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

The Scriptures makes it clear what choice man has to make to receive a non-ending life after this life on earth which can be full of temptations, problems, difficulties and suffering.

In the 19th chapter of Matthew we can see that after some time going with the master teacher the disciples still did not know him. Jesus looked at the small children who wanted to come to him and saw how their soul (their inner being) was still pure and without personal interest. Jesus not only blessed the babes, but rebuked the disciples, who had misrepresented him; and says

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

For us that should be a message to become or to be like “such as these”. In our life we should get a state of purity and innocence. It is very possible that those children could have done some faults, but often having been not aware of it. It is only when one knows what is good and what is bad and when knows the rule s and regulations that one can go against such rules or laws.

The Kingdom of heaven will not be literally composed of little children, but those who want to enter the Kingdom should be like little children, innocent and pure of mind, simple-hearted, true, teachable, obedient, honest and trustful of their heavenly Father.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” (Lu 18:17 NIV)

says Jesus. At other places in the New Testament we also do find

“And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3 NIV)

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”” (Mt 19:14 NIV)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” (Mr 10:15 NIV)

Instead of the children being regarded as intruders, they were most welcome to the master teacher; and, instead of being interlopers, they had full right of access, for of children and of childlike persons God His kingdom was composed and Jesus is the way to that Kingdom. Jesus spoke with certainty, using his own expressive “verily,” and he spoke with the weight of his own personal authority,

“I say unto you.”

These prefatory expressions are intended to secure our reverent attention to the fact that so far from the admission of children into the kingdom being unusual or strange none can find entrance there except they receive the gospel as a little child receives it. It is this statement of the Master which affords us a subject for this morning, which may the divine Spirit open up to us and impress upon our hearts.

As adults we have gone through a parcour of life and have made several choices to continue on our path of life. Not always did we take the right path. When we look back at the past we shall be able to notice we made many mistakes and more than once we took the wrong decision.

Making the child the model for those who seek entrance into the kingdom of God, we should remember that we too should try to get a childes attitude of innocence. Childlessness is an ‘Essential Element’ in the Christian Life.

“The LORD protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.” (Ps 116:6 NIV)

“But I have stilled and quietened my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” (Ps 131:2 NIV)

“Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.” (1Co 14:20 NIV)

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,” (1Pe 2:2 NIV)

The phrase, kingdom of heaven (lit. of the heavens), is peculiar to Matthew and signifies the Messianic earth rule of Jesus Christ, the son of David. It is called the kingdom of the heavens because it is the rule of the heavens over the earth. It is also for that kingdom Jesus prayed and taught us also to pray for.

“your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt 6:10 NIV)

The phrase is derived from Daniel, where it is defined as the kingdom which the God of heaven will set up after the destruction by “the stone cut out without hands,” of the Gentile world-system.

“34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing-floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. 36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.” (Da 2:34-36 NIV)

“”In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.” (Da 2:44 NIV)

“23 “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. {Or for a year, two years and half a year }26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed for ever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’” (Da 7:23-27 NIV)

Already in the Garden of Eden God spoke about some one who would come to save the world but also who would reign. God also spoke about a kingdom covenanted to David’s seed which was described in the prophets.

“7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people shall not oppress them any more, as they did at the beginning” (2Sa 7:7-10 NIV)

Under an heir of king David would an other kingdom being established which would be greater and stronger. That heir would be born of a virgin, therefore truly man, but also “Immanuel,” the one coming from (or sent by) God. That person was
confirmed to be Jesus the Christ, the son of Mary, through the angel Gabriel.

“32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.”” (Lu 1:32-33 NIV)

It is that never ending kingdom where at first that man shall be the king, we have to look for. A kingdom heavenly in origin, principle, and authority.

“”In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.” (Da 2:44 NIV)

When hoping to be a partaker of that kingdom one has to obey the commandments so that life can come to this one who is willing to love God and to be His child. Many think they do not have to do any works any more, because they are saved. But Jesus warns them and us, that they may not be mistaken and that it is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for man to enter the small gate to the Kingdom.

He clearly indicates we have to keep to the commandments of god, even when that would not always so easy.

“17 …. Jesus replied.

“There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” the man enquired. Jesus replied,

“23  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”” (Mt 19:23-24 NIV)

Jesus gives also those commandments we have to fulfil or keep to.

18 … “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19 honour your father and mother,’ {Exodus 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20 }
and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’” {Lev. 19:18 } (Mt 19:17-19 NIV)

Jesus also gives a hope for those who are willing to follow him.

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother {Some manuscripts mother or wife } or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Mt 19:29 NIV)

But first we have to seek God His kingdom, and His righteousness before all these good things the bible talks about, shall be added unto us. (Matthew 6:33) First the Kingdom, and then God’s righteousness, this should be our greatest care and not some other standard (See Romans 14:17: kingdom).

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (Ro 14:17 NIV)

When we want to enter the kingdom of God we should prepare ourselves and work at our character, making sure that we do our best to keep to God’s commandements.

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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

 

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Find also to read

  1. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  2. The Mountain: Radical Obedience
  3. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  4. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  5. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  6. Ability (part 5) Thought about the abilities to be under God’s Spirit

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

When looking at Matthew 18:23-35 we can compare the human way and the godly way of forgiving and reactions about debts and attitudes towards others.

Once again we can find the master teacher using a story or parable to give a lesson. Jesus illustrates his view of unending mercy with a parable demonstrating how real lovers of God should think about the way God treats people. They also could look at the examples Jesus gave them and therefore could find enough reasons to extend unlimited forgiveness to others.

It can well be that the Nazarene rabbi had in mind a corrupt Herodian bureaucrat who has used his position to make himself wealthy, but has instead lost the Herod’s court a massive amount of money. Slaves could be in important roles in the Empires, so that they could accumulate wealth and power, even if they were in a master-slave relationship with the Emperor.

How often do we not encounter situations where we are confronted with matters that trouble us and with people who own something to us or should still have something to arrange for us? How often does it not happen that we are hurt by some one and that we have to arrange something to restore the relationship again?

John Nolland points out the annual income of Herod’s kingdom when he died in 4 B.C.E. was about 900 talents, to be divided between his sons (Nolland, Matthew, 756). This servant’s debt is more than ten times the value of Herod’s kingdom. In fact, the word translated as ten-thousand is often translated, “myriad,” an uncountable number.

When confronted with a person who did us wrong, him asking to have mercy with him, how much mercy do we want to give?

In Jesus’ parable we find a servant who has experienced an audacious act of mercy and has been released from the bondage of his debt. Though his reaction to others who had debts to him is not in comparison. In this story the man goes looking for the debtor to threaten him. He laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying,

‘Pay me what you owe.’ (Matthew 18:28b)

This time we also find the fellow servant asking for forgiveness, using the exact same words as the unmerciful servant. He also asks for more time to raise the cash to pay the debt. This time the unmerciful servant is not willing to extend him additional time to pay. The debt may also been large, but not unmanageable as the debt of the one who asks to be paid back. As a reaction for not being paid back straight away the debtor is being put in the same prison in which the unmerciful servant was going to go if he had not been shown mercy by his master.

Have you thought about it how Jesus came to pay our debts? And can you imagine how his heavenly Father was willing to accept Jesus his ransom offering, so that we could be liberated of our debt to God?

You may perhaps not go around seeking to plot your revenge or wallow in a cesspool of bitter emotions and animosity, but how would you react to those who have debts (in all sorts of ways) to you? For people who did wrong to you would you like to erase them from your memory, as if they never existed, and as such would think you do not have to forgive that person or that all matters would be set?

We should know that it is no healthy situation if we want to save ourselves trouble of seeking to be the mature one by absolving and letting go, not having to carry around the pain of what a person did to hurt you.

The ones who want to call themselves Christian should be followers of Christ and try to have the same attitude as Christ. The way we act against people who did wrong against us is very important in the eyes of the Lord. Vengeance is a word and an act which should not be in our way of life. we should be careful not to let the ego and pride provoke us to create mountains out of mole holes in situations where a simple, it’s okay never mind, would have solved the problem.

Today it seem a fashion to offend people or to point a finger at some one. We should know that nobody is perfect and as such people could do things to us we do not like. It also can well be that people will mess things up, irritate and will disappoint you in ways that will astound you, and indeed worse still you are just as capable yourself of doing the same actions to them, nobody is above being the wrong at any point in time.

This parable should get us thinking about the attitude we want to take to others, who we think have wronged us.
It might not be easy but we we should strive to provide for grace for everybody, and should be humble enough to approach the other with love to forgive.

We live in a fallen world where terrible events happen to us beyond our control, but as justified as it may seem emotionally, holding on to that pain does us more harm than good, it can never make us happy in the long run.

Forgiving may not always be easy, it takes a lot of maturity and spiritual growth for us to come to a place where we can truly let go of hurts, but it is a gift that is worth offering to yourself.

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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

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Soon after the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) had started his public life and had chosen some disciples, he found them following him and receiving more followers who wanted to hear him talking about many things which concerned them or which where about the general customs and religious life of the people.

Jesus went all over Galilee and used open as well as covered spaces, like synagogues but also planes and mountain slopes. Jesus knew his divine task, having placed in a special way on this earth to show people the Way to God. Jesus knew very well Who that One True God is all people should come to know.  He very well knew his own place, being lower than angels and being a son of God, the Most High without Jesus could do nothing.

He must have been special. Though the religious leaders despised him but the people wondered who this man could be and where curious for what they could hear from others about miracles he could perform.

Sites of Christianity in the Galillee - Ruins of the ancient Great Synagogue at Capernaum (or Kfar Nahum) on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, Northern Israel.jpg

Capernaum synagogue

Jesus went from one place to an other telling about his heavenly Father, the Only One True God of Israel. He taught people the truth of God and God’s kingdom was his theme. He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Those actions he did, got many curious about this personage and word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25)

Mount of Beatitudes, seen from Capernaum

When he was in the region of Capernaum again there were a lot of people who had come to see him and who where eager to hear what he had to tell.  Jesus saw all those crowds, coming from different places, following him and went up the mountain or hill (the Greek word can mean either) the Mount of Beatitudes.

Some commentators see here an intended contrast to Sinai, where the Law was given. However, there are no grounds, implicit or explicit, for identifying the mountain as a “New Sinai.” {Newman, B. M., & Stine, P. C. (1992). A handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 103). New York: United Bible Societies.}

From Matthew’s choice of verbs we can imagine that the situation was all about a moment of teaching, Jesus tutoring. It does not matter so much if Matthew and Luke wrote about the same or of a different occasion where Jesus taught about the kingdom of heaven, its subjects and their life.

There have been and are today scholars who regard the sermons recorded in Mt and Lk as collections of sayings spoken on different occasions, and maintain that they do not represent any connected discourse ever delivered by Jesus. In their view the Sermon is either a free compilation by the evangelists or a product of apostolic teaching and oral tradition.
The prevailing opinion among NT scholars is, however, that the gospel accounts represent a genuine historical discourse. The Sermon as recorded in Mt bears such marks of inner unity of theme and exposition as to give the appearance of genuineness. That Jesus should deliver a discourse of this kind accords with all the circumstances and with the purpose of His ministry. Besides, we know that in His teaching He was accustomed to speak to the multitudes at length, and we should expect Him to give early in His ministry some formal exposition of the kingdom, the burden of His first preaching. That such a summary of one of His most important discourses should have been preserved is altogether probable. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

In any case even when it is a summary it is a teaching every Christian should seriously take at heart. Jesus was not afraid to talk at length, but this discourse could easily be delivered in a few minutes.

There is evidence that the account in Mt 5–7 contains some sayings not included in the original discourse. This view is confirmed by the fact that a number of the sayings are given in Luke’s Gospel in settings that appear more original. It is easy to believe that related sayings spoken on other occasions may have become associated with the Sermon in apostolic teaching and thus handed down with it, but if the discourse were well known in a specific form, such as that recorded in Mt, it is hardly conceivable that Luke or anyone else would break it up and distribute the fragments or associate them with other incidents, as some of the sayings recorded in both Gospels are found associated in Lk. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Because there is written that the disciples came to sit by Jesus many think Jesus was mainly addressing them. Even when this is the apparent meaning of the account of both evangelists, the separation from the multitudes and the direction of Jesus his words to the disciples seem clear, and the distinction appears intentional on the part of the writer. However, it must be observed that in the closing comments on the Sermon the presence of the multitudes is implied. In Luke’s account the distinction is less marked; being the night of prayer in the mountain, the choice of the twelve apostles, the descent with them into the presence of the multitude of his disciples and a great number of people from Judaea, Jerus and the coast country, the healing of great numbers, and, finally, the address. While the continued presence of the multitudes is implied, the plain meaning of the words,

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said,”

is that his address was intended especially for the latter.

This view is borne out by the address itself as recorded in both accounts. Observe the use of the second person in the reference to suffering, poverty and persecution for the sake of the Son of Man. Further the sayings concerning the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” could hardly have been addressed to any but His disciples. The term disciple, however, was doubtless employed in the broader sense by both evangelists. This is clearly the case in Matthew’s account, according to which the Twelve had not yet been appointed. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Today we should look at those texts also as a lesson to all those who want to call themselves “Christian” which means “to be a follower of Christ“. Christians too should be disciples of Christ Jesus and should follow the words of the Nazarene master teacher. Not especially being a digest of Christ his teaching the account in Matthew 5 delivers a short of the attitudes a Christian should take.

Today because so many people calling themselves Christian, but more following human doctrines instead of keeping to the Biblical doctrines, may find Jesus’ words very hard to understand and even harder to follow in our modern culture which preaches that happiness or luck comes from material wealth, absence of sorrow, and which teaches revenge or retaliation and exorbitant punishments far in excess of the wrong suffered. Lots of people do find it right to punish wrongdoers and even would not mind if their life was taken away, though on other occasions they are totally against women taking contraceptives considering this murder or killing an unborn life.

The writer who records the most challenging command Jesus ever gave his followers:

“Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

looks at the teaching of Jesus on our behaviour and living and presents an ethic code for his disciples and a measure for the behaviour of all believers.

Each time Jesus opens with the word, which is recorded in Greek as “makarioi”, “blessed” or “happy”, which occurs nine times in verses 3–12. Many also call it “beatitudes”. Each beatitude having three parts: an ascription of blessing (happiness), a specific virtue to be cultivated (the practice of each produces a positive result), and a promise relating to the kingdom (reward or special comfort as a reason for the promised happiness).

In the sermon we find that the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the gentle, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, those who receive insults, are falsely accused and are persecuted on account of the Messiah may count on it that they are all blessed.

Certainly in Christendom we can find many true believers in Christ, those who accept Jesus for whom he really is, a man of flesh and blood who put his will aside to do the Will of the One God Who sent him to this world. Very often those real Christians are spit at and very often it are the trinitarian Christians who take on a very un-christian attitude to those believers. Those name Christians who prefer to keep to human doctrines and want to keep to the pagan rites and festivals, are often the worst in their attitude to the real or non-trinitarian Christians. Look around you and hear how your surroundings react to such Christians as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians or others who spread the Good News by giving pamphlets and by talking to people on the streets or by going from door to door. Often those who laugh at such Christians are not the gentle, and often they have more interest in the looks of people and the material wealth of themselves and others, instead of looking for the spiritual wealth.

In the world we can see many who sincerely love God and want to prefer to worship Him alone, who are therefore being harassed or molested. Be them Jews, Christians or Muslims, those who not like to take part in the pagan rituals, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, are often looked at with a bad eye, or even spit on. They are laughed at, being considered compliant meek, soft ones and not by the time. To be meek does not mean to be weak. Jesus with his words concerning the meek ones looks at “meekness” meaning gentle restraint. it  Holds in a person can be showing gentlenessmildness, forbearance, submissiveness, humility or humbleness, modesty, submission and trying to bring peacefulness, sometimes even with acquiescence. We should remember that there it is about those who dare to take on an attitude which does not insist on one’s own rights but is giving itself for others, always ready to waive its privileges in the interests of others. “The meek” person is willing to wait for God’s timing being sure that God’s promises will become a reality and that God shall provide better times for all those who live according to God His commandments. That is our sacred hope we may find in Christ his offering, opening the gates to the Kingdom of God.

As Christian we should be taking every effort to follow Christ, to become in unity with him and his teaching, doing our utmost best to obey our heavenly Father. Living according to God’s commandments we can live with the promise to be able to live in the kingdom here on earth (“inherit the earth”). Though we should be well aware that this is not promised to the pushy, proud, ambitious, and domineering and to scourge those who do not believe in God or those who prefer to live differently than us.

Those who are humble and willing to undergo all the suffering in name of Christ or those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, may look forward for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They or we may rejoice, and be glad, for our reward in heaven shall be great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before us. (Matthew 5:3-12)

Jesus Christ in Capernaum

Jesus Christ in Capernaum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus knew or knows we are not perfect, but that does not mean we should be happy with who we are at a certain moment. Every day we should work at ourselves and strive to become better. It is quite ready to love those who love us, but what about loving those who hate us? Concerning doing good, many unbelievers are doing good, so what would be the difference between a non-believer and a Christian? How many name Christian today we do hear speaking low about other coloured people or about people of an other religion? How many so called Christians do not despise other Christians and other believers or atheists and want them away from their community or surroundings. Lots of name Christians do not welcome others.

So many people consider them higher than others or more special. Often they consider themselves perfect or faultless and are not interested in changing their own world view, their mindset, their inclination or habit, their ethos and their assumptions. Lots of them even do not want to challenge themselves in any way and do not want to see that nobody is foolproof. Today we do find lots of so called Christians who are against the refugees and who wrong or oppress strangers, though they should know that is against the Will of God (Exodus 22:20-21). They are not interested in the war victims, the orphans and widow, though a lover of God should stand up for them and defend them (Isaiah 1:16-17). Several people who call themselves Christian should better ask themselves what this really should mean and should check if they can come under that denominator.

Christianity is all a matter of “love“.

Jesus asks his followers to consider the aspects of real love and of the will to work at the inner self, the way how to react to others and daring to put your own will aside to be there for others. Looking at the habits that have entered our life, Jesus requires to examine ourself and to become aware of our attitude we should take on in life.

God requires of us to worship Him as the Only One True God of gods and to keep His commandments, doing justice and to offer loving kindness or mercy to others, walk humbly with God. Jesus requires of us also to honour his heavenly Father and to worship Him alone. He also requires us to become like him and to hunger and thirst for righteousness, work for peace, and stand in solidarity with those who are persecuted; to be merciful and comfort mourners; to be humble in spirit, meek, and pure in heart.

So let us listen very carefully to the Bible text in “Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries” and work at ourselves to become more like Christ fulfilling the Wish of God.

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Preceding article

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Next:

Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

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Additional reading

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  2. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #2 What you must do
  3. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  4. A season of gifts
  5. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  6. Are you being swept along by the world
  7. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  8. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  9. the Bible – God’s guide for life #8 Looking to Jesus #1 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
  10. The meek one riding on an ass
  11. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith

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Further reading

  1. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
  2. Sermon from Matthew 5
  3. What Love Says and Does
  4. Loved Are We
  5. Beatitudes
  6. Beatitudes / Blessed are: (Matthew 5:3-12)
  7. Blessed Are… – Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12
  8. What Does God Require? A Christian Manifesto (Matt 5:1-12, Micah 6:1-8)
  9. What does the Lord require…?
  10. Blessed are the merciful: 4 Epiphany A
  11. Children’s Sermon: Matthew 5:4 (Beatitudes)
  12. Sermon for January 29, 2017
  13. Sermon for 29 January 2017 on Matthew 5:1-12
  14. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/15/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Being Salt and Light”
  15. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/22/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Jesus and The Law”
  16. NBFMC Sermon Review (2/05/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Lust and Relationships”
  17. 4th Sunday, Year A | Being peacemakers in a divided society
  18. Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 29th, 2017)
  19. 4th Sunday After Epiphany, January 29, 2017
  20. 5th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A 2017
  21. Sermon on the Mount: Part 1
  22. Sermon on the Mount Part 1: Beatitudes
  23. Sermon on the Mount: Part 2
  24. 2017.01.15 Sermon On The Mount Part 1
  25. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 1
  26. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 2
  27. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 3
  28. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Light
  29. True Worship: Justice, Kindness, Walk Humbly
  30. Sunday Devotional: Who are our ‘neighbors’ and our ‘enemies’? How are we to ‘love’ them?
  31. Blocking your own witness
  32. How to deal with others
  33. What Jesus Says When You’ve Been Burned
  34. “I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder.” ~~Jesus
  35. Reconciling Jesus
  36. Be Perfect
  37. Radical Love in the Face of Injustice
  38. “Make something happen!”: The restless spirit
  39. Giving and Getting It All
  40. Day 33 -This Little Light of Mine
  41. Be Nice to Me
  42. A Godly Response To Ungodliness
  43. Our Relationship to the World
  44. The Love Question
  45. Love?
  46. A Life Well-Lived
  47. “No & Yes”
  48. Truth, love, and justice
  49. Salt and Light: Matthew 5
  50. We’re Salt & Light: But are we?
  51. Anger and murder
  52. “An ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?” ~~Jesus
  53. Blessed are the Refugees
  54. What Does the Lord Require? :: Prayers of the People
  55. The Joy of Mercy
  56. “You are God’s field, God’s building”
  57. Evangelize: Downtown Boise With Love
  58. …I’m gonna let it shine
  59. A toddler’s tale
  60. The Beatitudes are Like Yogurt
  61. Why does Jesus say “the poor in spirit” are blessed?
  62. An Accurate Measurement for Your Life
  63. Authentic Christianity

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Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion

The Biblestudents encountered already many problems in France and were forbidden to teach or preach in public. The Catholic church did not have any problem because many in France consider themselves Catholics. Lots of those Catholics protested against the Muslim community growing in their country, never questioning why so many where leaving the Catholic faith and found themself disillusioned and cheated by that big organisation, which claims to be the true religion.

Examples of hijabs in different regions

Examples of hijabs in different regions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last few weeks many of those French were calling blue murder and wanted a ban on everything that smelled to Islam. By doing so they got the clear thinking minds also in their back-garden, because lots of French want the burqini (burkini) banned in France. (Some other countries want to follow suit.) Though several people noticed also that the burqini was covering less of the body than certain habits of Catholic clergy. So why would the French police allow nuns to go in the sea with their habit but humiliate Muslim women dressed in a fashionable swimwear called burqini (burkini)?

Several French people shouted that burqini’s to be dangerous clothing (?!?) that should be forbidden. We wonder what could be so dangerous about that attire. The Catholic nuns and priests have much more space to hide dangerous weapons or to wear bomb belts than those women who wear a burqini.

Now it came to happen what hung already some time in the air. It was clear that the governement not only wanted to get the attention away from her inability to protect the French people, they also would love to get any form of religiosity out of their community.

As citizens of a country one would expect the interior ministry’s responsibility to guarantee security and to decide the severity of responses which however must never become provocations that could potentially attract attacks. The governement should do everything to have the different groups of people, from different origin and cultures, living together in unison. but now it looks like the governement does everything to put oil on the fire and to get as many people against each other.

English: Two Muslim women watching the sea in .

Two Muslim women watching the sea in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In name of secularism the French governement decided to abandon any religious sign/symbol or religious badges in public places, and as such does not want their citizens to show in their clothing what they believe. Christian youngsters who previously wore fishes or crosses, yarmulkes, scarves or any other religious clothing shall shall not allowed to enter the school because it is now prohibited in the schools, which started today.

What started off as an attack on the Muslim woman has now become a general attack on the freedom of religious thought.

Clearly there are many Europeans who, seemingly sincerely, think women are not strong enough to decide for themselves what for sort religion they want to belong to or what sort of clothing they want to wear.

Striking is it that mainly men have the greatest objection to those Muslim women wearing covering clothes. Though also several Western women do not want to accept that those European ex-Catholics can make up their mind for themselves and decide for themselves which religion to belong to and what to wear.

france-swimsuit-burkini-ban-decree

A woman’s swimsuit measured in the name of modesty (1925); woman forced to undress in the name of liberty (2016)…as seen in “Men Won’t Stop Controlling Women’s Dresscode” by Nuha ElZubeir, Identity Mag

Some decades ago women were penalised when they had clothing on, which showed some bare legs or arms. We ourselves knew our parents to wear covering swimwear and many of us had problems when they wanted to run outdoors with sleeveless shirts or short trousers. Now half a century later it looks it has to have come the opposite, when somebody wants the body covered he or she is looked at as doing something wrong. In France it has even become so far to call the covering of body parts indecent and against morals and French values.

Has it become that French morals today dictate that men and women should have as much as possible bare body parts, though not fully naked, because that would take the sensuality away and would make everybody the same. They prefer that the nudity is accentuated but not hidden. When hidden, it proofs today, then the French are getting uneasy.

French men seem not to like it when a woman wear what she wants. They do not seem to believe a woman is capable of that. As soon as a woman prefers certain body parts covered they call it her being oppressed by some one else (her husband, her parents, her religious leader). They do not seem to see or to understand, that such woman perhaps can be much stronger than all those who follow the fashion magazines and always want to be by the time wearing the latest hype.

Well this time they also have a hype. All the smear campaign made that the sales of the burqini are booming.

Hopefully lots of women also dare to show that they are themselves able to decide what to wear, what to show or what to hide of their own body, that is their own property and not the property of the onlookers at the beach or on the street. For a woman to be in charge of her own body, that seems to be a big problem in the macho world of the so called land of liberty, freedom and equality.

Two young Muslim women in the heart of Istanbu...

Two young Muslim women in the heart of Istanbul are having “an Apple” for lunch. This photo was taken on a sunny day in April 2007.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When women would be equal, why want they listen more to them who can speak for themselves? Why do they not want to believe them?

For those who are Catholic or for those who say they are Christian, they should be aware that Jesus had a loving spirit for all around him and did not show favouritism to those who would have been dressed in such or such a way.

In the Tanakh, Messianic Scriptures and in the Quran, the Divine Creator of everything, Allah, the God of gods, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, demands of those who love Him, to love their neighbour as themselves. God demands those who love Him, to respect all creatures God allows here on earth. As such God demands from believers in the Almighty to respect other believers, even if they are heathen or do not want to know anything of God.

As Christians we should respect those who believe in Allah/God, but want to belong to an other religion than ours. We should respect also their choice of denomination or Islamic group, and if they want to follow the rules of a certain Islamic (or other) group we should respect that as well. This mean if they feel they should cover up their body, though we also know it is not explicitly so described in the Holy Writings, we should respect their choice.

We also should recognise that those shouting and saying their concerned about their values, are having the wrong values, because covering body parts is more ethical and respectful than to flaunt with naked body parts.

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Find also to read about the burqini or burkini:

  1. Women’s Groups Say Gender Equality is a Must for Sustainable Development
  2. Gender connections
  3. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  4. What is Racism??
  5. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  6. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  7. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
  8. France and the Burkini
  9. French showing to the whole world their fear and weaknesses
  10. Pew Research: How People in Muslim Countries Believe Women Should Dress
  11. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  12. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran
  13. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  14. Coverings Worn by Muslim Women
  15. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  16. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  17. You are what you wear
  18. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  19. Not limiting others but sharing peace with all
  20. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  21. A charter for a truly free world and why we need it
  22. When will it stop
  23. ‘I try to keep my hate in check. If you can’t hate, you can’t love.’
  24. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”

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Further of interest

  1. Bombs in a burkini?
  2. I got 99 problems and the burkini is one of them…really?
  3. 99 Word Blog (#024) Banned Burkinis
  4. Fleeing The Hijab
  5. Current Events Corner 8/16/2016
  6. “France is at War with its own Citizens” – Yasser Louati on the Cannes “Burkini” Ban
  7. Uproar in France over ‘burkini ban’ at Cannes beaches
  8. #62 French police force Muslim woman to remove her Burkini on Nice beach (photos)
  9. Undress for safety
  10. Nudism/Naturism and burkini madness: Why not ban all clothes at the beach?
  11. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  12. Why are the burqa and burkini being banned?
  13. Fashion vs the Government: The Burkini Debate
  14. The scandal of women’s bodies in secular Europe
  15. French burkini ban exposes the myth of neutral secularism
  16. Burkini and French Secularism
  17. Ban of burkini: theresult ofmalechauvinism or secularism
  18. France’s Burkini Ban: Identity politics go to the beach
  19. Forcing a Muslim Woman To Undress is Not Fighting Oppression. That IS Oppression!
  20. Banning The Burqa And Burkini Is Not The Correct Liberal Response To Conservative Islam
  21. The Hypocrisy of the Burkini Ban
  22. A Burqini is not Equivalent to a Burqa
  23. Corsican town becomes third in France to ban the burkini after #Islamics riot
  24. France’s Burkini BigotryBurkinis in the land of Liberté, égalité, fraternité
  25. To Burkini Or Not To Burkini: The Ages Of Men Deciding What Women Should Wear
  26. French Burkini Bans Face Legal Challenge as Tension Mounts
  27. France has for its name, the contrary of Liberty and Fraternity practice.
  28. A cover story
  29. Does France have a problem with racism?
  30. Everyone everywhere wants to tell women what to wear
  31. The Day The News Made My Blood Boil
  32. Beachwear bull
  33. Women protest French burkini ban outside French Embassy in London
  34. Show us your bits..
  35. It’s Always the Cover Up
  36. Thoughts of the Day: Burkini Ban
  37. Doing something for something’s sake is a dangerous strategy
  38. Burkini Ban : French Farce
  39. Burkini beach
  40. Islam, France, Burkini: A chit chat on FB
  41. Facebook 45 – Suorkini
  42. The burqa-One mermaid’s opinion
  43. burkinis or bikinis?
  44. Burkini vs Bikini
  45. The Burkini
  46. Burquini – How It Happened
  47. Burkini Ban: Nice
  48. Cannes Ban
  49. Why the Burkini ban poses a threat to Muslims and Non-Muslims alike
  50. #Burkiniban – the problem is veiled ideology
  51. 24 August 2016 – All Lives Matter (or Overly Clad Women)
  52. Why the French burkini ban is damaging feminism
  53. Dear French PM, The Burkini Ban Is Abhorrent
  54. Burkini being a threat
  55. The Burkini ban
  56. Liberty, Equality, Bigotry?
  57. From Bloomers to Burkinis: The Same Old Story? by Sarah Ansari
  58. Modern feminism makes no sense at all
  59. Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the Burkini : “C’est une provocation”.
  60. And the Debate about Burkini Ban continues #burkiniban
  61. Can’t we just put all the cards on the table?
  62. The folly of the #Burkiniban
  63. Bitches, Puhleeeeze….
  64. Ban the Burkini.
  65. The Burkini Ban
  66. Everything under the sun
  67. Very simple solution RE: Olympics and Burkini
  68. Next time I go to swim I might wear a good burkini
  69. Saudi Arabia Bans Stripy Fisherman Shirts and Berets
  70. Another Attack on Western Civilization from Muslim Women
  71. The Burkini Ban Is Pointless And Racist
  72. The Burkini Ban is good. Not to let your Country turn into Saudi Arabia – without Oil – in a couple of Decades, we must defend it. The right that our countries remain western.
  73. So! (en) | Islamic veil across Europe
  74. Pope urged to wear swimming trunks
  75. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  76. the decomposition of logic and democratic values
  77. Freedom of choice. It’s not so simple.
  78. Europe has been awash with racial tension this summer
  79. France’s ‘burkini ban’, one step too far?
  80. In hiding
  81. #BurkiniBan
  82. France has ‘misunderstood’ burkini, Australian designer says
  83. “Burkini” Ban Accomplishes Nothing Positive
  84. The Hijab and MeIslamophobia or nah?Islam and the downfall of European culture
  85. The Islamisation of my Country – 1
  86. So let me get this straight…
  87. At what point does a ban become a chance to publicly humiliate?
  88. New Feminism – via Unapologetics
  89. Ban the Burqa, Allow the Burkini :: Middle East Forum
  90. If you ever had any doubt that Bill O’Reilly of FOX News wasn’t actually a Muslim-sympathizing liberal, this will remove it
  91. Quebec opposition MNAs reopen divisive debate over religious attire with call for ban on burkinis
  92. Salafist fuckin’ la revanche
  93. The best tweets showing the absurdity of the #BurkiniBan on French beaches
  94. Australian burkini designer profits from French ban
  95. Burkini, Bikini. Potato, potarto.
  96. New Feminism
  97. “Burkini”ban in Quebec: Samer Majzoub interview on CJAD by Aaron Rand.
  98. Why an Italian atheist should thank France for the burkini affair
  99. Kini Miney Mot
  100. More French towns spread ban on the burkini
  101. How Western is the Bikini?
  102. A Burqini is not Equivalent to a Burqa
  103. Nudism/Naturism and burkini madness: Why not ban all clothes at the beach?
  104. The scandal of women’s bodies in secular Europe
  105. Everyone everywhere wants to tell women what to wear
  106. Forcing a Muslim Woman To Undress is Not Fighting Oppression. That IS Oppression!
  107. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  108. You may find this offensive The Burqini Ban
  109. Burkini and French Secularism
  110. Islam and the downfall of European culture
  111. Why the French burkini ban is damaging feminism
  112. At what point does a ban become a chance to publicly humiliate?
  113. the decomposition of logic and democratic values
  114. The Burkini Ban is good. Not to let your Country turn into Saudi Arabia – without Oil – in a couple of Decades, we must defend it. The right that our countries remain western.
  115. Another Attack on Western Civilization from Muslim Women
  116. Does France have a problem with racism?
  117. Burkinis in the land of Liberté, égalité, fraternité
  118. Burkini Ban : French Farce
  119. The Day The News Made My Blood Boil
  120. French burkini ban exposes the myth of neutral secularism
  121. Bretons bathe fully clothed as Muslim asked to leave beach
  122. French mayors dismiss suspended burqini ban
  123. United Nations Strongly Condemns French Authorities Decision to Ban Burkani
  124. What Not To Wear: A Short History Of Regulating Female Dress From Ancient Sparta To The Burkini
  125. You’ve Got to BurKining Me!
  126. To bare or not to bare
  127. French city Nice suspends its ban on burkinis
  128. Young Muslim Americans say discrimination is ‘worse now than after 9/11’
  129. US Muslim Women Debate Safety of Hijab amid Backlash
  130. Lifting Veil off Attitudes about Niqab, Hijab
  131. The niqab ban: 2011-2015 – The new Liberal government officially puts an end to the former Conservative government’s attempt to ban the niqab during the citizenship oath
  132. June 24, 2015: Under the Niqab
  133. The Niqab Debate
  134. Niqab issue is thinly veiled racism
  135. Niqab issue is about fear of the unknown
  136. Niqab issue being ‘pushed on the populace’
  137. Is Muslim female face covering nothing more than sharia Bolshevism?
  138. The Niqab Time Bomb
  139. Worse than niqab issue: pajamas worn in public
  140. The ‘enemies of reason’ are inside the gates
  141. Islamism, Feminism & Defiance
  142. Why we stopped wearing the Hijab
  143. The “Racist” Man at Target
  144. Video: Pregnant Muslim Woman Verbally Abused On London Bus
  145. Muslim Woman Allegedly Abused In Hospital Maternity Ward
  146. Assault On Niqab Wearing Women Shows The Male Violence Many Suffer
  147. Muslim Girl Punched In face In Birmingham For ‘Wearing A Hijab’
  148. Man Attacked Muslim Woman And Stabbed Boy In The Face Outside Melbourne State Library
  149. Muslim Woman Abused In Tesco Store For Wearing Face Veil Urges Victims To Report Hate Crime
  150. Middle East Lifestyles – What about the ladies?
  151. Bigotry veiled as liberation
  152. YSL or “Shut Up and Run”
  153. Unveiling the reality
  154. Advice to the Muslim Women by Sheikh Saalih al Fawzan
  155. My Thoughts On Religious Headscarves

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