Advent Reflections for December 17
Week 3 - Monday
When He had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached Him as He was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" (Matthew 21:23)
The question of authority always followed Jesus. Different groups and individuals would try to ask Him difficult questions to trick Him and make Him look stupid in front of the crowds who listened to His teaching. It is clear that Jesus derived His authority from an unshakable inner knowledge of His relationship to the Father. Do we have confidence in our relationship with God so that we can speak the truth as we see it? Or do we expect the Church or some other authority to speak for us?
Make something (bake a cake, draw a picture, cut out a cartoon) to cheer someone up or as a means of sharing the spirit of the season.
Gospel: The Genealogy of Jesus - Matthew 1:-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers…Matthew 1:-17
These are the opening words of Matthew's Gospel. He begins with the basics - the genealogy of Jesus. It will be a long list of 48 names stretching across 2,000 years.
Matthew wants to emphasize that Jesus is the Messiah, the long-awaited "Son of David" who would fulfill Old Testament prophecies. That's why he works downward from Abraham through David, to Jesus. Luke in his genealogy starts with Jesus and works upward to Adam. He wants to emphasize that Jesus is the Son of God.
Both Matthew and Luke drew upon popular traditions (rather than written records,) and both adapted the data. They are trying to establish Jesus' theological identity, not his DNA.
The list of names in Jesus' genealogy includes a wide variety of people not all of them perfect by any means. Jesus' family had some skeletons in the closet. Probably your family is no different. They're still your family.
We are about a week away from Christmas. This would be a good time to mend some family ties.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.
Lord, make me confident anew of Your great gift of faith that I may tell others of Your goodness.
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