NT Challenge: Matthew 8-10

Today we read Matthew 8-10. Yesterday we read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and today we get to read what follows.

Matthew follows up the Sermon on the Mount by telling us about some of the actions Jesus does. Faith in Christ requires people to do something. Jesus not only teaches us that, but He then exhibits it by healing people, helping people, and sending out His disciples.

In Matthew 10 we then get to see about Jesus sending out His disciples to do His ministry. This passage teaches us that following Jesus will cost us something, that taking up our “cross” and following Jesus requires sacrifices on our part. But, it also leads to the changing of the world.

What are some ways that you see Jesus active in your life? In what ways can you make Jesus teachings present in the actions of your life? What will you do to make Jesus more present to others?


NT Challenge: Matthew 5-7

This passage is often referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. It is a collection of Jesus’ teachings that really sets the stage for what He will do in the rest of His ministry.

Before you read through, take a few minutes to pray about what God wants to teach you in this moment. What things does Jesus teach us in this sermon that we can use today?

One of the most important things Jesus does in the Sermon on the Mount is to emphasize the way our intentions cause us to sin. For Jesus, sin comes from our intention, not just our action; so, we commit the sin of adultery when we lust after another person. This means that we don’t have to do the law perfectly, but we must have a clean heart in order to “be perfect, as the Father in Heaven is perfect.”

What are your intentions? In what ways can you pray for God to make your intentions more like His?

NT Challenge: Matthew 1-4

Today we read from Matthew 1-4 . Take a minute to read through the passage, noticing a few things.

First, the first two chapters show us who Jesus is as a person, giving us a record of his ancestors (including some people who are a little sketchy, like Rahab and Ruth) and showing us how Joseph takes us as his own.

Second, the last two chapters show us that while Jesus is definitely a person, He is also God. Or, at least, He belongs to God in a very special way. John the Baptist and the temptation in the desert both show this. But, the specialness of Jesus does not rule out His human side: it simply enhances His humanity.

How has God enhanced your humanity? What kind of temptations have you overcome by relying on God and God’s grace?