Welcome to Week 16 of the Higher Hope Church 2018 New Testament Reading Plan! If you haven’t already, go pick up your 5x5x5 Reading Plan and join our private Facebook group for daily interaction and discussion. This week we continued further into the Gospel of Matthew!
Jesus came down from the mountainside with large crowds following him. He healed a man with leprosy, a centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, and many demon-possessed and sick people. When He saw the crowd following Him, He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Before they left, He warned people of the cost of following Him. He entered the boat with His disciples and departed. A storm struck leaving the disciples frightened. They woke Jesus telling him of their fear of drowning. Jesus rebuked the winds and waves, calming them instantly. They arrived at the other side of the lake to the region of Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men confronted Jesus, calling Him the Son of God. The demons came out of the men and went into a nearby herd of pigs, causing the herd to rush down a steep bank and into the lake. Those tending to the pigs went into the town and reported what had happened. The whole town went out to meet Jesus and pleaded with Him to leave their region.
Jesus heals a paralyzed man. The teachers of the law were upset, exclaiming that Jesus was blaspheming. Jesus tells them that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. He continues on, calling Matthew the tax collector as His disciple. They went to eat at Matthew’s house with many other tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees were dumbfounded, asking the disciples why Jesus ate with them. Jesus said that he came for the sick, not the healthy.
Jesus heals a bleeding woman, resurrects a young girl, and heals the blind and mute. He continued through many towns and villages, healing the sick, teaching in the synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom.
Jesus called the disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every sickness. He instructed them to go to the lost sheep of Israel, not to the Gentiles or Samaritans, with the message that the kingdom of heaven is near. They were not to embark on the journey with any money, baggage, or extra clothing. They are to ask for help in the places they visited. He tells them to be on guard, not to worry, to stand firm, and to not be afraid of the people.
Jesus continued on to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. Jesus talks to the people about how John the Baptist fulfilled the Old Testament scripture.
The Pharisees were upset that Jesus’ disciples picked grain to eat on the Sabbath. Jesus tells the story of David eating consecrated bread. He exclaims that the Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath. Jesus went into their synagogue and healed a man with a shriveled hand. The Pharisees were very angry that He did this on the Sabbath and started plotting how to kill Him. Jesus left that place and continued on, healing the sick. The townspeople brought him a demon-possessed man who was deaf and mute and Jesus healed him. The Pharisees exclaimed that it is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that Jesus drives out demons. Jesus told them that it is by the Spirit of God that He drives out demons.
Have a great week!