Matthew – Chapter 7

Judging

Verse 1 – “Judge not, that you be not judged.

Verse 2 – “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

This doesn’t mean Jesus condemned all acts of judgment, because elsewhere (15:18; 15:20), He commanded believers to discern the actions of others. What Jesus condemned is hypocritical judgment that focuses on people’s faults of others while failing to examine themselves.

Verse 3 – “And why do you look at the speck in your brothers eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

Verse 4 – “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck out of your eye; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

Verse 5 – “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brothers eye.

We can’t help or correct a brother for a fault if our fault is the same thing or larger. Harsh words about others will not change their behavior. We better make sure that we have removed the sin or bad habit before we go after someone else.

Verse 6 – “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

It is futile to try to teach someone sacred teachings of Jesus if they won’t listen. In Jesus’ allegory, the sacrificial meat (what is holy) symbolized His own sacred teachings. The dogs symbolize the wicked who disregarded the value of His teachings. The same is true of a pearl, which is of high value. The pigs represent those who have only contempt for the gospel and Jesus teachings. As Christians, we have to know the difference of someone really wanting a change and those who don’t care to hear the gospel of Christ.

Verse 7 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you sill find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Verse 8 – “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Too many people start out their Christian walk on fire for God, but after a while, they stop. Maybe because a prayer didn’t get answered; maybe because of how someone treated them; but any circumstance that they didn’t agree with, they assumed God wasn’t going to help them, so they stopped even trying. With diligence perseverance, we are to seek God, and Jesus says we will find answers and doors will be opened to us. Sometimes people wait years for an answered prayer, but they never lost faith and hope in the God who is able to make all things possible.

Verse 9 – “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

Verse 10 – “Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

Verse 11 – “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

In other words: A father that doesn’t know God, doesn’t act or think like Him, has no concept of God’s standards will give his own children good things, how much more will a good and perfect Father give to His children? Don’t be afraid to ask. God doesn’t give bad gifts, He only withholds that which will harm or destroy us!

Verse 12 – “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Wouldn’t it be a much better world if everyone followed this rule. Before you do something to another, ask yourself if you would want that same thing done to you.

Two Ways of Life

Verse 13 – “Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

Verse 14 – “Because narrow is the gate and difficult the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Christ compares the way to life, through a gate. Diligence is required to enter this narrow gate. Just because things are available to us, doesn’t mean they are beneficial. The choices we make in this life will and does effect our eternity. Choose wisely which gate you chose to enter. There is no turning back after death, as some might think.

False and True Teaching

Verse 15 – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

Verse 16 – “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles?

False prophets are those who teach incorrect doctrine, or one falsely and unjustly laying claims to divine inspiration. Then Jesus give us instructions on how to test ones character. A true disciple will bear the fruit of good works. You will see the fruit of good works. You will see what their true character is by their actions and behavior.

Verse 17 – “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

Verse 18 – “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

Verse 19 – “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Verse 20 – “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

A bad tree produces nothing useful, so what good is it? These verses go much deeper than what they appear. Our lives are to bear the results of Jesus teachings, good works, kindness to others, showing mercy, and loving even the unlovable. How much effort does it really take to be kind to someone? Our heavenly Father is always watching what we do and that attitude behind our actions.

True Way into the Kingdom

Verse 21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord;  shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Verse 22 – “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

Verse 23 – “And then I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practiced lawlessness!’

Many, on the day of judgment, who may have been endowed with powers of prophecy, or miracles, or even to preach the gospel, will assume because they did these things in the name of Jesus will have eternal life. However, what about their moral character? God can choose anyone to perform miracles, but where is that’s person’s heart, is the true question.

There will be a day of judgment where all pretenders will be exposed for what they truly are.

Verse 24 – “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock;

Verse 25 – “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

Verse 26 – “Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand;

Verse 27 – “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

I relate these verses to “The Sower and the Seed.” Some stick with God, even in crises, hardships, or huge disappointments. They have built their lives on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ, no matter what testing or trials come their way. They never stop believing in the One who promises to deliver.

Then there are those who never stayed with Christ long enough to build a solid relationship with Him, and are blown away when the trials and testing comes.

Verse 28 – And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,

Verse 29 – for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

The teachers of the law (religious scholars) often cited traditions and quoted others in authority to support their arguments and interpretations. But Jesus, had no need to quote another, because He was the original WORD.

 

 

 

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Matthew – Chapter 6

Charitable Deeds

Verse 1 – “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Those who do good deeds to be praised by men, need not seek a reward from God. If the motive for helping others is anything other than for the glory of God, there will be no further reward.

Verse 2 – “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

The word hypocrite as used here, describes people who do good acts for appearances only.

Verse 3 – “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

Verse 4 – “that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

These are principles that Jesus taught His disciples, and as disciples of Christ, do the same?

Prayer

Verse 5 – “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you they have their reward.

Verse 6 – “But when you pray, go into your room, and when you shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

The religious leaders of Jesus time, loved to pray in public where they would seem to the people to be more holy. There is a place for public prayer, but to pray where only others will notice, is a good indication the audience is not God.

Verse 7 – “But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Repeating the same words over and over like a magic incantation, is speaking as though God didn’t hear you. Prayer is from he heart and can be very short and very effective.

Verse 8 – “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

Verse 9 – “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

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

Verse 11 – Give us this day our daily bread.

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

Verse 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.

This is often called the Lord’s prayer. (Verse 9) We are to be respectful to honor “Our heavenly Father.” (Verse 10) Christ’s kingdom, reign, is coming and His will is done because He’s our Creator, controls it all. (Verse 11) Those whom belong to Him, place their confidence in Him for protection and daily provision. (Verse 12) God does not lead us into temptations.This is asking God to not lead us into trials or a time of testing where we could be tempted to stray. And help us resist the evil one in these times. God has control of all these things and can so order our deliverance. (Verse 13) Debtors are those who are bound to others for some transaction. The word debt here means “sins,” or offences against God – offences which none but God can forgive. When we can’t or won’t forgive what others have done to us, how can we expect our heavenly Father to forgive us.

Verse 14 – “For if you forgive men their trespasses (offences against you), your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Verse 15 – “But if you  do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Recognizing our own sin, and truly repenting and asking forgiveness, results in a willingness to forgive others. Ephesians 4:32 – And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. Yes, it’s hard to forgive someone who is intentionally doing things to harm you. But our Father says to forgive. That doesn’t mean you have to continue a relationship with those who will not admit they have wronged you and want to continue to do so.

Fasting

Verse 16 – “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

Verse 17 – “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

Verse 18 – “so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Fasting- to abstain from food and drink. Fasting was mandatory once a year on the Day of Atonement. The Pharisees fasted twice a week to impress the people with their holiness.

This principle has been abused by church leaders, as it was abused by the Pharisees. Jesus said to do it in private. Every time I’ve read about the Jews fasting, it was because of their iniquity and sin and God was about to bring judgment. It is always associated with a deep time of prayer. The Bible refers to it as a religious observance. It is a time of grief or sorrow. It is what every person in sorrow does. This is the foundation applied to religion as a sacred rite. It is because the soul is, when oppressed or burdened by a sense of godly sorrow, of suffering, or some impending calamity coming.

Wealth

Verse 19 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

Verse 20 – “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

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

So many people today put so much value on their cars, houses, jewelry, and clothing, material things; all the while ignoring where they are going to spend eternity. Jesus says that you can know where a person’s heart is by what they place value on.

Verse 22 – “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

When our body is full of light, our conduct is regular and steady. All that is needed to direct the soul and the conduct, is that the eye of faith be fixed on heaven, that the affections be their – spiritual vision. Our heart is fixed on the things of God.

Verse 23 – “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

The eye that is bad has an improper perspective on wealth which results in moral and spiritual blindness that diminishes the ability to see and pursue what is good.

Verse 24 – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

We live in a very materialistic world. What we need to ask ourselves is this: What occupies more of our thoughts, time, and efforts, God, or gaining wealth? Jesus says you cannot serve the true God, and at the same time be engaged in obtaining the riches of this world. One will interfere with the other.

Verse 25 – “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Jesus doesn’t want his disciples to be “anxious” about the supply of their needs. Why not? Being worried will immobilize us, but concern will move us into action. Philippians 4:19 – and my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Verse 26 – “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Verse 27 – “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Verse 28 – “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;

Verse 29 – “and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of the these.

Verse 30 – “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Jesus revealed the real cause of worry and anxiety – little faith. Doubt is a faith killer. Doubt in God’s power and willingness to provide for His children, is unbelief.

Verse 31 – “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ ‘What shall we drink?’

Verse 32 – “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Verse 33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

The disciple who seeks God first over this life and diligently pursues righteous living, can trust God that He will supply all our needs.

Verse 34 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Planning for your future, is time well spent, but worrying about the “what if’s” is wasted. Sometimes its difficult to tell the difference. Worry brings fear and fear will cripple us. We can’t let worry and anxiety stop us from trusting in the Lord in all things!

 

 

 

 

Matthew – Chapter 5

The Beatitudes

Verse 1 – And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.

Verse 2 – Then He opened His mouth and taught them saying:

The Beatitudes is also called “The Sermon on the Mount.”

Verse 3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy are the poor in spirit because they have a humble opinion of themselves; to know that we have no righteousness of our own; to be willing to be saved by the grace of God; be willing to be placed where God places us; to be willing to be fully in His hands; and to feel we deserve no favor from Him.

Jesus didn’t say, blessed are the poor. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” If people think its humble to stay poor and always in need, they have missed the meaning completely. If you are always too poor to help anyone but yourself, then what good is that?

Verse 4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

This is for those who truly mourn over their sin. This is an attitude of true repentance. The comfort comes from Christ, knowing you are forgiven. And with that attitude, you will be able to comfort those who reach the same place of mourning.

Verse 5 – Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Meekness is patience when we are injured. It is the opposite of sudden anger, malice, bitterness, or revenge. Christ was the pure model of meekness. It was one of His characteristics. No man has endured more wrong than Him.

Verse 6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Such verses as this one, can be twisted into a theology in which righteousness is achieved by works. However, our righteousness is a gift from God, when Christ took our sin upon Himself. The exchange is, we receive the righteousness of Christ and He took our sin.

Verse 7 – Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

We imitate our heavenly Father, by showing mercy to others. We all were guilty of sin, wretched and dying, and bound for hell throughout eternity, before Christ. But through God’s Son, that was willing to die for us, we get to live forgiven. That’s mercy we didn’t deserve.

Verse 8 – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

True purity of heart will be given to those who hunger and thirst after Him. These are those whose minds are stayed on Him, whose principles are pure, who seek to have their actions done with a right attitude. When we stand before Jesus, we will see God.

Verse 9 – Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Those who strive to prevent contention and strife, war, and those who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties. Those who endeavor to promote peace are worthy to be called His children.

Verse 10 – Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

All that live godly will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Have you ever lost friends or family because you choose to live by God’s standards? There will be times when a true follower of Christ will refuse to compromise. That will cost you. Jesus calls us blessed!

Verse 11 – “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

This is all manner of evil against you for Christ’s sake. We are not blessed just because someone speaks evil of us, but falsely accusing. Because, as Christians, we are attached to Christ, it will offend others.

Verse 12 – “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

To those who suffer the most, God imparts the highest rewards. Do you know that God can take “that thing” that caused us to suffer the most, and use it to bless us in the mightiest way?

Verse 13 – “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

If Christians make no effort to influence and affect those around them, then they have no value. If a Christian is too much like the world, then they won’t have any affect on changing it!

Verse 14 – “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Do those around you know you are a follower of Christ? If they don’t,  you need to change some things. I’m not talking about “Bible Thumping,” I’m talking about bringing light into every situation where it brings comfort and peace. We don’t add to a stressful situation by adding fuel to the fire.

Verse 15 – Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

Have you ever heard someone say, “My religion is personal. I don’t tell anyone about it. That’s between me and God.” Christianity is not a secret society!

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

Others are watching our responses and attitudes toward different situations. We aren’t to throw a fit when we don’t get our way. We are to take the principles by God that we have been taught, and apply them to each situation. Others will watch how we respond and know whether God All Mighty is our Father or not.

Jesus Fulfills the Law

Verse 17 – “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

The first five books of Moses and what the prophets wrote, was the meaning. Throughout Israel’s history, these laws had been misquoted and misapplied. By Jesus’ time, the religious leaders had turned the laws into a confusing mass of rules that they didn’t follow the true meaning themselves. Jesus was trying to get people to understand the laws original purpose.

Verse 18 – “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Ceremonial law, civil law, and the moral laws of God, all have principles that are still followed by God’s people today. However, because our savior, Jesus Christ, made that one final sacrifice with His blood, that satisfied the Father. We just have to accept and receive.

Verse 19 – “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of haven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heave.

The Pharisees liked to divide the law into greater and lesser precepts. Disobedience, no matter how small, is still disobedience.

Verse 20 – “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

The Pharisees were scrupulous in their attempts to follow their laws. They strive to obey the law outwardly, but not allow God to change them inwardly. So, Jesus was saying their goodness should be greater than that of the Pharisees. They looked pious, but they were far from the kingdom of God. God judges our hearts as well as our deeds.

Verse 21 – “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.

Verse 22 – “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ Shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

The Jews understood, “Thou shall not murder” to mean, to take another’s life with malice or with intent to murder them. They took its understanding no further. But Jesus showed the spiritual effects of murder. It was extended to thoughts and feelings as well as the extreme act. Raca,” is an expression of great contempt. Notice Jesus said, “to be angry with a brother without cause.” He didn’t tell us it was a sin to be angry. He was telling us not to “act” on that anger.

Verse 23 – “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

Verse 24 – leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Verse 25 – “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, least your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown in prison.

Verse 26 – “Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

These 4 verses have to be read together to get the full meaning of Jesus is saying. The one that comes to worship and offer a gift (sacrifice) at the altar, is the one which has done a wrong to the one who is angry with him. Jesus isn’t talking about the worshiper having done nothing wrong and another is angry at them for some stupid reason. He’s saying, we can’t come to worship without first making it right with the person we have wronged or we are being a hypocrite. Try to reconcile, make right the wrong, before that person takes you into a court of law and sues your pants off!

Verse 27 – “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

Verse 28 – “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

The Pharisees here again had probably been teaching that it was only adultery if they committed the act. However, Jesus says it has already been committed if one lusts for another that is not theirs.

Verse 29 – “And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than the for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Verse 30 – “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Jesus was not telling them to self-mutilate, because a blind person can still lust. He was saying don’t tolerate a sin in your life until it festers and becomes a part of your life. Get rid of it quickly. It is better to suffer a little while in trying to stop something, than it is to bring judgment and condemnation on one’s self.

Verse 31 – “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’

Verse 32 – “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Jesus plainly states that unfaithfulness is the only excuse for divorce. However, when one partner becomes abusive, physical, or mentally abusive, sometimes its better to dissolve the marriage in order to save a person’s life!

Verse 33 – Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely,

Verse 34 – “but I say to you, do not swear at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;

Verse 35 – “nor by earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

We can’t make an oath and swear by it on something we don’t own, neither heaven or earth. The Jews were breaking promises and using sacred language casually and carelessly. Giving your word while knowing you are not going to keep it is, “swearing falsely.”

Verse 36 – “Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.

Verse 37 – “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No!’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

If we are known as an honest and truthful person, we then have no need to always end our statement with, I promise or I swear.

Verse 38 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’

Verse 39 – “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

These two verses have been taken out of context and perverted to the point of Christians believing that they should stand there and let someone physically abuse them. Not so. We are to defend ourselves and our families. What Jesus was talking about was this; This rule had been made for judges and magistrates in a court of law, but the Jews had taken it a step further to the individuals. The punishment was to fit the crime (verse 38). The Jews had taken this to enact revenge on another Jew. Jesus declares that the law had no reference to private revenge.

Now for the “turning the cheek.” When we have been wronged, Jesus said to do good to those who have wronged us. Our desire should be to forgive and love. This is not natural for us to do, its supernatural that can only come with God’s help. He will help us pray for those who hurt us. Some may disagree with the meaning of turning the other cheek, but by no means stand there and let someone beat you up so that this scripture can be fulfilled. You will end up in the hospital or dead.

Verse 40 – “If anyone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

Jesus commanded His disciples to do even more than the courts allowed when seeking reconciliation with an opponent. He was trying to get their hearts tender in order to give mercy instead of retaliation for a wrong.

Verse 41 – “And whoever compels you to go one mile go with him two.

Verse 42 – “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

These verses are open to interpretation of our times. Someone who is in true need, help them; someone who refuses to work, only promotes their laziness.

Verse 43 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Verse 44 – “But I say to you love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Verse 45 – “That you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His Sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Verse 46 – “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

Verse 47 – “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

Verse 48 – “Therefor you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

We are expected as Christians to act and respond different from the world does in every situation. We can’t love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, or pray for those who spitefully use us unless we have God’s Holy Spirit living within us! Sometimes we fail at this, but that doesn’t mean we quit trying. Not everyone has these principles, so just be kind, have consideration for others, and always show mercy, because God gives you, me, mercy even though I, we, don’t deserve it!

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew – Chapter 4

First Temptation

Verse 1 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

This gives a good indication that the minute we give our hearts to Christ, the devil will start tempting us in all areas of our life. But Jesus overcame him, and so can we through Jesus Christ. A person has not shown true obedience until they have had an opportunity to disobey. God led Israel into the desert to humble and test them (Deuteronomy 8:2). We too will be tested in this life. Being tempted is not sin, but don’t intentionally place yourself where you know you will be tempted.

Verse 2 – And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.

The devil often tempts us when we are most vulnerable – when we are under physical or emotional stress, decisions, or faced with uncertainty. Don’t let your emotions affect how you treat others when your circumstances are stressing you out.

Verse 3 – Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

The first temptation – taking care of His physical needs. Watch out when you are in need of something, how you obtain it.

Verse 4 – But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

We don’t combat temptations with “feelings.” Win over temptations with “The Word of God.”

The Second Temptation

Verse 5 – Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,

Verse 6 – and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning You,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear You up, lest You dash Your foot against a stone.’ ”

Would you look at that! Satan now says, “It is written.” Oh, Satan knows the scripture, he just never obeyed it! It makes no difference in one’s life how much knowledge of God’s Word they know, do they do it? Be aware when you’ve reached high success, positions with power, and favor in everything, because a temptation of pride will come at some point.

Verse 7 – Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ”

This is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:16. Meaning – don’t throw yourself into voluntary and un-commanded dangers and then tell God to protect you. Don’t play with rattle snakes, and you won’t get bit! Satan likes to pervert scripture.

Third Temptation

Verse 8 – Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

Verse 9 – And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

You can’t give what’s not yours to give. Satan was talking about the political power that comes with ruler-ship. However, he didn’t own that either, God sets up kingdoms, so therefore, they belong to Him also.

Verse 10 – Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

Today the devil offers us the world by offering us materialism and power, they can become idols. Keep your focus on Jesus and His righteousness and He will guide you into all truths. Notice every time Jesus answered the devil, He did so with the Word of God that had already been written. We should do the same.

Verse 11 – Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

I’m sure that there were many more temptations that may have been presented to Jesus, but He countered with “what is written.” so when you find yourself being tempted by the evil one, don’t think its something new. Our precious Jesus was tempted in every way know to man and He is right there with us to bring us out victorious!

Satan’s temptation will adapt to times and circumstances. Satan doesn’t come with a clear and plain sin for us to commit, it would put people on guard. He usually starts little by little until he sees a person fall to that temptation at least once.

James 4:7 – Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The key here is to, “Submit to God,” first!

Jesus Begins His Ministry

Verse 12 – Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed Galilee.

John was put in prison because he dared to say that Herod Antipas’s marriage to his brother’s wife was immoral (Matthew 141-13).

Verse 13 – And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

Verse 14 – that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying:

Verse 15 – “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”

Zebulun and Naphtali were two of the original 12 tribes of Israel. Capernaum was a large populated fishing center on the shores of Lake Galilee. It was mostly populated with Gentiles and heathen. By Jesus choosing this area, He was able to reach Jews and Gentiles in His ministry.

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

Jesus started where John the Baptist left off – “The Messiah has come!”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

Verse 18 – Now Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

The Sea of Galilee is really a large lake. About 30 fishing towns surrounded it during Jesus day and Capernaum was the largest.

Verse 19 – And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Verse 20 – Then they immediately left their nets and followed Him.

From reading this, you would think, “What does this strange man want? What does He mean, fisher of men?” But, according to John 1:35-42, Jesus had already been preaching in this area, and they knew what He wanted of them. They were thoroughly convinced that following Him would change their lives forever.

Verse 21 – And going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. And He called them,

Verse 22 – and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Did you notice that when Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John, that they didn’t make an excuse as to why they couldn’t go with Him? Are you making an excuse as to why you can’t follow Jesus today?

Verse 23 – Now Jesus went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

With preaching and teaching the gospel, there should be evidence to what is being said by the one delivering the message, and there was. There was the miracles of healing and making the person’s whole, body, soul, and spirit. In other words: At some point there has to be a manifestation of what is being preached or they are just words.

Verse 24 – Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments and those who were demon-possessed, epileptic, and paralytic; and He healed them.

Jesus preached the “Good News!” God is with us and that He cares for us is the message. Jesus words were good news because they offered freedom, hope, and peace of heart, and eternal life with God.

Verse 25 – And great multitudes followed Him – from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond Jordan.

The news of Jesus was out and people came long distances to hear Him. Unlike these, we have God’s Word to hear Jesus. How close He is, but so far away from some.

 

Matthew – Chapter 3

John The Baptist

Verse 1 – In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

John the Baptist was about 6 months older than Jesus. Elizabeth, John’s mother, and Mary were related, either cousins, aunt, sister or some close family relation. “In those days,” means while Jesus was still in Nazareth.

Verse 2 – and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Almost 30 years had passed since the events of chapter 2. John bursts on the scene telling people to “Repent!” “Stop rebelling against God, and begin following the life that is in God’s Word.” True repentance is a 180 degree turn around from the way a person had been going. There will be an obvious transformation. “The kingdom of God is at hand,” the kingdom of Christ, “The reign of God draws near.”

Verse 3 – For this is he who was spoke of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD, make His paths straight.’ ”

We, as Christians, can help prepare a way for people to meet Christ by explaining, who He is, why He came, the forgiveness of sin, and how much He loves them. John did this by preaching before Jesus came on the scene.

Verse 4 – And John himself was clothed in camel’s-hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

This clothing that John wore, was the type of clothing prophets wore (2 Kings 1:8; Zechariah 13:4). This made John different from the other religious leaders, who were greedy and selfish, and preoccupied with winning the praise of the people. John was concerned only with the praise of God. John separated himself from the others to show this message was new. Do others recognize you’re a Christian simply by observing your actions?

Verse 5 – Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him

Verse 6 – and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

I’m sure some showed up out of curiosity, but never the less, they repented and were baptized. Some people may end up in church simply out of curiosity, but when the Holy Spirit pricks their hearts, their lives will be changed.

John used a symbolic action that people could see in baptism for the repentance of sins and forgiveness. It was a renewal of their covenant with God through water baptism.

Verse 7 – But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducee’s coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Two of the most prominent sects of that time were the Pharisees and Sadducee’s. The Pharisees separated themselves from anything non-Jewish. The Sadducee’s believed in Genesis through Deuteronomy alone. They were descended mainly from priestly nobility, while the Pharisees came from all class of people. These two groups dislike each other, but both opposed Jesus.

John criticized the Pharisees for being legalistic and hypocritical, following the letter of the Law but ignoring the true intent. He criticized the Sadducee’s for using religion to advance their political position.

Verse 8 – “Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance,

Verse 9 – “and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

In other words: Your privileges of birth, avail nothing where there is no righteousness of life. They weren’t God’s children simply by being a descendant of Abraham’s.  Just as a tree is expected to bear good fruit, God’s people are expected to produce good works. People should be able to see our faith in the way we treat others – actions.

Verse 10 – “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

John compared people who claim they believe God but don’t live for God, to unproductive trees that will be cut down.

Verse 11 – “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

John showed great humility by saying that the one coming after him he wasn’t worthy to carry even His sandals. John was baptizing for the forgiveness of sins, but it couldn’t change a person on the inside, it only made a public commitment. But when Jesus came, He would baptize them with the Holy Spirit fire that would give them an inner transformation. This transformation would affect the heart’s motives and the very soul and would produce rapid and permanent changes in the lives of people. Jesus s would have the power to transform a heart in a way that no other had, ever.

Verse 12 – “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

“Winnowing fan,” is actually a shovel, fork, of sort, used for throwing grain into the air, so that the chaff is blown away by the wind. The chaff, representing the wicked, will be burned up with a fire that can’t be extinguished.

Baptism of Jesus

Verse 13 – Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

Did Jesus “need” to be baptized? No, in His case, a personal reformation and repentance of sin was not necessary, for He was sinless. This baptism was a solemn rite by which He was set apart to His great office. He represented holiness and purity in that great system of religion that He was about to set up in the world.

Verse 14 – And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

Verse 15 – But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.

Under the Old Testament law, there was no ordinance to be water baptized. The people had never seen this until John introduced it. But Jesus chose to do it as an example to the baptism of John, as to a divine ordinance.

Verse 16 – Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from  the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

Verse 17 – And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

These verses show the Trinity, or the doctrine that there are three Persons in divine nature and yet One in essence. In this passage, all three person of the Trinity are present and active. God the Father speaks; God the Son is baptized; God the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus. This is one of God’s incomprehensible mysteries.

Matthew – Chapter 2

The Visit of Wise Men

Verse 1 – Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,

These wise men were called “magi.” Bethlehem of Judea was also called Judah and this was the place of Jesus birth prophesied by Micah in chapter 5, verse 2. Jerusalem was also the seat of government to Herod the great, king over all political districts.

Some scholars say these magi were from a different land, representing the entire world bowing before Jesus. These men from faraway lands, recognized Jesus as the Messiah when most of God’s chosen people in Israel did not! Matthew pictures Jesus King over the entire world, not just Judea.

Verse 2 – saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

These magi must have rode into Jerusalem and started asking people where this King of the Jews was because Herod got wind of it. This question would challenge Herod’s reign. Herod was not even qualified to reign as king because he was neither a Jew nor a descendant of David.

Verse 3 – When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Herod was troubled by a legitimate heir to the throne. The people were troubled because in the past he had killed his favorite wife and sons in order to protect his rule so they knew something bad was coming.

Verse 4 – And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

Verse 5 – So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

Verse 6 – ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”

Matthew paraphrased Micah 5:2, which had been given 700 years before.

Verse 7 – Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.

Verse 8 – And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

Verse 9 – When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.

This is one of the most skipped over verses. Jesus was not a little new-born baby now. Some time had passed and He was a young child, perhaps around the age of two.

Verse 10 – When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

Our being led to Christ should fill us with joy. He is the way, the truth, and the life; the Savior, our friend, our all in all; there is no other way of life, and there is no peace to the soul until He is found.

Verse 11 – And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. and when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

These presents were worthy of a King such as Jesus.The incense was a gift of deity, myrrh a spice for a person who was going to die and frankincense was used in worship and found in the East Indies, but chiefly in Arabia. The gold, more than likely was used when they fled to Egypt.

Verse 12 – Then being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

Finding Jesus, leads us in a different direction than what we intended before we came to Him. God watches over whom He loves and knows how to spoil the schemes of the wicked.

To Egypt

Verse 13 – Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”

The very place that had been a bondage for hundreds of years to the Jews, now became a refuge and safety for the new-born King of the Jews. God can overturn nations and kingdoms, so that whom He loves shall be safe anywhere. Aren’t we glad that Joseph was obedient to the angel of the Lord?

Verse 14 – When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,

Verse 15 – and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

Just as Moses delivered his  people from slavery in Egypt, Jesus would deliver His people from slavery to Satan. Thus Matthew rightly regarded Hosea 11:1.

Verse 16 – Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

King Herod totally misunderstood the meaning of Jesus. Jesus came to make man free from sin and punishment, the guilt of the past. He came to give man freedom in Him.

Verse 17 – Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,

Verse 18 – “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they were no more (Jeremiah 31:15).

Rachel was the wife of Jacob and the mother of Benjamin, one of the 12 tribes. This prophecy was given because of all the dead children in Judea.

Verse 19 – But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

Verse 20 – saying, “Arise, take the young child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.”

Verse 21 – Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

Verse 22 – But when he heard Archeiaus was reigning over Judea  instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream he turned aside into the region Galilee.

Herod had died of an incurable disease. Herod knew that Rome wouldn’t give his successor as much power, so he divided his kingdom into 3 parts, one for each son.  Galilee was under the government of Herod Antipas, who was a mild prince, and in his dominions Joseph might find safety.

Verse 23 – And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

No such quote is found in the Old Testament. However, by saying, “The prophets,” not a particular one, but a general character of the prophecies.

 

 

 

 

The Book of Matthew – Chapter 1

Introduction: The word, “Gospel” means “Good News,” or “A joyful message.” Matthew is the gospel written by a Jew to the Jews. Also keep in mind, that the Law of Moses is still in effect. Matthew’s message of baptism and miracles recordings, all point to the same inescapable conclusion: Christ is King, even in  His death and Resurrection. His message echoes: The King of the Jews lives.

Matthew, the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14), occupied the unpopular post of collecting taxes for the Roman government. He was chosen as one of the twelve apostles, and the last appearance of his name in the Bible is in Acts 1:13. Like all the gospels, Matthew is not easy to date: suggestions range from A.C. 40 to 140, but everything points to before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Genealogy of Christ

Verse 1 – The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

The Hebrew people put a lot of emphasis on whom a person’s father was, so since the Book of Matthew was written to the Jews, he traces Jesus back to Abraham.

Verse 2 – Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.

Verse 3 – Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron and Hezron begot Ram.

Verse 4 – Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nashshon and Nashshon begot Solomon.

Verse 5 – Solomon beget Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,

Verse 6 – and Jesse begot David the King. David the King begot Solomon by her who had been with the wife of Uriah.

Isn’t it odd that Matthew wouldn’t mention “Bathsheba’s” name? He called her the wife of Uriah. Maybe because David had committed adultery and murder because of her.

Verse 7 – Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah and Abijah begot Asa.

Rehoboam had 18 wins and 60 concubines, 28 sons and 60 daughters. He loved Maachah more than the rest and she was the mother of Abijah who begot Asa. Asa started out following the Lord, even destroyed the pagan idols. But later on, Asa began oppressing the people. Eventually he contracted a foot disease, but still would not turn back to God.

Verse 8 – Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram and Joram begot Uzziah.

Jehoshaphat was a good King of Judah. He instructed the people to follow God.

Verse 9 – Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz and Ahaz begot Hezekiah.

According to the Hebrew Bible, King Hezekiah enacted sweeping religious reforms, including a strict mandate for the sole worship of God.

Verse 10 – Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon and Amon begot Josiah.

King Josiah (King of Judah), became King at the age of 8. He is described as a very righteous King who “walked in the way of David and his father and turned not aside to the right or the left.” (2 Kings 22:2)

Verse 11 – Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

Verse 12 – And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.

If you read and studied and along with me through the Old Testament, you will recognize some of these very prominent people. Zerubbabel was the governor over Jerusalem and God had placed him in charge of getting the people to rebuild their temple.

Verse 13 – Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim and Eliakim begot Azor.

Verse 14 – Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim and Achim begot Eliud.

Verse 15 – Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan and Matthan begot Jacob.

Eleazar is the great-grandfather of Joseph, husband of Mary.

Verse 16 – And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

Verse 17 – So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations and from the captivity in Babylon until Christ are fourteen generations.

The number 7 is perfection and complete in the Bible. So the number 14 implies a double measure of spiritual perfection.

Birth of Christ

Verse 18 – Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Very plain language: Before they were married, they were engaged, Mary was with child of the Holy Spirit. Unlike all other pregnancies, Mary was a virgin but yet pregnant. Why did Christ need to be born of a virgin? In order to escape the sinful nature passed on by all human beings by Adam.  Jesus was born without any traces of sin! He was born fully human and fully divine.

Verse 19 – Then Joseph her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

Joseph thought he only had two choices: to either divorce her quietly or have her stoned, as was the custom. However, God often, through His divine wisdom, shows us a third choice as He did to Joseph.

Verse 20 – But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

Verse 21 – “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Angel of the Lord – God’s messenger. And what he said to Joseph is the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was born to take away the sin of the world.

Verse 22 – Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying”

Verse 23 – “Behold, a virgin shall be with child and bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated “God with us”.

Verse 24 – Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

Verse 25 – and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called his name JESUS.

Sometimes people will avoid doing what is right because of what others might think. However, Joseph was fully convinced that Mary had not been unfaithful to him, so he made her his wife and did not have intimacy with her until after the birth of Jesus.