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!

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. 😁

Luke · Matthew

Matthew 13, Luke 8

Parable means “cast alongside”.  A parable is an analogy alongside a Truth to make it relatable.    Chapter 13 has 7 parables.  The first parable is about whether or not we understand the rest of the parables.  Who will understand these parables…depends on the soil.

The prophet Isaiah was quoted.  Just like in the day of the prophets, the message was not received, many of this generation will not either.

13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled(L) the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise, they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

OK, this is going to be a little hard BUT it is important that some hearts were calloused and rejected the Word.  If they had all understood it, their hearts would turn and they would not need the Messiah to die on the Cross for both Jew and the Gentile.   The Providence of knowing ahead of time who will and who will not hear and see is for God’s glory and He uses that so Jesus will be rejected.


Parable of the Soils is told, then Jesus explains in Isaiah many will not understand them, then in verse 18-23, Jesus explains WHY many won’t understand it. 

So now what?  The Word of God is the seed- some seed will grow, some will begin to grow, and some with never grow.  So in this world, what would that look like?  Well, the parables of the weeds explain it to us. The fruit-bearing plants and the weeds will live in the same garden.  At the time of Harvest (final Jusgemenet), they will be separated.

The parables are explained.  Some listeners will understand the parable and some will understand the explanation.  Just like some of us are audible learners and some are visuals.


The parables are paired together:

The Mustard Seed and the Yeast indicate that what is small or hidden now (Jesus) the Kingdom of heaven seems insignificant, but there will come a time when it will be unmistakable and all-encompassing.  His plan is completely laid out.  The End times will come.

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.


The parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl.  We live such “worldly” lives.  We grossly underestimate the value of the kingdom.


The parable of the net.  Listen.  The truth will offend many.  This is a hard parable to read.  On the day of Judgement, the net will be cast.  The fish will be separated.  There is no banter or pleading with God about all the good “things” you did in life.  There will be a final judgment.

So what was the soil??? Did they understand??  

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

NO, THEY DID NOT!  If they had they wouldn’t have asked whose He was (son, brother, friend, occupation.... but WHO He IS.

 Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.


As you jump into Luke 8 and read these parables, don’t read them as you may have heard them at church.  I myself have thrown around scripture out of context…a lamp on a stand.  Jesus is the Lamp…He will reveal what is hidden.     Who is Jesus’ family??  Believers!

NOW let’s get to the best part.  Jesus calms the storm!!  I have hears this story spun 100 times for application.  BUT now that you read Matthew 13 and how it ended…what is the most important line??  Not whose is He…who is his mother? His father?  BUT…..

In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

NOW we are getting somewhere!!!!

I am going to save the next 2 stories when they are in the other Gospels so that you have time to soak up the parables and re-read them if needed.

Luke · Matthew

Matthew 12:22-50, Luke 11

Click here to read

I am going to jump down to a scripture we already talked about (I posted a video on it the other day).

31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

EVERY sin can be forgiven.  You can be mad at the Lord and even say something at that moment in anger.  He WILL forgive you.  HOWEVER, to not acknowledge that God works through Jesus by the Holy Spirit is not forgivable.   If you deny the ‘power’ of Christ– as Lord- cannot be forgiven.  Many many great people of this world do not believe in the healing and saving power of the Lord.

The Pharisees denied this so strongly that they went as far as saying the power is from the Devil.  Oh no you di’nt!!

Have you ever panicked and thought…” what if I am missing something…what if on the day of my death I THOUGHT I was going to Heaven and was wrong??”  When I became a Christian this was a HUGE concern.  I still sometimes think those thoughts.   BUT The Lord is quick to tell me “Don’t question it…even though you are still a hot mess!  There is proof”.

Verse 33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

I just need to examine my fruit (not works).  If the Lord changed the tree so that it can bear fruit-it will!   (If you don’t see fruit…well….)  So here is my proof: There were SIGNIFICANT changes in me that were not there when I was a fruitless tree.  Your proof is the fruit that HE grows…   (so that I cannot boast about it!)

Galatians 5 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

I am often in a situation where I feel or see something “different” because I am seeing it differently, I immediately will say out loud “Well, that’s evidence in my Salvation, the “old” me would have handled that very differently”.  FRUIT!


The sign of Jonah!

38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

What in Sam Hill??  He JUST healed a demon-possessed blind mute man!  So Jesus responds to this generation of people- 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

This is a FIRST reference Jesus makes to his death and burial that is to come.  He will be buried for 3 days- when that happens they will think back to this parable and KNOW that the sign was given.


Luke 11-

Look at verse 5, then 9, then 11.

5 : a parable about the father who does not want to get out of bed to give them bread.  This is not a comparison parable this is a contrast parable.  Is this our view of prayer? A Father that does not want to help us? So he says:

7: “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11: So after reading verse 7 there is the comparison parable.  A father that wants to respond to our prayer.  This is how we should see our requests.  He is a father that wants to bless up…why would He give us less?


Verse 37 (my favorite part)

Woes to the Pharisees and to the Scribes.

  •  You look good on the outside but are a mess inside!
  •  You ritualistically gave your tithe BUT you neglected justice
  •  You are prideful and love the praise of looking so “religious”
  •  An unmarked grave- They always painted graves so that people wouldn’t touch them and become unclean.  THEY are the unmarked graves and actually corrupting the people near them.
  • They made laws about the laws…no one could follow.
  • Their ancestors rejected prophets….this generation will reject THE prophet…Jesus.
  • Verse 52 was the one I focused on
    • 52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
    • The Word of God:  Changing/watering down/tweaking/adding to it/taking parts away….Changing the Bible in any way changes a lot and could absolutely hinder someone else’s Salvation.
    • We hear friends, family, bible study leaders, Pastors change the Bible all the time in the “slightest way”.  I think we need to remember that Satan did that in the Wilderness.

 

 

Luke · Matthew

Matthew 8:1-13 and Luke 7

Yesterday Jesus spoke teaching his disciples the Beatitudes (the poor in spirit, those that mourn, the meek…), today we see the example in actions.  First, the Leper.

A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

The focus is not on the healing but on Faith.  Once again, he instructs him to comply with the ceremonial law BUT also tells him not to tell anyone.  Jesus will make his own public declaration when it is time (The Passover).


Next, a Centurion is a highly ranked, wealthy member of the Roman Army with 80-100 men in his command.  More importantly, he is a Gentile.    The Jews had 2000 years of scriptures about the Lord healing or saving them.   Yet, they did not believe.  The Centurion approaches Jesus in an attitude of submission and great faith but he also recognizes Jesus’ authority under The Lord.

In the Luke account of this story, you can see clearly that this powerful military leader, who is used to saying “jump” and people say “how high” comes before him so unworthy and humble that he sent others on his behalf.  The Centurion is making a public profession of Faith. (very risky if word got back to Rome)

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”


Before we go any further, you need to know that these healings are for a testimony that is going to be needed for John the Baptist.    Just pay attention to the sequence so far for people can be a witness for John.

The widow’s son- a story about God’s compassion on us when we don’t even ask.  Without even being asked, Jesus restores Life.  I don’t call it a resurrection, because that would entail a new glorified body. However, Jesus restores the life of a widow’s son just as John the Baptist restored the life of a widow’s son in 1 Kings 17. Click here to read.  That is why the crowd said:

16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. (as a prophet-Elijah)


John the Baptist is sitting in prison for rebuking Herod.  Herod had lured his brother’s (Philip) wife  (Herodias)away from him and was put in prison for it.  Recalling the scriptures, his expectations of the Messiah to come was to “set the captives free”, as it states in Isaiah 61:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,

Well…in all fairness to John…he is captive…when is the Messiah going to set him free.  Jesus has a testimony for John to put him at ease.

22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Elijah continually quoted from Isaiah so Jesus reassures him with that testimony since it meshed together several Isaiah quotes “He spoke his language”

Isaiah 29:18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.

Isaiah 35:5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Isaiah 35:6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.


After the messengers left, Jesus speaks to the crowds about John: he did not come in fine clothes (like a king) with something to gain but he came as The Prophet to pave the way for the Lord.  His role as a Prophet-no other role is greater.  BUT the people who humble themselves and come to the Lord-they are greater than the role!  Then he tells them that this generation will never be satisfied- John came poor in spirit and they called him a demon because of his strong message of repentance-he was too conservative for them.  Then Jesus, the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’-too liberal for them.  They would never be satisfied!


Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman | Daily Bible Readings

The last story has so many details:  If I hear about this story elsewhere most people concentrate on the expense of the perfume, the anointing as a foreshadow of his death to come,  or her “loose” lifestyle since she was so casual to let he hair down. (All true) But I want to look at some other details:

  • Why did the Pharisee have Jesus for dinner?  Because it was customary? To question him? Curiosity? To show off his famous guest?  I am not sure…but what I am sure about is the Phariss did not respect Jesus from the moment He walked in. If he had he would have :
    • Offered him water
    • anointed His head
    • washed His feet

But she did ❤.

  • The Pharisee said TO HIMSELF (not even out loud):“If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”He concludes that Jesus is not the Prophet people were claiming Him to be, because to a Pharisee,  letting a sinful person touch you made you “spiritually unclean”. Well, I say thank Heavens the Pharisee didn’t kiss him on the cheeks like he was supposed to when he entered!! Ha!    Talk about a plank in his eye!

47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

Read this carefully.  She was not forgiven because she loved Jesus.  She loved Jesus because she was forgiven. (for much)


48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” (they still question this as Blasphemy….who does he think he is??? God??)   Ummmmmvyup.

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”  (To the Pharisees this was Ludacris! SHe is a sinner…she probably even works on the sabbath!)

Luke · Mark · Matthew

Matthew 12:1-21, Mark 3, Luke 6

Matthew 12:1-21  We read again about the Pharisees watching intently for Jesus to break The Law of Moses (He never does.  He clarifies it).  Again,  we see Jesus point out the lack of priority in the Pharisees.  Jesus does not critique them for their desire to keep the Sabbath, he points out that the Sabbath is for the work of the Lord.

Jesus then speaks to the onlookers and quotes AGAIN from Isaiah 42.  The quote confirms that He is the servant of the Lord who will bring justice not only to Israel but also to the Gentiles. (I bet the Pharisees gasped when Jesus said “to the nations”

18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
    the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
    no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
21     In his name the nations will put their hope.”


Mark 3-

The crowd-  When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. The area is noted because it points out that the crowd is Jewish (Judea and Jerusalem), Intermarried (Idumean and the Transjordan), and Gentiles (Tyre and Sidon). 

The chosen 12- (just like the 12 tribes of Israel)-  All 4 Gospels list them.  By the way, do you know why He calls them the Sons of Thunder?  If not we will get there.  They crack me up!

How did the Twelve Apostles die? - Where did the Apostles die? | NeverThirsty


22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”-

Fun Fact time:  Beelzebub is the Greek form of the name Baal-zebub, a pagan Philistine god we read about in 2 Kings 1.  This god is “The lord of the flies”.  After the time of the Philistines, the Jews changed the meaning to “lord of dung” and “the lord of filth”. As a result, Beelzebub was used by the Jews as a reference to Satan.  Now go back and reread verse 22.  Jesus responds with (I will paraphrase)- “That’s not even logical you idiots-is he fighting himself??”. Then, and don’t miss it…a PROFOUND Statement!

28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

I fell upon this video and thought it explained it perfectly.   If you need clarity on the above scripture- click here.


My catholic mother-  Sooo years ago, my mentor used to strategically point me to the scriptures when I would “wrestle” over topics.  Soooo, not my finest moment when I was talking to my own mother over the controversial topic of “The Virgin Mary” having children after Jesus.  I calmly said, “let’s look at Mark 3:31”.  She told me that was an error in the book.  My response was not so godly 😵.


Luke 6 (I am jumping over the first 16 verses)- Is this a portion of the Sermon on the Mount? (Sermon on the Plain?).  I am not sure.  But look who Jesus is directly talking to (with others listening in):

20 Looking at his disciples, he said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
        because of the Son of Man.

It is important you don’t take this out of context and “generalize it”.

There is a NOW and WHAT WILL BE

  • Poor (because of the Son of Man)- in eternity the Kingdom will be yours
  • Hungry (because of the Son of Man)-in eternity you will be satisfied
  • Weeping (because of the Son of Man)-in eternity you will laugh

Dear 12 Disciples (and anyone who is listening in on this speech then or reading the Bible today), if you follow me people will hate you, exclude you, and insult you because of the Son of Man (if you are doing your job)- you will be Blessed.


Jesus gives them 4 direct examples that elaborate on what it means to follow Him: (get an ice-pack ready…this might beat you up a little)

  • Love for enemies- (do not seek revenge!)  Why???? 
    • Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
  • Do not judge others, rather work on your own sins first THEN you will be more Christ-like to minister to others.
    • 41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank (like a telephone pole Patricia!) in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Verse 45: Listen, I am not going to preach BUT in the South, we say “What’s in the well, comes up in the bucket”.  Jesus said: ” For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”   

Listen, this is where the rubber meets the road.  Now that we are in the New Testament- what are you going to do with it???

46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

 

John · Luke · Matthew

Matthew 4, Luke 4-5, John 1:15-51

This may be familiar to you, but now that you know from the Old Testament who the Devil is, where he came from, what he wants,-I hope you read this brand new today.  There are 3 temptations:

  1.  The temptation to satisfy the flesh.  It specifically says Jesus was hungry. Where the Israelites failed, Jesus will conquer.  He is recalling when the Lord provided in the wilderness. Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy:

Deut 8: Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

I can almost see the Devil saying “Oh, you want to play the Scripture game…I know it well, I use it to sway humans ALL THE TME.”

2.  The temptation of pride/power (prove it!): He comes back with Psalm 91:11-12

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus replies with scripture in Deut. 6:16

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

So here is the deal: The Devil knows the End Game!  The Messiah came to be the Lord of ALL.  So what if the Devil tempts Jesus with a shortcut—bypass the Crucifixion…take it now, the easy way!  (Oh my, that would undo EVERYTHING but how tempting is that!).

3.  Temptation of having it all (material)- The Devil says:- 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

I bet the Devil left cursing like a truck driver!  (I bet he did too when he left Georgia without the golden fiddle) LOL.

Temptations of Jesus


There are tons of good maps.  I will try to pick a different one each time, keep the one you like.  It is important to pay attention to Jesus’ travels.  Remember The Lord has a very specific timeline.  Every detail is planned out.  Jesus will give up His life on the Passover to fulfill the Passover.  But first, he has to teach.  So when you see a scripture like:

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum,

One of the reasons (there are many)- was for safety.  It is not his time to be arrested! Galilee (I remember it from the G).

  • G- Galilee-the Gentile “area”
  • J-Judea- the Jewish “area”

Galilee was settled by the Greeks, taken over by the Romans became a melting pot of languages, radically different ideas of religion, architecture, government, philosophy, religion, and morality.

John the Baptist is imprisoned in Machaerus.  Jesus heads North and established his ministry headquarters in Capernaum. (In Galilee)

What do you do when there's nothing you can do? - ppt download

Now that you have all that ramblings-go back and look at verses 12-17 and see if that makes sense.  If you want to take it one step deeper click here for Land Distribution of the tribes.


Luke 4-5:  Oh this is a favorite!  Whenever I read this I picture Jesus dropping a Mic at the end! #dropmic

Picture the Scene:  Jesus, on the Sabbath (as it was his custom), goes into the synagogue (a place to study scripture).  It was customary that the ‘new’ teacher in town would speak.    Jesus walks up…takes the scroll of Isaiah 61 and reads..

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. DROP MIC!

Verse 21:“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

(I promise I will keep this short!..I will bullet my thoughts)

  • Verse 4:28  They were furious BECAUSE the stories were of Gentile Healings.
  • Verse 4:34 Even the Demons know of God’s destruction and that He is the HOLY ONE of God (notice it was more than one demon “us”
  • Verse 4:35 He can subdue them with a WORD!
  • 4:37 Uh Oh!  Things are getting stirred up.  It’s beginning.  Rome is going to start to get aggravated
  • 4:41 He silences the demons- It is not time yet to reveal himself
  • 4:42 In Galilee (Gentile area) and Judea (Jews), Jesus says why He is sent

43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.


Luke 5…

Bible Map: Genneseret

I’m sorry this is long.  I will make this part short.  If this is your first time reading it and have questions let me know.  Map above.

These 3 men: Peter, John, and James will be with Jesus the longest and are His “inner circle”. All three men were present with Jesus during special events, being eyewitnesses of Jesus’ transfiguration, witnessing Jesus raise Jairus’s daughter from the dead, and accompany Him while He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Thus, these three witnessed Jesus’ greatest moments of glory and His darkest trials. They were His closest friends.  I will tell you one fact good/sad about each to

  • Peter-
    • when his net was full Jesus told him he would be fishers of men.  He will!  Peter preaches at Pentecoct and catches 3,000 men that day!
    • Peter is eventually put to death and did not feel worthy to die the same way Jesus did so he requests to be hung upside down.  If you go to Rome you will see this-The Petrine Cross for St. Peter.

  • John-
    • When Jesus dies, John is the one to take care of Mary going forward (this is how we know for certain Joseph had passed away
    • John will be exiled to the island of Patmos to be given the vision to write down.  The vision is Revelation!
  • James-
    • This is NOT the author of the book of James. (Jesus’ brother wrote it)
    • James was the only apostle that has a record of martyrdom in NT.  (Acts 12)

John: If I thought anyone would read this long (ha!) I would write a ton more.  I guess we will have to do this again in 2030 (who just did the math to see how old you will be!).  However, if you are interested in more click here for a pdf on the 12 Ordinary Men (and some others)

 

Luke · Mark · Matthew

Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3

Matthew: We know that he is going to write straight out the OT fulfilling scriptures)  Let’s do this!

Acts 19:2-7 – Disciples of John the Baptist | Reading Acts

He is a “Voice”- so what is this crazy outfit?  So if this were today at my house it would be-

“Hey mom, there is a crazy looking guy outside, his hair has never been cut, he doesn’t smell like he has been drinking, and he is wearing camel hair and a big belt, quoting Isaiah”  My response would be “Oh my stars, get your camera…it must be Elijah!”  “How do you know mom?”  “I knew you weren’t paying attention at Sunday School!”

2 Kings 1:7-8

The king asked them, “What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?”

They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.”

The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”

Isaiah40:3

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.

Micah 4:5

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”


John the Baptist comes as the last prophet proclaiming a word of Repentance.  They came TO him, he was in the wilderness.  They confessed and were baptized.  Baptisms were not new.  When the Hebrews came to the Temple to make a sacrifice for their sins they washed in the laver.  Also, throughout history, as people “converted” to Judaism they studied the scriptures, circumcised, and were symbolically washed away of their sins in water.  An outward expression of an inside change. The Pharisees and Sadducees relied on their genealogy for salvation.  They had their printout from Ancenstry.com and used that was their ticket. (so they thought)

John speaks about himself as being lower than the lowest servant.  The lowest servant was the one that would take the sandals off of a guest at a home upon their arrival.  John says he is not even close to being the lowest servant compared to his cousin Jesus.

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Why would Jesus need to be baptized?  After all, He was sinless.  What could be have repented from?

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness. Then John consented.

Jesus needed to be accepted by the people because He was taking the reigns of John’s ministry.  This is the moment in order to fulfill all righteousness they would follow Him.  When Jesus gets baptized, the Trinity is Present!

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

God Reveals Himself Through The Holy Trinity | Hearing From Jesus


Mark 1- When I read Mark 1 I started laughing because Mark is hyperspeed! (read the Mark Overview)  However, his audience is the Romans.  He doesn’t need to fulfill OT scriptures and he’s not a gentile talking to gentiles, so he doesn’t have to explain “why” things are happening..he just dives right in!

Map of Jesus starts his work

Since we will break many of these scriptures down,  I am just going to let you enjoy “Mark 1” at “Mach 1” speed.


Luke 3- He is going to begin by telling us what is happening internationally (Rome), nationally (Israel), and spiritually (Temple).

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

  1. Tiberius Caesar (followed Caesar Agustus): Emperor in Rome  (from the dating we know it is about 28 AD)
  2. Pontius Pilot: The appointed Roman Governor placed in Judea (He is not Roman nor Jewish, he is Spanish.  He married the granddaughter of Caesar Agustus) (In charge of Southern Israel/Jerusalem)
  3. Herod Antipas, (governed the area of Galilee North)
  4. Annas and Caiaphas the high priests.
    • Annas used to be the high priest, but the priesthood by this time is so corrupt, the Romans placed Caiaphas in the position for political control.  Caiaphas was the son-law of Annas.
      • Annas was in the “Good Ole Boys Club, while Caiaphas was the puppet son in law.
      • This will be pertinent when Jesus goes on “trial”.   Who is the High Priest?

The reading mimics Matthew but one of my favorite verses is

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 

I could talk about that forever (shocking I know).  The followers ask “What does that mean, we need an example”!

John 15:5 says:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

In Luke John continues with examples of what it means to be bear fruit.  What fruit looks like BECAUSE we are believers not to BE believers.  Bloom where you are planted!  If you are an office worker-bear fruit there.  If you are a tattoo artist-bear fruit there.  If you are a stay at home mom-bear fruit there.  All the examples given were given within a current job.


John being put in prison was mentioned in the caffeine-filled book of Mark and again here in Luke.

19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

So long story short:

What is that!!  Well, just look at a small part of it (for now).  Look at:

  • #6 Herod Antipas, then the heart, then #3 Herodias.
  • Now follow #3 line to the heart of #2.
  • Good so far?
  • John rebukes this infinitely my marrying Philip’s wife, so Herod Antipas #6, imprisons him for speaking against him.
  • (If you keep looking at it you will see the fate of John…or you can close your eyes and let it be a surprise in the scriptures.)

Luke’s genealogy:  What do you see?  How is this one different?  There are lots of cool answers!!  Tell me what stodd out-there are no wrong answers.

Luke · Matthew

Matthew 2; Luke 2:39-52

Let’s start by looking at Herod the Great.  This is the ruler that was given all 4 political districts to rule in Israel from Rome. Caesar told him he was in “charge” of the Jews.  Titled him: “king of the Jews”.   Click here if you would like to print this to take notes on.

Herod's Family Tree | Family tree, Christian history, Bible study

So Herod the great hears that one has been born called “King of the Jews”.  The word verse 3 “disturbed” means “Stirred Up!”  (I bet he was).   When he asked where this infant was born they quoted Michah 5:2- 

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

The Herod dynast came from the line of Esau, so when the Magi asked about the whereabouts of the King of the Jews, that they had seen the “star”- this was referring to the King that would come from Jacob NOT Esau: (ouch)

Numbers 24:17-   “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”

I wonder if Herod said “Oh my stars”-probably not, but he did lie to the Magi and say “find him so I can worship him”.

I love a good nativity scene at Christmas  BUT please know that is not what it looked like.   The Magi were a large group of men that came from the Babylon/Syrian,  area. The would-be educated men (gentiles)that had studied the scriptures, astronomy, science, and history.

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Adoration of the Magi (Perugino, Città della Pieve) - Wikipedia

They did however give Jesus gifts representing and fulfilling his role as Messiah.

  1. Gold: for royalty, Jesus as King.
  2. Incense: symbolic of Prayers of the High Priest rising up to Heaven. (Jesus is the High Priest)
  3. Myrrh: a burial oil, a foreshadow of His death. (Messiah)

The wise caravan knew ignoring Herod’s wishes put them in danger so they returned a different way.  In the meantime, The Lord leads Joseph to take Jesus to Egypt for safety.  Fulfilling another prophecy of the Old Testament: Hosea 11:1

“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.

Remember who the book of Mattew was written for: The Jewish people: so Matthew is going to constantly refer to the fulfillment of the words of the prophets:  This time Jeremiah 31:15

15 This is what the Lord says:

“A voice is heard in Ramah,
    mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”

During the captivity,  Rachel (representing the LAND: Israel) weeps as the Hebrews were taken into captivity (ripped out of the arms of the Land), the same weeping now comes from the mothers of the children as they are murdered at the hands of Herod’s army.

So now what?  Where will Jesus live?  Egypt? Bethlehem? Jerusalem?  Well, after Herod the Great died, the Romans redivided the land and put Archelaus in charge of the Judea.(Look at the genealogy above)  Archelaus was evil and slaughtered 300 Jewish leaders, meanwhile, Antipas reigned over the Galilee area.

Herodian Kingdoms

So The Lord directed Joseph to safety by diverting him to Nazareth to live with Jesus.   Of course, fulfilling the scripture: Isaiah 11:1

11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

The word Branch is Hebrew is ‘Nazarene’.  However,  this will also make sense when the Jewish council will constantly call Jesus: “Jesus the Nazareth” because they didn’t think ANYTHING good could come from a town in the Galilee region. (Oh but it did!)


Luke 2:39-52- Don’t miss this!!  Jesus’ first words recorded in the Bible.

Mary and Joseph would take the Pilgrimage to the Temple, just as they were instructed in the Law to commemorate the Passover.  The Passover Festival commemorated the escape from Egypt, led by Moses in Exodus 12.  An innocent lamb was sacrificed, blood was shed, and all of those who believed that the lamb represented a “substitute” for their death were “passed over” when death came that night.  FAITH in the blood of an innocent lamb would take their place covered them (atoned) their life and they were Saved.  Jesus is the Passover Lamb.  Salvation in the Old Testament and the New Testament are EXACTLY the same.

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

If this is new to you, please ask questions.  But stop and think about this:

  • Jesus said these words on the Passover.
  • Jesus will fulfill the Passover.  When? (We say on Good Friday)  On PASSOVER!
  • Put that in your pocket because as we read we will hear Jesus say when people are trying to kill him “It is not time yet”.  It ALL lines up.
    • Exodus 12
    • His first words
    • the Crucifixion

…it will ALL lines up on the same day.  The Passover Festival.  The day innocent blood is shed and Faith that it substitutes or covers our sin Saves us.