89 chapters revisited

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paradox3

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Hello wonderfriends! Some of you may recall that about 18 months ago, I announced a plan to read and reflect on the 89 chapters of the four gospels.

Well, I am back at it.

You might remember me hosting three separate threads for Matthew, Mark and Luke. From Advent through Easter, I posted a daily summary of my reading & invited comments. I read through John's gospel on my own in the summer and tried journaling the old-fashioned way. I read an actual Bible (not Bible Gateway) and journaled with a pen and a notebook.

It was much more fun and educational to engage with others here on WC2.

This time, I plan to take a Lectio Divina approach. Each day, I will read a chapter and select a verse or short passage for my focus of the day. If you would like to join me, please feel free to comment on the verse I have selected or say something else about the chapter. I am not seeking to run this like a study group and invite you to participate in any manner you choose.

We will see what unfolds!
 

paradox3

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Matthew 1

Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from his sins."

What a beautiful and concise introduction to our faith tradition! I am quoting from the New English Translation. I purchased a Large Print Edition. Very easy on the eyes.
 

paradox3

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I began today by reading Matthew 1 and staying with it long enough for the verse above to emerge as my focus.

Next step: Ask myself, "How does the verse call me to confession, gratitude or a new way of living???"
Then I am to pray and follow up my prayer with contemplation (or listening for God, some would say).

Something tells me I am not going to be sharing my very most personal thoughts on this thread. :unsure:
Like I said in my OP, we will see what unfolds here.
 

Redbaron

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I'm struck by the names, how the family line continues. Reflecting on this helps me remember that Jesus comes with a history and a context-- we can't just cut him off at the knees and plant him in our own context for our ow purposes. (Jesus is MY personal Lord and Saviour, for example). I don't think Jesus came for the sole purpose of dying for my sins; I think he had (and has) a much broader agenda than that.
More thoughts as they arise.
 

paradox3

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Yes, the tongue twisting genealogy gives us much history and context for Jesus.

Interesting that this verse talks about Jesus saving his people from their sins. It doesn't specify Jesus dying for their sins . . . I don't think I have ever noticed this before.

Thanks for joining in the discussion @Redbaron
 

paradox3

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Matthew 2

This is a dramatic chapter featuring a star rising in the sky; the visit of the wise men; the flight into Egypt; the slaughter of children & the return of the holy family to the land of Israel. But it is a simple statement jumping out at me today (v. 23):

"He (Joseph) came to a town called Nazareth and lived there."

Wow! The One we follow came to a town with his parents & the family lived there. Sounds pretty simple yet it has me pondering a few things . . . Will mull this over and see what comes to me throughout the day.
 

Lastpointe

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Can I go quickly back to yesterday

”he will save his people from his sins”. Is that right? It feels like it should say from their sins. Or from sin
 

Lastpointe

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On your second day

it reads like a family history. Like you might read about your grandparents. They lived in Edinburgh or.......

perhaps to point out the humanity strongly. We all come from somewhere
 

paradox3

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Can I go quickly back to yesterday

”he will save his people from his sins”. Is that right? It feels like it should say from their sins. Or from sin
Yes, you are correct. It was a typo and should say their sins.
Thanks for your sharp eye.
 

paradox3

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A simple statement can lead to so much thinking! I was out for a walk this morning contemplating a variety of things.

How did I get to the town called Toronto and live there? How did you get to where you live? In my case, grandparents and great grandparents emigrated to the area from Ireland and England. And one person came from Wales. The stories are less dramatic than the Matthew narrative yet I know there were many struggles involved
it reads like a family history. Like you might read about your grandparents. They lived in Edinburgh or.......

perhaps to point out the humanity strongly. We all come from somewhere
Exactly! We are on the same wavelength this morning.
 

Lastpointe

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and I find myself also thinking that we, maybe I should say I, are often very proud of where we come from. Our backgrounds. Our cultural heritage

so were they? The town you came from likely was important. Just like we all have our prejudices about people from certain places

got me also thinking about DNA testing now. And people being surprised by their family connections. And unexpected surprise relatives
 

paradox3

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Matthew's gospel doesn't tell us anything about the interval between the infancy of Jesus and the emergence of John the Baptist from the wilderness.

Jesus must have been living an ordinary life. Having an ordinary childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. How was that for him, I wonder? Did he find blessing in the ordinary; holiness in daily life? Did he enjoy the sun on his face; a walk outside; a glass of wine; time with friends; dinner with family?

I like to think so. "He came to a town called Nazareth and lived there."

Did he knit? Probably not. :)
 

Mendalla

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In my case, grandparents and great grandparents emigrated to the area from Ireland and England. And one person came from Wales.
Sounds rather familiar. My paternal line and surname is Welsh, but my family tree is mostly English otherwise with one Scot on Mom's side. There is a French-Canadian, but she is pretty far back (great-great-great grandmother?). I even have a UEL in my paternal grandmother's line.

I've always thought of the begats in Matthew as part of how he ties Jesus to the past and inserts him into Jewish history. There are begats in the OT/Torah and the line ties him to some important OT/Torah figures.
 

paradox3

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I've always thought of the begats in Matthew as part of how he ties Jesus to the past and inserts him into Jewish history. There are begats in the OT/Torah and the line ties him to some important OT/Torah figures.
It is a brave person who reads the scripture lesson in church when the Begats are involved. :)
 

Mendalla

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It is a brave person who reads the scripture lesson in church when the Begats are involved. :)
God, yes. I tend to do my readings a bit dramatically and it is hard to do that with what is basically a laundry list of names and relationships.
 

Mendalla

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Just reading Matthew 1 over since I haven't read it in a while (Luke is my go-to Nativity narrative). These lines:

Matthew 1:17 said:
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
Really telegraph the purpose I suggested above. The way it sets up a progression of generations from key figure to key figure is just too neat to be anything other than the author using the genealogy to make a point.

I like to think so. "He came to a town called Nazareth and lived there."
Everything suggests that he had an ordinary life in Matthew. Luke, of course, gives us the bit about him at the temple when he was a kid, but that doesn't appear here. Of course, there was a whole "Jesus went to India and learned Buddhism/Hinduism" thing at one point, but I doubt that deserves any more credence than the Holy Blood, Holy Grail nonsense. The parallels between his teaching and those sources isn't really that compelling if you look deeply.
 

Waterfall

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and I find myself also thinking that we, maybe I should say I, are often very proud of where we come from. Our backgrounds. Our cultural heritage

so were they?
Wasnt it Nathaniel that said" does anything good come from Nazareth"? And the same town that rejected Jesus when he didnt perform miracles?

Mathew says Jewish prophecy states the messiah will be a Nazarene, but there is no Jewish source that says this.
 

paradox3

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The way it sets up a progression of generations from key figure to key figure is just too neat to be anything other than the author using the genealogy to make a point.
The total # of generations is 42 which is a number of interest to mathematicians for some reason. Lewis Carroll, a mathematician, was fond of it and used it his Alice of Wonderland adventures.

It also showed up as the "answer to everything" in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
 
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