Daily Archives: January 24, 2018
“Come, follow me.” — Jesus (Matthew 4:19)
We are starting the new year off right by following Jesus through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, wrapping up on Easter on April 1st. We’ll be hopping around the four gospels for a chronological perspective of Jesus’ life on earth. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
The Calling of Matthew
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus Questioned About Fasting
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.
Jesus Heals the Blind and the Mute
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
The Workers Are Few
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Now That’s Faith! | Marianne Toovey
This is the story of a woman who is very sick and had been very sick for a long time. She has clearly heard about this Jesus and realizes who he is. She knows that if she can just touch the hem of his clothes, she’d be healed. This kind of faith is important, not because she believed that merely touching Jesus’ garment was enough to heal her, but because of why she believed this to be true. Jesus, as a Jew, would have worn a “prayer shawl” that had fringes on it representing God’s Law and signifying that he belonged to God. When combined with a traditional robe or tunic, this shawl gave the appearance of wings when the wearer’s arms were outstretched. In Malachi 4:2, he prophesies that “For you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves out to pasture.” This woman was showing Jesus that she understood he was the Messiah, and that touching his “wings” would most certainly bring about healing because this scripture made that promise. Now that’s faith!
I feel like sometimes I have it easy. With the whole Bible in my possession, not just the Old Testament, and all the stories of Jesus’ life and ministry and everything that came after in the early Christian church, it’s easy to see that Jesus is the Son of God with authority over heaven and earth. I get the hindsight view, and it’s 20/20. But while Jesus was walking the earth, the people he encountered didn’t have this advantage. That’s why incredible displays of faith are so often highlighted. It was nearly unheard of at the time. I can’t say how I’d have reacted to Jesus back then, and I’d hate to think I’d take the Pharisee’s approach. But the good news is that I’m here now. I do believe and I do have faith. I just hope I live up to it like this woman did and demonstrate it through my thoughts and actions.
God, I’m thankful for the opportunity to know You and be in a personal relationship with You even though You’re not physically on earth in a tangible form. I pray for understanding as I spend this year digging deeper into Your Word. Show me how to demonstrate my faith in all I do, like the woman in our reading today, and give me Your confidence to actually do it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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.