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Matthew 23:15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 2: Evangelists of Gehenna

Matthew 23:15 – Woe 2: Evangelists of Gehenna

MT23:15 “WOE to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees, because you travel over land and sea[1] to make a single proselyte;[2] and, when he becomes such [a convert to Judaism] you make him a son of Gehenna[3] twice as much as you.

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Woe

[1] Travel over land and sea: The Jews were great missionary evangelists and their religion had traveled to most corners of the world.

[2] Proselyte: The Greek is PROSELYTON. Or, RHM: to make one convert.

[3] A son of Gehenna: See the notes on Matthew 12:27 (= sons). The convert is a “son” and his teacher his “father.” Or, KNX: twice as worthy of damnation as yourselves; NEB: twice as fit for hell as you are yourselves; PME: twice as ripe for destruction. Research the word Gehenna for information.

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Preceding

Matthew 23:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Prominence and Humility

Matthew 23:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Shutting Up the Kingdom

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Related

  1. Leadership and Titles– Part I
  2. “But woe unto you, religious elites (scribes and Pharisees), hypocrites! You shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.” ~Jesus
  3. Woe unto you…..
  4. Matthew 23:16-26 – “Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees

Matthew 23:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Prominence and Humility

Matthew 23:1-12 – Prominence and Humility

|| Mark 12:38, 39; Luke 20:45, 46

MT23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds as well as his disciples, saying: MT23:2 “The Scribes and Pharisees sat down on the seat of Moses.[1] MT23:3 So, everything they preach to you, do and observe;[2] but do not imitate their actions,[3] for they do not practice what they preach.[4] MT23:4 They tie on heavy burdens[5] and impose these on the shoulders of humankind while they are unwilling to budge [these loads] with a single finger.[6] MT23:5 All their [religious] works they do to be viewed by humans.[7] They broaden their phylacteries[8] and they enlarge the fringes of their garments.[9] MT23:6 They prefer the prominent place at suppers[10] and the front seats in the synagogues.[11] MT23:7 [They enjoy] greetings in the market square[12] and to be called ‘Rabbi’[13] by people. MT23:8 But, you [disciples] should not be addressed as ‘Rabbi’ for only One is your teacher.[14] All of you [disciples] are brothers.[15] MT23:9 Nor should [you disciples permit others] on earth to address you as ‘Father’[16] for One is your Father – the Heavenly One. MT23:10 Nor should you disciples be addressed as ‘Leaders’[17] because your Leader is only the Messiah. MT23:11 But the ‘greatest’ among you will be your servant. MT23:12 For whoever will exalt self will be humiliated;[18] and whoever humbles self will be exalted.

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[1] Sat down on the seat of Moses: Or, KNX: the place from which Moses used to teach; TCNT: now occupy the chair of Moses; PME: speak with the authority of Moses. Compare Exodus 18:13.

[2] Do and observe: Or, RSV: so practice and observe whatever they tell you. Jesus does not undermine their teaching of the Law of Moses.

[3] Do not imitate their actions: Or, BER: do not behave as they do; TCNT: do not follow their example.

[4] They do not practice what they preach: Or, KJV: they say, and do not; RSV: they preach, but do not practice; KNX: for they tell you one thing and do another.

[5] They tie on heavy burdens: Or, KJV: they bind heavy burdens; KNX: they fasten up packs too heavy; PME: they pile up back-breaking burdens.

[6] They are unwilling to budge [these loads] with a single finger: Or, TCNT: they decline themselves to lift a finger to move them.

[7] To be viewed by humans: Or, NEB: whatever they do is done for show.

[8] They broaden their phylacteries: The Greek is PHYLACTERIA. The Jewish Encyclopedia (1976, Vol. X, p. 21) states: “The laws governing the wearing of phylacteries were derived by the Rabbis from four Biblical passages (Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18; Exodus 13:9). While these passages were interpreted literally by most commentators,… the Rabbis held that the general law only was expressed in the Bible, the application and elaboration of it being entirely matters of tradition and inference.” These were small boxes containing Bible verses strapped around the forehead and wrist. These Jewish clergy made them large for show of their extreme religiosity. Or, KNX: boldly written are the texts they carry; GDSP: they wear wide Scripture texts as charms; TAY: they act holy by wearing on their arms large prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside.

[9] They enlarge the fringes of their garments: See Numbers 15:38; Deuteronomy 22:12. Or, KNX: deep is the hem of their garments; GDSP: they wear large tassels; TAY: by lengthening the memorial fringes of their robes.

[10] They prefer the prominent place at suppers: Or, KJV: they love the uppermost rooms at feasts; RHM: the first couch in the chief meals; RSV: place of honor; RIEU: the best places at banquets; PME: seats of honor at dinner parties. Compare the counsel of the Nazarene at Luke 14:7, 10.

[11] The front seats in the synagogues: Note this was still a problem among Christians (James 2:2-4).

[12] [They enjoy] greetings in the market square: Or, NASB: respectful greetings; WMS: to be greeting with honor in public places. We can see these self-righteous, condescending clergy bestowing their weak smiles and blessings upon those who raise their voices in praise.

[13] Rabbi: The term occurs 18 times in three Gospels and is absent from the Gospel of Luke. The title is a surrogate for “teacher.” (John 1:38) In time the title was elevated to “my great one; my excellent one.” Research the word Rabbi.

[14] Only One is your teacher: While all Christians should be teachers (Hebrews 5:12; Titus 2:3), and while there are among them those recognized as “teachers” (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11; James 3:1-3) the entire Body of Christ understands who the real Teacher is: Jesus of Nazareth.

[15] Brothers: Jesus speaks to his male disciples. See notes on Matthew 12:50. Despite gifts and offices the general atmosphere in the church must be a brotherhood.

[16] Address you as ‘Father’: Unfortunately later in the history of the Church clergy accepted the title “Father” despite the command of their Lord. They will have to bear this responsibility. Often it is a matter of a teacher or leader refusing certain titles. Job 32:21 declares, “And on an earthling man I shall not bestow a title.” (NWT)

[17] Leaders: Or, KJV: neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master. In Spanish such a man is called Maestro and this is not fitting for a shepherd of the flock. There is a different between a “Leader” and one who takes the lead. Compare Hebrews 13:7, 17.

[18] Whoever will exalt self will be humiliated: Or, KJV: whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased.

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Preceding

Matthew 22:41-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Asks a Trump Question

Matthew 23 – A Jeremiad against the religious hypocrites

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Related articles

  1. Matthew Chapter A Day – 23
  2. Read Matt 23 before saying anything
  3. Hypocrisy & Judgmentalism – Two Unmistakable Marks Of Narcissism – Part 1
  4. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant.” ~Jesus
  5. Who were the pharisees?
  6. The Good & Bad of the Pharisees
  7. Pharisees and Scribes
  8. “Stay Humble – God Will Expose”

Matthew 20 Are you willing to work for Jesus?

In the previous articles we could see how people are invited to become labourers for the Lord.

We are told in the parable given in Matthew 20 that the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a house, who went out early in the morning to get workers into his vine-garden, and proposed rewards to them. We also looked at how this human landlord went out about the third hour, and saw others in the market-place doing nothing; and also called them to come to work for him, which they did. The same happened later in the day (about the sixth and the ninth hour and about the eleventh hour) .

When those who had come first to work, they had the idea that they would get more but looked surprised they, like the rest, were also given a denarius or penny. (Mt 20:10) For us, who live in the capitalist world it might sound very unjust that the ones who laboured longer got only the same reward as the ones who started later and laboured lesser hours. But we have not to look at it with our capitalist eyes. We should look at it from the point of view that as soon as people answer the call of God and come to follow His sent one, willing to work for Jesus, that it becomes important for them working together with those who were there already longer. Together they should go for the right goal and as a team should try to run the race together, making sure that everybody reaches the finish.

 

If one chooses for Jesus, one must dare to draw clear lines. It is not true to follow him but halfway or to adhere to a different Jesus than the one from the Bible. We must clearly choose the Jesus from the Holy Scriptures, whom God called His son. When choosing for Jesus one also does not have to be afraid to tell others that one is following that Biblical figure instead of the person certain churches made of him.

If you are willing to answer God’s call when things matter most it is important to keep to the Biblical teachings and not to fall for the many false human teachings or so called dogmas. Having been bought by a price we should honour that price. We should show full commitment to the one who offered himself for our sins. Jesus paid the ransom and asks us to follow him. As followers of Jesus we should keep to his teachings and keep to the task he has given, which means that we should go out into the world teaching and preaching like Jesus did.

As workers for Jesus and his heavenly Father we should not be afraid of the world and should show the world who we want to follow and for Whom we want to work. Many opportunities are there for workers for the Lord. Are you willing to step in or to stand up?

What if you were prompted to go out and share the gospel on the streets? Would you do it?
How about if you knew that God was preparing a person in need for you to meet and talk with, would you go and meet that person?
What if you felt that God was calling you to help a family member, friend, co-worker or neighbour in need. Would you do it?
What if you were told to stop your car and help a homeless man in need. Would you do it?

Do you want to belong to those who are recognised as the “doer“, willing to help others as if you are helping Christ?

“34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Mt 25:34-40 NIV)

“7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your poor brother. 8 Rather be open-handed and freely lend him whatever he needs. 9 Be careful not to harbour this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for cancelling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will towards your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed towards your brothers and towards the poor and needy in your land.” (De 15:7-11 NIV)

“13  “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5:13-16 NIV)

As a worker for God you can not stand in the shadow, you have to come out in the light.A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid and therefore you should show the world the city of Christ Jesus and be light of the world.

What if God needed you even when your life and your families lives could be at stake?
Would you still be God’s witness?

You could very well attempt to get out of the situation by denying Jesus or lie about your belief system. We hear that a lot, people not wanting to be clear by their name, just saying

“I am a Christian”

avoiding to tell that they are real followers of Jesus Christ and as such saying for example

“I am a follower of Jesus”

or saying

“I am a Jeshuaist”

making it very clear that you are a follower of the Nazarene Jewish master teacher Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who worshipped not himself but the Only One true God, the God of Abraham Who is One and not three.

Or would you dare to say?

“I am a witness for Jehovah”.

Saying so you would bring up a point of discussion or of clarification.

Avoiding to be clear of your standpoint willing to follow the real Jesus, the son of God, and not a three-godhead, makes you not wanting to be open and bringing yourself on a destructive path also. However, to go through the situation at hand in all faithfulness to God, is what He asks. What we do in persecution shows a lot about our true character and our belief in Christ, even when lives are at stake. So the question is, are you willing to die for Christ?

Now read what Jesus said about persecution and how these people are blessed for His sake below…

“10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt 5:10-12 NIV)

Shall you be willing to work for it, that you shall be one of the heirs or partakers of that Kingdom?

May every person that says that they are a believer, also obey Jesus and his heavenly Father and do like Jesus did, doing the Will of God and not holding fast on doing only their own will.

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Preceding

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:17-19 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Onward to Jerusalem!

Matthew 20:20-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Selfish Request Rejected

Matthew 20:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

Matthew 20:29-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Two Blind Men Pitied and Healed

Matthew 20 It is never too late

 

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Additional reading

Atonement and the race been bought

Hardships for choosing to follow the real Christ

In this world where most people want to keep to traditions and want to prefer to follow human doctrines instead of Biblical doctrines, the one wanting to believe what God says about Jesus often feels how difficult it is to follow in line with God’s Words.

Many of us have had to endure hardships because we chose to follow Jesus. For many who came to the Truth it took several years before they dared to take the steps in the right direction. Some do know the Biblical Truth and do follow the real Jesus, Jeshua the Nazarene teacher who is also called the son of man and son of God, but do not want to tell it to others. As such, for example, we had a friend who did not believe in the Trinity but kept working as a pastor in a trinitarian preaching company. He told us he could not say openly he did not believe any more in the Trinity because than he would loose his job as minister and would have no income any-more. That is often a very difficult factor, certainly for priests and ministers.

But also lay people have it difficult to make the right choice. Some of them have had to lose friends and family relationships, and on many occasions even had to endure verbal attacks. There are people all over the world who are being put in prison and literally risking their life to follow Jesus.

So the big question for most people is,

“Why?”

Yes

Why do we choose to risk it all to follow this person who we believe rose from the dead? What do we get out of it?

When they were fishermen Jesus had asked those simple men to follow him, what they did.  At that time they gave up their profession and their income. The thought of sacrifice very naturally suggests as its correlative that of compensation; so it is not at all to be wondered at that, before this conversation ended, Peter, the impulsive disciple, so much given to think aloud, should blurt out the honest question:

“Behold, we have forsaken all and followed Thee; what shall we have therefore?”

Peter asked Jesus what they would get, and that is perhaps the question which would be on most lips when wondering to follow Jesus or any other person. Certainly (for today) when it is all about a person who lived so many centuries ago and who seemed to have caused so many problems. Peter could not but remember that while the Master had insisted on his disciples denying self to follow him, he had spoken no less clearly of their finding life through losing it, and of their being rewarded according to their deeds. {see Matthew 16:24-27 } A more cautious man would have hesitated before he spoke; but it was no worse to speak it than to think it: and then, it was an honest and fair question; accordingly our Lord gives it a frank and generous answer, taking care, however, before leaving the subject, to add a supplementary caution, fitted to correct what was doubtful or wrong in the spirit it showed.

People should know that everybody is free to choose what or whom to follow. God has given man the free choice. His sent ones, the many prophets often asked people to follow their sayings. Every time they left the choice to the people themselves, never forcing them into doing something what they would not want to do of free choice. The same for the Nazarene master teacher. He never pushed people to come to listen to what he had to say. He never pushed people to come to see what he did. When he walked around in the area people came from their own to see and hear this special man. Not everybody could make up his mind about that special figure and many doubted his position or wondered who he really was and what he came to do.

The word recalls what is said in the book of Genesis as to

“the generation of the heaven and of the earth.”

Nobody can escape to this system and shall have to make the choice to be part of this world or to be part of God’s World. That is what it makes so difficult, man can not live in both worlds. Man can not keep to the human traditions with the many heathen festivals and at the same time claim he worships God. The Divine Creator demands complete submission to the Divine values and norms. One cannot eat from the two walls. God requires an honest surrender to Him. He also has given His son to bring salvation to the world and expects that the world shall come to recognise His only begotten son.

Coming closer to the end-times more adversaries of Gdo shall try to get people away from the Only One True God. They shall do their utmost best to confuse people and to make them to worship an other god than the God of Israel, Who is an Unseen Spirit.

People who come to see Who God is and who His son is and want to follow that son, with the knowledge that this son of God the way to god is, may find it difficult to persevere because the majority is against such an idea that a man would be able to do God’s Will and to offer himself for the sins of others. When you believe that you should be not ashamed and should not go hiding, but should dare to tell about your faith, that you believe that son of man is the son of God who gave his life as a ransom for the sins of many. The belief in the son of God should make you stronger than those who do not believe in that man of flesh and blood who gave his life, was killed, put in a grave but was also taken out of the dead by his heavenly Father. That resurrection of a man is for us the ultimate proof that a human being can stand up from the death. In case Jesus would be God, we naturally would not have any proof at all for the resurrection of man.

That resurrection may give us something to fight for. People may bully us, hurt us and even could kill us, but we do know there is much more behind the ‘curtain of this life’.

No matter what you have had to endure or give up to follow Jesus, the reward in the end is so much greater than what you ever would be able to gather here on earth. We should not be afraid to face those who are against us because we do not want to go for that false teaching of a three-headed god. We should believe in what the Bible tells us and should not be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies and by those who want to push us in the world of human doctrines. You should know such people may harm you in this life but there shall be nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Therefore are not afraid for such human beings who ignore the Words of God and Who, as a God Who tells no lies, declared Jesus to be His only begotten son. Save your fear for that God of Israel Who is a Spirit and not a man of flesh and blood who could be killed. That God of Abraham is an eternal Spirit Being, Who holds your entire life — body and soul — in His hands.

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mt 10:28 NIV)

Our reward for following Jesus is that we shall be able to find the way to God. Jesus is the right way to go. By listening to his words and by doing what he requires from us we shall be able to grow in his teachings and shall find enough strength to continue on the right path.

We may be sure there shall come a moment that the Son of man shall come to sit on the throne of his glory and at the end of times no one shall be able to escape his judgement. therefore let us not worry but look for Jehovah and do what God wants and not so much what the people want from us.

“Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD’s anger.” (Zep 2:3 NIV)

When doing what God wants and step in the footsteps of His only begotten son, then we shall be able to go on the right path to the small gate leading to immortal, perfect life where there shall be no more sickness or sorrow any more. Following Jesus worshipping his God we shall come to see the heavenly gates and shall come to see that those who do not believe the Biblical Truth like us may also find death, but shall not be able like us to see their loved ones again who have died.

“”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, {Or his only begotten Son } that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)

“3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”” (Re 21:3-4 NIV)

“13  Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord for ever.” (1Th 4:13-17 NIV)

What more could we possibly ask for?

Jesus has promised us everything we can dream of if we choose to suffer now, just like he did. So be encouraged today that you have a tremendous, indescribable reward waiting for you when our king returns!

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Preceding

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-lik

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Can be Saved

Matthew 19:27-29 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: We Have Left Everything for You!

Matthew 19:30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: First Last – Last First

Matthew 19 Concerning the saved ones and those able to enter the Kingdom

The Hater of Jesus and Jesus’ followers having become a speaker for him

Concerning the forgiveness of God we have an incredible le example in the Scriptures. We find a figure who really loved God, but did not want to see that Jesus was a favourite of God. He even thought the followers of that Jesus had to be killed and those teachings of that Nazarene silenced.

In the Book of books we can find the Roman man who was monstrous and unmerciful; breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. He made havoc of the church, entering into every house and hauling away men and women, putting them in prison. Indeed, some he even put to death.

On his way to Damascus, going to do away of those followers of Christ, he got stricken by light and blinded. He came to understand he was blind though he could see and now when he was blind he came to see and understand who that sent one from God was and why that man of flesh and blood was so important.

When Paul of Tarsus was called by Jesus it was because God loved this man and wanted to use that man to proclaim the truth about the Nazarene man of flesh and blood, who gave his life for mankind. For sure God forgave Paul his horrible acts, killing so many in the name of God. Can you imagine the difficulty the followers of Christ had by having to accept this vengeful killer of fellow brothers having chosen by Jesus and by god to become a speaker for Christ?

The talmidim and other followers of Christ may have found Paul his conversion to be a bit of a stretch. But clearly they underestimated the power of the Most High. Once more in history we can see that God forgave a person and was willing to use him for his Plan. By the act of Jesus, giving his life, by doing the Will of his heavenly Father, salvation or liberation of death and whitewashing of sin came unto mankind and as such also on Paul.

“Paul was indeed a new creation in Christ, old things had passed away and all things were becoming new. He came a stayed with me for about two weeks and we talked at great length about many things. And one thing towered above all others in Paul’s mind – it was the Grace of God.”

Peter at first had at first not such a good eye on the choice of Jesus to use Paul for his work. He also had an other idea about the Grace of God.

“His understanding of grace was different than what we had been taught from our childhood. We had viewed grace as God’s favour, given in kindness to the undeserving. But this was not the message Paul brought to me.

“Grace is the power of Christ working in me and through me,”

he said with such passion and conviction, one could hardly resist him.

“I got this directly from the Lord Jesus himself,”

he would add; underscoring his resolve in making sure I understood it.

Paul was not only convincing; he was right.

The apostles remembered how Jesus had told them that there would come to them a Spirit of Truth, who was going to guide them into all the truth. (John 16:12-13) They also remembered that the Most High was going to reveal what was Christ’s. When Jesus said that the Spirit would take the things that are his and will reveal or disclose (transmit) it to them (Joh16:15) they did not understand it. But now they were confronted by some other ideas which they would never have thought of before. Peter confesses

“I myself had indeed experienced the grace of God on many occasions, but did not fully understand it at the time. I just knew that the power of the Lord was surging in me and through me in ways that left me amazed with what happened. Think about it – my shadow healed a man! I guess you could say I took the heat off of him. Yet, it wasn’t me; it was the grace of God in me.

After the conversion of Paul they came to see how his work pulled others to recognise Jesus as the Way to God. They also understood God must have forgiven Paul for what he did against followers of Jesus and even made him in a new

“Fisher of men.”

Peter had experienced the Lord’s power many times; but when he was fifteen days with Paul, it helped him to understand more fully that it was the grace of God in him – and through him. It was the power of Christ helping him to do His will. Paul and Peter became fast friends. He wrote

Our visit together also showed me that, while Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles, and I to the Jews – we both were life-long friends on one mission: Proclaiming to all the Gospel of God’s Grace!

The love of God giving forgiveness to Paul opened new doors. The forgiveness of the prosecuted followers of Christ, members of the sect The Way, now forgave Paul for what he had done and gave him full credit for doing the work of God and being a righteous preacher in the name of Christ.

Today we too should always be open-minded, even to people who are against us, or who do everything against our movement. We should forgive their attacks against us and should try with friendly words to have them to come to open their eyes. We also should pray for those who do not yet see that Jesus is the way to God, the sent one from God, who is now sitting at the right hand of God, as a mediator between God and man.

Even when they keep attacking us, we should keep forgiving them, even perhaps thinking

“Please God forgive them, because they do not know what they do.”

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Preceding posts

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child

Matthew 18:7-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Danger of Stumbling-blocks

Matthew 18:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Three Steps to Gaining a Brother

Matthew 18:18-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Authority of Two or Three

Matthew 18:21-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Forgive 77 Times!

Matthew 18:23-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Forgiveness

Ableness to forgive those who wronged us

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Forgiveness a command given for our well-being

A heart full of love is a fundamental requirement

Even with a few gathering

All over the world there can be found serious Bible Students. But the big problem with them is that often they live in isolation or far away from each other.

It would be wrong to think there is no reason then to come together. Even when we are not with many at a certain place, there is good reason to meet with each other. We should always remember that we have to go out in the world to proclaim the coming Kingdom of God. We do need to witness for Jehovah and should be pleased that we can be inspired to do so by His Word.

Even if we are only with two, a gathering is valuable. when gathering we show our interest for the other as well as our love to share the loving kindness of our Lord. Together we can be carriers of a holy command, spreading the light of heaven. Gathering you give each other the opportunity to share thoughts and to grow by reading and discussing the Word of God together. That way you shall also much easier become doers of the word, like the master teacher required from his followers.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (Jas 1:22 NIV)

“24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (Jas 2:24-26 NIV)

We need to act and we need to show our love to others as well as our preparedness to form a group of believers in the hope of Christ. Let us therefore remember:

“13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” {Joel 2:32 }14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Ro 10:13-14 NIV)

“So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the market-place day by day with those who happened to be there.” (Ac 17:17 NIV)

“Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation,” (Zep 2:1 NIV)

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb 10:25 NIV)

Even when not with many we can help each other to grow in biblical knowledge and rely on it that Jesus shall be with us.

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”” (Mt 18:20 NIV)

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Preceding

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child

Matthew 18:7-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Danger of Stumbling-blocks

Matthew 18:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Three Steps to Gaining a Brother

Matthew 18:18-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Authority of Two or Three

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Additional reading

  1. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  2. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  3. Not staying alone in your search for truth
  4. Companionship
  5. Being in isolation #2 Looking at the word “Isolation”
  6. Being in isolation #3 Gathering and Sharing
  7. Being in isolation #4 Man’s greediness, slackness, internet, friends and social contacts
  8. Being in isolation #8 Those isolating themselves and those being isolated by others

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Related

Matthew 15 An argument with the Scribes – Teachers and traditions

TRADITION AND THE HEART

[“The Mouth and the Heart”]
(Key Word: Traditions)

In the 15th chapter of Matthew we do find Pharisees and teachers of the law [scribes] who asked Jesus

“Why don’t your ·followers [disciples] obey the ·unwritten laws which have been handed down to us [traditions of the elders]?

https://quotesthoughtsrandom.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/religious-charade.jpgWhen Jesus replies them he demands them why they do not obey God. Regularly Jesus is challenging the religious elites and leaders of his time here on earth. In certain countries they like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues or churches and the places of honour at banquets. Lots of them got accustomed to the praises of men, but at the same time had their passions for God cooled. By many we can see that even their knowledge of the Scriptures became self-serving. Also today we might see many who love to show that they have a high position or may say what others have to do or may not do.

Also today we find certain people who want to use their position to control people or others who keep to certain traditions but do not follow the Law of God. For Jesus it is clear that it is not what people put into their mouths [goes into the mouth] that makes them unclean [pollutes/defiles the person], but it is what comes out of their mouths that makes them unclean or pollutes/defiles the person.

For us today it is not bad to remember that Jesus in the beginning of our common era told his disciples to stay away from the Pharisees. We to should leave certain so called “theologians” aside or should ignore those who say what we have to do, but do not keep to it themselves. A nice example can be found in the Catholic Church were clerics told the people that they should behave themselves, whilst they misused children. Spiritual abuse or manipulation was and is for certain religious leaders their preferred tool. In many of the main churches we also see that their leaders or preachers are blind leaders or guides, like those Pharisees, who are called hypocrites by Jesus. We should know that if a blind person leads [guides] a blind person, both will fall into a ·ditch [pit; hole].

Today there are also lots of people who preach Christians do have not to do any works any more because they are saved. Though the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus) learns us that we should be very careful how we behave or what we do and what we say.

Out of the mind [heart] come evil thoughts [intentions; ideas], murder, adultery, sins, stealing, lying [false witness/testimony], and speaking evil of others [slander; blasphemy]. {Matthew 15:19}

We should remember that it are these things which make people unclean [polluted; defiled].

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Preceding

Matthew 14:35-36 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: If They Might Just Touch Him

Matthew 9:18-26 – What others say about Jesus knowing how to care for people

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Object of first woe

Next: Matthew 15:1-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Tradition and the Heart

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Additional reading

  1. Not making yourselves abominable
  2. Memorizing wonderfully 61 – 1 Corinthians 6:9 Unrighteous shall not inherit
  3. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  4. Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God
  5. Responsibility for children who were molested by clergy
  6. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
  7. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  8. Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
  9. Move ahead with the commitment against child sex abuse says Pope Francis I
  10. Pope Benedict will hide
  11. The Field is the World #4 Many who leave the church
  12. Catholic church asking for forgiveness and promising to take action against child-abusers

+++

Related articles

  1. Who are Child Sexual Abuse Predators?
  2. Catholic Church sexual abuse cases
  3. Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States
  4. Catholic Church sex abuse cases by country
  5. Sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston
  6. “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the religious elites, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Jesus
  7. The argument with the Scribes (Mk 9:14-9:14)
  8. Blind Guides
  9. “Watch out for the religion scholars.” ~Jesus
  10. Jesus asks the Pharisees a question (Mt 22:41-22:41)
  11. Today’s Scripture – May 1, 2018
  12. The Disciples Understood
  13. Unwashed Hands Questioned Again
  14. It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts
  15. Call no one profane or unclean
  16. Unclean
  17. Five Frequently Asked Questions About Religious Spiritual Abuse and Child Sexual Abuse
  18. Domestic and Sexual Violence in the Church: A Sisterhood Reality Show Review

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