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What are two things I discovered from my study of this assignment?

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A couple of things really stuck with me through the readings.  The first would be the announcement of the coming of the messiah.  I was under the impression that all knew of the birth of Jesus.  In reality, it was only revealed to a select few.  The representation of these few were also striking. The educated to the untaught, the rich to the poor. I asked myself why wouldn't God want everyone to know? This was evident in the fact that Herod didn't have good intentions for the new born babe. 

The second was the temptation of Christ.  Jesus suffered through what we all can experience.  Why? He was just given the power of the Holy Spirit following his baptism and led by the Spirit directly into the wilderness to be tempted.  Was this so we would see that man can overcome temptations by calling on the word of God? So Jesus can relate to the struggles of this world?  To me, it is a perfect example that we can trust God to give us what we need.

I have truly realized that I am a mere novice when it comes to the Word.  I am looking forward to learning more of what God has in store for me and the ministries I am involved in. 

I also think it was a great part of the reading about the temptation of Christ right after His baptism.  And right after.  Jesus was man just like us and went through the exact same things we go through.  So yes we can overcome sin but following the example Jesus laid out for us but being able to overcome it himself.  I thought it was cool reading about that the Devil tempted Jesus in His loneliness also.  Many times I fail due to this and Jesus is a great example on how not to fail due to loneliness.  

I liked the reading material in this book because it really got you thinking and was very open reading giving you time to think about the topic on hand personally.  The first thing that caught me and got me thinking was about Joseph and Mary.  Both individuals were very troubled when God’s plan was revealed to them.  Mary visited Elisabeth and talked with her about the situation.  Elisabeth spoke to Mary and reassured her that everything would be okay.  Joseph was also very troubled and was considering breaking the marriage engagement he had with Mary.  It states Joseph was going to break the engagement because he was a “religious man not willing to make her a public example.”  Mary was pregnant before they were married so does this go against Joseph’s religious views?  I think this is why he was so troubled.  But God reassured Joseph that is would be alright, just as He did with Mary.  He told Joseph that “a child will be done unto them named Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.”  This is very personal to all of us when going through trials, especially ones that go against your views and the views of the world.  This can be a case to trust God through these trials and to not run away from His plan.  Things could have been very much different if Mary or Joseph would have run from God’s plan.

            The second is about Jesus in His youth.  I guess I never thought about it that Jesus’ youth wasn’t talked about much in the Bible.  In the reading it states that Jesus was physically normal during his youth and His later ministry but his mental state was not normal but was unique.  During Jesus’ youth He experiences the same things and temptations as us but did not fall to sin and temptations.  Going through His youth, He grew strong in the spirit and was filled with the wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him.  He developed and increased in wisdom in His youth.  Jesus as a child found a large amount of solitude being in the carpentry occupation and He went to the mountains often while waiting.  Jesus found divine understanding, love and kindness in His youth but didn’t perform miracles until being baptized and going into His ministry.  It’s important to see this transformation and apply it to our lives as well; that before baptism Jesus was quietly learning, going through temptations and after baptism He went ahead with His ministry and miracles, still going through temptations but being an example to us the power of baptism and the new life in Christ we have.      

              

Very true Matt but isnt it kinda cool the similarities if you will in the pregnancy of Jesus and the Pregnancy of John.John was given to Zacharias and Elisabeth very late in their lives and Zacharias asking for a sign was struck dumb until the name of his son was given as John.

I think I just heard a choir of angels singing or maybe that was just me. After getting the wrong textbook I’ve finally been able to finish this week’s reading.

What are two things I discovered from my study of this assignment?

 

1)      I’ve never heard the teaching that Jesus was represented in bodily form in the Old Testament. This was very interesting to me and I would like to study this further.

2)      That not only was Christ tempted the 3 times in the desert by Satan but those same 3 allurements were temptations to him as he was in agony on the cross. (“If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross”, the attractiveness of a painless glory and success, while in the garden avoiding the dread of suffering and failure)

What I learned about Jesus?

I never thought before about the importance of Jesus having an earthly mother and God as his father. “If Jesus had had a human father and mother, how could He have escaped the contamination of sin?” Jesus would like us have been born into sin and still would have need of a savior.

 

What I learned about the kingdom?

The need some individuals have and scholars to develop and pinpoint exact dates and beliefs about the life of Christ. (i.e., What exact date was he born? Did Mary, Joseph & Jesus stay in Bethlehem 40 days after his birth? How long they remained in Egypt? The Magi?) etc… I never want some of the unanswered questions about the life of Christ get in my way of experiencing him.

How I will use what I’ve learned in ministry to others?

I love the comment on page 335 in our textbook – “Sympathy with the sinner in his trial does not depend on the experience of sin, but on the experience of the strength of the temptation to sin, which only the sinless can know in its full intensity.” Through the leading of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom we gain from him and our life experiences we can use what we have been through to reach others in their time of need, I’m especially thinking of Celebrate Recovery. I might not share the same struggle you have but because of my struggle and the wisdom God has given me I can reach out to others struggling with their hurt, hang-up or habit.

In your statement about Jesus having a earthly mother and God as Father would go along with the fact that Joseph was not mentioned after the story of Jesus 12 in temple. This would have given Jesus the one on one time with God.

the last statement about using our messes in CR. Everything we go though is for a reason for God glory and if we will see and give God the glory  , then share this victories with other they will also gain strength from our mistakes and we both will learn. and grow 

Teresa i really like that you brought that up the pre existence of Jesus noted in the Old Testament and that he has appeared on earth before his birth is amazing and something that i had not realized either. I will be studying this farther also.

Todd,

Did you notice in Luke 3:2 it says "the word of God came to John"? When I read this it made me wonder about this even further. Still an interesting concept I'd like to know more about, it's not a teaching I've heard before. When I read this it made me wonder if this teaching would apply in this case. 

Wow... Your temptation quote of " If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross". I never thought about that as a temptation. For me I sometimes get caught up in the story and don't think about where they may be coming from. I enjoyed that insight, thank you!

The two things that really grab a hold of me is one how connected the lives of John and Jesus actually were. Its amazing to think that John's birth was announced by Gabriel his importance as the Voice preparing the way for The Word. That when Zacharias and Elisabeth were informed of the birth of a son at such a late stage of their lives when Zacharias ask for a sign and he was struck dumb until the son was born and named John at which point he began to speak with great eloquence. 

Two i never realized John and Jesus were related and so close in age also as i read it Mary was visiting with Elisabeth when Elisabeth was told of the son she would bear Mary already being pregnant with Jesus thus putting John and Jesus in the same room for the first time. Understanding of course that they had not yet been born they were alive in the womb and their souls/spirits in place very amazing thought.

I am also mesmerized by the parallel in the lives of Jesus and John the Baptist.  I just had not made the connection before this study.

The website does not yet reflect my desire for you answer three questions for every daily section.  1) What did I learn about Jesus  2) What did I learn about my role in the kingdom (the church).  3) How will I use this in ministry.  This will actually be in effect for the remainder of the class.  Please continue to respond to each other's comments. Beginning this week there will not just be daily responses but there will also be a weekly assignment.  If the website doesn't reflect this I will tell you here that I want a two page paper emailed to me by Sunday evening at 6 PM that will discuss your observations/examples of how our culture has forced itself on Scripture and the church.

Thank you for your patience.  We are just about on course.

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