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Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Matthew 23:23-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 4: A Disregard for Justice and Mercy

Matthew 23:23-24 – Woe 4: A Disregard for Justice and Mercy

|| Luke 11:42

MT23:23 “WOE to you hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees because you tithe[1] the mint, dill, and cummin,[2] but you leave out the weightier matters of the Law:[3] justice and mercy and faith.[4] The former is necessary to perform[5] but also the latter. MT23:24 Blind guides, you [religiously] pick out the gnat but swallow the whole camel![6]

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[1] You tithe: Or, give the tenth. Leviticus 27:30 commands, “Every tenth part of the land, out of the seed of the land and the fruit of the tree, belongs to Jehovah.” Jesus is indicating their religious Jews were rigorous in their tithing, right down to such insignificant herbs.

cumin

Cumin, also spelled cummin, (Cuminum cyminum), small, slender annual herb of the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) with finely dissected leaves and white or rose-coloured flowers. Native to the Mediterranean region, cumin is also cultivated in India, China, and Mexico for its fruits, called seeds, which are used to flavour a variety of foods.

[2] Mint, dill, and cummin: Small amounts of herbs used in seasoning food. Luke 11:42 puts it, “… and the rue and of every [other] vegetable.” Mint is mentioned only in Matthew and Luke. Dill is only mentioned here in the Bible. Dill was used for seasoning as well certain medical disorders. Regarding cummin see Isaiah 28:22-29. Or, TCNT: mint, finnel and caraway seed; BAS: all sorts of sweet-smelling plants; TAY: down to the last mint leaf in your garden.

[3] You leave out the weightier matters of the Law: Or, ASV: have left undone; RHM: have dismissed; RSV: neglected; KNX: forgotten; NEB: overlooked the weightier demands. Certainly religious leaders create multitudinous rules great and small but in their personal lives ignore the fundamentals of their faith.

[4] Justice and mercy and faith: Or: KNX: mercy and honour; NASB: faithfulness; GDSP: integrity; BER: fidelity. Consider a similar theme at Micah 6:8.

[5] The former is necessary to perform: Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that he did not come to destroy the Law. He speaks here to religious Jews bound by the Mosaic Law. Tithing is unknown in the early Christian church.

[6] You [religiously] pick out the gnat but swallow the whole camel: The “gnat” was unclean to the Jew so these would remove from any drink (Leviticus 11:42). However the camel was also “unclean.” (Leviticus 11:4) In other words in some areas these clergy when to great lengths of religiosity while in other areas they completely ignored legal regulations. Or, KJV: strain at a gnat; RIEU: you filter your wine to get rid of a gnat; NEB: the midge; PME: you filter out the mosquito.

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

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

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

Matthew 23:16-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 3: Blind Guides and Gold

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Additional reading

  1. Ideas about Religiosity
  2. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  3. Finding God amid all the religious externals
  4. The false prophets in the present world
  5. Problems attracting and maintaining worshippers
  6. When there is secrecy involved
  7. Sword of the Spirit – Old Manna #1009
  8. What Doctrines came out of the Shepherding/Discipleship Movement (SDM)?
  9. Expenses, costs – Onkosten, uitgaven
  10. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage

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You haven’t cheated God if you gave your tithe to a needy person - Rev Fr. Oluoma (Video)

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  2. The Blessing in Being a Blessing is “Ki Tavo” in the Hebrew
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  4. Tithing the scary topic. Tithing is a conversation that I have seen a lot of people get weird around.
  5. Cha Ching!Easily Confused Words: Teethe vs. Tithe
  6. Prepaid Debt
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  18. Daily Service – Tithe Part 2
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  20. Biblical Tithe Facts
  21. What Does the Bible Say About Tithing in the New Testament?
  22. The Truth About Tithing
  23. On Tithes, Offerings and Psalm 50
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  25. Tithing Truths
  26. Bible Verses on Tithe Your Pastor Will Never Tell You
  27. Do Christians Have to Tithe?
  28. The Life of a Christian is a Life of Generosity
  29. Does Your Income Go Into A Bag With Holes?
  30. Secrets
  31. Hebrews 7:9 In addition, we might even say that these Levites-the ones who collect the tithe-paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him.
  32. The Prosperity Gospel: Man’s Version Of Truth
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  35. Nigerian Christians don’t know they are to eat and merry with their tithes – Man says
  36. I Go To Church But I Don’t Pay Tithe-Mark Okraku Mantey Reveals
  37. ”You are not cheating God if you give your tithe to a needy person” – Catholic Priest says
  38. You haven’t cheated God if you gave your tithe to a needy person – Rev Fr. Oluoma (Video)
  39. Video: You Are Not Robbing God If You Give Tithe To Needy Person – Catholic Priest
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  43. 3 Things God Will Do for a Tither and Not for a Non-tither
  44. 7 Promises God Gives People Who Tithe
  45. Tithing – God Wants Our Heart, Not Our Money
  46. How I pay my tithe in trailer loads – Oyedepo explains
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  48. Prima manducare
  49. I already pay tithe for my future husband – Nigerian lady reveals
  50. One Way to Satisfy the Soul
  51. A Poor Widow’s Offering
  52. The Widow’s Offering | It’s True Message
  53. The Widow’s Mite
  54. Tithing: Why it is Crucial for Financial Well-Being
  55. Woe to Prosperity!
  56. Faith Workout: Giving
  57. Stop Tithing and Start Giving
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Matthew 21:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

Matthew 21:18-22 – A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

|| Mark 11:12-14, 20-24

MT21:18 Early in the morning when they were returning to Jerusalem Jesus felt hungry.[1] MT21:19 When he saw a fig tree he went to pick some figs but he found only leaves.[2] Jesus spoke to the fig tree, saying, “No longer will you bear any fruitage[3] to the eon.”[4] And the fig tree withered instantly. MT21:20 Now when the disciples saw this they wondered, asking, “How did the fig tree whither instantly?” MT21:21 But Jesus answered them: “I tell you this truth: If you [disciples][5] have faith and never doubt,[6] you not only can do the same to a fig tree, but also you could tell this mountain, ‘Rise and plunge into the sea!’ – and it will occur. MT21:22 Indeed, everything, anything you request[7] in a prayer of faith – you [disciples] will receive it.”

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[1] Jesus felt hungry: Something God cannot feel for then He would lack and depend on something else. Though this is the motive given for what follows we suspect something deeper: an object lesson for his disciples. We wonder the reason Matthew includes this and omits the resurrection of Lazarus.

[2] He found only leaves: Mark 11:13 adds, “… for it was not the season of figs.” It is early spring (Passover). We might wonder if Jesus were God he would not have to approach the tree to see if there were figs. A larger lesson is going on.

[3] No longer will you bear any fruitage: Or, RIEU: may you be barren; NEB: you will never bear fruit any more.

[4] To the eon: The Greek is EIS TON AIONA and though some translate this “forever” it would seem Jesus meant for the rest of the life of the tree. See NEB.

[5] If you [disciples]: The Greek is plural and so this is directed to the apostles.

[6] Have faith and never doubt: See the notes on Matthew 17:20. The lesson is faith. We note Jesus does not perform a miracle to produce figs so ease his hunger.

[7] Everything, anything you request: We do not suspect the apostles thought this was a frivolous request but something like a “mountain” related to their commission from their Lord. From a historical retrospective the idea that an unknown carpenter from Nazareth could create such an affect upon mankind would be much larger than any mountain. Throughout his ministry one of the Nazarene’s goals must have been the building of faith among his disciples. They would need a world-changing faith to accomplish the work before them and endure centuries of Holocaust.

 

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Preceding

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

Matthew 21:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Out of the Mouth of Babes

 

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Further related

  1. Mustard Seed Meditation
  2. Will America join the graveyard of nations?
  3. Matthew 21:22
  4. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer
  5. Faith
  6. Immediate AnswerToday’s Word With Joel & Victoria Osteen – Positioned To ReceivePowerful Generator
  7. Prayer for Restoring Health

Matthew 17:14-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

Matthew 17:14-21 – Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

|| Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43

MT17:14 Now as they approached the crowd a [father] knelt down before[1] Jesus, MT17:15 saying, “Master, show mercy[2] to my moonstruck[3] son who suffers terribly.[4] He often falls into fire or water.[5] MT17:16 I brought him to your disciples[6] but they were unable to cure him.” MT17:17 So Jesus responded: “O faithless and twisted[7] generation, how long must I remain with you?[8] Bring him to me right here!” MT17:18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon and it left the boy. The boy was cured from that hour. MT17:19 Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and asked, “Why were we unable to exorcise the demon?” MT17:20 Jesus told them: “It was because of your tiny faith.[9] I tell you this truth: If you even possessed faith the size of a mustard seed[10] you would say to this mountain,[11] ‘Transfer from here to there!’ and it would be transported. Nothing would be impossible for you [disciples].” MT17:21 [[“However, this kind of demon is exorcised only by prayer and fasting.”]][12]

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[1] A [father] knelt down before: Or, NOR: a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him.

[2] Show mercy: Or, WEY: have pity.

[3] Moonstruck: The Greek is SELENIAZETAI. Or, KJV: lunatick; ASV: epileptic; LB: mentally deranged. The word only occurs in Matthew (Matthew 4:24). In Mark the boy is possessed by a mute spirit (Mark 9:18).

[4] Suffers terribly: Or, KJV: sore vexed; ASV: suffereth grievously; NEB: bad fits; WMS: excruciating pain.

[5] He often falls into fire or water: Or, KNX: often throw himself into. Mark 9:18 says,

“Wherever it seizes him it dashes him to the ground.” It is the demon that drives the youth to burn or drown himself. The demons wish to escape but cannot (Compare Luke 9:37).

[6] Disciples: Since Jesus has been with the three (Peter, James, John) this may mean the other nine apostles.

[7] Faithless and twisted: Or, RHM: faithless and perverted; BER: unbelieving and rebellious; KNX: misguided; GDSP: unbelieving, obstinate. It is hard to imagine Jesus includes his disciples though they are part of that generation.

[8] How long must I remain with you: Perhaps some frustration? The Nazarene knows from Daniel 9:26 that his days are numbered.

[9] Tiny faith: The Greek is OLIGO(=small)PISTIAN(=faith/belief) here in the W&H text. The Received Text uses APISTIAN (unbelief, non-faith). Or, ASV: little faith; NEB: your faith is too weak; RIEU: lack of faith. To Jesus faith or belief has varying size and strength.

[10] Size of a mustard seed: Do we see Jesus pinch his two fingers together indicating the size? Use find or search on the word mustard for notes elsewhere.

[11] This mountain: Having just come down from Mount Hermon can we see Jesus point to that 9,000-foot peak? This is an absurdum or hyperbole, an exaggerated metaphor. Note something similar at Zechariah 4:7 and 1 Corinthians 13:2. Compare Matthew 21:21; Mark 11:23; Luke 17:6.

[12] [[…]]: א, B, Syc,s omit verse 21; C, D, W, Vg, Syp, Arm add the phrase as in the KJV.

A Mustard Seed

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Preceding

Matthew 17:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Transfiguration Vision

Matthew 17:10-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Elijah Has Already Come

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Related

  1. Today’s Meditation (9.12.18)
  2. Faith
  3. The Parable of the Mustard Seed
  4. The tiniest seed
  5. Little Faith and the Blessings that Come From it
  6. Mountains Moving
  7. “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things?” ~Jesus
  8. Matthew 17, the Ttansfiguration, the healing of a boy with a demon, the “temple tax”.
  9. Pass the Mustard
  10. Mustard Seed Faith
  11. Small Faith
  12. Mustard Seed Size Faith
  13. Sunday, November 25, 2018 [postponed from 18 November]
  14. Mark 4 – Jesus jokes about a mustard seed
  15. Tree vs Herbs
  16. Mustard Seed Faith 1
  17. Mustard Seed Faith 2
  18. Mustrd Seed Faith 3
  19. The Mustard Seed Luke 17:5-6 NKJV 5) And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6) So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree
  20. The Power of a Mustard Seed
  21. It starts with a small seed
  22. The Tiny Seed of Faith
  23. Shrimp & the Mustard Seed
  24. Faith or Just Hope?
  25. Consider the Mustard Seed
  26. Fairy Floss Faith or Mustard Seed Faith
  27. Faith Like A Mustard Tree
  28. We Are the Branches
  29. Speak To The Mountains!
  30. Mountains Moving
  31. 8/14/18 | Mustard Seed Faith
  32. Praying :: With the Faith of a Mustard Seed
  33. Lord, Increase Our Faith
  34. Lord I believe. Help my unbelief!

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 16:5-12 – Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

|| Mark 8:14-21; Luke 12:1

MT16:5 Now the disciples arrived on the other side of the lake and they forgot to bring loaves of bread with them. MT16:6 So, Jesus told them, “Watch and pay attention regarding the leaven[1] of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” MT16:7 The disciples now carried on a dialogue among themselves, “We brought no loaves of bread.” MT16:8 Realizing what they were talking about, Jesus said to them, “Men of very small faith,[2] why are you having this dialogue just because you did not bring loaves of bread? MT16:9 Do you not perceive[3] or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many surplus baskets you gathered? MT16:10 Or the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many surplus baskets you gathered? MT16:11 Why do you not realize that I was not speaking about loaves of bread? Rather, be alert regarding[4] the ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” MT16:12 Then the disciples finally got the point that Jesus was not talking about the leaven of loaves but rather the teaching of[5] the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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[1] Leaven: Compare Mark 8:15 where Jesus includes the party followers of Herod; and, Luke 12:1 where “hypocrisy” is included. See notes on Matthew 13:33.

[2] Men of very small faith: See notes on Matthew 8:26.

[3] Do you not perceive: One gets the feeling that the miracle of feeding the crowds was more of an object lesson for the apostles.

[4] Be alert regarding: Jesus believed in Biblical Truth and made no effort to compromise his teachings with others. He wanted his disciples to pay close attention to what others taught and view as ‘leaven’ (or corrupt doctrines) those teachings or manners which did not line up with his own teachings.

[5] The teaching of: Jesus has mentioned three groups in this context. Regarding the Pharisees (self-righteous conservatives) Josephus records: “And so great is (the Pharisees’) influence with the masses that even when they speak against a king or high priest, they immediately gain credence.” [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 288 (x, 5)] “They believe that souls have power to survive death and that there are rewards and punishments under the earth for those who have led lives of virtue or vice: eternal imprisonment is the lot of evil souls, while the good souls receive an easy passage to a new life.” (Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 14 [i, 3]) “Every soul, they maintain, is imperishable, but the soul of the good alone passes into another body, while the souls of the wicked suffer eternal punishment.… [The Pharisees] attribute everything to Fate and to God; they hold that to act rightly or otherwise rests, indeed, for the most part with men, but that in each action Fate co-operates.” [The Jewish War, II, 162, 163 (viii, 14)]

            Sadducees (liberal free-thinkers) ‘denied the workings of fate, maintaining that an individual, by his own actions, was solely responsible for what befell him.’ [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 172, 173 (v, 9)] They ‘rejected the many oral traditions observed by the Pharisees and also Pharisaic belief in the immortality of the soul and in punishments or rewards after death. In their dealings with one another, the Sadducees were somewhat rough. They were said to be disputatious. According to Josephus, their teachings appealed to the wealthy.’ [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 298 (x, 6); XVIII, 16, 17 (i, 4); The Jewish War, II, 162-166 (viii, 14)]

            Herodians (political) are unknown in secular history but much involved in the politics of Jesus’ homeland. Compare Matthew 12:9-14; Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 20:21-26.

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Preceding

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

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

Matthew 14:35-36 – If They Might Just Touch Him

|| Mark 6:53-56

MT14:35 Now having recognized Jesus the males of that area and surrounding country set off and those with maladies approached him. MT14:36 They were begging Jesus so that if only they might just touch the fringe of his cloak.[1] And everyone touching was completely cured.

[1] Touch the fringe of his cloak: Or, TCNT: touch the tassel of his cloak; ABUV: the fringe of his garment; MOF: the mere tassel of his robe.

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Preceding

Matthew 14:23-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Walking on Water

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Related

  1. Who Do You Trust?
  2. Daring to Take Heart
  3. Belief in Jesus and the Daily Battle
  4. I Would Believe in God or Jesus if I Could Meet Them

Matthew 14:23-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Walking on Water

Matthew 14:23-34 – Walking on Water

|| Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21

MT14:23 Having dismissed the crowds Jesus climbed up into the mountains[1] to a private spot to pray. He was alone at night. MT14:24 Now the boat [with the disciples] was many stadia[2] from land and was hard put by tortuous waves and a head wind.[3] MT14:25 But in the fourth night watch[4] Jesus came toward them walking upon the sea.[5] MT14:26 Seeing him walking upon the sea the disciples were troubled, and screamed in their fear, “It is a phantom!”[6] MT14:27 Instantly Jesus yelled to them, “Courage, it is me! Do not fear!” MT14:28 But, Peter answered him, “Master, if it is really you command me to come toward you over the waters!”[7] MT14:29 Jesus yelled, “Come!” And, stepping out of the boat Peter walked toward Jesus upon the waters. MT14:30 But, noticing the wind[8] Peter became fearful and started to sink. Peter screamed, “Master, save me!” MT14:31 Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed Peter, telling him, “Why did you doubt,[9] Little Faith?”[10] MT14:32 After both of them boarded the boat the wind abated. MT14:33 Now the disciples in the boat prostrated before[11] Jesus, saying, “Truthfully you are a Son of God!”[12] MT14:34 And they survived[13] and came to the shore of Gennesaret.[14]

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[1] Jesus climbed up into the mountains: Or, WEY: he climbed the hill to pray in solitude. We see Jesus now and then seeking his own privacy and solitude. It is a healthy example for others to imitate when they need quiet for thinking and meditation.

[2] Stadia: A “stadium” equaled 1/8th of a Roman mile. Or, TCNT: some miles; NWT: hundreds of yards; NJB: some furlongs. They had not made much progress against the windstorm. John 6:18 has it, “they had rowed about three or four miles.” (NWT)

[3] Tortuous waves and a head wind: Or, NEB: battling with a head-wind and a rough sea.

[4] Fourth night watch: Or, WEY: towards daybreak; NEB: between three and six in the morning. The feeding of the crowd had begun about nightfall. Jesus had spent much of the night in meditative isolation. Now it may be near dawn. The disciples have been struggling some time.

[5] Walking upon the sea: One of the most famous subjects of master painters. It would be hard to think that someone could even conceive of such a miracle, it is so ludicrous; which gives it a powerful ring of truth.

[6] Phantom: The Greek is PHANTASMA and is rendered: NWT: apparition; KJV: a spirit; ASV: ghost.

[7] To come toward you over the waters: Only Peter could think of this audacious suggestion but we applaud his conviction.

[8] Noticing the wind: Stay focused!

[9] Doubt: A word appearing in the Gospels Matthew 14:31; 21:21; 28:17; Mark 11:23; Luke 24:38.

[10] Little Faith: Literally, “one of little faith.” Or, MOF: how little you trust me; PME: you little-faith; TCNT: why did you falter; PME: what made you lose your nerve like that. See Matthew 6:30 and Matthew 8:26.

[11] Prostrated before: The Greek is PRO(=before)KUNESAN(=kiss) and is rendered: KJV: worshipped; TCNT: threw themselves on their faces before him; NWT: did obeisance. The old English word “worship” though correct in its 16th century form (used of a judge “your, Worship.”) it gives a misleading impression in modern English. See lexicons on the use of PROSKUNEO. Vine’s: “to make obeisance, do reverence to” (from pros, “towards,” and kuneo, “to kiss”), is the most frequent word rendered “to worship.” It is used of an act of homage or reverence (a) to God, e.g., Matt. 4:10; John 4:21-24; 1 Cor. 14:25; Rev. 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; 22:9; 19:10 (2nd part); (b) to Christ, e.g., Matt. 2:2,8,11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9,17; John 9:38; Heb. 1:6, in a quotation from the Sept. of Deut. 32:43, referring to Christ’s Second Advent; (c) to a man, Matt. 18:26; (d) to the Dragon, by men, Rev. 13:4; (e) to the Beast, his human instrument, Rev. 13:4,8,12; 14:9,11; (f) the image of the Beast, Rev. 13:15; 14:11; 16:2; (g) to demons, Rev. 9:20; (h) to idols, Acts 7:43.

[12] A Son of God: The Greek is without the article and thus “a” may be inferred though most say “God’s Son.” Or, RIEU: a son of God. Compare Matthew 27:54.

[13] They survived: Or, having got through; got across.

[14] Gennesaret: Also a name for the Sea of Galilee. Josephus describes it as ‘beautiful, fruitful, and well-watered region, where walnut, palm, and olive trees thrived, and where figs and grapes were available for ten months out of the year.’ (The Jewish War, III, 516-521 [x, 8]) See Numbers 34:11 and compare Mark 6:53; Luke 5:1. This name was later changed to a Roman one. The work The Jesus Papyrus suggests this use of “Gennesaret” proves the Gospels were written before the year 50 AD during the “eye-witness period.”

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Preceding

Matthew 14:14-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: 5,000 Fed

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Related

  1. Walk on water
  2. Water walker
  3. Keep Your Eyes On Jesus
  4. Walking on the water
  5. Water Walker
  6. Why Did You Doubt? – Matthew 14:29-31
  7. He lives in the storm
  8. A Glimpse of your Glory, a reflection on Matthew 14.22-26
  9. Miracles Today (Matthew 14:13–21)
  10. Called onto the Water
  11. A Taizé Kind of Faith
  12. Walking on Water or Hiding in the Boat? [Mt 14:22-33]
  13. Fear vs. Imagination: Matthew 14:22-33
  14. Jesus and the Storms of Life
  15. Time For Prayer
  16. Miraculous Signs
  17. If the Boat is the Church…

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

In the 9th chapter of Matthew we can see how Jesus had a busy time. It shall not stay with this first time that Jesus would be interrupted in his talks. In this story the conversation with John’s disciples about fasting gets interrupted when a powerful man or “synagogue leader” comes to kneel before the Nazarene master.

in his writing of

Notice what an unusual request is being made. Jesus is asked to bring the man’s dead daughter back to life.

Browne remembers

It’s a bold request from a community leader who understands that touching a dead body will make Jesus unclean for a week, but he’s desperate. Jesus agrees to go (8:19).

When Jesus heads for the man’s house, an other desperate person wants to cling to Jesus.

In any communal event, she isn’t given the seat of honour: she’s expected to stand in the corner away from everybody else, for anything she sits on or anyone she touches will become unclean. Lev 15:19-33 spelled this out, and the verbal traditions of the Jewish leaders were so comprehensive that they formed an entire tractate of the Mishna when written down (Zabim). She’s on the lowest rung of communal life.

File:Healing of a bleeding women Marcellinus-Peter-Catacomb.jpg

The healing of a bleeding woman, Rome, Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter.

The woman, who had suffered from chronic bleeding for many years, and who had many treatments which did not help (Mark 5:25-28), wanted just to touch Jesus his cloak with the belief that if she could just touch his garment that she would be healed of her affliction. When she managed to try to do such an unnoticed act, Jesus noticing it, stopped and understood the fears that had made her attempt to take what she feared would have been denied her. He addresses her and

His words affirm the dignity and significance she doesn’t feel she has:

  • Instead of telling her off for touching him, he affirms her: “Be encouraged!”

  • Instead of treating her as a nuisance, he acknowledges her place in the family: “Daughter.”

  • Instead of rebuking her, he commends the confidence she placed in him: “Your faith has rescued you.”

In that action we can see how important faith in Jesus is to salvation. Not only suffering would come to an end, hope is given for a better life, even when there has been death.

Browne questions:

Now, seriously, who had the greater faith here? The woman who pushed in to get her healing? Or the ruler who believed Jesus could raise his daughter back to life? The ruler receives no such commendation for his faith. He didn’t need it. It’s the bleeding woman from the bottom rung of society whom Jesus stops to affirm. In fact, she’s the only person in Matthew’s Gospel to whom Jesus said those amazing words,

“Your faith has saved you.”

After the diversion, Jesus continued to the ruler’s house, where flute players and mourners where already making a commotion to ensure no one in the community was uninformed about their ruler’s loss (9:23). The community protocols requiring a display of grief are rather shallow: they quickly melt into laughter when Jesus suggests the girl is not dead but resting (9:24).

Jesus takes the dead girl by the hand, and raises her up. Touching the bleeding woman had not made Jesus unclean; it made her clean. Touching the corpse didn’t contaminate Jesus; it broke death’s hold on the girl. In Jesus, the defilement of the world is being undone; uncleanness and death are losing their grip.

Matthew doesn’t tell us how the girl’s parents responded. You can guess. What he declares is a kingdom statement, the news of Jesus restoring the land (9:31).

Those of us who are servants of Jesus’ kingdom could do well to meditate on how he cared across all the strata of society, and how he gave his richest encouragement to the people who needed it most.

 Open Matthew 9:18-26.

Tom Wright, Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (London: SPCK, 2004), 104–105:

Two of the things that were near the top of the list, things to avoid if you wanted to stay ‘pure’ in that sense, were dead bodies on the one hand, and women with internal bleeding (including menstrual periods) on the other. And in this double story Jesus is touched by a haemorrhaging woman, and then he himself touches a corpse.
No Jew would have missed the point — and Matthew was most likely writing for a largely Jewish audience. In the ordinary course of events, Jesus would have become doubly ‘unclean’ …
But at this point we realize that something is different. Her ‘uncleanness’ doesn’t infect him. Something in him infects her.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 9:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Bridegroom and Fasting

Matthew 9:14-17 – What others are saying about feasting at the sinners’ table instead of fasting for God’s table

Matthew 9:18-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

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Related articles

  1. Today’s Scripture – September 26, 2017
  2. Today’s Scripture – October 31, 2016
  3. On Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman with the Bleeding (Mk. 5:21-43)
  4. Haggai 2:12-13, Mark 5:25-29
  5. A Loving God
  6. Dead men’s bones and uncleanness
  7. Daring to Pray
  8. The 2 Essential Skills of Great Leaders You Can’t Learn from a Book
  9. Don’t try and steal Jesus’ power

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