and me the word Hope this year because we really need it.
Dear Lord, You know all of our issues, and even when we grow weary, You are there walking right beside us, giving us Hope.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.