Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience

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You have the same 24 hours in your day as the most accomplished people in the world. So why doesn't it feel that way? Follow along on this special 6 episode series as we take a look at how to make more time. By following biblical principles and taking a look at what you really want, Making Time shares the secret to having all the time you need... with a little help from some friends.

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Read Through The New Testament in just 8 weeks with the NLT Bible and Immerse: Messiah
3 ways to get the most out of your experience
  1. Use Immerse: Messiah instead of your regular chapter-and-verse Bible. This special reader’s edition restores the Bible to its natural simplicity and beauty by removing chapter and verse numbers and other historical additions. Letters look like letters, songs look like
    songs, and the original literary structures are visible in each book. 
  2. Commit to making this a community experience. Immerse is designed for groups to encounter large portions of the Bible together
    for 8 weeks—more like a book club, less like a Bible study. By meeting every week in small groups and discussing what you read in open, honest conversations, you and your community can come together to be transformed through an authentic experience with the Scriptures.
  3. Aim to understand the big story. Read through “The Stories and the Story” (p. 483) to see how the books of the Bible work together
    to tell God’s story of his creation’s restoration. As you read through Immerse: Messiah, rather than ask, “How do I fit God into my busy life?” begin asking, “How can I join in God’s great plan by living out my part in his story?”
4 Questions to get your conversations started:
  1. What stood out to you this week?
  2. Was there anything confusing or troubling?
  3. Did anything make you think differently about God?
  4. How might this change the way we live?
Part of NLT Immerse: The Reading Bible, Complete Set, the Winner of the 2022 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year!
Messiah is the first of six volumes of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience program. Messiah takes the reader on a new and unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each part of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together combine to provide the reader with enjoyable and impactful readings all centered on Jesus. The end result is a Bible developed for the purpose of being read and understood, not referred to. Messiah is a new way to interact with God’s Word.
Messiah delivers Scripture to the reader as it was originally created: without chapter or verse breaks. While references are made available for ease of finding specific Scripture references, those references do not appear within the actual text of Scripture. This makes for uninterrupted reading of God’s Word. Created with the look and feel of a paperback book, and written using the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, the most readable translation available, Messiah enables you to easily read and understand the Bible.

What is Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience?

Read (and listen!) through the New Testament in 8 weeks with your small group or on your own.

Immerse: Messiah is the first of six volumes in Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience. Messiah takes the reader on a unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each section of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together they combine to provide a life-changing reading experience centered on Jesus. This fresh arrangement of the books highlights the depth of the New Testament’s fourfold witness to Jesus the Messiah. The Son of God, who fulfills all the longings and promises of the collected Scriptures, can be experienced in Messiah through the rich variety of lenses provided by the books of the new covenant.

The Immerse Bible Series is the proud winner of the prestigious Bible of the Year award from the ECPA Christian Book Awards. Immerse: The Reading Bible is specially crafted for a distraction-free listening and reading experience, helping you dive in and get immersed in Scripture. You’ll have a great experience using Immerse by yourself. But for an even richer experience, try reading with friends.

Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience is an invitation to a different kind of community interaction with the Bible. Less like a Bible study, more like a book club.

- 8 or 16-week Bible listening plans take you through a large section of the Bible like the New Testament or the Torah
- Meet once a week for a free-flowing discussion about the text
- Wrestle with questions and celebrate ‘aha!’ moments together

Nothing impacts spiritual growth more than spending time in Scripture. Immerse removes many of the barriers that make Bible reading difficult and invites communities to become transformed together through the power of God’s word.

 Welcome to the saddleback church anchored life challenge which can also by found on the saddleback companion app or by purchasing the immerse messiah book from tyndale.

The anchored life challenge includes speakers such as Andy Wood, Rick Warren, and Stacie Wood. 
Immerse Messiah 28

Andy Wood: [00:00:00] Welcome to Immerse Messiah Reading for Week 6, Day 28.

Rick Warren: When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country. He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?

Rick Warren: Then they scoffed. He's just the carpenter's son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things? And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, a prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.

Rick Warren: And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief. When Herod Antipas, the [00:01:00] ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus, he said to his advisers, This must be John the Baptist, raised from the dead. That is why he can do such miracles. For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias, the former wife of Herod's brother Philip.

Rick Warren: John had been telling Herod, It is against God's law for you to marry her. Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet. But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him, so he promised with a vow to give her anything she wanted.

Rick Warren: At her mother's urging, the girl said, I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray. Then the king regretted what he had said, but because of the vow he had made in front of his guests, he issued the [00:02:00] necessary orders. So John was beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl who took it to her mother.

Rick Warren: Later, John's disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened. As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Rick Warren: That evening the disciples came to him and said, This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves. But Jesus said, That isn't necessary. You feed them. But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish. They answered, [00:03:00] Bring them here, he said.

Rick Warren: Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces. He gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up 12 baskets of leftovers.

Rick Warren: About 5, 000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.

Rick Warren: Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, The disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, [00:04:00] and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o'clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified.

Rick Warren: In their fear, they cried out. It's a ghost, but Jesus spoke to them at once. Don't be afraid, he said, take courage, I am here. Then Peter called to him, Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you walking on the water. Yes, come, Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

Rick Warren: But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. Save me, Lord, he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. You have so little faith, Jesus said. Why did you doubt me? When they [00:05:00] climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshipped him. You really are the Son of God, they exclaimed.

Rick Warren: After they had crossed the lake, They landed at Gennesaret. When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.

Rick Warren: Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, Why do your disciples disobey our age old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat. Jesus replied, And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?

Rick Warren: For instance, [00:06:00] God says, Honor your father and mother, and anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death. But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, Sorry, I can't help you, for I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you. In this way, you say they don't need to honor their parents.

Rick Warren: And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man made ideas as commands from God. Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear.

Rick Warren: Listen, he said, and try to understand. It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you. You are defiled by the words [00:07:00] that come out of your mouth. Then the disciples came to him and asked. Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said? Jesus replied, Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them.

Rick Warren: They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch. Then Peter said to Jesus, Explain to us the parable that says people aren't defiled by what they eat. Don't you understand yet? Jesus asked. Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.

Rick Warren: But the words you speak come from the heart. That's what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile [00:08:00] you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you. Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon.

Rick Warren: A Gentile woman who lived there came to him pleading, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David, for my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely. But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. Tell her to go away. They said, She is bothering us with all her begging.

Rick Warren: Then Jesus said to the woman, I was sent only to help God's lost sheep, the people of Israel. But she came and worshipped him, pleading again, Lord, help me. Jesus responded, It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs. She replied, [00:09:00] That's true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their master's table.

Rick Warren: Dear woman, Jesus said to her, your faith is great. Your request is granted, and her daughter was instantly healed. Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down. A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn't speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all.

Rick Warren: The crowd was amazed. Those who hadn't been able to speak were talking. The crippled were made well. The lame were walking. And the blind could see again. And they praised the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have [00:10:00] nothing left to eat.

Rick Warren: I don't want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way. The disciples replied, Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd? Jesus asked, How much bread do you have? They replied, Seven loaves and a few small fish. So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground.

Rick Warren: Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples who distributed the food to the crowd. They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. There were 4, 000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children.

Rick Warren: Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the [00:11:00] region of Magadan. One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority. He replied, You know the saying, Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow.

Rick Warren: Red sky in the morning means foul weather all day. You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don't know how to interpret the signs of the times. Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Rick Warren: Then Jesus left them and went away. Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. Watch out. Jesus warned them, beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. [00:12:00] At this, they began to argue with each other because they hadn't brought any bread.

Rick Warren: Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, You have so little faith. Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? Don't you understand even yet? Don't you remember the 5, 000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? Or the 4, 000 I fed with seven loaves? And the large baskets of leftovers you picked up.

Rick Warren: Why can't you understand that I'm not talking about bread? So again I say, beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Then at last they understood that he wasn't speaking about the yeast and bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, who do people say that the Son of Man is?[00:13:00]

Rick Warren: Well, they replied, some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. Then he asked them, but who do you say I am? Simon Peter answered, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God, Jesus replied. You are blessed, Simon, son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you.

Rick Warren: You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter, which means rock, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth, will be permitted in heaven.

Rick Warren: Then he sternly warned the [00:14:00] disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. From then on, Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law.

Rick Warren: He would be killed, but on the third day. He would be raised from the dead. But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. Heaven forbid, Lord! He said, This will never happen to you. Jesus turned to Peter and said, Get away from me, Satan. You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's.

Rick Warren: Then Jesus said to his disciples, If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross and follow me. [00:15:00] If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world? But lose your own soul.

Rick Warren: Is anything worth more than your soul? For the son of man will come with his angels in the glory of his father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth. Some standing here right now will not die before they see the son of man coming in his kingdom. Six days later.

Rick Warren: Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus appearance was transformed, so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus. [00:16:00] Peter exclaimed, Lord, it's wonderful for us to be here.

Rick Warren: If you want, I'll make three shelters as memorials, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is my dearly loved son. Who brings me great joy. Listen to him. The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.

Rick Warren: Then Jesus came over and touched them. Get up, he said. Don't be afraid. And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone. And they saw only Jesus. As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, Don't tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead. Then his disciples [00:17:00] asked him, Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?

Rick Warren: Jesus replied, Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready, but I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasn't recognized, and they chose to abuse him, and in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer. Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist. At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them.

Rick Warren: A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn't heal him. Jesus said, You faithless and corrupt people. [00:18:00] How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you?

Rick Warren: Bring the boy here to me. Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment, the boy was well. Afterward, the disciples asked Jesus privately, Why couldn't we cast out that demon? You don't have enough faith, Jesus told them. I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it would move.

Rick Warren: Nothing would be impossible. After Galilee, Jesus told them, the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed. But on the third day, he will be raised from the dead. And the disciples were filled with grief. On their [00:19:00] arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and asked him, Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?

Rick Warren: Yes, he does, Peter replied. Then he went into the house, but before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people, or the people they have conquered? They taxed the people they have conquered, Peter replied. Well, then, Jesus said, the citizens are free, however, we don't want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line.

Rick Warren: Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it, and pay the tax for both of us. About that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Jesus called a little [00:20:00] child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

Rick Warren: So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Rick Warren: What sorrow awaits the world because it tempts people to sin? Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It's better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot, than to be thrown into [00:21:00] eternal fire with both of your hands and feet.

Rick Warren: And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It's better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven, their angels are always in the presence of my Heavenly Father.

Rick Warren: If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the 99 that didn't wander away. In the same way, it is not my Heavenly Father's will that even one of these little ones should perish.

Rick Warren: If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the [00:22:00] offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, Take one or two others with you and go back again so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.

Rick Warren: If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then, if he or she won't accept the church's decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven. And whatever you permit on earth, We'll be permitted in heaven.

Rick Warren: I also tell you this if two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask My father in heaven will do it for you for where two or three gather together as my followers I am there among them Then Peter came to him and asked [00:23:00] Lord. How often should I forgive someone who sins against me seven times?

Rick Warren: No, not seven times, Jesus replied, but seventy times seven. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn't pay, so his master ordered that he be sold, along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned, to pay the debt.

Rick Warren: But the man fell down before his master and begged him, Please be patient with me, and I will pay it all. Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him [00:24:00] by the throat and demanded instant payment.

Rick Warren: His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. Be patient with me and I will pay it, he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn't wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. When some of the other servants saw this They were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.

Rick Warren: Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, You evil servant, I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you? Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

Rick Warren: That's what my heavenly father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart. This

Andy Wood: [00:25:00] concludes today's Immerse Reading Experience. Thank you for joining us.