Read thru the New Testament 2018
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids
Bible Reading: Matthew 8
The Old Testament prophets gave many specific details to their readers that would identity the Messiah when He came. Among those prophecies was the fact that the Messiah would have authority and power that was so astounding that people would recognize that it did not originate with man…but, that it came from God.
Over the centuries of Jewish history there were numerous men who claimed to be the Messiah. Some were religious leaders, others were soldiers, and still others were politicians. God didn’t want there to be any mistake. So, He set the bar so high with the miracles that the Messiah would perform…that it would be impossible for any man to ever be mistakenly identified as the Messiah. And yet, unfortunately, there were numerous times when the Jews did just that. Why? Because they wanted the Messiah to arrive so bad…that they lowered the bar.
But when Jesus came…He fulfilled these prophecies of miracles perfectly. God didn’t want there to be any mistaken identity about Jesus. In this chapter, we find Jesus making His identity clear by fulfilling these prophecies through amazing miracles.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Did you know that there are over 1,000 different species of birds in North America? From albatross, to blackbirds, to chickadees, to ducks, to eagles, to geese, to hawks, to hummingbirds, to kites, to owls, to pigeons, to puffins, to ravens, to vultures, to woodpeckers…and many, many more. Over 1,000! And they come in all different shapes, and sizes, and colors. Some of them live deep in the swamps…and some live on the sandy beaches. Some eat fish and snails…and some eat grass and weeds. Some fly high up in the air…and some hardly ever leave the ground. Some whistle…some hoot…and some honk. There are a lot of different kinds of birds.
But even though there are many different species, and even though there are lots of differences between the species…there are some bird species that look a lot like other bird species. And because they look so much alike…sometimes people mistakenly identify a bird as one species, when it is really another. A case of mistaken identity.
For instance, the tallest bird in North America is the Whooping Crane. It can be up to 5-feet tall, and its wings can spread up to 7½-feet wide. Its feathers are white and it has a red spot on its head. It is a beautiful bird. But get this. It has a cousin that looks a lot like it called the Sandhill Crane. The Sandhill Crane is usually just a little smaller, and has feathers that are light gray…sometimes so light that it almost looks white. And, it has a similar red mark on its head. When you see one of these Cranes it can be hard to tell which kind it is. Especially if you see it from a distance. Is that a Whooping Crane, or a Sandhill Crane? There are thousands of Sandhill Cranes in North America…but hardly any Whooping Cranes. In 1940, there were only 20 Whooping Cranes. Over the years, there has been an effort to protect Whooping Cranes and now there are about 600. But that’s still not very many. So, to continue to protect them, Whooping Cranes have been placed on the Endangered Species List and it is against the law to hunt them. In fact, if someone hunts and kills one, they can be fined up to $100,000 and spend up to 1 year in jail. But here is the problem…it is legal to hunt Sandhill Cranes in 16 states in North America. And sometimes, because people make a mistake and identify a Whooping Crane as a Sandhill Crane…they accidentally shoot and kill it. Now, there is one less Whooping Crane…and we need for them all to live…or eventually, they may disappear, completely. A terrible case of mistaken identity. Mistaken identity can have very bad consequences.
Did you know that there have been many people who said that they were God? And, there have been people who said that though they were not God, themselves, they knew how to find God, they knew the way to God. There have also been people who said that they were the Savior that God sent into the world. God knew ahead of time that people would say things like this, that they would make claims like this. So, in order to avoid any mistaken identities…God told the prophets, long, long ago…exactly what people were to look for in order to identify Him when He came. He didn’t want there to be any mistaken identity between Himself…and people who claimed to be Him.
One of the main things that God told the prophets to look for in order to identify Him was His authority, His power. God told them that when He came…He would have authority and power…greater than any other man that ever lived. And, His authority and power would be over every area of life.
In chapters 8 and 9 of Matthew, Jesus uses this very kind of authority, this kind of power. Authority and power that can only come from God. He has authority and power over…
- Sickness and disease (He healed a leper and Peter’s mother-in-law)
- Evil spirits (He cast demons out of people)
- Nature (He stopped a storm on the Sea of Galilee)
- Sin (He gives forgiveness)
- Religious Practices and Teachings (He corrects the false teachings of the religious leaders)
- Death (He brought a dead child back to life).
When Jesus performed these amazing miracles it served two purposes. First, it met real needs that people had. Jesus loved them and wanted to help them. But second, it identified exactly Who Jesus was. Jesus was God. Only God could do the things that Jesus did. Mistaken identity can have very bad consequences. But, correctly identifying Jesus as the Savior and accepting Him by faith has the greatest consequence ever…everlasting life.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,