C2C Oct. 9-15

October 9 — Zechariah — Zech. 1-6.  Zechariah, whose name significantly means “Yahweh remembered,” was part of the first group of exiles returning to Jerusalem after the 70 years of exile predicted by Jeremiah (Jer. 29:10).  God remembered His promises and fulfilled them.  Zechariah’s prophetic message is very symbolic, with many images like those in the book of Revelation.  He pleaded with the still marginally committed Judeans to give themselves wholly to God: “Return to me … and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts” (1:3).  He warned surrounding nations who opposed God’s people that “he who touches you touches the apple of his eye” (2:8).  And God predicted the coming of the ultimate ruler in Israel, “my servant the Branch” (3:8), who would “build the temple of the LORD” (6:12).  That Messiah will return again to make all things right, just as God promised.

October 10 — Emmanuel — Zech. 7-10.  The great symbolic emphasis of the earlier section of Zechariah is set aside in chapters 9-14 but it still predicts the future.  The coming Messiah is shown to be “righteous and having salvation … humble and mounted on a donkey” (9:9), which was fulfilled in Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.  Those of us who have been changed by this Prince of Peace are, like the Jews, to “love truth and peace” (8:19) so that those around us will notice and be drawn to God, saying, “we have heard that God is with you” (8:23).  Emmanuel = God with us.

October 11 — Maranatha! — Zech. 11-14.  There are some puzzling things in these chapters but several predictions regarding the anticipated Messiah are clear:  The payment of 30 pieces of silver and its connection with the potter (11:12-13) is reflected in Judas’ betrayal of Jesus in Matt. 27:5-10.  “They look … on him whom they have pierced” (12:10) is quoted in John 19:37 at Jesus’ crucifixion.  And “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered” was quoted in Matt. 26:31 by Jesus on the Mount of Olives just before His disciples fled at His arrest.  Then, Zechariah predicted that at that same place, Jesus will return: “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives … Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him” (14:4-5).  Maranatha = Our Lord, Come! (1 Cor. 16:22).

October 12 — Malachi — Mal. 1-4.  One of our readers wrote recently that she was really looking forward to Matthew.  Yes, in some ways the OT is difficult reading with so much judgment and punishment.  Some people even speak of the God of the OT as if He were different than the God of the NT.  No, He is the same God, as Malachi pointed out: “For I the LORD do not change …” (3:6).  The difference in the NT is that Christ changed mankind.  The OT people did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide and correct them, therefore they were constantly turning away from God.  God has not suddenly become more loving than just, He is simply dealing with so many people of a different kind, those in whom He dwells, influencing them toward righteousness.  Stop to thank God for the privilege we have as NT believers as we transition from the OT text!

October 13 — Matthew — Matt. 1-4.  The Gospel of Matthew serves as a bridge from the OT, with its emphasis on Jewish history and OT prophecies, like Jesus’ promised messianic connection to King David.  This tax-collector author had two names: “Matthew” in this Gospel, but “Levi” in Mark and Luke.  According to the early church father, Irenaeus (175 AD), it was written while Peter and Paul were still alive.  I was struck in our reading today with how our history-directing God protected the child, Jesus.  When the magi were sent to Bethlehem to find the child, Herod the Great told them to “bring me word, that I too may come and worship him” (1:8).  He trusted them to obey his order rather than have someone follow them and report back to him.  He later “saw that he had been tricked by the wise men” (2:16) but it was ultimately God’s hand that caused Herod to trust the magi and He warned them not to return to the king.

October 14 — Seek First — Matt. 5- 7.   These chapters form the Sermon on the Mount.  Part of it, the Beatitudes, ends with, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (5:48), posing an extremely high standard that causes us to recognize the inadequacy of our own goodness and our need to live in the power of Christ’s righteousness.  It was interesting to me that the word “reward” is used nine times in chapters 5-6.  One kind of reward is given by God for being obedient to His will.  The other reward is receiving praise from other people.  Jesus said that if they sought the praise of others in their giving (6:2), praying (6:5), and fasting (6:16); in all three cases, God would not reward them because “they have received their reward.”  Our priority must be to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (6:33). 

October 15 — Secrets Revealed — Matt. 8-10.  Five times in Matthew, Jesus warned people about publicizing Him.  To the healed leper, Jesus said, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest” (8:4).  To the two healed blind men, He said, “See that no one knows about it” (9:30).  But later, Jesus told his disciples (and tells us), “what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops” (10:27), and “everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven” (10:32).  We are on the broadcast-side of Jesus’ miracles and teaching.  Make it known!

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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