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Paul desired to see the church holy and united, but there was a problem of division in the church at Corinth. Paul’s response is to appeal to them in the name of Christ, to encourage them to fix their eyes on Jesus, and to draw their attention to the Cross and to the one who died for us.
Great darkness covered the land when Jesus was born. Herod was an example of this. The religious people, who knew the Bible, made no effort to search for the Messiah. We must not fix our eyes on the evil that surrounds us, but on Jesus.
Joseph was a righteous man. He knows what Leviticus and Deuteronomy say about adultery and divorce, but he decides not to humiliate Mary. He was not asking for God to speak to him in a dream, but God gives him a dream anyway.
Matthew begins with Jesus’ genealogy to show that Jesus is the promised king for whom the generations were waiting. Matthew shows God’s grace by including evil men in the ancestry, and he shows that God welcomes everybody by including Gentile women.
God was Jacob’s shepherd all his life. He is a shepherd deliverer, a shepherd warrior and a kingly shepherd. The shepherd sought and found us, and collectively we are his flock. Our mission is to take the gospel to the people of the nation and our communities, who are like sheep without a shepherd.
Just as a power tool can do nothing without electricity but a lot with it, so we can do nothing without Jesus but so long as we remain in him we can bear much fruit. He chose us, and all we have to do is to remain in him and allow him to prune us.
Jesus can calm our troubles. He tells us that we can trust in him, that he is preparing a room for us in Heaven, that he is coming back to take us to be with him, and that he is the underlying reality behind the appearance.
Jesus doesn’t say “I will resurrect you and I will give you life” but “I am the resurrection and the life”. He wants to invade our lives now, not just in the future, so that we experience the resurrection and the life today.
Jesus rescued us not just from the darkness in the world around us, but also from the darkness in our own hearts. We can walk in darkness or we can have the light of life by following Jesus and obeying his teaching.
Jesus doesn’t come to us to help us fight our battles for so that we can join him in his battle. When we encounter Jesus, we should respond with new worship, a new submission, a new devotion, a new vision a new unity and a new exercise of faith.
God loves the hungry, he tests those who have all they want, and even when we go through difficulties in this life he satisfies those who believe in him. So let’s not just seek good things, or good works, or miracles, but instead, seek God himself.
Following Jacob’s death, the brothers wonder if Joseph has really forgiven them. He has: and followers of Jesus need not ask the same question of God - they have been totally forgiven by him. Christians don’t need to live with a nagging sense of guilt but can know the fullness of God’s grace and peace.
Through Jacob’s final words we see that the plans of God work out despite the sins and actions of humans. Through Judah’s offspring, Christ, we see the original curse enacted due to Adam’s sin and impacting all of us, is overcome through Christ’s sacrifice. This reconciles us with God and allows us to love a holy life for him.
Jacob believes God and his promise, he relies on the faithfulness of God, and trusts in God’s sovereign choice. We are called to walk in his footsteps believing God for tomorrow as well as for the rest of our lives.