Overarching theme: Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of following Jesus.
Core Point: At times, God surprises us with a unique touch of grace. What do we do with that touch? Tell someone!
Start point: Gospel overview: The Gospel of Matthew was most likely written sometime in the decade of 50 A.D. The Gospel narratives were probably written to help people remember the story from actual witnesses. Most likely, decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the stories about Jesus had morphed into half-truths. Each Gospel had many similar stories but with a unique perspective from the eye witness. The author, Matthew, was most likely one of the disciples and worked as a tax-collector. Matthew, because of his vocation, would not have been held in high esteem. Much like how we view the IRS in the U.S., we love the IRS, right? Matthew’s Gospel appears to have the Gospel of Mark as a basis of his writing. Matthew’s writing distinctively reveals Jesus as one coming from the Jewish line as seen in the opening genealogy and other statements throughout the Gospel. The writing was directed to the Jewish Christians and tried to help the community see Jesus as the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament.
Reflect on this Scripture:
Matthew 28:16-20 (NRSV)
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Questions to Ponder:
What jumps out at you in the text?
What was the response by the disciples? Why the mixture of response?
Do you have doubt at times? Why?
Overall, what did Jesus do for the disciples in this encounter?
What a great encouragement for the disciples. Jesus had directed the disciples to go to Galilee through his encounter with Mary at the tomb. Guess what? Jesus was there to meet them just as he had said. Goes to illustrate that Jesus will do what he said he would do. Jesus said he would die and be resurrected. Guess what? It happened! Jesus died and rose to life. In response to the seeing of Jesus, the disciples moved into worship. It is revealed that some doubted, but doesn’t that seem like us, we all have doubts at times. We stand back and scratch our heads wondering how did all this happen? Well, it is truly a mystery that we have to accept by faith. It is by that faith that we are in relationship with God and find salvation. Through it all, God says, “I got this!” Our response is to accept it, give thanks for it, and live into it. How do we live into it? Accept the mission that God has given, not just to the disciples, or clergy, but to everyone. God calls us to take what we know, what we have experienced, and to what we are committed to the people around us. We are called to GO! We are called to make disciples of people. We are called to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are called to teach people about what Jesus has said about the active work of God’s grace and forgiveness. The great promise of Jesus is that when we go out like this, Jesus goes with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Basically, in Jesus, we have the experience of grace, we have the activity of grace, and we have the power of grace living and guiding us until the end of the age. So GO!
Questions to Ponder:
What is it that you get out of this Jesus sighting?
What does it mean to make disciples?
How are you developing as a disciple of Christ Jesus?
How can you participate in this mission in the community in which you live?
How do you think we could grow the church at FUMC, Coppell by living out this mission?
Activity of for the life of a disciple:
1. This week, write on a piece of paper the scripture and place it at a location in which you will read it on a daily basis.
2. Find one thing each day you can do to help grow the Kingdom of God and FUMC, Coppell by living into the mission we are called.