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Showing posts from November, 2020

The Birth Announcement

Luke 2:1-52 All that we know of Jesus’ childhood is contained within this passage and Matthew 1:18-2:23; however, I will limit my comments to this passage alone. Joseph took with him, to Bethlehem, Mary, to whom he was engaged, but had not yet known intimately, for she was with child; she gave brith to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. An angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks in the field by night. The angel announced the birth of the Savior for them and all people. They did not ask for a sign, but the angel gave them one: “you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” After this, a multitude of heavenly host came praising God. The shepherds believed, so they went to go see, and told the child’s parents what the angel told them. Jesus was the name given through the angel before he was conceived; therefore, after eight days, he was circumcised

Unbelief vs Amazement

Luke 1:1-80 The first chapter of Luke’s gospel is one of the longest in all of Scripture but I cannot imagine it being divided up, because the entire chapter is a story with its own chapters. The first chapter of Luke’s gospel should be understood as the prologue or prequel to the birth of the Son of God.  There are five chapters within this first chapter of Luke’s gospel: The introduction, written to some man name Theophilus. Luke’s greeting indicates that Theophilus a man of some governmental authority. Second, the birth of John the Baptist foretold to Zacharias by the angel Gabriel. Third, the birth of Jesus foretold to Mary by the angel Gabriel. Fourth, Mary’s visit to her relative Elizabeth, whom she visited for three months before returning home. Lastly, the birth and circumcision of John the Baptist. The two main characters are Zacharias and Mary. Zacharias representing unbelief and Mary representing amazement. Zacharias questioned the angel Gabriel, “How will I know this for ce

The Law Humbles

Deuteronomy 17:1-20 It is a detestable thing to sacrifice to the Lord oxen and sheep with defects. Judgments must come after a thorough investigation. No man or woman is to be put to death if he or she is accused by a single person, but their must be at least two witnesses and three witnesses are better.  However, the sons of Israel were not to put up with a man or woman among them, who worships other gods ,and or the created things in the universe. The town judges shall hear most cases, but the Levitical priest, or the judge whom the Lord has risen up will hear the difficult cases; the sons of Israel are to observe their decisions. When the sons of Israel desire a human king, he must not be a foreigner, but one of their own countrymen, a man whom the Lord choses among them. This king shall not serve himself and multiply his riches! This law, this sermon called Deuteronomy, is to be copied by the king, he shall have it with him, and read it all the days of his life. This will cause him

Remembrance of grace

Deuteronomy 16:1-22 Three times a year, all the men of Israel, are commanded to meet as one congregation before the Lord their God in the place which he chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths. No man shall come empty-handed, but every man shall give in accordance to the blessing that the Lord God has given him. Their culture was agrarian; therefore, their meeting together centered around feasts.  The first feast, the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread was in the month of Abib, the first month in the Jewish calendar. This commemorated the Exodus from Egypt. They were to sacrifice the Passover Lamb, in the evening, at the place that the Lord God designated among them, then eat unleavened bread for severn days. The seventh day of this feast was to be a solemn assembly to the Lord their God. So, the first feast commemorates the Lord’s Passover of their first born in Egypt, and their Exodus from Egypt, but the next two feasts have

The Remission of Debts

Deuteronomy 15:1-23 Every seven years the sons of Israel were to grant a remission of debts , not exacting what is owed from his neighbor and his brother because the Lord has given them remission. The sons of Israel were to freely give to the poor and needy without regard to the nearness of the seventh year, the year of remission, for the Lord promises a blessing if they give but considers it sin if they do not. The Lord allows poor to be in the land as a test. All Hebrew slaves are to be released from service in the seventh year and are to be provided well at their release; however, they may stay, not by coercion, but if it is their desire and an awl shall pierce their ear into the door and they shall serve that household forever. They shall not think it difficult to set a Hebrew slave free. Once a year, all the first born of the herd and flock were to be eaten before the Lord their God in the place that he chooses; however, if it has a defect, it shall not be sacrificed to the Lord b

Mercy Extended

Deuteronomy 14:1-29 The sons of Israel were to be different because they are chosen as the Lord’s possession. Of the Land animals, they could only eat animals that have split hooves and chew the cud. Of the water animals, they could only eat fish that have both scales and fins. They could eat grain eating birds but could not eat meat eating birds. They could not eat anything that died of itself and they could not boil a young goat in its mothers milk to eat it. They were to take one-tenth of the produce each year and eat it together as one, at the place where the Lord chose to establish his name. They were to remember the Levite in their town and provide for the needs of the Levite. Every third year, they were to give the tithe to Levite, the alien, the orphan and the widows who live in their hometown.  This section of Moses’ great sermon, “Deuteronomy,” reminds me of Matthew 5:21-46. This section of Jesus great sermon, “The Sermon on the Mount,” has nothing to do with food regulations

Destroy Idolatry

Deuteronomy 13:1-18 If a prophet or dreamer of dreams arises among you who gives you a sign or a wonder and the sign or wonder comes true, if he says, “Let us go after other gods and let us serve them,” do not listen to that prophet or dreamer of dreams. The Lord God is allowing him to perform signs and wonders to test you, to see if you will go after other gods. You are to love and serve the Lord your God only. This spokesmen shall be put to death because he has tried to seduce you from the way. All evil shall be purged from among you. Even if it is a friend or family member, if they try to seduce you to go after other gods and serve them, do not listen to them and they shall be put to death. If a city in Israel becomes seduced, then that city shall be destroyed and no booty shall be taken from it. It is likely that the Sanhedrin used the law, given by Moses in Deuteronomy 13, to arrest Jesus and put him to death. Even today, the Jew believes that the Christian worships another god, a

Assembling Together

Deuteronomy 12:1-32 The people whom they were about to dispossess from the land worshiped their gods and the mountain tops. On these, they placed altars, sacred pillars and wooden symbols of a female deity called Asherim. Moses instructed the sons of Israel to destroy all of these things. They were to come together as a single congregation and worship the Lord their God in a place that the Lord chose from among them. They were not to do as the nations before them did; the things that they did were abominable acts which the Lord hates.  They were to think of themselves as one community under the Lord their God. They were to not to make altars and offer up sacrifices apart from their brethren. Moses made a distinction between eating meat as a meal and the act of offering up sacrifices to God. They could eat meat at their homes but must pore out the blood on the grown because the life is in the blood. However, their sin sacrifices, free will offering, the sacrifice of the first born; all

Blessing and Curse

Deuteronomy 11:1-32 What does it say? They whom Moses was speaking this sermon too, saw with their own eyes the great things that the Lord did in their midst. It is for their benefit to keep every commandment which Moses is commanding them in this sermon. If they keep the Lord’s commandments, then the Lord will give rain for their fields, but if they worship other gods, the Lord will not give rain to water their crops or give grass for their cattle. They should, therefore, teach the law that Moses is commanding them to their children, so the Lord will take care of them in the land and defeat their enemies. In this sermon, Moses is setting before the sons of Israel a blessing if they listen to what Moses is commanding them and a curse if they do not listen to the commandments of the Lord God. Moses commanded them to place the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal in the land of their possession.  What does it mean? The sons of Israel were given the choice of blessing or

Fear the Lord Your God

Deuteronomy 10:1-22 What does it say? Moses recounts how the Lord reinstated the covenant that the sons of Israel broke. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw what the sons of Israel were doing with the golden calf, he shattered the two tablets, written on by the Lord, the Ten Commandments. The Lord commanded Moses to make an ark of acacia wood, cut out two stone tablets like the former ones and come up on the mount. The Lord wrote on the two stone tablets, “The Ten Commandments” which the Lord had spoken to them on the mountain from the midst of the fire. They were put into the ark, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, receiving instruction from the Lord. One of those instructions was regarding the Levites, set apart as servants to the Lord. Moses explains that the Lord God only requires of them loyal love, obedience and trust. The Lord God had no need of them or their fathers but he chose to love them. The Lord is Go

Not Because of Your Righteousness

Deuteronomy 9:1-29 What does it say? Moses is telling the sons of Israel that today, they are going to enter the land that the Lord promised to their fathers, a land of milk and honey. However, the land is filled with a mighty people to strong for them to defeat, but fear not, the Lord is going before them to destroy the people who inhabit the land. Moses warns the sons of Israel not to become prideful, for the Lord is not doing this because of their righteousness, but because of the wickedness of the people in the land. Moses then reminds the sons of Israel of their rebellion against the Lord and their stubbornness of heart. Moses recalled when the Lord gave them the covenant and wrote “The Ten Commandments,” with his finger, on two stone tablets, that Moses went up to receive them and he spent forty days and forty nights on the mountain with the Lord, that the people made a golden calf and worshiped it. Then when the Lord took them to possess the land, they rebelled against the comma

Man Shall Not Live On Bread Alone

Deuteronomy 8:1-20 What does it say? The Lord God treats the sons of Israel as a good Father treats his sons; he allowed them to struggle in the wilderness, that they may learn to trust him and observe all that he commanded them. However, things are about to change, because the Lord is about to give them a land of plenty. Moses warns them to remember the Lord your God in the land of plenty and do not forget to observe all that the Lord commanded them. Moses warns the Israelites, if you  forget the Lord and go after other gods, it will not go well for them, the Lord will make them perish; like the nations who occupied the land before them. What does it mean? After Jesus baptism by John, he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. During that time, Jesus was without food and he became hungry, so the devil used Jesus’ hunger to tempt him. The devil said to Jesus, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” In reply, Jesus gave

Whom Or What Do You Really Love

Deuteronomy 7:1-26 There are seven nations in the land that the Lord is giving the sons of Israel to possess; they were to utterly destroy those nations and not covenant with them, less they serve their gods and kindle the anger of the Lord. The Lord God keeps his covenant and his lovingkindness to a thousandth generation of those who love him and keep his commandments; but he will destroy those who hate him; therefore, Moses says, “keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which I am commanding you today, to do them.” If the sons of Israel listen to the Word of the Lord and keep his commandments, then the Lord will bless them in the land above all peoples on the face of the earth. Do not fear the people of the land and think they are to powerful, but remember what the Lord did in Egypt, delivering you out of slavery. Moses said to destroy all the idols in the land and do not covet the silver and gold, nor take it into your homes, given that it was used to make idols, it

Obey the Lord and Prosper

Deuteronomy 6:1-15 Moses tells the sons of Israel, if they keep the commandments of the Lord, which he is teaching them in this sermon, they will prosper in the land, the land which the Lord is giving them to possess. The Lord is your God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Bind yourselves to the commandments and statutes of the Lord and fear only the Lord your God; worship him alone and do not follow other gods, the gods of the people who are in the land. The Lord is a jealous God, so do not test him and go after other gods, lest he destroy you, but diligently keep his commandments, always doing what is right in his sight, that it will go well with you, and the Lord will drive out your enemies before you. Teach your sons these commandments and write them on the doorpost of your house, so that when your sons asks the meaning of these testimonies, statutes and judgments, tell them how the Lord took you ou

The Ten Commandments

Deuteronomy 5:1-33 Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, Hear, O Israel, the law, that you may learn the law and observe the law carefully; the Lord made a covenant with all Istael at Horeb, the Lord did not make this covenant with your fathers, but he made it with all the sons of Israel. When the Lord spoke to the sons of Israel at Horeb, he told them, I am the Lord you God who took you out of the house of slavery in Egypt: You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make any idols. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.  Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against you neighbor. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. The Lord God spoke these “Ten Commandments,” and no more, and he wrote them on two stone tablets, and he gave them to Moses, whom the people elected to be their intercess

Israel Urged to Obey God’s Law

Deuteronomy 4:1-49 Moses said, do not add to, nor take away from the commandments of the Lord your God, and remember what the Lord did to the men who went after other gods. Moses taught the Israelites, the commandments that the Lord God commanded him. At mount Horeb, the sons of Israel did not see the form of the Lord, but heard him speak the words of the covenant, that is, “The Ten Commandments,” from the mountain, and he wrote them on two stone tablets; they are to teach them to their children and grandchildren. The Lord took them out of Egypt to be his own possession and they saw no form, so be careful  not take make images and bow down to worship them. Moses will not cross the Jordan with them but reiterates, do not forget the covenant, and make yourselves a graven image in the form of anything. When they are long in the land, and forget the covenant, and make idols, the Lord will scatter them among the nations, but will listen when they return to the Lord their God; although the L

Do Not Fear

Deuteronomy 3:1-29 The Lord said to the sons of Israel, “Do not fear Og, king of Bashan, with all of his people, for I will deliver them into your hands, just like I did with Shihon king of the Amorites;” the Lord delivered them into the hands of the sons of Israel just as he promised. Thus the sons of Israel took the land of two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan. The Reubenites, the Gadites and one-half the tribe of Manasseh took possession of the land as their inheritance. They could leave their families in these lands, but the men of war must cross the Jordan, with the others, to aide their brothers taking of the land beyond the Jordan. The Lord promised to do to the kings beyond the Jordan, what he did to the two kings of the Amorites; therefore, Moses said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for the Lord you God is the one fighting for you.” Moses asked the Lord if he could cross the Jordan, but he told him no; however, the Lord allowed Moses to see the land at a distance

Loyal Love and Truth

Deuteronomy 2:1-37 During the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Lord God was with them and they lacked nothing. However, the Lord was against the men of war, who had rebelled against him and feared the people in the land of Canaan. As they came near the promised land, they passed through Esau and Moab, but did not go near Ammon, because the Lord had given these lands to the sons of Esau and the sons of Lot to possess but he gave the sons of Israel the land of the Amorites in battle. The had wanted to pass through the land as they did in Esau and Moab but the Lord hardened the heart of Sihon king of Heshbon, in order to deliver him into the hand of the sons of Israel. They took possession of all that land but did not go near Ammon as the Lord had commanded.  As the sons of Israel wandered in the wilderness, he the Lord their God took care of them; however, the lord was against the older generation. For forty years the Lord waited for the older generation to die in the wild

Israel’s History Reviewed

Deuteronomy 1:1-46 Moses began speaking to the sons of Israel, across the Jordan in the land of Moab, expressing the law that had been given to him by the Lord their God. At Horeb, the Lord commandment that they, the sons of Israel take possession of the land of the Canaanites. At Horeb, Moses commanded that the Sons of Israel to choose elders from their tribes as their leaders. These men were made judges to hear the cases brought before them, only the difficult cases were brought before Moses. From Horeb they journeyed to the hill country of the Amorites and the Lord God commanded that they not fear or be dismayed but take possession of the land. By the request of the people, Moses had appointed one man from each tribe to spy out the land; which they reported was a good land. However, the sons of Israel feared the people of the land more than they trusted the Word of the Lord their God to deliver them. The Lord God took an oath, saying, Not one of these men, this evil generation, shal

He Has Risen

The Resurrection (Mark 16:1-8) The three women who had witnessed Jesus’ take his last breath came early, on the first day of the week, to anoint his body with spices. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. When a name like Mary is used for two persons  a modifier is needed to distinguish them. The first Mary mentioned is called Magdalene, “a surname derived from Magdala, the place of her birth.” (Easton Bible Dictionary) The idea that this Mary was the unchaste woman from the story in Luke 7:36-50 comes from a notation. (Mark 16:9) The second Mary mentioned is the mother of Jesus but the text does not say that, it says Mary the mother of James. It was well known in the early church that James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem was the Lord’s brother. The third woman was Salome the mother of the apostles James and John. These women wanted to anoint the Lord’s body but did not know how they might roll the stone away from the entrance but then noticed something miraculo

Greater Love

Jesus Before Pilate (Mark 15:1-15) The chief priests with the elders brought Jesus to the Roman governor Pilate and were bringing many charges against him but Jesus gave no answer but when Pilat asked, “Are you the king of Jews?” Jesus answered him, “It is as you say.” Pilot wanted to release Jesus because he knew that he had been handed over out of envy; however, the people requested that he release Barabbas instead, so after having Jesus scourged, he handed over to be crucified. There was nothing that Jesus had done deserving suffering and death, yet suffering and death was what he got. Barabbas was a rebel against the Roman government and had committed murder, yet he was granted freedom in Jesus place. There is no clearer example of penal substitution in this gospel record. The apostle Paul wrote: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor 5:21) Jesus Mocked (Mark 15:16-20) Evil men who are given power are o

Who Do You Say I Am?

Anger Leads to Murder (Mark 14:1-10) The chief priest and scribes wanted to kill Jesus but decided not do so during the festival of the Passover and Unleavened bread because they feared that the people might rebel. The Passover started the week of eating Unleavened bread in remembrance of the exodus from Egypt. Jesus was reclining at the table of Simon the leper in Bethany when a woman came anointed his head with a vial of very costly perfume but some were speaking against her doing this but Jesus rebuked the indignation. Judas was one of the indignant and he obviously took offense at the rebuke, because he went to the chief priests in order to betray Jesus for money. Jesus taught his disciples that anger is the beginning of murder; therefore, do not be angry and if someone is angry with you, be reconciled to them. (Mt. 5:21-26)  The Passover Become the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:10-31) Jesus and the disciples ate the Passover meal in a large upper room. While they were eating, Jesus infor

Until the End

Mark 13 Present Difficulties Jesus told his disciples that the temple would be destroyed and it was destroyed by the hands of the Romans in 70 AD. Between Jesus departure and his return there would be wars and rumors of wars; there would be natural disasters in various places; there will be famines. He said that these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. He was using the imagery of a woman giving birth as a metaphor for this present age and its difficulties. However, these things are only the beginning of difficulties, for the world is not yet in full labor. During this present age and the many years that proceeded us, followers of Christ have been persecuted and will continue to be persecuted until the end. What are they persecuted for?Jesus said, that the gospel must be preached to all the nations. He did not say if they arrest you, but when they arrest you, do not worry beforehand about what to say, say whatever is given to you during that hour. He promises the Holy Spiri

Wisdom Incarnate

Mark 12 The Parable of the Vineyard Jesus told a parable about a man who rented his vineyard to vine-growers and went on a journey. At harvest time he sent a succession of servants to receive some of the produce but the vine-growers beat and killed those whom the vineyard owner sent; last of all he sent his beloved son but the vine-grows killed the vineyard owners son and threw him out of the vineyard. The parable concludes with a statement that the vineyard owner will come and destroy the vine-growers and give the vineyard to others. The vineyard owner is God, the vine-growers are the Sanhedrin (Jewish leaders), the Son is Jesus Christ and the others are the church. This parable is evidence of whom Jesus believed himself to be and is evidence of what he thought about the Jewish leadership. Attempts to Outwit Wisdom The different groups of Jewish leaders attempted to out wit Jesus. First, some Pharisees and Herodians tried to trick Jesus with worldly wisdom by attempting to make him pi