Matthew Quiz – Chapters 1-14

logo.1This will be the surprise quiz for the adult class this Sunday, unless members of the class read this blog, in which case they will get an unfair advantage!  Actually this will be a discussion starter.  Answers will NOT be posted until next week.  Click here to download –  Matthew Quiz

Matthew Quiz – Adult Class, June 1

  1. Name at least two women in Jesus’ genealogy.
  2. What are two titles given to Jesus in Chapter 1?
  3. The alternating sections in Matthew composed of _________ and __________.
  4. When does the idea of the Gentiles receiving the message of Jesus first appear in Matthew?
  5. What Old Testament event is most like the Temptation of Jesus in chapter 4?
  6. What book of the Bible does Jesus quote against the Tempter?
  7. Overall, who is the Sermon on the Mount (Ch. 5-7) written to?
  8. Overall, what is the content of the Sermon on the Mount?
  9. What is the purpose of the Lord’s Prayer?
  10. When Jesus ministry is summarized, what three things are emphasized?
  11. What is the main activity in chapters 8 and 9?
  12. How did Jesus prove to John the Baptist that he was the Messiah? (Ch. 11)
  13. Is the instruction given to the 12 in Matthew 10 still important today? Why?
  14. Which cities in Jesus day would be judged harsher than Sodom and Gomorrah?
  15. What sign did Jesus offer to the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 12?
  16. What kind of teaching did Jesus give in chapter 13?
  17. The first part of Chapter 13 happens __________ the rest happens _________ which is important because ___________________________________.
  18. What is the first parable in chapter 13?
  19. How are the parables of the Weeds and the Net similar?
  20. What did Herod Antipas think about Jesus?
  21. What three inter-related events are in Matthew 14?
  22. What do Thomas Jefferson and David Hume agree on?
  23. Bonus: Name the next Sermon Series: ____________ _________________

Feeding & Forming a new Community – Matthew 14

loavesfish2The Feeding of the 5,000 is found in all four Gospels.  It is the only miracle story found in all of the Gospels.

In John it becomes a text on Jesus’ leadership – the people want a king. In the Synoptics it is framed a bit differently.

I found this quote from R. T. France  (TNTC,  Matthew, p.235)


“…there is more to this meal than physical sustenance; sitting together is a symbol of unity.  Instead of being dismissed an dispersed {as the disciples suggested} the crowds are welcomed into a new community.  See on v. 19 for Jesus’ role  as the head of the family.” {when he offers thanks and breaks the bread.}

This story is important, not because Jesus promises to give you as an individual what you want.  It is important because it shows us the kind of leader Jesus is.  He lives to create a new community.  If you think the work of God is done when you get a ticket to heaven, you have, pardon the pun, missed the boat.


Parables for Inside and Out – Matthew 13


The first part of this post is kind of nerdy….the second raises a question.

The text notes that Jesus spoke from a boat in Matthew 13:1 and then it notes he moves inside in 13:36 where he gave an explanation for the Parable of the Weeds.  This makes me wonder if the parables in the first part were all outside and if  those in the second part were all inside.  The outside parables then would be for a larger, general audience and those on the inside would be for the disciples. Matthew, as we have seen, is more interested in topics than chronology, so we have to be careful here.

There is also a pattern to each half – 4 parables, in each case there are paired parables (mustard/yeast and treasure/pearl), in each there is an explanation, though this is longer int he first half, and both halves refer to the sorting out process at judgment (wheat/weeds and good fish/bad fish.)

Outside (from the boat v. 1-35)

  • Sower (responses to the word of God)
  • (reason for parables/Sower explained)
  • Weeds
  • Mustard
  • Yeast

Inside (v.36-52)

  • (Weeds Explained – sorting out)
  • Hidden Treasure
  • Pearl
  • Net (sorting)
  • Owner of House

Hometown (53-58)

  • Consequence of lack of faith (bad soil, not selling all for treasure/pearl)

Other Links

In the Inside section:

  • first and fourth parables are linked by the idea of treasure (Gk thesauros)
  • second and third parables are linked by the word “good” (Gk kalos – good pearls and good fish)

Implication:  I have always thought of the hidden treasure and pearl of great price parables as expressing the initial joy of encountering the message of the Kingdom.  But since these are placed by Matthew in the INSIDE section of the chapter, should we read them more as parables about following Jesus, rather than parables of the first encounter.  So they call us to sell out totally to Jesus and his message.

Back to Nerdsville – I am kind of grooving out on v. 52, where the scholar who receives the kingdom can bring out the treasure of Old and New.  Note that there is nothing bad said about the OLD.  but that the treasury contains both, and the scholar/homeowner takes joy in both!

Doesn’t ” Good Fish,Bad Fish” sound like a Dr. Seuss title?

The Side Rock Cafe – my Smoky Mountain retreat

a quiet place in the Smoky Mountains

a quiet place in the Smoky Mountains


I have a restful week in the Smoky Mountains as part of a Sabbath Rest gathering.  One of my activities was to stop and look at the world so check out my watercolor sketches here .

This sketch is from along a hiking trail in the Smoky Mountains – I did not get to the big falls, but had a pleasant lunch at my own personal “Side Rock Cafe.”

I plan to do some exploring of this theme here at Fresh Read – while we are not under the legal regulations of the Sabbath, we continue to have the invitation, which we can take at any time where the Lord says, “just stop and spend some time with me, with my words and works.”

If you are in Madison and want to try a local version, Two Book Retreats will be offering a class this June and July along the Yahara River – see the link here.