Our members are encouraged to faithfully read god's word

                                                                             Week of September 19


Monday September 20     Matthew 11

John the Baptist understood his calling he was to prepare the way for the messiah, the one who would come and make things right, who would come with vengeance and punish the wicked. Jesus sent a message to remind John of the rest of the prophecies about him, that he would bind up the broken, give sight to the blind, …  Malachi prophesied about one like Elijah who would prepare the way, Jesus identified John as this person.  Look at what Jesus said about his generation, “we played the pipe for you, and you did not dance, we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.”  Jesus was telling them they could not be pleased, if one celebrated, they did not like it, if one mourned, they did not like it; they rejected John and now they reject Jesus.  So Jesus gave them a warning, he contrasted them with Tyre and Sidon, the message is still relevant, those who were blessed to know God, to know God’s covenants, to know His Son, will be held to a higher standard than those who did not know.  This chapter ends with a familiar verse, one that uses an unfamiliar image, the image of a yoke.  When two animals are yoked together they need to be in step with each other.  When something happened to one of the team a new ox was introduced to the older more mature one.  The new ox quickly learned to go where the other went, to stop when the other stopped.  What if you were placed in a yoke with Jesus, to learn from him?  That is what he is metaphorically calling you to do, “take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”  What if you were challenged to read the Gospel stories about Jesus, “and learn from (him)”?


Tuesday September 21      Matthew 12

This chapter begins with two teachings about the Sabbath.  Jesus referenced David taking bread that was only to be eaten by the priest, but Jesus says something like, “people are more important than rules,” especially man-made rules.  People are also more important than animals, Sabbath rules should not be so rigid that one would be upset when a person is helped. Jesus taught that the Sabbath day is a day for doing good, not a day for keeping rules. 

Matthew quoted Isaiah, Jesus the Messiah would come and bring justice, there it is again, another teaching about justice.  There are many stories in the Gospels about Jesus casting out demons, in this one he told a parable where he is teaching that the devil is strong, but he is stronger.  We also see a little parable about a tree, a good tree has good fruit, you can tell a tree by its fruit, that is also true with a person.  When anyone would consider what you do or what you talk about, how would they judge you, as a good or bad tree?


Wednesday September 22    Matthew 13

This is the classic chapter on parables, it contains many parables and also Jesus’ explanation for telling parables.  Jesus quotes Isaiah when explaining why he told parables, a quote that has been understood in two ways: some say God/Jesus is shutting the ears of the people so that they will not turn to him, others say, because the people close their ears, they will not turn to God or Jesus, I think that one makes more sense.  If we go with the first idea then God is causing the people to turn away from him, that idea hardly fits with the rest of Scripture.  All the parables found in this chapter fit the heading, “the coming of the kingdom,” the kingdom will start small and grow huge, in the kingdom the proclamation of the Word will produce a huge harvest, within the kingdom there will be true believers and those who only look like true believers, God will separate them at the judgment day.  People who understand gain even more when they hear parables, those who don’t get it, get even more confused by parables.


Thursday September 23   Matthew 14

We are halfway through Matthew and beginning “the road to the cross.”  Up to this point the ministry of Jesus is to Jews and in the land occupied by Jews, the feeding of the 5,000 seems to be the end of that ministry.  After feeding 5,000 the disciples sailed to the other side of the lake, the side where the Gentiles lived, the side where he cast demons out of a man on an earlier visit.  On the way Jesus taught the disciples a powerful lesson about faith but more importantly, they acknowledged he is the “Son of God.” 

Note the reception Jesus received “on the other side,” the crowds came to see Jesus, to ask for healing.  The last time Jesus was in this place (Matthew 8) the people pleaded with Jesus to leave.  People on the Gentile side of the lake are beginning to believe, Jesus is showing the disciples that he came for all people, not just the Jews, Jesus is doing what God had called the Jews to do all along, live in such a way that it will draw others to him.


Friday September 24   Matthew 15

Yesterday we talked about the shift in Matthew from a ministry only to the Jews to one that included Gentiles as well.  This chapter begins with a confrontation with the Pharisees regarding what Jesus thought of as picky Jewish laws.  After this confrontation Jesus went to the region of Tyre and Sidon, a place Jews rarely went.  In Tyre and Sidon,  Jesus witnessed the faith of a Canaanite woman, but note what he said to her, “it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”  This seems uncomfortably harsh, why did Jesus say this?  Once again Jesus’ ministry is shifting to include non-Jews, and a Canaanite woman is one who exhibits great faith in Jesus.  From there Jesus again travelled to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and like he had done in Jewish territory, he now feeds a great multitude of people in Gentile territory.   Some scholars like to point out that in the land of the twelve tribes there were twelve baskets full of left-overs, and now in what was commonly called the land of the seven, (all those “ites” we kept reading about in the Old Testament) there were seven baskets full of left-overs.  Could this mean Jesus could feed all those people and there were enough left-overs to feed all the other people in that territory?



Saturday September 25     Matthew 16

Happy birthday tomorrow to James Oosterhouse


“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees,” yeast is used to describe how the Kingdom of God grows and spreads, but also how evil grows and spreads.  Be on your guard against the yeast of the conspiracy theorists, the yeast of those who turn friend against friend and brother against brother. 

Like any teacher, Jesus wanted to know how his students were doing, were they catching on, did they understand who he was.  Peter was eager to show himself an A student, he willingly declared Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.   Jesus told Peter that even Hades (the place of the dead) would not be able to stand against this testimony, it is this testimony on which Jesus would build his church. 

The disciples understood that Jesus was the Messiah, but they were still not clear about how Jesus would bring His Kingdom, it would include a tragic death.  They did not like this, they were unwilling to accept it (for now.)  Look at verse twenty-six, what good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  The students at Hillcrest in Nigeria used to sing a song with those words, it the middle what they called a “crisis” with Boko Haram killing and looting, this was a powerful song.  I’ve included a link Gain the Whole World.


Bethany Bible Reading Plan (year three)

Beginning September 6, 2021










Matthew 1

Matthew 2

Matthew 3

Matthew 4

Matthew 5:1-16

Matthew 5:17-48


Matthew 6:1-18

Matthew 6:19-34

Matthew 7

Matthew 8

Matthew 9

Matthew 10


Matthew 11

Matthew 12

Matthew 13

Matthew 14

Matthew 15

Matthew 16


Matthew 17

Matthew 18

Matthew 19

Matthew 20

Matthew 21

Matthew 22


Matthew 23

Matthew 24

Matthew 25

Matthew 26

Matthew 27

Matthew 28


Mark 1

Mark 2

Mark 3

Mark 4

Mark 5

Mark 6


Mark 7

Mark 8

Mark 9

Mark 10

Mark 11

Mark 12


Mark 13

Mark 14

Mark 15

Mark 16

Luke 1

Luke 2


Luke 3

Luke 4

Luke 5

Luke 6

Luke 7

Luke 8


Luke 9

Luke 10

Luke 11

Luke 12

Luke 13

Luke 14


Luke 15

Luke 16

Luke 17

Luke 18

Luke 19

Luke 20


Luke 21

Luke 22

Luke 23

Luke 24

John 1

John 2


John 3

John 4

John 5

John 6

John 7

John 8


John 9

John 10

John 11

John 12

John 13

John 14


John 15

John 16

John 17

John 18

John 19

John 20


John 21

Acts 1

Acts 2

Acts 3

Acts 4

Acts 5


Acts 6

Acts 7

Acts 8

Acts 9

Acts 10

Acts 11


Acts 12

Acts 13

Acts 14

Acts 15

Acts 16

Acts 17


Acts 18

Acts 19

Acts 20

Acts 21

Acts 22

Acts 23


Acts 24

Acts 25

Acts 26

Acts 27

Acts 28

Romans 1


Romans 2

Romans 3

Romans 4

Romans 5

Romans 6

Romans 7


Romans 8

Romans 9

Romans 10

Romans 11

Romans 12

Romans 13


Romans 14

Romans 15

Romans 16

1 Corinthians 1

1 Corinthians 2

1 Corinthians 3


1 Corinthians 4

1 Corinthians 5

1 Corinthians 6

1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 8

1 Corinthians 9


1 Corinthians 10

1 Corinthians 11

1 Corinthians 12

1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 14

1 Corinthians 15


1 Corinthians 16

2 Corinthians 1

2 Corinthians 2

2 Corinthians 3

2 Corinthians 4

2 Corinthians 5


2 Corinthians 6

2 Corinthians 7

2 Corinthians 8

2 Corinthians 9

2 Corinthians 10

2 Corinthians 11


2 Corinthians 12

2 Corinthians 13

Galatians 1

Galatians 2

Galatians 3

Galatians 4


Galatians 5

Galatians 6

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 2

Ephesians 3

Ephesians 4


Ephesians 5

Ephesians 6

Philippians 1

Philippians 2

Philippians 3

Philippians 4


Colossians 1

Colossians 2

Colossians 3

Colossians 4

I Thessalonians 1

I Thessalonians 2


I Thessalonians 3

I Thessalonians 4

I Thessalonians 5

2 Thessalonians 1

2 Thessalonians 2

2 Thessalonians 3


1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 3

1 Timothy 4

1 Timothy 5

1 Timothy 6


2 Timothy 1

2 Timothy 2

2 Timothy 3

2 Timothy 4

Titus 1

Titus 2


Titus 3


Hebrews 1

Hebrews 2

Hebrews 3

Hebrews 4


Hebrews 5

Hebrews 6

Hebrews 7

Hebrews 8

Hebrews 9

Hebrews 10


Hebrews 11

Hebrews 12

Hebrews 13

James 1

James 2

James 3


James 4

James 5

1 Peter 1

1 Peter 2

1 Peter 3

1 Peter 4


1 Peter 5

2 Peter 1

2 Peter 2

2 Peter 3

1 John 1

1 John 2


1 John 3

1 John 4

1 John 5

2 John

3 John



Revelation 1

Revelation 2

Revelation 3

Revelation 4

Revelation 5

Revelation 6


Revelation 7

Revelation 8

Revelation 9

Revelation 10

Revelation 11

Revelation 12


Revelation 13

Revelation 14

Revelation 15

Revelation 16

Revelation 17

Revelation 18


Revelation 19

Revelation 20

Revelation 21

Revelation 22