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Chap. 4 - A Great Light

The thing that strikes me as I read this chapter is "The people sitting in darkness has seen a great light" I feel like there is so much darkness in the world right now, and I know I'm not alone. COVID has brought a lot of problems in many of our lives - in my own illness, loneliness in the face of grief, disappointment and worry about the future. There are times when it can seem like evil and death are thee unshakeable laws of the universe.

There's been a couple of comments about how the first few chapters of Matthew seem actually pretty dark when we stop to realize it. I think Matthew is in touch with the darkness, and maybe he's sort of tried to make sure we feel it with the stories of Satan and Herod and all of that. Then he tells us that there is a light. I sure want to see that light.

I initially had a picture of Jesus as this small point of light in an enormous sea of darkness. The darkness is big, but the light is there, small but steady, and I need to keep my eye fixed on this small, narrow, hope. The light seemed so small, so easy to miss. But I realized that this is not right. It is actually the light that is large - the whole universe is the light of the goodness of God, and the darkness we are presently in is the small thing, floating in that sea of light. Jesus is the light of the goodness of God poking through our tiny reality and showing us that the basic condition of the universe, the ground of all being, is good.



Larry Fjeldstrom
Larry Fjeldstrom
Sep 11, 2021

Chapter 4 shows me that Jesus has reached a turning point. Up until then he was living the life of an ordinary person from Nazareth. They were know as farmers, fishermen, and herders. Joseph was a carpenter, and scripture says he was a craftsman. I don't know if that meant he was also a carpenter or not. The closest city to Nazereth was Sepphoris (4 km away). He likely went into the city to sell his crafted goods. This Roman city was ruled over by Herod's son Antipas. I can imagine that Mary and Joseph would be cautious living that close to any member of Herod's family. Because this city was a hub of trade, it is likely that Jesus…


Looking over chapter 2 we see that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, lived in Egypt, and he grew up in Nazareth. That is quite a lot of travelling for that period of time.

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