Journey readings:
January 21 – January 26, 2013

by Living Springs Community Church on January 18, 2013

“The Journey” is Living Springs’ commitment to read at least a chapter of the Bible every day. We all follow the same reading schedule so that we can encourage each other along the way. And our pastors post occasional blogs about the readings to instruct and inspire us.

Want to join the Journey? This week’s daily readings are listed below, along with some questions to guide your reading. Sign up for the Journey blog, and you’ll receive the weekly reading schedule in your email inbox!

 Matthew 7

How should we judge someone?  What should we look at first before judging our brother?  Why would many who had done work for God not enter into Heaven?

 Matthew 8

Why did Jesus send the healed leper to the priest?  Who were the sons who would be cast out?  Did the demon possessed men know Jesus?

 Matthew 9

Why did Jesus tell the paralyzed man to rise and walk?   Why did Jesus not come to save the righteous?  What did Jesus ask His disciples to pray for?

 Matthew 10

How did the disciples have power to heal?  Who did Jesus send His disciples to first?  Whom should we fear when preaching the Word?  How do we confess Jesus before men?

 Matthew 11

How did John the Baptist prepare the way before Jesus?  What did Jesus say about this generation’s attitude?  Why is the Lord’s yoke easy and His burden light?

 Matthew 12

How did the priests profane the Sabbath? What work is permissible on the Sabbath? Who did Jesus heal on the Sabbath?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith Piepenbrink January 22, 2013 at 9:13 am

I am confused by the ? for Chapter 8, Who were the sons who would be cast out? I read Luke and Mark’s versions and there the Demon is called Legion (for we are many). Does this mean they were sons of the Devil?

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Melanie Jongsma January 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm

That is a confusing question, Keith! My guess is, the phrase “sons will be cast out” appears in some versions of the Bible and not others, so the question should probably be re-phrased so it can apply to more than one version. I’m looking at it in the NIV, and the closest thing I can find is in verse 12, where Jesus says, “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Not that that helps me answer the question! I think the “sons who would be cast out” are people who assumed they would go to heaven just because they were God’s chosen people. They thought they would get in, and all the “outsiders” would be left out. But Jesus seems to be saying, “Hey, you might be surprised. Some of the outsiders will be enjoying the feast, while you get tossed out!”

That’s my two cents anyway.

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Keith Piepenbrink January 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Thanks MJ. I checked out the New Living Translation as well as the New Revised Standard and got the following “But many Israelites-those for whom the Kingdom was prepared-will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (NLV) and the NRS refers to them as heirs.
Thanks again, good to have the other translations to cross check against.

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Pastor Jason January 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I think this was a misprint, but I have not been able to track down the source of the questions because the webpage from which they were taken has developed some security issues. I’m working on it.

The two men were possessed by demonic spirits. These spirits recognized Jesus and had to submit to his authority.

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Pastor Jason January 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Keith, if you are referring to verses 10-12, I think the message is simply that being in the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not enough to bring one into a right relationship with God. The officer’s actions demonstrated that we are “justified by faith”, by Christ’s blood, not ours – “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (Romans 5:1-2)

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test1305 January 25, 2013 at 8:14 am

Keith, that was a test and you passed!

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Rachele Alessandrini January 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm

In Matthew 7 is says Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Isn’t that what is society is doing by judging homosexuals? Didn’t Jesus accept everyone? And who are we to judge someone else when we all sin in different ways?

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Ronica January 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm

I think the question is more one of our Christian belief than a societal question. I know that we all sin, but I accept that some of the things that I do are sins and I work to be better and sin less. Is homosexuality a sin (like so many other sins in the world)? If so, is it judgement to state that it is considered a sin? The church welcomes me though I am a sinner. Therefore, I expect the church to welcome all sinners. However, I don’t believe church is a place to tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear…the Word and how to apply it to my life. It is a place for us to grow as Christians and commune with other believers.

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Melanie Jongsma January 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

I think the difficulty comes in because many Christians start by addressing people’s sin, rather than starting from a place of love and acceptance. If we just love people, Jesus will work on cleaning up their sins. Just like He’s working on cleaning up ours. If they don’t feel the love though, they probably won’t stick around for the cleaning!

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Melanie Jongsma January 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

We’ve actually been talking about this in the Engaging/Enraging class on Sunday mornings. Jesus did accept everyone. Jesus does accept everyone. And so should we. People should be able to recognize us as His followers by how loving we are.

You’re right, I think sometimes we Christians forget that “we all sin in different ways.” It’s much easier to see (and judge) other people’s sin than our own! Maybe being aware of our own sin would make us more sympathetic and less likely to judge other people’s sins.

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Pastor Dave January 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

Hi Rachele and Ronica,
I wanted you to know that I appreciate both of your comments! I agree with Rachele that it is a shame that people judge other people, particularly when Christians judge others. By judge – I mean when people put themselves above others or treat one sin, or another’s sin as worse then their own sins. That is always wrong and against Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7.

Just a few thoughts on the very complex and charged issue of Homosexuality. I think it is important to point out that Homosexual orientation is not called a sin in the scriptures. It is only homosexual practice that is considered a sin (1 Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:26). I think taking the approach of Jesus is best. Jesus was radically loving and embracing of all people. His posture towards people was love and acceptance. His posture towards issues was always “Grace and Truth.” Jesus was not soft on sin, but was loving toward people who were, well… sinful. I think Jesus’ words in John 8 are extremely helpful. When the religious leaders brought a woman who was caught in adultery and wanted to judge and condemn her, and stone her to death… Jesus responded, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (v. 8) When everyone dropped their rocks and left, Jesus looked at the woman and said, “Neither do I condemn you… Go now and leave your life of sin. That is grace, and truth.

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