Bible Study – Perceiving Change

 

LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE….. in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY 

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Bible Study
Perceiving Change
“Hidden . . . the Revealed”

 Definition of Perceiving Change: grasping mentally and spiritually that a change is coming – becoming aware of and discerning that things will not stay the same

A Key Verse: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? – Isaiah 43:18.19

Introduction

A couple of our granddaughters used to like to play hide and seek when they were about 2 years old. They each had their special hiding spots and I had to find them. Then in turn I had to hide so they could find me. If they could not find me, I would quietly say, “Peep, peep!” as a clue for them to find my location. No matter who was hiding or who was seeking, the result was always a big hug when we were back together again.

Sometimes God likes to play this game with us as well. Yes, there are times when we hide from Him. However, He will always find us. (That is another scenario that we are not going to focus upon at this time.) We are going to think about when God hides things from us and chooses to reveal them at a later time. He never leaves us or forsakes us, but neither does He want His presence in our lives to become mundane. In his book The Shack, William Paul Young quotes the personification of God as saying, “The chance to hide so many wonders from you is an act of love that is a gift inside the process of life.” Just as my granddaughters and I expressed our love with a hug when being found during our game of hide and seek, God embraces us when our relationship with Him is deepened as we find Him in a circumstance where we thought He was hidden. Sometimes God may need to give you a clue as to what He is really doing before you see His plans and purposes, but He truly knows best.

While taking some liberties, I believe God plays hide and seek with us and He played it with His Son, Jesus. Let us look more deeply into this concept with our Bible study of Matthew 2 and John 19.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Bible Study
(Follow along with the chart below for the study notes)

Final

During this study, we are going to delve into some scriptural events in the life of Jesus where their full meanings were once hidden and then revealed later. By comparing accounts of Jesus’ last hours on earth in John 19 to the story of the Wise Men in Matthew 2, we are going to discover hidden meanings in the gifts given by the Wise Men to Jesus in correlation with the last events of Jesus’ life and the words He spoke. I imagine that as a two-year old Jesus would have preferred a ball to gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but God ordained these gifts to be given to Him because they foretold of hidden meanings that would be revealed at the time of His death. God even used a GPS, Guidance from a Personal Star, to help the Wise Men find the One they were seeking to whom they would present their gifts.

The Wise Men played a game of hide and seek with God. I played a game of hide and seek with my granddaughters. God still plays a game of hide and seek with each of us. The outcome is always the same. There is joy whenever who was hidden is found and the relationship is deepened between the players involved.

Read John 19 and Matthew 2:1&2,8-11 for background
 *Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were the gifts given to Jesus (see lines 1-3 of boxes on sheet)
Gold
A precious metal – signified riches and royalty
Symbol of the role as King
In the role as a King, Jesus presented a kingdom of different riches
Frankincense
An incense used for sacrifices
Symbol of the role as Priest
The priest’s role was to offer the sacrifice, but Jesus became the sacrifice
Myrrh
A bitter seed that when broken emitted a sweet fragrance|
Symbol of role as Savior
Savior’s role required a broken relationship between Jesus and his Heavenly Father and Jesus’ body was broken in death

*John 19 (see line 4 of boxes on sheet) Especially note the highlighted verses
Reference to Jesus as King
Soldiers and crown of thorns and purple robe – “Hail king of the Jews”
Pilate writes sign “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”
Reference to Jesus as Priest
Refers to the two men crucified with Jesus – Luke 23:23 “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
People watch priests go into the Holy of Holies to make a sacrifice – women and disciples watched the sacrifice of the Great High Priest
Reference to Jesus as Savior
“I am thirsty” – broken relationship with Father – contrast this to Jesus offering Living Water in John 4 and his turning water into wine in John 2
Myrrh was used for burial by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus

*Jesus truly fulfilled these roles and gifts (see line 5 of boxes on sheet)
Gold – King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16)
Frankincense – a permanent priest (Heb. 9 & 10)
Myrrh – this is my body broken for you (Luke 22:10 & I Cor. 11:23-26)

*God sees the Big Picture for our lives as well as for these 3 gifts (see line 5 of boxes on sheet)
Gold – the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21)
Frankincense – Offer your bodies as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1 & II Cor. 2:15)
Myrrh – “I have been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20)

We are called to walk our journey of life by faith
The time will come when the reason for changes in our lives will be revealed
“Wise Men still seek Him” – Are we wise men and women?
The Wise Men journeyed to give Jesus 3 gifts – now Jesus gives us the same gifts for our journey

We are to crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20 – myrrh) so that we may be living sacrifices pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1) with the pleasant aroma of Christ (II Cor. 2:15 – frankincense). When this takes place, then the kingdom of God will be in us (Luke 17:21 – the kingdom requires a king – gold).

May we acknowledge the hidden prophetic meaning of the gold, frankincense and myrrh. Also, may we receive the revelation of these gifts in the life of Jesus. And most of all, may we embrace these gifts into our own lives, even when the big picture may yet be hidden and not yet fully revealed.

Conclusion


Master Key Verse: that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge – Colossians 2:2b.3
Colossians 2:2,3 from the Living Bible expresses the meaning of our Master Key Verse by saying, “God’s secret plan (hidden), now made known (revealed) is Christ himself. In Him are hidden all the mighty unwrapped treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” As we perceive wisdom and knowledge in our journey of life, God’s plan will no longer be hidden, but it will be revealed, or fulfilled in our lives as we allow change.

Do not be afraid to add Perceiving Change to your Life-Journey-Change. If a perception of change that comes to your mind is part of God’s plan for your life, He will reveal it more fully to you in time; and it will bring glory to Christ who is in you. I share with you a quote by Sarah Young in Jesus Calling, “The path I (Jesus) have called you to travel is exquisitely right for you. The more closely you follow My leading, the more fully I can develop your gifts.” Enjoy your game of hide in seek with the Lord throughout your life’s journey of change.

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

Author’s note: I would appreciate any insights and comments you would be willing to share. Thanks for taking time to respond.

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