Good morning. My name is Brooke Sulahian and I’ve been attending Community Bible Study for about 1.5 years. I am honored to share with you this morning.
It was a daunting yet exciting invitation…or maybe the better word is challenge… to take our study of the Gospel of Matthew, pull out my key learnings, and pass it on to you in under 5-6 minutes in a way that would bring glory to God. However by God’s amazing grace, I think He enabled me to do just that.
Prayer: Father, please enable me to share the words You want me to share and the words my sisters need to hear. For Your glory, Amen
I was raised in a Christian home and attended church every Sunday with youth group on Wednesdays through middle and high school. Church was what we did. Over the years, God guided me along a path where my faith would become my own, not my family’s. But my time attending church as a child has given me the gift of being familiar with much of the Bible. This is a very good gift.
But, while praying about what I would share today, praying about what I could share about a book of the Bible I have read and studied prior, it was at first difficult to come up with ideas. As I worked through my notes and prayed, God gave me this idea. Familiar Yet New. During this year’s study with God, my CBS books, my CBS core group and my Bible, I came to know Jesus, our Savior, a very familiar person in my life, in some very new ways.
One new way of seeing Jesus involves God’s timing. “For those who have ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:9) This verse used by Jesus used to frustrate me, because I wanted to know it all, then and there. I even, at moments, felt like I could actually complete my spiritual growth during my time on earth if only I was able to run ahead a bit. I am a do-er by nature and love to tick things off my list. However, I now cherish these words. Studying them through the lens of Jesus, not only have I realized I can’t be complete here, I am actually excited that there will be new truths to hear, new gifts to receive, and new opportunities to serve Our Lord down the road. No longer frustrated, but anticipating my future walk through a closer relationship with Christ.
I also know Jesus in a new way through His healings. As a child, I knew Jesus healed people and I even experienced my own healing from depression, but this year’s study took my understanding to a new level. First, Jesus met people at their real point of need. In Matthew 9:2 Jesus is sought for physical healing for paralyzed man, but Jesus also knew his soul needed His healing touch as well. The idea of being so deeply known by Christ sank into my heart in a new way this year. Also, in Matthew 9 we meet a father, two blind men and a woman in need of Jesus’ healing. I came away initially thinking how courageous these individuals were to approach Jesus, call out to Jesus, and to steal a touch of his robe. I still think they were courageous but I also see them as truly desperate. Jesus was their last hope and He not only delivered the needed healing, but He did not shy away from or judge their desperate state. I have great comfort knowing He will be with me right by my side in my most desperate, even ugly, and messy moments.
Lastly, I was blown away by Jesus’ strength as He walked his last steps towards His crucifixion. Remaining silent in the presence of false accusations is something I don’t think I could do. Remaining silent when crowds who once cheered me on called for my unjust death or while I was being beaten, spat upon and ridiculed, no, I could not do that either. My familiarity with the Bible reminded me that, yes, Jesus was strong and He did what no mortal man could do just to reach the cross. However, at this time in my life, with my current eyes to see and ears to hear, Jesus showed me His strength in a very new way. In fact, He was so strong that His silence unnerved the high priest so much he chose to use an oath during the “trial”, as it would require a word from Jesus. The strength of Jesus that the Holy Spirit uncovered for me during this study is beyond anything I could ever imagine and my heart swells knowing that He walked this long path in beautiful strength to the cross for you and for me.
Familiar Yet New. This is my hope for each of us. That God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will become more and more familiar to each of us yet also show us new aspects of themselves and core Biblical truths in the days and years to come.
NOTE: This is what I shared as part of our Community Bible Study sharing day. I hope it touched your heart.
© 2019 by Brooke F Sulahian