Archive for the ‘Matthew’ Category

Matthew28+ Conclusion 

June 24, 2016

Today’s verse is a hard one, but has much theology and practical advice. 

John 21:19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

We would do well to use this verse as a life verse by substituting our name in place of Peter’s and then heeding the same call to follow Him. 

“What about him?” Peter was asking about John. We cannot know what Jesus has in store for others. In this case, Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
John really did see Jesus return-in a manner of speaking. Revelation 1:9-18 is John’s account of his vision of Jesus. In his vision, he sees Jesus return to Earth (19:11-21).

But that was John’s story. How about yours? What is Jesus asking you to do? Same as me:

Follow me.”  -Jesus

Matthew 28+ Jesus Reinstates Peter

June 23, 2016

Jesus asked Peter the same question three times. 

John 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”

 “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

The difference is in the type of love. The first two times, Jesus used the word, “agape,” which is the word used for God’s love. It’s a selfless love. The third time, He used the term, “phileo,” which is the word used for brotherly love. Why would Jesus change the word? Why ask three times?

My own personal opinion is that Jesus was responding to the three denials. He was also repeating for emphasis. The reason for the word change was to give Peter a complete picture of how he was to lead: Godly, yes, but as a family, as well. It’s kind of like being a father and a brother as the same time. Jesus used this same mixed metaphor in Matthew 12:49-50, 

Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers.

[50] For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

We would do well to keep this wholistic picture in mind as we feed His lambs. 🐐

Matthew-Extended John 21 Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish 

June 22, 2016

This chapter of John is a contuation of Matthew. It is also much more detailed. 

[2] Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.

[3] “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

I thought it was interesting that not all of them had stayed together. It could be that some were visiting family. They were all from that area. The ones who went fishing were probably commercial fishermen, which brings significance to the next part: they caught nothing. 

It was John who realized who the person was, probably because of the fact that it had happened before, at their calling (Luke 5:1-11). I appreciate Peter’s modesty (some things should never be taken for granted). 

I’ve heard that the 153 fish represent the total number of nations at that time. Could be. 

Jesus must have looked different. Mary didn’t recognize Him; the two disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t either. Or, it just was so out-of-the-box that it was surreal. 

John stated that this was Jesus’ third appearance to them, which answers our question about whether or not He stayed with them for the whole 40 days. He was running the universe again–and beginning work on a house, a mansion, in fact. For us!

Matthew 28 The Great Commission cont. 

June 21, 2016

Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

[20] and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus is releasing them to become little Jesuses; that is for what they had been training. The first phrase means literally, “as you go” and can be interpreted as “wherever you go.” I like all three, so let’s put them together:

Therefore, go, and as you go, wherever you are going…”

They have their commission:

1. Go. 

2. Make disciples.  

3. Baptize them. 

4. Teach them. 

Then He made them a promise: “I will be with you.” It began when the veil was ripped and God was “let out.” As soon as the Spirit comes, they will all have Him inside-we become mobile temples!

Let us praise Him today for including us in His Great Rescue Plan. 

Matthew 28 The Great Commission 

June 20, 2016

Gonna spend a couple of days on this section. 

[18] Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority [power of rule] in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”

When Jesus met the disciples on the mountain where He had told them to go, they worshiped Him, but some doubted (verses 16-17). Given the number of people to whom Jesus had already appeared (the two Mary’s [28:1], Salome [Mark 16:1], Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus [Luke 24:13-35], and the disciples), there was probably a large number of followers there with them. So I’m not sure what to do with the phrase, “and some doubted.” 

I do know this: All authority means ALL AUTHORITY!

Ephesians 1:19b That power is like the working of his mighty strength,

[20] which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

[21] far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

[22] And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

[23] which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Colossians 1:15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

[16] For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

[17]  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

[18]  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

[19] For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

[20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Praise His name today! He alone is worthy! “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created
and have their being.” Rev. 4:11

Matthew 28 The Guard’s Report

June 19, 2016

There are so many things wrong with this report:

Matthew 28:13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’

They were soldiers! Seriously? How did the disciples get the stone rolled away without them knowing it? To what end? He was “dead!” 

A person is going to believe what he wants to believe in order to justify his actions, i.e. Evolution (we evolved, therefore we don’t have to answer to anyone). People place feelings and traditions over the Bible (Pentecostals and Catholics). For what purpose? In order to justify some action. 

We need to place our faith and trust in the Person of Jesus Christ according to His Word-alone! I know that is what you are doing. 😃 Stay close to Him. 

Matthew 28 Jesus’ Resurrection 

June 18, 2016

The angel said it and Jesus said it: “Go to Galilee.” 

[4] Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Matthew [10] Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

So, why didn’t they go? Or was it that Jesus couldn’t wait to see them?! They did finally go and Jesus did meet them there. Amazing events! Question: do you think that Jesus stayed with them the rest of the time or did He come and go from heaven? 

HE IS TISEN! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!!!

Matthew 27 The Burial of Jesus and His Guard

June 17, 2016

The last two sections of chapter 27 will be taken together. 

Matthew 27:63-64“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ [64] So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

There are four logical conclusions about Jesus’ death. 

1. He was dead and stayed dead. Therefore His body was removed and buried somewhere else. Mary Magdalene thought so, John 20:15. His resurrection was a lie. Why, then, were all the disciples willing to die for a lie? Them and many others who were alive and knew Jesus?

2. He was still alive when He was buried. He woke up, managed to squeeze past the stone and elude the guards–all while His hands and feet were brutally disfigured, having been stabbed in the side (desperately dehydrated and anemic), and whipped past the death penalty. Come on! Really? 

3. Jesus was alive and the disciples snuck past the Roman soldiers and carried Him away. Not plausible, but possible. The big problem is His appearances over the next 40 days to 500+ people with NO residual effects (except already-healed scars). THAT is impossible. 

4. He was dead and came to life. He transported (something He did several times) through the wall of the cave, thus circumventing the guards. Having a glorified body, He had no wounds-just the scars-and was not limited to our time and space. He still isn’t! He lives in our hearts! Bless His holy name!!!

Looking forward to tomorrow’s reading: THE RESURRECTION!!!

Matthew 27 The Death of Jesus

June 16, 2016

Matthew 27:50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

[51] At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

Mark 15:37-38 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

[38] The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Luke 23:46-47 Jesus called out with a loud voice,“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

[47] The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”

 John 19:30-31a When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

[31] Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.

Each Gospel, beginning with Mark (which was written first), adds something special to the story. 

1. Both Mark and Mathew include the veil being torn. By the way, did you know that the veil was torn open not only to give us access to God, but to give Him access to us? He proved that at Pentecost when He made all who are saved into mobile temples. 

2. Matthew includes an earthquake. He also talks about tombs being opened and dead people walking…

3. Luke tells us Jesus’ last words and then what the Centurion said. 

4. John adds a clue to the specific day Jesus died. Saturday is not a special Sabbath, but that week holds a floating Sabbath according to when Passover happens (always at twilight on the 14th). Don’t trust the liturgical calendar, for it doesn’t take into account the moon calendar nor Jesus’ prophecy about Him spending three days and three nights in the grave (Matt. 12:39-40). Jesus was likely to have died on Thursday. 

The main point is what He accomplished on the cross: He bore our sins and took our punishment. THANK YOU, JESUS!!!

Matthew 15  6-15-16

June 15, 2016

Matthew 27:41-43 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.

[42] “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

[43] He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

Let’s be sensible for a minute. These guys just crucified Jesus; if Jesus DID decide to come down off the cross, what would happen? He would call His angels to massacre all who shouted, “Crucify Him!” Their own words were, “His blood is on us and on our children!” (25) 

I call your attention to a passage in 1 Cor. 2:6 that bears out their position. “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 

[7] No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

[8] None of the rulers understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucifed the Lord of glory. 

[9] However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”— 

[10] but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. 

Thank You, Jesus, for hiding Your plan until it came to fruition, and for revealing it to me and to all Your children through Your Holy Spirit. Amen!

 

Matthew 27 The Soldiers Mock Jesus

June 14, 2016

Matthew 27:31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

God’s hand is all over this. Take a look:

They mocked Him-Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

They put His own clothes on Him-Psalms 22:18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Matthew 27:35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

They led Him away to be crucified-Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Psalms 22:7-8 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

[8] “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.” 

[14] I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.

[15] My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.

[16] Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet. 

The plan of God, conceived before we were ever created, to give us that which would need, is beyond understanding. Paul felt the same way:

Ephesians 3:17b-21 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

[18] may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

[19] and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

[20]  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

[21] to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

DOXOLOGY

Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out! 

 [34] “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?” [35] “Who has ever given to God,  

that God should repay him?” [36] For from him and through him and to him are all things.

To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Matthew 27 Jesus Before Pilate

June 13, 2016

We all have a pivotal moment in life where we decide what we will do with Jesus. With most of us, it is not so public:

Matthew 27:26 Then he [Pilate] released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

For a more detailed account of the exchange between Pilate and Jesus, go to John 18:28-19:1. In it we find Pilate’s fatal moment when he rejected Christ:

[38] “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. 

Even King Herod had an opportunity to believe on Jesus, but his position, power and lifestyle got in the way (Luke 23:6-12). We know people with the same hindrances, don’t we?

Let us pray for them that they will let down their guard enough to see the Truth and hear His voice. 

Matthew 27 Judas Hangs Himself

June 12, 2016

[5]…Then he (Judas) went and hanged himself. 

The difference between conviction of sin and remorse is that conviction  comes from the Holy Spirit and leads to repentance. Judas was sorry for what he did, but had no conviction from the Spirit. 

Today, let’s listen to His voice and take heed. Have a great day at church!

Matthew 26 Peter Disowns Jesus

June 11, 2016

Have you ever got tangled up in a conversation that didn’t go where you wanted it to go? It’s like the person is deliberately try to lead you in a bad direction. 

Have you ever gotten yourself tied up in a labyrinth of lies? It’s hard to keep straight the “truth” you have spun. 

Earlier, Peter was willing to fight and die for Jesus; now, listen to Him:

Matthew 26:74 Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed.  

The book of Luke adds adds a dimension to the story:

 Luke 22:61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”

It wasn’t bad enough that Peter had disowned the Lord; the Lord caught him doing it. Jesus even told him beforehand that Peter would do it. What does this story tell us of our plight?

1. Jesus knows our sinful condition. He loves us anyway and died in our place. 

2. Jesus looks beyond our faults and sees our needs. 

In John 21:15-23 Jesus restores Peter. He did it personally, completely, and with great love. He does the same for us. Everyday. Every time. 

Don’t you just love Him all the more?!!!

Matthew 26 Jesus Before the Sanhedrin 

June 10, 2016

I hate the part about many false witnesses (v. 60). Do it right or not at all.  Anyway, they needed Jesus to admit something criminal to justify what they were going to do anyway. He did–boy, did He! He quoted Daniel 7:13 and claimed it for Himself! The high priest was right: to proclaim yourself as God is blasphemy–unless you ARE God, which Jesus is. But, as Jesus said in verse 56, “This has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

Once again, I marvel at the patience and fortitude of our Lord. Let’s praise Him for all He went through for us!

Matthew 26 Jesus Arrested 

June 9, 2016

Up until now, the Gospels had varied on which stories of Jesus the included according to their intended audience. From here on out, the stories converge. Let’s make a composite of all the accounts of Jesus’ arrest (the main text is Matthew).

Matthew 26:47-56 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. 

John 18:2-3 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.

[3] So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

[48] Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”

[49] Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

Luke 22:48-49 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” [49] When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?”

[50] Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.”

 Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

[51] With that, one of Jesus’ companions [Simon Peter-John 18:10] reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

[52] “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
(The servant’s name was Malchus. John 18:10)

John 18:11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

[53] Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

[54] But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

 [55] At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.

[56] But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Luke 22:53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”

Mark 14:51-52 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him,
[52] he fled naked, leaving his garment behind. 

 John 18:12-14 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him

[13] and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.

[14] Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.

The variance of the stories actually add credence to the validity of the Gospels in much the same way that varied accounts of a bank robbery give the detectives a big picture. It’s called looking for the C.I.D. (Central Idea of the Text).

What IS the C.I.D.? Jesus knew what was going to happen and allowed the events to flow according to the Plan and the Scriptures. 

What an amazing Savior we serve!!! 

Matthew 26 Gethsemane 

June 8, 2016

Jesus prayed, [39] “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

[42] “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

[44] So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Jesus wasn’t into repetition (Mt. 6:7), so what was the deal? Jesus knew what was coming; He knew the pain He would suffer physically, but most of all, the pain He would suffer spiritually. By becoming the sin offering (2 Cor. 5:21) He would lose sight of the Father. Would the Father actually turn His face away? I don’t know, but I do know that He laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). Thank You, Lord!!!

Jesus wasn’t trying to change God’s mind (His own, really). We see that in John 12:27-28,

“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.

[28] Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”  

 Jesus prayed until He had peace about what was going to happen. When we pray, we should do the same. Commit yourself to God’s sovereign will and His tender mercy; pray that He use you in whatever manner would bring Him the most glory. If suffering will bring Him glory, then bring it on!

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.
(How’s THAT for an attitude?!)

 1 Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.

 1Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

One more:

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Aren’t we glad?!!!!!!!!

Matthew 26 Gethsemane

June 7, 2016

Jesus took all of His disciples with Him to the garden, but Peter, James and John were taken a little further in. Their first clue was His announcement that one if them would betray Him (21); the second clue was when He told them that He would not drink of the cup again until they all would drink it anew in His kingdom (v. 29). The third clue was verse 38, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” What were they thinking?!

Even when Jesus found them sleeping, He reprimanded them with a question and then taught them, [40] “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.
[41] “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

I used to think that the spirit was my want-to, but my flesh was stronger. It may be so, but I have come to see it as His Spirit within me is willing, but I am weak. I control my own flesh; I must allow Him to give me both the desire and the power to do it (Phil. 2:13)

Had They stood and walked around, they could have kept awake. Sometimes getting comfortable is NOT a good idea. Remember that!

Matthew 26 Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial 

June 6, 2016

Matthew 26:33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
So, Peter is with Jesus in the garden; the soldiers come and Peter whips out his sword and cuts off Malchus’ ear. He really is ready to fight and die for Jesus!

When Jesus went peacefully, I’m sure he was confused, so he ran–but followed at a distance. He went all the way to Annas’ house and stood out in the courtyard (it is on the side of the house; you can see into the house from there). Don’t you think he was racking his brain trying to figure out a way to rescue Jesus? It wasn’t so much out of fear, but out of rational thought that Peter lied in the courtyard that night. He was a secret agent!

The problem was that he was outside of the house and outside of God’s will. He was still unwilling to admit that these things must come to pass just as Jesus had told him. Mistakes like this one happen when we try to do things FOR God and not WITH Him. When we do things with Him, He is in charge; when we do things for Him, we are in charge-and things go south. 

Let’s not make the same mistake. Let’s walk with the Lord today allowing Him to be in charge. 

Matthew 26 The Last Supper-2

June 5, 2016

Matthew 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. This night and the next day were the whole reason He came!

John 12:27-28 “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.

[28] Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”  

 Many people take the word, “many,” and use it to say that Christ did not die for all (Limited Atonement-Calvinist teaching). It is true that not all people will accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, but He still died for them. 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 Aren’t you glad we are covered by His atoning blood?

Matthew 26 The Last Supper 

June 5, 2016

Matthew 26:18 “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 
We’re the disciples stunned by this directions or the result?

[19] So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

Luke tells us they were to follow a man carrying a jar of water. It was probably unusual to see a man doing such a chore. The disciples were not disturbed by Jesus’ directions.  We shouldn’t be either when He asks us to do things in an unorthodox manner or in an illogical way. He Knows!

Let’s trust Him in the little and big things. 

Matthew 26 Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

June 3, 2016

What was he thinking?!

Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests

[15] and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.

[16] From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

From what I could gather on the Internet, a piece of silver was worth a day’s wage (and has been for 20 centuries), which today would be $120-$130. 30 of those is a month’s wage, $3600-$3900. Not a whole lot for your soul, is it? In fact, Jesus had said, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:26-27

Was Judas not listening? Or was he busy thinking about other things? John 12:6 gives us insight into the mind and life of Judas, “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

Even if he was trying to force Jesus’ hand into fighting and taking the throne, he still betrayed Jesus. 

May we not try to manipulate God through prayer, deeds, lip service, etc. Let’s let Him be God and we His faithful followers. 

Matthew 26 Jesus Anointed at Bethany 

June 2, 2016

Jesus had been staying in Bethany during the feast with Lazarus, Mary and Martha (John 12:1-8). I like John’s version best because he tells who did and said what. 

John 12:3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ [head and] feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Verses 4-6 identity Judas as the objector and for selfish reasons. 

Jesus’ rebuke was quick,

[7] “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.”

How beautiful! Jesus was crucified not long after this night, maybe even arrested the following night!

I also find great satisfaction that all four Gospels include this story and what she had done, thus fulfilling verse 13, “What she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

God is working His plan. Let’s be a willing part of it. 

Matthew 26 The Plot Against Jesus 

June 1, 2016

One more time:

Matthew 26:2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

He told them one more time how things were going down. Not until we get into a situation do we see just exactly how we will react/respond. Reaction is without thought and is good if you have trained to react a specific way. Reaction is bad if it’s off-the-cuff; no one knows what is going to happen. 

Instead, let’s train to respond with thought and clarity. We can only do that by ingraining the Word into our brains and trusting the Spirit routinely. 

If we can trust Him with a little, We can trust Him with a lot. 

Matthew 25 The Sherp and the Goats -3

May 31, 2016

Now the bad news:

Matthew 25:41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

 As you read these next verses, you may get the idea that salvation is about works. Actually, it’s about motivation. Who is it that you want to please? If you live to please yourself and not the Lord, then you are living according to the flesh (sinful nature), which is a pretty good indication that there is no Holy Spirit resident in your life. Romans 8:5-8 explains it all:

Romans 8:5-8 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

[6] The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

[7] the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

[8] Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

What about us?

Those who receive His Spirit have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) and want to do the things of the Spirit. We continue in Romans 8:9,

“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

Paul goes on to explain our obligation and our adoption into God’s family. Great passage!

The best way to stay motivated by the Spirit is to be renewed and refreshed daily in His Word by His  Spirit. His Voice is what I long to hear; His Presence is what I long to feel; His love and joy and peace are what I want to course through my brain, body, and spirit. My link with Him is all I have until “He returns or calls me home, here in the love of Christ I stand.”

Matthew 25 The Sheep and the Goats 

May 29, 2016

When I was in college at Durant, I joined a fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma. Why? Because my brother and cousin were members (not much else to go on here). During Pledging, one of the members  randomly chose this passage for me to memorize-I can’t remember why; during “Hell Week,” there was a lull in activities when he required me to quote it. So, I quoted the account of the sheep and the goats. It has stuck through the years. 

Let’s take some time with this passage and look at Jesus’ Bible, the Old Testament.  

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.

 “The Son of Man” is in reference to the Messiah, based on Daniel 7:13-14,

Daniel 7:13-14 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.

[14] He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

 His addition of angels speaks of foreknowledge. Look at Revelation 19:14,

Revelation 19:14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
(The armies of heaven infer His angels, but the clean, white robes pertain to us. Angels are not specifically mentioned until verse 17). 

Throne? What throne? Not the throne of heaven from which He just left. So, where was He headed? TO JERUSALEM!

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

[7] Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this. 

We usually quote this passage at Christmas not realizing how momentous that event will be!

Enough for now. Tomorrow we look at the separation of the sheep from the goats.  

Matthew 25 The Parable of the Bags of Gold 

May 28, 2016

Today we talk about a very difficult subject: the saved that act like the lost. 

Matthew 25:29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

Why would a person receive Christ into his life but then ignore (quench) the Spirit within him? Some of it depends on what was told him about salvation; was it fire insurance (accept Jesus and gain heaven/miss hell)? If so, then he may not have truly given his life to the Lord. So, there may be a positional issue; if he is not saved, then he is acting according to his true nature. 

But what if he IS saved, but in the far country? And what about “Christians” who are faithful each week to come to church, but don’t allow Christ to influence their Monday-Saturday world? Or their home life? Or friendships? Has their faith grown cold –or did it never really start? I’m glad WE don’t have to answer that question!

When we stand before the Lord, I want to here these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” v. 23

Let’s be obedient to His Spirit within us. Let us “set our face like flint” toward righteous living. 

Isaiah 50:7 Because the Sovereign LORD helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame. 

Matthew 25 The Parable of the Ten Virgins

May 27, 2016

I have often wondered about this parable because the custom is quite foreign to me. Even my commentary was rather bland and obvious with its explanation. The key verse is still obvious:

Matthew 25:10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

Some were ready and some were not. 

So, what does it take to be ready for the Bridegroom to come? Oil is representative of the Holy Spirit, so being in right fellowship with Him and staying connected is certainly key, don’t you think?

I think expectation is another way for us to be ready. We hope that it’s today, but plan tomorrow as if it’s not. 

I always get excited around Israel’s New Civil Year. It happens this year on October 3-4 with the Feast of Trumpets. There is a ten-day period of self-examination that culminates with Day of Atonement. Following that day is the Feast of Booths that lasts 8 days. 

Here is my correlation of the coming events:

Feast of Trumpets-the Return of Christ

Day of Atonement-Judgment Day

Feast of Booths-Heaven

If Jesus fulfilled the Triumphal Entry To the day (according to Daniel), His death to the day and HOUR (the daily and special sacrifice was at 3 PM), His resurrection to the day, and the birth of the Church to the day (Pentecost), then why would He not fulfill the other three major Holidays the same way?!

Our take-away from all this is that Christ is coming to take us AWAY to be with Him. Let’s be READY!

Matthew 24 The Day and Hour Unknown 

May 26, 2016

Significant words:

Matthew 24:37-39 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

[38] For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;

[39] and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

We know the story of Noah, and we know that Jesus’ Coming will be swift and final (see vs. 27-31), so what makes this passage significant? It’s the fact that Jesus authenticated the Great Flood! To say that there was no flood is to call Jesus a liar. You may as well say that the Second Coming is a myth, too. 

But WE know that both are TRUE because we believe Jesus! His Spirit lives in us confirming ALL of His words: 

John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

[3]  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Good song!)

Matthew 24 Continued

May 25, 2016

Jesus quoted Daniel twice in His teaching about the end times. One is in verse 15, which can be a reference to Antiochus IV, a Syrian king who ruled Palestine from 175-165 B.C.- He sacrificed a pig on the altar! – and then the future Emperor Titus when he destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. It is said that the temple caught fire and the gold melted down between the bricks and stones. The soldiers literally pried every stone apart to get to the gold, thus fulfilling 24:2. 

The other quote from Daniel is verse 30 and is a commentary on Daniel 7:13-14:

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.

[14] He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

 What will it be like when He comes? Like lightning (see v. 27). 

Verse 34 must be a reference to the fall of Jerusalem; that generation was, indeed, still living. 

As for His Coming, “we eagerly await a Savior from there (heaven), the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Phil. 3:20-21

Amen! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Matthew 24 End Times

May 24, 2016

Why I think the Coming of Jesus is near:

Matthew 24:9-13 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

[10] At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,

[11] and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

[12] Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

[13] but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

 There have been many instances in history where Jews and Christians have been martyred beginning with the destruction of Jerusalem and the burning of Rome to WWII and the Nazi prison camps. Each time throughout history, the flame of the Gospel has been fanned into revival. Take China, for instance. The greater the governmental persecution, the more Chinese come to Christ. 

Now look at verse 12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” What is different about this time versus all the other times of persecution? It is the increase of wickedness–not in the world, but in the church! The church of America today has allowed the world and its iniquity to infiltrate our daily lives to the point where it’s difficult to tell a Christian from an “American.” We have divorced discipleship from salvation for so long that I fear that most of the people who fill our churches are not really saved. When true persecution comes…these verses will come true. 

Let us make a pact with each other before the LORD to be true to Jesus and to teach the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth of God’s Word!