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Archive for January, 2012

Matthew 22:42 (41–46) “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?

They knew the answer would have to be that the Messiah would have to be born of a women and be 100% man, yet at the same time 100% God; a miracle only God could perform.

That miracle had been performed in Jesus and they understood that admitting to it would put them in the position of having to decide for or against Him, because there could be no other position to take. To them this decision was not so easy, because it was not just a spiritual/personal one; it was a religious and political one as well.

Let me explain that Jesus was not trying to shut them up. On the contrary He wanted them to open up and accept the truth they could understand. Like any good scientist or detective, after looking at all the available evidence you take your best guess and that has to be the way it is until better evidence is introduced.

May I suggest that since, in 2,000 years, better evidence has not been introduced, Jesus and the Bible are telling the truth. God cares for man enough to give him a second chance at eternal life with Him by accepting the work of His Son Jesus for us, John 3:16–17. When you admit you need help and accept Jesus help then you too can be included in the list mentioned in v. 22:32.

Courage involves setting your fears aside so you can do what is right.

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Matthew 22:36 (34–40) “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?

It’s interesting that a lawyer asks this kind of question, seeing that we all tend to think of lawyers as those who manipulate the law to win their case, so why would they even care.

So the lawyer asks, which is the most significant or important command (instruction or what to do) in the Law. He was looking for a key to unlock the mystery of the Old Testament, as they knew it. In those days a body of verbal interpretations and commentaries on the Law and the prophets had developed. What was troubling about that was that those commentaries and interpretations had superseded the Law and the prophets.

So Jesus explains that the Law and the prophets are defined, interpreted and applied by these two great commands. In other words without these two commands you can’t understand and/or apply the prophetic sayings, the historical accounts or the direction and instruction on how to live found in those thirty-nine books. Everything in the Bible we carry (and should be reading daily) today (66 books) can be understood by anyone who understands that God loves us.

That love would be demonstrated by the sacrifice of His only Son and that fact should cause us to love Him back. Then it should cause us to love those whom God loves… each other.

Discernment involves discovering the difference between the truth and a lie.

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Matthew 22:29 (23–33) “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.

Since Jesus appeared to have a handle on the practical things of life the Saducees came to Him with another question. The Saducees were the ones who believed that this life was all there is. So, their question was from the law, which said that a man had to have an heir, 22:24, Deuteronomy 25:5. If a woman mates with seven brothers to produce an heir and doesn’t, in the resurrection (which they didn’t believe in), whose wife would she be?

Jesus answer was interesting on many levels, but I want us to see just this one, that the Bible was written so that it can be understood. The mistake of the Saducees (and many of us, at one time or another) is that we approach the Scriptures looking for verification of an idea not supported by it.

When we open the Word of God we need to be open to whatever it might say to us or require of us. Actually, Jesus points out that they apparently did no thinking at all when they read Leviticus 3:6. When you open your Bible today please consider opening your mind, heart and soul to its direction.

Wisdom involves understanding our lives from God’s perspective.

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January 26.12 ethot

Matthew 22:20 (15–22) “Whose likeness and inscription is this?

Now the Pharisees try to trick Jesus into taking a political position that they could then take advantage of. Since, it seemed, Jesus had been able to avoid such questions, 22:16.

The “poll-tax” was required of everyone under Roman law, that is, under Roman control. Rome had conquered all these areas and could do as they pleased being the ones now in charge. So, the question was irrelevant to life since it would have to be paid whether you liked it or not. The Pharisees were trying to get Jesus to commit to a pro Jewish anti-Rome position or a pro Rome anti-Jewish position.

But the real question was the one Jesus was asking, the one the Pharisees seemed to be avoiding, were they pro-God or anti-God? The coin they showed Jesus belonged to Rome, obviously. But, to whom does man belong and therefore whom does man owe allegiance? Today evolutionists deny the mark of God on man, what do you think?

Sincerity is demonstrating, by word and action, in whom we really trust.

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Matthew 22:14 (1–14) “For many are called but few are chosen.

Jesus continues His attack on the chief priests and Pharisees (elders). In this story, like in the last, there was a group of peoples who were given plenty of opportunity to respond to their Lord in the way everyone understood as right.

All of those people knew they were doing the wrong thing to get what they wanted. And, in both stories those who didn’t expect to have a chance were given one. In today’s story we see that in that chance, for those who were before unworthy, there was a prerequisite.

Even the poor knew that you had to find a way to wear the right clothing for a wedding, which was usually provided by the host. We learned that no matter who you were, rich or poor, good or bad you have to be presentable.

Lot’s of people today, call themselves Christian or followers of God. They go to church and give their tithes. But they have failed to put on the right attire to be able to stand before God, 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11 (8).

Attentiveness involves listening to what is most important with the intent to do it.

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Matthew 21:43 (33–46) “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people producing the fruit of it.

With this story Jesus fully condemns the chief priests and Pharisees (elders). And, in the process has given us a picture of what was to happen shortly and is happening today. A prophecy!

In the story, the son that was thrown out and killed would be Jesus Himself. The renters were the people of Israel at that time; who would be thrown out. The new renters are the church. So, when the Jewish leadership reacted to Jesus and rejected Him they had fallen on the “chief corner stone”.

Just as it seems very foolish of the original renters, in the story, to forget who owned that land it is very foolish today of man to forget who owns this land. Don’t be like those who rejected the owner’s offer of reconciliation. God is not finished; He has a developing plan.

Alertness is not just to danger. It involves paying attention to opportunities God presents for real change, right now.

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Matthew 21:31 (23–32) “Which of the two did the will of his fathers?

Jesus first major accusation of the chief priests and elders was that they felt nothing. They had become or were just like the sons of Eli in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel 2, except maybe they hid their crimes better.

In Jesus story He reveals how God viewed Israel, as family. He required much of them but gave them room to decide for or against the will of their Father. But, just as with the sons of Eli the chief priests and elders would give an accounting.

Unfortunately, when Eli’s sons were punished all of Israel suffered because the arc of the covenant was lost. When these men were finally punished the temple was lost, as the Romans burned it down.

Humility involves not letting your emotions and pride dictate your decisions.

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