Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The One We Should Fear

By Mary Vee
Luke 11 


From Luke's Journal 


Inside Jerusalem's city walls.
Photo by Mary Vee.
My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

Jesus continued His mission which was to go into the cities and villages and preach the Good News. As his disciples, we went with Him wherever He went. 

The Pharisees and keepers of the law followed as well, but for a different reason. They didn't care to learn from Jesus. They pounded Him with questions, clearly trying to trap Him into saying or doing something wrong so they could arrest him.

But while the Pharisees tried to prove to the people that Jesus did not speak the truth, the crowds didn't listen to them. Instead they came by the thousands pushing and shoving one another so they could stand nearer to Jesus and hear what He said.

One day, Jesus turned to us, his disciples, and said, "Please be aware of these Pharisees and the way they pretend to be good. They are not. Their hypocrisy can't be hidden forever. The people will see their deceit as easily as they see yeast in dough.

"Whatever the Pharisees have said in the dark, those deceitful words will be heard in the light, and the truth you have whispered in the inner rooms will be broadcasted from the housetops for all to hear!

"My friends, don't be afraid of these men who want to murder you. As Moses told the Israelites before the Egyptians released them, these men may kill the body, but they have no power over your souls. 

"There is One whom you should fear, though. Fear God who has the power to kill and cast those who do not obey Him into Hell.

"Tell me, what is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? It's not much more than that. Yet, God your Heavenly Father doesn't forget a single one of them. He also knows the number of hairs on your head. You, my friends, are far more valuable to Him than a whole flock of sparrows. 

"I the Messiah will publicly honor you in the presence of God's angels if you publicly admit that I am your Friend and believe in me as the Messiah. Keep this in mind, though, I will deny you before those same angels if you choose not to follow me and believe my words. 

"Those who speak against me may be forgiven if they turn from their selfish ways. Those who speak against the Holy Spirit, will never be forgiven.

Jesus looked at all of us with such kindness and care in his eyes and said, "When you are brought to trial before these Jewish rulers and authorities in th synagogues, don't be concerned about what to say in your defense. The Holy Spirit will give you the right words to say at the right moment.


I will share more of what Jesus taught next time.

 Come back to read the next story.



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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The War of the Pharisees and The Legal Experts

By Mary Vee
Luke 11 

From Luke's Journal 


Inside Jerusalem's city walls.
Photo by Mary Vee.
My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

We have been at a home where Jesus is talking to Pharisees. There is a crowd of people listening who have entered the home to hear what Jesus says. Needless to say the house is packed with people.

After a long time of Pharisees asking questions, we finally had our meal. It was clear to me that the Pharisees wanted to make Jesus mad. To get him to make a mistake in what he said or did. But Jesus never did.

We ate our meal, and even while we had our food, the Pharisees continued to fire questions at Jesus. He answered every question, teaching the people the truth.

As Jesus finished his meal he said three things to the Pharisees: Woe to you because you neglect justice and you don't love God. Woe to you because you do things for attention. Woe to you because you think you are important and you are not.

When Jesus finished saying those words, an expert in the law said, "Teacher, when you talk like that, you offend us and our profession."

Jesus faced him and said, "The same horrors wait for you, because you create so many demands that weigh the people down. Demands you would never follow yourself. 

"Woe to you because you're no different from your ancestors who killed the prophets from long ago. You are murderers!  You agree with what they did and would do the same thing today, yet you build tombs to honor the prophets. Hypocrites. 

"God in his wisdom said, 'I will send prophets and apostles, some of whom the religious leaders will kill and others will be persecuted.' Your fathers before you have done this and you will too. 

"You will be held responsible for killing all of God's servants since the beginning of the world, from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary in the Temple. Yes, you will be charged for this.

"Woe to you because you have hidden the truth from the people. You've chosen not to accept or believe what you've discovered then you prevented them from hearing and believing the truth for themselves."

The Pharisees and experts of the law stood and shook their fists. Their anger raged. From that time on, they worked hard to oppose everything Jesus said and did. They opposed him fiercely and threw wicked questions at him, waiting to catch him in anything he might say to arrest him. 

These leaders rarely got along before, but now they worked together to arrest and get rid of Jesus, the Messiah.    


I will share more of what he taught the next time.

 Come back to read the next story.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Light Illuminates the Soul

By Mary Vee
Matthew 12, Mark, 3; 

From Luke's Journal 


Inside Jerusalem's city walls.
Photo by Mary Vee.
My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

We have been at a home where Jesus is talking to Pharisees. 

In our day, bystanders come into homes at will. In this particular home, Jesus, and those of us who are his disciples had been invited for dinner.

We've been here quite some time and haven't eaten yet. The Pharisees raised questions and arguments from the moment we arrived. Men and women came into the home to listen to the discussion, taking up the space allotted for the meal.

My stomach grumbled.

The last few posts tell what Jesus has discussed already. The next topic discussed deals with lights and lamps.

Jesus said, "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or sets a bowl over the flame to block the light.

"Instead, he puts the lamp on a stand where the entire area is illuminated. 

"Your eye is like a lamp for your body. When your eyes are good, your soul radiates light. When your eyes are bad, you body is steeped in darkness and sin.

"Watch that the pure light for your soul is not hampered in any way. When you do, even your face will show the light from inside you."

After Jesus spoke these wise words, the host, who was a Pharisee invited him in to a room where the meal had been arranged. Jesus and we disciples followed the host and sat.

The Pharisee watched Jesus walk past the ceremonial water bowl prepared for washing hands. "Rabbi, you did't wash."

Jesus said, "You Pharisees wash your outsides, keeping your body clean, but your soul is full of greed and wickedness. You are fools. Didn't the One who created your outside also create your insides? You show the purity within you by giving to the poor. 

"You give a tenth of your garden herbs, but you neglect important issues like justice and the love of God. Tithing is good, but anyone who truly honors God does both.

"You love the best seats in the temple and the glory you receive by walking through the marketplace in your robes. All eyes are on you, not your heavenly Father.

"In truth, you are nothing but unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing you are buried there."

The Pharisees sitting at the meal with us didn't show any sign of being bothered by Jesus' words. In truth, I'm not so sure they truly listened. They simply liked the conversation sport.


I will share more of what he taught the next time.

 Come back to read the next story.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Everyone is Equally Welcomed To Hear Jesus Speak

By Mary Vee
Matthew 12, Mark, 3; Luke 8



From Matthew's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee. View down to the Sea of Galilee from
the Mountain where it is believed Jesus was at this time.
Capernaum is down and to the left by the shore.

My name is Matthew, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

We have been at a home where Jesus is talking to Pharisees. 

He answered a question about evil spirits a moment ago. 

A man came to me and said that Jesus was wanted outside.

I made my way through the crowded home and out the door. Mary and Jesus' brothers stood there. They knew they could come inside to listen to Jesus' teachings. I wasn't sure why they hadn't. 

"We need to speak with him."

"I'll tell him," I said.

I excused myself through the crowd until I reached Jesus. He was talking with some men about another topic. I felt a little awkward interrupting him, and had she not been his mother and his brothers with her I wouldn't have done so. "Master, excuse me. Your mother and brothers are waiting outside. They said they want to speak with you."

"You say my mother and brother are waiting to speak with me?" This was not said in a whisper. "They know where I am. Could their issue that can wait outside be more important than the duty my Father has given to me?

He pointed to the other disciples and me then said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. You see, everyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, is my brother and sister and mother."

 So, he didn't make his way through the crowded home to go outside and speak with his mother and brothers. They, instead were as welcomed as anyone to come inside and hear what Jesus had to teach.

And he did. I will share more of what he taught the next time.

 Come back to read the next story.


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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jesus is Not a Genie

By Mary Vee
Matthew 12:38-42, Luke 11:29-32



From Matthew's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee. View down to the Sea of Galilee from
the Mountain where it is believed Jesus was at this time.
Capernaum is down and to the left by the shore.

My name is Matthew, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

We have been at a home where Jesus is talking to Pharisees. 

The Pharisees aren't the only ones in the home. Actually the house is so full of people we, the disciples of Jesus, and Jesus didn't have a place to eat the meal offered by the host. 

You know that look on someone's face when they want to cause trouble. They haven't said a word yet but the intent is there. Their eyebrows are lowered. Their eyes a bit squinted. They whisper to their buddies. These words describe the Pharisees at this moment. 

One of the Pharisees took the lead and said to Jesus, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you."

Even I knew this is not Jesus' purpose for His work. He is not a genie.

"Only a person with no respect would say, "Do a miracle for me," like they wanted to see magic or entertainment. 

Jesus said, "Only an evil, faithless nation would ask for a sign of proof of My Words. I won't give any except the sign that was given to the prophet Jonah, which was a sign for all mankind. 

"Just as Jonah lived for three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so I, the Messiah, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 

"The men of Ninevah will rise up at the judgement and condemn you.

"When Jonah preached to them, they repented of their evil ways and, believing the message, turned to God.

"And now, one far greater than Jonah is here. And you, the leaders and teachers of the people refuse to believe in him.

"Even the Queen of Sheba will rise up against this generation in the judgement. How is this so? She came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And now one far greater than Solomon is here and you, the leaders and teachers of the people refuse to believe in him.

"This generation is like a man who has an evil spirit. When the evil spirit is forced to leave, it goes through the aired places looking for a place to rest and does not find it. The evil spirit says, 'I will go back to the man.' When it arrives, it finds the man's heart clean but empty. The evil spirit calls seven spirits, all more wicked than itself and welcomes them to live in the man's heart. The man, who once had been free of the evil spirit, is now in far worse condition."

A woman who heard what Jesus said to the Pharisees shouted, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and fed you."

Jesus said, "Yes, but even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice."

The Pharisees did not leave. They seemed bent on starting an argument. I will continue the next time. 

 Come back to read the next story.


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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Venomous Fruit

By Mary Vee
Matthew 12:31-37, Mark 3:21,28-30



From Matthew's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee. View down to the Sea of Galilee from
the Mountain where it is believed Jesus was at this time.
Capernaum is down and to the left by the shore.

My name is Matthew, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

We have been at a home where many curious men and women followed us. They've come to hear what Jesus says.

Among these men and women are Pharisees, the learned men of our society. They have spent their whole lives training in the law of Moses and legal issues.

Jesus, although not a Pharisee, seems to gladly accept the intellectual challenges presented by these men. It's like the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus in one of their arguments, and each time they try, they fail. 

On this night, Jesus and the Pharisees had already been talking. The conversation began in the last post, which you can scroll down to see.

Jesus said to the Pharisees there, "Every sin can be forgiven except disrespect in any form against the Holy Spirit. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, will be forgiven, but whoever speaks a word against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either now, or in the age to come. This is an eternal sin.

"You can tell a tree by it's fruit. A good tree will have good fruit. A bad tree will produce bad fruit. You are nothing more than evil snakes incapable of speaking good. You deceive the very people you teach. A man's heart is determined by what he says. A good man's words will show the treasures deep inside, but an evil man's words show the venom inside.

The Pharisees looked at each other and scoffed.

"Know this," Jesus said, "You will be held accountable on the Judgement Day for all the misleading, venomous words you have and will continue to say. Your words are the evidence of your faith. You will be judged by them and proved  justified or condemned."

The Pharisees didn't seem the least bit bothered by Jesus' words. We disciples could see they didn't come to learn from him. They came to trap Him using the laws they had studied. 

To this date they have not been successful, and I am convince they never will be. Men and women continue to come to hear what Jesus teaches. Some, I believe, see the good fruit in Him, and understand He is the living Son of God. The Messiah.


 Come back to read the next story.



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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Divided We Fall

By Mary Vee
Matthew 12, Mark 3, Luke 11



From Luke's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee. View down to the Sea of Galilee from
the Mountain where it is believed Jesus was at this time.
Capernaum is down and to the left by the shore.

My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

Jesus entered a home he'd been invited in to rest. Many people followed him filling the house completely. 

The host wanted to serve a meal, but due to the crowds that entered the home, we could not eat.

One family brought a demon-possed man to Jesus. The man could not see or speak. When Jesus saw the man, he had compassion and healed the man so that he could both talk and see. 

The people were astonished when the man spoke and walked without bumping into walls. They asked, "Could Jesus be the Son of David?"

At the same time that the people asked this question, the Pharisees interrupted, "No! This man is driving out the demons with Beelzebub, the prince of demons."

Jesus had shown us more and more every day that he truly knew what was in the hearts of men. He faced the Pharisees and said, "Every kingdom that is divided, fights itself and will be ruined. Every city or household that is divided against itself will not stand. So, if Satan drives out Satan, he is fighting himself. How then can his kingdom stand if that is true? 

"And if I drive out demons using Beelzebub, then by whom do your people drive them out? 

"They will be your judges.

"But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

"I will explain in a way you might better understand. If an evil man enters the house of a strong man and carries off all the possessions, he must first tie up the strong man in order to carry out his evil deed. 

"What I am saying to you is this: He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not  help me gather souls, scatters them." 


The Pharisees didn't say a word at this point. 

But Jesus had more to say to them. Those words will be continued in the next story.

I can say this, though, I am one who will help Jesus gather souls, not work against him to scatter them.




 Come back to read the next story.


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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.