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looking through binoculars October 3 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: John 4:27-46a; Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 4:12-17; Luke 4:14-44; Mark 1:21-45; Matthew 8:14-17; Matthew 8:1-4; Luke 5:12-16

Focus

What is your mission in life? Understanding your mission gives you direction and focus. In today's world many organizations have a mission statement, an explanation of what they are striving to do and how they measure success. What is your mission statement?

Jesus’ ultimate mission was to give us spiritual life and forgiveness (John 3:13-17), but it was not yet time to reveal this. He needed to prove himself to be the Messiah, the chosen one of God. People would come to recognize this as they saw his works and heard him speak. Jesus spoke of his mission to his disciples at Jacob's well in Samaria. The disciples had gone into the town of Sychar to buy some food. When they got back they were surprised that Jesus was talking to a Samaritan woman (Jews had no dealings with Samaritans). They urged Jesus to eat the food they brought back with them. Jesus refused, saying, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about....My food [or purpose] is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work,” (John 4:32,34, NIV). And what was this will and work Jesus was to finish? Jesus was to reveal God and offer eternal life to sinners. The Samaritans were half-breed Jews and were hated. To the Samaritan woman Jesus offered living water, eternal spiritual life to satisfy her parched soul.

Sometimes Jesus' daily ministry was not specifically stated; it was illustrated. After the incident with the Samaritan woman, Jesus compared an expected agricultural harvest with a spiritual harvest. In this passage he not only implied that he was reaping but told the disciples it was also their opportunity to help. The time and opportunity was now. The prophets, including John the Baptist had sowed the spiritual seed from God's Word. The disciples were to help reap it. Jesus' daily ministry was the sowing, nurturing, and harvesting of souls. What about us? Are we involved in this way?

Now was the time for spiritual reaping. After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee proclaiming the good news of salvation. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-15, NIV). Have we done that? In deep contrition, have we confessed our sins, turned away from them, and believed in the Lord's sacrifice for us? Or, are we still on the fence of decision, watching Jesus from afar, or just gathering with others who are “religious,” remaining uncommitted and trying to be incognito? This is the day of salvation! Repent and believe! (more...)

Jesus’ mission is clearly declared after he returns to Nazareth, his hometown.

On the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,” (Luke 4:16a-21 NIV).

Though his audience was amazed and startled, this passage of Scripture well explains Jesus' mission here on earth. There were many to whom Jesus would restore sight and release from medical illness and even death. However, he was also sent to preach good news to those who were poor and oppressed in their spirits. He told them to repent for the kingdom of heaven is near (Matthew 4:17). We Christians, though we cannot heal or raise the dead, can still minister to those who are sick or grieving or who are otherwise oppressed in their bodies or their spirits. We can also tell them the message of the gospel to heal their souls and give spiritual life.

Satan, the devil, tried to hinder the accomplishment of his mission. He tried to make the ministry of Christ look like it was authenticated by demons. Christ knew this association with demons was not good so he cast them out of people and sent them away, commanding them to be quiet. Jesus wanted people to come to know him as they saw his good works and listened to his teaching. His identity would be known in time but not by the testimony of demons. Satan also does not want us to accomplish godly missions. He will try to trip us up so that we get nothing done. He may hinder us by appealing to our pride and getting us to rely upon early success or giving us early recognition of our accomplishments. Everyone likes to be recognized, but premature recognition can keep us from fulfilling our mission, and we may lose our focus. We must work hard and stay focused until our tasks are complete. Rewards come to those of us who are faithful in the missions God gives us.

Lessons to live by:

  • This is the day of salvation! Repent and believe! (more...)
  • Christians, fulfill your mission. Live daily for the kingdom of God, ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of people as God calls you to do.
  • Stay focused and work hard. Do not let the devil hinder you by pride or by focusing on early successes. Rewards come at the end of the race for those who continue to run well.

Today’s Bible Memory Verses:

Hebrews 12:2a “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (NIV)

Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

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