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
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. 😁

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.
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.”

 

Mark

Mark 2

Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 

I am often disturbed by how light we (including myself) take it when we hear someone has come to believe that Jesus died on a cross to take away their sins and give them eternal life in heaven.  “Oh that’s nice, congrats.”  BUT the celebration we take when one of our kids makes a touchdown or scores a goal.

Just something to think about.

Forgiving his sins was the big miracle-not the external healing.  However, for the onlookers to understand that Jesus ‘could’ change the inside of a man He followed by proving it with an external change.     HOWEVER, only one person can forgive sins…The Lord.  This is going to cause an issue and an uprising.  (we might say who cares about the uprising BUT remember, the Jews were allowed to ‘self govern’ as long as they didn’t cause problems for Rome.  Well…it’s starting)

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

They never said anything!  But Jesus says: “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” 

I bet their jaws dropped!


Jesus eats at Matthew’s house.

I KNOW I say “this is my favorite” a lot.  BUT this time I mean it.  Verse 13-17 by far is my favorite scriptures in the New Testament.  I won’t get into the 100 reasons why,  but just know that they are!!!  One of the 100 has to do “Christians” walking out of one of my Bible studies after they saw a picture of me loving on some close friends of mine that happen to be in a same-sex marriage.  I love them as much as Jesus loves them. Don’t assume someones’ doctrine…assume a mission field.

Levi (renamed Matthew by Jesus “the gift of God”) as we know is a tax collector.  Before he was a tax collector he was the son of a priest.  We know he was taught the Scriptures well because when He writes the Book of Matthew, he quotes the Old Testament. He gave up his family roles of being a priest to be a criminal. $$$.  Tax collectors were the bottom feeders that pre-paid poor people’s taxes and then charged them high-interest rates.   When Jesus said “Follow Me”- this was atypical.  Usually, Jews studied for years and had to “ask” to follow a Rabbi.  Rabbi’s were picky-they wanted someone educated in the scriptures (not money laundering) and they had to have a current job so they could pay their own way.

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Think about that (talking to myself) the next time you are complaining about some of the people, music, service etc. in your church service.  I am often reminded of my second favorite story in the NT about the 99 sheep.  Once when I was complaining (in my head) about something at church I heard in my heart- Luke 15:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

Basically, I heard: “This is not for you Szymanski…feel free to leave.” Ouch, He was right!


Jesus was not coming to “fix” the Covenant.  He was the Covenant. He wasn’t the patch or going to refresh the law.

21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”


The Sabbath- Two major things set the Jews apart from the rest.  Circumcision and the Sabbath.  The Sabbath had become so steeped in “rules” that the purpose of it had become polluted.  The Pharisees had created rules about the rules and added rules to those rules.  The purpose was gone.

27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

He backed that up with a story about David.  (2 Samuel 21)  At one point in David’s life, when he was on the run from Saul, he asked the priest Ahimelech for food. The priest gave David the bread of the Presence (from the Temple) since it was the only bread available. David was not a priest, so it was technically unlawful for him to eat the showbread. However, Jesus  refers to this event, using it as proof that the Law was designed for man’s benefit, and that Christ is Lord of the Sabbath

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.

Book Overviews · Mark

Mark Overview

Mark is written for the Romans.  Jesus is portrayed in this book as the “Servant”.    This is a book of “Action”.  Here are some fun facts:

  • Mark is “John Mark”.  He most likely wrote down what Peter told him.
  • Mark was the one that fled when Jesus was arrested. (I think without his robe)
  • The early Church in the book of Acts met in his Mother’s home (Acts 12)-super funny story too
  • Nearly half of this book will be devoted to the Last Week of Jesus Life.
  • He writes “now” or “and” 1,331 times  (This is the book for me!!   FAST!!)

A great verse in Mark

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The Romans, like many of us today, need religion to be practical and applicable. This is a book revolved around deed, not words.  With that said, Mark writes like he just drank a pot of coffee (you young ones don’t even know what that means….about 6-8 cups).  Look for his quick transition words:  ...then, immediately, and, now straight away… (he doesn’t take a breath).

The book of Mark is a book of omission (with good reason), you will NOT read about:

  • royal genealogy, no Magi visiting,
  • no boy at the temple,
  • actually no mention of Jesus as a boy at all
  • no Sermon on the Mount,
  • no quotes from Prophets, (they are there just not quoted)
  • no divine titles are given to Him,

SOOOO if it omits all that what will it include? Good question. It will completely portray Jesus as our example as a humble and perfect Servant.

Click here to print the schedule