Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Bible Study: Matthew Chapter 10


Hello everyone, I am happy to see you again. This is going to be a difficult chapter for some. Mainly my protestant friends who think of Jesus as only loving and merciful. In the text we are going to go over this is not the words of a suffering servant but the words of a King and his soldiers. Hope I got your interests perked. Alright let us begin in prayer. I wont say a prayer for you. You should be able to pray on your own by now. So, shall we begin?

The Twelve Apostles

10 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Matthew 10:1-4 ESV

First thing to note here is the concept of a disciple and the concept of an apostle. A disciple is someone who follows a particular person. They are there to learn, watch the teacher and act in his ways. Most often this was normally with a trade. However we see these disciples following Jesus like one would a rabbi.

Now, an apostle is different but similar to a disciple. Think of it as a rank up. They are to raise awareness of the teacher. In this situation the teacher is Jesus and the apostles are like recruiters. Apostle literally means “sent one”. Jesus must have seen something special in this bunch and he was like they understood me best.

Another note, Matthew being the writer of this decided to put down his occupation. One that he hates, tax collector, or publican in some translations (telōnēs τελώνης) “Tax Farmer”. You can also see a little bit of anger in his writings towards ol’ Judas Iscariot. Last mentioned and also his betrayal. Remember all this was written after the crucifixion.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Matthew 10:5-15 ESV

So the apostles are sent on a mission. They are to preach the gospel to the house of Israel. What is the gospel? We learned it last time. It is the message of the coming Kingdom. Jesus says the Kingdom is at hand meaning the Kingdom draws near. There is urgency to his message. He wants them to take absolutely nothing with them. Instead they are to go and move quickly preaching the word to all of Israel. Later to the gentiles.

Jesus also grants them supernatural powers as proof that he comes from God so people will believe his message and know that they were in fact sent from Christ. In doing so they would be faithful servants of their King, Jesus, spreading HIS news around the old kingdom of Israel so that they could become the new Israel.

I will ask you a question. Are you spreading the word of the coming Kingdom? You should. If you are an artist, writer, musician, carpenter, dancer, wood worker, janitor, anything job really, find a way to do it that glorifies the God. Even if you are scrubbing toilets, let them shine for God. Be the best dang toilet scrubber the world has ever known and when people ask you why you put so much effort into it, tell them, you do it for God. I wish and I will forever be slain by the wasted opportunities I squandered to show the Kingdom through my works. However I was an arrogant child. Rebellious; who thought he understood the world. How blind was I? I can spread his message now and share such things with all you. Do not be like me, and if you are, I pray you grow into your role just as I have.

Persecution Will Come

16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 

Matthew 10:16 ESV

One of my favorite lines in the Bible. Lets break this down because there is a lot in here to unpack. A sheep is an innocent animal. They are timid and they are gentle. A wolf can easily destroy a sheep. In fact they are hostile towards sheep. For a sheep to convince a wolf of anything would be rather difficult.

Jesus is acknowledging that he is sending them into danger, not of being ridiculed but actual death and unfortunately all of his apostles would die by the hands of those they are preaching to, all accept one, John, who Jesus charged to take care of his mother.

They are to have wisdom, aka street smarts in modern language. However they are also to have an air of innocents about them. Meaning be smart in how you act but in the same time do not loose your loving nature. We are to be smart in how we are preaching. To get yourself killed for no reason would be foolish. However if we must go onto dangerous grounds we must do so with direct knowledge of what we are walking into. I would no more think of preaching in North Korea for instance, openly. If I were to go be a missionary over in such a place, I would do so in secret. Though I see the sun setting over here, and I fear that I will be needed in my home country soon. Someone needs to be a torch to guide others.

17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 10:17-23 ESV

It is funny, Jesus is warning them what will happen to them. They would suffer all these and more. I truly believe that Christ did not want any of this to happen to them. However he knew it must be done in accordance with his word. Much sadder is this all would fall upon Christ himself. We are not meant to stand and take it but rather we are to flee. Christ own words. We are not to respect the laws of people that would silence us. In fact quite the contrary. We are to speak out regardless of our freedoms. Even if we do not have such a freedom, we are still to speak. We are to worship, because we are doing it for a higher Kingdom. Damn those who would be quiet for the sake of mortal law. They shall die as a mortal. Instead we serve our King, who is everlasting, who is beyond death, as we will be by his hand and his hand only.

24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.

Matthew 10:24-25 ESV

A freighting thought, not for our sake but for the unsaved. There are many souls out there for the taking. Even still there are many who are born into this world in chains of darkness and don’t even know it. The are servant of an unwanted god, Beelzebul. He is lord of his house and he keeps his tied up in their sins. He brings them to their knees fearing death. Avoiding it, trapped by it. We all know what that is like. Many of us have been Christian so long we have forgotten those days. However, death is the one thing we feared most. Now we have no reason to fear it.

Have No Fear

26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 10:26-33 ESV

See even Christ tells us not to fear anything of this world. Death is part of this world. God can destroy even death. He can also destroy the soul. So do not fear those that may take your life away. I am writing this now in the time of Covid. Don’t be a Covid coward, don’t fear it. If we die from it so be it. God will not allow anything to happen to you that he did not intend to happen. Once again, be wise, but do not lose that dove like innocents. Never fear to acknowledge of your Father is, who your King is, who your Savior is. Do it all in the name of Yeshua! The great YHVH! Our Emmanual!

Not Peace, but a Sword

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 10:34-39 ESV

Do not get this twisted. Some have used this to defend arms and weapons among the Church. This is speaking to our sword. His sword. The word of God. When Christ speaks of a sword normally it is in the context of his word.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV

As we can see here we have that same sword that is mentioned above. It is a dividing weapon. Many close close people in our lives will reject the word of God. Even those we may view as “spiritual”. God’s word is a bitter pill but a true and right one.

I would also like to note, people must have thought this was a very strange teaching from Jesus. The mention of the cross, he had not been put to the tree yet. Once again, this must have sounded strange to them. Now we read it and we know and understand what he is saying but at the time they had no clue.

Rewards

40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Matthew 10:40-42 ESV

Little ones in this context means a child. How much more are we children again being born again. We must relearn many things we were taught before we died with Christ. So let us be kind and loving one another and in that our reward is certain. Christ would not lie. We must hold steadfast to these truth.

I pray that everyone reading this is saved. If you are not, that is ok too. Though I would assume you reading this would understand the dire seriousness I take these issues to have. I should hope that you ponder these things. There is nothing more than I would like to meet you one day. Be it on earth, or in the Kingdom sharing in our eternal salvation. God bless you all. May you go in peace.

Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Bible Study: Matthew Chapter 9


Jesus Heals A Paralytic

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city.

Matthew 9:1 ESV

Jesus says his own city, this is Capernaum. Jesus had a wild relationship with the city of Capernaum. In fact he loved the city so much that it became his city. People were receptive to him. It became his base of operations. Pay attention to the number of miracles worked in this region. Clearly there was something special there at that time.

And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”

Matthew 9:2 ESV

Now notice that Jesus forgives his sins first. That is because no matter the terrible hopelessness of a situation, none is more hopeless than trying to make yourself righteous before God. Without Christ it cannot be done.

And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”

Matthew 9:3 ESV

The scribes being Jewish scholars, maybe even Pharisees. Now, if this story seems familiar its most likely because it is. Mark and Luke appear to have covered the story in more detail. John being the only gospel to omit the story.

But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Matthew 9:4-8 ESV

Now often I have seen this twisted by charismatic preachers and other protestants. Sickness or illness or a disease or an ailment or disability is not a curse from God in itself. This mans ailment was not tied to his sin. Though in forgiven this mans sins he needed immediate proof that Jesus had in fact done it with authority. Making a paralyzed man walk would do the trick.

Jesus Calls Matthew

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

Matthew 9:9 ESV

In other gospels he is called Levi. Matthew being the writer of this book refers to himself as his new name, Matthew, instead of his dead name Levi. You may want to consider changing your name ones being saved as a representation of you being dead. You are given new life and a new name traditionally. We don’t tend to do that any longer, although I kind of like the idea of it.

The romans would use tax farming as a way of making money. I wont describe that here however you can look that up on your own. Basically he had a booth where he would collect tolls from. Leaving that meant he was abandoning his post, Herod, and more importantly any future with the Roman Empire. He had already alienated himself from the Jewish community, now he was to the Roman Empire. Most people do not understand the weight of what he was really doing. Its HUGE.

10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Matthew 9:10-11

Now, we are really getting to the Crux of Jesus ministry. As one of my wonderful sisters in Christ likes to point out, “for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;” ~ Luke 1:48. Jesus does not think anything of eating with these sinners because he is eating with sinners no matter when he eats. However, Pharisees will do there Pharisee thing.

12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:12-13

Its such an obvious statement. Jesus when he puts it like this the whole thing becomes easy to understand. He came to heal, so of course he would be among the ill. Now the next part most people will not get unless they know their bible well. I do not know it this well either but I use these little moment to study. He is actually quoting Hosea.

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
    the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Hosea 6:6 ESV

This is such a heart warming portion given to us. It gives me the feels when I read that because God does love us so much. Its amazing that passages like this are forgotten by the Jews. It just ties his nature so well together.

A Question About Fasting

14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

Matthew 9:14 ESV

It is a valid question. Now these were disciples of John the Baptist, which I do find it strange that after Christ had come they did not travel with Jesus but for some reason they chose to stay with John.

 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

Matthew 9:15-17 ESV

There is a lot here but its either too long to explain here, the Jewish Wedding, or its pretty straight forward. So I will leave this up to you. There is no historical context needed with the wine skins analogy.

A Girl Restored To Life And A Woman Healed

18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.

Matthew 9:18-19 ESV

The ruler in this verse is not what you would traditionally think of as a ruler. Its a synagogue official. I know when I was reading it originally I thought Roman ruler.

 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.”

Matthew 9:20-21

Once again Matthew gives us an abridge version of this story. This lady had been suffering and she had such faith from the rumors that Jesus could heal her if she just touch his garments. Now in the other times this is described Jesus reacts to his garment being touch saying he felt power leave him. This suggest to me that Jesus is perhaps not the only performing actor in the miracles but rather the vessel for them. It is the Holy Spirit and God the father that allows for this things to be done.

22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 

Now the Hem of a garment was also there authority. I have no clue where in the ancient world this started but the term of removing the hem was to remove someone’ authority.

23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district.

Once again you may find this strange. Jesus appears to be acting funny here telling the people that she was asleep. Mind you it does say she was asleep but was she dead. I don’t think the verses are clear on this. Clearly something is going on here. However there is not enough information for me to say anything conclusive.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”

Matthew 9:32-33 ESV

Matthew really did not give this much attention. It almost is like he was rushing through it. We already know that Jesus has command over all spirits, living, the dead, all things. So he forced this demon to leave this man who was mute. He was not born mute but made mute from this demon. Once again weird “christian” cults like to make these out to be all things wrong with a person is by demons. It is not the case, though, it is sometimes as well. Don’t discount or overestimate the presence of demons.

34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”

This right here is an odd phrase if you don’t know what was practiced at the time. He was commanding these spirits out of the man. When the Pharisees saw it they would know of certain practices that you would borrow the authority of a devil to cast out demons. They however did not consider he had the authority of God.

The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.

So Jesus has his ministry in full swing. He is going all through Jerusalem and preaching and teaching the people and of course healing them of their afflictions. Now I want you to notice, he went out preaching the gospel. Those were not written yet. What is he preaching? He is preaching the Good News of The Coming Kingdom. Christian faith is while yes, salvation, but that’s just the basic membership. It is so much more than just a fire insurance pass.

The reason we follow Christ is not for salvation, it is because he is worthy. Sure, you have that perk, but its the right thing to do. Christ is King and a King has his Kingdom. Think about that. There is a coming Kingdom and you will bow before your King. I am sure some of you lost your smile there, I am sure some of you are beaming with Joy. If you are in rebellion I am sure you are not smiling. IF you are Joyed than either you got yourself a pardon and you know it, or you are very very foolish and deluded in yourself. Where do you stand? With a pardon signed in the name of the King, or not? The pardon is there for anyone to take, its written in his blood. You have to accept it though. It gets you citizenship in the Kingdom. Funny, I went into salvation there. Such self centered thinking coming from me.

 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

It is still true today.

God bless you all. Hope to see you again.

Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Matthew Chapter 8




Welcome back to another fantastic Bible Study on Matthew chapter 8. We have been going through the book of Matthew searching the scripture for treasures. We have found many things in this study so far. Right now we are going to focus on the more spiritual side of things. I feel right now it is needed to remember the true consequences of what is happening right now. So without further floundering, lets just get into the word.

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

8 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

Matthew 8:1 KJV

Remember we were just talking about Jesus sermon on the mount. So now he has left the mountain. He most likely was preaching there a number of months. So do not be confused with this being one sermon on the mountain. There were most likely several and the points in the Bible were comprised of the sermons. I also want you to note that there was a number of people following Jesus. That is a point we will come back to later.

2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matthew 8:2-3 KJV

Now notice how Jesus reacted to this particular leper. He cleansed this nameless man. So why did Jesus heal this man without any questions. If you noticed he saw him as not a lord but Lord. This is not anything he announced yet. Rather he made it a point to conceal who he really was at this time. Yet, this name knew him as Lord.

Leprosy is a bacterial disorder. It causes lesions and boils to form on the skin. It can even effect the eyes and nerves of a person. Advanced stages of leprosy look absolutely awful. Naturally no one quite knew how leprosy in the ancient world. There were some that had an idea of it being transmitted by touch. So they were considered unclean, sinful. Many actually believe it was in fact caused by some grievous sin against God, the gods if you were a gentile.

The idea of Jesus touching this man is anathema to the character of Jesus from a human understanding. A clean thing cannot touch something dirty or else it is not clean anymore. Jesus demonstrates to us however, he is like soap. He cleanses this name irregardless of any issues he had. Why? Because he called him Lord not only with his lips, but by his heart as well.

We too are in worse condition than a man with leprosy. We have a genetic disease in us called Sin. We too must be purged by Christ. We have defeated leprosy in our modern era but Sin is another story. For that only God is the cure.

And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Matthew 8:4 KJV

Now this might seem like an odd request of Jesus. However this is required by the law. Leviticus 14 goes over this in great detail. Now having him do this also serves another purpose. This is Jesus revealing that God is in fact among them. A priest will surely recognize the workings of God. The fact he is to go straight to the priests suggests that they know of his condition. It also suggests that he is indeed cured as a leper in the temple courts it a big no no.

The Faith Of A Centurion

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

There is another account of this where I go into more detail however for our purposes here I want to point out the centurion is a gentile. He would have no reason to approach Jesus in regards to his servant yet, he believes in him. The word servant also is something to make a little bit of huff about. It literally means boy or young boy. So this is a child we are talking about. Not an adult as some would suggest to you.

And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

Jesus does not even hesitate. He goes immediately to heal this boy. This however, is also very bad, Jesus is heading to a gentiles home. That is unclean for a rabbi to do. It goes to show what is sacred is not always what we believe to be sacred.

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Now this centurion not only once again sees him as Lord, acknowledging his authority, but he goes on to point out his own authority showing that he understands the nuances of what Jesus is doing. He does not want Jesus to defile himself by going under his roof. He recognizes that Jesus command alone could cure the boy.

10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Jesus points out to the Hebrews in the area that this man gets exactly who he is. He in a way rebukes the people of Israel for not knowing who he is.

11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

There is a distinction being made here for the people of Israel and the gentiles. Some will go into heaven and others will go into the outer darkness. The outer darkness is not necessarily hell but it is clearly a place you don’t want to go. I think of the verse about the wall, and the people crying out to Jesus saying Lord Lord and Jesus turns them away. I am assuming those people will be forced out into that very same outer darkness.

Yet here is the great news. Jesus predicts that even us gentiles are saved through him. We will sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven, meaning we will indeed be saved.

13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

Most likely the child was well looked upon by the people. The condition most likely lasted him quiet a while. So when Jesus came along the Centurion must have heard rumors of his abilities by this time. Remember he was in the mountains for a while. People had to be testifying of him or else how did the Centurion know? It also suggests he had understanding of the Jewish messiah. The fact that he knew him as Lord tells you that. He was not the ordinary Centurion.

Jesus Heals Many

14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

Take note, Peter was married. Catholics I know you love that don’t you. I am sorry to jab that one so hard and twist it on the way out, but your eyes need to be opened.

16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:

17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

It would appear this is not a direct quote from scripture but I believe this is what is being referenced here.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Isaiah 53:4

Surely Christ was giving us an allusion as to what was coming for him. For us we can now look back and know what was planned for him. It is sad that the people following Jesus and also the apostles could not see what was to come. However Gods plans are the great mysteries of our existence. Only he knows the true nature of his plans. Even now there are things we will not understand. It is by Him alone that chooses to reveal the things of Him to us.

The Cost Of Following Jesus

18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.

Jesus is clearly not having this multitude of people following him. Jesus literally gets on a boat and crosses the sea traveling to the other side. For some reason Jesus did not want to have crowds of people around him. He is troubled by them it seems. I believe the real reason is it simply was not in God’s plan and it would slow him down. He was on a mission and he had appointed times for all things. He has to be in the right place at the exact right time.

19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

The term master here is didaskale (διδάσκαλε), in our modern language that would be like calling someone a Teacher. Now we know from Luke that his heart was not really in this. He wanted to follow Jesus but really was not into the the immediacy of his job. Jesus response was perfect.

20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Basically Jesus is saying he is going out and regardless of the living situation or the hunger or any of the conveniences of life, he will go without any of them. These people clearly did not understand the urgency of Christs mission because this is what another man asks next.

21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

So basically, he is asking Jesus to wait because he needs to bury his father. Now we do not know if his father is dead or not. He very well could be asking if he could wait for his father to die! I lean to the latter because of the speed at which people bury their dead.

22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Now, Jesus clearly is not for waiting. Once again this is a testament to the urgency of his mission. He had places to be and a short time to do it.

This is something to remember. It is not important what happens to the body after death. It is not the person, just the vessel which carries them. Once the spirit has left a person, they are no longer that person. It is an issue of the world now. Let the spiritually dead, bury their dead. That is not to say don’t bury your dead but don’t give them some extravagant funeral. Its pointless. It will not bring them back either. Bury them and be done with it.

Jesus Calms A Storm

23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

I believe these kinds of storms in the Bible are supernatural. These guys are fishermen. They are familiar with these storms. The Galilean sea is prone to random storms out of nowhere. However there reaction is different as seen below.

25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Now they came to Jesus and awoke him. They know how to deal with this sort of thing. Why didn’t they handle it? It was too extreme for them to handle. They thought for sure they were going to die. In fact it was described as a tempest. Seismos (σεισμὸς) a storm, or commotion, or even a great shaking. This was not a normal storm.

Christ when he was awoken, seems almost disturbed by them. The reason for his annoyance is because Jesus said they were going to the other side. They should have trusted him but clearly the men did not know exactly who he was yet.

He rebukes the winds and the sea. What is he rebuking? I believe that they were dealing with demons or fallen angels or unclean spirits who were working evil. Now maybe he rebuked nature, but that would defy what we know about nature. Then again he is God after all. Both are plausible but you will notice a clear motif even from Genesis about evil being in the sea.

27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Now you have an argument for Jesus rebuking nature here. They did not notice any spirits. However would they?

Jesus Heals Two Men With Demons

28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Bible scholars are divided by this verse. Many of them suggest that since they crossed the sea the other incidents mention by Mark and Luke also speak of this man. While others say they were separate incidents. I am of the belief that they were separate incidents. They do not describe the same thing. Certain details of the events leads me to this ideal.

Now before we continue we must deal with the difference between a demon and a fallen angel and an unclean spirit. These are all different entities. Unclean spirits are spirits for whatever reason are evil. I am not entirely sure when they fell.

Fallen angels are very powerful beings able to fight the angels of God. Lucifer or Satan is one such fallen angel. Chief among them. Michael never speaks an ill word to Lucifer and does not question his power. Clearly he and the fallen angels retain some of the powers they had when they were angels of God.

This leads us to demons. The are the children or humans and fallen angels, Nephilim and Rephaim. The technology used to create them is unknown. However by some method by it physical, supernatural, or by some unknown method they were born as giants. They are supposedly ate people for lack of food. When they died there spirits we demons. The angelic and human nature of there soul caused them to be earthbound. I would imagine this would be a rather terrible predicament. They ALWAYS seek embodiment. This means they do not have bodies of there own. In the case of the Rephaim they were the living dead. By now there bodies have long been decayed. There is a rant about technology being used to embody hosting demonic spirits but ill spare you.

Now clearly these men who were possessed where enjoying themselves some tombs. They were among the dead. It is not clear why they chose this location. They would not allow others into this area. Which means that these demons are territorial.

29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.

31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

These demons recognized who Jesus was immediately. They are in fact worried that Jesus came to torment them. See these demons know there fate. They are going to suffer eternal punishment. They very knowledgeable about that time. So, there reaction seems to be like Oh crap, Jesus has come to torment us early!

Now they ask to go into the swine. Why? There are many thoughts but all of them are wanting in my opinion. The fact of the matter is Jesus permits it. The swine sensing the demons entering them they ran away, or did the demons run into the sea? Ether way they entered the sea and drowned. This is strange for a number of things. What exactly is with the sea and demonic entities? I don’t have a clue.

33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.

34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.

This is an odd thing too and one of those details why I believe they are different cases. I believe we have an unrecorded case. One of the spirits is clearly the focus of this passage. The other I don’t think the book records.



Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Matthew Chapter 7




Hello everyone. Less than 24 hours this time. I hope to write these often. So lets go on.

Judging Others

7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Matthew 7:1-2 KJV

This is the most misquoted thing Jesus said in the bible. They constantly say this is a call not to judge. However, that is not what it is saying. It is saying be right with God before you judge. We are not to judge intent, only the person who does the act and God knows whats in the persons heart. We are to judge the fruit of their labor. If they are producing bad fruit, they are to be judge as bad. If they are producing good fruit they should be judged as good.

Understanding this verse is integral to our understanding of Christ. We are not to judge the world. Let the world do as the world does. It will not understand the things of God. So the unbeliever is not to be judged. The unbeliever by virtue of their unbelief needs rescuing. You do that by being a good example of Christ at all times or at least make an honest attempt at it. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. However within the body we are to judge the church, to the extent of helping. We are not to say someone is damned or going to hell or anything like that. That would be taking the place of God. Do not do that. Though there is a time when the sin is egregious and apparent that the congregation is to give them over to Satan.

The difference here is being a sinner and being wicked. There is a difference. Being a sinner is doing this against what your nature was designed for. Those are sins of passion so to speak. “Do what you want, but harm no one.” that is the sinners life style. However, to be wicked is a whole nothing thing. It is actively going against God and harming others. “Do what thy wilt, that shall be the whole of the law.” sums up the wicked pretty nicely. If you are living this way you need to stop. If you are living around people like this, you would be best to distance yourself from them. They to wrought only harm on you.

I could talk about this topic for a while but I will spare you.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

A mote was a small branch that would be blown away in the wind. Some translations use speck. Than the beam is a considerably larger piece of lumber. Its well a beam most often used for support. Are you understanding the analogy a bit further?

Jesus point to minor transgressions, being less of a problem than a support beam holding up loads of sin. This can be alcohol for some, sex for another. The issue here is not to have something in your life that anchors you to continuously sin. Where as the mote/speck is a one off thing.

Jesus is saying not to judge someone on little sins when we have anchored our-self into a sinful lifestyle. It can be a hard thing to remove those things from your life. Notice God does not say the person with the beam is not saved. This is clearly in context of those who have been saved. Do not think your salvation means you do not need to work on your life anymore. You do. You always do.

He even goes as far to say you are a hypocrite if you do. From Greek it means actor. However it was also used as two-faced. To be double minded is certainly not something a Christian wants to be accused of.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

There is an understanding that is missed on this. Pearls are not kosher. Remember this is before Christianity formed as it is today. He was speaking to Jews and gentiles. The Jews should have been revolted at the idea of casting pearls. However they were not. It tells you of the value Christ puts on things. He considers it comparable to the holy things of God. They represent wealth.

So we have the two animals a Dog, and a Swine (Pig). The dog returns to its own vomit, and eats it; Proverbs 26:11. It is representative of a false teacher and their followers who consumes all manner of spiritual things and try to make it work. It clearly will not with any truth to the subject but they will try. The swine is some one who lays in the mud. That is someone who wallows in sin. They make no attempt to leave it. They don’t care about God or Jesus or anything really.

We are not to preach to them that will not listen. I am sure God understands if we try but if they are unperceptive Jesus tells us to move on to more fruitful people.

Ask, and It Will Be Given

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Now I have heard it said in regards to prayer anything you ask for you will get. This is untrue. This verse here is talking about finding Jesus and God and his Holy Spirit. If you seek, it is promised that you will find it. In fact I would go as far to say it is a commandment that you do because if you do not seek God, you will be doomed.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

People once again that have there mind on the material instead of the spiritual, will see a verse like this and think God is offering me material gain. While that may happen to you, it is not guaranteed to. He is speaking on spiritual matters. He will keep you and make you wealthy spiritually. Not saying he cannot or will not make you materially wealthy, I am just saying that is not the focus of the verse.

But notice how he calls you his child. He delights in you, in your happiness. He is a kind and loving God.

The Golden Rule

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

The golden rule, a different version of it at least but the golden rule non the less. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Jesus says this is a law. He even raises it up above that. The law and the prophets. Now I want you to notice the first word in this. It links it to the previous verse. So we should be God’s Agents here on earth in order to in-act his will. We should be giving, joyous, and loving. Remember that. By breaking this law we are hurting the representation of God the Father.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Jesus in this analogy is the narrow gate; John 10 states this. Where as the world is the wide gate. You not only have to enter the gate but you must walk the path. You want to go down the narrow gate and down the narrow path. The narrow gate is narrow because there is restrictions. We all know that there are and our hearts need to be in line with what is right. If we allow our hearts to go astray and desire what it wants we are surely not going to care for others as we should in Christ.

A Tree And Its Fruit

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

False prophets seem like us. That is why they have sheep’s clothing. They outwardly appear like us to an extent but secretly they are attempting to lead you astray. Many pastors and church leaders fall into this category. Not only that but they are canines like dogs. We should go back to not giving holy things to dogs. I often get into arguments with people within our church because they cling to unsound doctrine. I can think of several people I have shewed away within our fellowship here in fact. On the discord as well. They are clearly false teachers and normally they will flee when they see you have truth. You don’t need to make them leave most of the time, they will run of their own accord.

Jesus tells us how we can spot a wolf, through there fruits. If they have evil fruits we should take not of that. For instance, they participate in seances or pow wows or they lie or perhaps they provide false information, you must be weary of them. They most likely are wolves, for sure if they commune with spirits. It says they will be cast into the fire. Don’t be too entangled that you too are cast in with them.

I Never Knew You

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

This verse is one to remember. I want you to notice something. They are in heaven but not the kingdom of heaven. This could very well suggest that they made it to heaven but they are not allowed entry to the kingdom. Apparently heaven is a very large place with many places in it. The kingdom is the goal. Not heaven itself. These are clearly people of some form of spirituality. Most likely good men. However they did not know Jesus. It is vital that we know him and we have a relationship with Jesus. They is the only way to enter into the kingdom.

Do not be like these people who are kept outside the gates of the kingdom. For anyone that is saying they did not make it to heaven; where does heaven start and how can you be outside the gates of such a place? It is quiet clear that they are indeed in heaven but at the same place God questions Satan at in Job 1. Kept outside the kingdom. Clearly there is a separation even in heaven.

Build Your House On The Rock

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

If we take Christ’s teachings and make them the foundation of our life and live them out to the best of our ability, we are promised he will see us as wise, full of wisdom. Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. Knowledge is knowing something you know. Wisdom is knowing something before you know it.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

You have the option to set your life up around your own beliefs. However God tells you, everything about you will collapse. Eventually we all die, there will be nothing for you in the after life. There might not even be an afterlife for you. You could face hellfire and the ultimate destruction of the soul. That is the consequence for doing it your own way. You had a good time for what 120 years at most. I am going to trust God, its worked pretty good for me so far. You know the reward of eternity is not bad either.

The Authority Of Jesus

28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

These things were taught in love. Love is not a system of iron clad laws. We should always remember to allow our heart to be in line with God and out of love we are to carry on. Its ok to falter. God already knows. He loves you and children stumble. Would you want anything bad to happen to your child? Of course you would not. You might be disappointed but its only because the consequences of what they are doing will negatively impact them. You yell “Stop that its going to burn you!” and the child burns their hand. You take the child and bandage them up and cool the burn. You don’t condemn them for it. God is like that. He want to have a relationship with you. Jesus ran the race. It is won, victory over death and all the forces of hell. Your eternal savior, he loves you. Do you love him?



Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Matthew Chapter 6




Insert fancy into here. Hmmm alright glad you did that. Just what you needed to hear today right. Alright lets just get straight into the word.

Giving To The Needy

6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Alms simply means to give. Its a bit of an older word. The real thing that Jesus is emphasizing is seeking material things is really no good. If you get them in service that’s one thing but to seek or expect them is really not good. The reason for this is if you do a good deed to be rewarded then the reward of the deed is satisfactory. It served its purpose and you were not really helping someone you were providing a paid service to them. When a Christian assist someone it should be out of love and not seeking material gain.

The Lord’s Prayer

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Once again we see this theme of the heart being the most important thing to God. If you are praying long winded prayers God already knows what you have to say. You could literally say “In God I pray for the things on my mind”, and leave it at that. It is also not good to pray in order to create a spectacle. If you are praying so that others hear your prayer, then are you really praying to God or are you praying to yourself? This is why God tells us to pray in private. Let your prayers be between you and God.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

We are to first recognize our Father for who he is. He is supreme ruler. However he is not long winded either as to who he is. Simply you are to recognize him as Holy. It is amazing how humble he can be at times. Titles of our government officials are longer. He is simply “Our Father in heaven, Holy is his name.” I am stopping and typing here because I want you to think about this. It truly shows his character and how humble our father is.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

What kingdom to come? A kingdom on earth that is in the future. We are to be steadfast and always remember the coming earthly kingdom. I know this a subject of controversy within the church but his words are his words and I cannot deny Christ calls for a future kingdom on earth. It will be in this kingdom as it is in heaven. Christ will rule from king David’s throne in the millennial (Thousand Year) kingdom. Holy be the day.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

The bread here can be taken as manna from heaven. The word, is our daily bread. We ask that Jesus give us understand so that we can be sustained by him.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Remember our forgiveness of others is not out of obligation but rather it is out of love. We have been forgiven by Christ for our sins, so naturally we should forgive others with the same love, at least try our best to emulate it. Sometimes I wish it were easier. I can truthfully say at this time there is no malice toward anyone in my heart. Can you say that about yourself? If you cannot that is ok. Sometimes things happen that hurt us very badly. It is understandable. Still work on it. God will give you strength.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

God does not lead us into temptation, it is the second part the is the driving point. The evil one or evil, is Satan and his fallen angels and demons and unclean spirits and a whole host of other things. However, they are limited by God the Father, they can only do what he allows. I struggle with that sometimes. Not what God has allowed to befall me but I sorrow for others sincerely. Untold horrors, tragic ends, nightmares. The cruelty of man knows no bounds and I suppose it is even worse for those from below.

Always remember the end though. His kingdom, his power, his glory. It is about service to him above all things. If you do anything in life service to the Lord is the utmost importance. Nothing else matters as much. Always keep that in mind. Whatever you do, do it for him. Be the best. Be loving. Be brave.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Now you are probably saying “What! Didn’t he just say it is because Jesus forgave us! That’s why we are to forgive! Well this contradicts that!” You would be correct. But your not correct. See God does not seek our perfection. He wants us to try our best, better then our best, we are to follow him. Jesus was perfect in all his ways. He completed the race for us. We cannot get salvation through ourselves, it has to be through the blood spilt on Golgotha that grim day above Salem. What a glorious day that was. Jesus died for all of our sins, even the ones of not forgiving others. Make no mistake, it is a sin. However, through Christ you are forgiven. ALAS!!! You should forgive others.

Fasting

16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

I am sorry to all of you about this. I can’t shut up about fasting. I don’t complain about hunger as much but I am a total wimp. I fast often especially on the days of fasting. I could do a whole study on WHY YOU SHOULD BE FASTING!!! But I wont do that here. However I will tell you it would benefit you GREATLY if you fasted once or twice a week. I personally fast on Wensdays and Thursdays. So if you want to join me in fasting in spirit I would love that. Let me know, it keeps me accountable.

Lay Up Treasures In Heaven

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Now this is a strange one for some people. They seem to think of physical things as treasures, but really I do not believe God is speaking of this as treasure. He is speaking of people being the treasures here. The more people you bring to Christ the more “Treasure” you will have in heaven. I believe very strongly this is what he is saying, though I will admit that I could be wrong.

Jesus is quoting Psalm 135:18 in verse 21.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

The word used for light here is λύχνος (luchnos) it literally means a portable lamp. Now the second us for light is actually a different word. φωτεινὸν (phōteinon) it is a bright light. So to understand further we need to break down the word single, ἁπλοῦς (aplous) it means simple or single… well that did not help. So if we go back in how this was used it was used like clear.

So if you eye is like a portable lamp make sure that the window is clear. Inside of it is bright, but only shines through the window of the lamp. So if your window is covered in soot and smoke, it will not shine brightly. You must check your internal prospective to have a clear view of things. Clean your soul and mind so to speak.

Staying in this analogy if the lense of lanturn is not clean and covered in soot, you cannot tell if there is light in the lanturn. It very well may be the fire has gone out in the larturn. See the human mind can be like this. If all you see is evil than surely evil may be within you.

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Mammon is often refered to as money. Mammon is an old syrian god of riches. One of the few times God names a devil in the bible. Now a lot of you may be thinking “What is he on about?” Mammon is a spirit. There is power in the concept of wealth. It makes people sacrifice everything for it. You must see if you are worshipping this deity because God recognizes you worship of it and he tell you, you are worshipping two masters. Take heed.

Do Not Be Anxious

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

It is true, God uses all things for his will including our lives and governments and the universe. He is a astronimically big God. What makes you think he cannot provide for you? He will. Trust in him. However! I want you to take notice, this come right after about serving two masters. One being mammon and really what is the purpose of wealth? It means security. You do not need to find secrurity in anyone but God. It is a sin to worry. I still do even though I have this knowledge. It is hard to overcome. This verse is not about that however, its more important to focus on God. Look to God and do right by him. It is not saying dont plan for your future. It is good to plan for your future. Don’t be a homeless person expecting hand outs.

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Can you add an foot to your height is basically what this is saying.

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Jesus is putting the emphasis on that God will take care of everything. We simply need to allow him to. He will direct us as he did Solomon. If we only follow his voice to a better life.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

In closing for this chapter. I think we all need to consider are we really living for God or are we going our own way? If we are living for the gods of this world. We want to reconsider, following the one true God, the creator of all things. That is who we should be following.



Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Matthew 5:13-48




Hello, I’m back. Its been a while I know. To recap we just went over the beatitudes. These are things we should exhibit in our own lives. Best if we try and pick ourselves back up when we fail. The goal is perfection through Christ, not above Christ. We can’t do it on our own, but he will be there to pick us up when we don’t succeed. Its the honest attempt that he cares about. Now we will continue with the rest of Matthew 5.

Salt And Light

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Matthew 5:13 KJV

This would be something everyone would have understood at the time. However now it is easy to forget what salt is used for. Today we add it for taste. While that is one use of salt, this is more like preservation. Salt was a very common thing for preservation because they did not have refrigeration or any kind of cooling. So meat and other things were dried and salted.

Another property of salt is it induces thirst. So what is this verse really saying here. Well, we are to be thirsty and make others thirsty for the word of God. Often it is called the living water because of this motif. He also wants use to preserve ourselves and the others around us.

Often I hear that Christian’s are not to be involved in world affairs but I would argue we are charged to be part of such things. We are to preserve our community. When we as Christians loose our thirst for the word, our ministry loses flavor. Then we are only good to be, trodden upon. Its a warning to those who do not preserve! If we do not preserve then we will be trampled.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 KJV

As you might know the primary form of light back in the day was fire. If you did not have it you would not be able to see in the dark. Light radiates out from itself. Jesus is instructing his people to be aware of there actions. It will radiate out into the world like a light on a hill. So do what is right because everyone will see it. The analogy assumes night. If you have ever been out to the country and saw a single house lit up and nothing around it, you notice that house no matter what.

The same can be said for Christians. Even the slightest of missteps will be taken note of. You will be labeled a hypocrite, and surely people will say, “Christians are just like us so why follow Christ?” So ensure that you have good works and be a testament to Jesus. God hates a liar, so don’t be counted as one.

Christ Came To Fulfill The Law

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matthew 5:17-18 KJV

You should take pause when you see language like this. He has not come to destroy the law but to fulfil it. Just to make this clear. We are going to look at the word destroy here. Katalysai (καταλῦσαι), it has a few meanings but Kata means to loosen down or to demolish, like a building. However it can also mean, to halt for the night or to end a shift. I think that is key to understanding this verse.

So we got another operative word, which is fulfill. Plerosai (πληρῶσαι), so it comes from the word pleres, which means to make replete, to cram, level up, or to furnish, satisfy, execute, finish, verify. I think that is clear that is means to complete or finish. So he did not come to end the Law, he came to finish the Law.

At the time this verse would have been perplexing to say the least, and not well liked among the spiritual authorities. So what does it mean today, do we follow the Law or disregard it.

Jesus certainly did complete the Law, not only as a sacrifice we all remember that he died for our sins, however we tend to forget, he lived a perfect life. So not only did he save us in his death but he lived his life so we are free to live our lives. The Law very much so is still a thing. However, Christ already completed the Law for us.

This is a crude view but V for Vendetta, when everyone put the mask on at the end. They were all V. Well that is a similar thing for us Christians. When we put the blood of Christ on we are all Christ because he completed the Law we also have completed the Law by his virtue, and not our own.

You see the Law was never meant to be completed by mortal man, it took God in the form of mortal man to complete it. It is however very important still. It diagnosis a problem. Without the Law we would not be able to see our predicament.

The verse is begging to be paid attention to, Christ wants us to take him seriously. Not only that but he is very clear. All will be finished in the whole book, before it is all over with. Even the jot and tittle, or the dotting of every i and crossing of every t. I might even suggest further that even the hidden scriptures, and between the characters, lies still things we will only understand later in the text.

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:19 KJV

This should be a warning to you. Do not take the Lords name in vain. I want to beat that into your mind. That is not a question of saying Gods name. His name is YHWH and I am not afraid to say it. So what is taking the Lords name in vain. Its calling yourself a Christian or chosen or saying you believe in God but do not keep his commandments.

If you teach them then you know them, yet, you don’t keep them yourself. I am sure that boils God’s blood. Especially those that look down on others who blatantly don’t follow them.

We got a problem though, at least I do, and I am pretty sure you do. I can’t keep them while relying on myself to do so. It is only when we rely on God that we can manage such a task. Even still I am sure there are commands that I am not mindful of and yet I brake them.

The commands were never meant to be used to save us. We are fallen and there is no way to save ourselves. We must rely on someone above to do so. That person is Christ. I believe the Jewish people are trying to be best of there ability to keep the Law. There have a vast system of legalism because of it and they strictly adhere to it or at least attempt to. The problem arrives when that inevitable misstep occurs.

They are guilty of a death sentence according to the Law. That is it. They are done. There is no salvation. They are damned. That is why the Law cannot save anyone. Only through Christ we can be saved.

So what are these commands. A lot of people think well commands, must be the ten commandments. While they are partly right more so for us after being saved, we look to Jesus for our way of living and not the Law anymore. It is good to remember them but Jesus calls us to an even higher law. Right here, chapter 5, 6, and 7 of Matthew are a great place to find the commandments Jesus is speaking to. That is the whole point of the scriptures, it is to instill goodness in men.

20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:20 KJV

Once again, how can you exceed there righteousness. This wasn’t just a salty statement from Jesus, he meant it. How can you actually achieve this though. Its not an action thing, Jesus is not impressed with someones actions. A King can do more good in his life in a day than a poor beggar can in a life time. Its is a heart issue. If the heart is good naturally you will see outward actions. However if the heart is ill you will naturally see inward actions. Meaning if you are doing God’s work and things for God, it does not matter your reward, it is a conviction, it pains you to see whatever it is. However, if you are doing things just to be recognized and have everyone think you are good, watch out.

Jesus is not concerned with the outward actions of an individual, he cares about what is going on inside.

Anger

21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 5:21-22

Though shall not murder. One of the ten commandments. This is where Jesus is teaching that higher righteousness. You are not to be even angry with your bother, WITHOUT A CAUSE. Meaning you are angry for the sake of being angry. If there is truly a reason to be angry, you are allowed to be angry. HOWEVER, to be angry without cause is a sin and it will be counted against you.

Though I will note, the without cause may have been added to the scriptures as an editorial notation. There are some version of this text where the words do not appear.

He goes even further, he says if you say Raca. What is Raca (Ῥακά)? “O empty one.” “Thou worthless” meaning you diminish him that is even worse. You have then committed murder in your heart. That is the same as actually murdering him. We should never do this.

Now the earthly repressions is a counsel or more properly the Sanhedrin (συνεδρίῳ). That is a place where the Jewish leaders would gather like court and hear one’s case. However, Jesus says you will be in danger of Hell Fire, Gehennna (γέενναν).

What this verse is calling for us to do is not fight with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can have our arguments but never come to hate one. This goes for anyone though. It is not clear if Jesus was talking about his followers or not. I am going to air on the side of caution and believe he was not.

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

So this might be a little strange to read so basically its like this. Jesus is talking to Jews. They still go to the temple to worship. Churches have not yet been established so they are still doing the normal offerings. When they present there offerings to the alter, Jesus is instructing them not to be at odds with anyone. If they are at odds with someone that they should reconcile with them.

You see Jesus warns of anger, because anger makes people do strange things. One such thing is to lie. Meaning that person may go to the authorities a say you did something you really did not. They will try to get you to be imprisoned. It goes over how they would go about doing that but that is the gist of what he is saying.

Jesus also says Verily here. Whenever you see this pay attention. He is doing something very specific here. He is saying “I say this to you” meaning he has lifted his teaching above that of Moses. Remember Moses to the Jews was the writer of the Law. God entrusted him with the Ten Commandments and the Law, there is almost no one more revered in there community, maybe Abraham. So this is shots fired. At the time language like this is severe.

Lust

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28 KJV

It can be very easy to lust after someones. Jesus puts the bar pretty high for us, to even look at someone and lust, and lust is not just pervy sexual stuff, but to even look at someone is like adultery. Yikes! We have a problem. Our entire society is based on this currency. We all want to be attractive. We want others to lust after us even if we don’t recognize that is what we are doing.

Its really hard, you see a sexy girl and you think things, and ladies don’t tell me you don’t see the bulge in a guys pants and think he has a large wallet. No, but seriously those are the more obvious examples of this. However the more subtle ones are perhaps even worse.

There is nothing wrong with being attractive but within reason. You don’t want to tempt others. You also may have a really stunning personality like me (just kidding) but you also need to keep that in check as well. For as much as we don’t like to admit it, we have a hand in drawing someone to lust as well.

29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

This can be pretty grim, plucking out eyes and chopping off hands is pretty serious stuff. I don’t think he was joking though or making an analogy. I think it is just as it says.

Its amazing how hard it is to fight our urges. I personally go through a struggle every single day with things. I for one don’t eat carbs or at least I avoid them. However, some days, if I have a pie, or a cake, I will have carbs. I don’t need it, but I want it. Now its not a sin, but how much more so should we avoid our sins and yet, like a dog eats its own vomit, we come back for more. We know how sick and evil it is and yet we keep going back to it.

If you are tempted to steal, removing your arm will surely make that harder to do. The same with your sight. You must find a way to deal with your sins and keep them under control or else they will control you. Now I don’t think at the first sign of sin you should lop off your arm. In fact I don’t think you should at all, but Jesus has thought that way.

Divorce

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 5:31-32 KJV

This is a very pertinent topic in today’s culture. People get divorced for a plethora of reasons. Most of them being not recognized by God. Ultimately. they will be however they would clearly be viewed as immoral. God calls a man and woman to cling together and not be separate once married. It is so important. Yet today many treat it as a things. Divorce really should be rare if ever in our vocabulary at all. Only in cases of fornication, what is fornication? Moicheuthēnai (μοιχευθῆναι), to have sex with someone who is married. Once married we are never to break that oath to a loved one. Never cheat on them. However once they have broken that marriage, they cannot be trusted, and divorce may be allowed. This includes a man as well.

Oaths

33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Matthew 5:33-35 KJV

In our culture today this is almost none existent as a concept because it has been profaned so much. Jesus is telling us here we are NOT TO SWEAR ON THE BIBLE OR JESUS OR BY GOD! Yet our courts have you swear every time you go in. We are NEVER to do this. In fact you are acting against God if you do. Your word should be stronger than steel. If you say you are going to do something, it should be considered done. If you say something it should be because its true. Do not lie. An old saying I don’t hear too much these days. “My word is my bond.” It should always be true.

Some people have suggested that this is not barring a legal oath, however I would warn someone to ALWAYS tell the truth when taking a legal oath. If you are to take the Lord’s name as your defense you must be TRUTHFUL. I will caution anyone from taking oaths of any kind.

Retaliation

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:38-39 KJV

Alright, this is a hard thing to explain. We went over this before, however, this is a good place to do it. Jesus is in no way suggestion to let someone beat on you. However, he is asking us to endure for him. If someone strikes you in anger you are not to strike them back. This is not to say if someone is wailing on you, you don’t defend yourself, but you are not to go beyond defending yourself.

The golden rule applies very nicely here. If you strike someone in anger, you would not want to be struck back. If you are striking someone repeatedly and are out for blood you expect to be hit back.

There was also a law in Rome. A Roman had the legal right to hit a non-Roman once. However the guards would grab him if he was hit twice. Jesus is saying allow the authorities to take care of it. Most of the time though if someone is going to hit you more than once they have lost control. Always try to view things from the prospective of others. Do not allow your pride to govern your heart.

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

Matthew 5:40 KJV

This is likewise another thing to consider. If someone is in a petty squabble over legalities of minor things just give it to them. In fact give more than he asked for. The cloak in this analogy is worth more than the tunic. So you give him the more valuable of the items. This not only shows the person you meant no harm, but it also says to them you need it more than I do. Its a testimony. God will take care of you no matter what. This is not to say you don’t defend yourself. This is just saying if they are being petty about something like in today’s thing maybe suing you for 20 dollars give them 40. Another thing is avoiding the courts too. Jesus knew Christians would not receive a fair verdict, so avoid courts.

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Matthew 5:41-42 KJV

This is not familiar to our vernaculars today. In Roman times a soldier could ask you to carry his burden for a mile. By going two miles you are in fact doing twice as much as you should but also putting that soldier to shame. This could also be at time something as simple as a letter, in which case your by yourself. You would do it for the glory of God and also you would be a patriotic citizen.

So what is this really saying? If anyone asks you to do something, you should do it twice as well, to the best of your ability. God wants us to be model citizens. You are to be twice as good as anyone around you because Jesus is infinitely better than you. People should know you for being reliable and helpful. Have a strong work ethic basically. Something I maybe need to work on. I am sure most of us need to.

Love Your Enemies

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 5:43-45 KJV

Jesus is telling us here just what it sounds like. We are not to hate our enemies but we are to love them and there are two ways of looking at this. One way, is it really a test to love someone who loves you… which Jesus will point out. If you love you enemies, how much more do you love those that love you? How much more will you love God?

It is hard to love someone who does not like you. They say all kinds of terrible words to you and offend you and its well, impossible to deal with at times. They make you want to pull out your hair. But in showing them kindness at times they warm up. I have experienced this myself. Over time people will come around to you, and if they don’t at least they can’t honestly say anything bad about you.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:46 KJV

Spicey. Publicans were public officials often tasked with taxing. No one likes the tax man. However, we are called to be more loving than that of a tax man. He was really striking at the hearts of people here. I am sure the publicans were not to happy to hear that, or maybe, like Matthew they were?

Now the last part, perfection. That is the standard we should strive to follow. I believe Jesus meant it. Through our lifetime here on earth we are to strive for perfection and nothing less.



Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Who Was Matthew?


Matthew, Mattathias, sometimes known as Levi, was a Roman tax collector. He entered Jesus’s ministry at Capernaum while at the receipt of the customer, a booth in which one collects taxes. He was literate in both Greek and Aramaic. He was also a Jew and went by the name of Levi because of his lineage to the tribe of Levi. Levi may have been his name before he was known as Matthew or Mattathias. Some traditions hold that his name was given by Jesus, other traditions hold he changed the name himself. His name means “Gift of God”, which is fitting because he was the first gospel writer.

As a tax collector he most likely used unfair practices such as extortion. This was common in Rome because of the tax system. One would bid on an area to tax if they won the bid on the area then it was there’s to tax. Tax were not standardize but rather whatever the tax collector said it was. Because of this tax collector’s were considered unclean by the religious elite. They were not allowed entry into the temple.

His conversion happened after Jesus agreed to have a meal with him. In fact he was so thrilled by it he had a feast, or dinner party. No doubt this would tarnish Jesus’s image however, Jesus did not care. Furthermore, because of this kind gesture from Jesus, Matthew repented. He would become one of Jesus four closest friends and eventually would carry the word on.

His knowledge of both Greek and Aramaic and most likely Hebrew as well made him a powerful man. He was also skilled at taking shorthand. No doubt he would use this to construct his gospel. Matthew would leave behind his wealth, and position as a tax collector. Most likely he spent much of that wealth in his ministry.

The focus of Matthew’s gospel was to present Jesus as Messiah, and his genealogy from Abraham shows the legal right according to Hebrew tradition to claim such a title. His writings showed that Jesus was indeed the Lion of Judea. He focused on what Jesus said rather than what he did. In doing so this is one of the better gospels to find quotes from Jesus. It is quite clear that the gospel is written for the Jew.

We can learn many things from Matthew. His faith in Christ was so great that he would leave behind everything and ultimately meet a martyrs end according to tradition. His word will forever be remembered.

Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Bible Study: Matthew Chapter 5:1-11 (The Beatitudes)




I wanted to put special emphasis on this chapter so I am going to be going over the first part separately from the rest of the chapter and most likely will break up the chapter in a few other parts. This is the first portion of the Sermon on the Mount. Every Christian’s life goal should be to exude these qualities and walk in the image of these things. This is Christ giving us a guide on our inner character. So this is one of the most important section of the Bible.

The Beatitudes

1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

Matthew 5:1 KJV

First thing to point out again, chapters in the Bible did not exist in the original text it was all just one piece normally. The text was divide for easy quotation and divided into verses to further that goal. So when it starts with And think of the events previously mentioned in Chapter 4.

25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

Matthew 4:25 KJV

Matthew uses a string of 9 “ands” in a row so we are only going back one. Alright so, here we see a multitude of people have gathered in numbers to see Jesus and hear him preach. Now pay close attention to this. Jesus goes up into a mountain, and when he was set; kathisantos (καθίσαντος), literally means sitting down, his disciples came up the mountain to be with him.

The following sermon was given to his disciples and not the multitudes. He wanted the character of his disciples to be upright, so this following portion is given by extension to all disciples of Christ, aka Christians. This is also to denote that we should not expect this from non-believers and anyone acting outside of these qualities should be looked at as non-believers. All Christians should desire these qualities and exude them naturally. I am not suggesting we don’t faultier. However I am suggesting that we should study these and put forth our true best efforts to become these.

The make up of the following are a promise, something to exude, and a result of exuding that quality. These are things that should naturally form within us as Christians. These are not things you can actually act upon, they just kind of form in the mind over time. Mind you, you can try to act out these but that is being a hypocrite; an actor. You must become these things.

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:2-3 KJV

First question I would ask is what is a blessing? The word here is Makarios (Μακάριοι), it means to be happy, an extension of fortune, and well off. So being blessed is in this sense is being given favor from God so that he can benefit us by walking with him.

Next would be what is it to be poor in spirit. What does that mean? As Christians we are supposed to be faithful in the spirit right? Well, this is a little different. The word here used is ptōchoi (πτωχοὶ), which means “one who crouches and cowers” hence we translate this to poor. And the word for spirit is pneumati (πνεύματι) which is wind or spirit. Wind is something unseen, so the spirit is also unseen.

So this verse reads a little like this right now “Blessed are those who crouch and cower in the spirit. This is a very strange verse if you break it down like this. I am sure the verse has become more confusing with that. Bear with me, please. Jesus is suggesting that we are to recognize our emptiness inside. That we are indeed poor in spirit. We are to look upon our faults and recognize them. See them as they actually are and give them up to the lord. The only way we can walk with God is to realize our sinful natures.

Now this is not the same as saying to hold a false sense of humbleness or some kind of humility that is external alone. We are not to be cowards before the lord. That is also not what it is saying. It is saying in recognizing this and admitting these truths and becoming this, God will bless us! He will give us provisions to be rich in spirit. Further the result of this is the Kingdom of Heaven, not just that but a direct role in that Kingdom. (I’ll go into more detail about the Kingdom of Heaven at a later time. Right now the Beatitudes is the focus.)

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4 KJV

Alright, mourn, I am sure you know how this goes. Penthountes (πενθοῦντες), to mourn, lament, to have sadness, grief. At first glance it is easy to skip over this and think, mourning the dead, or any of the other common things we are taught to mourn. However, if the previous beatitude was about our emptiness in spirit. We can assume this also applies to that our inner self as well. So question is what are we mourning? It is our sins. It is having a true sadness for the sins we commit and by extension the sins of others.

That being said, I would rather you focus on your own sins rather than others, if it is a non-believer it is a non-believer, and if it is another Christian, God will deal with them as well. Later we will go over what God has deemed the role of Christians to deal with the sins of other Christians.

The thing about sin is we can easily forgive it because we have been saved from its power. Still, God hates sin, it breaks God’s heart every time we commit a sin. Especially when we knowingly do it. So stop it! Easier said than done. It is a real powerful addiction and yet out of love God still suffers us.

However in our morning, Jesus once again tells us, we have a blessing, and the result of that is comfort. God will comfort us and love us just the way we are. He will do the work in mending our sinful nature. It takes time and it might not be an overnight transformation but over a lifetime we will mature with our heavenly father. So do not fret, just be mindful, and aware, and allow God to give you the baby steps and giant leaps of faith you need.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5 KJV

Meek, praeis (πραεῖς), literally translates to gentle. Gentle means to show a tender or kind character. It is not being quick to anger but rather patient and at times soft. Now, this is not asking us to be weak. In order to be meek suggests you have the strength to do otherwise. If you did not have the strength needed to be Meek, you would just be helpless. This means that when someone points out our own faults we should consider these things and take them to heart. We should not be beyond reproach and we should temper and consider all things before acting.

This is one of the things I deeply need to work on. I have a fast wit and I enjoy using it for slashing. So, we kind of have to die to ourselves to be Meek. It is placing what God would want before what we would want. This also applies to the non-believer. We are to be long suffering with their miss understandings. After all our war is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities and powers in the high places of this world. Spiritual supernatural forces, not people. We are to love Non-believers and show them a way to the light.

This is also not to say we don’t defend ourselves. Moses was a Meek man, but he judged the nation of Egypt and brought great terror upon the land with the assistance of God. Even Jesus we will later read about threw the money lenders out of the temple.

Now, the blessing here is that we shall inherit the earth. This is a blessing that will play itself out in the future. I know some people won’t like this idea. I thought we went to heaven and spent eternity there. Might not be as simple as that. Not according to Christ at least. If we inherit the earth but do not dwell there what is the point of that? Food for thought.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:6 KJV

I am not looking up the Greek for these!? I know right! Shocked myself too. I think we all know what hunger and thirsting is. Oh, wait, righteousness… I guess we should look up that. Sorry, thought you had one right? Dikaiosunēn (δικαιοσύνην), justice, correct, implication of innocence, just in the eyes of God, The elect.

Alright, so what is it to hunger and thirst for righteousness? Well, judging by the previous ones being self applicable, we should desire to have an appetite for what God wants. It should be as natural to us as eating or drinking and we should hunger and thirst to do what is right.

This is a question of your actual character. The deep intimate parts that exist when no one is looking. Do you do right even when you wont get caught doing wrong? Are you even tempted? I will admit, there are times when I am. There are times when I fail too. I wont air my dirty laundry but I know God knows and that shames me at times.

Do you see times when you can do something good in the world and see the opportunity as a joyous experience or do you see it as a bother or worse ignore it completely. These are all questions you should ask yourself. The answers when honest might surprise you. I know they surprise me sometimes.

The last part of that is being filled. This is a promise that God will give you opportunities to be righteous and to do the right thing. A brazen knight of God will be used far more often than a conscripted soldier for God. Be a knight of heaven not a conscript soldier who is only doing it for the payoff of being “saved”.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 5:7 KJV

This one makes me tremble a little. Lets talk about mercy; mercy is forgiveness toward someone who has wronged you and it is within your power to punish or harm them and you choose not to.

It means not adopting a legalistic mind. Sometimes people break the rules, sometimes they do it intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. This means if someone steals from you, you do not take more than being repaid, or sometimes if it is within your means to simply let them have it. This is also sometimes forgiving a spouse who is struggling with a sin in their life.

I have a short little story, so this happened to me about a month ago. I accidentally stole a whole grocery cart of food from a store. I was checking out and I scanned an item twice. So I asked an employee to cancel an item. We did and we chatted and I packed up my stuff and walked off, WITHOUT SWIPING MY CARD! I drove home and noticed I did not have a receipt. I immediately called up the store and asked if I could come in and pay. The store could have said no and pressed charges on me, however they were very happy that I was honest about it. I went back in and paid immediately. However, they showed me mercy. Now I know most people think that it was not a big deal but still that is a true example of mercy and I am grateful toward them for that.

Now, mercy from God is not a condition of being merciful to others. It is rather the other way around. Since God has been merciful toward our sins and transgressions we should be merciful towards others. Now if someone is intentionally harming you, it is OK for you to stand up to them and not be merciful. We have police and court systems for a reason. Never allow yourself to be abused by someone because God asks us to be merciful. God is not a wimp, he does not let Satan gouge his eyes out or take what is his. When to be merciful is a personal thing between you and God. Pray on such matters and allow him to lead you.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Matthew 5:8 KJV

Katharoi Kardia (καθαροὶ καρδίᾳ), clean heart or clean hearted. It means to wash your from worldly desires. This cannot be done by our power alone but rather we must rely on Christ for this spiritual heart cleaning. Let’s be honest, our hearts are normally stained with selfish desire, even when it comes to our closest most loved people in our lives.

Instead of desiring what is for God within our heart we tend to focus on our worldly wants. Jesus is telling us we need to be inline with God and if we are we shall see God in everything. There are times in my life that I am in line with God and it is a different world. Then we get comfortable and dirty our hearts again and no longer see things quiet like that. It tends to be a cycle with me. I don’t know if it is for you or not. What I can honestly say to my more youthful brother and sisters it does happen, just give it time and you will naturally see things the way God would.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Matthew 5:9 KJV

I think we all understand what a peacemaker is. It is someone who makes peace. What does it really mean to make peace though. What is peace? It is freedom from disturbance otherwise called tranquility. A lot of people seek this. In fact most religious ideals in the eastern traditions is based on the shadow of this.

I want to start close and expand out, this is a large topic in itself. So let’s start with the personal. Be a peacemaker within yourself. Instead of jumping to the worst conclusion about someone or an event search for advocacy for the other person. Then make peace within yourself about events. Likewise don’t always beat yourself up. Find what you did wrong, identify it, then calm yourself, and make all efforts to cut those wrong doings from your heart. Make peace internally with all things.

Next, lets zoom out to the immediate family, your household. First, remember you love these people. Think deeply on the events that occurred to cause discord. Identify the issues that caused them from an objective standpoint. If you had a role apply the repair to your role in the issue first. Then assist in repairing the issue or even apply a little mercy when needed. Forgiveness can go a long way.

Likewise do the same with your extended family. Same with the people in your neighborhood or church. Always identify the role you played or the role you can play in fixing the issue. Don’t seek to make DRAMA! It is annoying and does not help. If the issue is really serious sometimes staying out of it is making more peace than being involved. Know your place.

Know that not all conflicts will be resolved. You are in a time when war is the crowned ruler of the world. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do with all the love in your heart to stop someone from being at conflict. However, we are to make every effort to attempt peace. This is peace without compromise. We do not lay in sin for the sake of peace. Sin is not to be tolerated in our own lives and no one can force us to participate in sin. We do not make peace with sin.

That last part is interesting, for they shall be called the children of God. Why is that? Because only true peace can come from Jesus. We are all brothers and sister under Christ seeking to be like him. This makes us the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:10 KJV

Key words, Persecuted, FOR (believe it or not), and righteousness. We already know what righteousness is, so lets look closer at Persecuted and “for?”.

Dediōgmenoi (δεδιωγμένοι) which means to put to flight, pursue, to persecute. Persecute here means to be made to flee, to cause harm, to go after.

Now lets look at for here. I think this translation is weak. The word here is eneken (ἕνεκεν), it means on account of, because of. So the verse reads like this. “Blessed are they which are persecuted on account of (because of) righteousness:”

I think we are entering into times when we need to hold strong to this. There are very large swaths of the world who view Christianity is a bigoted religion because we hold to our morals. They see the need for morals in need for update. They say we need to be more diverse and more inclusive. We cannot be inclusive even if we desired it, because the separation of the world is the heart of the ecclesia, our coming to be with God. We cannot compromise God’s commands with the will of the world.

You will be persecuted and hated because you desire to walk in line with God. People will spit on you and try to drive you away for simply existing. There is coming a time you can be silent about your Christianity and if you are found out you will be treated like a pariah. But God promises you the Kingdom of Heaven shall be yours. It is interesting because this word can also be translated as royal power. So think of this. The royal power of heaven shall be yours. Perhaps God will do a whole lot more for you during your persecution than you even know.

Don’t be a coward and stand strong in the face of their attacks. Do not make war with them but do try and rescue all that will listen. The coming power that is strangling the world as we speak is going to be a terror unto them. Spread news to as many as you can while you can.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Matthew 5:11 KJV

Ill do a quick re-translation into modern english for you. “Blessed are you, whenever people shall insult you, and persecute you, and they shall lie and say every evil thing about you on because of me.” Can you imagine the pain God must go through watching us being harmed because of his name. In God we are to love others as he loves everyone else. The people do evil in the name of tolerance because their Lord is Satan, though most do it unknowingly; a great number do it because they are wicked not sinners.

Later I will do a study on the difference between those who are Christian, those who are sinners, and those who are wicked. This is more about the wicked than the sinner. The wicked do evil because they are evil. They follow Lucifer in his rebellion and like Satan, the accuser, they follow his nature and accuse everyone.

This one is not like the rest. We don’t get the details of what that blessing is. We are only told that we are blessed. We are blessed in our persecution? Indeed we are, how better to know that we are close to God than to suffer as he did? We should wear our scars and our turmoils like a badge of honor. Granted in life it is terrible, but life is relatively short. In a billion years you are going to look around and shout out “It has only just begun.” Now, for some that will be a triumphant shout, and for others, well, it will be a painful scream.

Don’t be counted among the wicked. Love God, love your neighbors, love your family, love your children, just love. Love on everyone even if they wish to do you harm. Kill em with kindness. Please take heart, the times coming will be terrible, but if you can stand in these beatitudes you will be sealed from the terrors of this world. While you will partake in the torments coming, you will be strong enough to survive them and even maybe find happiness among them.

Thank you for reading this Bible Study. I hope that you continue with me.



Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Bible Study: Matthew Chapter 4




This study is a bit of a spooky one; so let’s approach this with prayer. The topic is Jesus in the desert being tempted by the devil. We are going to look at this as a study of the text but I also want to take this opportunity to discuss how we handle the devil in our own personal lives.

The Temptation Of Jesus

1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Matthew 4:1 KJV

I am going to stop it here, what a strange notion, the Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness for the express purpose of being tempted by the devil. Once gain providing a lesson in how to deal with such a thing. Devil here is (diabolou) διαβολου very similar to the Hebrew Satan. It means the accuser or slanderous or falsely. So the devil is someone who slanders and accuses and provides false testament. Think of this as the garden of Eden, actually, it very well may be the garden that Jesus returned to, now barren and destroyed after the flood.

See there is a thing in the Bible that makes a point of calling Jesus the last Adam. That is a study you can do on your own and I will go into it later but for now just knowing that is a thing is enough.

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

Matthew 4:2 KJV

I have an interesting relationship with fasting. Fasting in itself is a good thing. The first three days you are desperately hungry but on the fourth your hunger tends to go away. Now fasting for 40 days is one of the longest fasts I have heard of. I would imagine if you were not obese that would be about the time frame when you are entering a desperate need to eat. Like medically in need of food. Muscles would cramp, you would feel sick, and you may even have painful head aches as well.

Now we have seen an image given of Jesus as Israel. So Jesus went into Egypt, left Egypt, and now is in the wilderness for 40 days much like the 40 years the Hebrew people wandered the desert.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Matthew 4:3 KJV

Once again we have another name for the Satan here, he is called the tempter, the peirazōn (πειράζων); to make proof of, to attempt, to test, to tempt. Now this is not a question, he is making a statement. So he is not questioning if Jesus is the Son of God, he is saying something like “since you are”. This is how Jesus responds to the devils temptations.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4 KJV

He quotes scripture at the devil. This is why you need to know your scripture. So where is this quote from. We can turn to Deuteronomy for this.

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV

So what would have been the big deal about Jesus eating something. I am not entirely sure but I think it has to do with completing the imagery of Israel wandering the desert. God speaks in puns and goes to great lengths to make those interlocking ideas throughout history impossible to deny his hand in. If Jesus ate it would have ruined an image to teach us.

This is also teaching us that scripture and the word of God should be consumed as often or perhaps more than we hunger for food. If God’s words are food for the soul that would be the natural conclusion.

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

Matthew 4:5 KJV

Now, I am not going to make a big thing of this right now. However, I want you to be sensitive to the idea that being like Satan, and the angels, and God, and even Jesus post death, can move in ways we cannot. We live in a three dimensional world. So we can go up and down, left and right, to and fro, however, they can do other movements. So this is some kind of supernatural movement. In an instant the devil took Jesus onto the pinnacle of the temple. This is not teleportation, this would be moving from one temporal place to another. Its confusing but we are recently discovering the possible methods through Quantum Mechanics.

And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Matthew 4:6 KJV

Satan like in the garden of Eden to Eve is misquoting scripture. For this we turn to psalms.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Psalm 91:11-12 KJV

So we can see that a weapon of Satan is scripture but misquoting it as a weapon against you. If you notice Jesus began by quoting scripture as his retort. Satan said, oh, you know scripture, well perhaps I can convince you with scripture. Satan will feel for an opening like an expert boxer. As soon as he finds that weakness he is going to strike at it. The only defense for such a thing is to not take anyone’s word for anything and seek the truth before you believe it. Either that or educate yourself in all things so no one can ever give a misapplication of something to you. But we both know that is impossible.

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Matthew 4:7 KJV

So where is Jesus’s response from.

16 Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

Deuteronomy 6:16 KJV

So once again you see Jesus using the word of God to disarm Satan. There is nothing he can do to win that argument as long as Jesus quotes scripture as Satan knows better than to try at that angle. Christ knows better.

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Matthew 4:8-9 KJV

Pause, pause, right here, lets stop. What we just read is shocking! So Satan is tempting Jesus by showing him all the kingdoms of the world, the their glory, and then offered them if only he would worship Satan. How is that a temptation. Sounds really weak to me. After all God rules everything, right, right?

While yes God does rule everything, Satan is the god (little g) of this world. Which includes the nations within it. So who is controlling the earth’s governments? Oh, Satan. It is expressed right here. So why are we confused when our rulers do corrupt things, why does it shock us when they constantly collapse under their own desires? It is because the seat of the world is Satan’s, he commands. This is why this would be a temptation for Jesus. Jesus became man so he would experience temptation just like anyone else. He also knows of the wars and tragedies of the future. Perhaps much of it would have been averted but for what? So Satan can rule the world? How much worse would an unbridled Satan emperor be?

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Matthew 4:10 KJV

Jesus rejects him for God, hardening himself to face Satan, to ensure his eternal destruction and freedom from sin. So what is Jesus quoting, again we can look to Deuteronomy.

13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

Deuteronomy 6:13 KJV

Again we see that through faith and following scripture Satan has no power. It is only when we fall to his ploys that we become slave to him. Satan is like a drug dealer. He gives you just a taste for free, then you are addicted and cannot stop. Once you are his slave he can collect what is his and he will place people in your life that will keep you enslaved so you never see freedom from your sins.

11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Matthew 4:11 KJV

Satan leaves after this. Which shows that Satan can only be in one place at one time. He is not like God who can be in all places at all times. Most likely frustrated and enraged by his failure. Someone as proud as Satan does not take defeat gently. After which angels came and ministered to Jesus. Jesus receiving ministry. Mister here is diēkonoun (διηκόνουν), which can mean minister but it also means to serve. So these angels were serving Jesus. Is this what happens in our own lives when we defeat temptation? Are we just not listening? What exactly did they say or do? I believe they informed Jesus of the goings on and brought him a meal after he competed the forty days.

Now roughly a year passes in Matthews narrative before he continues onto verse 12. The importance of this time passing was not important to Matthew but fun fact to know. This was the times at which Jesus is ministering in Judea.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

Matthew 4:12-13 KJV

Capernaum is by the sea of Galilee in the northeast.

14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Matthew 4:14-16 KJV

Matthew is quoting Isaiah Chapter 9.

9 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Isaiah 9:1-2 KJV

So what is the point of mentioning this? Well, it shows that God foretold Jesus’s exact movements. Not only that but there are two tribes mentioned that have prophecies of their own; Zebulun and Naphtali.

13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.

Genesis 49:13 KJV

21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.

Genesis 49:21 KJV

It is true as well, Zebulun is a haven of ships still, and out of Naphtali Jesus came.

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17 KJV

Now we see what Jesus’s ministry can be summarized as. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Jesus Calls The First Disciples

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Matthew 4:18 KJV

I have to imagine that there is WAY more to the conversation than that. Are you really catching this image. Some guy walks up to you while you are working and says to you. Quit your job, follow me, here is a clever pun. And you are like OK sure that sounds great. This is either something divine or there is a lot more that is said and discussed and Jesus convinced them. Not quiet sure but seeing as how Thomas is not there yet, maybe they did just listen.

However, while colorful and amusing to imagine it this way, this is not the first time Jesus met these fellows John Chapter 1 tells of these men already being interested in Jesus as Messiah. They met him as well. So they were already familiar that Jesus is Christ.

Also this John is not John the baptist and this James is the brother of John. There are a few people named John and James, I will try to make it clear who is who.

21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Matthew 4:21-22 KJV

So we can see that Jesus has gathered up his disciples and now really begins working his ministry. Not only teaching them in his ways but using them as witnesses. All of them willingly without much convincing followed Christ believing him to be just that. As to what form that would take it is unclear to them.

We also get a strange title here; “The Gospel of the Kingdom”. What is the “Gospel of the Kingdom”? Well, let’s break it down into the Greek to see what it is saying. The word for Gospel here is euangelion (εὐαγγέλιον) which literally means Good News. Kingdom here is basileias (βασιλείας) which means Kingdom, Sovereignty, Royal Power. So Jesus is preaching the “Good news of the royal power”. In the next few chapters we will be able to look at the contents of this “Good News” is.

Jesus Ministers To Great Crowds

23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

Matthew 4:23-24 KJV

Today this portion of the world is called the Golan heights. You hear about this region a lot in the news these days. I think it is important to break these down. First let’s break down the illnesses by types. First is physical pathalogical illness, second is torments which are mental illnesses, poseessions which are spiritual illnesses brought on by demonic forces, more about that in a few. Lunatic has duel meanings, selēniazomenous (σεληνιαζομένους) in a more modern context is people who act odd from the moon. However, during this time it was epileptic seizures, they thought it had to do with the moon. Most likely because it induced a bright light in the dark which triggered some forms of episode. Then we have palsy which is parallelization, can’t move your limb(s).

So people brought every kind of illness to Jesus and he was healing them of their illnesses, also asking for donations of course cause tithing, I am kidding, he healed people for free, unlike a lot of the wolves we celebrate as preachers.

So onto the topic of demons. I want to mention this real quick. Demons are real, they are spiritual entities who we will encounter many times going ahead. I know to our modern sensibilities we do not worry about ghosts and spooks but make no mistake demons are actual things and they are actually trying to possess people.

25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

Matthew 4:25 KJV

Clearly everyone just followed Jesus around because of parlor tricks. All these healings were debunked by out proud and genius scientist. I mean the local paraplegic agreed to pretend he was messed up for years before. Or that guy who suffered from crippling depression is suddenly cured of it, that is all inside tricks. Oh and those sick people, it was just a cough. Right?

This is what a lot of people want you to believe. I don’t know how many times people tell me Jesus really was just a man and never did any real miracles, the people are just dumb. Oh, ok Sherlock. The people are dumb. Righto, I am going to go with common sense, a rare commodity might I add, and think that among all those people there are a few smart ones.

Now go and have a wonderful day, Christ is King and we have been saved of our sins. Rejoice, the world is going to be ok. Don’t let the news or current events tug at you. Just keep doing good for goodness sake.



Bible Study, Ecclesial Studies, Matthew

Bible Study: Matthew Chapter 3




Alright, so a lot has happened between Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. Roughly 30 years of things. So Jesus is most likely about 31/32 at this point in history. Figured I would explain that before we start.

John The Baptist Prepares The Way

1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

Matthew 3:1 KJV

Ok so here we have John the Baptist. He is not the writer of the book of John. However, he is a member of the priesthood. Josephus, a Jewish Scholar, comments that he is not only an important religious figure to Christians but he is also revered in many other traditions.

So there is actually a lot of information we can gain from this verse. If John the Baptist is preaching in the wilderness that suggests that he had rejected the levitical priesthood. Most likely seeing the sickness that had entered into the Jewish traditions.

This also suggests that people would venture out into the wildness to have audience with him, as people really don’t live in the wilderness willingly. Basically his ministry is powerful.

And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Matthew 3:2-3 KJV

Most likely John had heard of the rumors from Bethlahem and seeing the season of the times began ministering that the Messiah is walking among them. At the same time this is most likely why he had to preach in the wilderness. The synagogal high priests would have rejected such notions. John however clearly is telling you Isaiah told of the coming events. Luckily this prophecy is preserved.

1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Isaiah 40:1-5 KJV

As we can see from here we are given a clear image of what John is doing. He must have seen himself as the herold foretold or more likely was given a direct mission from God to perform this duty. So he went out preaching this message.

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Matthew 3:4 KJV

From here we get an image of John. Every detail in the Bible is given for a reason. So this raises the question, why are these details given? Well, there is a parallel Matthew is making between John and Elijah.

And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

2nd Kings 1:8 KJV

This is a clear parallel that Matthew is making clear by almost directly lifting the scriptual lines. Further we can see this allusion more clearly when you look a bit more into what happened to Elijah.

1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree…

1 Kings 19 KJV

We see Elijah fled to the wilderness after revealing God’s truth and slaying the child sacrificing priests of Baal, proving their god to be false. Is this allusion making a suggestion that like Elijah, John revealed the truth about the Messiah and was wanted by the Synagog priests? It makes me question if that is what John is suggesting.

If you notice he is eating clean as well, Locusts and wild honey are sacrimentally clean things to eat. We will discuss that more in the book of Leviticus, where the topic is more relevant.

Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Matthew 3:5-6 KJV

So John ministered all over the place sending out his message to the people. Not only that but he was ritually clensing people, Baptizing. One problem, what is a baptism? When did this practice start, and why did he choose to do this?

We have the advantage of hearing baptism as a standard term however, this was not a thing during those times and times previous to this. So let’s look at what this ritual looks like.

So we have submerssion in water, a confession of sins and a ritual clensing of sin, generally Christian’s today do this to represent their “born again” status. So, what historic rituals were similar in the Jewish tradition.

We come upon the Tvilah (טְבִילָה). Now there is two forms of this. One is to wash the hands with a cup. However, the other form is the one that is more interesting to our topic. It is immersion in the Mikveh, which is like a tub of water. This ritual is done for a number of different reasons. The main theme of this however is to make one ritually clean. This is most often observed before Yom Kippur (The Day Of Atonement).

So what we have here in baptism is something similar pointing to a confession of sin being part of the ritual clensing making the Mikveh less dominant and the confession of sin the more important place. The water being an icon of cleaning.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Matthew 3:7 KJV

Ok so there is a lot to break down here. So first a little background on Pharisees and Sadducees. For our modern convience think of these two as political parties.

Pharisees

They are Jewish ritualists who follow the tradition of the Babylonian Talmud. Legalistic to a fault. This is very much like Ahab’s views. So once again we see a parallel between John and Elijah in the Pharisees. They are also seperatists who believe that gentiles are like cattle (Goyim) to be ruled over. Their idea of the savior was someone who would utterly slaughter the whole world enslaving everyone under the Jewish system. These are not the traditions given by God to the Jewish people. They are very much against God in every way shape and form. During the time they would be considered on the Right on the political spectrum.

Sadducees

The Sadducees are a very much like the Pharisees in that they have no concern for God. In fact they have such little concern they have almost entirely given up on following any of the commands. They are humanistic in their views. They deny any inspiration to the word and simply hold it as old dusty books which really do not apply to their modern sensabilities. They are the political Left of today.

If what I just said bothers you, it should. Keep that in mind when you are watching the current events and ask yourself, are you following God or man. Are you on the right or the left, a republican or a democrat, are you a Pharisee or a Sadducee. Makes that binary choice look a little different now doesn’t it.

Now you may notice he calls them a den of vipers. Well vipers are pretty unsettling alone but a whole den of them, now that is something that will turn anyone’s stomach. Back in Genesis Chapter 3 there is a prophecy about that.

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:15

At first glance this may not seem relevant. However the people God is talking to is Satan and Adam and Eve. The seed of the woman is the seed of Jesus and by extension of Jewish people who preserved. The seed of the sepent, that is those who practice the mysteries through them they brought Satan’s religioun into the world.

In that subtle comment John is canvasing the Pharisees and Sadducees as followers of Satan not God. Even further there is refrence to a Synagog of Satan which will rise up and prevail in the end times; and be utterly destroyed by God, don’t forget he wins in the end.

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Matthew 3:8-9 KJV

Another strange statement from John. He is telling these people they are imposters and they are not children of Abraham and that their blood line means nothing to God.

Now it would be easy to just assume the stones mentioned are just river stones or whatever rocks were on the ground at this riverbank. Some people suggest that the stones may be the stone monuments mentioned in Joshua.

Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,

And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.

Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:

And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:

Joshua 4:2-5 KJV

So they set up monuments to commemorate the crossing of the Jordan with the arc of the Covenenant. It seems a little bit like a stretch right.

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

Joshua 4:6-7 KJV

The lack of context anticipates you asking the question. What are these stones John mentions. These are a testiment to the sons of Israel. How fitting for them to be pointed out to display these are no longer the true sons of Israel but of Satan instead.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Matthew 3:10-12 KJV

So right now John is warning these Pharisees and Saddusees their time is suddenly about to come to an end. That their root will be cut out from the tree of life. That any tree bearing bad fruit will be destroyed. A coming judgement.

He also tells you that the water baptism is not a complete baptism, it is not sufficiant. This ritual carried on today is for image alone and has no power. It is simply done in memory of John and to emulate Jesus.

What John does tell us here that the one who is to come will perform a complete baptism. A baptism by fire from the Holy Spirit. The Shekaniah shall dwell within. This is what is called being a born again Christian and allow the Holy Spirit to enter us. He speaks of salvation, and permenant forgiveness and removal of sin.

This is also a double ontandra. God promises never to flood the earth with water again. The coming final judgement shall be with fire. So the bad bearing trees will be burned away to nothingness. A baptism which destroys sin from the world.

The Baptism Of Jesus

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

Matthew 3:13

John recognizes that his baptism is insufficiant, and unneeded. Before him is Jesus who was born without sin. The perfect man and the offering unto the Lord. However look at how Jesus answers him.

15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Matthew 3:15 KJV

Jesus is telling him, he is setting an example to those that would follow him. That baptism must be done. This baptism is not for his sake however, but for our own. John knew how unclean he was internally, how pervers the idea of him baptising Jesus was. I can’t imagine the struggle and awkwardness of the moment. We are all naked before the LORD. There is nothing about us he does not know. Can you imagine someone knowing all your darkest deepest most hidden secrets asking you to perform a clensing. Especially when you know full well that he is the clenser, the only one that can clense anything.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 3:16-17 KJV

This is the first time we see the Holy Spirit enter someone. God is showing an example through Jesus that baptism is the recieving of his spirit. However, this baptism was by water, the rest forward is by the fire of the spirit. Not saying I am against Water baptism, what I am saying is that it is ceremony alone, and not needed for salvation. The important part is accepting the Holy Spirit of God within you.

I pray this study is a blessing to you. Thank you for reading.