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Posts tagged ‘Following Christ Jesus’

Calvin’s view on taking up the cross

24. Then Jesus said to his disciples.

As Christ saw that Peter had a dread of the cross, and that all the rest were affected in the same way, he enters into a general discourse about bearing the cross, and does not limit his address to the twelve apostles, but lays down the same law for all the godly. {1 } We have already met with a statement nearly similar, (#Mt 10:38). {2 } But in that passage the apostles were only reminded of the persecution which awaited them, as soon as they should begin to discharge their office; while a general instruction is here conveyed, and the initiatory lessons, so to speak, inculcated on all who profess to believe the Gospel.

If any man will come after me.

These words are used for the express purpose of refuting the false views of Peter {3 } Presenting himself to every one as an example of self-denial and of patience, he first shows that it was necessary for him to endure what Peter reckoned to be inconsistent with his character, and next invites every member of his body to imitate him. The words must be explained in this manner:

“If any man would be my disciple, let him follow me by denying himself and taking up his cross, or, let him conform himself to my example.”

The meaning is, that none can be reckoned to be the disciples of Christ unless they are true imitators of him, and are willing to pursue the same course.

He lays down a brief rule for our imitation, in order to make us acquainted with the chief points in which he wishes us to resemble him. It consists of two parts, self-denial and a voluntary bearing of the cross. Let him deny himself. This self-denial is very extensive, and implies that we ought to give up our natural inclinations, and part with all the affections of the flesh, and thus give our consent to be reduced to nothing, provided that God lives and reigns in us. We know with what blind love men naturally regard themselves, how much they are devoted to themselves, how highly they estimate themselves. But if we desire to enter into the school of Christ, we must begin with that folly to which Paul (#1Co 3:18) exhorts us, becoming fools, that we may be wise; and next we must control and subdue all our affections.

And let him take up his cross. He lays down this injunction, because, though there are common miseries to which the life of men is indiscriminately subjected, yet as God trains his people in a peculiar manner, in order that they may be conformed to the image of his Son, we need not wonder that this rule is strictly addressed to them. It may be added that, though God lays both on good and bad men the burden of the cross, yet unless they willingly bend their shoulders to it, they are not said to bear the cross; for a wild and refractory horse cannot be said to admit his rider, though he carries him. The patience of the saints, therefore, consists in bearing willingly the cross which has been laid on them. {4 } Luke adds the word daily  —  let him take up his cross Daily  —  which is very emphatic; for Christ’s meaning is, that there will be no end to our warfare till we leave the world. Let it be the uninterrupted exercise of the godly, that when many afflictions have run their course, they may be prepared to endure fresh afflictions.

– John Calvin

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Preceding

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

Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

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

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

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:21-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Think God’s Thoughts

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

Demanding signs or denying yourself

To follow Christ

Every one who would be Jesus his follower must sacrifice himself

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Additional reading

  1. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  2. To find ways of Godly understanding
  3. A great man does not lose his self-possession when he is afflicted
  4. The blessing of a broken leg

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Related

  1. The Unvarnished Truth Matthew 10:34-39
  2. Self Denial, and the Road to Greatness
  3. Growing in fortitude
  4. What Would Jesus Do
  5. Self-Denial — Is it a requirement of following Jesus the Messiah?
  6. Denying ourselves – the key to true and lasting joy!
  7. The Discipline of Self-Denial

Demanding signs or denying yourself

Matthew 16:1-4

We have read in the account of the evangelist Matthew (chapter 16) how once again Jesus was tested and how the Sadducees and Pharisees expressed what many people today also want to see, namely signs of Jesus and/or signs of God.

The religious leaders asked Jesus for a sign from heaven. They wanted proof that Jesus was sent from God (Matthew 16:1). Today there are still many who doubt Jesus was sent by God. There are lots of people who have made Jesus into their god but still are not quite sure what to believe and for sure do not really follow him.

At the beginning of our era the Nazarene master teacher Jeshua was in the midst of the chosen people of God. They had enough scrolls with ancient writings from sent ones from God or prophets who told about the man who would come to save the world. The son of man Jeshua or Jesus gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansed lepers, cast out demons, and preached with astounding authority. It seemed not enough to come to see he was a special man with special gifts which could only come from the Most High God above all gods.  What more did they want?

For those who could see that preacher and miracle maker, many did not come to realise the Son of God was standing right in front of them. Today a lot of people still can not see who Jesus really is.

A member of a small country Missionary Baptist Church who calls himself

a regular guy, who loves God and God’s Word. {About Me}

got to see how Jesus was

not a shy retiring type of man who always spoke words designed to make everyone feel “included.” {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

and writes

He sometimes told it just as it was, without mincing words. He rebuked evil and demanded obedience. No one was excluded from following, but those who chose to do so found the company to be exclusive. {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

Jesus knew for what reason he was here on earth. He knew very well his chosen position and wanted to do God His Will instead of following his own will. Naturally in case Jesus would have been God than Jesus would always have done His own will. But Jesus knew he had to deny himself and asked the same of his followers. They too had to become one with him and one with his God, the God of Israel, Who is Only One God Who is One and God of gods.

Jesus was willing to give his life for others and required this too from those around him. Jesus said to his disciples and to the people around him

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” {Matthew 16:24}

Anyone who wants to call himself “Christian” should followChristJeshua the Messiah. We must know it is not so easy as many think because discipleship is costly. As followers of Christ Jesus we must deny ourself [set aside selfish interests], and “take up his cross (or his stake)” [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow him, which mean we have to believe in him and be conforming to his example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in him. That last bit may be not something we have to face in these times, but in several countries many believers still have to do, plus it can well be we shall have to face a time where it shall happen or that we shall be tested in very fearful circumstances.

After Jesus had died and had shown himself after his resurrection, the apostle Paul was ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the master Jesus. {Acts 21:13} His knowledge of Christ led Paul to reassess the ways of truly pleasing and serving God. His re-evaluation indicates the profound and lasting effect of his experience of the meaning of Christ on the way to Damascus some twenty years before (Gal 1:15–16; Acts 9:1–22). He therefore wrote

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. {Philippians 3:7}

What are the things you would not mind counting a loss or to consider as worthless for Christ, with the knowledge that Christ has shown you that what you once thought was valuable is worthless. We are surrounded with a lot of materials which seem to be very valuable, costing a lot. Lots of people give a lot of attention to what they have and like to show off their earthly goods. Today there is not so much interest in Jesus or in God.

For those who are interested in Jesus, the majority consider him to be God and do not see that he is the sent one and the anointed one from God (Moshiach; Mashiach; Messiah; Kristos or Christ). Jesus is anointed to be ‘King‘ in the Kingdom of God. This is a huge deal and a turning point for the disciples of which Peter recognised him as the Kristos or Christ and said

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” {Matthew 16:16}

Those who want to call themselves Christian should, like the apostles, grasp that Jeshua or Jesus of Nazareth is Messiah, or recognise Jesus as the Kristos – Christ or Messiah and as the son of the Living God. At the same time they should try to come to live and to be like Christ and should take him as their foundation of the church (not Peter). Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 3:11 ,tells us:

“For other foundation can no man lay, then that is laid, which is”,

not Simon Peter, but Jesus Christ.

“No other foundation can man lay, but that which is”.

From the early Messianic writings we learn the disciples of Christ talked about the gatherings they had and of small groups or congregations that formed. Jesus wanted that people became united under him and would come together to congregate, to gather, to meet as brothers and sisters. At their meetings they had to learn about the Word of God, studying the Scriptures. That would be the best way to come to learn the truth and to have a thoroughly grounded faith. And the roots have to go deep and become strong. Therefore each member in the group has to help the others. One of the difficulties being not to focus any-more on the worldly goods and aspects but on the heavenly matters.

The biggest thing Jesus wants from us is….us. As we grow in faith we put what we think we want aside, and come to see what He wants. Ultimately we will come to desire the same for ourselves as He desires for us. {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

To get to know what Jesus wants we have to read the gospels and learn from them. In a certain way it is also a matter of wanting to become a slave Of Jesus instead of being a slave of this world. When you want to call yourself a Christian you too should want to become a disciple, which means to be a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of Jeshua (Jesus Christ), making them his rule of life and conduct. The Pharisees prided themselves in being disciples of Moses (John 9:28) but they had entered a lot of human teachings and rules in their teachings, like the contemporary churches also have done. The majority of so called Christian churches give more importance on human teachings and church doctrines instead of Biblical doctrines. As members of such churches people, like in the time of Jesus, are also confronted with the choice they should make.

The church in our Western capitalist society a is undergoing historical realignment. Until recently Christians have been divided mostly along denominational lines. But now Christian denominations are dividing within themselves between those who believe the Bible and those who do not.

Today we are confronted by the same choice the disciples of Jesus  and the people around Jesus had. We can either keep following those who keep to human doctrines and heathen rites or go for those who want to follow Jesus in all aspects. We can see that those who trust Scripture are now a remnant in many denominations. In some cases they are leaving their institutions behind because they can no longer participate in the disobedient course being taken by spiritually darkened leaders.

Our times are characterized by increasing scepticism towards God’s word and expanding secularism in every facet of life. As a result, biblical illiteracy is growing by leaps and bounds, and church participation is faltering.

We should know that Jesus should be our most important teacher, but that all the words of the other prophets are also of importance and that we, like Jesus, should always follow God’s Word and do the Will of God.

Though we can not be a direct disciple of Jesus, by his teachings, given to us by the Bible, we have enough instructions and guidance to become a real follower.

Christian discipleship is summed up in the Great Commission. After the resurrection and before Jesus ascended into heaven, the master teacher appeared one last time to his disciples (they were eleven in number at that time, since Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus and hanged himself). Christ had given such convincing proofs of his resurrection, as made their faith to triumph over doubts. He now solemnly commissioned the apostles and his ministers to go forth among all nations. This is the moment that he delivered the famous calling for disciples known as The Great Commission:

18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Amen. {Matthew 28:18-20}

Christian discipleship continued to grow when the followers of Jesus gathered in Jerusalem and Peter outlined criteria for selecting a twelfth disciple to replace Judas Iscariot. The Scripture says they drew lots and the lot fell to Matthias. These men, who had previously been disciples, or followers of Jesus, were now to become apostles, or messengers. Their intention was to spread the Word, and beginning with Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came and indwelt them for the first time, they did! (See Acts 1 and 2.) The purpose of the church of Christ is to teach the words of Jesus and bring unbelievers to belief in Christ as their Lord and Saviour; baptizing them, and teaching them to lead other unbelievers to saving faith in Jesus. A Godly environment of each community or church is key to the good health and continued success of the congregation.

even when you are only with a few nothing should resist to come together in somebodies house, like the first Christians did. They gathered in private as well in public houses. We too still can hold a gathering in our own house or find a place to meet with others. No matter our nationality, gender or bloodline we can call others to join us in peace to study the Word of God and to praise the Most High. We should spread the message of Christ and get others to believe they should have faith in the sent one from God.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. {John 3:16-17 New International Version}.

We should show to others the one who can be a light for everybody. We can proof to them that when they together with us want to follow Jesus they don’t have to walk in darkness any more, because they will have the light that leads to life. {John 8:12}

Thanks to the faithfulness of those apostles, who clearly understood their role as messengers of Christ, we have their gospels and letters to go by. Later, when Paul was added to their number (by virtue of his Road to Damascus encounter with the risen Christ), he wrote letters to all the churches he helped create. These books and letters became part of the New Testament of God’s Word, and unlike those first disciples, we have all of Christ’s instructions at our fingertips!

Sharing the message of Jesus we can give everybody around us the opportunity to come to see that Jesus is the way to God and God’s ultimate means of revealing Himself to us.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. {Hebrews 1:3 New International Version}

We have Jesus now as our mediator between God and us. We need no other mediator between God and us. He is also our best high priest. For making “church” we all have to work together in the spirit of Christ. Our faith in Jesus and in his heavenly Father should be the fuel that keeps our aircraft of our life flying.

With faith, you are on the go, there is no stumbling block on the way. All mountains are made plains. {Understanding the power of faith}

United as brethren and sisters, as sons and daughters of God, you shall find you shall be able to accomplish more than on your own. Surrounded by big institutions or well-known denominational churches it demands courage to step out of them and to go for a smaller church or just for meeting with other people who prefer just to keep to the inspired and infallible Word of God. But be sure it pays to choose the right path and to believe in the sent of God who gave his life for sinful humanity.

Are you a person who wants more signs than the one God has given the world? Do you need other proofs that Jesus is the sent one from God, His only begotten son, who by giving his life brought salvation by paying the full ransom price?

Are you preferring to belong to the main churches which keep to human doctrines, feasts and rites, or do you prefer to follow Jesus and keep to the God given feasts and rituals?

Are you willing to keep following the world or willing to follow Jesus?

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Preceding

Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

More than just a man with authority of speaking

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

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

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

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

Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

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

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

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:21-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Think God’s Thoughts

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

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Additional reading

  1. Jehovah God Almighty greater than all gods
  2. What sort people of faith do we want to be
  3. Truth, doubt or blindness
  4. Knowing The Truth and Loving The Truth
  5. The true light in recorded words
  6. A Book to trust #2 Book of Truth
  7. A Book to trust #6 True God and true words
  8. Torah hanging on two commandments and focussing on a Mashiach
  9. Messianic prophesies 1 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  10. Messianic prophesies 2 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  11. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
  12. The Right One to follow and to worship
  13. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  14. Concerning Christ #1 A god or the God, a son of man and son of God
  15. Concerning Christ #2 Divine source, connection and divine human being
  16. The sent one from God
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  18. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  19. What Jesus did: First things first
  20. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  21. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  22. A call easy to understand
  23. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  24. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  25. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  26. Fellowship
  27. Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation
  28. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  29. Jesus, A way given to find the right way to God
  30. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  31. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  32. That everyone may honour the Son and sent one from God
  33. Thought for Wednesday Believe in the one God has sent
  34. The saviour Jesus his human side
  35. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  36. Memorizing wonderfully 70: Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God
  37. The habitual misreading of John 1 and the ‘Word being God’ #1
  38. The habitual misreading of John 1 and the ‘Word being God’ #2
  39. Memorizing wonderfully 42 Equality with God & doing nothing of himself
  40. Memorizing wonderfully 44 Showing the works from his Father
  41. Memorizing wonderfully 46 Believe in the sent one from God, who is the Way to God
  42. Memorizing wonderfully 49 John 17:1-11 The sent one from God and eternal life
  43. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  44. Our life depending on faith
  45. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  46. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  47. An atoneless religious system or a hope giving religious system
  48. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  49. Christianity primarily a matter of imitation
  50. United people under Christ
  51. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  52. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
  53. A House for God in our 21st century

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Related

  1. You are Invited
  2. The Set Up
  3. Sent by Christ; March 27, 2018
  4. 15th Sunday of the Year: Sent by God for work in the world.
  5. 15th Sunday of the Year: Called by God. Catholic Inspiration
  6. Are You Willing to Submit Your Will to God?
  7. Submitting Your Will to God Simplifies Your Life
  8. God First, Then Extras
  9. Discipleship
  10. Why Discipleship Weirds Me Out
  11. The Tree of Life: thoughts on discipleship and roots
  12. “Evangelism” or “telling God’s story”?
  13. A Worthy Life
  14. Out of the Abundance of the Heart
  15. Saved, healed and delivered
  16. Grasping the Gospel
  17. Get Down With the Program, Preacher!
  18. When Process Stops So Progress Can Happen
  19. The Theology of Jesus: Part 9 Ecclesiology
  20. Christ Is The Light Of The World.
  21. Following Jesus
  22. Take Up Your Cross And Follow Christ
  23. Lenten readings – Christ is the way to the light – the truth and the life
  24. Follow, Carry the Cross

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

Matthew 16:24-28 – A Disciple Must Disown Self

|| Mark 8:34-9:1; Luke 9:22-27

MT16:24 [Because of this] Jesus told his disciples: “If anyone wishes to follow me[1] they must disown ‘self,’[2] heft a personal cross,[3] and then keep following me constantly. MT16:25 For whoever wishes to preserve their soul[4] will forfeit it; and, whoever forfeits the soul because of me[5] will find it. MT16:26 For how will a person benefit if upon gaining the entire cosmos[6] forfeits the soul?[7] Or, what will a person give in exchange for the soul? MT16:27 For the Son of Humankind is about to return into the glory of his Father[8] – all his angels with him.[9] Thereafter everyone will be compensated according to their practices.[10] MT16:28 I tell you this truth: It is very likely that some of you standing right here will not taste death[11] before they see the Son of Humankind returning[12] into his kingdom.”

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Matthew 16.24.JPG

[1] If anyone wishes to follow me: Or, KJV: if any man will come after me; KNX: has a mind to come my way; TCNT wishes to walk in my steps; RIEU: wishes to walk in my footsteps; NEB: wishes to be a follower of min; BER: to walk behind me. It is the call to discipleship. Compare 1 Peter 2:21; Revelation 14:4, 5.

[2] They must disown ‘self’: Or, KJV: deny himself; TCNT: renounce self; NEB: leave self behind; GDSP: must disregard himself; WMS: must say ‘No’ to self. Compare the example of Jesus at Philippians 2:5-7.

[3] Heft a personal cross: Or, KJV: take up his cross; WMS: put his cross on his shoulders. The Greek for “cross” is STAUROS and means a simple upright stake or pole. Jesus is yet to be nailed to a cross or stake so it is unlikely he predicts a particular type of cross. See notes on cross or stake elsewhere.

[4] Whoever wishes to preserve their soul: The Greek is PSUCHEN and appears over 1,000 times in the Greek Bible. The “soul” is the life of a person or the person itself. The meaning here is like: “the person who tries to save their own skin…” Research the key word soul or PSYCHE. Or, KJV: whosoever will save his life; KNX: the man who tries to save his life; NEB: whoever cares for his own safety is lost; WMS: whoever wants to save his higher life will have to give up his lower life (Compare the parable of the materialistic farmer in Luke chapter 12).

[5] Forfeits the soul because of me: Or, KJV: whosoever will lose his life for my sake; NEB: if a man will let himself be lost for my sake, he will find his true self. Compare Matthew 10:28.

[6] If upon gaining the entire cosmos: The Greek is KOSMON. Or, KJV: gain the whole world; GDSP: gains the whole world at the cost of his life. Here the word “world” may mean whatever is the most important and all consuming in a person’s life: “music was his whole world.”

[7] Forfeits the soul: Or, KJV: lose his own soul; KNX: at the cost of losing his own soul; NEB: at the cost of his true self.

[8] Is about to return into the glory of his Father: The word translated “return” is generally rendered “coming” and gives the wrong impression based on the root verse it is drawn from (Daniel 7:13). The idea is more like John 6:62 where the Son of Humankind returns (or, ascends) to is previous position and place in heaven (John 17:5). Or, KJV: the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; BER: is about to come. See commentary on Daniel 7:13 in Nazarene Apocalypse.

[9] Angels with him: Compare Daniel 7:13, 14 with Acts 1:9-11.

[10] Everyone will be compensated according to their practices: The phrase is nearly identical to 2 Corinthians 5:10. Or, KJV: shall reward every man according to his works; RHM: give back to… according to his practice; RSV: he will repay every man for what he has done; TCNT: then he will give to every man what his actions deserve. Compare Matthew 12:36 and research the words judgment and judgment day (Revelation 20:13).

[11] Some of you standing right here will not taste death: This will occur within their life times. Or, WMS: will live to see. Compare Matthew 10:23 and Matthew 26:64. The disciples would live to see the fulfillment of Daniel 7:13.

[12] Returning: The Greek is ERCHOMENON, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2064 and is also defined as “1a1) to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving and of those RETURNING.” This thought is missed by most. The language of the Nazarene is drawn from Daniel 7:13 where “a son of man” (Jerome LATIN hominid) is seen returning or ascending to the Presence of the Ancient of Days – Daniel’s visionary location in heaven. The Aramaic (Hebrew) of Daniel 7:13’s “came” is athah (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance ##858) and may also mean “arrive” as in become present.

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Preceding

Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

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

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

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

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:21-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Think God’s Thoughts

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bible-films-christ-walking-disciples-1426507-print

Who wants to follow Jeshua, Jesus Christ the Messiah wherever he goes or wants us to bring?

Related

  1. Bible Study Notes on Matthew 16:1-12 – 20180122
  2. Bible Study Notes on Matthew 16:13-28 – 20180123
  3. Don’t Miss the Signs of the Times
  4. Matthew 16, the demand for a sign, the sign of Jonah, Peter’s confession of Christ, Jesus predicts his death.
  5. their hearts right, their heads wrong
  6. The Forsake All Principle
  7. The Power of Human Denial
  8. Scarcity and Genuine Jesus-Followers
  9. God’s Will, Not Mine – Ouch, That’s Hard!
  10. The former possessed man wants to go with Jesus (Mk 5:18-5:18)
  11. Staying Power
  12. Why do we bother with Church?
  13. Being a Jesus-Following Neighbor
  14. Who is Most Worthy?
  15. Witnesses
  16. Why Don’t We Just Follow Jesus? Well, For Starters…
  17. Follow Me; Learning Under Jesus
  18. 8 Commands of Christ
  19. Self-Denial — Is it a requirement of following Jesus the Messiah?
  20. Put The Devil Behind You (Matthew 16:21–28)
  21. Call and Mission of the Cross
  22. Cross-Bearing: Help Wanted (Mt 16:21-28, Rom 12:9-21)
  23. Attempt 10 – Pick Up Your Cross
  24. Take Up Your Cross
  25. Take Up The Cross, a prayer based on Matthew 16.24-28
  26. “You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door.” ~Jesus

When a person looks for or has the need to Choose the Right Church

When encountering the article “Tips to Choose the Right Church Inner West Sydney to Visit” we first were surprised that in the region of the article writer all churches seem to

preach the same thing and they are bible based, still there are a few things that you may not find it to be comfortable or you may expect something higher. {Tips to Choose the Right Church Inner West Sydney to Visit}

It would be nice if all those churches are Bible base, but according what we could see at other writings is that perhaps more churches were “Church based” or based on church (read) human doctrines.

The Bible Based Church, Sydney has been formed in Australia. They claim

to lead people in an honest way; {Lead Life to the Way of God with the Bible Based Church Sydney}

and write that they

teach Bible to give the ultimate inspiration to search for the truth. {Lead Life to the Way of God with the Bible Based Church Sydney}

Like us they seem to understand the necessity of a life with God, and as such write

One cannot live life without God; you should keep the faith always in the God.  {Lead Life to the Way of God with the Bible Based Church Sydney}

For choosing the right church they give following advice: (please take note: the bold writing is presented by us)

The church you want to choose should be the place that encourages you for worship. It should make you feel the spirit and enjoy the divineness in you. There are number of churches across the city, which will create a wonderful environment for you to worship and share your love with others.

We would say be careful for choosing for the creation of a wonderful environment and lovely entertainment.

• You should also find about how many people prefer to visit the church you choose. If there are many people showing interest to visit the church, then there should be something interesting and best to offer you. Therefore you can choose to visit that church

It is not the quantity that should count but the quality.

• Check if the church you choose to visit will suit your interest and your family interest. Most importantly, your children should feel comfortable visiting this church. This is crucial to gain the best experience from the church when you visit. Moreover, by visiting the church where there are many families and children visit will enable your children to find good and new friends of their ages. This is an other encouraging factor to ensure before you find the church to visit
• It is not only these factors but you should also check with the church time, which you should also feel comfortable to visit. Some churches will have a specific timing, however, most of the churches will have the prayer time and special events conducted on Sundays. Therefore, you should also ensure your time to visit the church regularly without missing
• Events in the church. Most of the churches will conduct special events to keep the people and members encouraged and entertained. Such activities will motivate you and makes you get freed from the tension filled lifestyle. You will absolutely feel stress free and gain peace of mind by taking part in these events. Besides all this will be an encouraging break from the busy schedule and spend a good time with your friends and known people in the church
It is not only these factors that you need to take into your consideration while selecting a church, but you should also consider other factors like the distance from your home, your possibility to visit often, their praying method, preaching bible and many others.

We may not forget that the praying method is with the method of following the Scriptures the most important factor we should keep in mind, remembering that we should worship God in the way He wants to be worshipped.

These factors can help you easily choose the right church that will fulfil your expectations in best ways. You can also ask your friends to refer the best church to visit with your family and children. {Tips to Choose the Right Church Inner West Sydney to Visit} (emphasis our editorial choice)

To their hints to choose a right church we would like to ad:

First question people should ask themselves is what do I want to follow: Biblical Truth (with the true faith in only One true God) or human doctrines (like the Trinity).

Secondly then they should ask in which way they want to follow Jesus, who put his own will away to do the will of God, and also would love to do God’s Will.

Then they should wonder how far they would like to go in following Jesus and going to worship the Only One True God of Jesus, the God of Israel, Who is an eternal Spirit God no man can see.

When knowing that Jesus is the way to God, and that he asked his followers to gather and to spread the Word of God and the Good News of the Kingdom of God a person should ask himself in which way he or she would like to take up that task given by Christ Jesus.

When that person does not find a right church nearby he or she should think about creating a home-church or something like that in his own neighbourhood. And to gather with others a real believer should not mind to go now-and-then far away (if physically and materially possible) to find and meet with like minded people to worship the Divine Creator The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods.

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Additional reading

  1. 2020 years ago, the road was opened
  2. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  3. Where to learn the truth
  4. Willing to do and we willing to learn everything that the Elohim has spoken
  5. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  6. Church sent into the world
  7. Biblical Yeshua/ Jesus or Another European Greco- Roman Jesus ??
  8. Ability (part 7) Thought about the ability to grow as a member of the Body of Christ
  9. Jewish and Gentile Disciples
  10. The Field is the World #4 Many who leave the church
  11. This fighting world, Zionism and Israel #6
  12. This fighting world, Zionism and Israel #7
  13. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1
  14. The Reformation shows us why we need expository preaching
  15. When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation
  16. That brotherly love may continue and have people join hands

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Related

  1. Review of ‘A Nearly Infallible History of Christianity’
  2. Strengthening the Community of Kingdom Citizens, An Excerpt from My New Book
  3. Theia koinoonia from sacred koinon, community
  4. The set apart life….for a Most Holy God
  5. On Individual Responsibility
  6. Christian Church
  7. Praise is Not the Same as Applause
  8. The Art of Ending Church Apostasy: Let’s talk about confrontation
  9. Introduction to the Church Community In Contemporary Culture
  10. Crosstalk “Our Pastor Said …” | Who Should We Listen to as We Believe in God? (English Dubbed)
  11. Short Sketch From the Christian Church | “The Police Pay a New Year Visit” (English Dubbed) | The Church of Almighty God
  12. A classic documentary from the Christian Church “The One Who Holds Sovereignty Over Everything”| Eastern Lightning
  13. Who’s your favorite preacher?
  14. A Review of Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy
  15. Can I Ban Remember When?
  16. The Gathering at the Table
  17. When Knowing Jesus Is Depressing #christianityanddepression
  18. How I Met Jesus in High School: A Personal Testimony
  19. Growing Up Black in America, A Conversation with my Son-in-Law #blacklivesmatter #policeshootings
  20. Positive and Negative Sides of Multicultural Church Sydney Benefits
  21. Approach An Holistic Way While Visiting Multicultural Church Sydney
  22. The Growth of Church Services in Church Sydney Helps Develop Society Effectively
  23. Two Characteristics of Christian Identity
  24. Christians Behaving Badly and How to Change That
  25. Listening intently to Truth>

Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division

Matthew 10:32-39 – I Came to Cause Division

|| Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 12:8, 9, 51-53

MT10:32 “So, anyone who will confess me before humans[1] I shall confess[2] before my Father in the heavens. MT10:33 But, whoever disowns me[3] before humans I will disown[4] before my Father in the heavens. MT10:34 Do not think I came to push peace on earth[5] but a sword. MT10:35 For I came to divide[6] ‘a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a bride against her mother-in-law. MT10:36 A person’s enemies[7] will be those right in the family.’ [Micah 7:6] MT10:37 The one having more affection[8] for father or mother is not worthy of me; and the one having more affection for son or daughter is not worthy of me.[9] MT10:38 And any who do not take up their own Cross[10] and follow me[11] are not worthy of me. MT10:39 Anyone who finds their soul[12] will loose it; and anyone who surrenders their soul[13] because of me will find it.

[1] Confess me before humans: The word “confess” is from the Greek HOMO-LOGESEI (same + word). It is also rendered: TCNT: acknowledge. The theme is still “fear” (implying courage). Jesus is not hiding from his disciples the difficulties and challenges before them. Compare Luke 12:8; John 12:42; Hebrews 3:1.

[2] I shall confess: Compare Revelation 3:5. What a joyful prospect!

[3] Disowns me: Or, KJV: deny me. The most disturbing example is Peter who must have remembered these words. Compare Matthew 7:23 and see notes on that verse.

[4] I will disown: Compare 2 Timothy 2:12. This discussion confirms the two outcomes to Judgment Day as stated by Paul and John (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28; Daniel 12:2; John 5:29).

[5] Push peace on earth: The Greek is BALEIN and is generally rendered “put” or “cast.” KJV: send; RHM: thrust.

[6] I came to divide: KJV: set a man at variance; BER: to bring division; RIEU: to sow discord.

[7] A person’s enemies: The whole phrase is from Micah 7:6. Micah 7:5 adds, “Trust no neighbor, put no confidence in a friend, do not open your mouth to the wife who shares your bed.” (NJB) There have been historical moments when a follower of Jesus – with faith in his teachings – was at odds with relatives and friends. Sometimes this is a moral division; other times it is a doctrinal division. Even among “Christians” there is out right hatred for persons of another “Christian” faith or viewpoint.

[8] Affection: The Greek is not AGAPE but PHILON or family love. KJV: loveth; NEB: cares more for; GDSP: more than he loves me.

[9] Not worthy of me: Or, BAS: not good enough for me. True Christian discipleship is, indeed, an exclusive friendship with the Lord Messiah allowing no room for an equal affection with another, even though family.

[10] Take up their own Cross: The first use of “cross.” The Greek word generally translated “cross” is STAURON and may also mean an upright stake. It is unknown the exact form of the STAUROS Jesus himself bore. The Nazarene uses the term 15 times in the Gospels (Matthew 16:24; 27:32, 40, 42; Mark 8:34; 15:21, 30, 32; Luke 9:23; 14:27; 23:26; John 19:17, 19, 25). Paul uses the word 17 times, Peter once, and once in Revelation. The Greek STAUROS is used in the book of Esther with regard to a “stake.” (Esther 2:23; 5:14; 6:4; 7:9, 10; 8:7; 9:13, 25) This thought of taking up one’s cross (or, stake) must have been a shocking thought. Nowhere do the disciples question this. One may ask where did Jesus get the idea of suffering on a cross or stake. Paul argues the Christ must die on a “tree” using Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 (Galatians 3:13). There in Greek the word is XYLON which means “tree” or “wood” implying some kind of upright pole or log. At any rate, the imagery of Jesus is one that portrays the difficulty of the Christian walk.

[11] Follow me: Compare 1 Peter 2:21 and Revelation 14:4. TCNT: follow in my steps; WEY: follow where I lead.

[12] Finds their soul: Or, LAM: concerned about his life; KNX: secures his own life; WMS: gains his lower life; TAY: if you cling to your life. A commentary would be that of Mark 8:36 – a person struggles to gain his whole world in specific endeavors or dreams, and yet looses their life or soul.

[13] Surrenders their soul: Jesus speaks of self-sacrifice in the course of discipleship. One may surrender life as a martyr – or, emptying self of personal goals and desires to serve others – but find the True Life in the future resurrection (1 John 3:13-18). Or, WMS: lose his lower life for my sake will gain the higher life; KNX: secure it; NEB: gain it.

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

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

Matthew 10:16-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Forth as Sheep among Wolves

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

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deny_jesus_he_will_deny_you

Related

  1. What’s Holding You Back?
  2. The “Great Expectations” of Discipleship
  3. Deepen your Faith through Discipleship
  4. Discipleship by, J. Heinrich Arnold: Trust
  5. Are You a Jesus Follower?
  6. Today’s Scripture – December 21, 2017

Matthew 8:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Two Would-be Followers

Matthew 8:18-22 – Two Would-be Followers

|| Luke 9:57-60

MT8:18 But when Jesus observed the crowd surrounding him he commanded [his disciples] to leave for the other side of [Lake Galilee]. MT8:19 And a scribe[1] approached Jesus, and said: “I will follow you anywhere you go.” MT8:20 Jesus told him, “Foxes[2] have dens and birds of the sky roasts,[3] but the Son of Humankind[4] has nowhere[5] to lay his head.” MT8:21 Then a different one of the disciples[6] said to Jesus, “Sir, permit me first to go and bury my father.”[7] MT8:22 But, Jesus told him, “Be following me[8] and let the dead bury their own dead.”[9]

[1] Scribe: The Greek is GRAMMATEUS, a grammarian, writer or copyist. The word occurs about 75 times in the Bible, beginning with Judges 5:14 (Compare 1 Chronicles 2:55; Ezra 4:8, 9, 17, 23). The group occur in Matthew, 22; Mark, 21; Luke, 14; John, 1; Acts, 3; 1 Corinthians, 1. The scribe may be learning or educated. The Hebrew sopherim were very dedicated to the precise hand-copying of the Scriptures. They counted not only the words but also the letters of the entire Hebrew Bible. They were associated with teachers of the Law and particularly the sect of the Pharisees. They could be called “Rabbi.” We would suspect their fingers blackened from much use of pen and ink. The older scribes much hunched over from labors and the penmanship table.

[2] Foxes: The animal lives in burrows underground which may be substantial. They are mentioned nine times in the Bible.

[3] Roasts: Note not “nests” but temporary places to spend the night.

[4] Son of Humankind: The Greek is HUIOS TOU ANTHROPOU and is most often rendered “Son of man.” There are several words for “man” and so we prefer to widen this word to mean “human” which may or may not include women as in “humankind” according to the context. The phrase is taken directly from Daniel 7:13 which was understood by the Jewish teachers to refer to the Messiah or even the Son of God (Compare Philo Judaea). The designation occurs about 180 times and is applied to Daniel and Ezekiel, most often in the Hebrew Bible to the latter prophet. The title occurs in Matthew, 31; Mark, 14; Luke, 25; John, 13; Acts, 1 and rarely elsewhere.

[5] Nowhere: Jesus has no permanent residence but is like Paul, “homeless.” (1 Corinthians 4:11) It is interesting to note when we see Jesus next sleeping: in the fishing boat during the storm. He is often seen spending the night outdoors even up to his final week. Such a person today would be considered a homeless street-person and shunned by genteel Christians.

[6] A different one of the disciples: Possibly one other than the twelve. It is interesting to note that this “disciples” wishes to “follow” Jesus. One might assume that is what being a disciple meant. It is possible the account means by this that the disciple wanted to become part of Jesus personal entourage which followed him everywhere.

[7] Bury my father: Many understand this to mean the disciple wished to return to his living father and wait until his death and burial and thereafter begin his following Jesus.

[8] Following me: Jesus does not include him among his closest disciples but encourages the man to continue to follow on this course.

[9] Dead bury their own dead: Those who are spiritually dead as children of Adam and have not taken up Nazarene discipleship. There were others who could bear this burden leaving the man free to follow if he so chose. Discipleship, particularly apostleship, were serious matters worthy of total commitment by a man. It is possibly the reason women were not invited to make this sacrifice, given their obligations as mothers.

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Preceding

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

Matthew 8:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus a Miracle-working Son of God

Matthew 8:5-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Servant of Army Officer Healed

Matthew 8:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-law

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Additional reading

  1. A call easy to understand
  2. Discipleship to look at
  3. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  4. Breathing and growing with no heir
  5. Fellowship
  6. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian

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Further related

  1. Matthew 8:18-22
  2. Following Jesus…
  3. Discipleship
  4. the cost of discipleship
  5. The Cost of (Non) Discipleship
  6. The cost of discipleship, peace, and division

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

Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

|| Luke 12:22-31

MT6:24 “No one can slave for two masters,[1] for either he will hate one and love the other[2] or embrace[3] one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Riches![4] MT6:25 For this I tell you: Do not be overly concerned[5] about your soul[6] as to what you might eat or what you might drink,[7] nor about your body as to clothing.[8] MT6:26 Look well to the birds[9] in the sky, they do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns.[10] Your heavenly Father feeds them.[11] Are you that much different?[12] MT6:27 But, who among you can add one minute to your life-span[13] by being overly concerned? MT6:28 And, why are you overly concerned about clothing? Learn something from how the flowers of the field[14] grow. They do not labor or spin.[15] MT6:29 But, I tell you: Solomon in all his glory[16] was not clothed as one of these. MT6:30 But, if The God clothes the fields of grass,[17] here today and tomorrow tossed in the oven, how much more you,[18] ones of little faith? MT6:31 So, do not be overly concerned,[19] saying, ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’[20] MT6:32 For all these the Non-Jews overly seek.[21] Your heavenly Father knows you need all these.[22] MT6:33 But, you, seek first His Kingdom and righteousness[23] and all these will be added to you. MT6:34 So, do not be overly concerned about tomorrow.[24] For tomorrow will have its own concerns. The hardships of each day are enough![25]

[1] Two masters: Or, masters. 2 Timothy 2:4 expresses a similar idea by Paul.

[2] He will hate one and love the other: Various renderings are: TCNT: attach himself; BECK: be loyal to the one. Hate here means to love less of two, much as a man with two maidens to please. Woe to him if the other finds out. The disciple who slaves for Mammon, or sticks to riches by his conversation and agenda, though unknown to himself, despises his true Lord.

[3] Embrace: Or, “stick”. On the word “stick” see Deuteronomy 30:20 where it equals love and obedience. Rather than try to balance the two, God and Riches, the Friend of the Nazarene is better off sinning on the side of God and poverty than on the side of Riches and self. Better to die penniless with God as your Business Partner than end life wealthy with a lost soul as your only investment (Luke 12:20).

[4] God and Riches: It is not, “God or Riches,” but, “God and Riches.” The Nazarene says it cannot be done, though untold numbers of Christians have attempted it miserably (1 Timothy 6:7-10, 17-19). Various renderings are: KNX: you must serve God or money; you cannot serve both. This is an impossibility illustrated by the mental image of a poor servant running back and forth between the two demands of two different lords. He is obediently with the one when the other requires his service. Riches can easily become a taskmaster greater than God. Riches can become God itself.

In the modern Western capitalist world there are millions of Christians trying to do the very thing the Nazarene said cannot be done: serve God and Riches. There are those Prosperity Preachers who speak in the voice of Revelation 3:17 and who insist riches are proof of God’s blessing. They particularly encourage tithing and giving one’s money to them in promise of God’s blessing. The Nazarene Saint has only to look at the life-style of the Master and those early disciples to see what Jesus meant.

[5] Overly concerned: Various renderings are: KJ: take no thought for your life; WMS: stop worrying about your life; NEB: put away anxious thoughts. Stop! This is a negative command of the Nazarene, and based on John 15:14 and John 14:15, a failure to obey this directive proves one does not love him, nor is a friend of the Lord. To persist in anxiety and worry is a desertion of Christ. For those hapless and bedarkened souls who suffer physical and chemical ailments are captive to frightening insecurities and paranoia. Note Paul’s “secret” at Philippians 4:6, 12.

The affects of worry, anxiety, and being overly concerned about material matters, can have a strong influence on neighbor love, for one may be so occupied with these secular things as to ignore one’s neighbor.

[6] Soul: The Greek is PSYCHE and many translate this “life.” It is interesting that it is the “soul” linked to the functions of eating and drinking and then the “body” (SOMA) with clothing. In Hebrew and Greek the “soul” is the living, breathing creature itself and at death becomes “a dead soul.” (Leviticus 21:11; Numbers 6:6, 11: dead soul) To Paul the “soul” is the animal, physical, earthly, dusty, corruptible, mortal (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). See lexicons and dictionaries on “soul.”

[7] Drink: Usually this does not mean water but wine or milk as both were staples.

[8] Clothing: In the world of the Nazarene the majority of people possessed a single set of clothes meant to last a life-time. Note Matthew 5:40; 9:16, 20, 21; 11:8; 24:18; Luke 22:36; John 19:25. The “naked” state mentioned in Matthew 25:36 can infer improperly clothed for the conditions.

[9] Birds: In Luke 12:23, 24 these “birds” are “ravens,” the bird which Noah released first (Genesis 8:7), and which fed Elijah (1 Kings 17:4, 6). The raven is considered the smartest of birds, mate for life, and is the most wide-ranging of all birds. It is found on Mount Everest, in the worst of deserts, and the Arctic. Job 38:41 is a foreview of the Nazarene’s words,

‘Who provides the ravens food when its young cry to God for help?’

[10] They do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns: According to the Nazarene birds do not toil, but they survive. Jesus is encouraging the simple life in which toil is non-existent. For three and a half years Jesus did not toil, nor did his disciples until that day they lost faith and returned to their fishing businesses (John 21:1-19).

[11] Father feeds them: The Nazarene credits God for feeding the birds even as Job 38:41 states. If the Nazarene has this kind of conviction, how can one of his disciples not trust God to care.

[12] Different: Many translate DIAPHERETE as “worth” and this may be well, but one can see the English corruption “different” in the word. Regarding “worth” each person has a value or worth and in the Nazarene’s absurdum the disciples can see their true value in the eyes of the Creator of sparrows which sell for little in the market (Matthew 10:29).

[13] Add one minute to your life-span: Various renderings: GDSP: which of you with all his worry can add a single hour to his life span; TCNT: prolong his life a single moment; PHI: make himself an inch taller. Note Psalm 39:4, 5: life; Psalm 90:10: seventy or eighty years. Unknown then, but presumed by human reasoning, and now confirmed by medical studies, anxiety does not prolong life, but shortens it, in a painfully slow and a daily agonizing death.

[14] Flowers of the field: Some identify the flower with the lily. Compare Matthew 11:28 and Proverbs 23:4: toil. These beauties of the field neither toil nor sow and are an example for the Nazarene disciple (Matthew 6:26).

[15] They do not labor or spin: The bird does not gather or store, and the flower does not labor or spin, and the Nazarene infers this is an example for his disciples. The storage and labor here are of a material kind. No one could argue that the Nazarene or Paul did not labor and toil, but this they did in the Master’s harvest. Compare Paul’s arguments in 1 Corinthians 9:3-18.

[16] Solomon in all his glory: Note Solomon’s wealth at 1 Kings 10:5 and read of his endeavors in Ecclesiastes ch 2, where he admits the futility or vanity of what appears to be security in material things. Note his conclusions at Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. The Queen of Sheba, so overcome at Solomon’s wealth, may have been unimpressed by the humble lifestyle of the Nazarene.

[17] The God clothes the fields of grass: The Nazarene credits God for the carpets of flowers.

[18] How much more you: See Luke 12:28. The standard clothing of the poor in the days of the Nazarene was three layers of covering, the outer of such a nature to serve also as a night blanket, or a tent in foul weather. This served a lifetime and was so well made and needful as to be a guarantee against a debt (Matthew 5:40). Such a pledge had to be returned before night. It is doubtful Jesus had a wardrobe that allowed a daily, weekly, or even monthly change of apparel. Note Matthew 11:8 where soft or fine garments are found in king’s castles and splendid, luxurious dress in royal houses (Luke 7:25). These fine clothes may be beautiful and carry a delicate feel to the skin, but useless for the night bivouac of a wandering troop of itinerant teachers spending the occasional evening under the stars with God as their blanket, their only entertainment the nocturnal crickets, frogs and owls. Who among those genuine disciples of the Nazarene would not give everything they possess to spend one such night under the open celestial darkness with Jesus. Then to listen to his restful breathing in that Innocent’s sleep, only to wonder of such divine dreams?

In the Western world much time is spent in shopping at luxurious malls, which would rival the pyramids in their architecture, and absorb untold hours of dressing and undressing, only to have clothes hang limp in the darkness of a closet.

[19] Not be overly concerned: See Luke 12:29: worry. Various renderings: PHI: do not worry. ‘Stop worrying!’ is a Nazarene command (John 14:15). To worry or be unduly anxious is a desertion of Christ. Better to die of starvation or thirst or nakedness than to give in to anxiety over transient things.

Note the austere sincerity of Peter’s haste to build a mountain bivouac from available boughs, for those august personages of Moses and Elijah, so they had some shelter from the lofty mountain’s night – a heart so sweet and swift in its goodness. Such an enthusiastic suggestion is unthinkable in the modern Western world where one would rather worry about the credit limit on a gold bankcard and where the nearest luxury hotel was, let alone have the knowledge to build such a temporary shelter (Matthew 17:1, 4).

[20] ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’: These questions seem out of place to a Western reader where these are the least of one’s problems. In Third World Countries these are still timely questions of daily concern. In the West most are struggling with various weight programs, drink too much, and have closets filled with unused clothing. A woman dressing for the evening may go through a dozen changes before the mirror, try on several pairs of heels, select from drawers of jewelry and choose from dozens of perfumes.

However, the spirit of the Nazarene’s teachings ought to ring in the ears of the Saint living near the top of the social and economic pyramid: seek a life of simplicity with a generous eye toward the less fortunate. It is Paul who instructs the missionary Timothy to “give orders to the rich.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) Who dare do that today? What Christian pastor has the courage to even read these words without rationalizing to his affluent congregation?

[21] Non-Jews overly seek: And the Nazarene would have to admit, and perhaps he avoids saying so, many Jews of his world sought the same. Various renderings: BECK: the people of the world run after all these things. These words were not lost on the Nazarene’s beloved when John writes

‘Do not love the world and its things… for all worldly things (fleshly desire, greedy eyes, and self-assuming materialism) are not of the Father.’ (1 John 2:15, 16)

Here “things” are merely food, drink and clothing and this is ludicrous in a modern Western society where payments for debts on autos, mobile phones, TV cable-hookups, electricity for refrigerators, and other modern conveniences make economic slaves of men, their wives and families. Jesus’ sermon would be meaningless to a modern audience in America or Europe accept for those unfortunate living on the street and who have fallen outside the sumptuous table of capitalist and social democratic orders.

[22] Father knows you need all these: The comforting thought that God knows our needs saturates the Psalms. If there is one group of peoples the Almighty pays close attention to, it is the poor (1 Timothy 6:8; Philippians 4:12). The word “poor” occurs 117, times with Psalms having the most occurrences (23 times). A comparison of a concordance on the words poor, poverty, affliction, or oppressed, will reveal God’s loving care for such multitudes.

[23] Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness: First the Kingdom, and then God’s righteousness, not some other standard (See Romans 14:17: kingdom). Various renderings are: PHI: set your heart on his kingdom; RIEU: pursue the kingdom; BECK: first be eager to have God as your King; GDSP: but you must make his kingdom and uprightness your greatest care. When the Nazarene here uses the word “kingdom” he first means that opportunity to gain entrance into the kingdom or realm of the Son which is the Church, the Nazarene Community of Christian Saints with its heavenly call (Matthew 13:41; Colossians 1:12; Hebrews 3:1). This “righteousness” is not that of the Law but those commandments of the Lord (John 14:15; 1John 3:23).

[24] Do not be overly concerned about tomorrow: Apparently he does not mean ‘give no thought of the morrow’ for the Nazarene himself prepares for the future day on occasion. The Greek MERIMNESETE may be rendered anxious or worry. It is often used in the context of “concern” and thus the use of “overly concerned.” Some reasonable concern is necessary as shown in Jesus’ instructions regarding the colt and the upper room. Compare Job 14:1 and Exodus 16:4, 19: depression. Various renderings are: MOF: so never be troubled; KNX: do not fret.

Note a practical commentary on this verse at Philippians 4:11-13. It takes a certain natural or developed bent of mind to trust in God to such an extent and the majority of Christians who ever lived were not of this caliber. Paul, after the Nazarene’s model, was such a person who took the Lord’s word at face value and lived his life accordingly. An unnamed scribe, overcome by the crowds, and the healing works of this wandering Rabbi, offered, ‘I will follow you anywhere.’ Jesus’ simple reply pointed the difficult way,

‘Foxes have dens, birds have roosts, but I have nowhere to sleep. Come, follow me!’ (Matthew 8:18-22)

Words and promises are big but deeds and examples are few. Today millions are spent on treatment for anxiety and depression. It is obvious the more things one has to care for or worry about, the more anxiety occupies and distracts, leading to those modern ills. In the end, even the most security conscious have no control over his finances, his life, his inheritance. For an example, a commentary on this verse, there is none better than Luke 12:13-34.

‘Tomorrow will have its own concerns.’ You can rely on this as much as death and taxes! One day at a time, as the AA phrase goes, is right out of the Nazarene’s teachings. Most anxieties are not worth the time and energy wasted on them, for those real fears do not materialize in most cases; and in those justified cases, the majority of time there is little that can be done about them. Each day’s badness, evil, or anxieties is sufficient, so why fret about those which have not yet appeared? Why add to it all by anxiety and those attitudes and actions which it creates?

[25] Hardships of each day are enough: There are those “hardships” which are beyond our control, like an earthquake, or the outbreak of war, or a wave of persecution, or sudden illness. There are those hardships which we bring upon ourselves by bad decisions, laziness, stupidity, or poor preparation.

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

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

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

Man enticed to long for more

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Additional reading

  1. 19° century Londoners, religion and heretical opinions
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  3. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  4. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  5. When discouraged facing opposition
  6. Fearing the right person
  7. Dealing with worries in our lives
  8. Give your worries to God
  9. Look for today
  10. Rejoicing in the day
  11. God Feeds The Birds
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity

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Further reading

  1. Today’s Scripture – September 26, 2016
  2. Sermon on Matthew 6.24-34 (Audio)
  3. Two Masters
  4. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: God or Mammon
  5. Seek First The Kingdom Of GOD: Two Masters – What is Mammon?
  6. FAact Food #673 The English word ‘mammon’ is a direct rip-off from Latin’s ‘mammona’ meaning ‘wealth’. In the New Testament of the Bible, the term ‘mammon’ is associated with greedy pursuit of profit through …
  7. Seek First The Kingdom Of God: Two Masters – You Can Serve Only One
  8. The Idols of the Nations
  9. Mammon: Word of the day for September 13, 2016
  10. Do You Know The Word Mammon?
  11. “Mammon : The desire for wealth personified as an evil spirit or a malign influence. Often mammon:…”
  12. Mammon
  13. Mammon 2
  14. Mammon 3
  15. Mammon, Mountains and Donations
  16. God or mammon?
  17. God and Mammon (Revisited)
  18. God or Money
  19. 24 October: Mammon, money, need and greed
  20. Duchies of Hell: Mammon
  21. Mighty Mammon vs. Almighty God
  22. Christians Side With Mammon. Mammon Sided with Barabbas
  23. The Betrayal of Jesus: Then and Now
  24. Should Christians Buy Stocks?
  25. Immanuel Kant Interlude – Compulsory Idleness
  26. Daily Mass: Whom do you serve, God or mammon? Catholic Inspiration
  27. 12 April, Relics X: Blood Money
  28. James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 4:1-17
  29. Help Us Dear Lord Not To Call You A Liar – Part 3
  30. Money and Happiness
  31. The greatest world religion? – materialism!
  32. The Almighty Dollar
  33. Do You Love Money?
  34. Need
  35. God Almighty, or the god of money?
  36. God wants us to be free from bondage to greed
  37. You Cannot Serve Both God & Riches
  38. Christianity held hostage
  39. Propensity for Prosperity
  40. Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz?
  41. Christianity Targeted by Corrupt Government
  42. Worship only God
  43. Prosperity Preachers
  44. The False Doctrine of Prosperity Preachers
  45. I Wrestled With A Preacher In My Dreams

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