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Posts tagged ‘Nazarene man’

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 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

We come to the time that Jeshua, the Nazarene man, of flesh and blood, born in Bethlehem and living in Nazareth left his parents house to go preaching and it came to be, when יהושע (Jeshua} ended instructing his twelve taught ones, that he set out from there to teach and to proclaim in their cities.

We shall find as a key word in this chapter: Offended in Christ: Matthew 11 verses 6, 19 and 25.

John the Baptist had heard in the prison of the works of Messiah, he sent two of his taught ones to ask his cousin if he was the “Coming One”.  Those who knew the scrolls did know that Jehovah God had promised to sent some one to bring a liberation over the curse of death, spoken about in the Garden of Eden.

Now hearing about the ‘Master Teacher‘ departing on a solitary preaching mission and not seeing him forming an army to fight against the Romans, John the Baptist like others may have wondered if Jeshua was that promised one or if they had to  look for another.

Jeshua (or Jesus) his great forerunner, John the Baptist sought for confirmation of his ministry. Held in prison for condemning the marriage actions of Herod, who had taken his brother’s wife, John expected the advent of the kingdom, as did the apostles (Acts of the apostles 1:9), and did not perceive the greater work of redemption, even though his words announced the coming of the ‘Lamb of God‘ to take away the sin of the world.

Because of those doubting the function of the sent one from God, Jeshua warns them to open their ears so that they would hear about the reality of the Plan of God and the Gospel or Good News of Salvation and of the Kingdom of God. Encountering many who were more interested in the things of the world or those in the temple, clever and learned ones, more interested in teachings of men, rules and rites, instead of the pure Word of God, Jesus did not mind telling those, whom he ran into, about the works of God and helped them in need, even by doing miracles. Those miracles, like the healing, were meant to confirm and validate the gospel, not to become the focus of Jesus his ministry. Healing was a way to (1) show God’s love; (2) show Jesus’ power; and (3) fulfill OT prophecy about the Messiah (cf. Matthew 11:5).

5 Blind people are seeing, lame people are walking around, lame people have been cleansed, deaf people are hearing, dead people are being raised up, and poor people are hearing the good news! 6 And blessed is anyone who is not offended by me!”

In this chapter we are also invited to come to Jesus, so that we can find rest and peace. That rest we shall be able to find when we give ourselves to him, who is the mediator now between God and man, is in the relationship of intimacy that Jesus has called us, so that we can find the way to the small gate to his heavenly Father His Kingdom.  Jesus is leading the way and we should follow him. The apostle Matthew wrote down what we should know to come closer to him and his heavenly Father, the Only One True God.

The judgement that Jesus brought over his generation is one we should seriously look at, so that we do not fall in the same traps as the people around the time of Jesus. Today we also find a response to lovers of God of ridicule and mockery. It is so easy to come on the same terms as those who do not want to know about God, but we should know how important it is to come to a good relationship with the Divine Creator.

Matthew in his writings shows us how Jesus is a son of man and son of God, who is the way to God, and the anointed. The term ‘Anointed‘ or ‘Christ‘ equals the Old Testament term ‘Messiah’ which meant “an Anointed One.” It was used in the sense of God’s special call and equipping. In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed. Jesus fulfils all three of these anointed functions (cf. Hebrews 1:1-3). King Cyrus of the Persian Empire, who was an unbeliever, was even called God’s anointed (cf. Isaiah 44:28; 45:1).

In this dark world we should come to see the light and all who are weary and burdened should find in this and following chapters how in front of them is the man they should share his yoke and should follow and not institutions or people like the Pharisees.

JL1

Several people in Jesus time were waiting for a super hero. They were blinded and did not come to see that the master teacher from Nazareth was the sent one from God. Today also are putting their hope in super hero’s or make Jesus their god, instead of accepting that man of flesh and blood as the promised anointed one of God, the Kristos or Christ, the Messiah who gave his life for the sins of many.

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Preceding

The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression

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

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

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

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

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

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

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:21-23 – The Baptism of Christ

Matthew 10:40-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Reception and Reward

 

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Additional reading

  1. A rich history of ancient and Biblical Jordan to explore
  2. The place where Jesus was brought up
  3. Increased in wisdom in favour with God
  4. Memorizing wonderfully 51 Acts 2:22-38 Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship

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Related

  1. John, The Baptist
  2. Matthew 11丨John Calvin
  3. Matthew 11丨C. H. Spurgeon
  4. Meekness — Examples in the life of Jesus
  5. The Light In The Darkness
  6. Advent 3 Sermon, 2017
  7. To Show God’s Faithfulness and Love
  8. Advent 12.13.17
  9. Because We Matter – Matthew 11:4-5
  10. Save us from our selfish selves, a prayer of confession (Matthew 11)
  11. Day 15 – Take my yoke upon you
  12. Burdens heavy and light
  13. Prayer for troubles, sorrow, pain (Matthew 11)
  14. Learning the Unforced Rhythms of Grace [Mt 11:28-30]
  15. Why are people important?
  16. Easy Yoke on the Narrow Way
  17. Prayer- Jesus, I Come (Matthew 11.28-30)

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

Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

MT7:28 Now, when the Jesus finished these words, it took place that the crowds were astounded at his teaching. MT7:29 For Jesus was teaching them as one possessed of authority and not as their Copyists.

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B.S. Commentary:

Known as the son of a manual labourer people often where surprised to hear so much wisdom coming out of this man‘s mouth. The Nazarene as a sent one from God was the greatest human teacher to ever live because his knowledge was beyond what any human could possibly attain.

When he started his public life there where people who wanted to follow him. Even scribes saw in him a teacher worth following (Matthew 8:19) and several people came to him for advice (Matthew 19:16). Several people became convinced that he was the sent one from God and a rebbe teaching the way of God truthfully. He also was known as one who did not care about anyone’s opinion, for he was not swayed by appearances. (Matthew 22:16).

Jesus considered his listeners when he taught. He spoke to them in a way that the message would get into their hearts, the place that motivates people. He skilfully used illustrations and questions and engaged people of any age.

After listening to the Sermon on the Mount people wondered how this man could say such things. They also questioned if he could have the right to speak in such a manner. More and more people started wondering who this person could be who dared to speak in public with such authority. Some got really annoyed by his manner of speaking and attracting such a crowd. Recall from the Gospel of John the Jewish religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus’ effectiveness with people. So much so, they conspired to arrest him.

Mt 13:54 And coming into his own country he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these {1 } mighty works? {1) Gr powers }

Mt 22:33 And when the multitudes heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.

Mr 1:22 And they were astonished at his teaching: For he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mr 6:2 And when the sabbath was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and {1 } many hearing him were astonished, saying, Whence hath this man these things? and, What is the wisdom that is given unto this man, and what mean such {2 } mighty works wrought by his hands? {1) Some ancient authorities insert the 2) Gr powers }

Mr 11:18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, for all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.

Lu 4:32 and they were astonished at his teaching; for his word was with authority.

Joh 7:46 The officers answered, Never man so spake.

In the previous articles on the Mountain Sermon we could see that Jesus used unassailable logic (Matthew 7:24-27), meaningful illustrations (Matthew 7:3-5) and object lessons (John 13:2-16) which today are still of value.

Jesus not only used his own words. He got inspired by the Words of his heavenly Father. He quoted from the Hebrew Old Testament over 120 times, and from over 20 of the 39 books. When asked which commandment was the greatest, he summed it up this way, as he quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18,

37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. {1) De 6:5} 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 {1} And a second is like it: {2} You shall love your neighbor as yourself.{1) Or [And a second is like unto it, Thou shalt love etc] 2) Le 19:18} 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”.” (Mt 22:37-40 Updated ASV)

Jesus spoke to them in parables,

“because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand”

and in his time it was as difficult for people as it is today because many did or do not want to hear the truth and prefer to clinch to human teachings or church doctrines.

Jesus did not need any human teaching, like the scribes quoted others to lend authority to their teachings. For him God’s Word was saying enough and should be clear enough for people to understand, if they would be willing to hear and to open their hearts.

Jesus authority questioned

Jesus always was humble, willing to listen to others and not using hurting words or vile language. With his example and manner of speaking he showed to have a worthy authority (which he had received from God). Today there are still lots of Christians who do not understand that a man of flesh and blood could receive authority from God and therefore they say Jesus has to be God.

“And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.” (Mt 28:18 ASV)

“All things have been delivered unto me of my Father: and no one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal [him].” (Mt 11:27 ASV)

First lower than angels, he followed God’s Word and always kept doing the Will of God, putting his own will aside. Two years after Jesus had given his first sermon on that mountain he as a forerunner entered for man in God’s Reign and was received up into heaven to sit down at the right hand of God where he was made a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek and received full authority over the earth. (Hebrews 4:14 + 6:20)

“who is on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” (1Pe 3:22 ASV)

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Preceding articles

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 7:13-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #4 Matthew 7:24-27 – Conclusion

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

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Additional reading

  1. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  2. Hearing words to accept
  3. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  4. Gain Christ, trusting Jehovah
  5. Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel
  6. The Mountain: Radical Obedience

+++

Further reading

  1. Teachings of Jesus
  2. But because You said so…2
  3. Truth For Today
  4. Authority Must Flow Down From On High
  5. Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29)

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

When we seem to receive everything why are we not much more showing gratitude to that One Who provides?

Not many people today are seeing that it is the Great God Who gives us everything we need for life. Not much seems to have changed by the years. Like we can find godliness in His Book of books, though it may be a Best-seller, not many people are following all the advice which is given in it.

In that ancient writing we are given words which should be precious and should be burned in the hearts of many.

Our hearts should be be comforted (+) and all that say they love Jesus should be harmoniously joined together in love (+). We that call ourselves Christians should be true followers of Christ Jesus, accepting that what he, Jeshua, Jesus from Nazareth says, but also should accept what his heavenly Father, the God of Jesus, says, Who is also the God of Abraham. In our faith in Jesus accepting him to be the son of God, and not making him a god son, we may have all the riches that result from the full assurance of our understanding, in order to gain an accurate knowledge of the sacred secret of God, namely, Christ.(+)

It is true that for many it still may not be clear and that even a lot of Christians do not believe a man could keep to God’s commandments. Though all that call themselves Christians should know that carefully concealed in this Nazarene man, Jesus, are all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge. (+)

The apostle Paul said this already some two thousand years ago so that no one may delude the first nor the later Christians with persuasive arguments. Having accepted Christ Jesus the Lord, we should go on walking in union with him, being rooted and built up in him (+) and being stabilized in the faith, (+ ) just as you were taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving. (+)

It is in Jesus that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily. (+) and by means of him we have acquired a fullness and can receive so many more blessings already in this life. Though we should know that our baptism is not a stop in our way to search. We continuously have to go on seeking the things above, where the Christ is seated at the right hand of God. (+) Though there may be many things to get our minds from Scripture and to distract us from the real Truth, we have to keep your minds fixed on the things above, (+) the more important things than worldly gain.

We see that the majority of this world is most interested to enlarge their gain and to provide themselves with a name so that others can look up to them. But we should not be bounded to this earth and to the gains of the earth. not on the things on the earth.

File:Diversity and Unity.jpg

Black and white student clasping hands – Unity – Photo Frerieke

Several Christians do see in the union of Christ a proof for their three headed god, but forget that God as well as Jesus do ask us to become in the same union. Our life has should not be one of being on our own but be one of being in union with Christ like Jesus was and is in union with God. Being united with Jesus like he is united with God, does not make us Jesus nor will it make us God, but it will give us divine force of being stronger than the world.  When the Christ, our life, is made manifest, then we also will be made manifest with Jesus in glory.

3 If, however, You were raised up+ with the Christ, go on seeking the things above,+ where the Christ is seated at the right hand of God.+Keep Your minds fixed on the things above,+ not on the things upon the earth.+For You died,+ and Your life+ has been hidden with the Christ in union+ with God. When the Christ, our life,+ is made manifest, then You also will be made manifest+ with him in glory.+ (Colossians 3: 1-4)

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians, highlights the superiority and supremacy of Christ in the first two chapters. Then, he teaches the believers how to live in Christ. He sums up a lot of things we do have to do. though in certain faith groups the believers do think we do not have to do anything any more because we are saved, Paul assures them they are mistaken and confirms what James said that faith without works is dead, and we should be alive in Christ doing the works of Christ.

12 Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones,+ holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion,+ kindness, lowliness of mind,*+ mildness,+ and long-suffering.+ 13 Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely+ if anyone has a cause for complaint+ against another. Even as Jehovah* freely forgave You,+ so do You also. 14 But, besides all these things, [clothe yourselves with] love,+ for it is a perfect bond+ of union.*

15 Also, let the peace+ of the Christ* control in Your hearts,+ for You were, in fact, called to it in one* body.+ And show yourselves thankful. 16 Let the word of the Christ* reside in You richly in all wisdom.+ Keep on teaching+ and admonishing one another with psalms,+ praises to God,* spiritual songs+ with graciousness, singing in Your hearts to Jehovah.*+17 And whatever it is that You do in word or in work,+ do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,+ thanking+ God the Father through him. (Colossians 3: 12-17)

We should have the words of Christ dwell in us richly. We should accept what Jesus tells about himself and about his heavenly Father and should not fabricate other ideas to confirm with the worldly thinking of the many gods and idols. We should honour the words of Christ and be willing to accept what he tells about his Father and what the Father tells about him.

Not keeping to human traditions and not adhering to human doctrines we should follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and whatever we do, in word or deed, we have to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. With these words of Christ we should let others know those words and show them the way Jesus showed to his disciples. By the servant of the heavenly Father we are liberated from the chains of this world. As we were slaves of the world enjoying all the temptations we now should know better and look further than our nose and look for a better future. Though we should know that we can not do differently than living in this world at the moment, we should make the best out of it, but by keeping to God’s commandments, doing Jesus and doing God His Will, like Jesus did not his will but the Will of God.

Being a good Christian we should, like Jesus asked, give the Caesar what the Caesar wants, being obedient in everything to those who are your human fleshly masters, (+) not only when they are watching, just to please men, but with sincerity of heart, with fear of Jehovah. We as Christ’s slaves should be doing the will of God whole-souled, loving Jehovah our Only One God with our whole heart and with our whole soul (*) and with our whole strength and with our whole mind. (Ephesians 6:5, 6)

* 23 Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled* as for Jehovah,*+ and not for men, 24 for you know that it is from Jehovah* you will receive the inheritance as a reward.+ Slave for the Master, Christ. 25 Certainly the one who does wrong will be repaid for the wrong he has done,+ and there is no partiality.+ (Colossians 3: 23-25)

At all moments we should be thankful for what Jesus has done for mankind and praise God in His sanctuary, in the firmament of His power, showing our gratitude for Him willing to accept the ransom Jesus offered Him.

To praise God we can use the many Psalms God has provide us by his servant King David. God His other servant, Jeshjua, Jesus Christ showed us the way to his Father in heaven. Jesus also prayed to this God of Abraham in Whom he had put his faith and in Whom we also should put our faith. Jesus was fully penetrated by the Words of God and we should come one with God like Jesus is one with God.

21 so that they may all be one,+ just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you,+ that they also may be in union with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. (John 17:21)

Everything what Jesus has done, was in accordance not to Jesus his will but along the lines and wishes of his heavenly Father, The Only One True God Who is One. For Jesus the Words of his Father sounded like music in his ears. All the words God said, should also resound as music in our ears.

As writes:

God has given us the whole Scriptures for our aid. But, God created the human heart to respond in special ways to his word set to music. In song, the word of God penetrates the soul. In song, we experience union with Christ. In the throes of life – the crisis moments – it is words set to music that first come to mind. In those moments, we can’t always run to the desktop, but we should have the smartphone of soul embedded in our hearts.

Apple used to use that catchy phrase “there’s an app for that.” Need to send flowers to mom? there’s an app for that. Need to know the name of the constellation of stars in the sky overhead? There’s an app for that. Need supper? There’s an app for that.

Well, whatever your circumstance of life, there’s a Psalm for that:

  • Contemplating origins? Think Psalm 33.
  • Considering the consummation of the age? Think Psalm 149.
  • Rising from bed? Think Psalm 5.
  • Going to bed? Think Psalm 4.
  • Awake at night? Think Psalm 63.
  • Ready to eat? Think Psalm 145.
  • Thirsty? Think Psalm 42.
  • Going to work? Think Psalm 104.
  • Celebrating the Lord’s Day? Think Psalm 122.
  • Checking your genealogy? Think Psalm 16.
  • Your beginning? Think Psalm 139.
  • Your birth? Think Psalm 71.
  • Celebrating a birthday? Think Psalm 104.
  • Enjoying childhood? Think Psalm 34.
  • Need motivation to study well? Think Psalm 111.
  • Gazing at the stars? Think Psalm 19.
  • Maturing as a youth? Think Psalm 119.
  • Ready to pop the question? Think Psalm 45.
  • Bringing children into the world? Think Psalm 128.
  • Questions about parenting? Think Psalm 103.
  • Playing with your grandchildren? Think Psalm 71.
  • Harvest time here? Think Psalm 65.
  • Seasons changing around you? Think Psalm 147.
  • Traveling? Think Psalm 121.
  • On the water? Think Psalm 107.
  • Remembering history? Think Psalm 78.
  • Talking with your financial planner? Think Psalm 49.
  • Tempted by the world? Think Psalm 73.
  • Disappointed by life? Think Psalm 77.
  • Weeping over your sins? Think Psalm 51.
  • Engaged in evangelism? Think Psalm 96.
  • Overcome by fear? Think Psalm 91.
  • Angered by the wickedness of men? Think Psalm 94.
  • Disappointed by civic elections? Think Psalm 2.
  • Rejoicing in the incarnation? Think Psalm 113.
  • Prone to worry? Think Psalm 130.
  • Growing old? Think Psalm 92.
  • Butchering or preparing meat? Think Psalm 8.
  • Going to war? Think Psalm 18.
  • In the process of dying? Think Psalm 6.
  • Mourning the death of a loved one? Think Psalm 116.
  • Anticipating eternity? Think Psalm 73.

Of course, you can add other life experiences to the list. Why is the Psalter the smartphone of the soul? Rowland Prothero notes:

“The Book of Psalms contains the whole music of the heart of man, swept by the hand of his Maker. In it are gathered the lyrical burst of his tenderness, the moan of his penance, the pathos of his sorrow, the triumph of his victory, the despair of his defeat, the firmness of his confidence, the rapture of his assured hope. In it is presented the anatomy of all parts of the human soul. In it, as Heine says, are collected ‘sunrise and sunset, birth and death, promise and fulfillment – the whole drama of humanity.’”

Thus, we carry the Psalms in our mental pockets daily. Our minds race here to check for truths, to hear from God, and see our decisions and emotions governed when we cannot access the rest of Scripture. This has been my experience of life…from birthdays, to emergency room visits, to maternity wards, to the graveside, and beyond.

Smartphones are great, but they only go so far. They may reveal where you are in a building, but they cannot reveal what is in your building. They may map the stars in the sky, but they cannot unite you to the maker of the stars. They may point you to bread on earth, but they cannot feed you bread from heaven. The Psalms do all of these things and more. Phone programs fail, contracts expire, and phones are dropped in toilets. The Psalms hidden in the heart will never fail you. They will cause the peace of Christ to rule in your heart. They will order your life. But the Psalms only function this way in the hearts of those who own them. {The Psalter: Smartphone of the Soul (revisited)}

We shall praise God for His creation and all the wonder-works He did but also to show our thankfulness for accepting the ransom offer Jesus brought for us all. We shall bring praise to God because He has verified His promise to bless all those who wait upon Him in faith and sincerity. Even we do know that we or those who come behind us shall have to face an other terrible war, we can see the signs of the end coming near.

Bringing praise to God let us step in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and let us share our blessings with others by taking to as many
as possible who are truth hungry the “sincere milk of the Word,” and the “meat in due season” from His storehouse.

Praise God from whom all bless is honour to his beloved Son!

+

Preceding articles:

Be vigilant with a view to prayers

Psalm 150 Praise Jah, You people!

Psalm 150 Praise Jah! Praise God

+++

  • Culture Change by the Apostle Paul (bpardekooper.wordpress.com)
    The Apostle Paul was a dynamic leader as a founder of Christianity and the church of Jesus Christ. As a Jew, Paul was keenly aware of the culture of the Jewish people and their customs, but recognized growth was necessary for his people to follow Jesus the Christ. Paul’s central message throughout his ministry focused on a simple concept: to become like Jesus Christ and live a life in accordance with his teachings and example. (I Co. 11:1, Ep. 5:1, 4:22-24, Ga. 3.27, Ro. 8:29) In establishing Christianity, Paul was on a journey to change the culture of the Jewish people to embrace a new reality given to them by Jesus.
  • A New Past, Present and Future in Jesus (revolutionarypaideia.com)
    We enter into this blood-bought Grace Covenant with Jesus when we receive the Salvation He has made available to everyone.
    +
    Jesus expects for you to no longer live a life where you’re sin-conscious: “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins” (Hebrews 10:2). When you’re constantly worried about sin threatening your position of righteousness in Christ Jesus, this sin-consciousness causes you to receive bondage and fear—this bondage and fear is not a part of your reborn spirit in Christ Jesus,
  • Real Truth Will Set You Free (mylordmyfriend.com)
    Teaching that takes away from Christ teachings or demotes Christ Jesus from His central place place with The Father, is dangerous to the Christian message.
  • Hugh’s News & Views (Preaching Jesus) (fellowshiproom.org)
    Jesus was always available to those who were in need and that He is still accessible today [Hebrews 4:15-16]).
    +
    Jesus instructed the apostles to teach those they baptized “to observe all things whatever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). The early church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42). If I likewise instruct people to observe all that Christ commanded and to continue faithfully in the doctrine of Christ’s apostles, am I not, in reality, preaching Jesus?
  • 2015 Fasting Devotion, Day Twenty-One (stacylynnallen.com)
    In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever.
  • Attitude is Everything (faithandfootsteps.wordpress.com)
    We carry around with us the knowledge of this great gospel of Jesus Christ, so we should respond to life’s circumstances as he would.  Sounds pretty hard to do considering that Jesus responded perfectly to all that life threw at him.
  • Accidental Discipleship (defendingcontending.com)
    It’s what the flesh wants and it’s a shortcut that will lead to disappointment or destruction. Knowing Jesus is the correct goal. In Him we are complete (Colossians 2:10). Whatever change is truly needed in our lives will be wrought by the Spirit of God if we abandon our plans for self-justification and pursue Christ. Not improvement, not change for the better, not relief from our pain; just Jesus.
  • Sunday, 22 February 2015 : First Sunday of Lent, Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle (Second Reading) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)
    baptism is not a matter of physical cleansing but of asking God to reconcile us through the resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Matthew 2:19-23 – Out of Egypt to Nazareth

Matthew 2:19-23 – Out of Egypt to Nazareth

MT2:19 Now when Herod finally deceased, look! an angel of YHWH appeared to Joseph in a dream while in Egypt, MT2:20 saying, “Get up and take along the young child and its mother and be on your way into the land of Israel, for those seeking the soul of the young child have died.” MT2:21 And so Joseph got up and took along the young child and its mother and entered the land of Israel. MT2:22 Joseph became afraid to depart when he heard that Archelaus[1] was reigning in Judea after Herod his father. But, after a divine warning in a dream Joseph finally withdrew into the area of Galilee.[2] MT2:23 Upon arriving Joseph[3] settled in a town called Nazareth so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled that [the young child] would be called a Nazarene.[4] [Isaiah 11:1]

[1] Archelaus: It means “ruler of the people.” (Jewish Antiquities, by F. Josephus, XVII, 194, 195 [viii, 2]).

[2] Galilee: The place name occurs 78 times in the Christian Bible and becomes the most productive area of Jesus’ ministry.

[3] Joseph: It is interesting in this account only Joseph is named and the object of attention, whereas Mary the mother of Jesus is not named.

[4] Called a Nazarene: There are several opinions on the meaning here. Some wish to parallel the word NAZORAIOS with the Hebrew Nazrite. Most see the meaning of Nazareth as “branch-town” (or, sprout-town) and so it is a play on the words root or branch applied to the Messiah. It is possible the name is from the Hebrew netser, meaning “sprout.” Compare Isaiah 11:1 and elsewhere. The word “Nazarene” becomes part of Jesus’ name. Even after his resurrection, and later appearance to Saul of Tarsus, Jesus identifies himself with the term “Nazarene.” Even the demons called him Nazarene. The early Christians were first called by the opposers “Nazarenes.” See Matthew 26:71; Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67; 16:6; Luke 4:34; 18:37; 24:19; John 18:5, 7; 19:19; Acts 2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; 22:8; 24:5; 26:9. Surely Jesus was, indeed, called a Nazarene.

Mark Heber Miller 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM] or Nazarene Commentary, 2000©

*

Additional BS notes:

HerodtheGreat2.jpg

Herod the Great (74/73 BCE – 4 BCE), Roman client king of Judea

Herod born around 74 BCE in Idumea, south of Judea, had been apointed governor of Galilee at 25, and his elder brother, Phasael, governor of Jerusalem, by his father Antipater the Idumaean. He had captured Jerusalem and executed Antigonus. Herod took the role as sole ruler of Judea and the title of basileus (Βασιλεύς, “king”) for himself, ushering in the Herodian Dynasty and ending the Hasmonean Dynasty. He was granted the title of “King of Judea” by the Roman Senate, and took on an authoritarian attitude, having a secret police to keep everything under control.

Herod was responsible for the construction of the palace of Masada and the rebuilding of the temple on Temple Mount, a portion of which remains today as the Western Wall and re-established the Sanhedrin. In addition, Herod also built the harbor at Caesarea.

In the attempt to destroy the infant Jesus children of Bethlehem “from two years old and under,” were killed by his order. The Innocents have been venerated in the Christian Church as martyrs since ancient times. In the Eastern Church they are known as the Holy Children. The remembrance of this Infanticide in Bethlehem, venerated in the Christian Church as martyrs since ancient times, are known in the Eastern Church as the Holy Children, , in Belgium known as “Onnozele kinderen” (Innocent children) is celebrated on Holy Innocents’ Day, December 28, in England known as Holy Innocents formerly remembered on Childermas, celebrated in Spain and parts of Latin America in a similar way to April Fools’ Day.

Herod the Great divided his kingdom among his sons Archelaus, Herod Antipas, and Philip. Archelaus (d. after 6 CE) ruled Palestine south of the Vale of Jezreel from 4 BCE to 6 CE; he was removed by Augustus after complaints by the Jews. Herod Antipas (d. after 39 CE), tetrarch of Galilee (4 BCE–39 CE) and Peraea, repudiated his wife, daughter of Aretas, to marry his niece Herodias, wife of his half-brother Herod Philip, whom she divorced to marry Herod Antipas and was the Herod who executed John the Baptist and who was ruling at the time of Jesus’ death.

Herod the Great disregarded many of the demands the Pharisees for the construction of the temple, which caught their anger. Simultaneously, the Sadducees, who were known for their priestly responsibilities in the Temple, were opposed to Herod because he replaced the high priests with priests from Babylonia and Alexandria (in an attempt to gain support from Jews in the diaspora).

At the end of Herod’s reign, anger and dissatisfaction were common feelings amongst the Jews. Heavy outbreaks of violence (such as riots) followed Herod’s death (4 BCE), in many cities including Jerusalem. All the grievances the Jews had toward Herod’s actions during his reign, such as heavy taxes and violating the rules, built up during the years before he died. Because of the treatment the Jews were receiving, they were ready to break free from Roman Rule. Herod’s leadership sparked such anger, that eventually it became one of the causes driving the Great Revolt of 70 C.E.

The Division of Herod’s Kingdom:Light green Tetrarchy (Judea) under Herod Archelaus,

Mauve Territory under Herod Antipas

Orange Territory under Herod Philip II

Grey Salome I (cities of Jabneh, Azotas, Phaesalis)

Dark green Roman province of Syria

Yelow Autonomous cities (Decapolis)

There’s no pre-birth travel involved for Joseph and Mary, and indeed the elaborate story of Archelaus’ rule over Judaea is later told to explain why the couple went to Nazareth. Joseph heard that Archelaus ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea (biblical Edom) from 4 BC to 6 CE, the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod Philip I had come to power after the death of his father, Herod the Great.

Herod Archelaus from Guillaume Rouillé’s Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum (16th century depiction)

Archelaus appeared to be kind to the populace in Jerusalem in order to appease their desires for lower taxes and an end to the (political) imprisonment of Herod’s enemies. Archelaus acted in every manner a King, before such title had been given by Caesar. He thought of himself highly and is said to have committed suicide after being banished. Archelaus received the Tetrarchy of Judea last will of his father, though a previous will had bequeathed it to his brother Antipas. He was proclaimed king by the army, but declined to assume the title until he had submitted his claims to Caesar Augustus in Rome. In Rome he was opposed by Antipas and by many of the Jews, who feared his cruelty, based on the murder of 3000; but in 4 BCE Augustus allotted to him the greater part of the kingdom (Samaria, Judea, and Idumea) with the title of ethnarch (not king).

Archelaus held, in honour of Zeus, nine days of games in Dion, a small Macedonian village on the slopes of Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus, in Greek mythology, was the home of the gods. While Archelaus’ games were not the famed Olympics, they are an example of the value the ancient Greeks placed on the connections between body, mind and spirit.

Dynasty of herod

Dynasty of herod (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Categorie:Afbeelding stamboom Categorie:Afbeel...

Vrouwen en kinderen van Herodes de Grote) – Women and children of Herod the great (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  12. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  13. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  14. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  15. Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
  16. Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  20. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  21. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  22. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  23. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

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Additional reading:

  1. On the Nature of Christ
  2. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  3. Counterfeit Gospels
  4. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  5. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  6. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  7. Entry to Herodian Hilltop Palace unearthed

+++

Further related articles:

  1. Herod: King of the Jews and Friend of the Romans
  2. Herod Family and Pilate
  3. Herod dynasty reigning in Palestine at the time of Jesus
  4. Away in a Manger
  5. The Flight to Egypt; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
  6. Herod’s Opinion of Jesus
  7. Herod’s Opinion of Jesus; Luke 9:7-9
  8. Simply Irresistible: Augustus, Herod, and the Empire
  9. Unearthed after 2,000 Years, the Tomb of Herod
  10. Historians, Fans Defend the ‘Real King Herod’
  11. Trip through Time / Merciless Ruler with a Grand Vision: Herod the Great…
  12. Caesarea Mazaca
  13. Spiritualism of the Games
  14. Jesus and the Village Scribes: Galilean Conflicts and the Setting of Q
  15. Reflections Today; Herod’s Opinion of Jesus; the Death of John the…
  16. 2,000-year-old Palace Entryway Found in Judea

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  • Gateway to King Herod’s palace unearthed by archaeologists (ibtimes.co.uk)
    The entrance to King Herod’s 2,000-year-old palace has been discovered in Israel.

    Archaeologists have uncovered the colossal arched corridor leading to a magnificent entrance hall covered with frescoes during excavations at Herodium.

    The main feature is a 20-metre-high royal corridor with a complex system of arches, which would have allowed the king and his entourage direct passage into the palace courtyard.

    The Herodian Hilltop Palace, 10 miles south of Jerusalem, was built to celebrate Herod’s victory over the Parthian Empire from what is now modern-day Iran, according to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    The excavations also found evidence of the vestibule occupied by Jewish rebels during the Great Revolt of 66CE-71CE. The arched corridor contained hidden tunnels dug by rebels from the second century CE as they conducted guerilla war against the Romans.

  • Jesus or Herod? (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com) > Jesus Or Herod?
    In Matthew’s second chapter, we see that Jesus’ birth creates a conflict about who is King. It was in the time period of the reign of Herod the Great. Herod endowed his realm with massive fortresses and splendid cities, as well as a new Temple.
    +
    Consider what has become of these two kings. Herod the Great is dead and his rule is over. Conversely, Jesus is alive and well; sitting at the right hand of God. The Bethlehem child rules “over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:33 ESV) Men love to play God, but it is Jesus Christ who reigns.
  • today’s birthday: Jesus (c. 4 BCE) (euzicasa.wordpress.com)
    The primary sources for the life and teachings of Jesus—the central figure of Christianity—are the Gospels, but references to his life also appear in the works of non-Christian writers of antiquity, including Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, and Josephus. Most scholars agree that Jesus was born just before the death of King Herod the Great in 4 BCE.
  • A Christmas Wish For Leah (todaysanewday.wordpress.com)
  • Archaeologists Unearth Spectacular Entryway to Herod the Great’s Palace in Israel (spd.rss.ac)
    Towards the end of last week, archaeologists in Israel announced the discovery of a spectacular entryway to King Herod the Great’s palace not far from the city of Jerusalem.
    +
    What’s interesting is that, by the looks of it, this entryway was never used by King Herod the Great or his subjects. On the contrary, researchers say that Herod ordered workers to backfill it when he decided to turn the complex into a royal burial monument and memorial mound.
  • Herodium: The Palace and Tomb of King Herod (amusingplanet.com)
    Located 12 km south of Jerusalem, in the Judean desert, Herodium looks like an extinct volcano, but it really is a fort built by King Herod the Great between 23 and 15 BC. King Herod’s palace and fortress was built atop a natural hill, raised to a greater height by heaping earth around the walls, creating a cone-shaped mountain. The complex was surrounded by double walls seven stories high, within which Herod built a palace that included halls, courtyards and opulent bathhouses. At the base of the fortress was an impressive royal compound with magnificent gardens. A special aqueduct brought water to the desert from the area of Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem. Being the highest peak in the Judean desert, Herodium commanded a breath taking view, overlooking the desert with the mountains of Moab to the east, and the Judean Hills to the west.

    herodium-10

  • Archaeologists Find Royal Entryway To King Herod’s Hilltop Palace (io9.com)
    According to the archaeologists who discovered Heordium’s royal entryway, it is “an impressive corridor with a complex system of arches spanning its width on three separate levels.” The entrance led to a vestibule covered with elaborate, painted frescoes, while the arches buttressed the corridor’s massive sidewalls, permitting King Herod and his entourage direct passage into the palace’s courtyard. The 65-foot-long and 20-foot wide corridor has been preserved to a height of 65 feet by the entryway’s supporting arches.
  • CiF Watch prompts correction to Indy claim that Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site (cifwatch.com)
    We noted that the Temple Mount (where the First and Second Jewish Temples stood) is in fact the holiest site, while the Western Wall is merely the holiest site where Jews are currently allowed to pray.
    +
    revised indy
  • 2,000-year-old Palace Entryway Found in Judea (israelnationalnews.com)
    By unearthing the corridor entryway, the original Palace vestibule was also exposed in all its glory, replete with painted frescoes. Also found was evidence, such as Jewish Revolt coinage and temporary structures, testifying to how Jews fighting the cruel Roman occupation in the Great Revolt (66-71 CE) used the site.

    Evidence of a later rebellion was also found in the corridor, in the form of hidden tunnels dug on the site during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135/6 CE) by Jewish rebels as part of their guerilla warfare against the Romans.

    These tunnels, which were partially supported by wooden beams, exited the fortress through the walls in openings hidden in the corridor.

    Shaul Goldstein, Director of Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, said that in the future the corridor will be used to allow visitors to directly access the Herodium palace-fortress in the same way Herod entered it around 2,000 years ago.

  • Despite the Headlines, It Is Safe to Visit Israel! (theoslotimes.com)
    Built on a rocky base that had previously served the Hasmoneans and Herod the Great, the Ottoman walls remain solid even today. Walking atop the ramparts one overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem, holy to three of the world’s major religions, and on the other side, the busy, modern thoroughfares.

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