Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Sower, A Parable Jesus Told in a Natural Amphitheater

By Mary Vee
Matthew 13



From Matthew's Journal 


Photo by Mary Vee
Standing on the rocky northern shore
of the Sea of Galilee where
the crowds sat,listening to Jesus
speak from the boat.
This shore is steep. But notice the huge
rocks. The area is like an
amphitheater. The sound reflecting
off the water, amplifying so all the
people could hear. his words The rocks,
like chairs. A great place for the
masses to hear Jesus speak.
My name is Matthew, I am a disciple of Jesus. I have recorded what I witnessed. 

What I found very interesting were the short stories Jesus told when teaching the people. 

On this day, He told one.

We followed Jesus out of the house and sat with him by the lake. Not long had passed before such a large crowd gathered around him that he stood and asked for a boat. 

We brought one to him and held it while he climbed inside. A few of us sat with him in the boat while other disciples stayed on the rocky shore with the crowds.

Jesus faced the people and told this parable story:

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he tossed the seed across the ground, some fell on rocks where it there was little soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched. They withered because their roots had no space to grow.

"Other seeds fell on thorns. The plants grew but were soon choked by the thorns and died."

"Some seed fell on good soil. The rich, strong crop grew a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.

"He who has ears, let him hear."

Later, when we disciples were alone with Jesus, he said, "Listen and I will tell you the meaning of the parable of the sower. 

"When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, this is the seed sown among the path. The evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. 

"The one who hears the message about the kingdom and rejoices right away, this is the seed that fell on rocky places. This joy only lasts a short time for this person because he has no root. When trouble or persecution comes and he has nothing to draw on, he walks away.

"The one who hears the message about the kingdom but worries about this life and what he has, this is the seed that fell among the thorns. The deceitfulness of wealth chokes it, making it unfruitful. 

"The one who hears the message about the kingdom and understands it, this is the seed that fell on good soil. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.


I will share more of what Jesus taught 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, April 11, 2018

Sabbath Freedom

By Mary Vee
Luke 13


From Luke's Journal 


Lampstand in Jerusalem Temple area Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Luke, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded what I witnessed. The chosen disciples of Jesus are here with me as well. 

Today's telling happened on a Sabbath. 

Jesus' followers and close disciples went with Him into the synagogue. On this day Jesus was the chosen one to teach the people. As he taught He looked at the the listening people. 

He finished his message then called a woman to come forward. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. We learned that she had been crippled by an evil spirit for eighteen long years.

It took her some time to make her way up to Jesus, but when she stood before Jesus, He said, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." He put his hands on her, and immediately she stood straight up. Her shoulders pressed back. Her arms hung straight at her side. Her eyes went wide and she spoke and sang praises to God, thanking Him for His mercy.

The synagogue rulers who had watched the woman become healed became very angry. They stood before the people and said, "There are six days for work. So if you must come to be healed, do it on one of those days, not the Sabbath."

Jesus pressed forward to be heard."You hypocrites. Don't each one of you untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water on the Sabbath? What is the difference between the donkey being set free to drink and this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years being set free from what bound her on the Sabbath day?"

Well, Jesus words caused quite a response.

Those who agreed with the synagogue rulers felt humiliated.

Those who agreed with Jesus, or didn't know but wanted to see and hear more were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.




As for me, Luke, a follower of Jesus Christ, I have made my choice. 

I have chosen to agree in the ways of Jesus. 



I will share more of what Jesus taught 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, April 4, 2018

The Fig Tree That Did Not Produce Fruit

By Mary Vee
Luke 12:54- 13



From Luke's Journal 


Outskirts of Jerusalem- Photo by Mary Vee

My name is Luke, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded what I witnessed. The chosen disciples of Jesus are here with me as well. 

What I like about Jesus' teachings is how they speak to the heart of the people. He truly understands them and knows how to help them understand God. 

A crowd had gathered around Jesus anxious to hear him speak. Jesus said, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say, 'It is going to rain' and it does. When the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. 

"How is it that you can understand the weather by looking at the sky and earth and not see what is happening at this time, all around you?

"Why do you take your arguments to a court instead of trying to reconcile with the one you have a dispute. If you don't attempt to resolve the problem, the other person may drag you to see the judge. The judge might turn you over to the officer, and the officer might throw you into prison. If the situation goes this way, and it can, you will not get out of prison until you have paid the last penny."

Some men who stood in the crowd had a question. They chose one from their group to ask. He said, "What do you say about the Galileans who while they worshipped in the temple were struck dead by Pilate? He mixed their blood with the blood of his sacrifices." 

Jesus answered, "Are you saying these Galileans sinned more than any other Galilean because they suffered in this way? No. Not at all Unless you repent, each one of you, will also die. There were eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them. They were no more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem. This you must know, though, unless you repent of your sins, you too will die."

To help them understand, Jesus told them this story:"A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. Three years later, at the time of harvest, the man went to the tree to look for fruit but didn't find any. 

"He said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years I have come to this fig tree looking for fruit and haven't found any. Cut it down. Why should it use the soil?

"The caretaker of the vineyard said to the owner, 'Sit. Leave the tree alone for one more year. I will dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, the wait will be worth your time. If not. Then it will be cut down.

"So also will your lives be."

As for me, Luke, a follower of Jesus Christ, I have made my choice. 

I have chosen to follow in the ways of Christ and to show the fruit of my belief in Him. 



I will share more of what Jesus taught 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, March 28, 2018

He Came To Stir Division

By Mary Vee
Luke 12 

Author's note: the timeliness of "the next Bible event" amazes me. This walk-through-the-Bible started nine years ago. And on this day, during passover week, the next event is this one. Truly amazing.


From Luke's Journal 


Outskirts of Jerusalem- Photo by Mary Vee

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

There are times when Jesus spoke with a gentle, kind voice. 

There are times when Jesus spoke with sorrow, a deep heartfelt hurt.

Then there were times like today, when Jesus spoke with fire, rage, and purpose.




Jesus said, "I have come to start a fire on the earth. No, not in the physical way you are thinking. I am talking about a passion to fight evil and focus every minute, every deed, on serving God. I wish the fire blazed right now.

"I have come to change the way you think. To turn everything rightside-up. Oh, how I long for this to be finished.

"Do you believe that I came to bring peace, unity, a calm to the turmoil here in the land? That I would bring an army to change the political situation and return Israel to its own reign?

"I haven't. I came to disrupt the wrong. To confront those who are misleading and those who are walking in the wrong direction... away from God.

"Because of me, you will find five people living in one family divided against each other. Three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father. Mother against daughter and daughter against mother. Mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

Jesus took a short break.

As for me, Luke, disciple of Jesus Christ, I have made my choice. 

I have chosen to follow in the ways of Christ. 



I will share more of what Jesus taught 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, March 21, 2018

You Never Know When...

By Mary Vee
Luke 12 

From Luke's Journal 


Outskirts of Jerusalem- Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

Jesus has been speaking to a crowd about trusting God to provide for our needs and using those provisions to do what he has instructed us to do.

He then illustrated his points with this story:

"You should always be prepared for service. Keep your lamps burning like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet." 

In our day, we did not have electric lights to turn on with a switch as you can. We had to fill lamps with oil. If the oil is burned, more oil must be poured into the lamp. Those without a light will not be able to find their way in the dark and miss an opportunity.

If the servant is prepared, he can open the door when his master comes and knocks.

Jesus said, "Their master will be very pleased to find them watching when he comes, even if it is in the middle of the night.

"I tell you the truth, the master will dress himself to serve, will have his servants sit at the table, and he will wait on them. 

"Understand this, though, if the owner of the house had known at what time the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.

"You also much be ready at all times, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Peter, the disciple, then asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us or to everyone?"

Jesus answered, "Well, let's look at the answer this way. Who is the faithful and wise manager the master put in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant if the master finds him doing his work as he was instructed. 

"If he is, the master will put him in charge of all his possessions. But, suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time. I can do what I want. So he beats the menservants and the maidservants then sits down to a wonderful meal and drinks until he is drunk. The more he finds available time to mistreat his duty, the more he will do so. 

"The master then will come home when the servant in charge is not aware. The master will see what all that the servant has done. He will thrash him and demote him to the lowest level, with unbelievers.

"The servant who knows what his master wants and ignores it b doing whatever he pleases  will be beaten with many blows. 

"But the servant who does not know what his master wanted him to do and fails to do the job, will be only receive a light punishment. 

"Everyone who has been given a great gift has a great responsibility."



I will share more of what Jesus taught 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, March 14, 2018

Life is So Much More Than Things

By Mary Vee
Luke 12 

From Luke's Journal 


Outskirts of Jerusalem- Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

Jesus had just spoken to the crowds about greed. Seems one man wanted his brother to give him more of the family inheritance. When he finished speaking, the crowds left.

Jesus turned to we disciples and said, "Spending your time worrying about what you will eat or what you will wear is not worth your time. Life is so much more than what food you will eat. Your bodies are much more than what clothes you will wear. 

Jesus looked up at some birds. "Consider the ravens. They don't sow or reap. They have no storeroom or barn to keep their food. Yet God feeds them. You are much more valuable than birds! Who of you can add a single hour to your life by worrying about anything? Since you can't add even a simple hour to your life this way, why worry?

Lily Photo Courtesy

Think about the lily and how it grows. It does not work yet it grows freely and is beautiful in the fields. Not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these flowers. If God clothes the grass of the field with such beautiful flowers which is only here today and tomorrow thrown into the fire, how much more with God clothe you who trust Him? If only you had faith.

"Don't set your heart on what you will eat or drink. Don't worry about which cut of meat, or the finest cheese, or the best vegetables. Those who worship idols run after these things. Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Choose to seek his kingdom. When you do, all these things will be given to you as well.

"So, don't be afraid. Your Father wants to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make purses and wallets for yourselves that will not wear out. A treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted and is kept where no thief will come near and no moth will destroy. 

"Remember, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."


I will share more of what Jesus taught 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.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Inheritance

By Mary Vee
Luke 12 

From Luke's Journal 


Outskirts of Jerusalem- Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Luke, I am a disciple of Jesus. The other disciples are here with me as well. 

We walked with Jesus along a road where a crowd had gathered. They came to hear what Jesus had to say, to ask Him questions, and to bring their sick for healing. 

One man caught Jesus' attention. He said, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."

Of course the man seemed angry. He apparently thought Jesus would take up his cause and help fight for him. Our culture holds that the oldest son receives a given portion of the inheritance and the other sibling receive their portion. 

Jesus answered the man saying, "Why do you think I am a judge or an arbitrator who can help set up new arrangements for your family's inheritance?"

Jesus turned to the crowd and said, "Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Money is not the answer to a good life. You see, life is only so long and it is not dependent up what all a man has earned or gained, or has to spend."

He paused then told this story, "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What should I do with the abundance? I have no place to store the extra crop I have reaped.'

"The man thought to himself and said, 'I know what I'll do. I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, there I will store all my grain and my goods. He felt very pleased with the idea and said to himself, "I have plenty of good things stored up for many years. I can take life easy. I can eat, drink, and be merry.'

"But God said to him, 'You are not as wise as you think. This very night you will die. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself and not shared with those in need?'

"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up earthly things for himself, but doesn't store up riches in heaven."


Our goal should be to do the things God teaches in His Word. Those deeds will bring true and lasting riches.




I will share more of what Jesus taught 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.