Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jesus' warnings: 'Woe To You!'

Where do we stand on these warnings?
Monday, August 29, 2011; Matthew 23:1–2, 5–7
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’
Earthly admiration: Religious ornaments, high visibility during feasts and worship, titles of respect. Heavenly praise: humility and service
Tuesday, August 30, 2011; Matthew 23:14
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
Woes & blindness: Fleecing the helpless, faking long prayers
Wednesday, August 31, 2011; Matthew 23:16–19
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?
Irrational ‘wisdom’ phrases:
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they’re always watching!” Robert Fulghum.
“Don’t ever confuse the two – your life and your work.” Anna Quindlen.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.” Ray Bradbury.
Thursday, September 1, 2011; Matthew 23:23–24
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Woes & blindness: giving 10% of small goods, but ignoring justice, mercy and faith.
Friday, September 2, 2011; Matthew 23:25–26
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woes & blindness: washing mugs but being extortionists and self-indulgent.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Marriage Parable

Monday, August 22, 2011: Matthew 22:1 – 4 (NKJV)
And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’
Background: This Kingdom of Heaven parable is only found in Matthew’s Gospel.
Who were the servants and the invitees? The servants are the prophets and the invitees are the Jews.
Is this an invitation to a wedding? Yes and no! It is an invitation to a wedding supper.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011: Matthew 22:5 – 6 (NKJV)
But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.
What did the invitees prefer? They chose business and livelihood. They also condoned murder.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011: Matthew 22:7 (NKJV)
But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
What city is the parable alluding to? Jerusalem and its Temple.
Thursday, August 25, 2011: Matthew 22:8 – 10 (NKJV)
Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Who are now the servants and the invitees? The servants are the evangelists and the invitees are any and all, good or bad.
Friday, August 26, 2011: Matthew 22:11 – 14 (NKJV)
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Who will cast into outer darkness? Those who came to the wedding feast without the wedding garment provided for them. There are those who profess to be believers in the Savior, but have never believed personally.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Father and God (or the devil?)

Monday, August 15, 2011: John 8:24, 51 (NKJV)
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
Background: Jesus Christ proclaims the Gospel to Jews, Scribes and Pharisees, who had seen His miracles but still doubted Him.
What is the Gospel according to Jesus Christ? If you do NOT believe that Christ is Messiah sent from God, you will die in your sins: if you do believe in Him, you have eternal life. It doesn’t get any clearer.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011: John 8:34 – 38 (NKJV)
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
What is the distinction between a slave to sin and a slave freed by the Son? The earthly life of one freed is without the domination of sin.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011: John 8:39 – 41 (NKJV)
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.
But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.”
Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”
Why did the signs Christ did have no meaning to unbelievers? Their minds were fixed on killing Christ, prompted by their father, the devil.
Thursday, August 18, 2011: John 8:44 (NKJV)
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
What is characteristic of the devil? A murderer and a liar.
Friday, August 19, 2011: John 8:56 – 58 (NKJV)
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
What is the implication of ‘I AM’? Jesus Christ is stating that He is one with the Father.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jesus Christ's teaching on Forgiving

Forgiving another is tough; pride gets in the way. Irrespective of the result, the devil stands to gain.
Monday, August 8, 2011: Matthew 18:15 (NKJV)
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
Background: Jesus Christ teaches about forgiveness of sins against fellow-believers.
What is the aim of telling another how he has sinned against you? The first verse clearly states that you will regain your brother. Any such telling must be done with gentleness and in a conciliatory tone.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011: Matthew 18:16 – 17 (NKJV)
But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Why are more witness needed? This precaution is for you. If your witnesses ask you questions (or refuse), reexamine if any wrong was done against you or not.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011: Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
What does this verse have to do with the rest of the context of forgiveness? This verse is often taken out of context as a formula for Church meetings. The Biblical context is that of continued unity between believers. Jesus Christ Himself is present when you approach a believer about his sin against you.
Thursday, August 11, 2011: Matthew 18:21 – 22 (NKJV)
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Are these numbers relevant? We are to understand that behind these numbers lie the truth that God has forgiven us all our debts (sins).
Friday, August 12, 2011: Matthew 18:35 (NKJV)
 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Background: Jesus Christ tells a parable of the kingdom of heaven. A King forgives a servant a debt of $10,000(talents). The servant doesn’t forgive a fellow servant of a 100¢(denarii) debt!
Can God punish a believer who doesn’t forgive another? This parable clearly indicates that God will mete out justice during our lifetime, but not in heaven.