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The Reveal

April 5, 2015

20150329_FaithEdmonds-1Theme: Seeing Jesus through the eyes of Matthew

Location: The Torah ark of the Eastside Torah Center in Bellevue

Slide notes:

  • The ark contains the Torah scrolls of the synagogue. The ark is built along the wall closest to Jerusalem (in this case the wall is facing South-East).
  • The Gospel of Matthew was believed to be written by Matthew himself. Matthew was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus.
  • Judaism plays a pivotal role in the gospel of Matthew. Matthew describes how the Jewish authorities and people grow increasingly weary of Jesus and his teachings, and ultimately chant “Crucify him” when Pontius Pilate asks what crime Jesus has committed. Matthew saw it all unfold with his own eyes, and he must have felt lost and overwhelmed many times, wondering why this was all happening, what it meant, and maybe even doubting his faith.
  • John W. Gardner once said: “History never looks like history when you are living through it.” As we are studying the Gospel of Matthew, we have the benefit of hindsight and the coherent stories of the Old and New Testament. But like Matthew, we have seen the “complete picture” of the slide visuals unfold over the past 12 weeks. Many of you have asked me where the picture was taken, and what it is.
  • What prompted Matthew to follow Jesus, instead of chanting “Crucify him” along with many others? What made Matthew derive wisdom and guidance from Jesus, when many others saw rebellion, blasphemy, and danger? How could Matthew know for sure that he was following Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of Man? What made Matthew see that Jesus had come to fulfill the prophecies, not destroy them: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
  • Matthew’ faith was steadfast, and when all is said and done Matthew concludes in chapter 28: 18-20: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
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