August 5, 2016
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
As we come to the close of chapter 14 we cross the half way point in our journey. It’s a good moment to take stock of some of the big learnings so far.
First, the heart of the matter is the Gospel. Now, for most of my life I understood the Gospel as basically a life after death program; a heaven or hell decision point. The longer I live the more I realize the so much more-ness of the Gospel. It certainly does not mean less than life after death, but it does mean infinitely more. Jesus clearly shows us the Gospel—far more than going to heaven when we die—is about the real experience of heaven before we die, on Earth. The Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The biggest lesson for me though is this one: Jesus is the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. To encounter Jesus is to encounter the Kingdom. This is so because he is the King. Do you remember back when Israel asked God to give them a king so they could be like all the other nations? They could not grasp the reality that God was their King. In Jesus, God came to his people, as the true King; a king unlike any other king that had ever lived.
This is a king who will lay down his life for his people. He is the perfect expression of the pure compassionate love of God. We see this as he preaches and teaches and heals. His life is the message. This is what he wants for us who follow him.
1. So what has Jesus been teaching you on this journey through Matthew?
2. How is your understanding of the Gospel being enlarged?
3. What are the signs of awakening in your life?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.