It looks like i got ahead of myself. I went and did the word cloud before i finished the last post!
I finished the book of Matthew, and i need to give my post-copy impressions. This is kind of hard for me as i haven’t really noticed a difference in my view and attitude about the book since i did the work. So there aren’t really any “BIG” new impressions. I knew going into this that Matthew is a book for the Jews. It was written to a Jewish audience in order to make clear the events that occurred and to make a clear case for Jesus, the Christ. You can see this as you go through Matthew’s gospel. In the very first chapter you see Jesus genealogy and how He is a clear descendant of David. Also, throughout the book there have been numerous purposeful reference back to the (O.T.) Scriptures, and especially referring to Jesus fulfilling the prophesies about the coming Messiah / Christ. But all this i knew ahead of time. And I really wanted to get a new impression after having finished this book.
Although, the more i process all of this, and the more I think about it, the more i do have a bit of a different outlook on it. One thing that i have liked about posting about Matthew has been the chapter titles. I really put a lot of thought into my chapter / section titles, and it can be pretty frustrating when i just can’t find the right descriptor that communicates about not just one section of the chapter, but the whole thing. The nice thing about Matthew, is that the author kept everything neat and clean. At the same time that Matthew talks about Jesus healing the blind man so he can see, you also get Jesus reprimanding the Pharisees and talking about how even though they have eyes, they just can’t see (ch. 20). You can also see this in Chapter 16 – Response. In the beginning of the chapter we see the Pharisees starting to get fed up with Jesus. So they respond to Him by attempting to test / trick Him, but it fails. Jesus responds to them in ways that blow them away so badly that they decide not to ever do that again. So first we have the Pharisees’s response to Jesus, then His response towards them, then finally Jesus asks Peter for his response to who people say He is. It’s all very beautiful the way it’s all laid out. Each and every section / chapter seems to have its own theme, which in turn just makes it all the more fun, seeing / finding those common themes.
In all honesty, I’m definitely pretty glad that i made the jump to Matthew at this time, and I think that interspersing the NT books in with the OT books will continue, for the time being! Well, that’s been my thoughts on Matthew, and I’m glad to share them. I hope you get half as much out of my notes as i have by doing the project.
God bless, and onward to Numbers! Woo Hoo!
This is one of those things that i find so awesome about the Bible and the scriptures. How even the little things mean a whole lot. And, how everything seems to just come together. It becomes clear that God is a step ahead of man and his work… or hundreds, even thousands of years ahead. In this chapter we see AT LEAST four different prophecies being fulfilled in those first years of His life.
What’s even more interesting to me is that of these four prophecies, three of them seem to be contradictory of one another. The first one states that from Bethlehem of Judah will come forth the ruler (Messiah). Thus Jesus, the Christ, is born in Bethlehem. The second says that “Out of Egypt I called My Son”. So the Messiah is to come out of Egypt… wasn’t He supposed to come out of Bethlehem of Judah, not Egypt? Yet here He is, the Messiah coming out of Egypt as well. Then there’s the prophecy that, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” He shall be called a Nazarene because He came out of Nazareth. So now we have three different conflicting prophecies being fulfilled by the same child.
This is what i love about the scriptures. In what seems like an insurmountable conflict and opposing ideas, there is a smooth and elegant solution that surpasses and bypasses our lack of understanding. Prior to understanding how all of this comes together in the end, these three passages could almost seem impossible to reconcile together. Yet God / YHWH brought it all together. That brings us back to the conflict mentioned in chapter 1’s post. The conflict seems almost insurmountable with no real answer in sight, and it may remain that way through your entire life. Yet, as we can see from this chapter; what seems impossible to man, is more than possible with God / YHWH.
I have answers to the conflict of Chapter 1, but i will not give them at this time. Faith, Hope, and Love abide. In this conflict, pursue those things.
Rev. John Camiolo
I’m making a little bit of a shift right now. I just finished Leviticus and i decided that i needed a little bit of a break from the Torah. I was planning on doing the entire Torah and then breaking for a couple of books of the New Testament, but i think that now is a good time to make a quick switch.
The Gospel according to Matthew is an interesting book. Many seem to see a parallel between Mattew’s Gospel and the five books of the Torah, seeing five sets of narratives and discourse meant to build that parallel. When looking at Matthew, it becomes pretty obvious that the book of Matthew is all about Jesus fulfilling the role of the Messiah. We see time and again how the life of Jesus fulfills the Old Testament prophecies of who the Messiah was to be and His role and purpose.
All in all, i’m looking forward to studying this deeper and getting a better feel for what sets Matthew apart from the other gospels. Come join me on this journey.
John J. Camiolo Jr.
When i was in college and engaged to my wife, Lori, we were having Sunday dinner at her apartment. It was Lori, her roommate, another friend (girl) from seminary, and me. I’ll call this friend Karice. So the four of us are all sitting around this little table together just hanging out and talking and the conversation slid idly over to the subject of kids. Karice very excitedly look each of us in the eye and says, “Do you realize, we are all going to be mothers one day!”
As she says this i’m trying very hard not to spit milk out my nose or mouth from laughter. After i finish swallowing i ask her a clarifying question; “So we are all going to be mother’s some day?” In a very serious tone she says, “Yes, we are all going to be mothers some day!” So i give it a few seconds to sink in, “WE are ALL going to be mothers one day.” Karice looks at me like i am talking gibberish, and continues confused yet excitedly, “Of Course we are ALL going to be mothers some day.” Meanwhile Lori and her roommate are both trying very hard not to break out laughing. This goes on for another minute or so as Karice becomes more insistent and the rest of us are trying so hard not to break out laughing. Finally Lori says to lost and confused Karice, “So John is going to be a mother some day too?” It finally sinks in and Karice turns about 3 shades of pink darker as the bewilderment on her face quickly morphs into complete embarrassment, poor girl.
Eight years later and her prophetically spoken statement is 75% accurate. I’m still not a mother, and i think that at this point it is safe to say that i probably never will be. The three ladies in the room are all married with kids, and i am still the only guy in a place full of girls.
Motherhood is blessed. It is not a thing of shame or to be disappointed about. It is not dirty or unclean. It is about faith, hope, and love embodied. To bring new life in the world. To share the joys and sorrows of life, and to pass down who you are to the next generation.
YHWH understands that… He created it. Here in chapter 12 of Leviticus He tells the mother what needs to be done for her purification and return to communion with Him. It is a beautiful promise given after a beautiful process of bringing about life. The very work that YHWH has done and is continuing to do.
Blessed be the name of the LORD!
John J. Camiolo Jr.
It is almost time. It is here. The passover is truly the most important festival for the Jewish people. It is about reprimand, redemption, & rescue. It is about reprimand in that the angel of death would come and take payment for the sins of the people. It is about rescue in that the Hebrew people would be rescued from the Egyptian in their slavery, as well as being rescued from the angel of death by the passover lamb’s blood painted on the door posts and lintel. It is about redemption in that the Jewish people are ultimately redeemed from slavery and from sin.
The Passover lamb is a prophetic representation of the work Christ would do and his purpose in rescuing and redeeming all people. His purpose is to draw all men unto Himself.
This first part of this chapter is all about getting the people prepared for what is about to happen. With every other plague, God tells Moses to talk to Pharaoh and give him a command from God. At this time, all of that begins to mean something more because God starts preparing the people to leave. It’s nice to hear that YHWH is going to bring them out. It is something else entirely when YHWH says, “It’s time! Let’s get prepared to move out.” Now that plan is beginning to come to fruition.
What about us? Are we living as if our sins have been removed as far away as the east is from the west? Are we celebrating God’s passing over our lives in destruction?
As i was working on the first part of chapter 31 this morning i began to realize just how parallel the concept of this chapter was to the process of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Let’s compare them:
- The people of Israel started out as friends / allies to the Egyptians.
- God blessed Israel and they multiplied greatly.
- What started as friendship / allies turned to animosity.
- The Israelites were treated as slaves by the Egyptians.
- God spoke to Moses telling him to bring the people out of Egypt.
- They left Egypt to return to the promised land (Canaan).
- When they left Egypt, they were chased off by the Egyptians who wanted them back or dead.
- Before they left Egypt they found favor in the sight of the Egyptian people and were given all kinds of treasures, thus ransacking the Egyptians.
- Israel stopped at Mt. Sinai to meet with God.
Exodus from Laban:
- Jacob started out as friends / family to Laban.
- God blessed Jacob and he multiplied greatly with wives and children and blessings.
- What started as friendship turned to animosity.
- Jacob was treated as a servant by Laban with many years of hard work and no pay.
- God spoke to Jacob telling him to bring his family out of that land.
- They left Laban to return to Jacob’s home land (Canaan).
- When they left, they were chased down by Laban who wanted them back or possibly to do Jacob harm.
- Before they left, Jacob found favor in the sight of Laban and was paid for his work by getting some of the sheep and goats. God blessed him and he gained all kinds of wealth and treasure thus ransacking Laban.
- As we will see in Chapter 32 God will meet with Jacob on his way back to the land of Canaan.
Obviously, there are some major differences between the history of Jacob (to later be named Israel) and Laban, and that of Israel’s (the nation) exodus from Egypt to Canaan. However, this is the first time i have noticed the similarities, and i find them to be quite coincidental. Of course if you don’t know by now, you will hear it again and again. I don’t believe in coincidence.
So how about you? Have you ever noticed these parallels?