Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Little Leaven...

Monday, August 1, 2011: Matthew 16:12 (NKJV)
Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Background: A boat crossing brought Jesus Christ and the disciples to Magdala. The Pharisees there wanted to entrap Him in His words.
What did the leaven of the Pharisees mean? The Pharisees added customs about the finer points of the Law, which were not from God. Their teachings brought forth traditions that voided what God’s word said.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011: Mark 8:15 (NKJV)
Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
What was the leaven of Herod? Herod, a despotic Jewish ruler who sought after his own glory under Rome, rebuilt the Temple. It was the Scriptures, the Law and the Prophets that spoke from God that was important, not the Temple.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011: Luke 12:1 – 2 (NKJV)
In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
What was the hypocritical teaching of the Pharisees? They made minute rules that did not apply to themselves, but burdened the Jews.

Thursday, August 4, 2011: 1 Corinthians 5:6 – 8 (NKJV)
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Background: A persistent fallacy has plagued the gospel: the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross is not enough! This voids the meaning of the Gospel and transfers salvation to human law-keeping, which is unattainable.
What does Christ and Passover have to do with leaven? Christ was the real Passover lamb that was sacrificed for each household to prevent the death of the firstborn. We cannot earn our way to heaven by good works.

Friday, August 5, 2011: Galatians 5:7 – 10 (NKJV)
You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
Background: False teachers were spreading a gospel of works among the Galatians: sure, Christ died for your sins, but you must also be circumcised according to the law.
What does Paul mean when he says he has confidence in the Galatians? Paul feels that the warning given in his epistle is sufficient to ‘purge’ the false teaching.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

They Ran!

Monday, July 25, 2011: Mark 6:54 – 55 (NKJV)
And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was.
Background: After Jesus Christ had brought Jairus’ daughter back from the dead, He left the region by boat. He had just returned after leaving Gadara.
Why did the people run? They had an appointment to keep! A sick person is indoors in the family’s care. When the people knew Christ had returned, they made haste to bring sick their friends and relatives for healing to the Lord before He left for parts unknown.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011: Luke 15:20 (NKJV)
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
Background: Some of the Lord’s parables were analogies. This one was a real incident.
Why did the father run to his son? Love and longing! The father simply loved and missed his son: money did not enter the picture.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011: John 20:1 – 2 (NKJV)
Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
Background: Resurrection Day! Mary goes back to the tomb after the Sabbath.
Why did Mary come back running? Excitement and wonder! Things were just not adding up. The stone was rolled away. They went in but nobody (no body) was there.  Someone had to be told. Who, but His disciples?
Thursday, July 28, 2011: Matthew 28:5 – 8 (NKJV)
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
Why did the women run back? Fear and joy! They could not contain their fear and joy. They had seen and heard an angel who declared Christ risen from the dead.
Friday, July 29, 2011: John 20:3 – 4 (NKJV)
Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.
So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.
Why did one disciple outrun the other? Intense curiosity! They realized that something strange had occurred. They were running flat out!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Unpardonable Sin

Monday, July 18, 2011: Matthew 12:22 – 23 (NKJV)
Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
Mark 3:20 (NKJV)
Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
Background: This exorcism took place early in Jesus Christ’s public ministry, right before He took to teaching in parables.
Who were in the multitudes? There were both Jews and Gentiles in the throng who recognized Him as the prophesied Messiah, The Son of David.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011: Matthew 12: 24 (NKJV)
Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
Mark 3:21 – 22 (NKJV)
But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”
What was the reaction of His own people (Jews) the Scribes from Jerusalem, and the Pharisees? Out of jealousy they called Him insane and accused Him of being possessed by Beelzebub, ruler of demons.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011: Mark 3:22 – 25 (NKJV)
So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Matthew 12:25 – 27 (NKJV)
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
What was Jesus’ answer to such blatant error? A divided Kingdom will fall. If He casts out demons as a result of being possessed by Beelzebub, what do other Jews cast out demons by?

Thursday, July 21, 2011: Matthew 12:31 – 32 (NKJV)
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
What is a pardonable sin? Jesus Christ had taken upon Himself the form of man: anything said against Him as man could be forgiven.

Friday, July 22, 2011: Mark 3:28 – 30 (NKJV)
“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” — because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
What is an unpardonable sin? Jesus Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit: anyone accusing the Holy Sprit of being the devil (unclean spirit) would never be forgiven.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Law and the Prophets

Monday, July 11, 2011: John 1:45 (NKJV)
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
Background: The stage is being set for the twelve to be chosen as Apostles.
Who did Philip and Nathanael find? They found the ‘Christ,’ the prophesied Messiah.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011: Matthew 11:13 – 15 (NKJV)
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Luke 16:16 – 17 (NKJV)
The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
What did John the Baptist bring an end to? John brought an end to the Old Testament and, even more, ushered in the New Testament.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011: Matthew 5:17 – 18 (NKJV)
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
What is the implication of ‘till all is fulfilled’? Jesus Christ fulfilled the Scriptures (O.T.) and the prophecies contained therein when He declared “It is finished.”
Thursday, July 14, 2011: Matthew 22:37 – 40 (NKJV)
Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 7:12 (NKJV)
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Which of the Ten commands do these two verse sets refer to? None! The first reference is to the Greatest Commandment which is the coat-rack for the Ten. The second reference summarizes the O. T. and is often referred to as the Golden Rule.
Friday, July 15, 2011: Luke 24:44 – 47 (NKJV)
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Background: these words were uttered by a risen Lord Jesus before His ascension.
How is the Christ given understanding summarize the Old Testament Scriptures? Christ had to suffer for man’s sin, die and rise again to clear each sinner’s debt to God on the basis of their repentance and faith in Christ, not on their own good works.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Woman of Rejection

Monday, July 4, 2011: John 4:4, 7, 9-10 (NKJV)
But He needed to go through Samaria.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
Background: Christ Jesus journeyed the long way to meet the woman of Samaria.
Why did Christ Jesus ask for and then offer water? He knew that hers was a sinner’s thirst that only He could quench.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011: John 4:11, 13-14 (NKJV)
The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Why did the woman ask if he had a stringed contained? Knowing that He did not mean the well’s water, she wanted to know more about living water and was answered.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011: John 4:15 – 18 (NKJV)
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
Was the woman asking so that she would not need to come to that well? Yes, she had taken abuse from those who knew her. Yet notice how polite the Lord is to her!
Thursday, July 7, 2011: John 4:19 – 20 (NKJV)
The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
Why did the woman change the subject from living water to worship? It is quite likely that she was repentant of her sins and had sought to be right with God. This is why the Lord detoured through Samaria.
Friday, July 8, 2011: John 4:24 – 26 (NKJV)
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
Why did the woman say, “When He comes, He will tell us all things?” She was asking if He was Messiah (because He had revealed her needs) and He confirmed it.