Blessed…Words of the Prophet Fulfilled

Jesus knew what they intended to do, so he went away from there. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them all. But he ordered them not to spread the word about him, so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Look, my Servant whom I chose, the one I love, in whom I find great pleasureI’ll put my Spirit upon him, and he’ll announce judgment to the Gentiles. He won’t argue or shout, and nobody will hear his voice in the streets. He won’t break a bent stalk, and he won’t snuff out a smoldering wick, until he makes justice win. And the Gentiles will put their hope in his name. They brought to Jesus a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak. Jesus healed him so that he could both speak and see. All the crowds were amazed and said, “This man couldn’t be the Son of David, could he?” When the Pharisees heard, they said, “This man throws out demons only by the authority of Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Because Jesus knew what they were thinking, he replied, “Every kingdom involved in civil war becomes a wasteland. Every city or house torn apart by divisions will collapse. If Satan throws out Satan, he is at war with himself. How then can his kingdom endure? And if I throw out demons by the authority of Beelzebul, then by whose authority do your followers throw them out? Therefore, they will be your judges. But if I throw out demons by the power of God’s Spirit, then God’s kingdom has already overtaken you. Can people go into a house that belongs to a strong man and steal his possessions, unless they first tie up the strong man? Then they can rob his house. Whoever isn’t with me is against me, and whoever doesn’t gather with me scatters (Matthew 12:15-30, Common English Bible).

I think Matthew is my favorite of all the Gospels. John is a bit to cryptic for my taste. Mark is in too big of a hurry. Luke and Matthew are close but I think the reason I give Matthew the edge is two things. First, I really enjoy the way Matthew tells parables. Second, and more important to the lesson today, I love the way he ties Jesus’ story back to the prophets. Luke may do some of that as well but Matthew is where I seem to read it the most.

When I read stories like today’s, Matthew does a wonderful job of pointing us back to the prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. Matthew had a pretty good idea his readers wouldn’t know Jesus as a living breathing human. Because of that, Matthew wanted to make sure those reading his words would know this is the man Matthew believed to be the Messiah.

He was right of course. Matthew had no way of knowing his book would become Holy Scripture that people like you and I would still be reading more than 2000 years later. Matthew’s book tells his story of life with Jesus. He wants us to read it and come to know Jesus as he knew Jesus. This is his story, a story of how he saw prophecy fulfilled during his lifetime in a man named Jesus Christ.

It seems to me, all of us could do far worse than to sit down and write down some of our story and how Jesus has lived and worked in our lives so that years from now, some of our descendants and perhaps others will come to know Jesus as Matthew knew Jesus and we know Jesus.

What are you doing to tell the story of your life with Jesus?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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