I recommend Tim McGrew, a Christian apologist and philosopher. There are many YouTube videos about the the gospels and Acts of topics such as: who wrote them, internal and external evidence of their reliability, alleged contradictions and historic errors.
The gospel of Matthew was written in Hebrew for the Jewish Christians living in Palestine. Matthew was Jewish himself and was one of the apostles. Other apostles were still present in Palestine when this gospel was written. This gospel is not chronological but is structured to fit into a one year liturgical cycle.
The gospel of Matthew was written in during the Jewish War ending in 70 A.D. with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. We should expect to find passages having special meaning based on this.
Since the audience of this gospel is Jews, it is important to establish Jesus' pedigree.
And Solomon's son was Rehoboam,(3) Abia(4) his son, Asa(5) his son, Jehoshaphat(6) his son, Joram(7) his son, Ahaziah(???) his son, Joash(???) his son, Amaziah(???) his son, Azariah [Uzziah](8) his son, Jotham(9) his son, Ahaz(10) his son, Hezekiah(11) his son, Manasseh(12) his son
This genealogy traverses Joseph's family line. Since Jesus was not a biological offspring of Joseph, this list is legal, not biological.
(Matthew 1:17) So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
There are 14 x 3 generations in this list, but notice some missing names.The purpose of a genealogy is to demonstrate a person's heritage, not to ensure every last detail is documented. In addition, these lists must be memorized so they have built-in memory aids such as groupings, numbers, etc.
Critics of the Bible claim there is a miscounting here, that one list doesn't have 14 names. I've marked it for you; you have to count David twice as mentioned and you don't count the person carried away to Babylon until list #3; list #2 says "until", not "including".
Referring to the period of a Jewish marriage before they begin living together.
Apparently Joseph could have brought legal charges against her.
(Matthew 1:20) But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
The point is that Jesus was miraculously conceived, not whether Joseph and Mary began having conjugal relations as soon as Jesus was born.
(Matthew 2:11) And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Often overlooked is what became of these gifts. Presumably they were very valuable, enough to make Joseph and Mary wealthy. Perhaps they lived off the money from these for decades. Perhaps Jesus used the money to pay for his ministry and to pay for renting the upper room. There is a tradition that Mary lived in a small room attached to the same building as the upper room.
(Matthew 2:13) And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
(Matthew 2:16) Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
(Matthew 2:22) But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
(Matthew 3:11) I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
(Matthew 3:16) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
(Matthew 4:6) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
This event occurred in the spiritual realm looking into the future of human history. Jesus could have prevented all the disasters that would occur to untold millions of people if he became the ruler of the world — but they would all have ended up in eternal hell if Jesus agreed to Satan's plan.
(Matthew 4:24) And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers [diverse] diseases and torments [pain], and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick [seizures], and those that had the palsy [paralyzed]; and he healed them.
(Matthew 5:13) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour [taste], wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Christians are to fulfill their proper role in society, and this is to be a public and visible role. If they neglect to do this, they are worthless.
(Matthew 5:19) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
(Matthew 5:25) Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
(Matthew 5:29) And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(Matthew 5:30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(Matthew 5:32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
(Matthew 6:2) Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(Matthew 6:5) And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(Matthew 6:6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
The ingredients of vain repetition: (1) it is to a false god; (2) it may be repetition to wake up the god to energize him or coax him into action. Repeating lines in worship songs is not vain repetition. Neither is repeating prayers in which the mind meditates on the meaning each time.
We should only expect God to forgive us if we forgive others; thus, works have a role in our salvation.Jesus asks us to pray that God would forgive our debts to him the same way we forgive the debts others owe to us. The word "debt" refers to wrongs done through sin. We may forgive the person but still expect restitution, and likewise for God: he may forgive the sin granting us redemption but still expect us to pay for the damages in purgatory as well as in this life. Of course, we can never pay all the damages so at some point God's grace will decree it to be paid. An example: a child breaks a neighbor's window with a ball; the neighbor forgives him by not hating him forever, but still expects him to fix the window and to pay for it.
(Matthew 6:16) Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
How is it possible to lay up treasures in heaven? Based on my idea that all life lives in the spiritual realm, and that the physical realm is inert,everything must, of necessity, reside in the spiritual realm anyway. The difference between treasures in heaven and treasures on earth is that the treasures on earth correspond to realities on this earth whereas treasures in heaven concern our practice of the virtues.
The example given in this passage of storing up treasures on earth is that of fasting in such a way as to draw attention to yourself, of telling the world how spiritual you are.
Some claim that these treasures stored up in heaven can be utilized for various purposes. This is not what Jesus intended to teach at all.
When we die and encounter Jesus, all those treasures stored up for us in heaven, all those memoriesof having done things pleasing to God, these will all remind us of our deep desire to spend eternity with the Lord — and we will choose to follow him.
(Matthew 6:25) Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Even though flowers do absolutely nothing, they are, by God's power, beautiful. This illustrates that God is concerned for our welfare, however, it is not a guarantee that we will never have unfulfilled needs. But Jesus' point to all this is that we should trust God. Even Jesus was tortured and murdered but he trusted God.
The Lord's prayer says the same thing, that God will forgive us our sins based on how we forgive other's sins toward us. But since God doesn't forgive unrepented sin, we have no obligation to forgive someone who has sinned against us but is unrepentant; in fact, it is impossible to forgive them. True forgiveness requires repentance; without that important ingredient, we simply cannot forgive them no matter how much we may think we have forgiven them. Perhaps in such cases it is better to say that we have decided not to hold their sin against them in our dealings with them. But to forgive them requires they come before us and admit of their sin and beg for forgiveness; only then is forgiveness possible. Forgiveness is not a one-sided activity; it requires participation by both parties. Just as God cannot forgive someone who doesn't call out to him in repentance, so also, we cannot forgive others who don't do this. It's not that God doesn't want to forgive them, certainly he does, but it is impossible to forgive if the ingredient of repentance is missing. Maybe we discover that the person seems to be repentant based on hearsay — perhaps that is sufficient. Or maybe we merely assume they must have repented and forgive them based on that. They key ingredient is that we must wish to forgive people. We may not be their best friends after they have wronged us even if we do forgive them; but that is not a requirement of forgiveness. If someone continually rips you off, you may forgive them but shun them also.
Do we really expect God to forgive us if we have not repented of our sin? Why would God do this? If this was how God operated there would be no need of the gospel — God would forgive everyone no matter what they did and whether or not the repented of it. But God clearly doesn't operate this way.
If we ask, seek, and knock, God will grant our request. This is a hard verse to understand. If we don't ask, seek, or knock, God simply cannot grant our request because there is no request. But does asking, seeking, and knocking guarantee God will answer our request? Well, yes and no. God will consider our request and whether it is beneficial for us and others; this is guaranteed. God gives us whatever we ask for based on his divine knowledge of what we are asking for. He doesn't grant our requests leading us to sin more; he simply doesn't hear these requests. Neither does he hear requests to harm others. So if we think God is not granting our requests, it is because he doesn't hear our true requests if they are not based on love of God and charity for others. Thus, if we ask to win the lottery, God simply doesn't hear us. It we ask to be conformed into the image of Christ and we are open to changing into this image, God will certainly grant us this.
Jesus is not here speaking of the Old Testament prophets but, rather, of contemporary and future prophets claiming to teach true Christianity. John the Baptist was one such contemporary true prophet. Later we read of prophets in the book of Acts; of both true prophets and false prophets. Later still the Didache warns of false prophetsso this is an ongoing concern for all Christians of all ages.
I make this point is because there are plenty of passages in the New Testament referring to the statements of the Old Testament prophets and we must take care not to confuse those prophets with these contemporary prophets.
One characteristic of false prophets and teachers is that they claim to teach true Christianity and pretend to be members of the flock of sheep, true followers of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
On a side note, I believe that the Church leaders should never have done away with prophets and that the Church should still have prophets today. I suppose gifted, inspired teachers fulfill this role.
Jesus is speaking of all people. He had just referred to false prophets, but his previous words about entering at the gate and his following words about doing his sayings indicate he is not limiting this teaching to only false prophets — everyone is known by their fruits.
This should be a disturbing verse for those who reject the role of works in salvation.Calling out to God with emotion is not sufficient to be saved — works are required. The required works are doing the will of God. God's will for us is that we be holy. He provides various guides such as the 10 commandments and the abundant moral teachings of the Bible.
We should expect that doing things in the name of Jesus would indicate we are saved, but this is not so. This verse reveals the misguided perspective of certain of the bishops of church history who have claimed to infallibly teach the truths of the faith passed-on from the apostles but who have neglected their pastoral duties and who have been anything but holy. In order to be saved we must emulate the life of Jesus; we must seek to be holy as he was. Protestants should study the topic of mortal sin.
Notice that Jesus grants power and gifts to those who seek these things in his name: such as the gift of prophesy, the power to cast out wicked spirits, the power to perform miracles such as Jesus performed.
Jesus informs us that the kingdom of God is not limited to Jews. The Old Testament saints are already members of the kingdom of God; thus, the kingdom of God includes the souls of those redeemed who are in the spiritual realm. The Old Testament saints were already in the kingdom of God before the Church was founded. In fact, the kingdom of God was founded when the first saint, Abel, entered it.
Matthew uses the phrase "kingdom of heaven" to refer to the kingdom of God. Heaven is the higher portions of the spiritual realm where those who are redeemed reside after death. They are close to God there.
Apparently Peter was married.
Jesus seems to be informing the man that in following him he will be choosing a life without the comforts of having a home to live in.
Jesus must have asked one of his followers to come with him as he wandered to another region.The man was afraid to leave so abruptly because he had obligations and responsibilities. Perhaps he would have been more trusting and would have been able to come back home in time to deal with whatever duties he had at home.
It is unlikely that Jesus intends here to abolish the burying of the dead. Jesus did not try to change customs and traditions except those that were exploitative. It sometimes seems that Jesus commands his new disciples to abruptly abandon their worldly and family commitments; perhaps he knows that allowing the extended interactions will cause them to remain tangled-up in these affairs and to forsake their calling to follow the Lord. In this case, perhaps the reading of the will and the new family dynamics would change this man's heart as he realized he had new riches, responsibilities, and obligations to the family. Perhaps he would be tapped to take care of people and would not be able to follow Jesus after all. There are plenty of examples in church history in which people seemingly abandon their responsibilities to others to begin a religious life, and this, to me, seems unrighteous. In this case, at the very least it would be rude to not attend the funeral, and if the father were still alive, to remain by his side until he had died.
Some confidently insist the father of the story had not yet died and would not die for perhaps decades. I have no such confidence unless, perhaps, he was in the process of dying and would be dead in a couple of months of less.
(Matthew 8:28) And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
(Matthew 8:32) And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
This reaction from Matthew is quite different than from those in Chapter 8.Perhaps Jesus was calling those to be apostles just as he is here calling Matthew. Perhaps abruptly commanding them to follow him was a test he used in selecting the apostles.
(Matthew 9:15) And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
(Matthew 9:18) While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
I wonder why they would be concerned with what they say? I doubt if Jesus is assuring them that the Holy Spirit will give them something to say that will cause their captors to let them go free. Nor is he likely assuring them that their words will result in their captors' salvation. I suppose we should be so unconcerned for our life or our honor that we just say the first thing that occurs to us, presumably because it is of the Holy Spirit. Certainly we need to filter our thoughts to not say things that are hurtful or impolite or that don't have a good effect.
(Matthew 10:25) It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Notice that we have two parts: body and soul.Some Christians insist we have three parts: body, soul, and spirit; but this verse refutes this. Some church fathers taught that the soul dies when the body dies, and that only the spirit lives on.
Jesus is not here teaching that we are to foolhardily seek out death, after all, Joseph was warned in a dream to flee with Jesus and Mary to Egypt. Nor should we risk death doing something having no benefit. However, when the circumstances present themselves and God calls, we are to boldly share our faith even if it results in our being killed for it as a martyr. Many in the early church did just this.
In the eternal hell,both body and soul are continuously being destroyed, but they are not destroyed. They are burned but never consumed. They are in an eternal state of being destroyed, of being rejected by God, of being condemned for their rejection of God and his mercy. Those of faith are to be afraid of the God who has the power to perform this — in fact, fear of hell is not such a bad motivator for those who are strongly attached to their sins. Fear of God is not as good a motivator as a true love of God, but if it keeps them from sinning... This is why the doctrine that we are saved by faith onlyis so dangerous; for those who need to be afraid that they might end up in hell, they are instead wrongly taught that there is nothing to fear — their confession of faith during an altar call saved them and their salvation is guaranteed no matter what.
Christianity certainly has not brought peace to the world. We've seen Christians fighting against non-Christians, non-Christians fighting against Christians, and Christians fighting against each other.
There is even division among Christians of the same family as I experienced when I became Catholic to the horror of the Evangelicals in my family.
There are plenty of people who choose to not become a Christian because a loved one begs them not to. Sometimes people will not become a Christian because they don't want to disturb the harmony of their family, or because they don't want to be rejected by their relatives or friends. But we should choose truth above all else; we should choose Jesus no matter what the consequences.
I suppose most people of that day had seen people carrying their cross on the way to being crucified. Only those who were not Roman citizens were crucified and most Jews living in Palestine were probably not Roman citizens. People were crucified for various capital offenses.
Just a few verses earlier Jesus mentioned that they would be brought before governors and kings, presumably in chains.This whole extended passage is in the context of Jesus sending the twelve disciples out to teach and preach in the cities; to evangelize.
People commonly interpret this passage figuratively saying that the phrase "take up the cross" means something else. The problem with this view is that you can interpret it to mean anything you want, anything at all. I prefer to interpret it literally as follows:In pondering the significance of evangelizing there should be a moment in which we imagine ourselves having incurred the wrath of the political authorities and that we are on our way to be crucified. Since the imagination of the soul in the spiritual realm is realthis is a literal experience and tests our resolve and commitment.
To illustrate: if you are about to do something dangerous, for example skydiving, you should imagine the scenario of what happens if the parachute doesn't open. Then, if you choose to skydive anyway, your dedication to this activity is of a more serious-minded nature than if you never thought about the possible consequences.
Our faith in Christ is to be like this. For the many Christians who were martyred in the early centuries of the Church, their faith was like this — they knew their life was at risk in choosing to become a Christian.
(Matthew 10:41) He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
(Matthew 11:11) Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
(Matthew 11:21) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
(Matthew 11:23) And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
(Matthew 11:25) At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
(Matthew 11:27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
Talking about Satan, and binding the powers of wickedness and evil, and of casting out evil spirits by the power of evil. Jesus came to earth to destroy Satan's kingdom, to destroy his house. Those spirits not united with Jesus are against him and against God.
(Matthew 12:32) And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Jonah was a sign to the people of Ninevehwho weren't seeking for a sign; perhaps many of them in their hearts were calling out to God to rescue them from the wickedness of their culture. God sent a sign in the form of a prophet with bleached skin proclaiming and exhorting the people to repent. They did repent.
(Matthew 12:42) The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
One purpose for the Great White Throne judgment is for everyone to testify about the good and bad done to them by others. I doubt if we will tattle on each other. Probably God will reveal all the effects of their words and deeds to each person. Perhaps others won't be privy to this info except as it affects them. If someone thinks that God's judgment of a person is unjust, I suppose God will reveal the minimum amount of info about the bad effects of that person's words and deeds to demonstrate his just judgment.
(Matthew 12:45) Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Are we really to believe that Jesus is disowning his mother in this passage? Nonsense!
Jesus is as close to his disciples as he is to his mother. Being adopted into God's family really means something!
Jesus speaks to many people in the passages that follow.
(Matthew 13:15) For this people's heart is waxed [become] gross [dull], and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
People become dull to the things of God, to God's word, by their own choice. God wishes to (spiritually) heal and convert everyone, but he can't — people must present a fertile soil for God to work with.
(Matthew 13:17) For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
(Matthew 13:19) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
(Matthew 13:23) But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The question is whether the field is the world or the church. Those who answer the church must admit the unredeemed as members of this church. This is madness! Certainly Old Testament Israel had wicked priests and kings and, in like manner, the institutional aspect to the various Christian churches include both good and wicked members. But is Jesus teaching here that the Churchis a mere institution?
In the gospels Jesus refers to the church twice...
Since the wheat are the redeemed, the tares are the unredeemed of all ages.
(Matthew 13:30) Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
The harvest is the great white throne judgment.
The tares are the wicked people of the world. The reapers who harvest are the angels who act on God's behalf at the second coming of Christ to gather up everybody to present to God for judgment. The barn is the new heavens and new earth,the eternal home of the redeemed. The wicked are cast into the eternal hell to be burned for all eternity(they are not annihilated.) The wheat are those in the Church, the body of Christ.
There are various wrong interpretation of this parable. A couple...
(Matthew 13:44) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
(Matthew 13:52) Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
(Matthew 14:15) And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
(Matthew 14:19) And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
People sometimes mock the disciples for not recognizing Jesus, but note: it was night, there was mist and spray from the turbulent waves, Jesus was some distance away, no one was ever seen walking on water before. It was natural they would think it was a spirit, a phantom, an apparition, a ghost. Some Christians reject the notion that there are ghosts, disembodied spirits, but the disciples believed in them.
I remember being in the desert on a windy night walking in the moonlight and sensing spirits flowing around me with the wind.
This would make a good movie scene, these grown men shouting in fear.
The KJV translation "be of good cheer" doesn't seem right to me and Strong's Concordance confirms this.
The word "if" probably means something more like "forasmuch as" or "since"; Peter was not questioning whether or not it really was Jesus.
That Peter's first thought was to join Jesus on the water is remarkable; Peter was a great man of faith.
Notice Peter doesn't presume to step out onto the water until he first commands Jesus to command him to. There is a great lesson in this. We may be inspired to do some great work mimicking Jesus, but we must submit ourselves to his will. Just because Jesus did something doesn't mean we should do it whenever and wherever. But how to discern Jesus's answer when we ask? that is the challenge. I doubt if the first mental impression or image that pops into your head after asking is necessarily from God.
Simply amazing! Only Peter did this.
Peter was a seasoned fisherman and well used to the water. His fear indicates there was a real threat to his life from sinking in the water; the waves were so large he would drown. Likely he was not worried about the cold temperature of the water and the ensuing hypothermia since even in the dead of winter the water temperature is not so cold.
I suppose this verse illustrates the essence of saving faith: we become aware of our mortal peril and our helplessness, and, in response, we call out to God to save us from the impending doom.
Peter didn't sink very far, just a little.
People often use this verse as sermon material to illustrate how weak Peter's faith was, that he looked around at the wind instead of keeping his eyes and mind focused on Jesus. I don't care for this kind of Peter bashing which is all-too common. Another example of this is Peter following at a distance.
As a fundamentalist evangelical Protestant I was bombarded with the teaching that we should each one of us "get out of the boat and walk with Jesus." This implies our Christian life is to have more than the following...
I had no idea what it meant to "get out of the boat". (In fact, to this day I have no idea what fundamentalist evangelical Protestant preachers are talking about most of the time — it all sounds to me like allegoricalmush.)As a consequence of being bombarded with this idea that if I were a true, faith-filled Christian I would "step out onto the water" I forever felt I must do some extraordinary ministry. I should note that this is a total works-based mentality but I didn't notice it at the time. Anyway, I attempted to start a church which fortunately failed rather quickly (several years) so I didn't have to waste decades in stress and mental anguish.
Certainly if someone is clearly and crisply called by God to a task,they should step out in faith and do it. But it is wrong to teach that every Christian has some super-glorious mission here on earth.
Jesus did not carry Peter, but Peter continued to walk on the water when Jesus was guiding him by the hand.
How can we know whether someone who claims to love and worship God really does? The passage in Isaiah refers to people who follow precepts of men, not of God.Jesus uses this to refer to the Pharisees who added laws and traditions and who exploit the weak people in their society. The have a historical continuity with the nation of Israel established by Moses, and they relate to the same God, but they have lost the essential ingredient of the Old Testament religion which is love of God and neighbor.
This verse can be applied to the Church as well. Those who claim to be following the gospel and who have a historical continuity with the apostolic Church have all-too-often distorted the true Church and have placed Christians into bondage and into a works-based religious system. The important thing is a heart-felt relationship with Jesus and a desire to please God, not the mere practice of rites and rituals and obedience to bishops.
(Matthew 15:32) Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
(Matthew 16:4) A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Yeast is mixed thoroughly and completely with the dough. Likewise, teaching and doctrine has this kind of pervasive influence affecting our concepts of God and salvation. Doctrine informs our worldview.
In the spiritual realm, images such as yeast are real,and false doctrine can appear as yeast. Similar to the image of Christ as a lamb that was slaughtered— John sees a literal lamb in the spiritual realm, and this lamb is Christ.
This is a silly verse. Jesus mentioned leaven (yeast) and the disciples thought of bread. They were so concerned with forgetting to bring bread that they interpreted the word "leaven" as "bread".
Leaven, such as yeast, is mixed with dough to make it rise. The key is that it is thoroughly and completely mixed.
Doctrine intermingles with the whole spiritual walk; it provides a foundation for the spiritual life. Some like to pretend doctrine is not needed in the Christian life; Jesus says otherwise. True doctrine is needed to counteract the false doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.Perhaps it would have been better for Jesus to specify the false doctrines of the Pharisees since many of their teachings were actually true; the way it is stated sounds like everything they teach is false.
Jesus gives Simon a new name, Peter, meaning rock. New names are significant.Jesus will build his Churchupon Peter and his confession of who Jesus is. The Church is founded upon a rock, it is stable, it will endure forever, it will not be washed away by the waves.
The wicked powers will not prevail against the foundations of the Church, in other words, the gospel message will continue to be shared and the apostolic teaching of Peter will not be corrupted.
The Catholic Church uses this verse as the primary support for their doctrines of the papacy. But interestingly, the bishops of Rome did not use this verse this way for centuries; only slowly did they strengthen and enhance the powers of the bishop of Rome, the pope, and this in response to political and cultural influences.
How do the gates of hell prevail and what are these gates anyway? In the walled cities of that day, the rulers and other influential people of the city met at the gates to rule and judge. Also, since goods entered and exited through the gates, they could see what was brought into the city and levy taxes. No doubt people were occasionally stopped and questioned and searched and denied entry for various reasons.
Similarly in the spiritual realm: the wicked spirits are consigned to various regions. Some inhabit the spiritual earth and vex those living on it; some are trapped in the abyss,the pit; some apparently hide just near hell's gate, perhaps to gloat when someone who rejected God's mercy is admitted. Perhaps these wicked spirits are the rulers of all the wicked spirits, that is why they are consigned to living so close to their own final home. Anyway, these gates of hell, these wicked powers, will not prevail over the gospel and the Church as I noted above.
I should note that I do not interpret this verse figuratively but strictly literally.The rock is a literal rock and the gates are literal gates. In the spiritual realm symbols are literally real and living. For example, Christ is literally a lamb as if slain.(He is many other things besides this.) Somewhere there is this rock and somewhere there are these gates. Just as the lamb is also the person of Jesus, so also, the rock is the person of Peter and the gates are the persons of the wicked spirits. This is a small point I admit, but I'm trying to avoid the trap of declaring that things are figurative when it suits me, this being an all-too-common habit among Bible interpreters.
Some make much of the idea that gates are defensive, not offensive. They claim that these gates of hell, therefore, are not attacking anyone, rather, they merely guard entry to hell or to Satan's kingdom of darkness. This only makes sense if you rename these "gates of hell" to "gates of the wicked powers" — then the Church can offensively break down these gates and conquer the city having these gates. Notice how all this quickly becomes very figurative and subjective; words no longer mean what they mean and seemingly arbitrary meanings are assigned to these words. This is a good example of why I have settled-in on a strictly literalapproach.
(Matthew 16:19) And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
(Matthew 16:21) From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
(Matthew 17:20) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
It seems that combating the powers of darkness requires having a corresponding spiritual power sufficient to defeat the enemy, just as victory in war requires having a better equipped and better trained army. This supports the word-faith teaching but, of course, that teaching is utterly false. While we should strive to increase our faith, the power of faith is not the purpose of Christianity but, rather, the purpose is to worship God and to please God.
(Matthew 17:23) And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
(Matthew 17:25) He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
(Matthew 17:27) Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
(Matthew 18:6) But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
(Matthew 18:8) Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
(Matthew 18:12) How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
People misunderstand this. Refer to Keys, binding, loosing, forgiving sins
(Matthew 18:28) But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
(Matthew 19:9) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
The question is whether the adultery is because of the putting away by the man or of the subsequent sexual relations between the divorced wife and her new husband.
Regarding the man's role: The man who divorces his wife is said to commit adultery but there is no mention of his having sexual relations with another woman. Jesus' point in this passage seems to be that the marriage contract between husband and wife is a contract between God as well(it is "sacramental", if you will) and that in breaking this covenant without just cause, one who divorces is guilty of adultery with God.
Regarding the divorced woman's role: She was not the perpetrator of the divorce yet she must never remarry. She commits adultery in remarrying, not in having conjugial relations with her new husband. Perhaps the conjugial relations are implied.
Regarding the second husband's role: He must not marry a divorced woman whose former husband is still alive. He commits adultery in marrying her, not in having conjugial relations with her. Perhaps the conjugial relations are implied.
Many passages in the Old Testament and New Testament use the word "adultery" to refer to apostasy, to turning from God to the cares of the world or, worse, to false religion. Commonly, fundamentalist evangelical Protestants interpret this use of the word as figurative (they claim to interpret the Bible literally but all-too-often slip into figurative and analogy and typology.)But it is not figurative at all!It is, rather, strictly literal as Jesus demonstrates in this verse. The word really means this.
(Matthew 19:12) For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Three kinds of eunuchs...
Some use option 1 above as referring to those born gay, but this is just plain baloney. Jesus is talking about those who abstain from sexual relations; being gay refers, by definition, to those having sexual relations. A eunuch is someone who does not have sexual relations.
(Matthew 19:28) And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
(Matthew 19:29) And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
The purpose of this parable is to teach about the kingdom of God, not social justice.
It is common to hear talk of how everyone should be treated the same no matter their circumstances. Certainly regarding redemption and eternity in the new heavens and new earththis is true in the spiritual realm as well; everyone with saving faith will be equally redeemed. This applies to someone who was faith-filled since early childhood and someone who had a deathbed conversion.
We should wonder whether someone who converted in early life will enjoy a different experience in eternal life as a result. Certainly, they will have memories of spending many years in prayer and devotion which the other will be missing. This is a similar question as whether the eternal life of a redeemed sea gull will be in some way inferior to that of a redeemed human. Why would God create different kinds of creatures with different attributes knowing they will have different experiences? All we can say is that anything God creates is good and any kind of relationship with him is good. I doubt if there is any use in comparing experiences, especially when trying to determine which is better.
So back to the parable. Does the employer really have a moral obligation to pay each worker the same based on the kind of work and the number of hours worked? Some even wonder why people should get paid different amounts per hour, after all, all kinds of work is equally dignified and important to a smooth-running society. In verse 15, Jesus refers to the law, and that settles the question.
Notice the key to this interaction: a contract, in fact, a verbal contract. As long as the employer honored his contract, there was no injustice done. This assumes, of course, that the contract is morally just to begin with and, in this case, every contract with every worker certainly was. There was no obligation on the part of the employer to pay everyone the same per hour. Some might think this was favoritism, and I suppose it was. In our society today we don't like favoritism, especially when based on race, gender, age, and even stranger criteria.
Jesus refers to the legal system to determine what is and what is not morally justified. I suppose this is why he does not attempt to abolish slavery or to advance the cause of women's rights. As long as the laws are not morally unjust, as long as slaves are not mistreated or women exploited, Jesus does not address the topic. This does not mean that we should not attempt to improve society. This is a good example of what is wrong with Sola Scriptura;the Bible ignores this important topic but we should not. We can't look to the Old Testament as our guide either because there we find the most hideous examples of how to structure society.
It seems Jesus assumes employers have the right to pay people different wages for the same work as long as they pay at least a fair hourly amount. Not only that, employers can do so based on a mere whim with no thought-out philosophical framework as a guide. Not so in our society. People think employers must treat everyone the same — equal pay for equal work.
(Matthew 20:22) But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
(Matthew 20:23) And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Jesus' ransom for many is to pay the price for redemption of humans who are in bondage to original sin. Some say Jesus had to pay a ransom to Satan to free us but why would this benefit Satan in any way since he will ultimately be destroyed in the lake of fire? and would that mean there is a swap like in a ransom of prisoners of war? Certainly Jesus is not swapping himself into Satan's kingdom. I think the ransom is limited to Christ preparing a way for us to follow him by his conquering of death and in deifyinghumanity.
(Matthew 21:19) And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
(Matthew 21:21) Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
In the new heavens and new earthwe will routinely be able to perform feats such as this. Generally we cannot do things such as this (in spite of the word-faith teachers proclaiming otherwise!) Yet at times, especially for the apostles in the apostolic Church, God uses miraculous occurrences to validate the claims of the gospel. (This occurred also in the Old Testament.)
(Matthew 21:23) And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
(Matthew 21:25) The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?
(Matthew 21:31) Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
(Matthew 21:32) For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
(Matthew 21:33) Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
(Matthew 21:42) Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
(Matthew 22:4) Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
This is odd; why would anyone want to invite lots of strangers to their wedding? Don't they have enough invited guests?
Calvinistsuse this verse to support their view that God elects only certain individuals for salvation — all others have no hope. But this verse says the exact opposite. It says God calls many; in fact, God calls everyone. God also chooses many; those who have not disqualified themselves by (1) hating God, (2) living a life a debauchery, or (3) involvement with wicked spirits as spiritual practice.
Notice in the above parable those rejected were those who refused the invitation or who refused to dress appropriately.
God wishes for everyone to spend eternity in the new heavens and new earthwith him, but he simply cannot endure sin and wickedness. Those who will not submit to being purified are disqualified; God cannot choose these. God only chooses those who have faith, good works, and love of God and neighbor.
(Matthew 22:16) And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
Jesus is speaking to people who have practically memorized the Old Testament. Therefore, in claiming they don't know the scriptures, he is saying they don't understand their meaning. It's not the actual words of the Bible that are the thing but, rather, the meaning, the message.It is true that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God; but the words on the page mean nothing except for the information they convey. To illustrate: when you read the news on the internet it is not the electronic signal from the news source to your computer which is the news, rather, it is the content you consume on your browser which is the news.
There are two ways the Sadducees could have noticed their error: (1) through the proper interpretation of the Old Testament, and (2) by considering the power of God.
This verseis used by nearly everyone to prove that there will be no marriage in the new heavens and new earth,but this is based on a wrong interpretation.The Sadducees view of resurrection is that it is life after death — and they reject this. They think that when you die your soul is annihilated. Jesus is discussing this topic with them in their own terms; thus, he uses the word "resurrection" to refer to the soul remaining alive after the body dies. The book of Revelation makes the distinction between two resurrections as well— those whose souls are taken to heaven because they are of the redeemed enjoy the first resurrection. Jesus demonstrates from scripture that the patriarchs are still living even though they have died. Jesus' answer has nothing to do with the resurrected body nor with the new heavens and new earth; rather, it concerns only the state of the soul of the redeemed after death. After death and before receiving the resurrected body, there is no marriage; this is true, as Jesus states.
Jesus asks the Pharisees about the Messiah, about whose son he is. He expects them to say "the son of David"which is exactly what they say. But their concept of the Messiah was flawed and Jesus wishes to correct them.
Jesus refers to the Holy Spiritwho empowers the writers of the Bible to write only divine revealed truth. He assumes the Pharisees believe in divine infallible revelation but stretches their view of how this works in using the word "Spirit"; they would later reject the Trinity once Christians clearly began teaching it but Jesus strongly hints at it. A spirit is not an impersonal force but, rather, a living presence, a person. If the spirit of each person is living, certainly the Spirit who inspired divine Truth would also be a person.
The significance of the Messiah being deity is that he would provide more than merely ushering in a utopian Jewish nation once again having temple worship. As deity the Messiah would also offer eternal redemption for sin along with eternal union with God.
David refers to his descendant, the promised Messiah, as Lord. But how can someone who is not yet born until long after you die be your Lord unless that person is deity, eternal? Thus, if the Jews were paying attention, they would notice that the Old Testament teaches Jesus is deity, the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God. Jews argue this point but is seems clear to me.
Jesus uses this passage from Davidto demonstrate that Messiah would be deity, and that God was a Trinity of persons having kinship among the Father and the Son. The Pharisees denied both, claiming the Messiah would be a mere human (but later some did ponder whether the Messiah was deity.) The concept of the Trinity never occurred to them, but notice in discussing the correct view of Messiah, the Trinity must be invoked. Thus, to properly understand God and his workings in the world it is necessary to understand God as Trinity. Those who reject the Trinity will fail to properly understand God's redeeming work. (But this does not mean they necessarily worship a false God, in fact, all conceptions of God are incomplete, but some more so than others.)
Enemies of God will one day become his footstool. This image is one of subjection in which God has conquered his enemies and rendered them powerless. In my view this scene will literally occurin the spiritual realm on the day of judgment. Perhaps these vanquished enemies of God will remain in this undignified status for a long time until finally being cast into the lake of fire after the Great White Throne judgment.
The word "until"doesn't necessarily mean that Jesus stops sitting at God the Father's right hand after his enemies are all vanquished. Perhaps Jesus has always been seated at God's right hand in his role as second person of the Trinity.
They were stumped by the question but this didn't affect their hearts. Rather than trying to understand the answer or implications of the point Jesus mentions, they stop talking to him so he won't raise further difficult question that don't fit in to their world view. They pretend to love truth but this love has limits; it must not call into question their cherished teachings which they simply will not modify even in the face of irrefutable evidence.
Jesus mentions both scribes and Pharisees; thus, he is not specifically referring to only the Pharisees and their distortions of the teachings of the Old Testament.
They were to observe and do whatever Moses said, what was in the Old Testament, not what the scribes and Pharisees said that added to or subtracted from the Old Testament. These scribes and Pharisees read aloud and taught from the Old Testament but they did not do it because they added to it and subtracted from it. These additions and subtractions are to be rejected; only the Old Testament is to be obeyed.
There are some Hebrew versions of the gospel of Matthew in which the word is he [Moses], not they [the scribes and Pharisees]. Some say Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew as attested to in the early church father Papias as reported by Eusebius, but I don't wish to take sides on this question.
(Matthew 23:13) But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
(Matthew 23:23) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
(Matthew 23:27) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Jesus is speaking to Jewish religious leaders who, he says, are unredeemed, who are headed to hell. They are serpents and vipers. I interpret this literally;there is nowhere in the Bible where serpents are figurative except as similes in which things are said to be like a serpent in some way. Even the serpent that deceived Eve was a literal serpent. Just as Jesus is the lamb as if slain,so also these corrupt religious rulers are serpents and vipers. All this symbol imagery occurs literally in the spiritual realmwhere symbols have a real and living existence. The demons have become ugly, grotesque, animal-like creatures because their attitudes and corruption have deformed them. In like manner, in behaving like serpents who beguile others,the souls of these corrupt religious rulers have taken on their form.
(Matthew 23:34) Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
(Matthew 23:35) That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
(Matthew 23:37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
The Olivet Discourse
It is curious that the disciples called-out the temple buildings. Perhaps they were like children, showing everything to Jesus to hear him speak about the topic.
Jesus mentions the future fate of the temple. This occurred in 70 A.D. from the Romans.
(Matthew 24:3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
They crossed over to the mount of Olives where they had a crisp view of the temple — it probably took a half hour or more — and it was still on their minds, probably they had been mulling it over the whole time so they asked these questions...
We should expect Jesus to discuss those topics, to correct their mistaken views, and to give the true perspective of it all. We should expect him to tell them the following...
I should note that the Jews did not have the concept of a Messiah who was God; their Messiah would be a man who would free the Jews from oppression and usher in some sort of utopia. They should have considered Daniel's 70–7's.They had no excuse and should have been counting the days.
Jesus tells them things that are not signs; they should ignore these. Wars are not signs of the end.
Jesus tells them things that are not signs; they should ignore these. Wars and famine and pestilence and earthquakes are not signs of the end.
Christians throughout church historyhave endured many unhappy episodes and continue to do so. In the violent eras before ours, churchmen sometimes tortured and executed true believers. We should reject church leaders who are unworthy of their office.Today, we have Christians accusing each other of being unsaved using any number of derogatory terms. But we as Christians must strive for true unity at all cost.
Throughout church history Christians have apostatized for any number of reasons. Often these dedicate their lives to stamping out Christianity and harming Christians.
Even in difficulty and persecution Christians are to persevere; we are to remain faithful to Christ and to live holy lives until our dying moment. Then at that time, there is a judgment and those faithful are at that time saved.
According to the book of Acts, this was fulfilled by the apostles before they died.Likely only John the apostle was still alive after the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. but in any case, their apostolic ministry was well advanced and they had preached the gospel and planted churches all over the Roman empire and even beyond.
This notable misuse of the temple began a few years before the final destruction of the temple when the revolutionaries stopped the sacrifices on behalf of the Romanstriggering the start of the Jewish War. After that: (1) The rebels used the temple as a military base, (2) Eleazar allowed armed terrorists into the temple to live, and (3) there were murders and massacres in the temple.
Jesus is not referring to the same event as Daniel 11:31.That was during the time of Antiochus Epiphanes whereas here Jesus refers to a time yet-future for the disciples, during the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. The reference here is to Daniel 12:11.
We may wonder what event caused the Christians to flee, but they recognized it and fled to Pella.
Jesus is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. Notice that he tells the Christians to flee the city, which they did. There have been many severe tribulations in human history. Apparently, this Jewish War with the Romans was the worst because it affected God's chosen people, the Jews. We would think that the genocide of Jews during Hitler's days would be worse but apparently it wasn't. Perhaps it was the fact of Jews slaughtering Jews that is referred to — the Jewish War was as much a civil war among the Jews as an invasion by the Romans, in fact, the civil war precipitated the Roman invasion.
Millennialists interpret this verse as referring to a yet-future great tribulation, but such event is not biblical in the least.Anyway, the context is clearly referring to an event that would occur soon for those hearers of Jesus.
There were survivors of this Jewish war; these were sold into slavery. Had the war persisted for much longer, everyone trapped in the city would all have starved.
The word "elect" refers to Christians. There were 3 categories of these...
If the Jewish war had not ended with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem it would have drastically impacted the Christians who surely would have become tangled-up in it all.
There were many competing factions of Jewish revolutionaries, each with a leader proclaiming himself to be the Messiah, the political leader who would lead Israel to independence from Roman rule.
The Jewish Christians, the elect, were tempted by some very unusual natural events during the Jewish war.
Some of the Jewish revolutionaries hid out in the desert at times.
Everyone will see the coming of Jesus in judgment just as everyone in a lightning storm sees the lightning; this judgment comes at the death of each of us.At Christ's second coming everyone will see him as he comes to usher in the new heavens and new earth.
Those false prophets (such as the gnostics) who claimed Jesus came in some hidden secret manner were liars.
Notice the strong transition in this verse to the topic of the second coming of Christ.
The destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D. was a sign of Christ's coming. It should have signalled to the Jews that the Mosaic covenant was at an end.
A second illustration that Christ's coming will be clearly visible to all.
(Matthew 24:29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
(Matthew 24:30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
This is a key verse used to support the Preteristview that the second coming of Jesus occurred in 70 A.D. Certainly this verse strongly supports that view but it must be rejected out of hand on multiple other grounds.
People will mourn over their sin and how it displeases God.
At his second coming, Jesus does finally gather together all the souls of the deceased Jewish Christians, and all Christians, who have died throughout the ages, the elect.
Jesus is done talking about his second coming and returns to previous topics.
A triple prophecy, all literal...
Since they are waiting for Christ's coming, this implies he comes at their death; that everyone encounters Christ at death and they are received into the kingdom of heaven at that time. It doesn't make sense for them to be exhorted to wait for Christ's coming if it occurs thousands (millions?) of years after they have died.
Judgment was upon them, but they did not know it because they didn't believe there was such a thing; they rejected Noah's preaching.
When the flood came it killed everybody except those in the ark.
Just as the flood killed everybody, so also death kills everyone. The difference is that the flood killed everyone at the same time but, in the image of the two woman, death comes at different times. These verses do not mention that one woman was redeemed and one was not — perhaps they are both redeemed, but the death of each and, therefore judgment, occurs at different times.
These verses are not about a rapture because the flood didn't take people away to safety; it killed them. The woman of the two who is taken is taken by death, just as the flood took everyone by death. The woman who was left must watch and remain ready because someday, she too will be taken in death.
There is no such thing as the rapture, nor the great tribulation, nor the 1,000 yearearthly millennium. These were invented in the 1,800's and were never taught by the apostles not passed-on to the early church fathers.
Notice that the point of this extended passage is that we should watch and be ready at all times. What good does this do us if Jesus doesn't come back for thousands of years? (Certainly that was the case for all the Christians of history so far.) Rather, this topic is urgent and relevant for everyone everyday of their lives because none knows the day of death, the day of judgment, the day of Christ's coming (which occurs at the death of each.)
Up to this point, Jesus has been discussing his coming in judgment to each of us at death and that we should be ready for that moment because at that time, we will choose to spend eternity with him in heaven and ultimately in the new heavens and new earth.
The various kingdom of heaven parables all refer to people having the correct attitude and perspective about their eternal relationship with God. Those who finally enter in to the fulness of the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, achieved this by performing various works in expressing their faith; by being ready and watching; by loving God with heart, mind, and soul.
It is hard to understand just why the five foolish virgins did not ensure their lamps had oil; after all, their whole purpose for having lamps in the first place was to meet the bridegroom with lighted-up lamps. Misunderstanding the eternal goal of life causes people to do the wrong things, such as, pleasure seeking instead of seeking God, or, worshipping nature or spiritual entities instead of God.
The only qualifications for meeting up with the bridegroom and entering into the wedding were: (1) having the lighted lamps, and (2) following him to the marriage when he came. The foolish virgins missed both: (1) their lamps were unlit, and (2) they went into town instead of following the bridegroom.
Once the five wise virgins had their lamps with oil, they just sort of waited around until the bridegroom appeared; they slept. It is like this for us with Christ; we prepare to spend eternity with him then wait around until finally we die, then we meet him face to face, light our lamps (by choosing redemption), and follow him to the marriage feast.
Why do these five foolish even need lamps anyway? It seems they should have tossed them aside and followed along groping in the dark as best as they could. Probably, they were part of some celebration at the marriage ceremony in which lines of people with lamps greeted the bridegroom as he passed by. Not having lighted lamps would render them useless for the task at hand.
Apparently a condition for entering in to the marriage event was having lighted lamps. This means that a condition for entering into heaven is performing works in faith. Not having faith shining light disqualifies the foolish.
The redeemed can do nothing of themselves to assist the unredeemed. Each of us must go it alone.
The point of the story of the ten virgins is the same as the previous verses (in chapter 24); we must watch and be ready at all times because Christ might come at any time. The reason we are to watch and be ready is because, when we die, we will encounter Christ and will choose our eternal fate at that time. Those who have been neglecting God all their lives are at risk of making the wrong choice. Those who have been practising up for this moment of judgment will choose Christ.
What good is it for someone to watch and be ready their whole lives for a yet-future rapture or 1,000 yearmillennium if they die before the said event occurs? (The teaching of the rapture and 1,000 year millennium doesn't make any sense at all and is not taught in the bible.) And what good is it for someone to watch and be ready their whole lives for a yet-future second coming of Christ if they die before it occurs? Death is the moment we watch and wait for in readiness; death is when judgment occurs, when we finally choose our fate.
(Matthew 25:21) His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
This parable appears to be talking about salvation.
In this passage, the King is the one who judges at the White Throne Judgment; this is clearly a reference to God. Apparently, we demonstrate our love for God by our love for the needy. If we wonder how we can connect with God who is invisible and how we can express our love for him, this verse has the answer. In loving and serving others, especially the needy and our fellow Christians, we are loving and serving God. I doubt if this means we are to allow those we are attempting to help exploit us or rip us off. Nor are we to pander to their sins and fund their alcohol, tobacco, and drug addictions.
This is such a mysterious scene; it is almost as if Jesus had made prior arrangements with this man. He likely had occasion to do this since we see plenty examples of Jesus going off by himself or sending the apostles off on errands.
(Matthew 26:55) In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
It seems that Judas repented of his sin since he publicly admits to having sinned; but Jesus says otherwise.Some think all that is required for God to forgive us of our sin is that we admit we did it. Apparently this was not enough in Judas' case. So, what else is required for true repentance, the kind of repentance that allows God to forgive us? King David did many wicked deeds yet he was considered by God as a man after God's own heart. We can see that David loved God and depended on God and clung to God's mercy. Rather than call out to God for mercy and forgiveness, Judas killed himself; the ultimate act of self-centeredness. He was not trying to get to God but, rather, merely to relieve his misery. Unfortunately, he was not a wise man. He relieved his misery only temporarily, if at all.
Notice how cold-hearted the religious leaders were; they could care less about Judas. They had a similar opinion about the people in general. Sadly, many of the leaders of the Church throughout church history have demonstrated they had a similar disregard for the Christians they were supposedly in charge over. We should reject unholy Church leaders.In my view, these are not really Church leaders at all but, rather, corrupters and deceivers.
(Matthew 27:9) Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
(Matthew 27:19) When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
(Matthew 27:24) When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
(Matthew 27:29) And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon 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!
(Matthew 27:35) And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
(Matthew 27:64) Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
King James Version