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Posts tagged ‘Realm of Heaven’

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO:
QUESTIONS ANSWERED AND UNANSWERED

[“Trick Questions”]
(Key word: Marriage)

Matthew 22:1-6 – Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

|| Luke 14:16-22

MT22:1 Jesus continued to answer the priests, Scribes and Jewish elders with more parables, saying: MT22:2 “The Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a human king[2] who prepared a wedding feast[3] for his son.[4] MT22:3 Now the king sent out his slaves[5] to call everyone invited[6] to the wedding feast but they were unwilling to come.[7] MT22:4 Again the king sent out more slaves, saying, ‘Tell everyone invited, “Look! I have prepared my supper.[8] My bulls and fattened animals have been slaughtered. Everything is ready! Come to the wedding feast!”’ MT22:5 But those [invited] were disinterested[9] and went away, one person to a field,[10] another person to the emporium.[11] MT22:6 However, others grabbed the slaves of the king and after abusing them murdered them.[12]

*

[1] Realm of Heaven may be compared to: Research Realm of Heaven and notes elsewhere. There is something about the Church (the realm of profession; the Kingdom of Heaven). Of course, there are elements in the parable directed to the Jewish religious hierarchy.

[2] King: Yehowah, God of the Jews, the Father of Jesus Christ.

[3] A wedding feast: Or, KJV: wedding; RSV: marriage feast; TCNT: banquet. Compare Revelation 19:9 and 2 Corinthians 11:2 (Ephesians 5:32).

[4] Son: ‘Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,’ as Peter declares.

[5] Slaves: Some would include the ancient prophets here, however, it is more likely these slaves represented John and his disciples as well as those seventy Jesus sent out to invite Jews to the Realm of Heaven.

[6] Invited: The Greek word is KEKLEMENOUS (KEKLEMENOIS) and is either rendered by “invite” or “call.” Or, KNX: summons. Jesus said he came “only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Those invited here are those Jews in the nation of Israel who have the covenant promise of a “kingdom.” (Exodus 19:6)

[7] Unwilling to come: As a nation the Jews reject Jesus and the opportunity he offers. Compare what the prophet foretold – Isaiah 52:13-53:3.

[8] I have prepared my supper: Whether one viewed the entire outworking of God’s purpose involved in this preparation, with the coming of Messiah “preparations” have reached a key phase now.

[9] Those [invited] were disinterested: Or, KJV: made light of it; KNX: paid no heed; LAM: sneered at it.

[10] To a field: Or, KJV: farm; MOF: estate; WEY: his home in the country.

[11] The emporium: The Greek is EMPORIAN. Or, KJV: merchandise; MOF: business; NW: commercial business.

[12] Abusing them murdered them: Or, ASV: treated them shamefully and killed them; NEB: attacked them brutally; MON: maltreated.

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Preceding

Matthew 21:45-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Religious Leadership Fearful

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Additional reading

  1. God doesn’t call the qualified
  2. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings
  3. The Call of Christ
  4. Ability (part 7) Thought about the ability to grow as a member of the Body of Christ

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Related articles

  1. Narrative Lectionary: Invitations (Matthew 22:1-14)
  2. You are called
  3. It’s a Trap!

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

CHAPTER TWENTY:
EQUAL PAYMENT, A CUP TO DRINK,
AND SERVING OTHERS

[“Not Equal Pay for Equal Time”]
(Key word: Ransom)

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

MT20:1 “The Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a human landlord who went out early to hire workers [to work] in his vineyard. MT20:2 Having agreed with the workers for a denarius per day,[2] he sent them off into his vineyard. MT20:3 Now about the third hour[3] he saw other persons out of work[4] standing in the marketplace. MT20:4 And to these he said, ‘Go into the vineyard and I will pay you whatever is fair.’[5] MT20:5 These departed [for the vineyard]. Then again the landlord went out during both the sixth and ninth hours[6] and he did the same. MT20:6 Finally, about the eleventh hour[7] he went out and found still others standing around, and to these he said, ‘Why are you just standing around the whole day without work?’ MT20:7 These [unemployed] responded to him, ‘Because nobody hired us.’ The landlord told them, ‘Go [work] in my vineyard.’

*

[1] Realm of Heaven may be compared to: There is something about the Church, the realm of profession, that is compared to the story that follows.

[2] A denarius per day: Or, KJV: a penny; GDSP: a dollar; NEB: the usual day’s wages; PME: a silver coin a day; WMS: twenty cents a day. Some estimate this at 16 cents (US). Whatever, it may be viewed as the day’s wage of a farmer worker. If the USA standard minimum wage were applied it would amount to $5.00 per hour or about $40 for a days work. The first workers he found at sunrise.

[3] Third hour: 9:00 AM, three hours after sunrise.

[4] Other persons out of work: The Greek is literally “non-work(er).” Or, KJV: others standing idle; BER: other workmen in the bazaar without employment; NOR: loafing, with nothing to do.

[5] I will pay you whatever is fair: Or, KJV: whatever is right.

[6] Sixth and ninth hours: Or, 12:00 noon and 3:00 PM.

[7] Eleventh hour: An hour before sunset.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: First Last – Last First

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

Matthew 19:30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: First Last – Last First

Matthew 19:30 – First Last – Last First

|| Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30

MT19:30 “But, many of those ‘first’ will be those last, and those ‘last’ will be first.”[1]

*

[1] Those ‘last’ will be first: This is the moral of all that went before. There were those (like the rich young rabbi) in Israel who would seem in the premier, foremost or chief position to be saved, inherit life, or enter the Realm of Heaven. Human reason would conclude the educated rabbis, scribes, and priests would be in the best place to receive the Messiah with the resultant blessings. On the other hand, most would assume that ignorant fisherman would be the last ones to be the judges of mankind in the New Genesis. Compare the notes on Matthew 20:16 and Luke 13:29, 30.

{So, those last will be first: This may be the Nazarene’s moral or the words of the landlord. No matter how long, how hard, or under what conditions – the “workers” in the harvest receive the same wage: celestial glory. Compare Mark 9:35 (Mark 10:31). Some labor under self-righteous superiority because they have labored longer, and possibly harder, than newer members within the realm of profession.}

Those esteemed judges of Israel would – in the New Genesis – end up being judged by these humble disciples. Who could have guessed such an outcome?

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-lik

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Can be Saved

Matthew 19:27-29 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: We Have Left Everything for You!

Matthew 19:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Can be Saved

Matthew 19:25-26 – Who Can be Saved?

|| Mark 10:26, 27; Luke 18:26, 27

MT19:25 But having heard this the disciples were considerably shocked[1] and so asked: “Then who in reality can be saved?”[2] MT19:26 Jesus studied them carefully,[3] and then answered, “From a human standpoint this is impossible;[4] but, any thing is possible for God!”[5]

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[1] Considerably shocked: Or, KJV: exceedingly amazed; RHM: greatest astonishment; KNX: great bewilderment; GDSP: completely astounded. One would think from a human standpoint that if a rich man could not succeed (someone with the wherewithal) then who could?

[2] Saved: We must remember here this is the view of the disciples. We must not create a doctrinal idea based on the limited understanding of immature Christians. Jesus has used “Life” and “Realm of Heaven.” The young rabbi has used the phrase “everlasting life.” None of this may be on the mark.

[3] Jesus studied them carefully: Or, KJV: Jesus beheld them; KNX: Jesus fastened his eyes on them; NEB: looked them in e face; RHM: looking intently. We long to behold this penetrating gaze as the Nazarene proceeds to state an important truth.

[4] From a human standpoint this is impossible: Or, KJV: with man this is impossible; KNX: such a thing is impossible to man’s powers; PME: humanly speaking it is impossible.

[5] Any thing is possible for God: The inference is this: it is not impossible for a rich man to be saved but it would require a miracle from God.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-lik

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:16-24 – Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

|| Mark 10:17-25; Luke 18:18-25

MT19:16 And, look! a [young] person[1] approached Jesus, asking, “Teacher, what good shall I do[2] so that I might have everlasting life?”[3] MT19:17 Jesus told him, “Why do you ask me about some ‘good’?[4] [Only] One is ‘good’.[5] But if you wish to enter Life,[6] observe the commandments.”[7] MT19:18 This person answered, “Which [commandments]?” Jesus responded: “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false testimony,’ MT19:19 ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Exodus 20:13-16] MT19:20 The young man told Jesus, “I have guarded myself regarding all of these.[8] What more am I lacking?”[9] MT19:21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish perfection[10] leave and sell your belongings[11] and give to the poor[12] – then you will have treasure in heaven – and [then] come be my follower.”[13] MT19:22 But having heard this statement the young man departed very depressed,[14] for he had many possessions.[15] MT19:23 Now Jesus told his disciples, “I tell you this truth: Rich people will only enter the Realm of Heaven with great difficulty.[16] MT19:24 In addition I tell you this: It is easier for a camel to enter through a needle’s eye[17] than for rich people to enter the Realm of Heaven.”

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[1] A [young] person: Revealed in verse 20.

[2] Teacher, what good shall I do: Mark 10:17 adds, “… a certain man ran up and fell upon his knees before him and put the question to him: ‘Good Teacher, what must I do…’” He addresses Jesus as “Good Teacher.” Luke 18:18 adds, “… a certain (religious) ruler.” Therefore, a young rabbi. The Received Text (KJV) has, “Good Teacher.”

[3] Everlasting life: The Greek is ZOEN AIONION. Or, KJV: eternal life; RHM: life age-abiding; TCNT: immortal life; BECK: everlasting life. See word studies else where by researching AION or everlasting life.

[4] Why do you ask me about some ‘good’: This response has resulted in much commentary. If Jesus were “God” one wonders why he would resist a title with the word “good” in it. The Lesson of Eden is that only Yehowah can determine what is ‘good’ and this is not the responsibility of Messiah. Research the word good or AGATHOS (from which the name Agatha comes). Note that the Nazarene’s response is to point to the Ten Commandments and the Law. He does not originate his own philosophy.

[5] [Only] One is ‘good’: Or, KJV: none is good but one, that is, God; ASV: One there is who is good; KNX: God is good, and he only; WMS: there is only one who is perfectly good; ABUV: One is the Good. The subject is absolute or ultimate Good. No one would argue that Jesus was no a “good man.” Note John 7:12. Compare also how others are described as “good.” (2 Samuel 18:27; Proverbs 14:14) Jesus recognizes there are good people (Matthew 12:35; Luke 6:45; Romans 5:7). Surely Jesus refers to his Father, Yehowah.

[6] To enter Life: It may be argued that “Life” here is something like John 5:24 and 1 John 3:14. Thus “Life” means the new Life within the Realm of Heaven – the Church. Others will limit it to that future Life though both may be include.

[7] Observe the commandments: It is possible Jesus speaks to a young Jewish rabbi. Note the commandments Jesus lists. It will startle some what he has omitted in a list of his own choosing: the Name and the Sabbath. Jesus goes on to quote Exodus 20:13-16 then skipping back to Exodus 20:12. He also quotes what he calls late the Second Greatest Commandment: Leviticus 19:18.

[8] I have guarded myself regarding all of these: The KJV version adds: “… from my youth up.” Or, ASV: all these things have I observed; WEY: carefully obeyed.

[9] What more am I lacking: Or, NEB: where do I still fall short; BER: how do I still fall behind; WEY: what more is required. One wonders if there is some self-righteous hypocrisy here. However, Paul himself claims such rigorous righteousness or obedience to the law (Philippians 3:6).

[10] If you wish perfection: Or, KNX: if thou hast a mind to be perfect; NEB: if you wish to go the whole way; NASB: to be complete. To the Nazarene spiritual perfection will involve charity. See notes on Matthew 5:48. – Perfect: This is the Greek word TELEIOI from TELOS (= “end”) and may be rendered “complete, mature, fulfilled.”

[11] Leave and sell your belongings: Or, RHM: withdraw! sell thy substance; go and sell your possessions. Note how in Luke 12:32, 33 Jesus tells his “little flock” the same thing. Note their response in Acts 2:44, 45; Acts 4:34-37.

[12] Give to the poor: The man could divest himself of his possessions in any manner of ways: giving it to his family, hiding investments. Jesus gives no hint that he expects the man to contribute to him though never was there a poorer man on earth (2 Corinthians 8:9). The young rabbi must say goodbye to all his belongings – strip himself from material attachment and desire.

[13] And [then] come be my follower: Note he must do this before becoming a follower or disciple of Jesus. It is possible “follower” means a member of the Nazarene’s private entourage of apostles.

[14] The young man departed very depressed: Or, KJV: he went away sorrowful; NASB: he went away grieved; KNX: sad of heart; RIEU: in gloom; WMS: in deep distress; PME: crestfallen. We watch our Lord’s eyes as he follows the young man as he leaves and we note a slight expression of pity. We would like to know the future of this young rabbi. Did he follow later, become an angry opposer screaming for crucifixion, or merely indifferent. We wonder at his death what thoughts he must have had.

[15] Many possessions: Or, NASB: owned much property; NEB: a man of great wealth; BECK: very rich.

[16] Rich people will only enter the Realm of Heaven with great difficulty: Perhaps of all the teachings of the Nazarene this is the one most disliked by western capitalist society. While the world struggles to be rich Jesus warns of the great difficulty in such conflicting lifestyles and ideals. Compare the notes on Matthew 5:42 and Matthew 6:25. Or, KJV: a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven; ASV: it is hard for a rich man; MON: a rich man will find it difficult. Though the celestial realm of God is the final goal, Jesus makes it clear that it will be very hard for a rich person to become a Christian and gain membership in the Realm of Profession. Note Paul’s counsel to the rich at 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Throughout the Gospel Age there have been wealthy Christians who gave all to help others, while others used their riches to forward the Gospel message. Research the words rich and riches. In Bible terms “rich” means having a surplus (Mark 12:44; 2 Corinthians 8:14).

[17] Camel to enter through a needle’s eye: The Lamsa translation of the Aramaic has this ‘a rope through the needle’s eye.’ Some understand it is the difficulty a camel has in crawling through a very narrow gate to enter a city. It must get on its knees and move forward with difficulty. The Nazarene does not say it is impossible nor does he rule it out altogether. He just says it will be difficult for a rich person to give attention to discipleship while torn over riches. The conflict between love and greed is the struggle between self and others.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-like

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-like

Matthew 19:13-15 – Kingdom Belongs to Child-like

|| Mark 10:13-16; Luke 9:47; 18:15-17

MT19:13 Then little boys[1] were brought to Jesus so that he might pray and lay his hands upon them.[2] But, the disciples rebuked [the parents].[3] MT19:14 However, Jesus told the disciples, “Leave the little boys alone and do not try to hinder them from approaching me – the Realm of Heaven is for such [like] these.”[4] MT19:15 Then after Jesus laid his hands upon the little boys he departed.

*

[1] Little boys: The Greek is PAIDIA. Our imagination is captured by the wide shining eyes fill with wonderment at the man from Nazareth. Do we behold warm endearing smiles on our Lord’s face?

[2] Pray and lay his hands upon them: Or, BAS: put his hands on them in blessing. Surely the parents expected a blessing so that these little boys may become serious teachers of the Law? The gesture of “laying hands upon” is elsewhere in the Bible something of an official appointment. Research hands or laying on of hands.

[3] Disciples rebuked [the parents]: Or, NEB: the disciples scolded them; BER: the disciples held them back; MON: disciples interfered; TCNT: found fault with those who had brought them; NOR: spoke sharply to them; PME: frowned on the parents’ action. We feel for the disciples in their protectiveness. In their determination that their Lord’s time be spent wisely. He was just too busy for this sort of thing. They do not realize that these little boys are the future leaders and teachers of the nation of Israel. Modern elders can learn much from this: share your time with those without a vote or voice. A few minutes here and there may influence a young one beyond your imagination. We can identify a Christ-like elder by the time he spends with children, the sick and the elderly.

[4] The Realm of Heaven is for such [like] these: Or, KJV: for of such is the kingdom of heaven; ASV: for to such belongeth the kingdom; MON: for it is to the childlike that the kingdom of heaven belongs. See notes on Matthew 18:13. The self-centered and arrogant need not apply for membership in the Kingdom.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:10-12 – Celibacy

MT19:10 Now the disciples of Jesus asked him, “If this is the case with a husband and his wife – it should be recommended not to marry at all!”[1] MT19:11 Jesus told them, “Everyone cannot make room for what you are suggesting,[2] but only those who have the gift.[3] MT19:12 For there are eunuchs[4] born so from their mother’s womb;[5] and there are eunuchs made eunuchs[6] by humans; and, there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs[7] because of the Realm of Heaven.[8] Let the person who is able to make room for it, make room for it.”[9]

*

[1] It should be recommended not to marry at all: Or, KJV: it is not good to marry; NEB: it is better to refrain from marriage; ASV: not expedient to marry; KNX: better not to marry at all; WMS: there is no advantage in getting married; PME: not worth getting married; NW: it is not advisable to marry. We smile at the suggestion of these Jewish disciples of Jesus: if a man cannot divorce his wife for any reason it is just better not to get married. Perhaps we see that ingrained “hardness of heart” present in the Israelite men?

[2] For what you are suggesting: Or, KJV: all men cannot receive the saying; RHM: not all find room for the word; KNX: that conclusion cannot be taken in by everybody; RIEU: accept the ruling; BER: not all people understand this saying; WMS: it is not every man who has the capacity to carry out this saying; MOF: this truth is not practicable for everyone. The disciples may have alluded to rabbinical sayings: “Among those whose life is not life is the man ruled by his wife.” “If a man has a bad wife, it is his religious duty to divorce her.”

[3] Those who have the gift: Or, KJV: those to whom it is given; KNX: only by those who have the gift; RIEU: only those that hear the call; WMS: to whom the capacity has been gift; WEY: upon whom the grace has been bestowed. Some persons are born with either the desire for sex or intimate relationships. Some by observation have judged that there is little in marriage to recommend it over a life of celibate liberty. Others have developed the “gift” by rigorous control of themselves.

[4] Eunuchs: The Greek is EUNOUCHOI and refers to a castrated male. The word is formed by “bed” + “have/hold” and is rooted in a castrated male guardian over a harem (Esther 2:3, 12-15; 4:4-6, 9). A eunuch was not allowed under the Law (Deuteronomy 23:1). However, consider Acts 8:26-39 as possibly the fulfillment of Isaiah 56:4, 5.

[5] Born so from their mother’s womb: Or NOR: some men have always been unsuited for marriage, having been born that way; NEB: incapable of marriage; TCNT: disabled for marriage. Though this could mean some physical disability modern science has probably established that some DNA tends to have much less sex-drive.

[6] Eunuchs made eunuchs: It is interesting that here it is eunuchs who make other eunuchs – likely because they were in charge of such castration. One wonders if such men had a choice in these matters?

[7] Have made themselves eunuchs: A literal reading of this has caused men such as Origen to castrate themselves.

[8] Because of the Realm of Heaven: It is the view of most that Jesus here encourages celibacy for those who have the gift and for the right reasons: service related to the Church. Paul recommends celibacy for those who have control (1 Corinthians 7:32, 38). Marriage is not forbidden save by apostates (1 Timothy 4:3). However, Paul clearly encourages Christians not to be driven by sexual impulses: “When their sexual impulses have come between them and the Christ, they want to marry, having a judgment because they have disregarded their first [expression of] faith.” (1 Timothy 5:11, 12 NW) Note how he continues: “I desire the younger widows to marry, to bear children, to manage a household.” (1 Timothy 5:14 NW)

[9] Let the person who is able to make room for it, make room for it: Or, KJV: he that is able to receive it, let him receive it; KNX: take this in, you whose hearts are large enough for it; RIEU let him that can, obey the call; BER: whoever is able to get practical hold of it, let him get hold; MOF: let anyone practice it for whom it is practicable. Note these words are directed to men who are willing to give up marriage and children for their service within the Realm of Heaven.

Those considering marriage do well to think the matter out soberly. In the Western world over half of all marriages fail and half of the “successful” are locked into a life of lovelessness and serious dissatisfaction.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

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