Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Difficult Times

By Mary Vee
Mark 9, Matthew 18, Luke 17


View from the top of Masada
down at where the Romans camped.
Photo by Mary Vee, Masada, Israel
I am a disciple of Jesus.

The other disciples and I had been listening to Jesus teach. Last week I wrote to you about children. Jesus had invited children to listen. Afterward, He told us not to shoo the children away when they came to hear him speak.

Jesus thanked the children for visiting and sent them on their way, then continued with His teachings.

He said, "Difficult times are going to happen to everyone, but we don't have to make the situation worse. If we do, terrible things will happen.

"If your hand or foot gets in the way of God, get rid of it. You are better off maimed or lame and alive than to have your hands and feet and end up in a furnace for all eternity.

"If your eye distracts you from God, get rid of it. You are better off with one eye and alive than to see with both eyes in a furnace for all eternity.

"Watch that you don't treat a person who is new to following the Scriptures with an arrogant behavior. Keep in mind that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven.

"Every person goes through a refining fire soon or later. It is how learning takes place. But you and everyone who obeys the Scriptures will be preserved and protected from the eternal flames. You should be an example to others by being at peace with each other.

John, one of the other disciples asked Jesus, "Teacher, we saw a man driving out demons in your name. We told him to stop because he wasn't one of your twelve disciples."

Jesus said, "Don't stop anyone who does a miracle in my name. They can't say anything bad about me. What I am saying is, anyone who is not against us is for us. For example, if someone gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ, they won't lose their reward. This is good of them to do."

John's question was a good one. So often we think that because Jesus invited us to listen to him that we are special. More important than others who want to follow Him. It took me a while to realize that we were acting like the Pharisees in those moments. Anyone can be a follower of Jesus the Christ. Anyone can have eternal life.

 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.


*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.

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