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Posts tagged ‘1° Century’

Standing aside or looking at election days

Nederlands: Elio Di Rupo, Waals-Belgische sche...

Elio Di Rupo, Walloon Italian-Belgian scientist and prime minister of Belgium, politician of the socialist Party, Parti Socialiste (PS) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This weekend is election weekend and communion weekend for many Belgians, who may find that Sunday the 25th of May 2014 may be a turning point or again a disappointing day where it is proven that how people may vote or react in their country, those in charge do not take heed and ignore the voice of the people.

Lots of people have taken distance of the politics in this country, but also want to take distance of the way of living many have chosen to follow the last few years.

Materialism has gained priority and not many seem to be interested in the welfare of the world. those who look from a distance at Belgium may say that the “peaceful anarchism” of Brussels architecture may well be the feature that best characterizes Belgium as a whole. For the time being Brussels capital of Belgium and of the European Union, a whirlpool in a 30.528 km² country with 11,162 million citizens in a Europe of 505,73 million inhabitants.

Vlaams Belang logo

Vlaams Belang logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The heavily eurosceptic political party Vlaams Belang with N-VA attract several voters who would like to split Flanders (Vlaamderen)  from Belgium. Of all voters who want to split Belgium, in 2007, 57 percent voted for the Vlaams Belang. In 2010 it was 21.5 percent. The NVA (who had not yet emerged separately in 2007) got in 2010, 49 percent of the radical pro-Flemish voters.

The VB’s main goal is to establish an independent Flemish republic. The party seeks a peaceful secession of Flanders from Belgium, citing in its program the division of the Union between Sweden and Norway (1905), Czechoslovakia (1992), and the independence of Montenegro (2006) as examples that such would be possible. The reason to seek independence is given as the “enormous cultural and political differences between Flemings and Walloons,” and according to the party, Belgian governments are also “paralyzed by ongoing disputes between Flemish and Walloon politicians.

An audit of the prevalent political parties ahead of the 2014 May 25 elections by Knack Magazine, an established Belgian weekly journal, found the NV-A to be the party most likely to deliver an effective economic recovery for Belgium, and it might well be lots of the Flemish people can find some hope in that party.

The above mentioned parties do not like very much the immigrants in this country and the Vlaams Belang gives a totally distorted picture of other religions than Christendom.

Most European Union nations go to the polls to elect a European Parliament on Sunday, the same day Belgium will hold national parliamentary elections. For Belgians, the EU vote will be an afterthought to what really is at stake: what to do about the kingdom and its two diverse groups, 6.5 million Dutch speakers in northern Flanders and 4.5 million Francophones in southern Wallonia.

“Everywhere I have been, I sense the same yearning for linguistic calm,” Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said.

“The people are sick of it, pushing and pulling Belgium every which way,” he was quoted as saying in Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper. {Belgians prepare for another standoff after polls}

Instead of aiming for a wonderful model for pluralism for our community several people are trying to spread rumours about other cultures and try to spread hate against those who do not behave or live like the ‘majority’ does. those who call themselves Christian often forget the call of of love by Jesus Christ . That Nazarene preacher knew we as human beings are chained for the moment to the clusters of the world. We have not really a choice. We have to live in a world where there are many people who do not want to know about the Creator  or about His arrangements, regulations or Laws which should make it easy to live together.

Jesus taught his followers to have an open mind for those who think differently. Their customs should not worry us.  In case others have a way of living which is not according to the Laws of God, it is up to us to show them that these Laws of the Most High are the best to follow. It is not by imposing them on others like dictators that we are going to gain people for God. Man has to choose himself. Those who love the Only One God should be an example for the others. They should strive to come together with people who may be different from them, but not consider that any problem.

At the time of the Romans occupying Jerusalem, the city got also lots of people from all directions coming into the town. At the time of Jesus his preaching there where also lots of nationalities living in the region where Jesus tried the people to come to the Father. he also told his disciples that it was not up to him to decide where one of his followers would take a seat in the Kingdom of God. More, he told them that in the theocracy there would be equality for all man. As long as he would not return we had to make the best of this world and take care that the poor and less fortunate would be protected. Living in this world those who love God should take distance of the world, by not being part of the world, not joining in actions or feasts associated with heathen gods. But Jesus warned his followers they had no right to judge the others who did not want to go the same way as they. The disciples had to take care that every body would be respected for what they thought or did. We too should respect all those people who try to look for solutions and try to make something of this world. Even when we know that no human being shall be able to get the most righteous government we may not spot with them. We also should allow them to have their say and should give each other  space to witness and appreciate our differences.

English: Vlaams Belang election poster in Uccl...

Vlaams Belang election poster in Uccle, Brussels, Belgium for the Belgian general election 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When many may go in heavy debates, make sure that you as a Christian keep the right spirit and respect for the other.

When we read of the children of Yisra’ĕl who went to camp in the dessert, each one by their own banner, beside the sign of their father’s house god asked them to let them camp around the Tent of Meeting at a distance.

“(1) Jehovah spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,  (2)  “The children of Israel shall encamp every man by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ houses: at a distance from the Tent of Meeting shall they encamp around it.” (Numeri 2:1-2 NHEBJE )

At a distance surrounding the Tabernacle at the Appointed Place they encamped  by their standards and could see around.

“Thus the children of Israel did. According to all that Jehovah commanded Moses, so they encamped by their standards, and so they set out, everyone by their families, according to their fathers’ houses.” (Numeri 2:34 NHEBJE)

The picture of the great organised camp and orderly march of Israel is interesting: but it presents a contrast to the disorganised, disorderly condition of human society in every land and every age. also today we can learn from it and also take some distance for looking at our world.

While it may be said that there are nations leagued in creed, allied by descent, which form the van; that others, similarly connected more or less, constitute the right and left wings of the advancing host; and the rest, straggling far behind, bring up the rear-this is but a very imaginative representation of the fact.

It has always been very difficult for people to pull one robe. We can not see many people who advances as with one mind and one heart. For long periods human beings have tried all sorts of governments. Today we still can not find any group of nations which have one single standard.

Time and destiny urge on the host, and all is to be won by steady resolute endeavour. Yet some are encamped, while others are moving about restlessly or engaged in petty conflicts that have nothing to do with moral gain. We all should know that there should be unity; but one division is embroiled with another, tribe ‘crosses swords’ with tribe.

The truth is that as Israel came far short of real spiritual organisation and due disposition of its forces to serve a common end, so it is still with the human race. Nor do the schemes that are occasionally tried to some extent promise a remedy for our disorder. For the symbol of our most holy faith is not set in the midst by most of those who aim at social organisation, nor do they dream of seeking a better country, that is, a heavenly. The description of the camp of Israel has something to teach us still. Without the Divine law there is no progress, without a Divine rallying-point there is no unity. Faith must control, the standard of Christianity must show the way: otherwise the nations will only wander aimlessly, and fight and die in the desert. {Expository Bible}

When we overlook the things from a distance, let us remind ourselves to be conscious of the necessity to try to go for the Laws God has given humankind to work on a world worth living in.

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Find also to read:

  1. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  2. A Society pleading poverty
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  4. WWJD
  5. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  6. There’s no thief like a bad book
  7. No man is capable of self-improvement on his own
  8. Kingdom of God what will it be like

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  • The Game of Thrones in Belgian Politics (barrenhead.wordpress.com)
    It’s been way too long, but this time, there’s an election buzz going about in my little country Belgium, and it looks like a Game of Thrones! So let’s compare, shall we?
  • Belgians prepare for another standoff after polls (miamiherald.com)
    The national mood in Belgium right now is like two different worlds. A giddy sense of unity has overtaken the country because the national soccer team is going to the World Cup, but a parliamentary election campaign has left the nation divided like never before.Schizophrenic? Maybe. Politics as usual? For sure.
  • “30% of the electorate still undecided” (deredactie.be)
    In the poll the Flemish nationalists of N-VA are the strongest party in the Chamber of Representatives picking up 31.9% of the vote in northern Belgium – up from 28.2% at the last election in 2010. The poll shows a resurgent Christian democrat party: the CD&V takes a 19.7% share of the vote – up from 16.4% in April’s poll.
  • Flemish separatists triumph in Belgian election (worldbulletin.net)
    TheN-VA’s lead in polls triggered a nationwide debate about the possible break-up of the 180-year-old nation, with richer Flanders splitting fromWallonia, where unemployment is about double the national average.Parties from poorer French-speaking regions see devolution as a step toward Belgium’s break-up, which they oppose, but all have said they would consider some reform of the state.
  • Roald Smeets Vlaams Belang (roaldsmetseducation.wordpress.com)
    The direct predecessor of the Vlaams Belang was the Vlaams Blok, which was formed by the nationalist right-wing of the People’s Union which had broken out in the late 1970s. The ideology of the Vlaams Blok started out with its radical nationalist rejection of the People’s Union compromise on the Flemish autonomy issue, and later increasingly focused on immigration and security, exploitation of political scandals, and defense of traditional values. The immigration positions of the Vlaams Blok was subject to much controversy, and the party was forced to disband in 2004 after a political trial ruled that it sanctioned discrimination. By then, the party was the most popular Flemish party, supported by about one in four of the Flemish electorate, and was one of the most successful parties considered to be right-wing populist in Europe as a whole.
  • [EU Elections] EP voting behaviour shows divisions in far-right camp (euobserver.com)
    The voting record of seven far-right and anti-EU parties represented in the outgoing European Parliament shows larger divisions than among centrist parties who grouped together, according to a study published Tuesday (20 May) byVoteWatch.Seven partieswere included in the study, three of which arecurrently in a parliamentary group: the British Independence Party (Ukip), Italy’sLega Nord and Slovakia’sSNS.VoteWatch also looked at the voting record of France’s National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, the Dutch PVV party led by Geert Wilders, the Austrian Freedom Party (FPOe) and the Belgian Vlaams Belang, all of which are currently not affiliated with any parliamentary group.
  • Euro elections: Wilders’ far-right alliance gaining momentum (independent.co.uk)

    The Dutch populist leader Geert Wilders is hoping to make the first gains for a new alliance of Eurosceptic and anti-immigration parties in the European Parliament, with his Party for Freedom (PVV) forecast to take up to 23 per cent of the vote.

    The Netherlands and Britain, the first countries to vote, have had very similar election campaigns.  Concerns over the economy and immigration, and mistrust in the EU have pushed up support for the PVV, although Mr Wilders’ recent outburst about the country’s Moroccan community dented support.

  • Geert Wilders Underperforms… (telegraph.co.uk)

    Geert Wilders came fourth in European elections in the Netherlands on Thursday night, confounding predictions that he would lead a populist and far-Right backlash against the European Union across the continent.

    Dutch exit polls put the far-Right and anti-Islam leader on 12.2 per cent of the vote, putting him behind all the pro-EU mainstream political parties.

    ‘Definitive’ exit polls put him behind the ruling centrist VVD on 12.3 per cent and almost three per cent behind the pro-EU D66 liberals and Christian Democrats, each on over 15 per cent.

  • How Far will it swing? European extremist parties are expected to make record gains in the election this weekend (thejc.com)
    According to aPollwatch2014 analysis of voter opinions, the two politicians are capable of forming abloc of 38MEPs from a minimum of seven countries — a prerequisite for receiving more than £2 million a year in public funding.But would such a bloc pose a real threat? Jean-Yves Camus, a French researcher on antisemitism, says the right-wing scene is far too fractious to form an alliance.
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    Like elsewhere in Europe, nationalist ideas are finding purchase among voters fed up with France’s economic woes.

    The FN says it hopes to get 15 to 20 representatives into the European Parliament — three to five times more than it currently has.

  • The Flemish question (afrikanerway.wordpress.com)
    Flanders is a region is the North and West part of Belgian inhabit by the Dutch speaking Flemings. The region have being trying to get independent from the rest of Belgium and in some cases to join Nederland’s.
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    We think that there should have closer ties between Boer-Afrikaner and Flemish organizations. The two people have many things in common, similar language; suffer a period of discrimination of other people and both seek their self-determination. Also some Boer-Afrikaners have also Flemish ancestry.Enhanced by Zemanta

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment

Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment

|| Matthew 14:3-12;[1] Mark 6:17-29[2]

LK3:18 So with many words like these John continued to encourage the people as he preached the Good News. LK3:19 Now, Herod the tetrarch had been rebuked by John regarding Herodias who was his brother’s wife, and also about other evil things Herod did. LK3:20 On top of it all Herod also added the imprisonment of John.

 

[1] Matthew 14:3-12: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Mark 6:17-29: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Mark.

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Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

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The life of Jesus began in north and central Palestine, a region between the Dead Sea and the Jordan River in the east and the Eastern Mediterranean in the west.

The three Magi before Herod, France, early 15t...

The three Magi before Herod, France, early 15th century. Stained glass: colored glass, grisaille; lead. Restored by F. Pivet, 1999. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This region was under Roman control since the 1st century BCE, initially as a tributary kingdom. The Roman campaigns, coupled with internal revolts and the incursion of the Parthians, made the region very unstable and chaotic up until 37 BCE, when Herod the Great (c.73 BCE – 4 BCE) became king king of Judea, and Malthace. The region gradually gained political stability and became prosperous. Although Jewish in religion, Herod was a vassal king who served the interests of the Roman Empire. When Herod the Great died his son Herod the tetrarch or Herod Antipater (Greek: Ἡρῴδης Ἀντίπατρος, Hērǭdēs Antipatros; born before 20 BC – died after 39 AD), known by the nickname Antipas, became as  tetrarch (“ruler of a quarter”) the much spoken of 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea. He is best known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth.

Herod the Great made great efforts to mollify the Jews by publicly observing the Law, by building a temple, and by re-establishing the Sanhedrin. He promoted Hellenisation and adorned most of his cities, especially Jerusalem.

Having felt the difficulty facing Jewish tradition Aantipas also tried to take in account Jewish believes. Antipas tried to avoid conflicts with the Jews and therefore when Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea from 26 AD to 36 AD, caused offence by placing votive shields in the Antonia palace at Jerusalem, Antipas and his brothers successfully petitioned for their removal.

Early in his reign, Antipas had married the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea. Herod Antipas repudiated his wife, daughter of Aretas, to marry his niece Herodias, wife of his half-brother Herod Philip. On a visit to Rome he stayed with his half-brother Herod Philip I and there fell in love with Philip’s wife, Herodias, (granddaughter of Herod the Great and Mariamne I), and the two agreed to marry each other, after Herod Antipas had divorced his wife. The affair gained Herod Antipas many enemies, and the vaulting ambitions of Herodias eventually ruined him

Jesus saw his cousin John the Baptist as an authority and possibly a source of inspiration. It seems that he performed baptisms parallel to John the Baptist (John 3.22). This baptiser and preacher reached a lot of people but was not afraid to call Antipas his relation as incestuous and a sin against God. John called the leader ‘That fox Herod’ (Luke 13.32) Herodias may have fancied the preacher and was jealous of his popularity. She was responsible for the beheading of John the Baptist.

Herod Antipas was exiled by the Romans.

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Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

 

LK3:15 Now the people were in great expectation[1] and everyone was wondering in their hearts regarding John, whether he might be the Christ. LK3:16 So then John told them all: “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is stronger than me – someone I am not worthy[2] to even untie his sandal straps – he will baptize you with holy Pneuma[3] and with fire. LK3:17 His winnowing tool is in his hand and he is ready to clean out his threshing floor [Micah 4:12] to gather the wheat[4] into his barn. The chaff [Psalm 1:4] he will burn up in a fire that cannot be put out. [Isaiah 66:24]

 


[1] Great expectation: Or, suspense, on tiptoe. There was a strong messianic spirit of anticipation at the beginning of the 1st Century. Compare Luke 19:11.

[2] I am not worthy: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Mark 1:7.

[3] Baptize you with holy Pneuma: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on spirit baptism compare 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13.

 

 

  • The Wheat and the Chaff (graceofourlord.com)
    The baptisms performed by John the baptist, the truth in his preaching, and the authoritative warnings of the urgency of repentance were just some of the things that made the people who witnessed it all (and, no doubt, many who simply had heard about him) wonder if he was the Messiah that had been promised to come since the beginning (Genesis 3:15). Indeed, Luke 3:15 points out that many must have desperately wanted him to be “the one.” But verse 16 tells us how John answered that question:

    “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
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    Rather than being something positive for Christ’s followers, the baptism by fire is the judgment for the unbelievers, with the unbelievers represented by “chaff” in that verse. Chaff is the dry, scaly, inedible casing of seed or grain. Before the invention of the threshing machine in the latter part of the 18th century, threshing was often done by placing the sheaves on the threshing floor and beating them or running over them. It was the most labor intensive part of the harvest. Afterward, the wheat would be separated by winnowing, often done with a winnowing fork by tossing the grain into the wind so that the chaff would be blown away. The chaff was often burned then to dispose of it.

  • In those days: John’s Baptism (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    In the gospel accounts all of John’s words (except the word against Antipas) are spoken to persons seeking this baptism. His words show that John was unreceptive to those whom he judged to have bad faith, while he was friendly to those who were truly repentant. To the former he repeated threats and warnings and perhaps added new ones, while to the latter he gave hope for further dramatic renewal of their lives as well as ethical guidance relevant to their particular vocations. The former group seems to have been made up of people whose commonality was lording power over the common people: the religious leadership, the wealthy, the tax collectors and soldiers.
  • In those days: some notes (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    The Pharisees and Sadducees are warned that mere ritual is inadequate and will not preserve them from God’s wrath. Rather they must do good deeds that are appropriate to genuine repentance in view of the coming kingdom. Producing fruit as a metaphor for a repentant lifestyle occurs elsewhere in Matthew (3:10; 7:16–20; 12:33; 13:8, 23, 26; 21:19) and is common in the OT (Ps 1:3; Isa 3:10; 5:1–7; Hos 10:1). The image of Israel as the tree from which fruit is expected echoes Hosea 9:16; Isaiah 27:6; Jeremiah 12:2, 17:8; and Ezekiel 17:8-9, 23.
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    Matthew 3:12 winnowing fan… threshing floor…gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn: The discrimination between the good and the bad is compared to the procedure by which a farmer separates wheat and chaff. The winnowing fan was a forklike shovel with which the threshed wheat was thrown into the air. The kernels fell to the ground; the light chaff, blown off by the wind, was gathered and burned up. The scene echoes OT passages such as Ps 1:4; Prov 20:26; Isa 41:14–16; Jer 15:7; 51:33; Dan 2:35; Hos 6:11; 13:3; Joel 3:13; and Mic 4:12–13.
  • The Baptism of Discipleship II (followingjesustogether.org)
    The baptism of discipleship is an act of obedience and a declaration of allegiance.  Those who follow Jesus in baptism announce their decision to follow him.  They declare their allegiance to him as Lord.  They symbolize their death to themselves by being buried (submerged) and then raised to walk in the life of Jesus.  (Note:  I’m not saying “lifestyle” of Jesus.  I’m saying the indwelling, imparted life of Jesus in us.  We live by him.  (Of course this will determine your lifestyle.)
  • Fire and the Kingdom of Heaven (wsforchrist.com)
    His shovel is ready in his hand, to winnow His threshing-floor and gather the wheat into His granary; but He will burn the chaff on a fire that can never go out.”  John was revealing Jesus.
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    As we repent behavior that is unacceptable to God, the thoughts that preceded that behavior are cleansed via a purifying fire, and washed away with our Holy Baptism.  Once cleansed, we each have the opportunity to start anew, never to commit that sin again.
  • John the Baptist and the Pharisees (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
    John’s baptism differed from sacramental Baptism, which confers forgiveness and the regenerating grace of justifying faith (Acts 2:38). His was a visible token of repentance and preparation for the Messiah (cf. Is 1:16; Heb9:10; CCC 718).
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    with fire: A symbol of God and his purifying judgment (Deut 4:24; Sir 2:5; Is 4:3-5; Acts 2:3-4; CCC 696).
  • Walk in victory with Jesus : Day one (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
    Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
  • “Bear Fruits In Keeping With …” Bible Reading Thoughts for March 12th (therugbychristadelphians.wordpress.com)
    “His winnowing fork (used in harvesting) is in his hands to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” [v.17] Chaff are ears of wheat that are useless, they have failed to produce; how much chaff can God see in the world today!!     Let us make sure we are not among the chaff!  Let us all “bear good fruit” for John also preached, “Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”[v.9]  Bearing good fruit should – indeed – must be – a labour of love for our Lord – before the harvest time occurs.  What wonders then follow!

     

 

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Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

LK3:7 So John told the crowds that came out to be baptized by him: “You offspring of vipers,[1] who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?[2] LK3:8 You had better produce fruitage worthy of repentance.[3] Do not start to convince yourselves: ‘Abraham is our father!’[4] For I tell you that The God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these rocks![5] LK3:9 Even now the ax is about to chop the root of the trees.[6] And so every tree not producing good fruit[7] will be chopped down and hurled into the fire.”[8]


[1] You offspring of vipers: Or, generation of vipers, brood of snakes. John does not speak well of the Jews of his period. [Isaiah 59:5] Jesus does the same. [Matthew 23:33]

[2] The coming wrath: Likely including the period of Great Oppression between 66-70 AD.

[3] Fruitage worthy of repentance: True repentance – a feeling of regret for past thoughts, words, and conduct – must be accompanied by visible evidence of such repentance. [Matthew 3:8]

[4] Abraham is our father: Compare John 8:33. A claim relied on by some Jews to this day.

[5] Raise up children to Abraham from these rocks: Merely relying on a genealogical connection with Abraham is of no value.

[6] The ax is about to chop the root of the trees: The claim of Abrahamic roots is worthless now if one is lacking the faith of Abraham. [Matthew 3:10]

[7] Every tree not producing good fruit: Compare Matthew 7:19 where Jesus teaches the same.

[8] Hurled into the fire: The analogy is to the brush fire resulting from burning up pruned limbs. Compare Luke 3:17.

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John the Baptist preaching repentance - polych...

John the Baptist preaching repentance – polychrome, Amiens cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preceding articles:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance

Connecting articles:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

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Find also to read:

  1. God’s promises
  2. With God All Things Are Possible
  3. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  4. God’s promises to us in our suffering
  5. Apple of Gods eye
  6. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  7. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  8. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  9. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  11. Another way looking at a language #3 Abraham
  12. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  13. Men of faith
  14. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  15. Jeruzalem Gods city
  16. True riches
  17. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  18. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  19. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  20. Invitation to all who believe

In Dutch:

  1. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen. #1 Abraham de aartsvader
    where is written that early in the 2nd millennium before the Common Era, the first Hebrew patriarch was born.
    In the history of humankind we can see that the Almighty God, Jehovah used his power to overcome any obstacle that the fulfillment of his promise, to Abraham, might prevent to come in fulfilment. The father of Isaac was to be the patriarch for God’s People. In time, Abraham was indeed the father of the Israelites and had not only to be seen as the father or patriarch of the Jews, but also of the Christians as well as Muslims. They all should believe in the promise of a great posterity which would come when a great empire would be inherited by the People of God. We should all look forward to the time when the world would come to see the promised land.  From the trunk of the patriarch of the people of Israel a large earthly king would come (David) from which the Messiah (Jeshua/Jesus Christ) would be born, which would be a greater king because he should rule over the Kingdom of God.
  2. Het begin van Jezus #7 Een Nieuwe Adam, zoon van Abraham
  3. Het begin van Jezus #8 Beloofde Gezalfde zoon van God

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  • Preparing the Way (graceofourlord.com)
    In verse 7, John the Baptist is speaking to the crowds that came out to be baptized. In Matthew chapter 3, we are told that Pharisees and Saduccees were among those who had come. The impression that is most natural to take away from John’s harsh-sounding words here are that they are meant for those two groups. But just as likely, they are aimed at any of those who had come without true repentance on their minds. That is what John had been preaching – a baptism of repentance.
  • December 8 (stmarkssa.wordpress.com)
    To the people of the Old Testament period, the word would mean to turn, to return. Their experience of being in exile in Babylon and returning to Jerusalem was a powerful cultural memory to them. When “repent” was translated from the Greek, another meaning emerged: “to go beyond the mind that we have.” So repentance is all about change, to go beyond where we are and open ourselves to transformation. This requires time apart from my cultural context and examination of my motives and areas of my life needing change. To live in or return to the kingdom of God, requires growth and transformation by God’s love, forgiveness, and grace.
  • Getting ready for Advent 2 (revdavidyonker.wordpress.com)
    They were coming to confess their sins and be baptized.   This is all well and good, but as David Lose and Karoline Lewis point out here, this isn’t the usual Advent and Christmas theme.  Repentance and  baptism for the forgiveness of sins is a topic we talk about in Lent as we prepare for Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, not as we celebrate his birth.
  • Second Sunday of Advent: Dec. 8 (prayerscapes.wordpress.com)
    John came to prepare the people for the coming of another. Coming events have occurred often in the life of the Judeo-Christian faith: from Egypt, from the desert, from Babylon, the Christ child, John and the second coming of Jesus.
    +
    We as believers are called to come to and embrace the kingdom of heaven, which is nearby. How have we prepared the way for our coming to this kingdom? Have we applied for citizenship in this new kingdom? In these days as I contemplate John preparing the way for the people, I shall also contemplate my preparation for citizenship and entry into the nearby kingdom of heaven. How about you?
  • Sadducees & Pharisees: The Holistic Healing Arts like Yoga are unChristian (arpaget.typepad.com)
    According to some of our Rams and Shepherds, apparently our very spiritual lives are in great jeopardy. All due to those unChristian activities, we like to refer to as the Holistic Healing Arts like Yoga.

    So we, the lowly Sheep, approach this topic with considerable timidity, humility and meekness. Such August Leaders of the Church – are like the great Sadducees and Pharisees of the Temple:

  • In those days: some notes (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    the biblical idea of repentance involves a willingness to turn one’s life around in the sense of a complete re-orientation. the kingdom of heaven is at hand: “heaven” (literally, “the heavens”) is a substitute for the name “God” that was avoided by devout Jews of the time out of reverence. The expression “the kingdom of heaven” occurs only in the gospel of Matthew. It means the effective rule of God over his people. In its fullness it includes not only human obedience to God’s word, but the triumph of God over physical evils, supremely over death. In the expectation found in Jewish apocalyptic, the kingdom was to be ushered in by a judgment in which sinners would be condemned and perish, an expectation shared by the Baptist. This was modified in Christian understanding where the kingdom was seen as being established in stages, culminating with the parousia of Jesus.
  • In those days: the kingdom at hand (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    Luke introduces the ministry of John the Baptist with a careful historical introduction listing the year, the emperor, the rulers of the surrounding territories, and the high priest who was in office. Matthew introduces John’s ministry with a very general, “in those days.” The point is not that Matthew was unaware of the interval of about thirty years that he is passing over. Rather, his purpose was to show that the birth of Christ and the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry are part of the same flow of God’s activity in salvation history. There are two major sections within this passage. Verses 1-6 introduce the ministry of John the Baptist while verses 7-12 summarize the message of John.
  • Second Sunday of Advent 8.12.13 Matthew 3.1-12 (preachersfriend.wordpress.com)
    To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.
  • Because It’s the Religious Thing To Do – Matthew 3:7-10 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)
    To be right with God, it wasn’t good enough just to be children of Abraham. God wanted them to repent of their self-righteousness and replace it with His righteousness. And without God’s righteousness, there’s no redemption!But God’s righteousness can’t be acquired by birthright or by being religious; it can only be imputed by God. And God can only impute His righteousness when there is a penitent heart to receive it, when you acknowledge that you are wrong and God is right.
  • Refurbisment or Rebuild (venabling.wordpress.com)
    The experience of becoming a Christian is often presented in the guise of being a refurbishment job.
    +
    The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a “refurbishment” message. Rather it is “demolition and renewal” message. John the Baptist was the man who preached in a demolish and rebuild fashion.
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Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way

Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way

|| Mark 1:1-6; Luke 3:1-6, 12-14

The Jordan River

The Jordan River (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MT3:1 But in those days[1] John the Baptist[2] came from the Judean wilderness,[3] MT3:2 preaching, “Repent[4] for the Realm[5] of Heaven has drawn near.[6] MT3:3 For this is the One spoken of by Isaiah[7] the prophet, saying, ‘A voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Make ready the Way of YHWH – make straight His roads.”’” [Isaiah 40:3] MT3:4 But this John dressed in camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist and hips. His food was locusts[8] and wild honey. MT3:5 Then Jerusalem and all the Judeans[9] and all the country along the Jordan came to John, MT3:6 and they publicly confessed their sins[10] and John baptized[11] them in the Jordan river.[12]


[1] Those days: Luke gives the precise timing by paralleling these activities with several contemporary rulers and priests (Luke 3:1ff). It was the year 29 AD.

[2] John the Baptist: The prophet from the desert is mentioned 150 times in the Christian Bible. The name “John” means “Yah Favors.” Jesus ranks him equal to any of the greatest people in the Bible (Matthew 11:11, 12). Jesus compares him to the prophet Elijah.

[3] Wilderness: BER: the Judean desert.

[4] Repent: Repentance is a key word in the Bible. It means to “change the mind” or “feel sorry” for sins. The word group occurs 70 times in the Bible with the first at Job 42:6 and most often in Luke, with Revelation second. John’s call to repentance was regarding sins against the Mosaic Law.

[5] Realm: The Greek is BASILEIA and is often translated “kingdom.” MOF: Reign of heaven. The word occurs 366 times, first at Genesis 10:10 and most often in Daniel and then Matthew. The word may mean the seat of government, that is the king, or source of the authority. It may also mean the realm, territory or domain of the King. Here John has in mind the future manifestation or appearance of the Messiah Jesus, the “king of Israel.” “Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew) or “kingdom of God” (Luke) is used most often by the Nazarene to mean the “realm of profession” or the Church (Compare the parables in Matthew 13).

[6] Near: Usually the word “near” means within hours or days. John has in mind the coming of Messiah as the future King of Israel.

[7] Isaiah: The quote is from Isaiah 40:3 and leans toward the LXX though paraphrases a bit.

[8] Locusts: A common food of Middle Eastern nomads. GDSP: dried locusts; BECK: grasshoppers. John is very austere if not ascetic.

[9] All the Judeans: John’s preaching has a wide impact among the Jews.

[10] Their sins: That is sins against the Mosaic Law. These are all Jews.

[11] Baptized: The word (BAPTIZONTO) means “immerse” or “submerge” (RHM) and always occurs where there is “a large body of water.” The word group occurs over 100 times. There are two water baptisms in the Christian Bible: that of John the Baptist for Jews (Acts 18:25; 19:3) and Christian baptism into Nazarene discipleship. “Baptism” is connected to salvation (1 Peter 3:21). There is a baptism into God’s spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; John 3:3-5). There is a baptism into Christ’s leadership (1 Corinthians 10:2). There is a baptism into the life course as a disciple (Mark 10:38). There is a baptism into death (Luke 12:38; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Baptism is a fundamental teaching (Hebrews 6:2). Jesus commanded his eleven apostles to go and baptize people of all nations (Matthew 28:18, 19).

  • December 8 (stmarkssa.wordpress.com)
    To the people of the Old Testament period, the word would mean to turn, to return. Their experience of being in exile in Babylon and returning to Jerusalem was a powerful cultural memory to them. When “repent” was translated from the Greek, another meaning emerged: “to go beyond the mind that we have.” So repentance is all about change, to go beyond where we are and open ourselves to transformation.
  • The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise 3:1-12 (anchorlongbeach.wordpress.com)John the Baptist came at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, which Mark notes as the first words of his gospel. Luke, marks the time with his announcement (“15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,” which puts it around 26 A.D. making both John and Jesus around 30 (See Luke 3:23), but all four gospels discuss this event in Jesus’ life, because it is an important fulfillments of prophecy about the Messiah (See Matthew 11:9-10 cf. Malachi 3:1). The fact that John the Baptist came “preaching in the desert,” is significant, because the desert was a place that God had called His people out from to worship Him, and it was usually represented renewal.
    +
    Although the Greek word for “Repentance” is Metanoia, which carries the idea of a changed mind, theologian D.A. Carson writes; “What is meant is not merely intellectual change of mind or more grief, still less doing penance…but a radical transformation of the entire person, a fundamental turnaround involving mind and action and including overtones of grief, which results in ‘fruit in keeping with repentance.’”Now, John’s baptism, was preparing “the way” for those to come to Jesus, but as we see elsewhere, it was only after Christ was raised from the dead that repentance led to the transformation of the Holy Spirit (See Point #5 cf. Acts13: 24ff; 19:4-6).
  • Getting ready for Advent 2 (revdavidyonker.wordpress.com)
    We know that the person John is talking about is  Jesus, but Craddock notes, “the narrative asks us to exercise restraint and let the story unfold in its own time.” We’ll get to Jesus soon enough.  John simply says in verse 11, “he who is coming after me” and “I am not worthy to carry his sandals.”  If you’ve heard the story before we know who is to come.  But when it comes to the church, how many times to we assume that everyone knows the story.  We assume people know about God’s love made known in Jesus Christ; we assume they know the story of his birth.  We assume because we know.  But that isn’t the case.  We still have to prepare the way of the Lord.
  • In those days: John’s Baptism (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    John’s Baptism.“to lead righteous lives, to practice justice toward their fellows and piety towards God, and so doing join in baptism”  John’s baptism was a symbolic act that people who had already done these things – or were committed to living as such – were forming a “faithful remnant” of the covenant.  In the gospel accounts all of John’s words (except the word against Antipas) are spoken to persons seeking this baptism. His words show that John was unreceptive to those whom he judged to have bad faith, while he was friendly to those who were truly repentant. To the former he repeated threats and warnings and perhaps added new ones, while to the latter he gave hope for further dramatic renewal of their lives as well as ethical guidance relevant to their particular vocations. The former group seems to have been made up of people whose commonality was lording power over the common people: the religious leadership, the wealthy, the tax collectors and soldiers.
  • Lectionary blogging: Why was Jesus baptized? (johnmeunier.wordpress.com)
    It seems only right that we ask questions about the meaning of baptism since John the Baptist himself asked such questions.
    +
    Wesley comes down on the side of interpreting Jesus’ baptism as a model for his followers. Jesus was baptized even though he had no sin and required no repentance, which were key aspects of John’s baptismal message. Jesus did this to set a model for us. For Wesley the baptism of Jesus is an example of the obligations that rest on us as Christians for no other reason than Jesus Christ commands us to observe them. If we reject the command, Wesley argues, we should not expect the Holy Spirit.
  • The writer of The Baptism of the Lord (newevangelizers.com) asks his readers to notice that as the Spirit descends upon Jesus, “the Father announces from heaven that this is His beloved Son.”But than straight ahead continues giving the impression that this Voice from the clouds did not tell the truth and gave “a majestic revelation of the Most Holy Trinity, one God in three persons. ” and as such going against all the sayings of Jehovah God and of Jesus himself later in his life when he spoke about his relationship with his heavenly Father.
  • We wonder where Sermo Dei: Baptism of Our Lord (daringlutheran.net) gets it from that the Son of God is incarnate. He does not allow people to question his saying, so this will leave a blank.
    He writes a.o.:
    “By Jesus’ time, prophets of the Lord are seldom seen and heard from – even less so today. The sky tends not to be rent open wide when someone wades in the water. Certainly disembodied voices don’t sound forth from heaven, nor do dove-like Spirits descend in plain sight.”
    Though he seem to recognise the Voice of God or the Logos being able to create or to destroy things he suddenly seem to mix the voice of the Creator with the person of which the Logos gave existence of.
  • Baptism of Christ – unworthy sinners made worthy by Jesus (revpaulhgreenland.wordpress.com)
    judgment is there for those who oppose God’s ways, but fundamentally, God wants to bring us back from sin into His ways. We have the image of the Old Testament prophet, whose job it was to preach judgment and punishment to warn the people of the consequences of their continued sin, but God wants most of all as Ezekiel says, for people to turn and live.
  • Baptism of Our Lord (ijboudreaux.com)
    Father in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit.  Grant that all who are baptized into his name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, One God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.
  • A Title You Can’t Wash Off (jaredhillaryruark.wordpress.com)
    We could say a lot of things about baptism because there are billions of Christians and thousands of Christian traditions, so baptism can take on any number of meanings and people think about it in a lot of different ways.
    +
    John the Baptist, despite his name, doesn’t feel up to the task. He’s already baptized thousands in the River Jordan but when Jesus approaches he says Whoa, whoa. Nope. I’m not baptizing you, you should be baptizing me. The problem seems to be that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins and Jesus doesn’t have sins so why would he be baptized? So John says, no-no-no. You’re the holy one and it makes more sense if you baptize me.You can tell somethings out of place just from their names and titles. John is called the Baptist and they’ll call Jesus a lot of things–Messiah, Christ, Son of God. And you can tell just from the titles that John shouldn’t be baptizing Jesus. Cause you know there are all sorts of Baptists–American baptists and Southern baptists, independent baptists. Larry and Susan the Baptists down the street. But you don’t hear about Joe and Suzy Christ so much. Only Jesus get’s to be called Christ and Christ is quite the title. So John says “I need to be baptized by you.”
  • In those days: some notes (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    Matthew 3:1 in those days: This is an OT expression that marks the beginning of the new period, not necessarily a precise indication of time (see Mt 13:1; 24:22, 29, 36; 26:29). Here it marks the time-shift from the infancy narrative to the adult Jesus’ appearance.  the desert of Judea: wilderness would perhaps be the better word for modern English. The area is the barren region west of the Dead Sea extending up the Jordan valley.
    +
    Matthew 3:2 Repent: the biblical idea of repentance involves a willingness to turn one’s life around in the sense of a complete re-orientation. the kingdom of heaven is at hand: “heaven” (literally, “the heavens”) is a substitute for the name “God” that was avoided by devout Jews of the time out of reverence. The expression “the kingdom of heaven” occurs only in the gospel of Matthew. It means the effective rule of God over his people. In its fullness it includes not only human obedience to God’s word, but the triumph of God over physical evils, supremely over death. In the expectation found in Jewish apocalyptic, the kingdom was to be ushered in by a judgment in which sinners would be condemned and perish, an expectation shared by the Baptist. This was modified in Christian understanding where the kingdom was seen as being established in stages, culminating with the parousia of Jesus.
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