Luke

Luke 16-17:10

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I am going to break this down because I think this is a hard one to chew on.

The Parable of the Unjust or Just Steward.

The text can be broken down into two parts: the parable (verses 1–8) and the application (verses 9–13). Luke identifies that Jesus is speaking to His disciples again, but others are listening in. It is important to know who Jesus is addressing this parable: the Pharisees.

The parable begins with a rich man calling his steward before him to inform him that he will be relieving him of his duties for mismanaging his master’s resources. A steward is a person who manages the resources of another. The steward had authority over all of the master’s resources and could transact business in his name. The steward is being released for mismanagement.

The steward, realizing that he will soon be without a job, makes some shrewd deals behind his master’s back by reducing the debt owed by several of the master’s debtors in exchange for shelter when he is eventually put out. When the master becomes aware of what the wicked servant had done, he commends him for his “shrewdness.”

Jesus is encouraging His followers to be generous with their wealth in this life. Jesus wants His followers to be just, righteous stewards. If we understand the principle that everything we own is a gift from God, then we realize that God is the owner of everything and that we are His stewards.

If one is faithful in “little”  then one will be faithful in much. Similarly, if one is dishonest in little, he will also be dishonest in much. If we can’t be faithful with earthly wealth, which isn’t even ours, to begin with, then how can we be entrusted with “true riches”?

“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”.   God is our Master, then our wealth will be at His disposal. In other words, the faithful and just steward whose Master is God will employ that wealth in building up the kingdom of God.


The rich man and Lazarus.  We are uncertain if this is a real story or a parable but what we do know is Jesus is giving a strong message that Heaven and Hell are real  This story also states that once we die there are no second chances.  When believers die, they are immediately in fellowship with the Lord.  When unbelievers die, they are immediately in pain, suffering, and torment of hell.  Some (my mom) believe there is a middle ground called Purgartiry so that we all get a second chance.  This certainly is not true.

‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

The part of the story that hit me the hardest is that the Lord is clear that we have the Truth of reality at our fingertips.   We have the Bible.  It is very clear on all matters.

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 

We have promises and warnings.  We have no excuse.


Chapter 17 Hmmm.  A good reminder that we are never worthy.  This is why our salvation is called Grace-an underserved gift from God’s lo

10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

 

Luke

Luke 14-15

I am sorry I am out of the habit of posting in the morning.  I am going to reboot and get more focused this weekend.  I just have some obstacles this week.

Luke 14:

I am sure you see the pattern that either Jesus is healing predominately on the Sabbath to make a point or they are setting Jesus up.  I think this man was placed in the house to test Jesus.  Hostility continues to build between the Pharisees and Jesus.

Two banquettes are discussed: The one refers to recognizing Jesus now and the Great Banquet will be His 2nd coming.    God will exalt those who genuinely humble themselves before him.   All this is being said IN the Pharisees house.  YIKES.

Many will refuse the “invitation” to the banquet: Jesus.  They will choose the “world”.

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’


The cost of being a disciple.  The cost should be weighed.  To be truly invested in Him, everything else must come second.  Jesus speaks in exaggeration to make his point.  We MUST be prepared to put Him first at all costs. Furthermore, if you are not willing to be “salty”, you really aren’t worth it.  These are hard precepts to mull over…especially for the people pleasers of the world.


Chapter 15- Could this be the BEST chapter in the Bible??  Three parables, all escalating in value.  Read these NOT from a human perspective but through the heart of God.  If you are a parent then you KNOW you would do ANYTHING for your child.  We look around and see the “lost acting lost” and forget that God loves that person the SAME as He loves you.

  • The Lost Sheep
  • The Lost Coin
  • The lost Son

Read them like you have never read them before and I am certain a new detail will stand out to you. ❤️

Luke

Luke 12-13

Luke 12- I never noticed before how big the crowd had grown:

Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Who is Jesus talking to? “I tell you, my friends,…

Yes, there are thousands listening in, hanging on every word BUT He is talking to the ones that believe already.  You can see how Jesus will talk to both at the same time.  Picture the first one: (I split it by color)

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

I can picture Jesus talking softly to the disciples for they are on the road to be persecuted for the rest of their lives because of the Gospel.  He encourages them with beautiful words ❤️.  Then, I picture Him raising his head and voice higher and louder and saying for this massive crowd –But I will show you whom you should fear…

Listen, I am going to bite my tongue BUT if we share Truth without sharing Truth, then it is NOT Truth. (I am probably not making sense).

Your turn:  Can you see Him encouraging believers, but warning unbelievers at the same time

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.


The next section is about possesions.  AGAIN, Jesus is encouraging His disciples who are going to be His missionaries and will give them words of encouragement BUT He has eavesdroppers and He provides a Word for them too.  I say all that because these may be familiar scriptures…that MANY people (me) have used out of context or use it as advice to make it “fit”. I am going to let the ‘possessions’ scriptures speak to you directly.   I don’t want to mess up any personal message the Lord has for you.


Watchfullness-

The next parable is so harsh to hear that even Peter says:

41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

This passage is about the interval between Jesus’s ascension and his return (the church age…us). While Jesus is absent all need to be ready and watching for His return, but we will not know the day.  By the time you get to Verse 43, Jesus focuses on our responsibility of taking care of each other.  Irresponsible behavior will be punished and responsible behavior will be rewarded.

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

All punishment will not be equal because those who are entrusted with more responsibility and knowledge are held to a higher standard.  WE live in a country that allows us access to the scriptures.  We know HIs will.   We are held to a higher standard.

Sharing the Truth will offend.  That is not an excuse for not sharing it with family.  I am guilty of that!  Knowing it will divide my family is the excuse.  Jesus warns us of that.

Jesus already told us that we will know not the day of His return so we must be ready BUT that doesn’t mean we ignore the fulfillment of the prophecies.

“Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

If a person were going to a court, knowing he could lose his case and spend time in jail, he would definitely try to reconcile his offense on the way to court. NO DOUBT.  So if someone is under the fear of judgment they should reconcile with the Lord while there is still time!


Chapter 13

So evidently Pilate had some people killed AT the Temple (not sure why they didn’t see the problem with that if they had read the Law of Moses….AND some people died from an architectural error.  They questioned, “did this happen because they were REALLY bad sinners”. Jesus is quick to say NO!  But then follows with the “Turn or Burn”. “Go Right or you will be LEFT”.  LOL.


“Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”  Great question!

I have heard people say “We all take different roads that lead to God” meaning different “world religions”.   That is TRUE!  ALL roads lead to God because we will all see his face at the final judgment!

“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

John · Luke

Luke 10-11 and John 10:22-42

Luke: If you look at this outline you can see where we are in Luke.  Luke 1-3 was the advent of the Messiah.  Then we saw His identity through His Miracles.  Next, we will sit at his feet and listen to his teaching as we close in on his last 6 months. (yes, we are read some of these in other Gospels)The Gospel According to LUKE The Master Teacher. The Gospel According to Luke The Author: Luke Writes to Theophilus (Greek) –Genealogy goes back to Adam. - ppt download

70 men are sent out (some manuscripts say 72). We had the 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament and Jesus sent out the 12 apostles with instructions to minister to the Jewish people.

Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Now Jesus sends 70 to the surrounding nations.

Luke 24:46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 

In Genesis, there were 70 nations established, 70 descendants of Jacob that went to Egypt, and then 70 Elders that were chosen to lead (in Numbers) which is where the Jewish Council got the number to have 70 leaders in the Sanhedrin.

They were sent in pairs for companionship, protection, and to adhere to the law of having a witness if needed.  After all, they were being sent to the wolves!  The message/advice given to the 70 was the same message given to the 12 so it may sound very familiar

  • Go!
  • travel light (God will provide for your needs)
  • Be careful and aware of your surroundings
  • Always offer Peace when entering a home
  • If they promote Peace back:  Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 
    • the food set before the disciples, in whatever town they might visit, could possibly include ceremonially unclean food. Jesus had already discussed what goes into our body does not make us unclean, but what comes out of our mouth.
  • Heal the sick…THEN minister to them.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Jesus ends with these words as they are LOOKING at Jesus:

23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”


The Parable of the Good Samaritan.  I hope now that you have all the context, you read this story with fresh eyes and look at the deeper meaning than “just be a good Samaritan”

  • Jesus was being tested by an “expert in the law” so we know his question was a trap
  • So Jesus turns the question back on the “expert”
  • ALL the law can be summarized as“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Look at the 10 Commandments, they are divided into- honoring God and honoring others.
  • So Jesus says:“Do this and you will live.”  
    • The whole point was Jesus was saying “you can’t”. Go read the 10 commandments and cross off all the ones you have personally broken. We all  Oh my…were more crossed off than not crossed off. Romans:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
  • I feel like this parable sounds like a joke you would tell “A priest, a Levite,  and some you don’t like to walk into a bar…😂  Anyway, after this awesome parable, PURPOSELSY using a samaritan in the example because the Jewish “experts” hated the Samarians.
    • I have all the past scriptures about Loving your enemy running through my brain…
    • A priest and a Levite were used in this account because they had created just a legal system of making laws to protect the laws that they thought they really COULD safeguard about ever breaking the Law.  EVEN if they protected the laws that we do on the “outside”, how can someone be sinless in their heart or their thoughts?  I mean could we go a day (or an hour if you were me) without a thought of judgment, jealous, idolatry…
  • Now go back and read that section again:  WHO is the Good Samaritan?? (By the way it’s not me or you, sorry)
    • took pity
    • took care of his wounds
    • anointed him with oil
    • paid for him
    • says he will return
    • 🤔

Mary and Marth-in Bethany.  Look at both maps.  You will see that Bethany is just 2 miles Southeast of Jerusalem.

Bethphage - Mount of Olives - Jerusalem - Israel and You | Mount of olives, Bethany, Bethany israel

 

Map and History of Israel at the time of Jesus Christ

The home of Mary and Martha.  Have you heard a sermon on this?  Now read it.  Sit quietly.  Listen for God to bring a thought to your mind about where you are in this story.  😍


Luke 11:  When you turn the page and you see that we have read the synoptic gospel in the same account what should you do?  READ IT CLOSER.

  • its a great time to say “Hmm I don’t understand that, I better research or ask
  • you might say “that is amazing in context now
  • you WILL see things you didn’t’ see in last week’s reading for sure
  • now it might be less educational and more personal to you

Did any particular WOE stop you in your tacks??  Feel free to write in the comments 😒   use a fake name if you have to!


John: Start paying attention to His presence in Judea, being accused of the crime of blasphemy (who He is), and then retreating to ‘safe’ territory.  It was a crime in Judea to claim He was God, but not outside the region.  So he retreats to a region He cannot be arrested-because the time has not come.  BUT if Jesus came first for the Jew and then for the Gentile, He will need to be accused from both.  So what will the crime be in the Gentile region? If you don’t know then I guess you will have to keep reading.  He dies for both so He will be accused by both.


Have a wonderful day.  I am glad you read today even if it days or weeks behind schedule.  I leave with this wonderful scripture from John:

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

 

John

John 9:1-10:21

Two accounts today

  • Jesus heals the blind
  • The good shepherd

If you go all the way back to the book of Job (seems like a lifetime ago we read that) you will remember one of his friends accused Job of sinning and his circumstance was a “punishment” for it.  You can see that false teaching still existed.  (still today).

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Skip to: 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

The Law was never to be more important than the miracle!  Then they called Jesus a sinner for it.  Sometimes we can’t see the forest in the trees.

His own parents did not support the healing because they were too afraid of being excommunicated from the Synagogue.  The reasons people were kicked out were: insulting a learned man; calling a fellow Jew a ‘slave’; keeping an object or animal that could harm others, like a broken ladder or a rabid dog; taking God’s name in vain.  The parents did not want to insult the elders of the Jews. (I want to know why they thought it was even ok to allow him to be a beggar??

THEN: The best scripture ever (today):

25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

Yes, this is where the Amazing Grace hymn comes from.  A terrible man named John Newton, who was a slave trader,  became lost at sea.  He called out to God and was shipwrecked.  When he was rescued God sent another storm at sea.  During Newton’s conversion, these words spoke to him.  We now have this beautiful song that we can all relate to.


The good Shepherd.

Not sure if you read or remember my post about the “Sheep Gate” (the healing at the pool of water) But ohhhh how this adds to the account!    When people came to the Temple, they would bring their sacrifice to the Sheeps Gate.  The shepherd could ONLY enter through the sheepfold (a stone fence).  If one came in without permission they were a robber.  Honestly, I just assumed the sheep were “tagged” so they knew whose were whose.  However, when a sheep had a good shepherd, they would make a distinct call, and the sheep knew the sound so well,  that only his sheep would come to him.

This parable deepens our understand of Jesus that he is the good Sheperd, and His sheep will recognize His voice BUT we also see here He is the Gate, the Gatekeeper,  and the Shepard

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

John 10:3. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep…

18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Jesus was NOT killed.  He gave up His life.  He is the gate, the gatekeeper, and the Shepherd.  (If we dug deep I wonder if we could see the Trinity in this?  Thoughts?)

 

John

John 7 and 8

We are only 6 months away from Jesus’ day before the Crucifixion.  It’s getting close.

John 7 can be broken into 3 sections:

  • Before the Feast- 1-10
  • During the Feast- 11-39
  • After the Feast- 40-53

Jesus’ brothers (half brothers) are going to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacle.  (1 of 3 pilgrimages Jews would go for). Mary’s other sons’ names are James, Joses, Simon, and Jude (this is not Simon Peter).  Jesus decides not to go because “My time is not yet here”.  He knows the crowd will be huge and the Jewish Council will be looking for him!  Even His own brothers did not believe He was the Messiah! (v.5).

When He was alone, He went there in Private.

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

The Jews were seeking their own Glory!


20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually, it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath.

Jesus is referring to an incident a year ago, also at the Feast of Tabernacles,  (told in Chapter 5) when He healed a man on the Sabbath and they went nuts over it.


Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

In verse 26 they are basically saying…” they call this man the Messiah?  Can’t be.  We know where He is from (Nazareth).”  There was an urban legend circulating that we would NOT know where the Messiah would come from.  Seriously??  Have they ever read the scriptures??  We know the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) BUT they knew him as a man from Nazareth…they never asked him where he was born!


(I am going to skip a little because I know the reading was long but I have notes on all of them so feel free to ask questions)

Oh, but don’t miss the name, Nicodemus!  One of the leaders of the Jewish Council took up to Jesus.  He was the Pharisee that went to Him at night to ask questions about salvation.


Chapter 8- “Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”.

This might be a familiar passage, but what is happening here?  The teachers of the Law are attempting to test Jesus to break the law.  Does He know the Law?  OF course, He does.  Leviticus 20:10-10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

They did not produce the guilty man, and they were unwilling or unable to produce the required witnesses.

They cared nothing about this woman; they were using her to trap Jesus

  • if He told them to set the woman free, they could claim He did not hold to the Law of Moses.
  • If He told them to stone her, they could claim He was not the Savior (He came for the Sinner)
  • if He said nothing, they could claim He lacked wisdom

We don’t know what He was writing in in the sand (I bet Jesus has GREAT handwriting though).  I have heard maybe it was their sins but in my head, I envision the word “Hypocrite”.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


The topic of witnesses has been brought up a lot and we will begin to see it more because the day of the Crucifixion it will be asked that witnesses come forward to prove Jesus is guilty.  If the Law requires witnesses, we know Jesus will not break the Law.   We need 2 or more witnesses.  Does Jesus have them?  YES.  He has Himself and His Father.  If they would recognize WHO He is,  they would know WHOSE He is.  Two witnesses.

BTW, just this past weekend I had to discuss doctrine about suicide.  This morning I was blessed with ANOTHER scripture on the topic.  We were told to be careful of the ‘yeast of the Sadducees and Pharisees. Everything they have said has been Yeast! They made a comment “will he kill himself” because Jesus said, “Where I go, you cannot come”.  They assume THEY are going to Heaven and He is going to Hell because they have called him Satan in the past.  IF EVERYTHING they have said is “sinful yeast”, you can be confident in the scriptures that this is not true.  There is only ONE unforgiven sin that keeps you from the Father, and they are committing it RIGHT now, denying His Work in others.


Jesus’ mission is becoming very powerful and we are seeing conversions every day.  He knows we are months away and He begins using “Cross” terminology:

“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.


As you finish out the Chapter look for Key Verses: (some you may have used in your life out of context.  Hopefully after today we will know the doctrine behind them and quote it correctly 😘)

  •  32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (It doesn’t say “tell” the truth). Jesus as the Messiah IS Truth
  • “Slave to Sin”- Oh, we have said that wrong in our day to day conversations
  • The Jews said, “Abraham is our Father”.  They are looking at genealogy NOT Family.  Jesus said all those who believe are Family.

I know many of you are thinking…WHY  don’t they believe Jesus??  Well, it really is quite simple.  It is the same as today.  It is falling on deaf ears.

47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

 

Matthew

Matthew 18

“Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Valid question.   The disciples are living in a time where everything in community revolves around status.    If Jesus is coming as the new King of the Jews, what will be the new pecking order?  Will the Roman’s still be at the top?  Amongst them, who will be in charge?   When Jesus responds using a child, the word He uses refers to “toddler”.  This is more than just having “child-like faith”.  Toddlers, are dependent, they cannot survive without someone taking care of them.  Toddler’s don’t have a motive, or a different point of view.  The faith of a Toddler is unwavering.  If you tell them their food is on the table, they do not doubt it, ponder over it, discuss it…they believe it.

Verse 6-9- the use of Hyperbole (I love that word!) is intentional so that we consider the severity of the sin from God’s perspective.  To cause a child of God’s to stumble in their walk with Christ… is a “Beware” (Woe) moment.    He then reverses it to being the one that has stumbled.  To exaggerate the  idea of “if your hand is causing you to sin” is really important to see the severity of sin.  Losing your right eye or limb (right meaning best side), is nothing compared to eternity in Hell.


OK, ready for it.  I am not kidding you.  IF I had to tally the most common scripture/set of verses I have heard from God or used from the Bible it is this:

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

It is not a secret that sheep are not bright, they cannot focus and wander off constantly (like looking in a mirror).  Therefore, they ALWAYS need a Shepard.  The Shepard is the steward on watch for the owner of the sheep. However they are accountable for all 100 of them.  If he loses a sheep (it happened all the time) they were required to pay for it.

When I hear it from God randomly, It has applied to missions God puts me on AND He has used it to rebuke me often.  “Ummm, Trish, this is not about you…it’s about the ONE”.  Well, I was once the “one”.

I do want to share real quick,  a few months ago we read Proverbs 13:24.

Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

How are the Shepherd's Rod and Staff Different? » Reasons for Hope ...

In the time the scripture was written, and even still today, shepherds used tools to guide their sheep. They use a staff, or a crook, and a rod. The crook is the curved stick you see most often in pictures with shepherds.

  • When sheep fall into a pit or lose sight of their flock, they look down. The curved end of the crook is used to pull the sheep’s head back up and guide it in the way it should go.
  • The rod is used to guide sheep who wandered off from the flock.  It can also be used defensively to keep the sheep safe from predators.

I am already way off topic (shocking) so I am going to put one more (maybe it is for me, maybe for you today), connecting Proverbs to Psalms to Matthew this morning:

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Everyday I see something new…instead of me reading “Follow Me” (which I can get WAY off topic about because I am reading a secular book about it) but instead…Jesus is behind me with his Rod and His Staff for my protection!

Let’s keep going….”Leave the 99″


OK, back to the Bible 😘

Sin in the Church- I wrestle with God all the time about this because I have seen this done twice in a church.  I know I have to trust the the elders read these scriptures and headed advice from the Lord on it and know things I don’t know but I am going to tell you it left a bad taste in my mouth the way I have seen this interpreted.  🤐

  1.  If you are in fellowship with a believer.  Believer to Believer, and one is openly sinning, we are to confront them  PRIVATELY with the intent of REPENTANCE.
  2. If they do not, then 2 or 3 witnesses are to be brought PRIVATELY to bear witness, again with the goal of Repentance.
  3. If they do not, then take it to church council, again the goal is Repentance.
  4. IF they still do not, then you must cut fellowship with them and treat them as unbelievers (with love), again the goal is repentance.

In the meantime what are you, the witnesses, and the church doing?  Not throwing stones at it…that is for sure! 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  

You are gathering with Jesus and praying over that person, with the goal of Repentance.

So then what happens when they Repent?  You forgive them just as you have been forgiven for your many sins.


Forgiveness takes away our vengefulness.  (oh, but that is hard for my ugly heart). Go back to the story of Cain and Abel.  Was he forgiven?

23 Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
    wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
    a young man for injuring me.
24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
    then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

Escalating vengeance can only be snuffed out by forgiveness

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

 

Luke · Mark · Matthew

Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9:28-62

Seven days later they had walked from Caesarea Philippi to Mt. Tabor (possibly).

Where was the location of the Transfiguration? - Ancient Questions

 About a week after Jesus told His disciples that He would suffer, be killed, and be raised to life, He took Peter, James, and John up a mountain to pray.  We talked about the disciples and their faith last week. They had faith but they always had some doubt in his power and authority.  Jesus took them aside to show them He was the son of the living God! He was God in the flesh.  I picture it like He “unzipped” his skin to show them that He was fully man but fully God too!

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/17/bb/23/17bb23507f5a2aa4278274c9302d6a2f.jpg  | Transfiguration of jesus, Pictures of jesus christ, Jesus pictures

Peter, not knowing what he was saying fully (easy for us, we have hindsight 20/20) and being very fearful, offered to put up three shelters for them. This is a reference to the booths that were used to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles when the Israelites dwelt in booths for 7 days. Peter was expressing a wish to stay in that place.

The appearance of Moses and Elijah represented the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). But God’s voice from heaven – “Listen to Him!” – clearly showed that the Law and the Prophets must give way to Jesus. The One who is the new and living way is replacing the old – He is the fulfillment of the Law and the countless prophecies in the Old Testament. Also, in His glorified form, they saw a preview of His coming glorification and enthronement as King of kings and Lord of lords.

The disciples never forgot what happened that day on the mountain and no doubt this was intended.  In 2 Peter 1, he wrote:

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.


Not all the disciples were at the transfiguration so in the following story the disciples still did not have “full faith”.

16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

These men were given healing powers!    (Here is a scripture directed to the disciples that I think many of us take ut of context)

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 

In Mark, it ends 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”  

The disciples could not heal him because they thought “they” could heal him.  No, they need to come to God, so that the healing was from Him, for His Glory.


Temple Tax:  Oh I love this!  So temple tax was to be paid yearly (about 2 days wages) every year for Temple maintenance.  When Kings collected taxes their children were exempt from paying it.  So SHOULD Jesus be required to pay it?  NO, He was the son of God.  But does He?  YES.    Jesus did not come to break the Law, not a single one.  As Christ-followers, in His family, are we REQUIRED to give?  NO, should we? YES.  When we do, God is faithful to provide it.


Luke: We have an extra story that says:

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.

  1.  my heart sank on verse 51…the time is near…
  2.  we know now that the Samaritans and the Jews did not like each other…
  3. James and John.  Bless their hearts..did they really say do you want “us”.  (Oh my, who did they think they are)

BUT this is the very reason God chose them to be in the inner circle.  The spirit would be needed for the mission ahead.  James will be the first disciple to lose his life for the Lord, and John will be the last.

Luke · Mark · Matthew

Matthew 16, Mark 8, Luke 9:18-27

The first line alone should say it all:

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

Let me phrase that in another way so you get it ” Trump and Biden came together….”  That’s how controversial this is!  The Pharisees and Sadducees are opposite parties! However, together they should know the sign of the times they are in!  They witnessing miracles but they want to see something different, some sign from Heaven. (They will….it’s the sign of Jonah, after 3 days He will rise again)


Then the Bread story:

They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

Bless!!!  Really???

They did have faith, BUT they didn’t have the FULL faith that was needed yet to participate in Jesus’ ministry.

BEWARE OF THE YEAST OF PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES | Into the Sacred Hills of Jade

So what would be an example of the “yeast” that the Pharisees and Sadducees would teach that could rise up in you?  (Yeast synonymous with sin).  Well if you go back to yesterday’s posts you could probably put it together.  The Pharisees would preach legalism, tradition, and works (sounds like some familiar teachings today).  The Sadducees were more political and believed in self-preservation, status, and money-very “worldly”.  (Also very familiar teachings).  Just a little of either teaching is like yeast and would rise up in us and eventually take over our doctrine.


Caesarea Philippi, is near the foot of Mount Hermon, it became the religious center for worship of the Greek god, Pan (you may have seen the images, half-man,  half-goat, plans the “pan” flute).  Caesarea Philippi was a place to worship Greek gods.  In the cliff that stood above the city, local people built shrines and temples to good and to worship Caesar (thus the name of the city).

To the pagan mind, the cave at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld, where fertility gods lived during the winter. The pagans of Jesus’ day commonly believed that their fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth each spring. They saw water as a symbol of the underworld and thought that their gods traveled to and from that world through caves. They believed that this city was literally at the gates of the underworld: the gates of hell. In order to entice the return of their god, Pan, each year, the people of Caesarea Philippi engaged in horrible deeds, including prostitution and sexual interaction between humans and goats.

When the Gates of Hell Prevail over the Church - The Meaning of Catholic

Many were saying Jesus was John the Baptist (well they got that from Herod who was freaking out that JB had come back from the dead to get revenge), others say He was Elijah (the Prophet foretold to pave the way that has not had an earthly death yet),  and some said Jeremiah (both were called before birth, prophet to the nations, spoke of the temple destruction, and wept for Jerusalem).

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Peter said he believed Jesus was “the Christ,” the Messiah that the Old Testament prophesied.  Matthew’s only use of Peter’s full name here, “Simon Peter,” highlights the significance of the declaration.  Peter further defined Jesus as “the Son of the living God.” Peter’s great confession here was an important benchmark in their understanding and faith.

18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 

Which Rock?? The one they are standing on?  On Peter (his name means “Rock)”? Or what Peter said?

He is going to build His church on what Peter professed (the first mention of the word Church).  Jesus is going to build the Church on those who say I am The Christ.  That is a Cornerstone of a Rock!

“and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

ANOTHER reason Jesus chose THIS place to compare and contrast His Message with the “gates to the underworld he was standing on”

Jesus then predicts his:

  • Suffering
  • Death
  • 3rd day Resurrection

Now, this will not make complete sense to the Disciples, BUT when it happens, it will take them from “little faith” to that “Servant Faith!”


Get behind me Satan!

He was NOT calling Peter Satan.  He was however recalling when He was tempted in the desert.  Peter did not WANT this to happen, but Jesus reminds him we must die to self.  It is what The Lord will do.

 

Sorry if Typos!!  I was late!

Mark · Matthew

Matthew 15 and Mark 7

Similar texts with very different details!

As we read on, Jesus will be confronted by the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes.  Jesus held tightly to the original scriptures and did not conform to his environment.  (ouch, right).  You need to know who the “confronters”:

  • Pharisees-(means to be separated) They began after the Babylonian Captivity.  Started out great! They are going to be separated from the World!  As time went on, they became too separate and legalistic-conservatives to a fault
  • Sadducees- did not believe in the Oral Law, Miracles, the Resurrection of the dead, or any Supernatural event.  They were more of a social group.-liberals to a fault
  • Scribes- probably began during the time of Ezra.  The “OG” of Scribes. They would copy the Torah (The 1st 5 books)-so that people in captivity and those that returned to Jerusalem could study God’s Law.
    • Through time they would make additional post-it notes and debate over them as a group.  Sometimes the post-it note superseded the words of God. (Hmmm, reading Christian books, without reading the Bible)
  • Herodians- they were Jewish nationalists that sided with the Herod Family.  They wanted to exalt the Herods for building up the beautiful temple before them.

Jesus makes a new group and named them a greek term for being an actor-‘hypokrites’, – Hypocrites! 


Let’s jump right in with me growing up with an Italian Catholic mother in NJ- We had LOTS of “christian” tradition, yet no one in my family (I mean the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents…..NEVER once had a Bible)

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?

Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees about ritual without reality. The Pharisees had asked why the disciples did not wash their hands according to the ritualistic tradition of the elders. This hand-washing was not what we think of today with soap and water. It was a ritual done as a show of “religion”.  

Oh, you want to talk following the law Pharisses?  OK, let’s pick a 10 commandment….#5 will do.

‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God, they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

The phrase ‘devoted to God’, means “Corban”. Whatever money might have been used to provide for aging parents could be dedicated to the temple treasury instead (BUT you can keep it in your wallet and use it if you needed) . Saying, “It is Corban” would exempt a person from his responsibility to his parents. (Next time my kids ask for money I am going to say “Corban”. Ha!!)


“Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”….

17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

So what comes out of our mouth is more vile than what goes into the sewer pipes.  

Quite the parable to think over today.


The Faithful Canaanite woman- “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!”– Wait….what?  So you are telling me a Gentile woman not living near Jerusalem is willing to admit WHO Jesus is, but not the Jewish leaders.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

In other words- “It is not right to take what I promised the Jews through a Covenant and freely give it to Gentiles” (Gentiles were often referred to as dogs)

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

You go girl!!!


Great Map!  Click here to print.


Jesus feeds the 4000+ family (This is a separate event than the other feeding). Look at the map.

The meal difference: The first feeding miracle/the feeding miracle

  • 1-day sermon verse 3 day sermon
  • different season (sitting on grass verse ground)
  • 5 loaves/ 7 loaves a few fish
  • 12 baskets left over/7 baskets left over
  • Two different locations: Galilee region/Decapolis region