Mark – Chapter 2

A Paralytic Is Healed

Verse 1 – And again He entered Capernaum after some days; and it was heard that He was in the house. (Probably Peter’s house.)

Verse 2 – Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no large room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them.

Verse 3 – Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.

Verse 4 – And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof  where He was. And when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

Instead of concentrating on how they got through the roof, I think Jesus wants us to look at the compassion these four men had for the paralytic man. How far are we willing to go to get someone in need to Jesus? We can all start by showing others we are willing to go that “extra mile” for them.

Verse 5 – When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

Instead of speaking words of healing, Jesus says your sins, plural, are forgiven. Only here did Jesus link sins and the man’s paralysis. Perhaps there was some direct connection between the two.

Verse 6 – But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,

Verse 7 – “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?

Maybe they should have asked, “Who can heal, but God? The scribes never concentrated on the visible issue of healing. They always wanted to find fault on when, where, or how Jesus did it. Never on the fact that He was healing so many.

Verse 8 – And immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?

Verse 9 – “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise take up your bed and walk’?

Verse 10 – “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic,

Verse 11 – “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house.”

You would think that after witnessing a healing of this magnitude, that the scribes would know that this Man, Jesus, was God in the flesh. However, when a heart is so blinded by hate, the truth fails the eyes and ears.

Verse 12 – And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

Don’t let your praise for God wear-off after He delivers you. How often people forget.

Verse 13 – Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them.

Verse 14 – And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and said to him, “Follow Me.” And he arose and followed Him.

Levi is another name for Matthew. Though a tax collector for the Roman government was hated by the Jews, Jesus didn’t hesitate to call him to be a disciple of the twelve.

Verse 15 – Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.

Right away, Matthew wanted to tell others and celebrate by inviting others to his new-found faith.

Verse 16 – And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

This doesn’t mean the Pharisees were with them eating, they simply waited for some of the disciples to come out of the house.

Verse 17 – When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

The self-righteous Pharisees were furious that Jesus would have a meal with sinners. Again, by making this statement they admitted Jesus was righteous or they wouldn’t have bothered. I wonder how many other tax collector’s lives were changed that day?

Verse 18 – And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. And they came and said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

Fasting was only required on the Day of Atonement and when a great repentance needed to be made for sin. John’s message to fast was for repentance and for the coming of the Messiah. The Pharisees fasted twice a week to show the people an outward showing of how holy they were. Jesus disciples didn’t need to fast because the Messiah was with them. If we only fast for an outward showing, its useless.

Verse 19 – So Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegrooms with them they cannot fast.

Jesus is portrayed as the bridegroom and Jerusalem God’s people, as the bride. We as believers, have been grafted in, so that includes the body of believers, the church, as the bride. Revelation 21:2 – Then, I John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Verse 20 – “But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.

Jesus shifts the focus to His forcibly being taken away, death. After His death, His disciples will fast, just as John the Baptist’ disciples were fasting now after John’s death took him forcibly away.

Verse 21 – No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse.

Verse 22 – “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”

The Pharisees had become rigid like old wineskins. They could not accept Jesus by faith because of their ideas and rules. Our hearts can become rigid and hard like old wineskins which will prevent people from accepting Jesus. By placing our faith in Jesus, He gives a new heart transformed by the Holy Spirit, if you relieve Him.

Verse 23 – Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain.

Verse 24 – And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”

Harvesting and threshing grain on the Sabbath was specifically forbidden. However, the Pharisees considered even to pluck corn and to rub it as threshing. They even forbade walking on grass as threshing and would not even allow so much as a fruit to be plucked form a tree on the Sabbath.

Verse 25 – But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him;

Verse 26 – “how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except by the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”

Verse 27 – And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Verse 28 – “Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

When we make a bunch of rules and laws of can’s and cannot’s for our “Day of Rest,” we are forgetting the true intent. And then when we expect others to follow those same rules and laws, we are acting like the Pharisees!

 

Mark – Introduction and Chapter 1

Introduction: The Mark who wrote this Gospel was John Mark, the son of a widow named Mary, in whose house the church in Jerusalem sometimes gathered.

According to the early church fathers, Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome just before or just after Peter’s martyrdom. Most Bible scholars are convinced that Mark was the earliest Gospel and served as one of the sources for Matthew and Luke. Mark’s Gospel is written to the Gentiles in Rome and portrays Jesus as the servant, always giving of Himself.

The Forerunner of the Servant

Verse 1 – The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

While the other Gospels portray Jesus as the Son of Man, Mark mostly uses, the “Son of God.” The reason being, that there were many gods in Rome that people worshiped and he was mainly writing to the Gentiles living in Rome.

Verse 2 – As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.”

Jesus came at a time in history when everything was relatively peaceful under Roman rule. There had been no God-sent prophets for 400 years, since the days of Malachi.

Verse 3 – “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD, make His paths straight (Isaiah 40:3).

Verse 4 – John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

In John’s ministry, baptizing was a way of showing that a person had decided to change their life. John took a known custom and gave it new meaning. The Jews often baptized non-Jews who had been converted to Judaism. The early church took baptism even a step further, to association it with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.

Verse 5 – And all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

John prepared people to accept Jesus as God’s Son.

Verse 6 – Now John was clothed with Camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.

Verse 7 – And he preached saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.

Verse 8 – “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Verses 7 and 8, are not mentioned in Matthew nor John, but is mentioned with some varying circumstances by Luke.

This saying, “baptizing with the Holy Spirit” was very new to the listeners. The water baptism of repentance for sin, was the beginning of a Spirit filled life. Through the spirit, we are transformed by His power to live for Jesus.

Verse 9 – It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

Verse 10 – And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the spirit descending upon Him like a dove.

If John’s baptism was for repentance for sin, then why was Jesus baptized? Jesus did this to give us an example to follow. We know that there was a difference between John’s baptism and the Christian baptism in the church because Paul had John’s followers baptized again (Acts 19:2-5).

Verse 11 – Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

This verse shows the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The Temptation of Jesus

Verse 12 – And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.

Verse 13 – And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

Being with wild beasts is only mentioned in Mark, perhaps to show how remote this area was. When we go through temptations and the turmoil they bring, remember how Jesus fought back, through God’s written Word. To be tempted is not a sin. Tempting others or giving in to it, is the sin. Jesus had to be tempted by Satan to know every temptation known to man. So when we think Jesus doesn’t know how we feel, think again. He was already there, and knows exactly what we are going through.

Verse 14 – Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

Verse 15 – and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

The “time is fulfilled.” This was the appointed time for sending the Messiah to preach God’s kingdom. Everything that is done is according to a plan laid out by divine wisdom. Jesus was born and showed up exactly when God designed it. Jesus established the kingdom of grace and begins with repentance of sin.

Verse 16 – And as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

Verse 17 – Then Jesus said to them, “Come after Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

Verse 18 – And immediately they left their nets and followed Him.

In Mark’s gospel, he shows the authority Jesus had when He just simply said, “Come.”

Verse 19 – When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; who also were in the boat mending their nets.

So Jesus has four fishermen, Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John.

Verse 20 – And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.

Did you notice they didn’t hesitate to Jesus calling? So why should we?

Verse 21 – Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.

Verse 22 – And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Verse 23 – Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,

Verse 24 – saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!”

Did you notice the unclean spirit said, “Let us, and what have to do with You?” There was more than one demon in this man. However, they recognized and knew who Jesus was immediately, so why are people so blinded when Jesus shows up on the scene?

Verse 25 – But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”

Verse 26 – And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.

Verse 27 – Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him.”

Verse 28 – And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.

Peter’s Mother-in-Law Is Healed

Verse 29 – Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

Verse 30 – But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.

I wonder how Peter’s wife and family survived after Peter went with Jesus? Maybe the rest of the extended family stepped in.

Verse 31 – So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus spoke to the fever. With each account, the writer chooses to emphasize different details of each story, so there is no contradiction in the gospels.

Verse 32 – Now at evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.

Evidently, the demons had been running rampant before Jesus came.

Verse 33 – And the whole city was gathered together at the door.

Verse 34 – Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.

By commanding the demons to be silent, Jesus proved He had the authority and power over them. Jesus wanted the people to know He was the Messiah because of what “He” said, not what the demons said.

Verse 35 – Now in the morning, having risen long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.

This is another example for us to follow. Start your day with prayer, and that way you will be prepared for what comes.

Verse 36 – And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him.

Verse 37 – When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”

Verse 38 – But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also because for this purpose I have come forth.” (Jesus didn’t stay in one place).

Verse 39 – And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.

There was no time to sit idle by while souls were perishing for lack of knowledge. If only we had this same zeal that Christ had.

A Leper Is Cleansed

Verse 40 – Then a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing. You can make me clean.”

Today I hear people changing this to, “If it be Your will…” The leper fell down on his knees to show humility and appealing to Jesus’ love, the man was fully convinced of His ability. Our Lord is always willing to do what He is perfectly capable of doing.

Verse 41 – And Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

Verse 42 – As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

Verse 43 – And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once.

Verse 44 – And He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Keep in mind they were still under the Law of Moses.)

Verse 45 – But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every quarter.

The Son of Man sowed the seed of the harvest. Multitudes of Jews were converted by the preaching of the Gospel; and the first Christian Church was founded at Jerusalem.

 

 

Does My Church Meet the Standards of the First Church in the Book of Acts?

Our goal as a Christian, should be to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, disciple others, and then they become disciples. We are not to be spectators in this world. We become disciples through the church. The proof that you are becoming a disciple is, you are changing. If you are not changing, then you are not an active disciple. If people in the church you attend, are not changing, then something is diffidently wrong.

We are to change from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity. If change is taking place, then development is taking place. All the programs in a church doesn’t matter if they are not producing disciples.

Is God’s Holy Spirit at home in your church? If not, nothing will change. When the first church started in the Book of Acts, chapter 2, it was vibrant and alive. The reason it was on fire is because the Holy Spirit was free to be Himself.

What did the first church have that every church should have? (1) Worship! (Acts 2:42 – and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. The had an overwhelming presence of God in their midst. They came together to worship. Biblical worship is the recognition of God for who He is, what He has done, and what we are trusting Him to do. So in other words: “Worship is making a big deal about God!” We create an environment during worship where the Holy Spirit is free to do as He pleases. When we worship, we have one focus, and that focus is on Jesus Christ. And that is why we have music and worship leaders to lead us into worship.

Do you know there are people who can come to church and never enter into worship? Those who come and don’t worship will never see the “Awe” of God. Awe is when God shows up and shows out! People will be saved, delivered, and healed!

What I have found in the church today is, “It is missing the Awe!” As long as God is not the focus in the church the Holy Spirit is not free to express Himself.

I’ve been in too many services where two or three songs are played, we sing, maybe raise the hands, and then, “Bam!” it’s cut off! All of a sudden the announcements, programs, and meetings are announced for twenty minutes or so. The focus is changed to the churches agenda and the flow of God’s Spirit is cut off!

The second thing that was present at the first church is “Fellowship.” It means to become a part of a common family. They held something in common. Acts 2:44 – Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,. Then verse 45 goes on to say they sold their possessions and goods, and among anyone who had needs, the needs were met. They shared what they had, they were connected to each other.

Today we have too many with an attitude, “What’s in it for me? I’m going to get my blessing.” Some don’t realize that it’s impossible for God to do something for you, if He also can’t do something “through you.” If you are not a conduit Christian, you block the Holy Spirit from working to you, because He can’t flow through you.

Think of it this way: A body of water that has no outlet to release water, or doesn’t have an inlet of fresh water coming in, becomes stagnate. We are not to be blessed without becoming a blessing – it has to flow back out.

I have found that this concept is also the key to answered prayer. How will my answered prayer, flow back out into another life? When we become a “pass-through, it gives God a channel to keep “flow-through,” it keeps coming. So our fellowship should be life touching life, we connect.

The third thing I’ve found that a church had in Acts was, they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, doctrine. They exposed themselves to the information and application, continuing in it, the doctrine of truth. You will never grow beyond what you know. One of the jobs of the church is to give us God’s perspective on every matter. It is not to give us “their opinion.” The Holy Spirit only operates with divine truth.

God’s perspective often disagrees with the culture or tradition, or what society says. God’s principles and perspectives will contradict what the world has taught us to believe. So the question people need to ask themselves is: Do I want the Spirit of God to change me, or do I want to hold on to what I think is true and what I personally value? Unless God’s standards become the standard, it won’t change anything. “Let God be true and every man a liar!”

However, information by itself won’t change you. It has to be information acted on. The transformation in us will never happen unless the information we receive is acted on.

The fourth thing the church had and is need of today, is “outreach.” Verse 41 says those who gladly received His Word were baptized and that day three thousand souls were added. They were adding daily to the church. So without actually have an “out-reach” program, they were out-reaching others.

The reason churches “program” so much, is that what they are trying to get people to do doesn’t come naturally for some. Too many have lost their first love. These people kept their focus on Jesus and were on fire for Him. They didn’t need to be coaxed into telling others about the One who Saved them. There was a free-flowing of the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus is put back on the throne; when the Holy Spirit is free to express Himself, we won’t need any program in the church to get “lit up” for the salvation of the lost.  The church, as a whole, needs to get back to the “First Love” of Jesus Christ!

Matthew – Chapter 28

The Empty Tomb

Verse 1 – Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

I noticed the high regard that Mary Magdalene holds in scripture. The Bible always identifies her so there is no misunderstanding of which Mary it is.

Verse 2 – And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.

This happened before the women reached the tomb. This was no ordinary angel.

Verse 3 – His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

From Mark’s point of view, it seems as though this angel is a young man.

Verse 4 – And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

Verse 5 – But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

Verse 6 – “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come see the place where the Lord lay.

Verse 7 – “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

These women would be the first to tell of Jesus resurrection. To the saved, its glorious news, but to the lost, it places fear in them. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true religion where the One that is worshiped is “Alive!”

Verse 8 – So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

Verse 9 – And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them saying, “Rejoice!” And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.

Try to imagine what it must have felt like to see Jesus alive again. They knew what kind of horrible death He had endured, but yet, here He was in front of them. Jesus can place a joy on the inside like nothing or no one else ever can.

Verse 10 – Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

Jesus said for them to go tell His “brethren,” not His disciples. This is a term of endearment. The fact that they had all deserted Him was all in the past.

Verse 11 – Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.

Verse 12 – When they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,

Verse 13 – saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’

How absurd! First of all, would so many soldiers be found asleep all at once? Second; if a Roman soldier was found sleeping at his post, it would be certain death. Third, would they be so sound asleep as to not wake up when the stone was rolled away and the body taken? Fourth; if the solders were asleep, how did they know it was the disciples that took the body?

Verse 14 – “And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.”

Will some take money to deny Christ? Yes they will. They may start out with Him, but after fame and fortune comes, they can’t remember His name.

Verse 15 – So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

This was not only true and happening then, it still happens today. People deny that Jesus is the Son of God and that He never rose from the grave, because if they believed it, they would be saved!

Verse 16 – Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

Verse 17 – And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

Thomas doubted at first, so they all didn’t believe at the same time.

The Great Commission

Verse 18 – Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.

Verse 19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Verse 20 – “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen

We as Christians have one assignment that includes all Jesus teachings. We are to become disciples and then make disciples. We learn what it means to be a disciple first, and you can’t become one if you never reads God’s word. If someone doesn’t know God’s word how are they going to teach another?

 

 

Matthew – Chapter 27

Jesus Is Delivered to Pilate

Verse 1 – When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death.

Verse 2 – And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

The Sanhedrin had conducted their trial at night, which was illegal. They also knew that the Roman government would not condemn Him to death for blasphemy. They had to come up with another excuse for Him to be put to death. So they would say they tried Him and found He did not pay tribute to Caesar (Luke 23:2).

Verse 3 – Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

Verse 4 – saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”

These men were the spiritual leaders and yet they just proved everything Jesus said about them in the previous chapters, was true. They were cold-hearted and without mercy. They were liars, besides being just plain evil.

Verse 5 – Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself.

I personally believe that Judas was remorseful over betraying Jesus. He had walked with Jesus for 3 years and Jesus considered Judas His friend. I believe that when Judas realized the consequences of his actions, he couldn’t live with himself. Believe as you will, but I personally believe he repented.

Verse 6 – But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are a piece of blood.

The chief priest felt no guilt in giving Judas money to betray an innocent man, but when Judas returned the money, the priests couldn’t accept it because it was wrong to accept blood money-payment for murder. Here again, they should have remembered Jesus calling them “Hypocrites!”

Verse 7 – And they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.

Verse 8 – Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

This hints to the fact that Matthew wrote his gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Verse 9 – Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced,

Verse 10 – “and gave them for the potter’s field as the Lord directed me.” (Jeremiah 32:6-9; Zechariah 11:13)

Verse 11 – Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” So Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”

Verse 12 – And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.

Their accusation was: perverting the nation, and of forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, but Jesus remained silent.

Verse 13 – Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they  testify against You?”

Verse 14 – And He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

According to Roman law, the refusal to offer a defense counted as an admission of guilt.

Verse 15 – Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.

Verse 16 – And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.

Verse 17 – Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”

Verse 18 – For he knew that because of envy they had delivered Him.

Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, but because God’s plan was greater, things proceeded just as they were supposed to.

Verse 19 – While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife went to him saying, “Have nothing to do with that Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”

Dreams were considered as indications of the divine will. Whatever the dream was, it had bothered her so bad, she knew some evil would fall on her family if her husband didn’t do the right thing.

Verse 20 – But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.

Verse 21 – The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” they said, “Barabbas?”

Verse 22 – Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”

People today still choose Barabbas. They would rather have what the world has created instead of the Son of God. Why is that? They think that the world has more to offer, with money and fame. The sad part is all that stuff is only temporary. We take none of it when we die, and eternity is a lot longer than the time we spend on earth.

Verse 23 – Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”

Verse 24 – When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”

Pilate was bound as a magistrate to free and innocent man. The washing of his hands amounted to nothing. Washing one’s hands in a difficult situation does not cancel guilt. It merely gives a false sense of peace.

Verse 25 – And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

And so it happened. In less than forty years their city and temple was overthrown and destroyed. More than a million people perished in the siege. They died by famine, disease, the sword, and the blood ran into the streets like water. Thousands were crucified, the same infliction they had done to the Messiah.

Verse 26 – Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged (whip) Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

This was a flogging with a strap with large pieces of iron or bone on the strap. This was done by the Roman soldiers.

Verse 27 – Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.

Verse 28 – And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.

I always thought the robe was purple, because that’s what Mark says, but look at this. The scarlet color was obtained from a species of fruit; “purple” from shell-fish. The ancients gave the name “Purple” to any color that had a mixture of “red” in it, so these two colors might be called the same name. No contradiction in the Gospel.

Verse 29 – When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

It wasn’t bad enough for a flogging where His skin was shredded, now they have to place a crown of thorns down on His head. These were probably bramble thorns because they are common in Palestine. Check them out. They are not some tiny little thorn. These thorns drew blood.

Verse 30 – Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.

Verse 31 – Then when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, and put His own clothes on Him and led Him away to be crucified.

We all need to be reminded of the suffering that Christ endured so that we would not have to suffer because of our sin. All the punishment that we deserved was placed on our precious Savior. Don’t ever take what Jesus went through for you and me, lightly!

Verse 32 – Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, Him they compelled to bear His cross.

Cyrene, was in northern Africa. Simon was probably in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Simon’s sons were later known in the early church. This suggests that Simon became a disciple of Jesus.

Verse 33 – And when they came to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,

Verse 34 – they gave Him sour wine mingled with gal to drink. But when He tasted it, He would not drink it.

They gave Him vinegar. This mixture was said to dull the senses. Afterward when Jesus was on the cross and just before His death, vinegar was offered to Him without the myrrh – the vinegar which the Roman soldiers drank. When Matthew and Mark say that He would not drink, they refer to a different thing and a different time from John, so there is no contradiction.

Verse 35 – Then they crucified Him, and divided His garment, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”

The nailing of the hands and feet to the wood alone would have killed some, but then they would drop the cross into a hole with such force, it would be excruciating pain. Then the free circulation of blood throughout the body was perverted. More blood was carried out in the arteries than could return to the veins. The result was intense pressure to the head. Sometimes, it would take days for them to die. But our Savior not only suffered severe pain to His physical body, but He also bore the anguish of the world’s sin.

Verse 36 – Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there.

Verse 37 – And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS KING OF THE JEWS.

Verse 38 – Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. (Barabbas should have been the one in the middle.)

Verse 39 – And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads

Verse 40 – and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

None that said that, understood the real reason and purpose Jesus was there. They kept thinking about the physical temple.

Verse 41 – Likewise the chief priests, also mocking with the scribes and elders, said,

Verse 42 – “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.

Some people still today, have to see a supernatural performance before they will believe. However, all these at that time, had seen miracle after miracle. They had seen thousands fed with little; they knew He had raised the dead; blind eyes to see; the lame walked again; and even demons cast out. But yet that wasn’t enough. Blessed are those who believe by faith.

John 20:29 – Jesus said to him “Thomas because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

Verse 43 – “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”

Verse 44 – Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.

This darkness took place from about noon until three o’clock.

Verse 46 – And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Jesus cried out from the anguish of the worlds sins being placed on Him and the separation from the Father. The Father released His wrath on His Son for the sins of the entire world. Isaiah 53:4, 5, says, Surely He borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (Verse 5) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Verse 47 – Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”

Verse 48 – Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave it to Him to drink.

Verse 49 – The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come and save Him”

They thought He had been crying out for Elijah, because Elijah had never died.

Verse 50 – Jesus, when He cried out again with a loud voice, yielded up His Spirit.

John 19:30, records He cried out, “It is finished!”

Verse 51 – And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

Verse 52 – and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

Before we go too far, some of you might not know, there was a curtain that separated the holy from the most holy place, dividing the temple into two apartments. This was the time of day when the priests were burning incense in the holy place. When that veil curtain was torn from top to bottom, it signified that God was accessible to all without having to go through a priest or a prophet.

This earth quake was felt by other countries because it is mentioned by Roman writers.

The graves were often tombs in caves behind rocks. At the earth quakes, the rocks split. The saints were probably the ones who would be recognized by the people living in Jerusalem. However, the dead were not raised until the resurrection of Jesus, Him being the first.

Verse 53 – And coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

The Bible is silent on what happened to them later. I can only speculate they went to heaven when Jesus ascended because the Bible says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, Hebrews 9:27. So they were not left to die a second time.

Verse 54 – Now when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Verse 55 – And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar,

These women couldn’t come close to where Jesus was crucified because of the Roman soldiers.

Verse 56 – among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

Mary Magdalene, who had been delivered by Jesus of seven devils, Luke 8:2, was there, and Mary, James and John’s mother, and yes, Jesus’ mother was there, and His brothers, James and Joses or Joseph.

Jesus Is Buried

Verse 57 – Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.

Verse 58 – This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.

The bodies of those crucified were usually left on the crosses to rot. so Joseph would have to have permission to remove the body.

Verse 59 – And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

Verse 60 – and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.

Verse 61 – And Mary Magdalene, was there and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.

Verse 62 – On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,

Verse 63 – saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’

Verse 64 – “Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

There has been so much controversy on which day Christ was crucified, I’m not going to speculate. However, for Christ to have been crucified on Friday, that would have been one full day in the grave and part of the second. Friday at sunset to Saturday at sun-set is one, Saturday at sun-set to Sunday morning would have been one and one half day. It just doesn’t add up to “The Third Day.” The only thing I am sure of is that He was raised on the “First Day of the Week,” which was Sunday.

Verse 65 – Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it secure as you know how.”

Verse 66  – So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

We will soon see that guards, rocks, or seals could not hold Him from “Coming Out!”

 

 

 

 

Matthew – Chapter 26

The Religious Leaders Plot to Kill Jesus

Verse 1 – Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples,

Verse 2 – “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

The name “Passover,” was given to the celebration to be remembered when the death angel passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and saved their first-born. They were told to place blood of a lamb on their door post and they would be delivered. The “after two days,” means Jesus gave this prophecy on Tuesday. (If Christ was crucified on Friday, that would not be 3 days. I personally believe He was crucified on Thursday. This is not big enough to argue with anyone over. The point being, He’s “Alive!”)

Verse 3 – Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priests, who was called Caiaphas,

Caiaphas was the ruling high priest during Jesus ministry. The Roman government had taken over the process of appointing all political and religious leaders. He was the first to recommend Jesus death.

Verse 4 – and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.

Verse 5 – But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Because Jesus was popular, they were afraid to arrest Him during the Passover time. If there was an uproar, it would cause the Romans to tighten their grip on Jerusalem.

Verse 6 – And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,

Verse 7 – a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.

John 12:1-3, says, this woman was Mary, Martha, and Lazarus’ sister.

Verse 8 – But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “To what purpose is this waste? (John’s Gospel singles out Judas Iscariot, John 12:4)

Verse 9 – “For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”

First of all, does Mary have the right to use what belongs to her anyway she sees fit? Yes, she does. Do Christians have the right to do with their own property any way they see fit? Yes, they do. They answer to God, only.

Verse 10 – But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.

Verse 11 – “For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.

Verse 12 – “For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.

Verse 13 – “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

And is this still talked about today? Yes, it is.

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Verse 14 – Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests.

Verse 15 – and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” and they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.

Verse 16 – So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Judas thought like many did, that Jesus would start a revolt against the Roman government. When Judas realized that Jesus kingdom was not physical or political, but spiritual, he decided to gain favor from the religious leaders.

Matthew alone records the exact amount of money Judas accepted to betray Jesus. Thirty silver coins was the amount to buy a slave.

Verse 17 – Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat Passover?”

Verse 18 – And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” ‘ ”

Verse 19 – So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

The Passover is Celebrated

Verse 20 – Now when evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.

Verse 21 – Now as they were eating, He said “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

Jesus only considered Judas’ betrayal, not Peter’s when he denied him. Maybe because Judas did it out of gain and Peter did it because he was scared. However, Jesus could see into the heart and the true intentions.

Verse 22 – And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”

Verse 23 – Then He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me.

Verse 24 – “The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

God’s purpose in His redemption plan did not force Judas to betray Him. He did it of his own free will. He did exactly what his wicked heart prompted him to do.

Verse 25 – Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”

Verse 26 – And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take eat; this is My body.”

The breaking of the bread represents the sufferings of Jesus was about to take place. Luke says, “This do in remembrance of Me.” In other words: As I give this broken bread to you to eat, so will I deliver My body to be afflicted and slain for your sins.

Verse 27 – Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to the, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

The “Bread” was taken while they were eating, the cup after they were done eating.

Verse 28 – “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

A covenant was sealed by a sacrifice. In the old covenant, the people could only approach God through a priest and an animal sacrifice. This old covenant had only been a foreshadow of the new covenant to come. Jesus is the final sacrifice for sin. Why, because He is the perfect, without blemish, sacrifice, the Lamb of God. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. The punishment for sin is death, and Jesus took our place and received the punishment that was due every one of us!

Verse 29 – “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the wine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus assured His disciples of victory over death and a future with Him. The next few hours, however, would look like a defeat. Please, don’t ever give up on the One who died and rose again for you. It may appear to look like there is no victory in sight, but God’s not finished until “He says it’s finished!”

Peter’s Denial Is Predicted

Verse 30 – And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Verse 31 – Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ (Zechariah 13:7)

Verse 32 – “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Verse 33 – Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

None of us know just how feeble we are until we are tested. Luke adds that Satan had desired to have him, that he might sift him as wheat. But Jesus says that He prayed for him that his faith should not fail, and charged that when he turned form this sin, to strengthen his brethren.

Verse 34 – Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

Verse 35 – Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

Verse 36 – Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”

This garden was on the west side of Mount Olives and a short distance from Jerusalem. This was not a vegetable garden but one where olive trees were planted. It was far enough away from Jerusalem that it would be quiet from the noise of the city. Luke’s gospel, in 22:40, says that Jesus told the disciples to pray that they might not enter temptation.

Verse 37 – And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John, went a little further away from the rest of the disciples.

Verse 38 – Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

Because of the anguish of His coming death and being separated form His Father, Jesus can relate to our suffering. Jesus strength to endure would come directly from God the Father, who is also our source.

Verse 39 – He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

In the Old Testament, the cup is often the image of divine wrath and judgment. The cup that Jesus faced was God’s wrath against sin. Taking on the sins of the world was an agony so great, that we can’t even imagine what it was like. The sinless Son of God took our sins and the punishment upon Himself, so that we wouldn’t have to suffer and be forever separated for the Father. It takes a tremendous amount of trust to say, “Your will be done, not mine.”

Verse 40 – Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What, could you not watch with Me one hour?

Verse 41 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Watch therefore, be on guard for the possibilities of temptations, be sensitive to your surrounding.Temptation will strike where we are most vulnerable.

Verse 42 – He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Luke 22:43, says, “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.”

Verse 43 – And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

Verse 44 – So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Verse 45 – Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Verse 46 – “Rise, let us be going. See, he who betrays Me is at hand.”

Verse 47 – And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

Judas was aware that Jesus often came here, away from the crowds to pray. This couldn’t have happened in broad daylight because the people would have over powered them.

Verse 48 – Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.”

This was not an arrest by Roman soldiers, but by the religious leaders. Jewish men did not kiss other men publicly except on formal occasions. Judas’ kiss was one of shame and hypocrisy.

Verse 49 – Then immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

Verse 50 – And Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

Jesus knew exactly why Judas had come, but He wanted Judas to think about what he was dong.

Verse 51 – And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

All four gospels record that the ear of the servant’s ear was the servant to the high priest, not a Roman soldier. And John is the only gospel that says it was Peter who struck the ear of the “servant of the high priest.” I just wanted to clear that up.

Verse 52 – Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

Jesus kingdom would not be advanced with a sword, but by faith and obedience.

Verse 53 – “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Verse 54 – “How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

Verse 55 – In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me.

Verse 56 – “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Jesus’ heart must have broken when these men that had been so close to Him fled. If we want to see who truly is our friends, go through a hardship or crises, and see who sticks with you till the end.

Verse 57 – And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

Please take note: This is all taking place at night. This was all done illegally, because the law said a trial had to take place in daylight.

Verse 58 – But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.

This reminds me of people who only want to be associated with Jesus at a distance, a spectator. Or those who don’t mind mentioning “God,” because it can be any god. But will not say “Jesus, ” because that defines which God!

Verse 59 – Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death,

Verse 60 – but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at least two false witnesses came forward

Verse 61 – and said, “This fellow said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”

The Sanhedrin was the most powerful religious and political body of the Jewish people. The Roman government gave the people the power to handle religious and some civil disputes. However, a death sentence had to be approved by the Romans.

The witnesses had perverted what Jesus said and what He meant. Jesus actually said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up  (John 2:19).” Jesus was referring to His own body. We should be very cautious when quoting scripture not to add or take away.

Verse 62 – And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it that these men testify against You?”

Verse 63 – But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God that You tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.”

Verse 64 – Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus told them exactly who He was. However, they considered this statement to be blasphemy and worthy of death.

Verse 65 – Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witness? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!

Verse 66 – “What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”

Verse 67 – Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,

Verse 68 – saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”

Mark says they blindfolded Him (Mark 14:65). I think we all need to read what all Jesus went through more often than just at Easter. We need to be reminded of the humility He suffered for us all. Maybe then, it will keep us where we need to be in how we treat others.

Verse 69 – Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. and a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

Verse 70 – But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

Verse 71 – And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

Verse 72 – But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know this Man!”

In other words, Peter was saying, “May God strike me dead if I am lying!”

Verse 73 – And after a while those who stood by came to him and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, because your speech betrays you.”

Peter’s speech from Galilee distinguished him from others, maybe in pronunciation of certain words or phrases.

Verse 74 – Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.

Verse 75 – And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times. Then he went out and wept bitterly.

Luke mentions that when the cock crew, Jesus turned and looked upon Peter. The consciousness of deep and awful guilt rushed over Peter’s soul.

The danger of self-confidence. “He that thinketh he standeth should take heed lest he fall”, 1 Corinthians 10:12. Peter repented through deep sorrow proportioned to the nature of the offence he had committed. Though Christians may go astray and fall into sin, we have a loving Father who forgives. However, he who sins with the expectation of “Just saying, I’m sorry, ” is not a true believer at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew – Chapter 25

Parable of the Ten virgins

Again Jesus stresses what it means to be ready for His return. Every person is responsible for their own spiritual condition.

Verse 1 – “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

Verse 2 – “Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

The wise virgins were prepared. The foolish had neglected, put off preparing for the bridegroom, Christ.

Verse 3 – “Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,

Verse 4 – “but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

We can’t wait till the last-minute to start trusting and believing in Christ. We can’t get what it takes a life time to learn in the last five minutes of your life. Now, in the same sense, what is taking place here is the church, the body of believers, are waiting on Christ’s return, which is our Bridegroom. Some will be ready to meet Him, and some won’t.

Verse 5 – “But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

Verse 6 – “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!”

The trumpet will sound. All those who have watched and prayed and longed for His coming will be ready.

Verse 7 – “Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.

They removed the burned part of the linen torch, so that it would burn clear, then dip again in oil to make it last. This strikingly represents the conduct of people who are not ready for death. They begin to make ready; they ask for the aid of others, because they lived for themselves their whole life.

Verse 8 – “And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

Verse 9 – “But the wise answered, saying, “No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell and buy for yourselves.’

Verse 10 – “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

There were those who were prepared and waiting and entered into the marriage. These are those who had repented, not with just lip-service, and truly believed on the Lord Jesus, who lived a holy life. When all believers are with Christ, the door, so to speak, will be shut. There are no second chances after death, contrary to what some believe.

Verse 11 – “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’

Verse 12 – “But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

This is applied to those professing Christians, that only profess religion. They only went through the motions, with no real relationship with the Son.

Verse 13 – “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

Many, even professing Christians will be engaged in the affairs of the world, thoughtless about eternity, not interested in living their lives to represent the kingdom. They will profess to know God, but in works and good deeds, deny Him. Some will begin, like the foolish virgins, begin to prepare too late.

Parables of the Talents

Verse 14 – “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.

This man getting ready to go away for a while, entrusted all his possessions to his servants, apostles, Christian ministers, professing Christians.

Verse 15 – “And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

He gave, according to each one’s ability to handle what was given. That way if they failed, no one could say they were overwhelmed. Failure could only come through laziness or hatred toward the master. These talents represent any kind of resource we are given. The issue is not how much we have, but will we use what we have to the best of our ability.

Verse 16 – “Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.

Verse 17 – “And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.

Verse 18 – “But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

Any situation and talent is honorable, and may be useful, where God has place us. God gives us the ability to do what He has called us to do. some people think they can do nothing for the kingdom because they don’t have the same talents, gifts or abilities as others, so they do nothing. It is more of a humble heart, that is required to do good. A humble Christian, by their life, example, and conversation, may often do more than those in elevated possessions.

Verse 19 – “After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

The will be judged according to our works-deeds, whether good or bad.

Verse 20 – ” So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.

Have you improved your abilities; have you developed your gifts; have you given time and money to further the kingdom or help others?

Verse 21 – “His lord said to him, “Well done good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Doing what needs to be done, out of our love for Christ, will motivate us in whatever needs to be accomplished.

Verse 22 – “He also who had received two talents  came and said, ‘Lord you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.

Verse 23 – “His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Verse 24 – “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.

No one will be excused for neglecting their duty of what is required of a follower of Christ. Some people think of God like this man did – “a hard man.” They think He is always judging and making standards and rules that no one can follow. They don’t know the goodness and kindness side of the Father.

Verse 25 – “And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.”

This is the impression of God to sinners. They think He is cruel, hard, and unjust. But the truth is people, themselves are stingy, self-centered, and thoughtless of others.

Verse 26 – “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.

God will not only judge people for doing wrong, but not doing what is right when they know to do so. Look what James 4:17 says: Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. Let that sink in, the next time you have the ability and resources to help someone and you ignore it.

Verse 27 – ‘Therefore you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received by my own with interest.

Verse 28 – “Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

Verse 29 – “for to everyone who has more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

To those who are faithful to the kingdom, devoting time, talent, resources, and abilities, more will be given – rewarded. To those who have no intention of giving time, talent, resources, and abilities, to the work of the kingdom, even what they have will be taken away.

Verse 30 – ‘And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

If this servant who did nothing to advance or multiply what the master had given was cast into outer darkness, what do you think is going to happen to those who abuse their talents, destroy by drunkenness, and lust, and squander what God has given them?

Judgment of the Gentiles

Verse 31 – “When the son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

Verse 32 – “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

Verse 33 – “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left.

The sheep are the righteous and the goats are the unbelievers. This will be  horrifying moment for all those who thought God and His word was a bunch of poppy-cock! And there will also be those who thought they were saved, but God saw their heart, and they realized they had been so wrong.

Verse 34 – “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Christ doesn’t force anyone to believe or follow Him. We all have a free will to choose which side we will stand on at the Judgment!

Verse 35 – “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;

By showing kindness to the poor, the needy, and the sick, people show that they possess God’s Spirit, for Jesus did it while on earth. They show they have the right Spirit to enter heaven.

Verse 36 – ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Verse 37 – “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?

Verse 38 – ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?

Verse 39 – ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

Verse 40 – “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Humble and compassionate treatment of Jesus followers, shows acceptance of the gospel that they proclaim. They practiced what they believe.

Verse 41 – “Then He will also say to those on the left hand. Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

Verse 42 – ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;

Verse 43 – ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

Verse 44 – “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’

Verse 45 – “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the last of these, you did not do it to Me.’

Verse 46 – “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Now that we have finished chapters 24 and 25 in Matthew, is there any question who goes to heaven and who goes to eternal punishment? You must be born-again and this will be “a transformed heart – spirit.” The journey doesn’t stop there. We continue to trust, believe, and do the Father’s will. We learn what the Father’s will is by reading and studying His precious word. Our goal should be to make sure our names are written in the “Lambs Book of Life!” Our actions and behavior does matter. Jesus just showed us that they do by the parables He gave us. He is always watching how we treat and what we say to others. Sow sparingly and you will reap sparingly. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

 

 

 

Matthew – Chapter 24

The Temple to Be Destroyed

Verse 1 – Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple.

Verse 2 – And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

The disciples must have stood in astonishment of what Jesus just said. This temple was constructed of blocks of white limestone that measured 37.5 feet long, 12 feet high, and 18 feet wide. Some of the blocks weighed nearly 400 ton. So sad that in 40 years, 70 A.D., the Roman armies, under the command of Titus, destroyed it.

Verse 3 – Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

From the Mount of Olives, Jesus had a perfect view of the whole city. Not all the disciples went up with Him. Mark 13:3, says Peter, James, John, and Andrew were there.

Verse 4 – And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

Verse 5 – “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and will deceive man.

Anytime we start looking for signs, we become susceptible to being deceived. The only way to not be deceived is to stick to scripture. Down through history, people have set dates and have been wrong, but many still followed or believed.

Verse 6 – “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Are there wars going on now? Yes. Are there threats of wars? Yes. The end is not yet.

Verse 7 – “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

Verse 8 – “All these things are the beginning of sorrows.

Verse 9 – “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

This statement is directed to Jesus disciples and future Christians. Stephen was stoned, James was killed by Herod, in addition all the others were persecuted and died because of their faith. This persecution continues today, brought on by another religion that opposes everything the Christian stands for. However, there is coming a time when Christians will be beheaded, when the “Antichrist” rules for a time.

Verse 10 – “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

Many will stumble, apostatize from a profession of religion. Many who “professed” to love Me will show that they had no real attachment to Me, in those trying times. The time will come when the true believers will be in hiding, but will be betrayed by others as to where they are. This hatred for the Christian has been, and yet will intensify in the latter days.

Verse 11 – “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

This occurred during and after Jesus time, but we see this more today with people claiming, “God said…!”

Verse 12 – “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Verse 13 – “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

We may not be facing intense persecution where we live, but people in other parts of the world are. With false teaching and loose morals comes a destructive disease – the loss of true love for God and others. Sin cools your love for God and others by turning your focus on yourself. We have to stay strong in our faith until we draw our last breath, no matter what happens.

Verse 14 – “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come.

There are millions of Bibles in print, in every language; pastors, preachers, missionaries, and Christians all around the world preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the final judgement comes, man will be without excuse.

Verse 15 – “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place , whoever reads, let him understand,

Verse 16 – “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

This abomination of desolation has two future events. The one spoke of by Daniel in which the Roman army standing in the holy city, encamped around the temple. The Romans brought their idols into the temple and placed them over the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them there (Daniel 9:26, 27; 11:31; and 12:11).

This second reference is found in Revelation chapter 13, where the statue of the beast is probably set up in the third temple that is yet to be built. The mountains of Palestine abound in caves and will be a safe retreat for those being pursued either by the Roman army in 70 A.D. or the future after the beast sets up his image.

Verse 17 – “Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of the house.

Verse 18 – “And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.

Verse 19 – “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those with nursing babies in those days!

Verse 20 – “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

The only thing I can think of that this verse refers to is: The gates to the city were closed on the Sabbath and there was a law that the Jews obeyed that they could only go the distance of “a Sabbath’s Day Journey, so this may be concerning when the Roman’s attacked Jerusalem.

Verse 21 – “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Luke describes this event in Luke 21:24 – “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. The time that the Gentiles have control over Jerusalem is limited.

Verse 22 – “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

The “elect” here means Christians. Elect; to choose, chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (1 Peter 1:2).

Verse 23 – “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.

Verse 24 – “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

How do people know an object is counterfeit? By studying the real thing, over and over, until they know the difference. So in these last days, don’t neglect your Bible. The truth and the evidence is all in there. Know it so well that it becomes a part of your being and it will be almost impossible for you to be deceived!

Verse 25 – “See, I have told you beforehand.

Verse 26 – “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

Only a solid foundation in God’s Word can equip us to perceive the errors and distinctions in false teaching. Don’t be caught off guard when a new prophet comes to town with signs and wonders. It takes an in-filling of God’s Spirit to know the difference.

The Second Coming

Verse 27 – “For as the lightning comes form the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

This does not mean Jesus will come from the east, it means He will come in a rapid and unexpected manner, like lightning.

Verse 28 – “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gatherer together.

Verse 29 – “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Verse 30 – “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

During the time of the “great tribulation on earth, many will be beheaded for their faith. These are those that turn to Christ after the rapture of the saints. The bodies will pile up. Immediately following these events, the sun and moon will go dark and the stars will fall from the sky. There will be mourning and great sorrow because unbelievers realize they have chosen the wrong side to stand for. When they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds, all eyes on the earth will see Him and know it’s too late to change their minds and hearts.

Verse 31 – “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds form one end of heaven to another.

What Jesus says is very plain and clear: The elect, Christians, Saints, that are in heaven will be gathered by a trumpet. This also includes those who are dead after the tribulation started, that were converted to believe in Christ. Keep in mind; Jesus said gathered from the four winds from one end of heaven to another, not the earth.

Revelation 19:11-14 – (Verse 11) Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. (Verse 12) His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. (Verse 13) He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (Verse 14) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

The saints are with Him dressed in their wedding apparel, because this is after the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Verse 32 – “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know summer is near.

Verse 33 – “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors.

Verse 34 – “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.

Jesus is not talking about the destruction of Jerusalem 40 years after His ascension. He is not talking about the generation that was then. Why? Because He has not yet been seen on a cloud with the gathered elect from heaven. That hasn’t happened yet! He’s talking about the generation that sees all these things happen that He just mentioned. Is it our generation? Only haven knows.

Verse 35 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Everything that is in God’s word is true and will come to pass. We are to live our lives as though His return can be any minute. If we continue to live like that, we will be ready upon His return!

Illustration of the Days of Noah

Verse 36 – “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

Verse 37 – “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

The world will be found as it was then. His second coming will be sudden and unexpected by the unbelievers. Believers know He is coming, just not when.

Verse 38 – “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

As it is now; conducting business as usual; never giving a thought to God or His coming. Noah preached God’s judgment 120 years before He and his family entered the ark. Do we not have millions of Bibles in circulation and thousands upon thousands preaching God’s Word? We have had our warnings.

Verse 39 – “And did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man  be.

People are unconcerned, could care less about anything other than themselves. This was the attitude then, as it is now.

Verse 40 – “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.

The choice we make now, while living, will determine our eternal destiny.

Verse 41 – “Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.

Verse 42 – “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

Verse 43 – “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

Verse 44 – Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.

1 Thessalonians 5:6 – Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. Sober means exactly what it’s supposed to mean – in self-control, watching and anticipating His second coming.

Illustration of the Two Servants

Verse 45 – “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

Verse 46 – “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

Verse 47 – “Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

What will the Lord find us doing when He returns? As Christians, we are stewards, this is not our home. All that has been given us is only temporary, but we still are to take care of things. For instance; if you have a ministry, feed the flock; do you have a home, take care of it; everything we have can be used to represent God’s kingdom as a witness of His goodness.

Verse 48 – “But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’

Verse 49 – “and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,

Verse 50 – “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,

Verse 51 – “and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

We should live our lives as though each day Christ could return. Never with the attitude, “I can live as I wish because He’s not coming today.” Ministers especially, are to feed their flocks, not beat them up every Sunday. Always be watchful, and yes, it does matter that others are watching our actions!