Book Overviews

Behind in the New Testament?

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

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

Then read John separate (totally different Gospel)

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


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

 

John

John 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


Ok, thinkers:  Why was Judas CHOSEN?

No wrong answer.

Luke · Mark · Matthew

Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9:1-17

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

Click here to see this bigger or print it.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

In Matthew it said:

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

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

I hope each day you read familiar stories new. 😁

Matthew

Matthew 9-10

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

Chapter 10- Jesus sends out the 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark · Matthew

Matthew 8:14-34 and Mark 4-5

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The story of the demon-possessed men:

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

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

Decapolis - TRUE MICHAEL FOUNDATION

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

 

Matthew

Matthew 11

In the next 6 chapters in Matthew (11-16) we will see an increased confrontation and rejection from the Jewish leaders.  Jesus will become increasingly bold as he makes His identity more known as the Messiah.

Jumping down to verse 20.

A Town Cursed by Jesus

“Woe” is a major warning.  BEWARE.

This might hit home for many if you live in a town where every block has a church on it.

Jesus compared Chorazin (can start with a K too), Bethsaida, and Capernaum to 3 Gentile cities that we have read about in the Old Testament: Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom.  If Jewish people were asked “Name the 3 worst cities, filled with filth, sex, idolatry”, these 3 would be mentioned.  However, Capernaum is Jesus’ “headquarters” and so many signs and miracles have been given to the Sea of Galilee area.  Unfortunately, many are seeing and wanting more “blessing”, without repentance.

Capernaum was the place Jesus and Peter made their home.  23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Some of the miracles Capernaum has seen:

  • The abundant fish were caught by 3 disciples, The Centurna’s servant was healed, Demonic healings, Healing at Peter’s mother in law’s house, Many sick and disease her healed, The Leper was healed, The man with the withered hand was healed, The paralytic was made to walk, Jairus’  daughter healed, Blind men were given sight, and some others

Reminds me of a Poem:

I was shocked, confused,
bewildered As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor. 

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash. 

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice. 

Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well. 

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake. 

‘And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said,
‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’ 


25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this, is what you were pleased to do.

The Jewish leaders were “wise” in their own eyes.  Yet, many others who did not even grow up hearing the scriptures of the day had come before Jesus humbly and with great faith.  Knowledge of the Bible is important so that we can learn about His unconditional Love and  His Plan for our lives HOWEVER, it is not Faith.  Think about how deeply and simply a child believes…that is the Faith He desires.


28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

If you have grown up in church you know what a yoke is.  SO now I want you to STOP and re-read it as if you were a child, not the “wise” who grew up hearing this scripture before.  Don’t let it get watered down because it is familiar.

Yokes: Instrument and Metaphor | Discovering Lewis & Clark ®

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I don’t want to comment…I want it to be personal.  Have a wonderful day.

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.  😝