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!)

Matthew

Mathew 5-7

Capernaum

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

So we call this the Sermon on the Mount because of the landscape.  Jesus would speak to the 12 but because the sea was recessed, the mountains would act as a microphone (echo) and the crowds would hear His every word.

Matthew 5-The Beatitudes are the eight declarations of blessedness spoken by Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12), each beginning with “Blessed are…” The Greek word translated “blessed” means “happy, or blissful” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses the word to refer to more than superficial happiness that only He can give.

The first 4 blessings are reversals that will happen with the arrival of God’s reign.

The next 4 blessings speak to those who live according to the Law.

Free Beatitudes Printable

Wait!  I know what you are thinking: the Law is the Old Testament. Jesus fulfilled the Law. The Book of the Law consisted of 3 parts: ceremonial, moral, and civil law.   After the crucifixion, the ceremonial law is fulfilled.  However, the New Testament actually expands the moral and civil law for believers through Jesus’ teachings such as this.  He raises the bar even higher!  Read 17 (below again).  I get very concerned that people hear “Jesus fulfilled the Law” as a Willy Wonka ticket to “try your best” to live according to the scriptures.


The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.


Read Chapter 5 and in the comments talk about at least one verse that fell new on you or caught your eye (no pun intended for verse 38).  Feel free to write 10 comments, I am in the car all day.  IF none did, then pray the Lord to open your ears to hear and your eyes to see and try again.  (I have mine already…I will put it in the comments)  When you read these you will notice the Sermon on the Mount is the great equalizer.  Example: Murder or calling someone “Raca”-fool (we do this when we are self-righteous and may not have all the facts first when you call someone a fool-gasp!!).  Both are a sin.  Sin is Sin-it separates you from the Lord.  (Consequences my vary) But each sin is still a brick in the wall between you and God.

Before I go- just in case we have some first-time readers…and DON’T laugh at me…It is called the Bee AAA ta tudes.  I called it the Booo ti tudes. (Ummm phonetically it looks like Beautiful).  Listen, we all start somewhere…mine looked like a Reality Show for the Trinity to enjoy.  Here are a few notes to first-time readers.

  • An eye for an Eye was so that people would actually be treated fairly…not harsher than they deserved.
  • Prayer:  This is ‘how’ you should pray- not “what” you should pray.
  • Judgment and discernment are 2 different things  (arg, that’s a hard one)
  • The gate:  Think about all the times we talked about the gates of the Tabernacle (Temple) facing East (Judah) or recently the Sheep’s Gate.

Have a wonderful day:  Read slow today!  Re read maybe more than once.  Be changed.  And for Heaven’s sake comment!!  You can even put a fake name in like Wilma Flinstone if it will help.  😝

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.

 

 

 

 

Luke · Matthew

Matthew 1, Luke 2:1-38

The book opens with a genealogy.  When I bought my first Bible I remember thinking…who in the world would want to read these names? No one knows who they are.  If you read through the OT, look closely…I bet you know MANY of them.  Crazy good.

The Old Testament prophets predicted that the Messiah would be born of a woman (Gen. 3:15), of the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18), through the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10), and of the family of David (2 Sam. 7:12-13). Jesus qualified in every respect.

Matthew deliberately constructed his genealogy in three groups of 14 names.

  • 1st 14- The Patriarchs
  • 2nd 14-The Kings
  • 3rd 14- The Exiles

#14 on the list is King David- The Focal Point.

17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

The genealogy tells us 3 things:

  1. Jesus is the Messiah
  2. Jesus is the Descendant of David
  3. Jesus is a Descendant of Abrahan.

Note that 4 women are included in the Geneology, This is not typical but highlights that Gentiles were included.

  • Tamar and Rehab-both Canaanites! (gentile)
  • Ruth -a Moabite (gentile)
  • Uriah’s wife (Uriah was a Hittite so legally she was a gentile)

Joseph was “engaged”.  He could have disgraced Mary but instead, he planned a quiet divorce “from their engagement”.  But God interceded in a dream.  Not only was Joseph instructed to marry her BUT was also told the name he was to give.  We learned yesterday that the “Name” was the family identity.  He was told NOT to name him a family name but to name him Jesus (Salvation).

 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

What prophet?

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.


Luke 2: 

Micha 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.”

So the Lord moves on the mind of Caesar Agustus to decree a census (this is done for military to tax purposes).  Well, actually to fulfill Micah.  Jesus needs to be born 90 miles away to fulfill scripture.  That’s a long walk when you are pregnant.  But of filling that the town Bethlehem is the “House of Bread” in translation.

I am going to keep this a light post (I will go deeper in Matthew)

Then the reading ends with a Prophecy of Simeon.

29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”

At the Birth of Jesus we already are talking about Revelation!  The Greek word in this text is apokalypsis.  (Apocalypse) and the definition is

I want to take a little time on the Circumcision:  VERY important background here.  Jesus was not born above the law, instead, He filled it perfectly!  So these paragraphs are very important.

  1. Circumcision is part of the Abrahamic Covenant.  In Genesis 12 God promises that through Moses ALL people on earth will be blessed.  In Genesis 15 God makes that promise a Covenant.  With every covenant there must be a death and blood must be shed. (why Jesus had to sacrifice himself).  So if you go to Genesis 17 the Jewish part of that Covenant was circumcision.  It represented being set apart from all others and their relationship with the Lord.
  2. Luke 2:23 talks of the consecration of the firstborn.  Why? WOW, this is awesome, go back way back to Exodus 11-13.  Remember when the Jews were delivered out of Egypt.  Do you remember how? Yes! The Plagues.  Each one to combat a false god.  The last plague was the death of the firstborn children, and God sent an angel of death to take them all but the Jewish children were spared called the Passover.  In remembrance of God’s deliverance and mercy,  the Jews consecrate their firstborn to the Lord acknowledging that it is all His!
Book Overviews · Matthew

Matthew Overview for tomorrow

The Gospel of Matthew

Gospel/Godspell/Good News.  There are 4 Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  The first three Gospels are called “synoptic” because they “see together with a common view” (the word synoptic literally means “together sight”).  It is like shooting the same movie from 3 different angles.

Matthew is written for the Jews.  Matthew’s emphasis is Jesus was the Messiah as foretold in the Old Testaments from the Prophets.  Matthew quotes from the Old Testament more than any other New Testament author.

The keyword in Matthew is “fulfilled” through the prophet…

You may have heard the book of Matthew referred to as the “Gospel of the Kingdom”, the term kingdom of heaven is used 43 times in this book.

Matthew’s name means Gift of the Lord.  Matthew was a man originally names Levi.  If you read the Old Testament you would be able to guess just from his name that he was born into a priesthood family (the Levites).  However, he chose to be a Tax Collector.  The tax collectors were extremely corrupt: they would pre-pay the taxes for people and then charge the people heavy interest and pocket it.   We can also guess that he made a lucrative living.  This was against the Law of Moses stated in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, so the tax collectors had bad reputations with the Jewish Leaders. But he gave it all up when Jesus called him to follow him.  (Ch. 9)

The book of Matthew has 3 Great Discourses

  • Sermon on the Mount
  • Kingdom Parables
  • Olivet Discourse

The book focuses on Jesus is the King of the Jews.  He writes about Jesus being the son of Abraham  (fulfilling the Covenant that He would bless all nations) and the son of David ( fulfilling the Covenant that He would establish a Kingdom that would last forever).

If you have read through the Old Testament, this might be your favorite Gospel since we will be looking at the prophecies of the Old Testament being fulfilled on every page.

Click here if you want to print a new reading schedule.