Monday, October 7, 2019

If You Were Invited to a Grand Banquet, Would You Go?

By Mary Vee
Luke 14



Peter



Sun setting in Israel
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Peter. 

For the last few posts, I've written about a grand Sabbath dinner. At this meal, a pharisee invited Jesus and His disciples. There were many others who happened to attend as well.

Jesus has been teaching those who came while they waited for the meal. As it turns out he has started another story. This is what he is saying:

There was a man who prepared a great banquet. He sent out many guest invitations.

When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant out with this announcement, "Come. The banquet is ready."

Sadly, each invited guest gave an excuse why he couldn't attend. The first said, I can't come right now. I've bought a field and must stay here to care for it."

Another said, "I have bought five oxen. I must see if they can do the work I need."

Another said, "I am sorry, but I have just been married. I can't come at this time."

So the servant returned to his masers house with his report. "I am sorry, master, but everyone had a reason why they couldn't attend the banquet."

The owner was offended. In his anger he said, "Go out to the streets and alleys and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and lame. Let them freely come to my banquet. Go now."

So the servant invited all the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame then said, "I have invited all the people you have requested. See, they are at the table, and there is room for more." 

The master said, "Then go out to the streets, the country roads, anywhere you find people. Invite them all. I want my house to be full. Mark my word, not one person from the original invitation list will get a bite of food from my table.

What would you have said to your invitation?




Come back to read the next story.

*Note from Mary Vee: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


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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.


Friday, September 20, 2019

How a Humble Man and Woman Can Be Honored

By Mary Vee
Luke 14



Peter



Sun setting in Israel
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Peter. 

I am with Jesus and the other disciples at the home of an important Pharisee. We have been served a Sabbath meal.

Before we sat down, the guests rushed to sit at the seats closest to the host. These are considered the seats of honor.

Jesus stood watching them. Once they sat he told them this story: 

"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, don't immediately rush to one of the seats of honor. A person who is more distinguished than you may also have been invited.

"When the host sees you in the seat of honor, he will come to you and say, 'Give this man your seat.'

"You will feel humiliated by this and forced to give up the seat to the more honored gentleman. You will look at the remaining seats and find only one open in the place for the least honored person.

"Instead, when you are invited to such a feast, sit at the least favored seat. Then the host will come to you saying, 'Friend, move up to a better place." You will then become the honored person in the sight of your fellow guests. See, every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Jesus then turned to the host and said, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner and invite your friends, relatives, and neighbors, they will gladly come then invite you to their home for a meal. Back and forth you invite each other. 

"Instead invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind to your banquets. When you do, you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you like your family, friends, and neighbors, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

One guest said, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."

This person understood what Jesus said.


Come back to read the next story.

*Note from Mary Vee: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


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


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, September 11, 2019

The Sabbath Debate

By Mary Vee
Luke 14



Peter



Sun setting in Israel
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Peter. 

I am with Jesus and the other disciples at the home of an important Pharisee. We have been served a Sabbath meal.

Other Pharisees and people walking by the home have been welcomed to this meal also.

It seemed to me that the Pharisees arranged this meeting with plenty of witnesses for a reason. Like they planned to catch Jesus in a mistake.

There was a man who sat near Jesus. He had a painful physical problem. His joints had become swollen which made moving extremely painful. 

Jesus turned to the important Pharisees, and said to them, "Is it permitted to heal on the Sabbath?"

The religious scholars didn't answer, but they watched what Jesus would do about the situation.

Jesus called the sick man to him and healed him. "Go home. You are healed."

Jesus looked at those in the room. "If a child or animal suddenly fell into a well, is there anyone in this room who wouldn't stop what they were doing and run to help him out, no matter the day? Even a Sabbath?"

Again the religious scholars and Pharisees said nothing. From the look on their face, they did not know the right answer to give.



Come back to read the next story.

*Note from Mary Vee: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


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


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, September 6, 2019

I Will Complete My Work...Jesus

By Mary Vee
Luke 13



Peter



Eastern Gate in Jerusalem
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Peter. 

I am with Jesus and the other disciples visiting cities and villages. 

Some Pharisees came to Jesus sent with a message. They said, leave. "Go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you."

Even I could tell the Pharisees did not bring the message because they cared for Jesus' welfare. 

Herod considered Jesus a mischief-maker like John the Baptizer. He had made it clear on more than one occasion that he wanted Jesus out of his dominion. Like John the Baptizer, Herod didn't seem to want to kill Jesus, just frighten him enough to leave the area.

Jesus said to the Pharisee messengers, "Go tell Herod, that cunning fox, I have work to do. I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day, I will reach my goal. You and Herod can try to stop me. It won't work. I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day. You may threaten me, but we both know, no prophet can die outside of Jerusalem."

Herod didn't have the power to put Jesus to death on his own. A trial would have to be held by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. So their threat didn't work.

While I am thinking of this,  I am reminded of these words from Jesus when we stood outside the city: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to help you. How often have I longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. 

"But you were not willing.

"Look, the Temple is left to you desolate. You wanted me to leave so I will. You won't see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."

Jesus wanted to help. He wanted to gather those who believed in the one true God. I didn't know it at this time, but I later learned he was telling us they would put him to death. Jesus told us he would return one day. At that time he would gather all those who believe in the one true God. Until then, I will continue teaching Jesus' message.


Author's note: It seemed fitting to include the photo of the Eastern Gate as it currently stands, sealed. An attempt to keep Jesus out. But Jesus, God's son will return one day. Through the Eastern Gate.


Come back to read the next story.

*Note from Mary Vee: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


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


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, August 28, 2019

The Narrow Door

By Mary Vee
John 10



Peter



The Jordan River.
Men and women being baptized.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Peter. 

The other disciples and I left Jerusalem with Jesus after the Pharisees threatened to stone Him yesterday. We crossed the Jordan and stopped at the place where John had baptized many in the early days. 

Rather than visit villages, we stayed in this place for quite some time. Word of mouth spread the news of Jesus' location. Many men and women came to talk to him.

During those days, some people said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, we have seen that all John said about this man was true."

During those days near the Jordan, many believed in Jesus. The restful days from our hectic schedule felt good. 

Some days later, we continued on visiting towns and villages. The route took us back in the direction of Jerusalem. Jesus taught all who wanted to listen at every opportunity. 

One man said, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"

Jesus answered, "The door is narrow. This is the only way, though. Only those who enter at this place will be saved. There are many who will try to go through this door and yet not enter. Once the owner of the house gets up to close the door, those who have not entered will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'

"But he will say, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'

"Then you will respond, 'We ate and drank with you. You taught in our streets. We saw you there.'

"He will say, 'Go away. I don't know you or where you come from. Leave at once you evildoers.'

"At this time there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God go in...and you are forced to leave. Men and women will come from the east, west, north, and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 

"There will be those who are considered last who will be made first, and those thought to be first who will be made last."

A group of Pharisees arrived as he finished speaking. They said, "Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you."




Come back to read the next story.

*Note from Mary Vee: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


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


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, August 14, 2019

What Jesus Gives To Those Who Believe

By Mary Vee
John 10



Peter



The Temple-Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Peter. 

Autumn is nearly over. December has come. It was about 197 years ago when Judas Maccabaeus began the celebration called Dedication, later called Hanukkah. 

This is a feast held in December to remember the refurbishing and opening of the temple after Antiochus Epiphanes ruined the grounds and building in168 BC.






The person who took the photo is unknown. The photo
courtesy goes to this individual who posted this winter photo
of the Western Wall on the Spirit of Israel Facebook page.





Hanukkah is an eight day feast held in Jerusalem. Jews travel from all over Israel to attend. 


It is at this time that I begin today's story. 











Photo courtesy: ebibleTeacher.com
I found Jesus in the Temple area, walking in Solomon's Colonnade. A group of Jews gathered around him. Their leader said, "How long will you keep us in suspense? Are you or are you not the Christ? Tell us plainly.

Jesus said, "I did tell you, but you do not believe me. The miracles I have done in my Father's name speak for me. You don't believe because you do not follow me as a sheep would his master. 





"My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give each one eternal life. None will ever perish. Neither can anyone snatch them from me.

"My Father, the One who has given me my sheep, is greater than all. No one can snatch my sheep out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
Inside the Temple, a room for females only-
Photo by Mary Vee

Although Jesus answered their question, they became angry. They bent low and picked up stones to hurl at him.


Jesus said, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. Which one of these gives you a reason to stone me?"

Their leader said, "We are not stoning you for any of those. We will stone you for blasphemy, though. You are a mere man and yet you claim to be God."

"Then don't believe me if I do not do what the Father does. 

"But, if I do these things, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father."

The men lunged toward Jesus, grabbing for Him, but He escaped their grasp.


Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


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


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, August 1, 2019

The Benefit of Persistent Prayer

By Mary Vee
Luke 11 



Peter



My name is Peter. 

Only moments ago, Jesus taught us the way to pray. I shared his instructions the last time I wrote. You can scroll down to read it.

After He finished the prayer, Jesus told us a story. He often did this before teaching a principle.

Jesus said, "Suppose one night, a friend came to your house after traveling on a long journey. You open the door and welcome him.

But you soon discover you have no food to give your guest.

You walk to your neighbor's house. He also is a good friend. You knock until the neighbor calls out, 'What do you want?'

"'Please,' you say, 'I have a guest who only just arrived after a long journey. I have no food to give him. Loan me three loaves of bread.'

"The neighbor answers, 'Go away. Don't bother me. The door is locked for the night. My children are in bed. I can't get up to give you anything.'

Photo by Mary
Land near Jerusalem
"Even with all of these excuses, the neighbor finally opens the door and shares three loaves of bread.

"He didn't do this because the one who asked was a friend. He gave the bread because the one who asked continued to ask.

"So I say, Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you."

Jesus explained what He meant by that teaching. I will share what he said the next time.








Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


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


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.