Monday, August 31, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 121

Matthew Chapter 18- Part 1

Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven- Read (Matthew 18:1-5) (Mark 9:36, 37) (Luke 9:46-48)

Matthew writes....The disciples came to Jesus and asked him "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus called a little child to him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Luke writes......A dispute arose among the disciples as to which of them would be greatest.  Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child, set him in their midst, and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all will be great."

Jesus advocated a child like attitude (conversion) for entry in to the kingdom of Heaven. Humble, trusting, not disputing or seeking prominence, power or privilege; receiving others as receiving Christ and considering oneself as of no importance. The one humbling himself as a little child would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and the one who truly considered himself least would be great.

365 Blessings- Devotional 44

Start Your Day Right-21

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-42

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-42

Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 120

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 5

Miracle in the mouth of a fish- (Matthew 17:24-27)

When Jesus and his disciples had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?" He said, "Yes." When he had come into the house, Jesus knowing all, asked Peter, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?" Peter said to him, "From strangers." Jesus replied, "Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for me and you."

Temple tax was a tax that was used for the upkeep of the Jewish Temple.......
This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary. The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. (Exodus 30:13)
Special tax collectors were assigned to collect the tax because some did not care to pay it.
The tax was a half shekel (two drachmas) and Jesus miraculously provided a four drachma coin to pay for Peter and for himself.

Interestingly, Jesus remarked that the sons are free from paying the tax, implying that he being the son of the Most High God did not have to pay tax for the upkeep of the temple that belonged to his Father.
Matthew doesn't write that Peter did what Jesus asked him to, but that is a certainity.
Though the name of the fish is not mentioned here, Tilapia is sometimes called St. Peter's fish.

365 Blessings- Devotional 43

Start Your Day Right-20

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-41

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-41

Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 119

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 4

Unbelief, prayer & fasting- Read (Matthew 17:19-21)(Mark 9:28, 29)

When Jesus was on the mount where he was transfigured, a man had brought his demon afflicted epileptic son to Jesus' disciples, but they could not cast out the demon. Later after Jesus had cast out the demon and set the boy free, his disciples came to him privately and asked, "Why could we not cast out the demon?" Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

Jesus stressed on 3 important aspects of the Christian faith here- Unbelief, solid faith and fasting as a vital addition to prayer.

Perhaps the gravity of the situation gripped the disciples with unbelief. When they saw the boy convulsing and being hurtled around by the satanic power, they must have questioned themselves whether they could command a deliverance. Jesus addressed their unbelief by telling them that if they could muster faith as a mustard seed, which is packed to it's maximum capacity with substance, indicating total faith with no space for unbelief, then it would have been possible for them to effect the deliverance; nothing would be impossible for them. There was the matter of being stronger than the enemy too and Jesus said that adding fasting to prayer would bolster their faith and make them overcome their unbelief and then victory over the enemy would become a reality.

Start Your Day Right-19

365 Blessings- Devotional 42

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-40

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-40

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 118

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 3

Deliverance for a demon possessed epileptic child- Read (Matthew 17:14-18)(Mark 9:17-27)(Luke 9:37-42)

The Gospel writer Mark is the one who describes this miracle in detail. When Jesus came down from the mountain where he was transfigured, a great multitude had gathered and a man cried out to him, saying, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me." When the boy saw Jesus, immediately the evil spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" and he said, "From childhood often he has been thrown both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, saying to it, "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" Then the spirit cried out, convulsed the boy greatly, and came out of him. The boy lay on the ground as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose and he gave him back to his father.

A desperate father had brought his ailing son to Jesus' disciples, hoping for a deliverance, but they could not help him any. He must have been relieved to see Jesus and gaining an oppurtunity cried out to him. Jesus' statement to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes", must have perplexed him, but he confessed his unbelief immediately and saw his son being delivered from a demon that had oppressed him for long.

Jesus' power over demonic forces was clearly evident throughout his ministry. He has bestowed the same power to his disciples then and now. As he said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes".

Start Your Day Right-18

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-39

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-39

365 Blessings- Devotional 41

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 117

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 2

Questions after the transfiguration- Read (Matthew 17:9-13)(Mark 9:9-13)

As they came down from the mountain where Jesus was transfigured, Jesus told Peter, James & John "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead." So they kept their experience to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. Later they asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus answered, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands." The disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.

The disciples knew that their questions and doubts would find answers with their Teacher and when alone with Jesus they asked him the same. Here they asked him about the prophecy of Malachi which spoke of the coming of Elijah before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (ref. Malachi 4:5). Jesus answered and told them that it was true and it had happened, but the scribes had not realized it, indirectly speaking of John the Baptist and how he was dealt with. Jesus ended by saying that he himself was to suffer likewise.

Start Your Day Right-17

365 Blessings- Devotional 40

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-38

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-38

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 116

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 1

Jesus is transfigured- Read (Matthew 17:1-8) (Mark 9:2-8)(Luke 9:28-36)

The synoptic gospel authors write about the transfiguration of Jesus which was witnessed by Peter, James and John; three disciples of Jesus. Peter mentions him being an eyewitness of this in his second epistle...(2 Peter 1:16-18)

Jesus took his disciples, Peter, James, and John with him on a high mountain by themselves and he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus and spoke of his death which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. As they were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, let us make three tabernacles here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!" And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Even when Jesus was baptized, there was a voice from heaven which said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) Here another statement is made by the Father, which is "Listen to Him" signifying Jesus to be the mouth piece or representative of the Father. Moses represented the Law and Elijah the Prophets and both, the Law and the Prophets found fulfillment in Jesus. Peter blurted out what came to his mind on the spur of the moment and the heavenly voice brought great fear to the disciples, but they were reassured by Jesus.

The transfiguration signifies God exalting and honoring Jesus above all creation; his holiness and sanctity being shown forth by his body and even clothes becoming radiant with the glory of God.
Some have identified Mount Tabor as the site of the transfiguration, but there is no evidence suggesting that. Mount Tabor has long been a place of Christian pilgrimage and is the site of the Church of the Transfiguration.

365 Blessings- Devotional 39

Start Your Day Right-16

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-37

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-37

Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 115

Matthew Chapter 16- Part 3 

Jesus reveals his coming sufferings and speaks of true discipleship-Read (Matthew 16:21-28)(Mark 8:31-37, Mark 9:1)(Luke 9:22-27)

Jesus told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "No Lord, this shall not happen to You!" But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked him for speaking of his death. He was their king and shouldn't/coudn't die. He was to be with them forever as their leader and teacher. Jesus on the other hand, had only one goal in mind i.e. to fulfill the Father's will and he wouldn't let anyone stand as hindrance to that. He knew that Satan would bring hindrances to God's divine plan and he rebuked Satan for being an offense. True discipleship had costs involved and Jesus spoke precisely of what it meant for someone to be his disciple..Denial and picking up one's cross were of paramount importance if someone decided to follow him.

Luke adds a few important words here.....If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:26)

Unlike Matthew and Mark, Luke adds the word "daily" regarding picking up the cross. So true, for believers do sometimes forget that they have to continually live a life "dead to sin" to be "alive in Christ". Jesus affirmed that having all material gains in this world and not having salvation of one's soul was worthless. A disciple should never be ashamed to testify to others regarding his/her salvation that God the Father has provided him/her through his son Jesus Christ.
Jesus ended this teaching session with his disciples by saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." He was speaking of his resurrection here and it proved true. His disciples and several others were witnesses, except some who died, including Judas, his betrayer.

365 Blessings- Devotional 38

Start Your Day Right-15

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-36

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-36

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 114

Matthew Chapter 16- Part 2

True identity of the Savior and new revelation of kingdom power- Read (Matthew 16:13-19)(Mark 8:27-29)(Luke 9:18-20)

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that I, the Son of Man, am?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, son of the living God." Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Revelation comes to a fisherman turned fisher of men (Peter) and he gives the precise answer to Jesus' question when all others kept quiet. Jesus' acceptance of Peter's answer that he indeed is Christ, "the anointed one" and also the "son of the living God" clearly established his identity among his followers, when the general impression regarding him among the multitudes were varied. Many are averse to the fact that God is one who deals personally and gives revelation to those whom he chooses, like here he did in Peter's life. A question can then be asked why God the Father revealed this only to Peter and not to the others. The answer is that God is sovereign and he reveals that which he wishes to those whom he chooses, in ways that he chooses.

Jesus had more to say to Peter (mentioned only by Matthew)...."you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it." There are varied interpretations regarding this, with some even looking at the comma after Peter and interpreting it as Jesus speaking of himself as the "on this rock". But with authority being bestowed upon Peter in the next verse, one can conclude that Peter was being chosen as a pillar of the coming new church after Pentecost. The "binding and loosing" is again mentioned in Matthew 18 in a totally different context. Here, with Jesus laying emphasis that "the gates of hades shall not prevail against the Church that was to be built", the "binding and loosing" means having authority over satanic powers if one exercised faith and used the name and power that comes from the name of the one who mattered i.e. "Christ, the son of the living God".

Start Your Day Right-14

365 Blessings- Devotional 37

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-35

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-35

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 113

Matthew Chapter 16- Part 1

Pharisees & Sadducees try to test Jesus; Jesus warns his disciples - Read (Matthew 16:1-12, Mark 8:11-21)

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus and asked him to show them a sign from heaven. Calling them hypocrites, he told them that they were clever enough to predict the weather looking at the sky, but they could not discern the signs of the times. Calling them a wicked and adulterous generation, he told them that no sign shall be given to them except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (Matthew doesn't detail the sign here, because he did it in Chapter 12:38-40). Jesus then left them and departed.

Later Jesus warned his disciples, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." They reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread." Jesus, being aware of their discussion, said to them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread, but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-34

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-34

365 Blessings- Devotional 36

Start Your Day Right-13

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 112

Matthew Chapter 15- Part 4

4000+ fed miraculously by Jesus- (Matthew 15:32-38) (Mark 8:1-9)

Jesus had healed many who were sick and made many whole; people were engrossed in his teachings and in the wondrous healings they had seen; it was three days now since they had been with Jesus. Jesus had compassion on them and did not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way, because some of them had come from far off places. On expressing his desire to his disciples for providing them food, the disciples replied, "Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to feed such a great multitude?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven, and a few little fish." So he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground and he took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to his disciples and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.

The presence of Jesus, his words and the power of the kingdom of God had captivated the multitude so much, that they did not think of time or home or hunger. Yet, the reality of the needs of the human body was realized by their Teacher and he asked his disciples for a solution but they faltered easily despite the fact that their own hands had distributed loaves and fish to a greater multitude sometime back; 5000+ being fed by their Master after giving thanks for 5 loaves and 2 fish. Their unbelief was unjustified; yet their Lord did another great miracle with seven loaves and a few fish and fed the 4000+ people. The disciples seemed to have forgotten the 12 baskets of fragments that they carried after the 5000+ were fed; now the Master had 7 large baskets of fragments for them. A miracle that teaches us that we serve an Unchanging God and he can provide us all through our lives as we serve him. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Start Your Day Right-12

365 Blessings- Devotional 35

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-33

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-33

Blessed are they- Sermon By Dr. Johnson Cherian

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Free Christian Wallpaper

New Testament- Lesson 111

Matthew Chapter 15- Part 3

Great Healings - Read (Matthew 15:29-31) (Mark 7:31-37)

Departing from Tyre and Sidon, Jesus went to the region of the Sea of Galilee and went up on a mountain and sat down there. Matthew writes about multitudes of sick people (the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute...)coming to him and being healed. Mark writes of a specific healing...People brought to him one who was deaf and had a problem in his speech, and they begged Jesus to put his hand on him. Jesus took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers in his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, he said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. Whether with this miracle or the mutliple healings as Matthew writes, the people marvelled and glorified God. Jesus commanded them that they should tell no one of what they had witnessed; but the more he commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.

365 Blessings- Devotional 34

Start Your Day Right-11

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-32

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 110

Matthew Chapter 15- Part 2

Faith of a Canaanite Woman- Read (Matthew 15:21-28) (Mark 7:24-30)

Matthew and Mark, both write about  a woman who came to Jesus seeking deliverance for her daughter who was demon possessed, but Matthew mentions her to be a Canaanite and Mark writes that she was a Greek, a Syro-Phonecian by birth. Most probably, she was a Canaanite woman who lived in Syro-Phonecia and had adopted the Greek culture.

When Jesus came to the region of Tyre and Sidon, a Canaanite woman came to him and implored him saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed." Jesus did not answer her initially. (Mark writes...she kept asking him to cast the demon out of her daughter.) His disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries out after us." But he answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Then she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me!" But he answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." To that she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." On hearing that  Jesus answered, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be as you desire." Her daughter was healed that very hour.

Jesus remained quiet initially to see whether she would persist in her crying out to him with faith; a faith with which she came to him though she was not a Jew. She crossed the first hurdle as she kept crying out to him to heal her daughter.

Next, the disciples thought that he should provide a solution for her, because she was creating a furore. To this, Jesus said that he was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, meaning that, all healings and deliverances were provided for God's chosen people.

The woman then worshipped Jesus, persisting in her pleadings, to which Jesus said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."

The Gentiles were often considered as mere dogs by the Jews, who considered themselves as God's own people and Jesus was referring to this when he made the above statement. But she neither got angry or depressed on hearing that. Instead, she replied, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table", conveying the message that all she desired was a deliverance for her daughter who was suffering and did not mind what people called her and though she being a Gentile did not qualify, yet the Lord could show mercy. On hearing that  Jesus answered, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be as you desire." Her daughter was healed that very hour.

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-31

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-31

365 Blessings- Devotional 33

Start Your Day Right-10

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 109

Matthew Chapter 15- Part 1

Jesus explains what really defiles a person- Read (Matthew 15:1-20) (Mark 7:1-23)

The Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus and questioned him as to why his disciples transgressed the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands before eating. He in turned asked them why they transgressed the commandments of God by ignoring some aspects of it. He quoted the commandment "Honor your father and mother" and also laws related to it like those found in Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21 which said that disobedient and arrogant children who cursed or smote their parents were to be put to death (he was not saying that they had to be doing that, but was pointing to their hypocrisy). Also some of them disliked taking care of their parents and whatever money they got, they said it was a a gift or offering consecrated to God or Corban (Mark 7:11) and so found a way to not support their parents.

Jesus remarked that Isaiah's prophesy of "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, they have removed their hearts far from me..." (Isaiah 29:13) found fulfillment in the hypocritical lives of the Pharisees.

Jesus called the people together and said, "There is nothing outside a person which going into him makes that person unclean: but the things which come out of a person are those which makes that person unclean."  The disciples later asked him what that saying meant and he explained, "Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside is not able to make him unclean, because it goes into the stomach, and later out of the body. That which comes out of a man, that makes the man unclean. For from within, out of the heart of men, comes evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness."

The disciples told Jesus that he had offended the Pharisees by his harsh words and Jesus replied, " Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be uprooted. Let them alone: they are blind leaders of the blind. If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-30

Start Your Day Right-9

365 Blessings- Devotional 32

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-30

Free Christian Wallpaper

Free Christian Wallpaper

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 108

Matthew Chapter 14- Part 4

The hem of Jesus' garment- (Matthew 14:34-36)(Mark 6:53-56)

Matthew writes....When they had crossed over (after Jesus came walking on the sea and entered the boat that the disciples were in), they came to the land of Gennesaret and when the men of that place recognized him, they sent out into all that surrounding region and brought to him all who were sick and begged him that they might only touch the hem of his garment and as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
Mark adds....Wherever he entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might just touch the hem of his garment and as many as touched him were made well.
The healer from Nazareth was now becoming well known, though he himself did not desire much publicity. Word had travelled far and wide and faith of the common people had risen to a level where they realized that just touching the hem of his garment would bring healing and it proved true in the lives of many.

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-29

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-29

Start Your Day Right-8

365 Blessings- Devotional 31

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-27

365 Blessings- Devotional 30

Start Your Day Right-7

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-28

New Testament- Lesson 107

Matthew Chapter 14- Part 3

Jesus & Peter walk on the sea- (Read Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-51, John 6:16-21)

Immediately after Jesus fed the 5000+ people miraculously, he made his disciples get into a boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (John writes Capernaum, Mark writes Bethsaida) and he went up on a mountain by himself to pray. The boat was in the middle of the sea after they rowed about three or four miles and was being tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Jesus was alone on the land and he saw them straining at rowing; it was already dark, and he had not come to them. In the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea and would have passed them by. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to you on the water.”He said, “Come.” When Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus, but when he saw that the wind was contrary, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” When Jesus got into the boat, the wind ceased. All who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” John writes....immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

Jesus very well knew what was going to happen when he sent his disciples across the sea. He was praying for them throughout the crisis. He came to them at an unexpected time (at his time). He wanted to see how they would respond when he came walking on the sea; whether they would be expectantly waiting for him, their Savior to rescue them. Despite having seen innumerable miracles, the disciples were still lacking in faith. He was willing to allow Peter to exercise his faith. He proved once again that he had authority over the winds, the waves and the sea.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 106

Matthew Chapter 14- Part 2
5000+ fed miraculously by Jesus (Miracle of the five loaves and two fish)- Read (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:32-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-13)
The feeding of the 5000+ and the resurrection are the only two miracles that are mentioned in all 4 Gospels. 
When Jesus heard that John the Baptist was beheaded, he withdrew to a deserted place with his disciples, but the crowds followed him because of the signs he was doing among them. When Jesus saw the crowds, he was moved with compassion and healed the sick. His disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
There are slight variations to this event as written in the 4 Gospels. John writes...Jesus, seeing a great multitude coming towards him, said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these people may eat? He said this to test him, for he knew what he would do. Philip answered "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little." Andrew said to him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?" Jesus said, "Bring them here to Me."

Jesus told the people to sit down on the grass and then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves and gave it to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. They all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. 

Start Your Day Right-6

365 Blessings- Devotional 29

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-27

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-26

Monday, August 3, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 105

Matthew Chapter 14- Part 1

Herod Antipas & the murder of John The Baptist- (Matthew 14:1-12)(Mark 6:14-29)

When Herod the tetrarch [Herod Antipater or Antipas][son of Herod the Great], heard about the miracles that Jesus was doing, he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist who has risen from the dead. That is why these powers work in him.” Herod had John imprisoned for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife because John rebuked him for taking his brother's wife. He wanted to put him to death, but he feared the people, because they revered John as a prophet. [Mark writes: Herodias held a grudge against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him]. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced among the guests and pleased Herod and he promised with an oath to give her whatever she would ask. She, being prompted by her mother, said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oath, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given, and he sent and beheaded John in prison. His head was brought on a platter, and given to the daughter of Herodias and she brought it to her mother. John's  disciples came, and took the body, and buried it and they went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard this, he withdrew to a deserted place, but the multitudes followed him on foot from the cities.

[Herod Antipas divorced his first wife Phasaelis, in favour of Herodias, who had formerly been married to his brother Herod Philip I. John disapproved of this]

Start Your Day Right-5

365 Blessings- Devotional 28

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-26

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-25

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Free Christian Wallpaper

New Testament- Lesson 104

Matthew Chapter 13- Part 8

Jesus rejected at Nazareth- (Matthew 13:53-58)(Mark 6:1-6)

When Jesus had finished speaking the parables, he came to Nazareth and on the Sabbath, taught in the synagogue, so that people were astonished and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas and his sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”  So they were offended at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Mark writes....He did not do many mighty works there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He marveled because of their unbelief.

The people in the synagogue in Nazareth could not believe that God would choose an ordinary carpenter's son to speak heavenly wisdom and do mighty works of faith. They thought they could not be sidelined by God and choose him because some of them considered themselves as guardians of the Law. They rejected Jesus because they were jealous of him and because he was gaining popularity.

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-24

Start Your Day Right-4

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-25

365 Blessings- Devotional 27