Please see below the Daily Bible Readings for this week:
Prayer Focus: The Apostolic Church UK and Missionaries
Prayer Focus: Youth and Children
Prayer Focus: The Body of Christ
Prayer Focus: The United Kingdom
Prayer Focus: People with Diverse Problems, Parents and Pregnant Women
Prayer Focus: The All Nations’ Center, yourself and your family
Prayer Focus: Praise, Thanksgiving and Worship
Introduction to the Books of the Bible
The Gospel of Matthew
From “Encyclopedia of The Bible“:
“The Gospel according to Matthew” has always occupied a position of highest esteem in the faith and life of the Christian Church.
This, in part, maybe because it heads the four gospels and is the first book of the NT, forming a bridge between the Old and New Covenants; but on the contrary, it would seem that the Early Church placed it in first position in the NT Canon, precisely because of the profound influence of its contents on the Church and the world; so much so, that many have termed it the greatest book ever written.
William Barclay writes, “When we turn to Matthew, we turn to the book which may well be called the most important single document of the Christian faith, for in it we have the fullest and the most systematic account of the life and the teachings of Jesus” (The First Three Gospels, p. 197).
The writings of the Early Church Fathers reveal that it was the most frequently quoted and perhaps the most widely read gospel during the first two centuries of the church’s history. In particular, it is the most complete record of the life, works and words of Jesus Christ. After the Lord’s death and resurrection, there was much interest in knowing who Jesus was and what He said and did. Many believe the gospel was written to fulfil this need.
For this reason, the gospel lessons or pericopes from Matthew to be read in the churches have been favoured by the church’s liturgies. More lessons were chosen from Matthew’s gospel than from any other.