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
Book Overviews

Behind in the New Testament?

So maybe you recommitted and it happened again.  Somehow you got behind.  Here is what you are going to do…Pick one of the Gospels and just read that one and you can jump right in.  It’s about to get really exciting!

Here is what you would read (one of these) I don’t think you need the post to go with it.  Just the Bible part.

Then read John separate (totally different Gospel)

John 1-6  (about 30 minutes) (John posts if needed)


Here is a schedule if you need to print one.  YOU GOT THIS!!

 

John

John 6

So when I see one chapter I think  “light day”.  And then I read it and say “woah, that was heavy”.  This is one of those chapters. I hope you will read it: I am going to literally break down a section verse by verse.  I just have to it is so good!

I am going to start at verse 25.  Many had just been fed by Jesus the night before.  They wake up and look for him to eat again (or to see what else He might give them).

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill

Oh stars.  Why were they seeking Jesus?  To “get” something.   How many people do you know that seek Jesus ONLY when they need a favor?  They haven’t followed Him, prayed, lived for Him BUT when they “want” something they suddenly look for Him. (I wasn’t throwing a stone)

27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

Sooooo being legalistic, they inquire about the word “work”. What good deed do I need to do to earn a blessing?  28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

THE ULTIMATE ANSWER:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

The ONLY thing you must do is believe!  (This is not what they were expecting).  What they said next made me say a few 4 letter words)….yes I am a sinner, I know, but good grief Charlie Brown!!

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

  1.  They asked for a sign!  What in Sam Hill?  What’s Jesus been doing??? Healing the sick, blind, mute, paralyzed people, casting out demons, feeding about 15,000 people (5000 plus their wives and children)….what was that? A Vegas show?
  2. Then they threw Moses in His face!  “Well, Moses fed my ancestors manna for 40 years…you gave us only 1 meal!

See why I said a bad word!  I really shouldn’t have because what Jesus says was better!

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.


Now the next paragraph is HUGE.  It is PACKED with Salvation doctrine! (I will break is down in bullets)

  • 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
  • 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.  

Re-read verse 37.  Salvation:  First, God chooses you BUT we must choose HIM. It’s a relationship.  Think about that when you share the Gospel with young ones, I am seeing a HUGE church trend where we “choose” Jesus in our hearts without ever mentioning Sin, Cross, or Sometimes even God.  

  • 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

What is the Father’s Will??  What does God want? Everyone who seeks Jesus AND believes WILL have eternal life!  All believers will be raised up from the grave and taken to Heaven on the last day!  

So what happens next you ask??  You won’t believe it…just like the other day, they went back to saying “WHOSE  He is, not WHO He is”. I am not kidding…look for yourself!

42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

He ends this conversation with a ‘drop mic’ statement: Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Wait….all this was said IN a Synagogue….oh, I wish I was there that day!


“Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 

We are really beginning to get small hints of what is to come.  We have heard about 3 days in the fish, pick up your cross, and now-what if I ascend to heaven.  (There are more.  I wish I had written them down because I know the Big Ones “I will rebuild this Temple in 3 days”….but this year I am seeing the little ones 😍.


After many decide not to follow Jesus, He asks His 12 men if they are going and Peter (Oh I love Peter) says “what??  no way man”.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”


Ok, thinkers:  Why was Judas CHOSEN?

No wrong answer.

Luke · Mark · Matthew

Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9:1-17

The beheading of John.  (I particularly like the Mark version the best, some cool extra info was stated)

Click here to see this bigger or print it.

  1. Herod the Great is the Herod that was alive when Jesus was born (decreed all the babies be killed in hoping the one born called ‘king of the jews’ would perish.  Fat chance!
  2. Herod Philip– 1st husband to Herodias
  3. Herodias-was seduced by #6 Herod Antipas (a ruler)- her uncle and married him.
  4. The JB
  5. Salome- daughter of Philip and Herodias (1st marriage) and a pole dancer!  She was seducing Herod Antipas!  (she marries her great uncle #8)

With this visual the story should make sense.  If you have any questions let me know.


The feeding of the 5,000 men and their wives and children.  (A lot!)

Aside from the resurrection, the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. To feed 5,000+ people with five loaves and two fish is miraculous!  Click here for handout.

Jesus’ disciples had wanted to send the people away because the evening was approaching and they were in a remote place. But Christ had a better idea: “You give them something to eat”.  At this point, the disciples should have recalled the many miracles they had seen Jesus do AND the Missions discourse. In John 6 (when we get there) we will see  Andrew show doubt? (Bless his heart) And Philip will say “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (We always think of $$)

Amazingly, the entire multitude was fed with that small meal. Jesus provided “as much as they wanted” (in John) and “they all ate and were satisfied” (in Matthew). Christ did not just meet the need; He lavished them with so much food that there were “twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish” leftover.

There is a foreshadowing of this miracle in 2 Kings. Elisha told his servant to feed the people gathered there, although there was not enough food for the hundred men. One of the men said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” (2 Kings 4:42–44) In the end, however, the men not only had enough to eat, but “they ate and had some left”.

What a test for the apostles who were to walk the baskets to the people and have faith that there would be enough, but an even bigger test for us today God will shatter the pint-sized expectations of what we as followers can do.

(Reminds me of when I pray and then say under my breath…yeah, like that will ever happen!  Ohhhh such little faith!)


Jesus walks on water- I know many of you have read a commentary on this, or have been given an encouraging word through church with this account but for our purposes, look at the chronological standpoint.   The apostle’s mission has been given.  They are going to go into the region to proclaim the kingdom of God.  They must have FULL faith in who Jesus is.  When Jesus fed the 5,000+ they still had little faith.  Again Jesus shows his authority

Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

In Matthew it said:

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

I hope each day you read familiar stories new. 😁

Matthew

Matthew 9-10

Chapter 9 is a repeat.  That does not mean you should skip it.  Read it now with the knowledge you have and see if it all fits.  Be humble and ask questions.

Chapter 10- Jesus sends out the 12

Huge moment.  These are the names of the twelve apostles:   The word apostles means “to send out”.  He sends them in pairs.  After listing them he gives what is called the Mission Discourse: the mission of the disciples to Israel.

  1. Sent to the lost sheep (the Jews)
  2. Responding to persecution
  3. Bearing witness fearlessly

The apostles were to limit their ministry to the Jews living in Galilee (among the Gentiles)  What was the mission?

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

  • announce the appearance of a Jewish Messiah
  • announce a Jewish kingdom
  • provide signs as proof of divine authority
  • offer their services free of charge since it was given to them freely

They were told only go where they were welcomed.  If they were not worthy, they were to wipe the dust off their sandals when they left.  Picture shaking someone’s hand, and then taking hand sanitizer and wiping your hand in front of them to know they were “unclean”.  The Jews would do this when they left a Gentile house so they would understand the body language.

How will they know what to say?? 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.


26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

The mystery of the Old Testament is to be revealed!  The Gospel is to be shared not kept hidden.

Matthew 515 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

The disciples ARE going to be heavily persecuted! Should they fear it?? (Easy for us to say)   28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.- Their only fear should be in their master-God.


The Jews believed that a King would come and bring Peace to “them”.  Reclaim their land and they would be the world power.  He WILL bring peace but not until the second coming.  Because many will not recognize Jesus as the Messiah it will divide relationships.  He quotes Micah 7.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever does not pick up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me”- Oh how I have heard this used out of context too many times.  The scriptures repeatedly tell us to love one another.  True.  BUT above ALL we are to Love him more. “Take up your cross and follow Me” means s a call to absolute surrender. After each time Jesus commanded cross bearing, He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”

A person who lives in the present loses the real purpose of life.  So what is the Mission Discourse:

  • share the Gospel
  • help people
  • live simply
  • move on if you are rejected
  • use wisdom and discernment
  • expect persecution
  • do not be afraid
  • remain faithful to God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark · Matthew

Matthew 8:14-34 and Mark 4-5

Jesus heals many:  Jesus’ healings were to acknowledge who he was.  He quotes Isaiah 53 when healing Peter’s mother in law with a word!

“He took up our infirmities
    and bore our diseases.”

The Cost of following Jesus:  To be a true follower of Jesus, He comes first.  This is hard to think about as a mom.  His expectations are sacrifice and uncompromising obedience even in the face of family obligations.  When the disciple said “let me bury the dead”, we know that there is always an inheritance.   The cost of being one of HIs faithful followers may mean putting aside material desires.

The next 2 miracles prove that Jesus has full authority even over what we cannot see.  He has authority over nature and demons.  Everything is at his command.  The disciples are WITH Jesus (as you are) and he says “what little faith”.  Jesus said “Let’s go to the other side”...and they said when the storm came “we are going to drown”.  Ummmm???Compare that to some of the other miracles of the Gentiles, like the Centurian,  who Jesus says “I have never seen such great Faith”.

I know it is tempting to read your subtitle and say “we already read that”.  Please do not skim over it.   Each account is so different and you will be blessed when you read the details and differences.  Read the demon-possessed man account in Mark!  It is very detailed.  I love Mark!


I hate to give the enemy ANY blog time…but it is important that we understand who he is, but more importantly how limited in power he is!  In the Old Testament demons were present.  If we think back to some of the horrible stories we read,  it is obvious that they were at work (and still are today).  But their presence is seen because they recognize the Messiah.  We know that Satan was a  beautiful angel.  God called him Morning Star but his name was Lucifer. He became arrogant in his beauty and status and decided he wanted to sit on a throne above that of God.  Satan’s pride led to his fall. Notice the many “I will” statements in Isaiah 14:12-15. Because of his sin, God permanently removed Satan from his exalted position and role.

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit.

Satan became the ruler of this world and the prince of the power of the air. He is an accuser, a tempter, and a deceiver. His very name means “adversary” or “one who opposes.” Another of his titles, the devil, means “slanderer.”

Even though he was cast out of heaven, he still seeks to elevate his throne above God. He counterfeits all that God does, hoping to gain the worship of the world and encourage opposition to God’s kingdom. Satan will do anything and everything in his power to oppose God and those who follow God. However, Satan’s destiny is sealed—an eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)!! I cannot wait to read Revelation!!

The story of the demon-possessed men:

Credits Study of Mark: Chris Reeves Maps: History and. - ppt download

So if you read the “400 Years of Silence” post you might remember that when Rome took over,  the Romans subdivided the land.  East of the Sea of Galilee is called the Decapolis.

Decapolis - TRUE MICHAEL FOUNDATION

The demons (once being angels) would immediately know and fear the Messiah.

Mark 5:6   When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!”  

When Jesus asked him his name,  he said “Legion”.  Well, this makes sense knowing the geography: it was a Roman word used for a large group of fighting men (up to 5,000).  There were pigs nearby (another hint that this is a Gentile region because Jewish people would never touch a pig) So to save themselves from being thrown into the Abyss.  They know this was their ultimate destiny, they just did not want to go before the appointed time, they requested to be cast into the pigs (I am sure they would feel right at home being in a pig)

Why the demons begged to be allowed to enter the pigs is never stated.   It could be because they didn’t want to leave the area where they had been successful in doing their mischief among the people. Perhaps they were drawn to the unclean animals because of their own filthiness. The demons may have made this strange request because it was their last chance to avoid confinement in the Abyss. Whatever their reasoning, it is clear from the account that demons had little power of their own and were unable to do anything without Jesus’ permission. As Christians, we can take comfort in the knowledge that God has complete control.  (Wow, reminds me of Job….that seems like years ago we read Job).

So then what happens??? Oh my stars!  Rather than people rejoicing over the healed man….they saw their business ($$) go over the hillside and begged Jesus to leave the area!


The last 2 stories today show that Jesus does not show favorites.  Rich or Poor.  He took a 12-year-old girl and a 12-year infliction on the poor.

  • Jarius was a top Jewish leader.  Running a Synagogue was an elected position (probably from the Pharisees) Have you noticed we haven’t said that before!  Gentile yes.  Jewish?? Jarius’ public humility of humbly getting on the ground before Jesus compares to the woman who was considered by Jewish standards “unclean” and probably had to live outside city limits.
  • Jarius’s daughter was healed through Faith.  The bleeding woman too was healed through Faith.
  • I love how Jesus loves them equally.  I think too often we as a society (through jealousy) may actually think Jesus loves the poor more?  Maybe that is just me.