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St Paul in his epistle to the Philippians stressed the need for a sense of humility among the church members. As at the time paul wrote the message , great disunity existed among the church members as a result of lack of humility. Paul therefore advised them to be in harmony and not to do anything out of selfishness or conceit. They should not be self -centered .They should consider in interest of other above their own
St paul used the case of jesus Christ to show them what humility is all about.He said jesus christ was in the form of God but he did not count himself equal to God.he took the form of an ordinary servant and was born in the likeness of man.In the human form, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death , even the death of the cross which was considered as one of the worst forms of death.
For this reason he said:
“God has highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name ;that at the name of jesus every knee must bow in heaven and earth, and under the earth , and every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is lord , to the glory of God the father (Philippian 2:9-11)”.
(i)God loves the humble minded and exalts him but debases the proud
(ii)God gives grace to the humble ;he or she reaps the reward of humility
(iii)God gives greatness to the humble
Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.“Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph: “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.” “And behold, your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my mouth that speaks to you.So you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that you have seen; and you shall hurry and bring my father down here.”Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.Moreover he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him.
Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them carts,according to the command of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. He gave to all of them, to each man, changes of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments. And he sent to his father these things: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and food for his father for the journey.So he sent his brothers away, and they departed; and he said to them, “See that you do not become troubled along the way.” Then they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to Jacob their father.And they told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt.” And Jacob’s heart stood still, because he did not believe them. But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.Then Israel said, “It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
3B (choose only 3)
1. Principled- he had character and integrity. He was honest. He was tempted at multiple times, and he resisted.
2. Humble- the power and prestige of his position working for Pharaoh never changed him.
3. Disciplined- Joseph had the proper long term perspective, even while in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
4. Faithfulness- while in jail and throughout all of the turmoil, Joseph remained faithful to God and never wavered from his commitment to follow Him.
5. Grace- Joseph showed grace and mercy to his brothers, even though they had sold him into slavery.
6. Competence- he did his job with excellence. Whether as a servant, or the interpreter of Pharaoh’s dream, or as the manager of the family sheep flock.
7. Wise- Joseph was wise beyond his years. He was 30 when he stepped in to help set up Egypt for the famine, and demonstrated a seasoned perspective with decision after decision.
8. Strategic- Joseph was a planner. He instructed the officials to prepare for a famine, even though it was years away, gathering up food to store up, even during the seven years of “plenty.”
One day Jesus was walking and saw a tax collector named
Matthew sitting at a tax collection post, and said to him,
“Follow me.” And Matthew stood up and followed Him, and
became one of His twelve apostles. (See M 9:9-13 = P
2:13-17 = L 5:27-32) Tax collectors in those days were social
outcasts. Devout Jews avoided them because they were
usually dishonest (the job carried no salary, and they were
expected to make their profits by cheating the people from
whom they collected taxes). Patriotic and nationalistic Jews
hated them because they were agents of the Roman
government, the conquerors, and hated them with a double
hatred if (like Matthew) they were Jews, because they had
gone over to the enemy, had betrayed their own people for
money. Thus, throughout the Gospels, we find tax collectors
(publicans) mentioned as a stadard type of sinful and
despised outcast. Matthew brought many of his former
associates to meet Jesus, and social outcasts in general were
shown that the love of Jesus extended even to them.
(Jesus numbered among his disciples persons of widely
different backgrounds. They included not only Matthew, a
former agent of the Roman government, but Simon the Zealot
(not to be confused with Simon Peter). Josephus tells us that
the Zealots were fanatical nationalists, determined to drive
out the Romans by guerrilla tactics, ambushes, assassinations,
terrorist methods, or whatever worked. Their motto was, “No
king but Messiah, no tax but the Temple, no friend but the
Zealot.” It is not clear that Simon was, or had been, a member
of the group that Josephus describes, but it seems clear that
he would have regarded himself as at the opposite end of the
political spectrum from Matthew.)
The name “Matthew” means “gift of the Lord.” Mark and Luke,
in the story of his calling, name him “Levi.” Perhaps this was
his original name, and he received a new name from Jesus
when he became a disciple. (It has also been suggested that
he was simply a member of the tribe of Levi.)
Of Matthew’s life after Pentecost the Scriptures tell us nothing.
Later accounts of his life vary, some reporting that he was
martyred, others that he died a natural death. The Christian
community since early times has commemorated him as a
Whether the Apostle Matthew is also the Evangelist Matthew
— that is, whether the Apostle Matthew wrote the Gospel that
bears his name — is disputed. The Gospel itself does not say
who wrote it, but the designation “according to Matthew” is
In favor of his authorship it may be noted that (1) while Mark
and Luke give the fourth pair of Apostles as “Matthew and
Thomas,” the Gospel of Matthew gives them as “Thomas and
Matthew”; and (2) while Luke 5:29 explicitly states, and Mark
2:15 suggests, that Matthew gave a banquet for Jesus,
Matthew 9:10 in describing the same banquet does not
indicate who the host was. Both of these variations would be
routine touches of modesty if Matthew was the author.
On the other hand, the gospel (1) does not have the manner of
an eyewitness (see my Library Essay John Part1), and (2) is
thought by many scholars to contain material borrowed from
Mark, whereas one would not expect someone who had been
an eyewitness to borrow from someone who had not. (Note:
The view that Mark is an older Gospel than Matthew is
widespread and not long ago many scholars regarded the
matter as settled. However, there is respectable opinion
holding that Matthew is the earliest Gospel after all. See, for
example, the comments in the Matthew volume of The Anchor
Perhaps the Gospel was written by some early Christian, not
an apostle, whose name was Matthew, and about whom
nothing else is known. Early Christian readers, hearing the
Gospel ascribed to “Matthew,” would naturally associate it with
the Apostle of that name, and so the ascribing of the work to
the Apostle Matthew becomes common at an early date, by a
perfectly natural misunderstanding.
Papias of Hierapolis, writing in the late first or early second
century, says that Matthew compiled the sayings (Logia) of
Jesus in Hebrew. Now the material common to Matthew and
Luke, but not to Mark, includes sayings of Jesus but almost no
narrative. It has therefore been conjectured that there was
once a document (usually called Q), now lost, that is basically
a collection of speeches by Jesus, and that Matthew (the
evangelist) and Luke had access to it while Mark did not. It
has been suggested that Matthew (the apostle) is the author of
this document Q, which may well have been first written in
Hebrew (or Aramaic).
The Scripture readings associated with the day bear the
themes of Matthew as a Gospel-writer (hence readings that
speak of the Scriptures), Matthew as an Apostle, and Matthew
as a sinner called by God’s grace.
Stephen, a man “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit,” was among them. Stephen performed great wonders and miracles among the people of Jerusalem. Jews of the outer provinces began to argue with him, but they could not win against his Spirit-filled wisdom.So in secret,they convinced false witnesses to lie, accusing Stephen of blasphemyagainst Moses and God. In ancient Judaism, blasphemy was a crime punishable by death. The accusers brought Stephen before the Sanhedrin, the great council, where the false witnesses said they heard Stephen say Jesus would destroy the Temple. Stephen launched into a powerful defense, detailing the history of the Jews from Abraham through the prophets. He concluded that the Sanhedrin had murdered the prophesied Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.
The crowd became furious at him, but Stephen looked up to heaven: “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At that, the mob dragged Stephen out of the city and began to stone him. They laid their coats in front of a young man named Saul of Tarsus. As he was dying, Stephen prayed to God to receive his spirit, and further asked God not to hold the sin against his killers.
Stephen “fell asleep,” or died. Other believers buried Stephen and mourned his death.
i)Stephen, had Greek names, showing that the members of the early church considered it a universal institution, not just another sect of Judaism.
ii)Stephen’s death was illegal. The Sanhedrin was not authorized to impose the death penalty, but the stoning appeared to be the result of mob action.
iii)Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian church. His final words were similar to Jesus’ last words on the cross. Stephen was the only one to say Jesus was standing, instead of sitting,at his Father’s right hand.
He began by describing how generous the believers in northern Greece had been: “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (8:1-2). Although they were very poor, they were very generous, and Paul attributes this to the grace of God. God had given them the willingness to give what little they had, and to do it with joy.
“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people” (8:3-4). Since the Macedonians were poor themselves, Paul did not ask them to give anything to the poor in Jerusalem, but they learned about the collection and wanted to help. They gave more than Paul thought they could. (We can read Paul’s thank-you in his letter to the Philippians.)
“And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us” (8:5). Why did they give? Because they gave themselves to Christ, which would include a willingness to use all that they had to further his work. As they submitted themselves to Christ, they wanted to participate in this offering.
Paul no doubt wanted the Corinthians to follow this example. The Macedonians showed that spiritual maturity leads to material generosity. The Corinthians had more money and should be even more generous.
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