Wednesday, March 25, 2015

As Far as Syria

A Look At Prophecy In The Gospel of Matthew

News about him spread as far as Syria

Matthew 4:23-5:2 NLT

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

Jesus immediately attracted international attention. Not as much as his death and resurrection would, but what he did and what he said were reported all the way to Syria. Those same messages are needed in modern Syria today. Too bad most Muslims are instructed not to read the Gospels.

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People came to hear Jesus teach. But mostly they came for the miracles, both to receive them and to see this great wonder. What if this happened where you live, in the country in which you live? Would the people come? Or would they be afraid this was just another weird cult by some dangerous fanatic?

These are important questions to address. They deserve some deep thought. Then they deserve some prolonged discussion of why people would respond that way, looking deep into the presumptions, the desires, and the hidden wants of our cultures.

Be sure to not inflict their responses with your own Christian presumptions, your responses as a believer, or your responses learned in church. Ask the Holy Spirit for insights into your people and culture that you might be blind to.

Remember as much as people look at Americans and see their faults and presumptions, Americans usually remain blind to what seems obvious as an observer from another culture or a person from a country based on a different religion. That gulf is the one you will be asking God to help you understand in your own situation so that you can learn wisdom about the people, their thoughts, attractions, or opposition to Christ today.

NOTE: Look again at Matthew 5:1&2. When discerning the prophecies of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, notice that he sat down and spoke these words primarily to his disciples, to believers in Christ. The teachings were not a sermon to lost sinners and curiosity seekers, but to disciples.
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The question we will raise next  is:

Are Jesus' Teachings Prophecies?

Photo Credits:
A 19th-century painting depicting the Sermon on the Mount, by Carl Bloch

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