Friday, August 18, 2017

56 - You Will Be Fortunate if You ...

According to the Book of Matthew, this is where the well-known Sermon on the Mount starts.  In Matthew it is three chapters long and we will be with it for awhile.


It is important to remember that in all His preaching Christ was preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom; His coming Kingdom. Mat. 4:23.  He is telling us how we must live if we expect ourselves to be fit to enter that Kingdom.

But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves. Mat 6:20  



The gist of the Beatitudes is: You must decide whether you want to live 80 (or so) years in comfort, destroying the lives of others, if you must, to gain what you want or deny yourselves some of the enjoyment of life so that others may have the comforts they deserve and in that way lay up treasures for yourself in heaven.

The Beatitudes


1.  Blessed (fortunate; well off) are the poor (a beggar; cringing) in spirit (mental disposition), for theirs is the kingdom (realm) of heaven (by implication happiness). Mat 5:3


Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Luke 6:20

But woe (grief) to you who are rich (wealthy - the meaning of this word is very affluent.  It means having more than enough to live comfortably), because you have received your consolation (solace, comfort). Luke 6:24.

The way some Christians horde wealth and toys or squander their incomes pursuing pleasures one would think they have never heard this beatitude.  

The same idea comes through when one sees the over ornate, money wasting Sunday morning buildings of many groups that call themselves Christian.

2.  Blessed are those who hunger (severe cravingand thirst after righteousness (in character and action), for they shall be filled (to gorge; be fully satisfied). Mat. 5:6 

Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Luke 6:21

Woe to you who have been filled, for you shall be hungry. Luke 6:25

Do any of us have a severe craving to be righteous?  We don't mind being righteous as long as it does not inconvenience us.

It is so easy to pray for the destitute people of the world but doing something practical to help relieve their hunger pangs is a totally different matter, isn't it?

From the other point of view: it is fantastic to see that organisations such as World Vision, The Red Cross, and many others can keep on fulfilling their mission because so many people keep on giving to the needy.

3.  Blessed are those who mourn (wail), for they will be comforted (to call near; to invite). Mat. 5:4 

Blessed are you who weep (cry; wail aloudnow, for you shall laugh. Luke 6:21

Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Luke 6:25

You may laugh at the unfortunate now but someday such coldness will be taken into account when your heavenly ledger is opened.

4.  Blessed are those who have been persecuted (to pursuefor righteousness' sake (on account of), for theirs is the kingdom (realmof heaven (by implication happiness).  
   Blessed are you whenever they revile (defame; taunt) you, and they persecute you, and they say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 
      Rejoice (be full of cheerand be exceedingly glad (jump for joy; exult), for great (much; many; largelyis your reward (pay for servicesin heaven (happiness, eternity), for so they persecuted (pursuedthe prophets who were before you. Mat. 5:10-12 

   Blessed are you when men (humans) shall hate (detest) you, and when they shall exclude you, and shall revile (defame; tauntyou, and cast out your name as evil (morally diseased), because of the Son of Man. 
   Rejoice in that day (can mean the judgement dayand leap for joy! For behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. Luke 6:22-23 

Woe to you when men (humansspeak well (usually morally) of you, for in like manner their fathers (literally or figurativelywould do to the false prophets (pretended foreteller). Luke 6:26 

5.  Blessed are the peacemakers (peaceable), for they shall be called sons of God. Mat. 5:9 

bless (speak well of; invoke a benedictionthose who curse (execrate; to pronounce doomyou; pray for those who mistreat (insult; slander) you. Luke 6:28

It really would be a lot easier to hope that something bad would happen to them!

6.  Blessed are the merciful (compassionate), for they shall obtain mercy. Mat. 5:7 

Love (in a social or moral sense) your enemies (odious; hostile), do good to those who hate (detestyou. Luke 6:27

7.  To him who strikes (to pummel with a stickyou on the one cheek, offer (present) the other also. And from him who takes your outer garment (winter coat), do not forbid the tunic either (a hip-length or longer blouse or jacket. Merriam-Webster). Luke 6:29

    Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your belongings, do not ask for them back. Luke 6:30.
   Do not beg them off. This probably refers to the way in which the tax-gatherers and Roman soldiers used to spoil the people. “When such harpies as these come upon your goods, suffer the injury quietly, leaving yourselves in the hand of God, rather than attempt even to beg off what belongs to you, lest on their part they be provoked to seize or spoil more.  Clarke

Here Christ is not saying that, in a normal situation, we do not have a right to protect our property.  He is saying that when a corrupt government official takes more than is justly his you will be further ahead just to "let it go".  You can not win against the officials anyway.

8.  Blessed are the meek (humble, mild), for they shall inherit (obtainthe earth (a region or the solid part of the whole ... globe). Mat. 5:5

9.  Therefore all things, whatever you desire that men should do to you, do even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets. Mat. 7:12  The Law (the Books of Moses) and the preachings of the prophets stand on this principle.

And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Luke 6:31.

This "Golden rule" is one step up from the pre-Christian "do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you".  It should not bother a Christian to be the first one, in any given situation, to do a good deed.

Blessed are the pure in heart (thoughts or feelings), for they shall see (to gaze with wide open eyesGod. Mat. 5:8

What a wonderful promise our Redeemer has given us: we will gaze with wide open eyes at our loving God.  What an incentive this is to keep our thoughts and feelings pure!

All definitions, unless otherwise noted, are from James Strong's dictionary of Greek words. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

55 - Choosing The Foundation Stones of the Holy City

The wall of the city also had twelve foundation stones, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.  Rev. 21:14

12 In the progress of these days he went out into the mountain to pray, and he continued the whole night in prayer to God. 
13  And when it was day, He called His disciples. Luke 6:12-13 MKJV

13 He ascended a mountain and summoned those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 
14 And he formed a group of 12, whom he also named apostles, those who were to accompany him and whom he would send out to preach
15 and to have authority to expel demons.
16 And the group of 12 that he formed were Simon, to whom he also gave the name Peter, 
17 James the son of Zebʹe·dee and John the brother of James (he also gave these the name Bo·a·nerʹges, which means “Sons of Thunder”),
18 Andrew, Philip, Bar·tholʹo·mew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Al·phaeʹus, Thad·daeʹus, Simon the Ca·na·naeʹan, 
19 and Judas Is·carʹi·ot, who later betrayed him. Mark 3:13-19 NW

Twelve Apostles


In his Biography of Christ, Matthew has nothing to say about the choice of the seven last apostles, but Mark and Luke both do. Luke starts with two very important notes which Mark does not include.

1. Christ had some tough decisions to make the next day so He spent the whole night in prayer to God.  This sounds so much more profitable than staying up all night fretting and trying to figure out what tomorrow's decisions should be.

2. And when it was day, He called His disciples. By this time many common folks were following Jesus and they are here called His disciples.  The word disciple means a learner; pupil. Strong G3129.  It was from among all those people that he formed a group of 12, whom he also named apostles. These twelve would go with Him and he would send them out to preach and to have authority to expel demons.

From our studies, we recall that before now He had already chosen Peter and His brother Andrew; James and his brother John and Matthew the tax collector. He needed to add only seven more to have a group of twelve.

These were His twelve chosen disciples:


1. Simon Peter; The name Peter comes from the Greek Petros and it means “a mass of rock detached from the living rock."
2. James; son of Zebedee and his brother
3. John; Jesus gave these two the nickname Boanerges which means "Sons of Thunder".  Some Bible scholars suggest that this happened because James and John said, Lord, do You desire that we command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?
Luke 9:54
4. Andrew; Brother of Peter.
5. Philip; lover of horses.

6. Bartholomew; In the Gospel of John he is known as Nathanael.  Jesus said of him, Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile! John 1:47
7. Matthew; The son of Alphaeus and the writer of the Gospel of Matthew.
8. Thomas; was his Hebrew name and Didymus, the name used by Luke, was his Greek name; it means twin. Then Thomas (he being called Twin). John 11:16. It is believed that he was the twin brother of Matthew or James and that all three of these were brothers.  Because Thomas, at first, did not believe that Christ had risen from the dead that we now have that famous line "a doubting Thomas".
9. James; the son of Al·phaeʹus, just like Matthew.
10. Thaddeus; Mark uses the surname, Thaddeus, but Luke uses his given name, Judas.  However, this Judas must not be confused with Judas Iscariot.  We know this Judas better by the name Jude, the writer of the second last book in the Bible.
11. Simon; The Canaanite
12. Judas; who later betrayed him. Easton Bible Dictionary

A man once asked a theologian, “Why did Jesus choose Judas Iscariot to be his disciple?” The teacher replied, “I don’t know, but I have an even harder question: Why did Jesus choose me?” Guzik


The Sermon on the Mount



And he came down (from the mountain; 6:13with them and took his station on a level place. Luke 6:17.

When he saw the crowds he went up into the mountain. Mat. 5:1.  

This seeming contradiction needs a solution.
  
It is probably not right to assume that Christ preached all of "the sermon on the mount" in one setting.  Matthew's paraphrase of it is much longer than Luke's is so it is logical that Matthew gathered more material from Christ's various sermons, than Luke did, and laced them together into what appears to be one continuous lecture.

Christ was an itinerant preacher and He preached wherever He went and no doubt He repeated the same thoughts many times because He continuously had a new audience. 

As we have already noticed, the three synoptic Gospel writers did not record all the events in the same sequence.  Some scholars say that since Luke does not say that the sermon was preached immediately after choosing the twelve disciples the location given for the sermon is irrelevant.

Since Bible students suggest that neither Luke's or Matthew's version of the sermon is an actual "copy" of any one sermon it was reasonable for each of them to place Christ at a different location for recording the preaching of the sermon.  

Starting with the next post we will look at some of the highlights of The Sermon on the Mount, although just about every phrase is a highlight.

Friday, August 4, 2017

54 - Justice In The Future Kingdom


14  But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him to kill him.

15  Having come to know this, Jesus departed from there. Many also followed him, and he cured them all, 

16  but he sternly ordered them not to make him known,
17  in order to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, who said:

18  “Look! My servant whom I chose, my beloved, whom I have approved! I will put my spirit upon him, and what justice is he will make clear to the nations. 

19  He will not quarrel nor cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the main streets. 
20 No bruised reed will he crush, and no smoldering wick will he extinguish, until he brings justice with success.
21  Indeed, in his name nations will hope.”


22  Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and speechless, and he cured him, so that the speechless man could speak and see.
23  Well, all the crowds were astounded and began to say: “May this not perhaps be the Son of David?” 
24  At hearing this, the Pharisees said: “This fellow does not expel the demons except by means of Be·elʹze·bub, the ruler of the demons.” 
25  Knowing their thoughts, he said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself comes to ruin, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 
26  In the same way, if Satan expels Satan, he has become divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand? 
27  Moreover, if I expel the demons by means of Be·elʹze·bub, by whom do your sons expel them? This is why they will be your judges. 
28  But if it is by means of God’s spirit that I expel the demons, the Kingdom of God has really overtaken you. 
29 Or how can anyone invade the house of a strong man and seize his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Only then can he plunder his house.
30  Whoever is not on my side is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:14-30 NW


Let Us Kill Him


But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him to kill him. The previous post ended with these words but the same story continues with the following words.

Having come to know this, Jesus departed from there. Here again, Bible teachers who push the doctrine of the Trinity say that Jesus knew that His life was in danger because He is a God and God knows everything.  If we read the words in verse 15 carefully we notice that there was a time when Jesus did not know this but He did come to know this.  Christ became aware of something that He had not known.  This tells us that Jesus is not omniscient, hence, not the second person of a non-existent trinity.

The Pharisees had openly ridiculed Him and He probably also saw them whispering in small groups.  Any astute person with an "ear to the ground" could have been aware of the threats.  He also knew from past experience that they were not above murdering a preacher they did not like.  We learned this in  
http://wwwthinkagai.blogspot.com/2017/05/41-prophet-is-not-without-honour.html

Not only that but Many also followed him and it is altogether possible that a few of them overheard the Pharisees whispering and they might have told Christ of the impending danger. 

and he cured them all, but he sternly ordered them not to make him known.  In our studies, we have encountered similar scenes a number of times already. Christ does not mind healing the sick but He does not want any of those that were healed to talk about it.  This countrywide renown hampers His mission which is to preach the gospel of the Kingdom.



Isaiah Said So


My servant whom I chose, my beloved, whom I have approved! I will put my spirit upon him.  While we were studying about the baptism of Christ we learned that it was at His baptism that the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on Him. Luke 3:21-22.   This was the fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy.

what justice is he will make clear to the nations.  Now here we have something to get excited about.  In His future kingdom He will show us what justice really is!  No more judges that can be bought; no more policemen picking on minorities; no more teachers that "put down" certain ethnic students.  When Christ sets up His kingdom justice will prevail.

Indeed, in his name nations will hope.  For example - The number of Chinese professing Christianity, ... estimated at more than 70 million — is rising so dramatically that, by some projections, China will have the world's biggest Christian population by 2030. Business Insider - Wikipedia

Protestantism is one of the most dynamic religious movements in the contemporary world. From 1960 to 2000, the global growth of the number of reported Evangelical Protestants grew three times the world's population rate, and twice that of Islam. Christian Population Growth, Wikipedia

By the Power of Beelzebub


Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and speechless, and he cured him ... they began to say: “May this not perhaps be the Son of David?”  As we learned earlier that when the Jewish people used the term the Son of David they meant "the Messiah; the Christ".

the Pharisees said: “This fellow does not expel the demons except by means of Be·elʹze·bub, the ruler of the demons.”  Casting out demons was not unheard of in the Jewish culture and Christ reminded them of the situation when He said, 

1. if I expel the demons by means of Be·elʹze·bub, by whom do your sons expel them?  Oops, this one the Pharisees did not see coming.  By the time this happened, they must have had an intense, internal loathing for Jesus and so the narrow-minded Pharisees just could not see beyond their hatred. 

This is why they will be your judges.  You accuse me of doing the same thing that your own sons (many commentaries use the word "disciples" in place of "sons") are doing, think about that for awhile.  By whose power do your sons cast out demons?

2. every city or house divided against itself will not stand.  If Satan is casting out demons he would be fighting against his own establishment.  You came up with this argument just to make me look bad but you Pharisees cannot have thought this one through. 

However, if it is by means of God’s spirit (some use the word "power" instead of "spirit") that I expel the demons the Kingdom of God has really overtaken (come upon) you.  “If this expulsion of Satan is, and can be, by no other than the Spirit of God, then is his (Satan's) Destroyer (Christ) already in the midst of you, and that kingdom which is destined to supplant his is already rising on its ruins.” JFB

Now Christ gives an example:

3. Or how can anyone (Christ) invade the house (the body of the man a demon is possessing) of a strong man (a demon) and seize (take hold of) his possessions (the soul of the man a demon is inhabiting) unless he (Christ) first ties up the strong man (a demon)? Only then can he (Christ) plunder (take back) his house (the body of the demon-possessed man).

Friday, July 28, 2017

53 - Destroy The Healer


6  In the course of another sabbath he entered into the synagogue and began teaching. And there was a man present whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees were now watching him closely to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, in order to find some way to accuse him.
He, however, knew their reasonings, yet he said to the man with the withered hand: “Get up and stand in the center.” And he rose and took his stand.
Then Jesus said to them: “I ask YOU men, Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do injury, to save or to destroy a soul?”
10 And after looking around at them all, he said to the man: “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored.
11 But they became filled with madness, and they began to talk over with one another what they might do to Jesus. Luke 6:6-11 NW


An Unexpected Healing


another sabbath he entered into the synagogue and began teaching.  Teaching was His main calling in life, and it seems He did it every chance He got.

And there was a man present whose right hand was withered.  The meaning of withered is 
arid; by implication shrunken. Strong G3584.  The text does not say that the man asked for healing or expected to be healed.  It was probably normal for him to attend the synagogue and so perhaps he did not go there to be healed; he went to worship.  

The scribes and the Pharisees were now watching him, Jesus, closely. Luke 6:7  They maliciously watched him.  This is the import of the word. Clarke. 

The CEV writes it as if watching Jesus do something wrong was the  Pharisee's reason for going to the Synagogue that Saturday.  Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses kept watching Jesus to see if he would heal the man. They did this because they wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong. Luke 6:7  CEV

I can imagine that in the morning before they left home, these Pharisees said something like this to their wives, I need to go to the synagogue this morning because Jesus might be there preaching and maybe He will heal the man with the withered hand.  I want to be there to be sure that the evidence gets recorded in case we get a chance to take Jesus to court.  In any case, their emphasis was not on worship.

The Sanhedrin was the supreme council of Israel. As long as it stood, it was the supreme court and legislative body in all matters of Torah law. As such, the Sanhedrin was entrusted with keeping and interpreting the Oral Torah. An excerpt from Rabbi Kaplan's Handbook of Jewish Thought.

In another story, Luke records a similar situation like this.  Jesus' enemies kept watching him closely, because they wanted to hand him over to the Roman governor. So they sent some men who pretended to be good. But they were really spies trying to catch Jesus saying something wrong. Luke 20:20 CEV

He, however, knew their reasonings, yet he said to the man with the withered hand. 
6:8  Christ had been in this kind of a situation before; He knew what to expect if the Pharisees were present.  Luke says, yet (in spite of this) he said to the man.  If Christ would have been someone else he might have said to the man, meet me outside the temple doors tomorrow morning and I'll see what I can do for you.  Christ did not flinch in the face of adversity.  He knew what needed doing and He did it.

Jesus said, Get up and stand in the center where everyone can see you.  I don't want the Pharisees to miss this!

After the man stood with Jesus in the centre of the synagogue Jesus said to the other men, Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do injury.  It sounds as if this would have been a royal insult.  Jesus is asking the religious leaders Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good.  Then, perhaps sarcastically, He added, Our maybe I don't understand the law right.

Stretch out your hand: In this, Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to do something impossible. But as the man put forth effort, God did the rest. God never commands us without enabling us.
Guzik

It sounds as if Guzik overlooked a simple fact.  It is stated that it was only the hand that was withered, so if his arm was still in good condition he could have reached out his withered hand to Christ.  So Christ did not ask the man to do anything that was impossible.

But they became filled with madness, and they began to talk over with one another what they might do to Jesus. Luke 6:11.  The word madness means stupidity; by implication rage: - folly, madness. Strong G454

Apparently, the religious leaders thought it was fine to be filled with rage and desire to kill a godly man ... but you better not heal someone on the Sabbath! Guzik

they began to talk over with one another what they might do to Jesus. Luke 6:11 It does not speak well for a religious community when the leaders ask what can we do to Jesus rather than what can we do to help Him.

In Matthew's version, this part of the story sounds like this, But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him to kill him. “How is that the religion of love has been responsible for some of the worst cruelties and injustices that have ever disgraced humanity?…The Church has persecuted more cruelly than any other religion…Our religious beliefs are propped up on the traditional scaffolding, and many of us are intensely annoyed if the stability of this scaffolding is called in question. The average Catholic [and the same applies to many Protestants] relies on the infallibility of his Church, which he has usually accepted without investigation. To own that his Church has been wrong, and has sanctioned heinous crimes, is almost impossible for him.”  Focus on The Kingdom. June 2017.

Friday, July 21, 2017

51 - Casting Out Demons



As Jesus was passing along from there, two blind men followed him, crying out and saying: “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
After he had gone into the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus asked them: “Do YOU have faith that I can do this?” They answered him: “Yes, Lord.”
Then he touched their eyes, saying: “According to YOUR faith let it happen to YOU.”
And their eyes received sight. Moreover, Jesus sternly charged them, saying: “See that nobody gets to know it.”
But they, after getting outside, made it public about him in all that region.
Now when they were leaving, look! people brought him a dumb man possessed of a demon;
and after the demon had been expelled the dumb man spoke. Well, the crowds felt amazement and said: “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”

But the Pharisees began to say: “It is by the ruler of the demons that he expels the demons.” Mat. 9:27-34 NW

Two Blind Men


The Book of Matthew is the only synoptic Gospel that tells this story.  It is also in this story, in the Book of Matthew, that we find that the Jewish leaders are beginning to attribute the works of Christ to the devil.  Could it be because He could work miracles and they could not?

As Jesus was passing along from there.  Bible commentaries seem to agree that Jesus was just then leaving the house of Jairus where he had healed the twelve-year-old girl.  Maybe it actually happened this way or maybe it was just Matthew's style of writing but he connects all of these stories together as if they happened in immediate succession.  From the time that Jesus left the feast at Matthew's house, it has been one story connected to the next even including these two: one about the two blind men and one about casting out a demon.

two blind men followed him, crying out and saying: “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”  By saying Son of David, the Jews implied that they meant the Messiah.  Barnes,  These two men were determined to get their eyes repaired.  They followed Him crying out for mercy.  Christ, on the other hand, went into the house. 

Maybe Christ was testing them to see if they were really serious.  In any case, they went into the house after Him and there Christ asked them Do you have faith that I can do this?  They answered yes and Christ said, O.K. we will see whether or not you do.  Your healing will be in accordance with your faith.

After Christ touched their eyes both men received sight and Christ gave them the same instructions He had given the others, See that nobody gets to know it.  Don't go telling people about the miracles I can to do - I came to teach not to work miracles!

These two men, like all the rest of us, in our excitement, would have, after getting outside, made it public about him in all that region.

The Prince of Demons


Then, without any lull in the story, as the two men were leaving the house, people brought him a dumb man possessed of a demon.

In the Jewish understanding of demon possession, this man could not be helped. This was because the rabbis thought that you could not cast out a demon until it (the demon) told you its name, and a demon that made a man mute could never be made to tell you its name.  Guzik.   So this man really had no reason to hope that Christ could cast out the demon that possessed him except maybe because of the stories he had heard about the miracles Christ could perform.

Christ expelled the demon and the man who had been possessed spoke.  The people who witnessed the miracle were amazed and said, Never was anything like this seen in Israel.  Of course not, they would never have seen it before because the beliefs of the Rabbis made such a thing impossible for a Rabbi to do.  Christ had cast out demons before but these witnesses had never seen it happen.

Now the religious leaders, the Pharisees, come into the picture.  With a closed mind, the religious leaders say if we have never before seen anything like this it must have been done by the ruler of the demons.  There simply is no room for new thoughts or even new doctrines though it has been proven, from the Bible, that the old doctrines are not biblical.

It is the same discouraging attitude that anyone who questions the church's doctrines faces.  At the end of the dark ages, it happened to Luther, Zwingli and a host of others who questioned the teachings of the Roman Catholic church.  Many of the teachings of that church have been shown to be wrong but the church has not changed its stance.

In our own time, it happens to anyone who dares question the teachings of the Protestant church.

Please pardon a personal example:


In one of my posts, I stated my belief that the Bible is not "word perfect". It seems so obvious that we must make allowances for translation changes and human error, even in the Scriptures.  As it turned out, one of my readers, in several comments to me, condemned me to "hell" for saying that the Bible is not "word perfect".



Religious leaders who have been as dogmatically brainwashed as most of the churches' preachers have will not even open their minds enough to look at another point of view.  Because this fact bothers me so much I entitled this blog, THINK AGAIN!



Have a look at this simple example.  It is easy to prove, from our own Bible, that the doctrine of the Trinity is not a biblical teaching.  However, our religious leaders will not even study that issue with an open mind so as to find the truth!  Evan though some of them admit that the doctrine is not taught by the Bible they still continue preaching it rather than deciding to follow the truth.  Without thinking through the issues in which we disagree with them they would rather just say, "your doctrine is from the devil".  

Friday, July 14, 2017

52 - Grainfields, Disciples, and Pharisees


1. Now on a sabbath he happened to be passing through grainfields, and his disciples were plucking and eating the heads of grain, rubbing them with their hands.
2. At this some of the Pharisees said: “Why are YOU doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”
3. But Jesus said in reply to them: “Have YOU never read the very thing David did when he and the men with him got hungry?
4. How he entered into the house of God and received the loaves of presentation and ate and gave some to the men with him, which it is lawful for no one to eat but for the priests only?” Luke 6:1-4 NW

5. Or, have YOU not read in the Law that on the sabbaths the priests in the temple treat the sabbath as not sacred and continue guiltless? 
6 But I tell YOU that something greater than the temple is here. 
7. However, if YOU had understood what this means, ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice,’ YOU would not have condemned the guiltless ones. Mat. 12:5-7 NW

27 So he went on to say to them: “The sabbath came into existence for the sake of man, and not man for the sake of the sabbath;
28 hence the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28 NW

I Am The Boss of My Sunday


Christ and His disciples were passing through a field of grain and eating the grain from a farmer's field and, according to Jewish law, this action was not to be censured.  The Pharisees following along with the disciples took exception to what the disciples were doing. 

This was not a violation of the Mosaic law, but of scribal traditions, which had precisely determined that to pluck the heads of grain was to “harvest.” To rub them between your hands to separate the chaff was “milling.” To blow away the chaff from your hand was “winnowing.” All of this was forbidden on the Sabbath - even for personal use. Guzik

The Pharisees said, Why are YOU doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”  I imagine Christ might have been thinking, You and your rules! You are all bound up in "the law" but if you would listen to Me, I would make you free, and you would be free indeed from your man made rules. John 8:36

But, Jesus said, let Me give you a few examples: “Have YOU never read the very thing David did when he and the men with him got hungry? How he entered into the house of God and received the loaves of presentation and ate and gave some to the men with him.

Christ knew very well that the Pharisees were aware of that story from the Book of 1 Samuel.  Perhaps Christ's meaning was, have you never paid attention to the meaning of that story?  He said, But go and learn what this is, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. Mat. 9:13. Jehovah is much more interested in mercy than rules. 

David and his soldiers went into the temple and ate the bread which was designated for the priests only. Mat. 12:4. It was against the law for anyone else to eat it, and yet it is much better to feed the hungry than it is to be hung up on religious rules.

You Pharisees are so hung up on what you think the Sabbath should "look like" that you completely miss the point that Jehovah had in mind. The law of Moses gave you one day a week in which to rest but you have changed it into a net by which you catch people doing something that you think is wrong. 

Jesus continues, Here is my second example; on the sabbaths the priests in the temple treat the sabbath as not sacred and continue guiltless? Mat.12:8  On the Sabbath the priests are "breaking the law hand over fist".  That is, to treat the Sabbath as any other day. They did so by carrying on butchering and other work in connection with the animal sacrifices.—Nu 28:9,10. NW study Edition.  They work all day long and yet they continue guiltless.  What they did is not called breaking the law because it was necessary.

Our preachers do their hardest work on Sundays and yet none of us accuses them of sinning because they preach on Sundays.

The sabbath came into existence for the sake of man, and not man for the sake of the sabbath.  Christ continues, I, a human, a son of Adamam master even of the Sabbath as it pertains to me.

The Son of man (Adam), any man is Lord of the Sabbath; i.e. it was made for him, for his ease, comfort, and use, and to these purposes he is to apply it. Clarke.


But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. Mat. 12:6.  Some versions use the word some one in place of something.  Those who want to foster the teaching of the Trinity use this to refer to Christ. They have Him saying that because He is God He is greater than the temple.

However, the more trustworthy translations use the word something.   Since Christ called it a "thing" He certainly was not speaking about Himself.  I think that the "thing" He was speaking of was mercy because it is greater even than the temple.  Notice how Christ's statement flows, I tell YOU that something greater than the temple is here. However, if YOU had understood what this means, ‘I want mercy, and not sacrifice,’ YOU would not have condemned the guiltless ones. Mat. 9:7.

MERCY WILL OUTWEIGH RELIGIOUS RULES EVERY TIME!

My disciples are totally innocent of breaking the Law of Moses they broke only your interpretation of it.

Any application of the Sabbath Law which operates to the detriment of man is out of harmony with God’s purpose.” (Morgan)
Guzik