Friday, April 10, 2015

The Gospel Challenge: Introduction and the book of Matthew

Alright everyone, here's a new challenge for you.  I started this with the teenagers, then rolled it out to everyone who attended our annual Family Retreat, then to the rest of the congregation, and now to Everyone!

The idea is simple.  Take ~3 months and read through the 4 Gospels:  
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

Around the start date of each book I'll share information about the book itself, the author, things to look for, possible reading plans, etc.

What I want everyone to focus on the entire time is taking a deep examination of the "red letters", looking for several things:

  • What did Jesus say that shocks you, that you didn't Know he said. 
  • What did you "know" Jesus said that he did Not. 
  • Remember that we learn who people Really are through their interactions with other people.  In these Gospels we see Jesus interact with those who loved him, were indifferent, hated him-rich and poor - "clean and unclean", etc. 
  • Learn who Jesus IS, learn his character, his "heart" 

Gospel Challenge book completion dates are as follows:

Matthew:  April 19th (9 days from Now!)

Mark: May 10th (3 weeks from its April 19th start date)

Luke: June 7th   (4 weeks from its May 10th start date)

John: June 28th (3 weeks from its June 7th start date)

Remember!  Matthew has 28 chapters and _could_ be read in one day, if need be.  
There are 9 days left and at the end of this blog post I will give you a 9 day reading schedule to complete the book - get started today!


First up is Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.

Matthew consists of
·         28 chapters
·         1,071 verses
·         38 verses a chapter
·         18,345 words

  • “Levi” 
  • 1 of the 12 Apostles
  • a tax-collector
  • probably well educated
  • probably on a (possible) political track.  
  • Focuses on Jesus as the Jewish Messiah come to fulfill OT prophecy. 
  • Starts off with Jesus genealogy, and goes into the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus.
  • Matthew 3:13 begins the account of Jesus’ ministry

Matthew 9 Day Reading Schedule:
  1. Matthew 1-4
  2. Matthew 5-7
  3. Matthew 8-9
  4. Matthew 10-12
  5. Matthew 13-16
  6. Matthew 17-18
  7. Matthew 19-22
  8. Matthew 23-25
  9. Matthew 26-28

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