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Posts tagged ‘Focus’

When feeling alone, afraid to connect with others in order to grow in faith

In this life where there does not seem to be much interest in Jehovah God, sometimes we can feel just on our own, certainly when we have no church to connect with.

To break that chain of loneliness we should try to be courageous to make others know we are loving God and following the real Christ. We may be proud of our heavenly Father, Jehovah, and want others to come to know Him, but often, because we do feel so lonely we do feel on our own and too weak to go out to let others know our choice for life.

One of the best ways we can show love to others is by sharing the good news with them.

19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations,+ baptizing them+ in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.+ And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”+(Matt. 28:19, 20)

Often, when we are on our own, we think we shall not be able to “make learners”, because we do not see people who want to be around us. The Greek verb ma·the·teuʹo has the basic meaning “to teach” with the intent of making pupils or disciples. As such we encounter situations when there are no direct people around us to be taught, but when we look around we shall see there are people whom we could attract by the right words to hear and follow our words.

There is given a command to those who want to be followers of Christ. This command to reach “people of all the nations” was new in the first century. Prior to Jesus’ ministry, the Scriptures indicate that Gentiles were welcomed to Israel if they came to serve Jehovah.

41 “Also concerning the foreigner who is not part of your people Israel and who comes from a distant land because of your name*+ 42 (for they will hear about your great name+ and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm), and he comes and prays toward this house, 43 may you then listen from the heavens, your dwelling place,+ and do all that the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you,+ as your people Israel do, and may know that your name has been called on this house that I have built. (1Ki 8:41-43)

Today we cannot hear the Name of Jehovah resound over the land. We do not hear the Great Name of Jehovah mentioned often. Because of the Name not being known and not being spoken about a lot, people can not easily come to meet with others who love that Great Name and want to praise that Divine Creator.

What if we are timid? How can we become bold? How can we find the guts to go out and speak about that Great Name?

We grow bold when we focus on how happy we can make Jehovah and how much others will benefit from learning about him. Though we might feel on our own, without people feeling likewise about Jehovah God, we should come to know and come to feel that This Great God above all gods, is willing to help us when we are willing to work for Him.

Jehovah will give us the courage we need. He helped our first-century brothers to become bold, and he will help us too.​

For although we had first suffered and been insolently treated in Phi·lipʹpi,+ as you know, we mustered up boldness* by means of our God to tell you the good news of God+ in the face of much opposition.* (1 Thess. 2:2).

Even when we live in a country where the government is not having people to talk about Jehovah, we should think about the first Christians and their prosecution.
At the beginning of the expansion of the movement of followers of Christ, those true Christians bore the consequences of their faith. In the first centuries after Christ had died, his followers expected to be persecuted.

True Christians expect to be persecuted.  No matter where we live, secular authorities may suddenly and unexpectedly ban us from worshipping our loving God, Jehovah. If a government bans our worship, we might wrongly conclude that we do not have God’s blessing. But remember, persecution does not mean that Jehovah is unhappy with us. Take, for example, the apostle Paul. He certainly had God’s approval. He had the privilege of writing 14 letters of the Christian Greek Scriptures, and he was an apostle to the nations. Yet, he faced intense persecution.

23 Are they ministers of Christ? I reply like a madman, I am more outstandingly one: I have done more work,+ been imprisoned more often,+ suffered countless beatings, and experienced many near-deaths.+ 24 Five times I received 40 strokes less one from the Jews,+ 25 three times I was beaten with rods,+ once I was stoned,+ three times I experienced shipwreck,+ a night and a day I have spent in the open sea; 26 in journeys often, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own people,+ in dangers from the nations,+ in dangers in the city,+ in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers among false brothers, 27 in labor and toil, in sleepless nights often,+ in hunger and thirst,+ frequently without food,+ in cold and lacking clothing.  (2 Cor. 11:23-27)

We learn from the apostle Paul’s experience that Jehovah allows his faithful servants to be persecuted.

Jehovah is not partial, He does not judge by outward appearance, favouring people because of their race, nationality, social standing, or any external factors and He is happy when He sees us show love to others, no matter what their background may be.

34 At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial,+ 35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.+ (Acts 10:34, 35)

Out of love for our neighbours or fellow man, we should be willing to step out of our isolation and should dare to come to talk about Jehovah. We should master our fear for the other, and dare to speak to them around using our neighbourhood. We should know we have something special to offer. Those who listen to us can improve their lives now and gain the prospect of enjoying everlasting life in the future.​

16 Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching.+ Persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.+ (1 Tim. 4:16).

Jehovah is a loving parent, so He wants His family to be happy.

65 “I have let myself be searched for by those who did not ask for me; I have let myself be found by those who did not look for me.+

I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that was not calling on my name.+ (Isaiah 65:1)

14 Look! My servants will shout joyfully because of the good condition of the heart, But you will cry out because of the pain of heart And you will wail because of a broken spirit. (Isa. 65:14)

Even when we are just one servant of God in isolation, not having it easy to feel connected with other believers, we in our heart should be pleased that we can be partakers of the Body of His son and be part of His widespread family. It is true our spirit may often being hurt and feel like a piece of crystal glass thrown on the ground completely shattered into many pieces. Our courage can often sink deeply into our shoes, yet we have to put our hope that one day there will be more people around us who want to be connected with us. In the meantime, we should not let ourselves be caught by depressed moods from feeling lonely.

We should look up and aim for Jehovah God as our Sustainer and Inspirer.

Trusting God we shall have to find the courage to keep going on in our solitude and to prepare the path for others still to come. Trust and patience are what should keep us going. This should make us not afraid to invite others to dwell with us in the house of the Highest God above all gods, all the days of our life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

 One thing I have asked from Jehovah  —It is what I will look for— That I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life,+ To gaze upon the pleasantness of Jehovah And to look with appreciation* upon his temple.*+ (Psalms 27:4)

We can remain happy because we have the sure hope that life will get even better in the future. We know that soon Jehovah will remove all the wicked and that under the direction of His Kingdom, the earth will be restored to Paradise. We also have the wonderful hope that those who have died will be raised to life and reunited with their loved ones.

28 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice+29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.+30  (John 5:28, 29)

What a joy that will be! And most important, we are sure that soon everyone in heaven and on earth will give our loving Father the honour, praise, and devotion that he deserves.

So let us find the courage to overcome our sadness of being alone. Jehovah God is always with us, like our shadow, and it is Him Who can give us wings and strength.

 I will be a guest in your tent forever;+ I will take refuge in the shelter of your wings.+ (Selah) (Psalm 61:4)

We might feel in the dark, but by our faith in the resurrection of Christ light should shine in our life. We should let others know that he is the way to God, the light and life, but also the one who provides us with a grand hope. With our hope for a better life out of brotherly love, let us share our hope with others. Those who listen to us can improve their lives now and gain the prospect of enjoying everlasting life in the future.

16 Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching.+ Persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.+ (1 Tim. 4:16).

+

Preceding

Let us not fret or worry about next season

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Inculcate God’s words and speak of them

Testimonies to observe, inspired by God

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:17-20 – The Nazarene Rabbi’s Commentary on the Torah

Matthew 10:24-31 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Do Not Fear – Preach!

As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude

Good or bad preacher

A Society pleading poverty

Be strong

++

Additional reading

  1. “Unnoticed”
  2. Alone in the cold and dark
  3. Loneliness (as seen by Tess Connor)
  4. What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?
  5. When I Get Lost in My Loneliness
  6. So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes
  7. Walking alone?
  8. What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?
  9. God’s forgotten Word 2 Lost Lawbook 1 Who has still interest
  10. The Field is the World #4 Many who leave the church
  11. The post-Christian world
  12. Dealing with worries in our lives
  13. Not staying alone in your search for truth
  14. Measure of loneliness whilst time drags
  15. Christadelphian Support Network Meeting: The Age of Loneliness
  16. Pascal’s Possibility
  17. Today’s thought “Ability to receive ableness from God” (May 11)
  18. The Big Conversation – Christadelphians in the United Kingdom
  19. Being in isolation #2 Looking at the word “Isolation”
  20. Being in isolation #3 Gathering and Sharing
  21. Being in isolation #5 Isolated Biblical figures and Confessional isolation
  22. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  23. Avoiding the big questions
  24. Life’s challenges may not paralyse you
  25. Determine the drive
  26. Courage is fear that has said its prayers
  27. Courage for every day living
  28. Be strong and take courage
  29. Be Not Thou Weary
  30. Courage doesn’t always roar
  31. Fearing the right person
  32. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  33. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  34. Trust God to shelter, safety and security
  35. Trust the future to God
  36. Finding our identity in serving God
  37. Believe that moves stones
  38. Companionship
  39. Creating Community and Togetherness
  40. How should we worship God? #4 Christian Congregations
  41. Ecclesia – Church – Minding your reference
  42. Church indeed critical in faith development
  43. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  44. In all circumstances preaching Christ
  45. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  46. Daily thought for July the 8th and the Summer months
  47. Prayer theme in this Corona time: Compassion
  48. Bijbelvorser looking for ways to reach others
  49. The Most Appropriate teacher and Scoffers in our contemporary age
  50. Today’s thought “A blessing and a curse” (April 25)
  51. Today’s thought “When approaching the battle against your enemies today” (May 03)
  52. Today’s thought “When in need of encouragement” (May 18)
  53. Today’s thought “If we endure” (May 26)
  54. The Big Conversation
  55. The Big conversation Why it matters
  56. Reason to preach #5 Trained to do it God’s way
  57. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  58. Abound To Every Good Work (2 Cor. 9:8)
  59. Only once and with consequences
  60. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  61. Learning from ourselves
  62. Reflections on Existence and Teaching
  63. Preaching by example
  64. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  65. Evangelizing in the “Time of the End”
  66. A Million Ways To Live: Al Muhyi (The One Who Gives Life)
  67. God is Positive
  68. When God Moved a Mountain
  69. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  70. From house to house #2: Continuing to bring the good news right to the world
  71. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies
  72. Paradise restored

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Related

  1. Lonely and Depressed…
  2. “Empty”
  3. Changing the World
  4. When is a ‘Church’ Not a ‘Church’?
  5. Church: Mind Your Reference!
  6. The Good and The Bad Within the Church Part-1 – Unleashed
  7. Darrell L. Guder – The Continuing Conversion of the Church (2000)
  8. Seeing is Disbelieving (2020)
  9. Power and authority (Part two)
  10. Proverbs 25:21-22
  11. Selah – סֶלָה
  12. Easter Sunday 2021: out of darkness
  13. Walk and talk!
  14. What the church needs
  15. Daily Bible Verse For The Day 7th April, 2021
  16. The wind blows where it wishes
  17. Matthew 13:44
  18. Making Disciples
  19. Why do we make disciples
  20. Yes To The Cost
  21. Who do we Listen to God or Man
  22. Making Space to Do What We are Called to Do–Make Disciples
  23. In Search of More Mountain Guides: Making Disciples by “Traveling With” Instead of “Talking At”
  24. Making disciples is the Biblical-mandate
  25. Bringing Up Baby
  26. What Snacks Teach Us About Making Disciples
  27. The Supply and Demand of Making Disciples
  28. Where are the Shepherds?
  29. How Deeply Do You Care?
  30. Belief and Behavior
  31. Celtic Evangelism and a New/Old Way to Win a World
  32. What makes a man cry
  33. Scripture for Meditation #1
  34. Scripture for Meditation #2
  35. Do You Care If Anyone Knows Jesus? (Christian Leadership In Today’s Culture Part 5)
  36. Tumbling Stones and the Art of Pastoral Care
  37. Don’t Be Ashamed
  38. Forget Public Opinion…Keep Your Eyes on God’s Opinion of You.
  39. A Passionless Christian Asked a Question.
  40. Preaching to the Hard hearted with Joy
  41. Making Disciples
  42. The Master “Group Plan” of Discipleship
  43. Mentoring: Harnessing God’s Overflowing Love
  44. Who is the “Buddy” that is Pushing You to Grow in Christ?
  45. Christ’s Church – Part 3
  46. The Spread of the Gospel
  47. Harvest Workers; February 27, 2021
  48. Where is the Harvest?
  49. Straight Methods, Narrow Message

Matthew 25:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment by the King and Ten Virgins

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE:
THE ARRIVAL AND THE JUDGMENT

[“Parousia-Judgment”]
(Key word: Judgment)

Matthew 25:1-12 – Judgment by the King and Ten Virgins

MT25:1 “At that time[1] the Realm of Heaven will become like[2] ten virgins[3] who took their lamps[4] to go to the meeting of the bridegroom.[5] MT25:2 But five of them were foolish and five wise. MT25:3 The foolish took their lamps but had no oil. MT25:4 The wise had oil in their lamps. MT25:5 Now when the bridegroom seemed to be taking his time[6] the ten virgins nodded into sleep.[7] MT25:6 In the middle of the night an outcry occurred:[8] ‘Look! the bridegroom! Be on your way to the meeting!’ MT25:7 Then all the virgins rose[9] and put their lamps in order. MT25:8 But the foolish asked the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil because our lamps are ready to go out.’[10] MT25:9 Now the wise virgins answered, ‘No, for perhaps there will not be enough for both of us.[11] Go now and buy oil[12] for yourselves from those who sell it.’ MT25:10 But while the foolish were off to buy oil the bridegroom arrived[13] and those who were ready entered with him to the wedding feast and the door was shut. MT25:11 Arriving late the foolish virgins begged, ‘Master, Master,[14] let us in!’ MT25:12 However, [the bridegroom] said: ‘I tell you this truth: I never knew you.’[15]

*

[1] At that time: The Greek is TOTE and records what happens during the period last mentioned: the judgment on the household when the master arrives.

[2] Realm of Heaven will become like: There is something about the Church and its membership which can be compared to these ten virgins at this particular prophetic moment.

[3] Ten virgins: The total or complete number of Christians on earth at the moment of the parousia. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:3.

[4] Lamps: Jesus has likened a lamp and the light it sheds as righteous works. See the notes on Matthew 5:14-16. The Word of God is likened to a “lamp” in Psalm 119:105 (Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19). The oil which fuels the lamp as the holy Pneuma (2 Samuel 22:29). It is God who lights the lamp (Psalm 18:28). Considering these and other texts the “lamp” is that opportunity and privilege to reveal the sacred truths which light our moral and prophetic way. It is that illumination which is needed to keep one focused on the Return of the King, the parousia.

[5] Meeting of the bridegroom: Jesus compares himself to a “bridegroom” at John 3:29. Paul uses similar language at 2 Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:29-33. In Revelation 19:7 and apocalyptic wedding is seen in vision. It occurs following the great oppression and the Parousia and precedes the Lamb’s battle with “the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 21:9)

[6] Seemed to be taking his time: Christians have longed for the Return of Christ as the Jewish ancients also asked “How long?” and “When?” for thousands of years. The Greek word here is CHRONIZONTOS and there is a related word in Habakkuk 2:3, “… though he should tarry wait for him.” Christians keep watching the prophetic horizon. Some read too much into this and in their presumptuousness (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) wrongly predict dates; others, read too little and become too involved in what Jesus calls “the anxieties of life.” (See the notes on Matthew 13:22) The whole thrust of the several parables beginning with Matthew 24:43 is to remain alert, awake and in read expectation. NEB: the bridegroom was late in coming. The opposite of modern weddings as the bride is traditionally late.

[7] Ten virgins nodded into sleep: Will there be a period of time, a moment in the history of the Gospel Age, when Christians in general become lethargic, indifferent, and spiritually asleep? Or is that time already here. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:26, 30.

“For as often as you may ever be eating the Loaf and be drinking the Cup you continue to announce the death of the Master until he should return.” (1Co 11:26 mhm)

“Because of this many among you are weak and sick, and a sufficient number of you are asleep.” (1Co 11:30 mhm)

[8] An outcry occurred: Someone is alert and rouses the “virgins” whether foolish or wise.

[9] All the virgins rose: Note “all” the virgins awaken. It is not a parable about two class: one asleep and one awake. They are both awake, but one group is ill-prepared.

[10] Our lamps are ready to go out: The lesson is one of preparedness. Only one who has been caught on a dark night without light knows the panic.

[11] Not be enough for both of us: A case where a Christian does not share.

[12] Buy oil: See Proverbs 23:23.

[13] The bridegroom arrived: Here is a key word which occurs often in several modes: ELTHEN, which means “came” or “arrived.” It is the same word which appears in Daniel 7:22 (LXX), “… until the Ancient of Days came.” Check the word groups in English came, arrive, coming. These are essentially synonyms for PAROUSIA. See notes on PAROUSIA in this commentary. For details on the Presence or Parousia of Christ see additional notes under these words or Matthew 24:3 (Matthew 24:3) in Nazarene Commentary©.

[14] Master, Master: An address some what limited to reactions at the Judgment. See notes on Matthew 7:21, 22 and Matthew 25:44 (Lamsa). One could make much of every detail of the parable but that may not be the intent. The moral is alert preparedness on the part of expectant disciples of the Nazarene.

[15] I never knew you: The meaning is possible: “I never had any kind of relationship with you.” Or, KNX: I do not recognize you. There will be those “Christians” who had the “name” but actually were not a true Friend of the Nazarene. Compare Revelation 3:1 (Luke 13:27).

““And to the angel of the congregation in Sardis write: This is a message from the One having the 7 pneumas of The God and the 7 stars. I am aware of your works–that you have the name you are alive, but you are dead.” (Re 3:1 mhm)

“And he will tell you: ‘I have no idea who you are or from where you came! Get away from me, all you workers of unrighteousness!’” (Lu 13:27 mhm)

+

Preceding

Matthew 25 Jesus ministry drawing to its dramatic conclusion and warning to be ready

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

Matthew 24:36-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: About That Day and Hour

Matthew 24:42-51 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Stay Awake!

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

Separation of local judgment regarding 70 CE from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and Final Judgment

++

Additional reading

  1. To be prepared and very well oiled
  2. Only once and with consequences

Matthew 24:42-51 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Stay Awake!

Matthew 24:42-51 – Stay Awake!

|| Mark 13:34-37; Luke 21:34-36

MT24:42 “So, continue to remain awake[1] because none of you has any idea[2] on what kind of day[3] your Master is arriving.[4] {LK21:34 But, pay attention to yourselves[5] that somehow your hearts become heavy[6] because of overeating, drunkenness, and anxieties[7] LK21:35 and suddenly that Day rise as a snare![8] For that Day will come upon everyone who lives on the surface of the whole earth.[9] LK21:36 Keep awake and all the time begging [God] so you might be strong enough to escape[10] everything about to occur and to stand before the Son of Humankind.[11]} MT24:43 But, know this that if the household had known[12] in what watch the thief arrived[13] he would have stayed awake and his house would not be ransacked. MT24:44 You also prove yourselves ready[14] because in an hour you are not expecting[15] the Son of Humankind is coming.[16] {MK13:34 It is like a man[17] leaving his own House and giving authority to his people, to each one his own duties,[18] commanding the doorkeeper to stay awake. MK13:35 So, you stay awake, for when the Master of the House is coming you do not know. Whether late, midnight, when the cock crows, or dawn.[19] MK13:36 Or, the Master of the House, having arrived suddenly,[20] might find you sleeping.[21] MK13:37 But, what I say to you, I say to all:[22] Stay awake!} MT24:45 Really, who is the faithful and discreet slave[23] whom his Master appointed over the Master’s own domestics[24] to give them food at an appointed time?[25] MT24:46 Happy is that slave, when his Master arrives,[26] finds him doing so. MT24:47 I tell you this truth: the Master will appoint him[27] over all his belongings. MT24:48 But, if ever that bad slave[28] says in his heart: ‘My Master is taking his time!’[29] MT24:49 and he should start beating his fellow slaves[30] and eat and drink[31] with the drunkards MT24:50 the Master will arrive[32] in that day he is not expecting and in an hour[33] he is not knowing MT24:51 and the Master will cut him asunder[34] and give him his part with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and grinding of teeth!”

*

[1] Continue to remain awake: Or, watch therefore [KJV], keep awake [NEB], be watching [BAS], be on the alert [WEY].

[2] Has any idea: Or, ye know not [KJV], you do not know [NEB]. Compare Matthew 24:6 and Acts 1:7.

[3] What kind of day: Or, what hour [KJV], on what day [ASV], what sort of [KIT], on what day [BAS], in what hour [DAR]. It is possible the phrase means what time of the day as well. Compare Mark 13:35.

[4] Your Master is arriving: Or, doth come [KJV], your Lord will come [BAS], is coming [KIT]. The Greek is ERKHETAI [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2064], used both of persons arriving and of those returning, and may, according to context be rendered “returning.” The word is a virtual synonym for PAROUSIA used elsewhere in Matthew 24 but never in Mark 13 and Luke 21.

[5] Pay attention to yourselves: Now the Nazarene concludes with directions to remain awake and alert. In Mark and Luke the teachings end here but in Matthew chapter 25 a series of parables are given outlining two groups: the faithful and unfaithful or the righteous and unrighteous.

[6] Heavy: Or, weighed down. RSV, NIV KJV: overcharged with surfeiting; LB: living in careless ease; PME: clouded with dissipation; TEV: occupied with; JB: coarsened; NEB: minds be dulled.

[7] Anxieties: If we parallel this phrase with the attitude before the Flood, ‘eating and drinking and marrying and building and selling,’ then the Nazarene is warning about taking on that characteristic of those “who took no note.” These anxieties, or being overly concerned about life and livelihood, could involve marriage, commerce and construction (Luke 17:28). The Nazarene has not changed his attitude about being distracted by daily pursuits as he taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:19-34). What is the difference here with those who were working in the fields or mill and yet who were “taken along”? It is a matter of the heart’s focus and expectation. The man in the field and the woman at the mill have not lost their hope in the Parousia and judging from the parable of the sheep and goats, both are kind and good human beings who have never neglected even the humblest person (Matthew 25:31-46; James 1:27; 2:15-17; 1 John 3:16-18).

[8] Suddenly that Day rise as a snare: “That day” is no generational period as if one had a warning lasting more than 40, 80, or more years. The parousia comes suddenly and at a time not expected even by the Chosen Ones (Matthew 24:42, 44).

[9] On the surface of the whole earth: Does it not appear to be a global event?

[10] Escape: Compare the JPS Tanakh at Daniel 12:1 and the word “escape.” The Aramaic of Daniel 12:1 may be rendered “escape” or “rescued” (delivered). Compare the idea of “rescue” with the “snatching” or Rapture at 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and the call “Come out!” at Revelation 18:4.

[11] Stand before the Son of Humankind: Compare 1 John 2:28 and 4:17 with 2 Corinthians 5:10. Those professing “Jesus is Lord!” will rise in the parousia-Judgment and receive their award or payment for what they did in their Christian lives, good or vile (John 5:29; Daniel 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:10). They will then, before the Judgment of Christ, be “outspoken” or “ashamed.” (1 John 2:28; 4:17)

[12] If the household had known: The realm of the professing Christians (Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15).

[13] In what watch the thief arrived: Christ’s sudden appearance as the Master of the House is thief-like (Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; 16:15). If a Christian prophet were able to calculate some time chronology and thus the “day and hour” of the Lord’s Arrival or parousia and it would no longer be like a thief in its suddenness.

[14] Prove yourselves ready: How does a Christian do this? Expectation is a matter of the heart and thus a matter of faith. Real faith will manifest itself in some speech and action. It is not manifest in being preoccupied with the daily matters like those persons before the Flood. Since the return of Christ is unknown it follows that Christians of all periods must be ready by a) regular prayer; b) faith; c) charity to fellows; d) avoidance of over-eating, drunkenness, and anxieties over livelihood.

[15] In an hour you are not expecting: Thus no Christian can work out some prophetic time-chronology to calculate this “coming” or Arrival (Luke 21:8; Acts 1:7).

[16] The Son of Humankind is coming: This is a phrase which parallels or stands as a synonym for ‘presence of the Son of Man.’ The Greek is ERKHETAI and equals PAROUSIA.

[17] Like a man: The parable illustrates the departure of the “man” Christ who charges his disciples to remain at work.

[18] To each one his own duties: These vary with the ‘talent’ or responsibility of each one as other parables teach: 5, 3, or 1. Paul outlines these varied “gifts” in 1 Corinthians ch 12; Romans ch 12 (Note Ephesians 4:16).

[19] Whether late, midnight, when the cock crows, or dawn: If the parousia were a generational period then it would be absurd to pinpoint these moments in a day or night. The Return of Christ or Arrival of the Lord is within a moment occupied by the brief period of a day’s various watches.

[20] Having arrived suddenly: “Arrived” is a synonym for PAROUSIA or “presence” in the Gospels. “Come” can also be a synonym (Revelation 2:25; 3:3).

[21] Sleeping: Note 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 5:1, 2, 6-8.

[22] I say to all: The Nazarene not only speaks to the four disciples before him but “all” those who will become disciples in future generations (John 17:20).

[23] Who is the faithful and discreet slave: This is a rhetorical question the Nazarene raises for the second time in his ministry. It is best understood by comparing the earlier account in a more expanded version at Luke 12:40-42. Judging from the context of Luke ch 12 it may be limited to the Apostles but at the same time have some personal application to any individual Christian “slave.” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)

[24] Domestics: Or, household (KJV, LB, PME, RSV, JB); other servants (TEV, NIV); household staff (NEB). That is, the live in help. The Slave is charged with feeding the “domestics” or fellow Saints in the Household of God. In Luke 12:42 this is THERAPEIAS or “therapists.” The Apostles, as the Faithful Slave, were found literally caring for food distribution in Acts chapters 2 to 6. Matthew 24:46 says, ‘Happy that slave if his Lord finds him doing so when he arrives.’

[25] To give them food at an appointed time: This is often given a spiritual application without the context indicating this. The facts are, the Faithful Slave, the Apostles, are found caring for “food distribution” in Acts chs 2 to 6.

[26] Arrives: The Parousia of Christ or the Master’s “coming.”

[27] The Master will appoint him: make him ruler. The final appointment as king, judge, and priest (1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 20:4, 6).

[28] Bad slave: In the four parables concluding the Nazarene’s answer to his disciples’ question there are: 1) a faithful and bad slave; 2) five wise and five foolish virgins; 3) slaves with five, three, and one talent; and, 4) the sheep and goats. All deal with the “arrival” (presence) of a master, bridegroom, a nobleman (Luke 19:13-26), and, a judge.

[29] My Master is taking his time: Unfortunately the phrase “the delay of the parousia” has become a catch phrase among theological scholars when discussing what they perceive as Jesus’ failed prophecy regarding an imminent parousia.

[30] Beating his fellow slaves: Among the “oppressive wolves” who do not treat the flock with “tenderness.” (Acts 20:29-30)

[31] Eat and drink: Back to the parallel with Noah’s day.

[32] The Master will arrive: The parousia. The word group “arrive” in the context of the “coming” of Christ is used several times as a synonym for PAROUSIA (Matthew 10:23; 25:10, 31; Mark 8:38; 13:36; Luke 9:26; 12:38; 18:8; 22:18).

[33] In an hour: This is no generational period of time but the “hour” of the parousia within a certain “day.” The Nazarene uses the word “hour” over a half dozen times in the context of his parousia (Matthew 24:36, 44, 50; 25:13; Mark 13:32; Luke 12:39, 40, 46).

[34] The Master will cut him asunder: Or, to bisect; cut in two. A severe treatment similar to Luke 12:46 and Matthew 25:46.

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Preceding

Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:9-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part Two – The Acts of the Apostles Foretold

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

Matthew 24:36-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: About That Day and Hour

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

Separation of local judgment regarding 70 CE from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and Final Judgment

++

Additional reading

  1. You know neither the day nor the hour
  2. Only once and with consequences
  3. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #1 The Son of man revealing
  4. To be prepared and very well oiled

Forgiveness a command given for our well-being

No one ever said forgiveness would be easy.

We should be well aware of the warning the Nazarene master teacher Jesus gives us. With several of his parables he gives an indication that if we don’t forgive others, God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25). God will not forgive us? The stakes could not be higher! The parable of the unmerciful servant elegantly demonstrates that the debt we owe each other is far smaller than the one we owe God.

In His sermon on mountain-moving faith, Jesus made a connection between faith and forgiveness.

He said,

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too” (Mark 11:24-25).

As far as God is concerned, unforgiveness is no small issue. It is wickedness.

We see this in Jesus’ story of a servant who was forgiven a huge debt by his master. After the servant received his own forgiveness, he decided to deal with a fellow servant who owed him a small debt. But instead of forgiving this servant like he’d been forgiven, he had the servant thrown into jail for failing to pay.

Upon hearing what he had done, his master became furious, called him a wicked servant and delivered him to the tormentors (jailers) until he paid all that was due (Matthew 18:23-35). {FAQ (3) Q: Do I have to forgive?}

Then the pastor goes back into history looking at what happened to Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his own jealous brothers. He had not only to face that atrocious act of his brothers but was also unjustly accused of a crime and thrown into prison. In the Old Testament we can read how Joseph after miraculously being delivered from prison, was raised to the highest ruling position in Egypt next to the Pharaoh.

When he faced his brothers years later, instead of expressing bitterness, Joseph forgave them completely.

His brothers thought that Joseph would treat them harshly but Joseph said,

“No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” (Genesis 50:21). {FAQ (3) Q: Do I have to forgive?}

In our own life we more than once shall encounter matters which can bring hate feelings to others who have done us wrong.

Whether we’ve been abused, deserted, falsely accused or mistreated, we must always choose to forgive.

We always should place everything we underwent into perspective. We may have had something terrible happened to us. Even when it would bring up so many hate feelings, we should question ourself if we not better learn something from it and use that experience to help others. Would it sometimes not be better to pray for those who did such an awful thing to us or to our beloved ones? We know it may be very difficult to forgive those that abused us or did terrible things to us. Though ….

We can’t wait for our feelings to change first, because forgiveness must be an act of the will, based on faith rather than feeling. We are to forgive others

“just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

If ever there comes a time when old feelings of unforgiveness rise up within you, say by faith,

“No, I’ve already forgiven that person. I refuse to focus on those old feelings.” {FAQ (3) Q: Do I have to forgive?}

It can very well be we ourself have not the full strength to come to the point where we can face the one who did wrong to us and openly forgive him or her. It shall also be necessary to forgive more than once in our lifetime. Always, as Christians, followers of Christ, we should be willing to forgive.

And keep on forgiving. By the power of the Holy Spirit you will find that forgiveness becomes the “normal” lifestyle of an overcoming Christian!

If you’ve ever allowed yourself to be bound by anger and bitterness, forgiveness may sound like an impossibility, but it’s not!

As a Christian, you have the love of God inside you. Yield to that love. Press into God and you will see His Anointing in, on and through you multiplied as never before! {FAQ (3) Q: Do I have to forgive?}

 

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Preceding posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ableness to forgive those who wronged us

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 6:19-23

d) ‘Treasures’ and neighbor love

|| Luke 11:34-36

MT6:19 “Do not[1] treasure[2] up for yourselves ‘treasures’ on earth where moth and rust consume[3] and where thieves break in and steal. MT6:20 But, treasure up ‘treasures’ in heaven[4] where neither moth nor rust consume and where thieves cannot break in and steal. MT6:21 For where your ‘treasure’ is there your heart will be also.[5] MT6:22 The lamp of the body is the eye.[6] So, if your eye is focused right[7] your whole body will know the Way. MT6:23 But, if your eye is focused wrong[8] your whole body will be blind.[9] So, if the ‘Light’ in you is ‘Dark’[10] – O, how much darkness!

*

[1] Do not: The negative commands of the Nazarene. The phrase “do not” occurs over 200 times in the Gospels. The Nazarene says,

‘Those that love me, my true friends, will keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15; 15:12, 14)

There about 60 “commands” of the Nazarene in the Gospels, some negative, some positive. In the 600 laws of Moses it is estimated by some that 60% are negative and 40% positive. For a complete consideration read Nazarene Commandments©.

[2] Treasure: This is the Greek word from which the English thesaurus comes. The word occurs 15 times in Matthew and Luke. A more modern word for it would be “save” or “store.” Compare Luke 12:20: savings. Various renderings: store up no treasures for yourselves; don’t pile up treasures on earth. Is it fair to state that the Nazarene discouraged “savings” in a material sense? In all the Christian Bible there are only two exhortations to “save.” (1 Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 4:28) Both deal with “saving” in order to give to those in need. One cannot “save” and at the same time ‘sell belongings to give to the poor’ (Luke 12:33). Unless this be a brief and momentary storage in preparation to give to the needy.

Stop saving! is a Nazarene command not to horde or store despite any supposed encouragement in the Solomonic Proverbs to the contrary. Whatever the Proverbs might counsel, ‘God now speaks by His Son.’ (Hebrews 1:1) This is a severe test of faith when the Western or Capitalist World is encouraging exactly the opposite.

The Nazarene and his disciples lived what he taught. Ghandi noted that Jesus was the only religious leader who actually lived what he preached. Solomon had a yearly income of 666 talents of gold. But, Jesus and Peter were unable to come up with the Temple tax, something like two-bits, and had to resort to a piscerian miracle to pay their proper debt so as not to stumble any (Matthew 17:25-27).

Money, material things, possessions and property (riches) can have a powerful influence on love of neighbor. Nothing can injure relations between friends or brothers more than riches. Seldom do the rich or propertied socialize with the poor or needy. These two classes have been separated from that first moment money was invented.

[3] Consume: It is true that in modern times rust and moths do not have the same affect on money as in the First Century. However, there are still thieves, and more importantly there is always the danger of electronic viruses, or transmission failures, or banking collapses that endanger hard earned savings. There is a prophetic warning in The Apocalypse about a future world power with the capacity to enforce the entire globe to use an “engraving” in order to “buy or sell.” (Revelation ch. 13) So, there are other forms of “moths” and “rust” and “thieves,” as property and financial accounts exist in an electronic atmosphere of computer wizardry always dependent on electric power, and totally under the control of economic powers, constantly manipulating stock markets, and materialistic institutions under the control of greedy persons world-wide.

[4] Heaven: The Celestial Bank protected by God! (Note Luke 12:33, 34: sell and heart; Luke 16:9: friends) Various renderings: WMS: keep on storing up your riches in heaven. Heavenly treasure is God’s view of what is valuable (Proverbs 2:1-9: treasure) and it includes the “gold” of faith founded on Christ (1 Corinthians 3:12 and 1 Peter 1:7: tested faith). The Greek for “treasure” is the English “thesaurus” which is a dictionary of words. This is apropos with regard to the Divine Thesaurus found in the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16: inspired).

[5] Where your ‘treasure’ is there your heart will be also: It is left to the heart of each Friend of the Nazarene to determine the degree these teachings will be followed. Each person is in a different set of circumstances. However, the spirit of all of this cannot be ignored (1 Timothy 6:9, 10: materialism). There is no better indicator judging a person’s heart than how one uses and views money (1 John 3:17; James 2:15, 16; Matthew 25:31-46). This is surely “the bottom line” with most persons concerned about earthly credits and debits, unaware of the Divine Accountant who is keeping a perfect set of books (Revelation 20:12-14). Most will find themselves in the “red” with God, and unless they repentantly plead their cause and admit their materialism as a desertion of Christ, they can expect no payment except that gleaned from earthly coffers.

One way to judge the “heart” is what a person talks about. That is, what are the main subjects that occupy a persons dialogue and communications? Is the central topic those things of a spiritual nature, or do material matters dominate speech? (Consider Ephesians 5:3-5, 12)

[6] The lamp of the body is the eye: Still on the subject of earthly or celestial treasures, the Nazarene turns to the eye: what and how it looks at various matters. Light enters the eye as an opening to the body or the entire person as a physical entity. However, spiritual light imbues the inner person, the Nazarene Saint’s Transformed Mind. The purpose of this divine illumination is to direct each footstep in the direction of God’s path (Psalm 119:105: lamp).

[7] Focused right: The Greek involved here is APLOUS and is variously translated “simple, sincere, generous, single, unclouded.” The word occurs in various forms in contexts of simplicity and generosity (Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 8:2), sound or sincere (Matthew 6:22; Luke 11:34), and, liberal (James 1:5). It seems to us the Nazarene’s subject is how we view matters and if our eye is healthy, and therefore focuses well, we will look properly on things and persons. The simple eye is generous in giving because it does not fret or worry about tomorrow’s anxieties, and so the view or focus on the morrow is bright with gleaming hopes of that “real life” only God can give (1 Timothy 6:19: real life).

Adam’s “eye” was focused wrongly and rather than see the Tree as harmful he viewed it as good (Genesis 3:6). Note the Nazarene’s offer of “eyesalve” to the materialistic in Revelation 3:17, 18. Compare the beloved Apostle’s thought at 1 John 2:16.

Luke 11:33-36 puts the subject of the well-focused eye in the context of the light hidden under a basket. Verse 34: ‘When your eye is single (simple, sincere, generous, focused) your whole body will be illuminated.’ There are various warnings in Proverbs about eyesight and how one views or does not view something (Proverbs 4:25; 23:31). The Bible provides numerous real-life examples of the improper “eye”: Eve (Genesis 3:6); Achan (Joshua 7:21); David (2 Samuel 11:2).

The association of the eye with the word “generous” is a good one when considering Jesus’ sub theme of neighbor love and charity. Note the word “beholds” at 1 John 3:17 (James 2:15, 16). Note also: ‘The generous eye will be blessed, the one who feeds the poor’ (Proverbs 22:9); and, ‘Eat not the bread of the one with a selfish eye, nor desire his delicacies, for he inwardly figures the expense.’ (Proverbs 23:6)

[8] Focused wrong: Various renderings: KJ: evil; TCNT: diseased; MOF: if your eye is selfish; NOR: if you have poor eyesight. The wicked eye, which is wrongly focused, is the envious one who cannot be satisfied with those things already possessed, but must have more than his neighbor. Such a wrongly focused eye is covetous. The Nazarene warns at Luke 12:15:

‘With eyes wide open, guard against covetousness, because Life does not come from possessions.’

The “evil eye” is greedy and desires more of what his neighbor has and is stingy when it comes to showing love to his neighbor.

[9] Blind: The Greek literally, ‘The whole body will be dark’ inferring blindness.

[10] If the ‘Light’ in you is ‘Dark’: Various renderings are: TCNT: inner light is darkness; WMS: the very source of light in you is darkness. On the exterior there is the appearance of light as an illuminator of souls (Romans 2:19) but inside the divided heart is bedarkened by choices between God and Riches. No greater darkness can there be than the person who thinks by his riches to serve God with extravagant contributions to holy orders – often with show and often with the purchase of another Saint’s soul – believing by such charity the way into the Kingdom of God is purchased.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Written down for God to bring us up to a virtuous life

A look at materialism

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Next:

Man enticed to long for more

Anxiety and neighbor love

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Additional reading

  1. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  2. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  3. Capitalism
  4. The Proper Place of Excess
  5. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  6. Charity & Egoism
  7. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  8. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  9. Summermonths and consumerism
  10. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  11. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
  12. Material gain to honour God
  13. Stop and Think
  14. The Giant evil and danger for the country
  15. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  16. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  17. Faith Over Fear
  18. Beginning a Path toward Distributism: A Brief Definition
  19. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  20. How do you define religion?
  21. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  22. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  23. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  24. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  25. Preparing for the Kingdom
  26. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  27. Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond
  28. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  29. Blindness in the Christian world

+++

Further reading

  1. Consumerism
  2. Damned Acquisitiveness
  3. Because we are living in a material world, but I refuse to be a material girl.
  4. Materialism Today
  5. Materialism: Why happiness eludes us
  6. A message about materialism
  7. He is a slave of materialism. Dont buy things you cant afford.
  8. Materialism and the Church
  9. What is Important to You?
  10. Life, lost
  11. The Price is Wrong
  12. Ep 13: Christianity and Socialism
  13. Intro to Minimalism
  14. Our culture is damaging our well-being
  15. Quick Thought – Monday, July 17, 2017
  16. Truth lies not in the middle
  17. How Simple is Living Simply?
  18. What Did the Poor Ever Do to You?
  19. Materialists, their eye on the rear view mirror
  20. What is Right What is Wrong
  21. The Absolute Laws of Science Refute Atheism and Materialism.God scatters
  22. How some rich people are trying to dismantle inequality
  23. charity:water
  24. What would Jesus have us do?

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