7621 - The Call of Matthew

Jesus calls people from all walks of life to follow Him. Even those professions that are scorned by society.

In our study today Jesus calls a Jewish man by the name of Levi to join his followers.

I will read Luke 5:27-32. Listen:
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and `sinners'?"

Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

In those days some people had Roman names in addition to their Jewish name. Levi was also known as Matthew as he’s called in the book of Matthew, which he authored under the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Levi was a Jew who worked for the Romans as the area’s tax collector. Capernaum was an important custom post on the caravan route between Damascus, in the northeast, and the coast of the Mediterranean. Most Jews had no respect for these collaborators with the Romans, since some overcharged the people and kept the profits.

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7606 - Genealogy

Genealogies in the Bible can sometimes be tedious, but they are there for a reason.

Today we complete the third chapter of Luke as we talk about the genealogy of Jesus as recorded by Dr. Luke. We won’t read all the names but we do want to examine certain points of interest.

Luke’s record of the blood-line of Jesus goes all the way back to Adam. Perhaps in a way to emphasize that Jesus is related to all human beings born on earth.

Matthew, also gives a genealogy of Jesus, but his goes from Abraham up to Jesus. Luke’s list begins by saying that Jesus was the son, or so was the perception, of Joseph, and then proceeds back through time to Adam. In the eyes of the world Joseph was Jesus’ legal father, but in truth Joseph never had intimacy with Mary until after Jesus was born. The true father of Jesus was of course God.

Let us note some difference in the parallel of names in Matthew’s and Luke’s lists. The careful student will see that Matthew omits names which Luke includes. This is explained by Matthew’s omitting some names in order to achieve a symmetry of three sets of names with fourteen generations in each set. Some scholars note that not every name must be given in a genealogy. To the Hebrew the words “son of” paralleled “descendant of” so one name might be the grandson, or great-great-grandson of the previous name.

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7603 - Baptism of Jesus

What an amazing sight it must have been, to be present at the baptism of Jesus.

In Luke 3:21-23 we find a short mention about the Baptist of Jesus by John the Baptist. Let me read these verses:
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,

As we discuss this topic of the Baptist of Jesus we will also make use of John 1 and Matthew 3 to get a larger picture.

Matthew tells us (3:13-17) that Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan where John the Baptist was carrying on his ministry for the explicit purpose of being baptized by John. Notice, this intent was already in the mind of Jesus. Being baptized was not something Jesus did in the emotion of the moment.

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7595 - Honor Before Egypt

Today let’s consider some unlikely visitors who bring unusual gifts for a baby.

We are now engaged in a study of the book of Luke. We find that Luke omits some scenes included by other authors, but that’s true of each writer. Because Luke omits the account of the visit of the wise-men, we turn to Matthew 2 today.

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7591 - 10,000 Talents

Have you ever considered the magnitude of what the Lord has forgiven in the lives of Christians?

This week I was privileged to enjoy a brief lesson on forgiveness that was presented to the AWANA kids club that I volunteer with. Hearing the lesson, it reminded me of something that I want to share with you today.

The passage we will be considering is from Matthew 18:23-35. It is the parable of two servants who each owe a certain amount of money. This is an intriguing passage that with a little bit of insight becomes an incredible example of forgiveness.

The first servant is brought into the king to settle up his debt with the king. He owes 10,000 talents to the king, but yet after an impassioned plea for mercy and forgiveness, the king forgives the debt.

This same servant then leaves the king and directly goes to another servant who owes him 100 denarii and the servant demands this amount be repaid him. The second servant makes a plea that is nearly identical to the plea the first servant made to the king, but the plea is ignored and the second servant is thrown into prison until the debt could be repaid.

Before we continue to the end of the parable, lets look at what the value is of 10,000 talents and 100 denarii. First of all, a talent is equal to 6000 days wages, and a days wage was 1 denarii, that is, one silver coin.

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7587 - Instructions for Joseph

Today, let’s look at Joseph, the man who had the difficult task of playing the role of Jesus’ earthly father.

In recent programs we have looked at the details preceding the birth of Jesus from the book of Luke. We have studied the visit the angel Gabriel made to virgin Mary , and not let’s look at Joseph, the man whom Mary was pledged to be married.

Today let’s turn over to Matthew 1, verses 18-25 and read of the struggle which took place in his life.

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7576 - Encouragement for Nigeria

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This message is directed to all of SONlight’s listeners in Nigeria

These 5 Minutes SONspot messages are played in many different states in the United States, and in several foreign countries. Five of our broadcasting stations are in Nigeria, Africa. Even in the city where recent riots and attacks have been happening.

This message is for each of our brothers and sisters in Christ living in Nigeria.

On our way to church recently, my wife and I happened to be listening to the news on the radio. There we first heard of the terrible tragedy that came to our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

We listened to the reporter tell of the nearly 500 hundred men, women, and children that were attacked and killed for their Christian beliefs. Our hearts mourned to learn of the senseless violence and inhuman treatment of our Christian brothers and sisters. We grieve with you in your losses, and our hearts and voices join with you in prayer.

Here at SONlight we have had the privilege of broadcasting in Nigeria for 14 years, and over those years many letters have blessed us from our dear listeners in Nigeria. Thank you for the encouragement you have given us over the years. And today, I want to do my best to bring you a word of encouragement.

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