Matthew Visual Bible Study

Some years ago (time also seems to go by faster than I think) I created a study based upon the Matthew Visual Bible – a word for word visual presentation of the gospel of Matthew (NIV) [You can search for this on Amazon].  I personally really enjoyed the video – as it changed my view of God by the visual presentation (just the simple smile of Jesus went a long way).

One of the key concepts of the christian faith is in the person of Jesus – it’s not just a theology – it’s a person.  The answer to life questions isn’t just a what – it’s a WHO.  Therefore understanding who God is makes a big difference in a our faith – because what we think affects who we are.  We are the sum total of our experiences in life – not just what we think we believe.

The unfortunate reality is that our view of God is often pretty messed up.  We have a variety of experiences that make this up – what we learned at church, what we experienced from our parents, what we experienced at school, how we thought our prayers were answered, etc.  All of these contribute to an image of God that we often are only vaguely aware of.  Sometimes what we think we believe is different than what we actually believe – as if we look at our actions from the outside we might see a different picture. Our prayers, our trust level, our relationships with other people all reveal what we really believe.

For me I came to realize that my view on Jesus was someone who was melancholy, broody – almost depressed.  I keyed in how we got frustrated with people, sad and needed time alone.  I saw him as a loner -staying distant from other people – not having close friends.  While I can see how there are some elements of that in the Bible it was more out of who I was that influenced that.  I was reading into Jesus myself as much as reading the text for what it was.  I also come from a tradition focused (especially in the past) on the WHAT -not the WHO – so it was easy to fall into that way of thinking.  As I got older – and this video confronted me – my views have changed.   I also spent some time with an individual once who lacked a good role model in their earthly father – which created great difficulties for them relating to their heavenly father.

So the focus of the study I did with that group was on WHO Jesus was – not on how to apply what he said to our lives.  Not that studying that isn’t important – I just wanted to take a different look.  Much of what I had learned in the past was focused on the WHAT – so much that I lost the WHO.  So I took this small group through the study – picking chapters from the DVDs to watch and ask questions – again focusing on the WHO.  My spiritual gifts lend more toward prophet and shepherd – so this led to more personal questions to answer in relation to the text – instead of a scholarly approach.

In the past I’ve kept the original version of the study plus some additional chapters online – but I haven’t re-posted those. Instead I thought I would take a fresh look at the DVD myself and the text and take it to another level.  I hope to provide more information, more questions, etc. – so this can be used in a group, for personal study, etc.


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