“Yes Lord, But…”
A Canaanite woman - Gentile, non-Jew, not-of-the-children-of-God - comes before Jesus crying out...apparently repeatedly without ceasing based on the disciples reaction.
She wanted mercy from Jesus.
She acknowledged that Jesus is Lord, Son of David.
She knew the problem with her daughter - demon-possession.
She knew that Jesus was the answer.
She would not take “no” as an answer.
Jesus did not answer her a word.
Not from rudeness.
Not from anger.
Not from resentment.
Jesus states before Father that He only did those things and said those things that Father told Him to say.
Father was silent - for the moment.
Jesus then responded to the woman.
He had come for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
She begged me more.
Jesus then tells her that He could not give the “children’s bread” to the “dogs.”
The woman knew her “status” in the society of the day.
The woman knew where healing for her daughter was - Jesus.
She agreed with Jesus...she was a dog...He had come for the house of Israel.
Yet, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.
What can I say?
What can we think?
Lord, may we have such faith.
Jesus declared her faith to be great.
Then, this great statement - “let what you want be done for you”!
Her daughter was healed from that hour.
The demons were gone.
Again, may we have such faith.
May we call upon the Lord rather than upon the strategies of man.
“It’s A Heart Thing…”
The religious rulers confronted Jesus with their concern that Jesus’ disciples did not adhere to the religious rulers traditions and law.
Jesus was having nothing to do with it.
He questioned them as to why they transgressed the commandment of God for the sake of their tradition?
Again, little has changed.
So many adhere to the tradition and teaching of man while rejecting the Word of the Lord...often in the name of the Lord.
Man creates his interpretation and application of what he thinks he has observed in the Word, then demands that others follow to prove their faith.
The religious rulers had done such.
Jesus gave an example with how they interpreted “honor your father…”.
Jesus then tells them what the real issue is.
What enters into the mouth...what one eats and drinks...simply passes through the body.
What comes out of the mouth is reflective of what is in the heart.
How many times have I seen those who are so concerned about the appearance of righteousness based upon what goes in the mouth, all the while refusing to allow transformation of their heart by the Spirit?
Out of the heart come the things that defile...evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
These defile man.
Not the traditions of man.
“Bread of Life”
Jesus knew the motivation of the people.
He confronted them directly.
They sought Him, not because of the signs, but rather because of the loaves.
They were filled.
Think on that.
They saw the signs, but gave greater heed to satisfying the desire of the flesh.
Nothing has changed.
The Lord tells us to work not for the food that perishes, but rather for the food that endures to eternal life.
This does not mean we do not work for daily bread.
It does mean that our heart, focus, attention are on the eternal things.
Jesus tells us what the “work of God” is - Believe in Him whom He sent. In Jesus.
The people were demanding a sign - they used Moses/manna as an example.
The Lord reveals that the true Bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and give life to the world.
The people really wanted this Bread.
Then Jesus stated, “I am the Bread of Life…”
Come to Jesus - never hunger.
Come to Jesus - never thirst.
Of course the Jews grumbled at this Word.
All they could see was Jesus’ “natural” family.
We learn somethings about salvation.
No one can come to Jesus unless Father draws them.
Jesus will raise us up on the last day.
Believe - eternal life.
Jesus did not back off.
The Jews were arguing as to how one could “eat His flesh”.
Jesus tells them that he who eats His flesh and drinks His blood has eternal life.
My flesh is true food.
My blood is true drink.
Have you eaten?
Have you drunk?
Jesus and His disciples crossed over the lake and landed at Gennesaret.
Note the reception.
When the people recognized Him, they sent out word throughout the region.
The sick came to Him.
They begged to touch His cloak.
All who touched were healed.
Remember the last time Jesus was here?
It was when He encountered the demoniacs.
The people had then asked Jesus to leave.
They were terrified that the demoniac was “clothed and in his right mind sitting at the feet of Jesus”.
Judge them not harshly.
How many today reject Jesus out of fear.
Even Believers do so.
Locally, much of the giftedness of the Lord is broadly and proudly rejected from the pulpit, assigned to a past time of application.
And we wonder why so many walk in powerlessness?
Meanwhile, the folk on the other side of the lake were wondering how Jesus got to where He was...the boat had already left!
Wonder how they reacted when they heard about “walking n water”?
Reject not the Lord.
Grieve not the Holy Spirit.
Lovingly and compassionately correct those in error...even if they be the “pastor”.
The Truth must be proclaimed.
The people had rejected Jesus and His power once.
They would not make that mistake again.
How long will we?
“Take Courage, Be Not Afraid”
Give heed to the truths that we learn.
Jesus: - needed time with Father
- went to the mountain alone to pray
- saw what was happening to disciples...straining at the oars...intended to pass them by
- joined the disciples late at night
- was not inhibited by the “natural” state of water
- encouraged disciples to “fear not”
- commanded Peter to come to Him upon Peter’s request
- why do you doubt?
- I hear a chuckle in Jesus’ voice…”you of little faith…”
- enters boat with them
- upon entering, the boat was immediately at the land to which they were going!
- wind stops...wonder what the source of the wind had been...I suspect the evil one.
- struggling against contrary winds
- still awake in the middle of the night
- terrified, thought they were seeing a “ghost”
- believed in ghost and the like
- worshipped Jesus…”You are certainly God’s Son”
- had not gained insight from the incident of the loaves, their hearts were hardened - hummm
- did he believe it was the Lord?
- “If it is you?”...was he seeking to verify? Was he wanting to “do what Jesus did’?
- boldly walked in obedience to the Lord...out of boat, walked on water, came toward Jesus
- But, he took his eyes off of the Lord.
- Why? He saw the wind. One cannot “see the wind”, but we can see the effect of the wind...tossing waves, perhaps a wave blocked his view of Jesus. So often we forget that it was not a tranquil night. The sea would have been white-capped.
- Crying out
- Rescued by Jesus
Sounds like many of us so often…
The Lord is our source of rescue.
The Lord is our provision.
So many “small miracles” that often go unnoticed...the boat immediately on the other side, the wind stopping, etc. Watch for these.
Notice how Jesus encouraged them, “take courage, it is I; do not be afraid”
We can do all thing when our eyes are upon the Lord.
Be not afraid.
Most of us have read/heard this story many times.
But, did you know the setup that we saw yesterday.
Jesus was seeking a time/place for He and the disciples to rest and be refreshed.
Yet, the people followed.
Though seeking a time of rest and eating…
Jesus had compassion on the people.
He healed their sick.
He taught them many things.
The people became hungry at sundown.
The disciples solution was to send ‘em home.
Dismiss the meeting.
“Church is over.”
Jesus had other ideas.
He told the disciples to feed them.
Likely in their eyes.
They had very limited supplies - 5 loaves of bread, 2 fish - and tremendous need - 5 thousand men plus women and children. John tells us how they had those. The disciples were totally without resources.
Jesus wanted them to see/experience something.
The little we bring to the table can be used by God in amazing ways.
Jesus looked to heaven - so should we.
Jesus gave thanks for the provision - so should we.
If the Lord calls us to do something He will provide.
Let the Lord use you.
John the Baptist had been beheaded.
His disciples took his body and buried it.
They then went to Jesus and told Him.
Jesus was effected.
He and those with Him went to a secluded place...by themselves.
Jesus wanted them to rest awhile.
There had been so many people coming and going that they had not had time to eat.
This is interesting for what we will see tomorrow.
For today, where do you turn in time of shock and grief?
In whom do you trust?
But note this.
While Jesus was seeking a time of seclusion...the people followed…
To be continued...
“Herod - Conflicted”
We saw yesterday how Herod feared what he was hearing about Jesus.
He feared that Jesus might be John the Baptist resurrected.
Why had Herod arrested John?
Because John had repeatedly told him that it was not lawful for him to have his brother Philip’s wife.
Herod wanted John dead.
But he feared the people, therefore, he rested in the time classic approach - let your woman take care of it...much like Ahab/Jezebel.
Herod stood in awe of John.
Herod knew that John was righteous and a holy man. Herod actually protected John from Herodias.
But, the day came...
You read how Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted him dead.
Herodias’ daughter danced for Herod and so pleased him that he offered her anything.
Instructed by her mother, Herodias, she asked for John’s head.
Herod had “plausible deniability” before the people.
Herodias gave her husband what he wanted.
Herodias received what she really wanted.
Herod was grieved deeply.
He was very conflicted.
Obviously he had wanted John dead...and shared with his wife the sentiment.
Yet, He knew John was righteous, holy, correct in the word he brought.
As we have discussed before, often people think that the life of the Kingdom will have no problems. This is not true.
John lost his head.
He gained Glory.
He received His reward.
“John? Elijah? Prophet?”
It is a simple series of questions.
Have you heard the news about Jesus?
Who do you say that He is?
What do you believe?
Herod heard about Jesus.
Herod assumed it was John the Baptist raised from the dead.
Herod was terrified and perplexed. He had beheaded John.
Herod thought that being raised from the dead would release miraculous powers.
Herod wondered and kept trying to see Jesus.
The People thought along several lines.
Some thought Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead and performing miracles.
Others said Jesus was Elijah - like one of the prophets of old.
Who do you say Jesus is?
What are you doing?
Matthew 9:35-10:1, 10:7-10:14
- traveled through all the towns and villages
- taught in their synagogues
- preached the good news of the Kingdom
- healed every kind of disease and sickness
Traveled. Taught. Preached. Healed.
This is what Jesus did.
- called by Jesus
- given authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out
- healed every kind of disease and sickness
- went…”as you go…”
- preached - the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand
- healed sick
- raised the dead
- cleansed the lepers
- cast out demons
- freely gave what they had freely received
- did not take gold/silver/copper in their belts, no bag for journey, extra clothes
- did not bounce from house to house in a community. Stayed where welcome. Left where not received.
It will be said “Yes, but that was the 12”.
But, we are told that we will do the things that Jesus did...even greater things.
What did they preach?
Jesus gave them power.
He has done the same for us...if we choose to believe and live in it.
Some interesting things here.
Jesus would have walked past this pool many times.
He would have seen the diseased and suffering.
If you click the hyperlink above you are able to see five versions of the passage. Note how the NET and NIV totally delete verse 4. You will find this type of thing rather often in some of the modern translations. This is the reason to study with several versions. I usually have the NASB, KJB, NET and Holman open.
The sick, blind, lame and withered awaited the angelic stirring of the water - so that they might be the first in to be healed.
Something about blind/lame/withered seeking to move quickly…
Jesus saw a particular 38-year old lying there.
Jesus asked a curious question - “Do you wish to get well?”
One would think that all the sick desire to be well.
Such is not the case.
The man responded that it was not “for a lack of trying” that he was not healed.
Jesus speaks the words.
“Get up, pick up you pallet and walk”
The man did.
Well, is just “happened” to be Sabbath.
The religionist had a fit.
The religionist care not about the individual.
They care not that he had been healed.
They only cared about their interpretation of the Law.
Jesus tells the man to sin not.
We see that the Jews persecuted Jesus because He did these things on the Sabbath.
We see that Father and Son are working.
Healing on the Sabbath.
Equating Himself with God.
So, why did Jesus heal the man at this time?
Because it was what the Father was doing.
Jesus only did the things He saw Father doing.
So much about Jesus is revealed:
- many testified of Him - John, Jesus’ works, the Father, the Word
- Son can do nothing of Himself
- Only does what He sees Father do
- Father loves Him
- Father shows Him all the things He is doing
- Gives life to whom He wishes
- All judgment given to Son
- All will honor the Son
Short and sweet reading today.
Some would say “unimportant”.
The Word gives us much information as to the movement of the Lord during His last three years.
We would do well to give heed.
It is important to pay attention to the timing, especially the feasts that are mentioned.
Such will lend to correct interpretation.
As an example, most of the Body is very confused as to the timing of events in the last week of the Lord’s earthly life.
Knowing the feasts clarifies.
The same could be said about the return of the Lord.
Nothing in the Word is unimportant.
After Jesus finished the parables He returned to his hometown.
He taught in the synagogue.
The people were astonished by His teaching, wisdom and miraculous power.
So, what did the people do?
They questioned whether it was the Jesus that they knew...the humble carpenter’s son, the family they knew.
They then took offense at Him.
Jesus could not do a miracle there, except to lay hands on a few sick people and heal them.
Due to their unbelief.
Jesus was amazed because of their unbelief.
How intense was their unbelief and rejection of the Lord?
Luke tells the story.
Jesus was teaching in the synagogue.
He found a passage from Isaiah, one that He was literally fulfilling.
He stated point-blank that He fulfilled it.
They literally forced Him out of town, led Him to the brow of the hill upon which the city was built...seeking to throw Him over.
But, He passed through the crowd and went His way.
It was not time.
The same occurs today.
Be not surprised if those closest to you take offense as you grow in the Kingdom.
The offense is growing.
“Stiller of the Storms”
We looked at a portion of this story in a previous time together - “Demons”
Jesus and the disciples came to the other side of the lake...after a storm and the stilling of the storm.
What do we learn of Jesus?
Jesus, stiller of the storms of nature.
Jesus, stiller of the storms of the soul.
Jesus set the disciples free from fear.
Jesus set us free from the fear of death.
Note what Jesus told the now-freed “demoniac”.
Return to your house.
Describe what great things God has done for you.
What has the Lord done for you?
Have you described it to your house?
Have you allowed the Lord to set you free?
Or, are you walking in the blindness of self-deception and faux-freedom?
People often think that when they are “In Christ” then there will be no storms.
Such is not the case.
Jesus boarded the boat, followed by His disciples.
The storm hit.
The disciples panicked.
They accused Jesus of not caring.
Sounds like so many professing believers today.
The Lord “slumbers not nor sleeps”, yet we panic in faithlessness at every rumble of the storms of life.
Where is faith?
Remember, at His Word the storms are calmed.
At His Word.
We examined this a few days ago.
Reflect some more.
The one who does the will of Father in heaven is our true brother and sister.
Even closer than blood-relatives.
The Body of Christ is the Bride of Christ - the family closer than anything the world can comprehend. Most of the church does not comprehend.
Our true family are those who hear the Word of God and do it.
Hear the Word.
Do His Will.
Jesus had spoken of many truths through parables.
He now asks His disciples if they understood “all these things?”
Makes one wonder what our response would be?
What would you say if Jesus asked, “do you understand?”
We would like to think we do understand, but the reality is that greater understanding is always to be had.
The disciples responded that they did understand.
Jesus then speaks of the religious who become Kingdom disciples.
The scribe becomes a disciple.
He is like the head of the household.
He brings out of his treasure new and old.
The “old” treasures of the scribe...the old covenant, the profound truths of the Most High...would now be combined with the new treasure...the blood covenant of the Lord Jesus.
What old/new is the Lord bringing forth today in each of us?
An interesting insight into the Kingdom of Heaven through this parable of the Lord.
Jesus tells us the Kingdom is like a fishing net.
It captures all kinds of fish.
When it is full and pulled ashore, then the good fish are kept and the bad discarded.
So, in more than “a sense”, all mankind is in the Kingdom and a part of the Kingdom.
This speaks of the King’s Domain - all creation.
But, a day of judgment is coming.
He is clear.
At the end of the age angels will come and separate the evil from the righteous.
As we have seen, the evil will be cast into a fiery eternity where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Be certain of your destination.
What of your family?
Do we really comprehend the value of the Kingdom?
I think not.
Jesus gave a couple of parables speaking of worldly treasures.
Note how He says “the kingdom of heaven is like…”
Earthly pictures of superior spiritual realities.
The Kingdom is like a hidden treasure which, upon being found, is hid again until the person can purchase the land.
The Kingdom is like a merchant searching for fine pearls who, upon finding a pearl of great value, sells everything to procure it.
Note that the Kingdom will not be gained by subterfuge.
The Kingdom is accessed by a process.
Lie, deceit, obfuscation and the like are not a part of the Kingdom.
Are you of the Kingdom?
If so, you know it is by the Blood...
“Jesus Explains the Tares”
Have you thought you understood something...until you thought some more?
The disciples did not understand the parables at times.
In this passage, Jesus explains a parable.
He left the crowd and went into a house.
His disciples came and asked for an explanation of the “tares parable”.
Jesus defines the terms used in the parable.
Sower of good seed=Son of Man
Good seed=sons of the Kingdom
Tares=sons of the evil one
Sower of bad seed=the enemy/the devil
Harvest=end of the age
Just as the tares are gathered and burned=Son of Man will send angels who will gather stumbling blocks, lawlessness...burned. They will weep, gnash teeth.
The righteous will then shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.
Now, reread the parable...Hear!
24 He presented them with another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field.
25 But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.
26 When the plants sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.
27 So the slaves of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’
28 He said, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the slaves replied, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’
29 But he said, ‘No, since in gathering the weeds you may uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, but then gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
Do you understand?
Are you weed?
Are you grain?
“Parables to the Crowds”
Jesus spoke to the crowds at this time in parables.
So that prophecy would be fulfilled…
So that the things hidden since the foundation of the world would be uttered and revealed. Have you considered that? The things that Jesus was speaking through the parables were things hidden to that point and time...interesting...
So that those who had eyes to see and ears to hear would believe...
So that those who refuse to see and hear would not believe...
So that the disciples could experience The Teacher, then receive understanding thereafter…
Give heed to the parables.
Give heed to the mysteries from the foundation of the world.
Jesus continues to reveal the Kingdom.
He does so by speaking in parables.
Again, He asked the question…”to what shall I compare the Kingdom of God/Heaven?”
He uses leaven.
Leaven is added to flour to make bread.
Leaven causes the flour to expand...to rise...to puff up.
Often in the Word leaven is used as an example of sin and how it functions in our lives.
Such is not the case here.
Jesus is speaking of how just a small portion of the Kingdom will grow...will have impact.
Think not of yourself as insignificant in the Kingdom.
May we permeate everywhere we are with the Presence of the Most High God.
Jesus used many parables to give insight into the nature of the Kingdom of God.
He acknowledges the “unasked question” of the disciples/people.
“What is the Kingdom of God like?”
It is like the mustard seed - very small seed...the smallest.
The Kingdom begins small.
When planted, the mustard seed grows into a large garden plant the size of a tree.
The Kingdom grows.
The Kingdom is large.
Wild birds rest/nest in the branches of the the tree.
The Kingdom is a place of rest...home...provision...even for the “wild birds”...those outside of Israel.
The Kingdom provides shelter and provision for all...if they believe.
Another parable from the Lord explaining the Kingdom of Heaven.
A vivid portrayal of much of what occurs in the organizational church today.
The true church, the organism, the Body of Christ, consist of those truly saved.
The organizational church consist of the saved and those who are simply religious at best.
The true church - the wheat.
The false church - the tare.
Jesus lets us know that there will be tares among us.
He will judge.
- to speak truth
- to manifest the Love and Presence of God
- to stand firm
- to allow the Lord to reap and judge
- to not allow the tares to destroy the Kingdom, knowing that God will deal out retribution
Which are you?
A great truth about the mystery of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus, speaking in parable, shows that the growth of the Kingdom is a mystery.
It is like a seed planted in good soil.
The seed sprouts and grows.
We do not know how.
We know we are to work.
We also know it is the Lord of the Harvest that causes the growth.
The harvest is plentiful.
Let us do His work of the Kingdom.
“Hide Not the Light”
Matthew 5:15 10:26; 7:2; 13:12
Do you have ears to hear?
If you are saved you do.
Are you listening?
This Word tells us to “take care how you hear.”
So, listen to the commands.
Do not hide the Light that is in you.
Remember, nothing hidden will not be made known.
To the one that has, more.
To the one who has not, less.
With the judgment you pronounce you will be judged.
Fear them not.
Fear the Lord.
There is often debate as to the meaning of the parables.
Even the sower parable is debated, though we see here that Jesus explains it.
Jesus chides the disciples a bit...apparently the understanding of this parable is an “entry-level” accomplishment. LOL
The seed is the Word of God.
The issue is not Jesus’ explanation.
The issue is we do not like it.
Look at the truths and take them to the Lord.
He will give insight and understanding.
Seed sown beside the road:
- hears the Word of the Kingdom
- does not understand it
- evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart
- sown in his heart?
- evil one/Satan snatches it away?
- the Word is there without understanding?
Seed sown on rocky places:
- hears the Word of the Kingdom
- immediately receives it with joy
- yet, no root in himself
- temporary… ?
- when affliction and persecution arises because of the Word, he falls away
- just “emotional”...joy?
- not “real”…?
Seed sown among the thorns:
- hears the Word
- but, the worry of the world, the deceitfulness of wealth choke the world
- Word become unfruitful in him
Seed sown on good soil:
- hears the Word
- understands the Word
- bears fruit
- brings forth fruit
Which are you?
There are so many...I suspect the majority...of those who participate in good, religious activities that are not of the “good soil”.
Examine yourself to see if you are of the faith.
Jesus often taught through parables.
The disciples wanted to know why?
Jesus gave them/us a detailed, forthright answer.
Some serious truths and ramifications here.
It has been granted to disciples to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.
To “them” it has not be granted.
Why has it not been granted to “them”?
Because they do not believe.
Jesus spoke in parables because…
- seeing they do not see
- hearing they do not understand
Jesus tell us that this fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah…
- you will keep on hearing, but will not understand
- you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive
- the heart of the people has become dull
- their ears scarcely hear
- they have closed their eyes
- they could have believed
- the Lord heal them after they understand with their heart and return to the Lord
Jesus tells the disciples they are blessed.
Do you realize how blessed you are as a Believer?
You experience what the prophets longingly looked into.
Live as you should.
Jesus spoke and taught wherever He was.
He did not wait for a particular day of the week.
He did not wait for a particular gathering.
He did as Father instructed.
In this case, He is sitting by a lake when a crowd gathers.
Notice there was…
- no advertising
- no programs
- no buildings
- no “service”
- no...well, all that stuff we do to try to get the attention of the world and God…
But, I digress.
Jesus often taught through parables.
Why? So that those who have ears could hear.
Here He is sharing the parable of the sower.
Apparently He used this parable often.
We have examined it previously, so here is a brief synoptic review.
There was a sower.
He sowed seed.
There was four types of soil upon which the seed landed.
There were two different results.
On the path - birds devoured the seed - no fruit.
On rock ground - not much soil - sprang up quickly, but when sun came, withered/scorched - no fruit.
Among the thorns - thorns choked seed - no fruit.
Among good soil - sprouted, grew, yielded 30/60/100 times - Fruit!
Only one in four produced fruit.
Something to be gleaned here. What is it?
“Whoever has ears to hear had better listen”.
Everyone has one.
They can be a challenge at times...as can we.
Jesus was “challenged” occasionally by His family.
Some of His family did not “believe”...at least until after His death.
Mary did believe.
In this portion of the Word we see that Jesus’ family was seeking Him out.
They wanted to see Him.
Another portion of the Word tells us that they were concerned for Him.
Due to the crowd, His family could not get through.
Word came to Jesus that His family wanted to see Him.
Jesus seized the moment to communicate a profound truth.
His “family” are those who…
- hear the Word of God and do it
- does the will of God
He was not speaking negatively of His earthly family.
He was speaking of the True Family of the Kingdom.
Are you in the Family?
Do you do the will of Father?