Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Ones Who Were Left Behind

By Mary Vee
Matthew 8



From Matthew's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee where Peter, Andrew, and others fished.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Matthew, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded some of what I witnessed in this post. 

Jesus finished explaining the lesson in the last parable to us as the crowds noticed Him and moved our way. They seemed interested in listening to more, but Jesus had other tasks that needed to be done at the time.

We boarded a boat set to cross the Sea of Galilee. 

A teacher of the law approached the boat and said to Jesus, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."

Jesus answered him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 

It seemed to me that Jesus wanted to help this man understand that following Him would not include a rich lifestyle. There wouldn't be fancy houses or any other lavish perks. Those of us who had been following Jesus saw this to be true.

Jesus turned to another man approaching the boat and said, "Follow me."

The man said, "Lord, I will, but first let me go and bury my father." He wasn't saying that his father had died and needed burial right then. He meant that he wanted to wait until his father grew old and died. That could take several years.

Jesus answered the man, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

Another man approached the boat and said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family."

Jesus answered, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.

By the time evening came, Jesus said, "Let's go across the sea." 

And so the boat set sail, leaving those who did not choose to follow Jesus behind with the crowd.




If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


Next time I will write about amazing miracles performed by Jesus.

 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, May 16, 2018

The Great Sorting At the End of Time

By Mary Vee
Matthew 13



From Matthew's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee where Peter, Andrew, and others fished.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Matthew, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded some of what I witnessed in this post. 

The other disciples and I have listened to Jesus teach. He uses short stories called parables to communicate His lesson.  

In each parable, Jesus talked about people like us, living in places like we do, working as we do and such a situation that taught the lesson. 

Other parables have been written In previous posts and sent to you from Mark and Luke. You can scroll down and read them. 

These were the last three parables Jesus shared on this day:

Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a large commercial fishing net that is let down into the lake and catches all kinds of fish. When it is full, the fishermen pull it up on the shore. With the fish spread across the ground, the fishermen sit down and separate the good fish, placing them in baskets. The bad fish that remain are thrown away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw the evil ones into the fiery furnace, where there will be terrible weeping and gnashing of teeth.

"Have you understood all these things I have taught you?"

The other disciples and I looked at each other and nodded. "Yes. We have."

Jesus said, "All right then. Every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom the new and the old treasure to examine. He then decides which is good and keeps those items and which truly did not have value and should be thrown away."

There are many similar parables that Jesus shared with us. He did this to help us understand His teachings. In the days he spent with the crowds, He did not say anything without using a parable.

But when Jesus was alone with us, the chosen twelve, he explained everything so clearly we could not possibly misunderstand. Because He did this, Jesus fulfilled prophecies spoken by the prophets who said:

I will open my mouth in parables. I will say things hidden since the creation of the world. 



If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


Next time I will write about amazing miracles performed by Jesus.

 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, May 11, 2018

Jesus Tells A Story

By Mary Vee
Matthew 13



From Matthew's Journal 


Photo by Mary Vee.
My name is Matthew, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded in this post some of what I witnessed. 

Jesus gathered the twelve chosen disciples and others who followed him. He chose to teach us using short stories that are call parables to communicate the lesson.  

In each parable, Jesus talked about people like us, living in places like we do, working as we do and in a situation that taught the lesson. 

Other parables have been written In previous posts and sent to you from Mark and Luke. You can scroll down and read them. 

Here are three new short parables Jesus shared with us on this day:

Jesus said to us, "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that is added to flour and water. The cook works the yeast through the dough, kneading, pressing, and pounding the ingredients in a bowl. The dough is left alone to rest. While it rests the yeast works, multiplying and growing. The dough rises above the top of the bowl. At this time, the cook repeats the process, needing, pressing, and pounding then allows the dough to rest, again, for three times. At the end of the time, the dough is of a good quality, ready to be baked."

Jesus told another parable, "The kingdom of heaven is like a great treasure hidden in an abandoned field. When a man happened into the field and discovered it, he immediately rejoiced! He hid it in the same place then went home, and sold everything he had. He took all the money and bought the field.

Jesus then told another parable describing the kingdom of heaven. "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who traveled far and wide searching for fine pearls. He found many small ones. But one day he found one of great value. He went home, sold everything he owned then took the money back to the owner and bought the pearl.  

There are more parables that Jesus shared, which will be told to you in the next posts. But for now, think about these three stories. The yeast. The man who found a treasure and sold all he had to purchase the field. And the merchant who searched for a pearl of great value. 

What do you think the meaning of these parables are?

If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


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.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Jesus Tells Three Parables

By Mary Vee
Mark 4



From Mark's Journal 


Photo by Mary Vee.
My name is Mark, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded in this post some of what I witnessed. 

Jesus gathered the twelve chosen disciples and others who followed him for a time to hear short stories that are call parables. He used these parables to teach truths. 

In each parable, Jesus talked about people like us, living in places like we do, working as we do and in a situation that teaches the lesson. 

Other parables have been sent In previous posts sent to you by Matthew and Luke. You can scroll down and read them. 

Here are three short parables Jesus shared with us on this day:

Jesus said to us, "Do you bring in a lamp and set it under a bowl or a bed where no one can see the light?"

He paused and let us respond. Obviously we said no.

Jesus said, "Of course not. You put it on the stand and let the light shine in the whole room. There will come a day when the truth behind these parables will shine brightly. 

I, Mark, am going to interrupt here, because Jesus is about to say something that needs to be thought about carefully. Ready?

"Put into practice what you area able to understand from these parables. The more you do this, the more you will understand what I tell you. To him who has understood and practiced the teachings, more will be given. To him who does not practice, the understanding will be taken away."

Jesus said, "Here is another parable, This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man went out to his field one day and scattered his seed on the ground. During the next nights and days, whether the man slept or rose from his bed, the seed sprouted and grew even though he didn't understand how this happened. 

"All by itself the soil produces grain: first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, the man takes his sickle and reaps the wheat, because the harvest has come."

Jesus gave us a few moments to think about these words.

Jesus then told us another parable. He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though this seed is the smallest of all your seeds it grows to be the largest of the garden plants, turning into a tree and a place where birds of the air can perch in its branches."

There are more parables that Jesus shared, which will be told to you in the next posts. But for now, think about these three stories. The lamp. The seed that grows into a plant when the farmer is away. The tiny mustard seed that grows into a large plant. What do you think the meaning of these parables are?

If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


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.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Wheat and Weeds

By Mary Vee
Matthew 13



From Matthew's Journal 


Photo by Mary Vee.
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. These are called parables. 

The parable is a way to teach a concept in story form using a setting familiar to the listener. The intended meaning is usually hidden in the story.

This is the second parable Jesus told this group of people who came to hear him speak.

Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field after carefully preparing the land.

"He sent his servants out daily to care for the field. Somewhere in the days that followed, before the wheat plants sprouted, the man's enemy sneaked into the field during the night. He sowed weeds throughout the field then left. 

"One day, the servants who cared for the field walked among the rows. They saw the wheat that had sprouted and formed heads. They also saw weeds sprouting between the wheat plants.

The head servant ran to the house and asked to speak to the owner. He said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field?' 

"'Yes,' the owner answered. 'You were with me when I did.'

"'Then where did the weeds come from?'

"'An enemy has done this,'" the owner replied.

"The servant asked, 'Do you want us to pull up the weeds?'

"The owner answered, 'No. Because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters to first collect the weeds and tie them into bundles to be burned. Next I will tell them to gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

Jesus stood and walked away from the crowd. He walked inside a house where we disciples were invited to join Him. We asked, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."

Jesus answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 
"The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. 
"The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. 
"The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

"They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear."



This is a powerful parable. If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.


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 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.