Matthew – Day 17 – How The Synagogue Helped Spread The News

 In Bible Studies, The Book of Matthew

lease begin by reading the Shema out loud and continue trying to memorize it.

“Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God. The LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Amen.”

On Day 15, we learned that one thing that was common with the rabbis was that they would travel from place to place and visit local synagogues.

By the first century, a synagogue was found in most towns and villages of Galilee. There are many ideas about the beginnings of the synagogue. The Greek word for synagogue means “assembly” and the Hebrew word means “community of Israel.” Many think that it originally referred to the gathering of the people and eventually came to describe the place where they gathered – much like our use of the word “church”. It was never used to refer to the Temple, which was God’s dwelling place. The Temple was not a place of assembly for the community. No one except people belonging to the family line of Levi or priests could enter the inner parts of the Temple.

The synagogue building functioned as a community center, school, court, and a place of study during the week. On the Sabbath, it served as the place where the people met for a religious service. The service would begin with several blessings offered to God. The congregation recited the Shema. The Torah scrolls would be brought out and read in several portions. The readings were determined by a set schedule, so the reader had no choice in the passage that was to be read. All members of a Jewish community could participate in the community life of the synagogue.

Read Matthew 4:23 (out loud).

As Jesus did these things at the synagogue where the community gathered, we have to remember that these cities were on the international trade route called the Via Maras or “the Way of the Sea.” As people talked about what they were seeing at the synagogue, the whole world passed through – and word about Jesus spread quickly.

Read Matthew 4:24-25 (out loud)


Map of Matthew 4-1

Map Source: Servant Church

Identify all of the regions that learned about Jesus at this time.

Large numbers of people started following Jesus. It is amazing to think of the preparation that God set in motion centuries before Jesus came to earth – just to make sure that people had a chance to spread the news about Jesus.

What do we do today, in our own personal lives, to help spread the news of Jesus? Do we talk about Him and the wonderful things that He has done for us? Do we share what we have seen and what we know? It is our turn to make sure that the world knows about Jesus. We cannot let the “good news” fall silent. We must share Him with others

Ray Vander Laan – That the World May Know
Servant Church

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Matthew Bible Study Series Day 18Matthew Bible Study Series Day 16