GodSpeak Readings: Week 76/February 21-26

February 21-26
Matthew 14-25

GodSpeak readings for each day are listed below. Click the link to read the section and/or listen online. A discussion question is listed below for you to use in your GodSpeak group session or for discussion with others who are reading along.

Monday, February 21   Matthew 14-15   Read & Listen Online Matthew 14     Read & Listen Online Matthew 15    (Click “Audio” link to listen)
1. Some Pharisees and teachers asked Jesus why he allowed His disciples to break some of their traditions (Matthew 15:2). Why were they offended? Can you identify any traditions that Jesus followed (Matthew 26:17)? What are some church traditions with which you are familiar? Are people offended or upset if any are not followed? Why are traditions important to us? What was more important to Jesus than traditions (Matthew 15:3-7)?

Tuesday, February 22   Matthew 16-17   Read & Listen Online Matthew 16    Read & Listen Online Matthew 17    (Click “Audio” link to listen)
2. Review Matthew 17:1-13. What are some significant messages that the transfiguration of Jesus conveys to us? In some ways the transfiguration marks a changing of the guard, a move from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Who was the most dominant figure of the Old Testament? Who is to be the dominant figure from the transfiguration on? How was Moses a picture of Jesus, the Savior?

Wednesday, February 23   Matthew 18-19  Read & Listen Online Matthew 18     Read & Listen Online Matthew 19   (Click “Audio” link to listen)
3. All of us have seen situations like this, where someone gets ahead of themselves or jumps the gun, so to speak. Kids might ask, “Can I sit next to grandpa at the ballgame?” when the first question to ask is, “Will you take grandpa and us to the ballgame?” What was the disciples’ “jumping the gun question” (Matthew 18:1)? Who finally asked the right question? What was it? (Matthew 19:25)? Between these two questions Matthew reports on a long discussion and two incidents that shed light on these questions. What is Jesus’ answer to each question?

Thursday, February 24   Matthew 20-21  Read & Listen Online Matthew 20    Read & Listen Online Matthew 21    (Click “Audio” link to listen)
4. Nowadays we think of kidnappings when we hear the word “ransom.” Kidnappers send ransom notes or make their demands in the media. They want something for the safe return of the one who has been kidnapped. Jesus says He came “to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Explain this metaphor of Jesus and apply it to your own situation. Who was kidnapped? Who did the kidnapping? How is the ransom paid? Who gets released? In the light of this passage, how do reports of recent kidnappings increase your appreciation of what Jesus has done for you?

Friday, February 25   Matthew 22-23  Read & Listen Online Matthew 22     Read & Listen Online Matthew 23   (Click “Audio” link to listen)
5. What would it imply about you if someone told your children, “Obey your parents, but don’t do what they do”? Or, what would such a statement imply if it were made about the police? Jesus made such a statement regarding the Pharisees (Matthew 23:3). He explains His statement in the rest of chapter 23. What were some of the charges He made? After listing some of the charges, ask yourself if you have this same “Pharisee problem.” Jesus implies the only solution in Matthew 23:39. Explain His implied solution and praise Him for it.

Saturday, February 26   Matthew 24-25  Read & Listen Online Matthew 24    Read & Listen Online Matthew 25   (Click “Audio” link to listen)
6. Some commentators think that Jesus was speaking of the antichrist prior to Judgment Day, the destruction of Jerusalem, or sacrileges done to the temple when He refers to the “abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel” (Matthew 24:15). More recently, David Scaer in his book Discourses in Matthew: Jesus Teaches the Church suggests that Jesus was talking about His own imminent suffering, crucifixion, and death in Matthew 24-25. How would Jesus’ teachings in this section of Matthew help the disciples be ready for the events of Holy Week?

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