Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral virtue, and in your moral virtue,
knowledge ;

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Matthew Chapter 27

Chapter 27 starts with the day of the crucifixion.
In the morning the Chief Priests and the elders make a final declaration of the decision that they had held for at least a week. Jesus was to be put to death. It was not legal in the Jewish law to condemn someone to death in the middle of the night. So, to honor the law, they  waited to make the formal pronouncement of death until the morning. Then they took Him to Pilate the governor.

According to Eerdmans, it is possible that Jesus was taken to Herod's palace to  see Pilate.  Pilate frequently stayed there when He had business in Jerusalem.  He was there for the great festival. His other choice to stay would have been to stay in the Roman barracks in Jerusalem but His wife was with Him, (Matt.27:19) so it is probable that  he was staying in Herod's palace. So when Matt. 27:2 says He was delivered up to Pilate. Jesus probably had a strenuous  journey to get to Pilate.
path to the palace

Verses  27:3-10, is the account of Judas regretting what he had done. Judas tries to give the money back. He confesses that he has delivered an innocent man to them. It is probable that Judas did not realize that Jesus would actually be killed once He was arrested. Judas probably thought that he could make some quick money and Jesus would be released after some questioning because, after all, Jesus was innocent. Judas new Jesus had done no wrong. It did not occur to him that the religious leaders would actually have Him killed. Notice in verse 27:4, Judas says " I have betrayed innocent blood" not "I have betrayed the Messiah" Judas did not believe that Jesus was the Christ.
if he had truly believed in Jesus as the Messiah, he would not have despaired to the point of taking his own life. He had no hope in the spiritual  kingdom of Jesus. Peter had betrayed Jesus too but Peter knew who Jesus truly was and he was waiting, in hope, to see what would happen next (Luke 22:31-34).

Judas throws the silver into the temple and goes away to hang himself. Eerdman's says he probably did it with his own girdle. Their waste bands, or girdles, would wrap around many times. The girdle was also the place where he had probably carried his bag of silver before he threw it away. He had gone to someplace high and had hanged himself, the girdle broke, causing his body to fall head long, probably some distance to cause his guts to gush forth.  According to Eerdmans, in one of the fragment writings of Papias, Judas fell upon a road after trying to hang himself and a wagon ran over him, causing his bowels to gush out.

Papias was born in the same era as Josephus, around 70 ad. He considered his calling from the Lord to be to carefully preserve the sayings of Jesus. He describes himself in one writing as a hearer of the apostle John and a companion of Polycarp. When the disciples were writing their gospels he reportedly helped them to remember what they had told him was said by Jesus in the early days. He kept careful notes of everything. Only fragments of his writings have survived ,but he, like Josephus, is proof that our faith has ancient, historically documented  roots.

Roman coins
Notice, one more thing. The Chief priests were still very careful to keep the law.  The silver  that Judas was paid, was probably not shekels . Only shekels could be taken  as an offering in the temple. That's why there were "money changers" in the temple courts (Matt. 21:12)
Judas was probably paid in Roman coins which bore the images of emperors and battles fought by the Romans.  The Priests would not "defile" the temple with the wrong coins but they were willing to put an innocent man to death, and in so doing, they committed murder  
(Exodus 20:13).
Just something to think about; when Jesus yielded up His spirit as he hung on the cross, the veil in the heart of the temple, was torn in two from top to bottom. (Matt. 27:51)  

In verse 27:11, Jesus is standing before Pilate. I think that it is important to read all of the gospel accounts of Jesus being sentenced to death.
In Matthew 27:11-26, Jesus comes before Pilate and Pilate's wife sends him a note telling Pilate to have nothing to do with "that innocent Man" (In something called, The second homilies of Matthew, it is recorded that she was a convert to Judaism and became a Christian after the death and resurrection of our Lord)

In Mark 15:1-15, we find out that Pilate was onto the Priests and Scribes and knew that Jesus was delivered to him out of envy. He knew Jesus was innocent.

In Luke 23:1-25, we find out that Jesus was sent to Herod after His first meeting with Pilate. Which would make sense of the fact that Jesus probably walked a long way, after being up all night, to each of the palaces that Pilate and Herod were staying ,and before being beaten by the whole Roman cohort.
No wonder He couldn't carry His own cross. Also Isaiah 52:14; So His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men. ...He was so marred from the lashing and beating from the Roman cohort that He did not resemble a man anymore.
  In John 18:28-40 and 19:15, we get a longer more detailed account of Pilate and the time he spent with Jesus. We do get a dialog between Jesus and Pilate that we don't see in the other Gospels.  Jesus tells Pilate of His heavenly kingdom.
It is interesting that in John 18:38 Pilate says to Jesus "What is truth?" John 14:6 Jesus says,  " I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me."

Once Pilate can not resist the crowd any longer, he has Jesus whipped and delivered to the Roman army to be crucified. (Matt.27:26) 

Matthew 27:27 and Mark 15:16 both tell us that Jesus was delivered to the "whole" Roman cohort. According to Wikipedia, that would have been a total of 480 men.  480 men ,mocking, beating ,and spitting on Him. He was stripped of His clothes and they put a scarlet robe on to His bleeding flesh. They wove thorny vines into a crown and pressed it into His head which was probably already bloody from the beatings.  Remember Isaiah 52:14.   ( The crown of thorns was supposed to represent the laurel leaves that Caesar wore because Jesus was claiming to be a king. 
 Matt. 27:30 ,says that once they put the crown of thorns on Him, they beat Him on the head. When they were done, they put His clothes back on Him and lead Him to be crucified.

Matthew 27:32, tells us that the Roman guards forced Simon of Cyrene a man "coming in from the country ", to carry the cross behind Jesus as He walked. They did not do this out of kindness for Jesus. They did it because, after being up all night, possibly walking  between the palaces in Jerusalem and being beaten beyond human recognition, Jesus could not walk and carry His own cross. The Roman soldiers were aloud to force people who were not Roman citizens to go with them 1 mile to carry a heavy object for them or in this case, the cross of Jesus. That is why in Matthew 5:41 Jesus tells them that if they were  forced to go one mile, go two.

 Luke is the only Gospel that tells us that Jesus was followed by a great multitude of people. There were massive amounts of people in Jerusalem from all over the country. They were there to celebrate the Passover.
Luke 23:27 says And there were following Him, a great multitude of the people, and of women who were mourning Him and lamenting His fate. The same people who had hailed Him as Messiah only 6 days earlier were now following in a procession to the cross. Some were mourning and some were following just to see what was going to happen.

Matt. 27:33 tells us that when they got to the place where He would be crucified, they tried to give Him wine mixed with gall. Commentators actually believe that this was wine mixed with murr. When these two things are mixed together, they produced a very bitter liquid, gall means "bitter". This liquid was also an analgesic which would relax the person and dull the pain. Hanging on the cross to die was very painful and could be a very long experience. They were trying to be kind to Him. Eerdman's says that it was probably the women who were mourning for Him, who brought the liquid. The soldiers obviously allowed this attempt to reduce Jesus's suffering. There are many speculations about why Jesus refused the mixture that could have saved Him some suffering . I read from one commentator that He wanted to be able to have a clear moment when He could say "it is finished!". I like that Idea but I can't forget what He said in Matt. 26:29 " I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day that I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom".(Matt.27:34). He didn't drink the wine. 

As He hung on the cross, they went on to divide up His clothes and sit down to watch Him.  (I find it incredible that they could want His clothes. They must have been covered with blood.)

AND NOW WE COME TO THE VERSE WE WILL USE TO REMEMBER THIS CHAPTER... MATT. 27:37 "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS" THIS PHRASE HAS 27 LETTERS...If you can remember this phrase, you will remember that this is the chapter where Jesus is crucified..

John 19 says it was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek
From Verse 27:39 through verse 45, we get an account of the mocking and humiliation that Jesus suffered as He hung, dieing on the cross.

In Verse 27:45 we find out that at noon the day went dark and remained that way until 3pm.

Think of how long those hours were as Jesus hung there suffering and dieing.


 With Matthew 27:50 Jesus's earthly suffering is finally ended. This verse says "He yielded up His spirit"

The verses 27:51-53 are incredible!!! The veil in the temple was torn top to bottom. This veil was many, many feet high and about 9 inches thick. It must have made an incredible sound as it tore all the way down! The temple, which the Priests had tried to protect from Jesus, was now in crisis. The Holy of Hollies was completely exposed for all to see. The veil protecting it from any human eyes was now destroyed and when the people were allowed to see in, the most holy place was empty.. The  Arc of the Covenant with the Mercy seat was gone, the budding rod of Aaron was gone. There was nothing there. God had departed from that place long ago.

The sad thing about these incredible verses is that the world is obsessed with zombies, or at least here in America we are. I think the enemy has done a good job of preparing the world to see the walking dead. But instead of it being an amazing thing attributed to God, it will appear as an evil to be conquered. The two witnesses spoken of in Rev.11, will not be welcomed as a call to repentance. They will be feared, attacked and ultimately destroyed with a celebration to follow that will be felt around the world. People will give eachother gifts like it's Christmas!

In Verses 27:54-56 we have the events of the minutes  that Jesus hangs lifeless on the cross. We read of a few faithful women who were there for His actual passing.  John 18, tells us that John was the only disciple present at the foot of the cross.

In the last verses of Matthew , (27:57-66) We have the record of Jesus's burial. A rich man, who was a disciple of Jesus, came forward to claim the body of our Lord. Actually, we learn from John 19, that Nicodemus, from John chapter 3, was also there (read Isaiah 53:9)   Joseph of Arimathia and Nicodemus a pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, were both rich men. They were men whose courage failed them while the Lord lived. But once He was dead, their faith that Jesus was who He said He was grew, and they were able to stand for the Lord and honor Him in His death. While the Priests and rulers were hoping that Jesus would be cast into a dishonorable grave, and Jesus's own disciples were too distraught and afraid to care for the body of our Lord, these two men stepped forward and spent their own resources to honor Him in His death. They would now be unclean for the Passover and probably were to be forbidden to worship in the Temple ever again. I am looking forward to meeting these men in heaven.
 (Isn't this a process for us too? As the eternal becomes more important to us, we become more able to see that honoring the Lord should be our top priority, above our fears, above our comfort, above worrying about our future.)

 Matt. 27:62-66, the day after the crucifixion, the Jewish leaders went to Pilate and told Him of the claims Jesus made about rising from the dead. They wanted Pilate to order his guards to guard the grave, But Pilate told them to use their own guards and make it as secure as they wanted.  These guards were professionals. They new they risked death if they failed. We know that no grave could hold Him!!!


To find out what Happened to the guards and the grave, start reading chapter 28. We are almost finished with the book of Matthew!!!

God is good!!! Keep reading, read 28 over and over again. Practice your remembering tools... you should now be able to impress your kids, your husband and really, every one you know, with your knowledge of the book of Matthew.    

Keep holding on tight ladies. We live in a scary, disappointing world. Nothing shows that more clearly than what was done to our Lord. He bore  the suffering willingly for us. He was so faithful to us, it's time for us to be faithful to Him

God Bless you ladies, it will be awhile until 28 is posted. We have a women's conference coming up and then Christmas and New years will be here. I am praying for every one of you!!!

be faithful, be brave  ,
LOve NaNcy 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Matthew Chapter 26

This chapter is full of familiar occurrences in the bible. Peter's denial is here. Judas's betrayal is here. And, Jesus's  communion  with the disciples is here. 
I want to make sure that you have your bible out as you start to read this. You will need it to look up the  additional scriptures that we will use for this study

We  start this study as Jesus is winding down the last week of His earthly life. In verse 26:2, He tells the disciples that He only has 2 days until He is crucified. We find out in the next 2 verses that the chief priests, together with the elders and the high priests, were plotting to kill Him. They feared the crowds so they  were going to have to be creative.

In verses 26:6-13, we have the account of Jesus having dinner at the home of Simon the leper. If you want to read John 12, you will see that a similar dinner takes place. Some people believe that these are the same dinner, but I do not. They both take place in Bethany. We know that Lazarus and his sisters lived in Bethany (John 11) but apparently so did Simon the leper. We know that Jesus was using Bethany as a place to stay the week before His crucifixion (Matt. 21:17). The dinner in John 12, takes place 6 days before passover, while the dinner at Simon's house takes place 2 days before. In John 12, Mary pours the pure nard on His feet and is very demonstrative in wiping His feet with her hair. In Matthew 26, we read that the woman just pours the perfume on His head with no further explanation. It is probable that Matthew was an eye witness of this dinner and would not have confused Mary (Lazarus's sister) with a stranger.Some thing else that is interesting about this is, in verse 26:13, Jesus says that the woman is anointing His body for burial. It was actually Nicodemus (John 3) and Joseph of Arimathea who anointed Jesus's body for burial (John 19:38). Some time between Jesus telling Nicodemus that he must be born again (John 3) and Jesus being anointed for burial (John19:38), Nicodemus was born again!!!

We now move on to 3 short verses that explain one of the greatest events in history, Judas betrays Jesus. We don't know a lot about Judas, but we do know that He was motivated by money. In John 12:6 we are told that he protested the anointing of Jesus's feet with the costly oil, not because he cared for the poor, but because He was in charge of the groups money box and He was stealing from it.

Notice that Judas had already taken the 30 pieces of silver from the chief priests when Jesus said in, Matt. 26:24, that it would be better for the man who betrays Him to "never have been born". Imagine how that felt.

For more on 30 pieces of silver, read these verses**** Exodus 21:32...(it was the cost of replacing a SLAVE gored by an ox)
                                                   Zechariah 11:12-13 ( The Lord said "Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which "I" was valued")..."I" hmmm... was Jesus talking to Zechariah?

Starting with Matthew 26:26, we have the account of the last supper with His disciples. Jesus breaks the bread and says " take this and eat, this is My body". After taking a cup and giving thanks He says, " Drink from it, all of you; for this is My  blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins"(Matt. 26:27). (it is in Luke 22:19 that He says "do this in remembrance of Me")


I want to use this verse because I believe that if the Lord is going to use you to lead other women to grow stronger in their faith, you need to know where the verses are that speak of communion. I have had communion with  small groups of women at bible study, in the room of a lady who lives at a rest home and large groups of women at retreats. It is necessary to know this. This is not the only place where we find the account of this precious dinner, but this is a good starting place..This will get you through if something unexpected comes up. You will know where to find  scriptures for communion.

***More of the Lord's supper ** Mark 14:22, Luke 22:17, ** 

The next 10 verses (Matt. 26:36-46)  are so sad and hard to read. Jesus takes ,Peter, James and John with Him, and begins to be grieved and distressed. He then tells them that His soul was grieved to the point of death. He told them to keep watch. In verse  26:39, we are told that he goes a little beyond them, falls on His face and begins to pray.    Luke 22:44 says that He was sweating great drops of blood....Hebrews 5:7-8.. says, He offered up prays with loud crying and tears... (please read it)..

This information makes this passage in Matthew all the more sad and hard to read. He was in GREAT distress and the disciples were sleeping.  He was literally asking them to pray, and they were sleeping.  I believe that the Lord is still asking His disciples to pray and we are still sleeping.

In verses 26:47-56 we have the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. Judas kisses Him and he is taken into custody. In verse 26:51 we learn that one of the disciples cuts off the ear of a slave who was present. Luke 22:50 tells us that Jesus put His ear back on. Luke is the only one to give us that information. Maybe because Luke was a doctor?..John is the only gospel that tells us that it was Peter who did the cutting (John 18:10).. 

In verses 26:52-54, Jesus makes it clear that He goes willingly with them into custody and to the cross.  Read John 10:17-18.... we sometimes get confused and think that this was something that Jesus had no control over... not so.

Then ALL the disciples left Him and fled... Matt. 26:56.  

In verse 26:31, Jesus is taken to the high priest, Caiaphas. That was actually his last name, his first name was Joseph (according to Josephus) but, he was addressed and referred to as Caiaphas. He was the son-in -law of Annas (Acts 4:6).

We read about Caiaphas in John 11:49-57. This is the same time period as Matthew 26. It gives us more  about what was happening during the last couple of days of Jesus's earthly life.

The most interesting thing about this passage in scripture is that Peter went to the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus and sat by the fire to keep warm,(luke 14:54), denied Jesus to the servant girl, swore he never knew Jesus, then began to literally curse and swear that He didn't know the Lord before the rooster crowed and he would run from the place weeping at his betrayal of the Lord.(Matt.26:75)
 He got a second chance. In Acts 3 and 4, we see Peter and John entering the temple in Jerusalem. Peter says to a beggar that he has "neither silver or gold". (some of us can relate to that) He grabs the lame beggar by the hand and raises him up healed and whole. (this is the guy who jumps and leaps and praises God, you know, the song!! and as another side note.
This happened at Solomon's Portico (Acts 3:11). The same place where Jesus told the  man to take up his palate and walk (John 5:2-8).Probably less than a year later, Peter heals a  lame man  in the same place that Jesus had healed a lame man less than a year later. Maybe some of the same people were there to witness the same kind of miracle in the same place. Acts 3:11 says all the people ran together to Peter and John and the healed beggar, who was now clinging to peter's leg.  At this point Peter is given the chance to share the good news of Jesus's death and resurrection. The bible says that about 5,000 people came to faith that day.
 But, that wasn't his second chance. As Peter was preaching to the crowd, the priests, the Sadducees and the temple guard came and arrested Peter and John, and took them to the same place that Jesus had stood . The same cast of characters were assembled , the elders, rulers and scribes, Annas (John 18:13-18) and Caiaphas. (Matt. 26) . In Acts 4, Peter boldly stands and addresses his accusers and Jesus's murderers. He tells them that "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (acts 4:12). When Peter is given his second chance he is no longer denying Jesus. He is filled with the Holy Spirit and can now face his accusers with power and confidence in the Lord! 

We can clearly see the growth and change in Peter.The Lord wants to work that same way in our lives! Ask Him for a filling of the Holy Spirit like Peter had! We want that kind of change and confidence in our lives and the lives of our husbands and children! The Lord wants that for us too. 


We are getting very close to finishing this book! God is so faithful! Start reading Chapter 27 if you haven't already. Keep reading it if you have. The more you read the more you will know! 
Blessings, blessings and more blessings to all of you ladies! I wish that I could know every one of you personally on this earth but I will have to settle for knowing you in heaven. Know that I am praying for every one of you. God Bless.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Matthew Chapter 25

This chapter is a continuation of the discussion that Jesus was having with His disciples.We find out in Mark 14:1 and Matthew 26:1, that at this point Jesus only had 2 more days to walk the earth as a man. Remember that from Matthew 21 thru Matthew 28, only one week of time transpires. Jesus is still working to get the disciples prepared for what was coming. 

Jesus starts this chapter with the parable of the 10 virgins. In Chapter 24, He spends the time urging the diciples be ready. He gives a list of things to look for that will take place before His glorious appearing, which He describes to them in  Matt.24:29-31, but His clear emphasis was on being ready because "No one knows the day or the hour" (Matt.24:36 and 42). He now goes on to describe people who think that they are ready, but sadly, are not.

 Starting in Matt. 25:1, He speaks of virgins who were attendants at a wedding. All of the virgins had lanterns. They took the lanterns and went out to meet the bridegroom. In verse 25: 2 we are told that five were foolish and five were wise. Verse 3 says that the foolish took no oil with them to replenish their lamps. Verse 4, but the wise took oil in flasks, along with their lamps.

I think that it is significant that we are told right away that the 5 with no oil were foolish and the others were wise. There seemed to be no question that the amount of oil the foolish five had, was not going to be sufficient to last until the bridegroom arrived. The wise virgins knew this and were prepared. They knew what was going to be required to be ready to meet the bridegroom . The foolish 5 thought  they knew what they needed to be ready, but they didn't. 
Verse 5 "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep" Verse 25:6, says that at midnight there was a shout to come out and meet the bridegroom. (this was the point in time when they were supposed to accompany the bride to her wedding) 
 Verse 25:7 "then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. In verse 8, the foolish ask the wise for some of the oil in their flasks because their lamps would not stay lit. Without more oil, they would  not be ready for the coming of the bridegroom. The wise virgins  tell them that they have to go get their own oil. (25:9) And of course, while they were going to buy oil, the bridegroom comes and the doors are shut. When the virgins come back it is too late. They bang on the door saying, Lord, Lord, open up to us. Verse 25:12 says, But, he answered and said" Truly I say to you, I do not know you."

Remember, this was a continuation of a conversation that Jesus was having with the disciples in chapter 24. There IS NO BREAK IN THE CONVERSATION. So after Jesus had made the point to His disciples that they needed to be ready because "no one knows the day or the hour", He makes two more important points to them. He speaks of the virgins who do not have the oil to be ready when the bride groom comes. The foolish virgins are people who say that they are Christians but their lives do not seem to profess Christ. I have had many people tell me that they are Christians.  They tell me that they have been relatively good and do not believe that they need to be born again. They are not into the "over the top, fanatical Christian stuff." They will meet the bridegroom and wait to see what happens. (read Prov. 13:9) 

I do not think that these are Christians who have let themselves run out of grace or the Holy Spirit as some commentators teach. I think that the virgins are people who think that they are going to heaven when they die, but, they don't know Jesus. Therefore they will not ready when He returns and Jesus Himself will say that He doesn't know them.   

READ LUKE 13:22-29 AND MATT. 7:21-23

In the next passage, Matt. 25:14-29, He is speaking to the disciples about the things that are entrusted to us by God. Do not get caught up in trying to compare God to the wicked land owner and do not give too much attention to the amount of talents that were given to each individual slave. Focus on what the Lord was teaching the disciples (and us). He was teaching them that we are to be about doing God's work. Using all of the gifts, talents and callings He puts on our lives. The important part of this teaching is the motivation and faithfulness of each slave, not the amount that they increased the master's money  or how much was given to them. When the master returned his praise was for their goodness and faithfulness (25:21)." Well done, good and faithful servant"

Pray to be good and faithful in all that the Lord has called you to. Do not be fooled. He is calling you to something!! Get on your knees. That is where you will hear His voice. That is where He can break your heart with the things that break His heart. Beware,  if you ignore the call He has spoken into your life, you will get better and better at not hearing what He's calling you to do. 

My husband and I adopted two hard to place girls from the state because the Lord kept calling and putting it on our hearts to take in children without permanent families. We were in our 40's when we got our girls. One Sunday ,I was speaking to a woman who was visiting our church ,with her husband, from another state. She met our youngest daughter  and I explained that she had been a foster child and we adopted her. The woman said that she felt that the Lord had put it on her heart to take in children that needed a home but that she could not see how that could happen in their lives because  they "paddled". She was speaking of going down rivers in canoes and "paddling" down the river. I was so surprised by what she said that I didn't have an answer for her. The importance of the eternal had passed her by and the voice of the Lord calling her to help the fatherless, was lost in the noise of a beloved hobby.

The last part of this chapter is different from the 2 parables that we just talked about. Matt. 25:31-46 is not a parable. It is Jesus talking about when He will return and sit in Judgement of all nations. I do not want to go into too much detail about this passage. I want to simply say that we need to look at the overall emphasis of what Jesus is talking about. He is again talking about His people being about doing His work. He speaks of feeding and clothing, visiting and caring for strangers. He is asking His disciples (and us) to care about and love other people the way He cared and loved as He walked the earth. 

This is my poem for:

Matthew 24 and 25

Look up
Be ready
I will come like lightening to gather you to be with Me
Do not be fooled
I will come
Be ready
Be born again
Be faithful
Be obedient
Be diligent
Be kind and loving
Be with Me forever 

So, to remember Chapter 25 we are going to 
remember the number 25.  10 virgins + 15 talents=25,
so remember 25, 10 virgins 15 talents =25, chapter 25.
Hopefully this will help you remember where these two parables are located in the bible, Matthew 25.
The point of this blog is to help you remember what you have read in your bible. Keep practicing your memory tools. There are many things that you will be able to find easily in the book of Matthew as you work on your memory tools. We are almost to the end of this book. We are almost ready to celebrate!!! I pray that God uses you in a mighty way to bless others with your remembrance of His word. 

Practice as you go to sleep at night. Practice as you sit at a stop light or wait at the grocery store. The key is to read the chapter you are studying, over and over again until the Lord speaks to you and imprints it on your heart. There is no hurry.....

God bless you sweet ladies! I am praying for all of you.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Matthew Capter 24 part 2

Starting in Matthew chapter 24 with verse 23, Jesus has been telling the disciples about the future. We ended the last study with verses 24:21-22,in these verses Jesus teaches about the great tribulation. In verse 23, He again warns them not to be deceived  by people telling them that they know where the messiah is, or by someone being pointed out in a crowd with someone literally saying "there He is". This is a repeat of what he said to the disciples in verses 4-5 of this same chapter.  He wants to make sure that we  and the disciples ARE NOT FOOLED. We need to know our bibles. Jesus, Himself is warning us. As I said in chapter 24 part 1. If we have read these words or if we have heard these words, we will not be fooled when someone tells us that Jesus is hiding somewhere or that he will be appearing at  a rally in Buffalo, New York.

In verse 24:24 He goes further than He did in His earlier warning. He says "False Christs and False Prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead (with the sole intention to mislead), If possible , even the elect." Jesus is telling them, and us, that these things will happen!! There will be signs and wonders! Visions and miracles are not the proof that Jesus has returned!! . In verse 24:25, He says, "Behold, I have told you in advance." He then goes on to give another scenario that will be used to deceive people into thinking that Jesus has already returned or that He is hiding somewhere. (Just for fun, google, "Jesus has returned", or "has Jesus returned?" and see what you get. It's incredible). 
Read verse 24:27 and remember it!! Who can ignore lightening? Who can mistake what is happening in the sky when a powerful storm moves in. There is no question of what is going on when we are experiencing lightening and thunder.  It is loud and dangerous and cannot be mistaken or ignored. That is what the return of our Lord will be like.  It will be loud, powerful and unmistakable as His return. Tuck this info away in your heart. Remember it. You may save an eternal life one day with this information and you will never be deceived.

This next verse is very interesting. (Matt. 24:28) Jesus says "where ever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather" At first this verse doesn't seem to fit with the previous verses but if we look at what Jesus said in Matt. 8:22, He says " let the dead bury their own dead". This is the reply that Jesus gave to a man who said that he wanted to follow Jesus but asks if he could first bury his father. The man's father wasn't dead yet. What the man was really asking was if he could just wait  until his dad died,  before he devoted his life to the Lord. The man wanted to fulfill his family obligations before he followed Jesus. Jesus's answer to him was "follow me, let the dead bury their own dead" Jesus considers the unbelievers dead. When there are people who would deceive by claiming, to be Jesus or by claiming to know where He is,they are like a dead body that quickly draws vultures. A vulture only has to see the slightest activity from another vulture to be motivated to join the circling of a carcass. They gather in large numbers and quickly and enthusiastically, feed on the dead. Jesus is saying that these deceivers are like a dead body that gathers a large crowd quickly. The crowd is eager to feed on the information presented to them. They quickly digest it and make it part of themselves.  (my brother- in -law actually believes that Jesus never really died. He believes that Jesus was whisked away, still alive, and taken to India and hidden in a Hindu temple until He died of natural causes. A corpse was calling and my brother- in- law fed on it and made it part of himself ) It seems that more and more corpses will be calling to the vultures as time goes on. Do not be deceived. 
 2Tim.4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires and will turn away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
 These deceptions will definitely be of a spiritual nature. It will be an indication of people wanting a "god" but not wanting the truth. Keep your eyes of discernment open. You may be able to see this happening in your community.

 In verses 24:29-31, Jesus returns to talking about the tribulation. He had been talking about it just a few  verses earlier (Matt. 24:21-22) (read Isaiah 13:10-13) Jesus
says "immediately after the tribulation of those days, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE IT'S LIGHT AND THE STARS WILL FALL FROM THE SKY and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, (many commentators, smarter than me, cannot agree on who or what these powers of heaven are) and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory". My favorite commentator, Eerdman, gives many examples of what this "sign" could be, but he believes that the cross is the only universally accepted sign of Jesus Christ that spans all countries, races and cultures. And then,"all the tribes of the earth will mourn". We all know people, that we love, who will mourn when these things take place. Then, Jesus will be coming on the clouds! Incredible.
 And (24:31)He will send forth His angels with a GREAT TRUMPET and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. 
So try to imagine all of this happening in quick succession. The sky will darken, the stars will fall from the sky. The cross will be  shining in the clouds and Jesus will descend from heaven the same way that the disciples watched Him go. (Acts 1:11) A trumpet will sound (In a miraculous way of course because the whole earth will hear it at the same time)And He will send forth His angels, who will gather His beloved from the whole earth.


lots of figs, not so many leaves
Verse 24:32, Jesus says "now learn from the fig tree"... this is very interesting. Fig trees get there fruit on old leaves or bare branches. In this verse Jesus speaks of the summer leaves that start to sprout in the spring. The fruit of a fig tree is ripe or well on its way to being ripe before the full leaves of summer are out on it's branches. (Does this mean that our "fruit" as a believers will be ripe and completed?) In verse 24:33, Jesus tells us when we see all these "things", know that He is near, right at the door. (we are to know, but the rest of the world will pay no 24:37-39.)

This next verse is very interesting. Matt. 24:34 says "Truly I say to you this generation will not pass away until all these "things" take place." The generation Jesus is speaking of is the generation in which all of these "things" take place. Remember in verse 24:33, He says "when you see all these things." THIS WAS ONE THOUGHT THAT JESUS WAS EXPRESSING HERE. THERE WERE NO CHAPTER BREAKS. HE WAS HAVING A NORMAL CONVERSATION WITH THE DISCIPLES. REMEMBER, CHAPTER 21 THROUGH THE END OF THE BOOK OF MATTHEW, REFLECTS APPROXIMATELY ONE WEEK IN THE LIFE OF JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES. Of course, it's taking us much longer than that to study it, but it is important not to loose our perspective of the time frame in which these things took place. 

Now on to verse 24:36. This is the verse we will use to remember what is in this chapter!!!!Jesus says " no one knows the day or the hour"  NO MAN, NO ANGEL, NOT EVEN JESUS HIMSELF KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR. ONLY GOD THE FATHER KNOWS!!!
Many people in my lifetime have claimed to have been given the privilege of knowing the day when the Lord would return. There is a man right now claiming to have seen miraculous signs and being told by an apparition of the Lord Himself, that JESUS will return on 7-11-2018 . He professes to being very humbled and says that he alone carries the heavy burden of telling the world of the Lord's return.!!!YIKES!!!We all suffer and the world suffers when people don't know their bibles. PRAY TO COMMIT THIS TO YOUR MEMORY.  Chapter 24...there are 24 hours in a day. NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR.  IF YOU CAN REMEMBER THIS SIMPLE PHRASE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO QUICKLY TURN TO MATTHEW 24 AND FIND THIS IMPORTANT SUBJECT THE NEXT TIME THERE IS A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE LORD COMING BACK. AS WE GET CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THE LORD'S RETURN, THERE WILL BE MORE AND MORE CORPSES CALLING.
                                                                             BE READY

In verses 24:37-39, Jesus explains that the rest of the world, who have not accepted His plan for redemption, will not be ready. It will be life as usual for them. They will see the return of the Lord as we will, and will then be accountable for their unbelief. 
VERSES 24:40-41, have been analyze, debated and elevated above other texts and used to prove the rapture. I have read different commentaries and I do think that this is a scripture that supports the timing of the rapture, but people who are far more educated than myself think that it could be that the people being taken, are the wicked being taken to judgement. So, pray over it and make your own decision. These verses can be a distraction from what Jesus was truly trying to convey to us in this chapter. DO NOT BE DECEIVED, BE READY.

Sangha River, Congo
In the remaining verses of this chapter (24:42-51) Jesus again uses parables to call us to be ready for His return. I now see this entire chapter as His attempt to ready His disciples (and us) for the events that will unfold before us . It is not His intention that we should understand all of the details of His return, He knows that we are incapable of that.  His intention is that we live our lives knowing that He is coming and that our world needs Him. Pray for an eternal perspective........

So, we will use , chapter 24, 24 HOURS IN A DAY. "NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR" to remember this chapter. Keep reading your bible. Go on to chapter 25. You will see that it is a continuation of the conversation that the Lord was having with the disciples. 
Hong Kong
God bless you ladies! I am praying for every one of you! Do not forget the impact that your knowledge of the word of God can have on your children, your husband, your community and your own relationship with our amazing incredible Lord.