Introduction of Matthew
Matthew (Koinè Ματθαίος, Matthaíos, a hellenization of the Hebrewo מתי/מתתיהו, Mattay of Mattithyahu, "gift of JHWH") was one of the twelve apostles were called by Jesus. He is traditionally seen as the writer of the Gospel of Matthew, but others believe that the author is a Greek-speaking Jew from Syria. According to the oldest witness of Christianity, Papias (Bishop in Asia minor about 130) and Marcion they called Matthew as the writer.
The Gospel of Matthew is the first of the Gospels in the New Testament. It is generally assumed that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Greek as there is no trace of Hebrew (or Aramaic). The vocabulary is Greek and words such as second coming rebirth and consummation (of the world) have no parallel in Hebrew. The Gospel of Matthew was written towards the end of the decade around 64-85 AD. The Gospel can be based on notes made by Matthew during his presence with Jesus. After all he was a tax collector, who had to report in writing about his taxes collected, maybe he even knew shorthand. But Jesus said that the Holy Spirit to come, would bring all the words of Jesus in memory and the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
The Christian era starts at the birth of Jesus. According to modern historians, Jesus was, however, born a few number of years for the year 1 (the difference is about four years). The Jews used to teach their children and that was oral. The Gospel was Sermoned mainly by oral speech. Assume that the Apostles had about the same age as Jesus, then it is not surprising that the Gospels were written around 70 years after Christ. These disciples were already at age and they saw their end and had to make their testimonies in writing.
Matthew's calling is described in the Bible book of the same name in the New Testament, Chapter 9:9: "when Jesus went from there, he saw a man sitting at the toll House that Matthew was called, and he said to him, 'follow me'" Mark and Luke call him Levi. For this reason, it is often also spoken of Matthew Levi.
Matthew was the son of Alphaeus. He was tax collector to Capernaum. Capernaum was located in the area of Herod Antipas, therefore he was not a Roman officer, but he was in the service of the Prince or did he the toll road of the city rented. Probably he was mighty the writing art.
The Gospel of Matthew gives us many important facts and important lessons. Jesus gives personal more than 200 real and practical lessons on how God wants people to life, respond to challenging conditions, and make choices regarding their future in eternity. A few examples include: having faith (9:29), dealing with anxiety (8:26), how God answers prayers (8:2), the promise of salvation (10:22), obeying God (15:19), the loving your neighbour (19:19), sacrifices (20:22), solving legal issues (5:25), how to give to others (6:2), forgiving others who have sinned against him (6:14), resisting temptations (4:2), hypocritical behavior (23:28), recognizing Christ (10:32), and a representation of heaven and hell (13:49.50).
Matthew follows with the mention of the genealogy fully the Jewish tradition. Genealogy was drawn up at the time because only men with a flawless descendant were admitted to the temple service (Ezra 2:62-63). Even in today's Israel one has too prove his descendant. The Sanhedrin had the task to the accuracy check. The Jewish writer Flavius Josephus gave his family tree by his father's side over a period of 200 years.
The genealogy of Jesus is in a lay-out form of 3 x 14 names. A possible explanation is that Matthew used the Jewish-apocalyptic method of 7 x 70 years-weeks=490 years or 3 x 14 generations, or the history of the Jewish people (Abraham) to Jesus. To continue to keep the 14 numbers, he left out 3 names between Jehoram and Uzziah. In the Jewish inheritance was only valid the father is not the mother, a legal matter. Yet we find the names of four women. Matthew directs the male line of Abraham through King David and King Solomon with Joseph to show that Jesus is the Royal Messiah.
The four women:
- Tamar, the daughter-in-law of Judah. Genesis 38: the man from Tamar excited the displeasure of God and God killed him. Tamar was given to his brother to bring for his brother's offspring. His brother, however, wasted his seed and God killed him too. Their father Judah promised to her another man but he did not kept his word. Tamar took the initiative and they thereupon arose as prostitute and Judah made her pregnant. A clean sample of fornication and disobedience.
- Rahab a prostitute de Canaan in Jericho, who provided shelter to the spies (Joshua 2). A stranger, outside the Jewish people, who trusted in the God of Israel. She provided the Jewish people a great service. The gentile outside the Jewish people who hear the Gospel and inoculations in the Jewish people: the Church.
- Ruth, the Moabite. The disobedience of the Jewish man to marry a woman of non-Jewish origin. Therefore the man and his two sons died. Their unbelief, infidelity and disobedience was their death. Ruth, however, chooses before the God of Israel and she was rewarded with her marriage to Boaz. From this marriage comes Obed. Obed begat Jesse, which King David begat.
- The wife of Uriah. Please pay attention, the name Bathsheba is not mentioned, she is the wife of Uriah. With whom King David (coveting another man's wife) murdered her husband committed adultery, and to whom King David begat his son Solomon.
Certainly not a flawless genealogy! But a testimony of God's grace. The sins of Tamar and Bathsheba, the women are not at fault, but the man Judah and King David. By the inclusion of these four women in the genealogy, we already see that God's grace not only applies to the Jewish/Israeli people but also to the gentile. The rescue of sin applies both to God's people the Jews as the gentile: the Church.
Pregnancy announcement of Jesus - Matthew 1:18-25
Publication of the Maria is with Joseph. This was a heavy Covenant. If one went separated, that was equal to divorce and a writing of Divorcement was necessary. If the man died before the marriage, then she was officially widow with all rights. If the fiancé committed adultery, then she was stoned (Deut. 22:23-24).
When and how Joseph noticed that his fiancée was pregnant, the Bible does not tell. Maybe Maria had told it to him herself. Some comments write that Mary was about 12-15 years and Joseph in the early thirties. We can only guess and do not find this information in the Bible. The Bible says that Joseph was a righteous man. For him, it was forbidden to marry with an adulterous woman. Espoused, so he had to separate with a divorce letter. In silence because if it became known, this meant the stoning to death. That was not wanted, probably he loved Maria very much. Maybe Maria had told him that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit but this was something what never had occurred before. Josef must have been inwardly tormented. He had all sorts of considerations and God sent an Angel to deliver him from his torments. The Angel allows him to ease, his betrothed wife is pregnant from the Holy Spirit. You may marry her. The Angel also gives Joseph a command: "you will give the child the name of Jesus". Jesus is Jewish: Jeschoea or JHWH - salvation. By JHWH salvation be given. The Angel goes on, "for it is he who will save my people (laos) of their sins". Sin was for the Jewish people a violating of the law, which has grown with all the explanations to 506 requirements and prohibitions. Please bear in mind that the law is not just the 10 commandments were but the whole law of the Torah, with all the commandments of tithes and offerings.
The Angel says further: "all this was done ....". It is the fulfillment of the prophetic word in the Bible.
Result: Joseph was obedient and did as the Angel had commanded him.
And Joseph has no sexual intercourse with Maria until after the birth of the child Jesus.
Why this virgin birth?
Eve was seduced by the Serpent (satan), Adam had a conscious choice, or to eat or not to eat of the forbidden fruit. Not the woman sinned, she was seduced, the man sinned by his CONSCIOUS choice to eat of the forbidden fruit. Sin came by the man into the world and not by the woman. The sin is passed to posterity by the seed of the man, not by the woman. The Virgin is pure, "free" of sin. Maria without ever having sexual intercourse with a man, so virgin. She is fertilized by the Holy Spirit (seed without sin) and thereby is her child Jesus free from sin. Only a man without sin could bring the sacrifice on the cross of Calvary and die for man free him/her from the penalty of sin (the eternal death in the Lake of fire).
Lucas 1:26-38 Pregnancy announcement to Maria
We already know why Jesus had to be born out of a Virgin. Let us now see to the announcement to the girl Maria. Gabriel is a high angel (Dan 8:16, 9:21, Luke 1:19). So not just an Angel. It is the Messenger of God who is sent to Maria. We have to do with an actual visual appearance, verse 28 "the angel came in unto her". This is in contrast to her espoused husband Joseph where the angel appears in a dream.
The angel opens with the words hail and be not afraid. Can you imagine what a young girl (12-15 years?) sense when a mighty Angel as Gabriel appears to her. The angel informs her that she will be pregnant and give birth to a son. Surprise overtakes Maria and she answered in verse 34 "How will that be, since I have no dealings with a man?" Two things become clear here: she is well educated sexual by her parents at a young age (you as parent has done this with your child?) and second (despite that this commandment is 4000 years old) Maria has, despite in the publication, no sexual intercourse with her husband. So Joseph respects this commandment of God and he (with an age of about 30 years?) does not have sexual intercourse with his betrothed wife.
The angel explains the upcoming pregnancy: the Holy Spirit will fertilize you and this divine seed will be blessed: God's son. You will give him the name of Jesus. She is NOT allowed to choose the name. The name is her imposed! And the angel explains in verse 32 and 33 He will sit on the throne of his father David, and to his Kingdom there will be no end.
Maria is sent by the angel to Elisabeth.
Announcement to Maria (YouTube).
Announcement to Maria
Lucas 5-25 Pregnancy announcement John the Baptist
How beautiful begins verses 5 and 6: Zacharias priest and his wife from the daughters of Aaron (the first high priest), and they lived to all the commandments and requirements of the Lord God, flawless. What a testimony. Which Christian can be given such a testimony?
Zechariah went into the temple (the people stood outside the Temple) to the olfactory sacrifice. Here appears an angel of the Lord, to him in person, visual visible. First the angel does him peace of mind and immediately follows the communication that his prayer and of his wife are interrogated (birth of a son) and follows immediately the instructions concerning his growth and his actions (verses 14-17).
And now follows in verse 18 a big doubt. Here is a (elderly) priest educated in the law, with the knowledge of Abraham and Sarah who at old age (being in her 90-years) begat a son by God's promise. And HE DOUBTS despite he sees an Angel in person for him. What a contrast to the girl Maria who immediately believes the word of the angel, even though such a thing was ever yet featured in the history.
Jesus Himself says that we have to believe like a child. A child believes the word of his father. Many elderly believers have been praying for years, without response, are disappointed and do not expect any more to receive. Are we as Zechariah? or as Maria?
The following is a serious lesson in verse 19: "I am Gabriel", "I am standing before God", "I am sent to speak with you".
And in verse 20 we see that angels are POWERFUL. The angel punishes Zechariah, Zechariah becomes dumb and he can no longer speak. Be very careful, however, to believe as a Christian, satan can occur as an Angel of light, however, the Christian has a weapon only angels sent from God to you will recognize that Jesus is the son of God Who came IN the flesh and recognize that He is Lord, satan and demons do NOT recognize this. Satan and his fallen angels (demons) also have much power, however, they abuse their power to deceive people (give what man asks, but then man is demonic bounded) and evil (disasters).
Zechariah goes outside and is unable to give the blessing the people outside waiting. The people outside understood that he had seen a face. Zechariah, however, does not run to home run. After all, he had purify himself for the temple service. It was his turn to serve as a priest. He served his time out. How is it with us Christian believers, we continue on our post, or leave when joy has reached us?
Herod was a very cruel king, who according to Flavius Josephus murdered his brother-in-law, his wife, three sons and many others. According to Micah 5:1-3, Bethlehem is the place where the Messiah will be born.
The wise men from the East. The Bible does not mention that they are three, this number is based that there are three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Where did these wise men come from? Also that the Bible does not mention. Possible they came from Medes and Persians (Babylonia where Jews were left over from the Babylonian exile at the time of Daniel). Possible these wise men had knowledge of the Jewish messianic expectation. These wise men were astronomers who studied the stars? We know that the Babylonian astronomers are responsible for the mapping of the universe, time and calendar. Why they travel to Jerusalem? The sky is full of stars, so this star had to had a special feature. Also note that it is not always visible, because they see this star again in Bethlehem, to great delight of them. That they travel to Jerusalem, is not surprisingly, one would expect that a King will be born in a major city such as Jerusalem. They do check with Herod. He has no answer, so he calls the Jewish scribes, they need to know where the Messiah would be born. They respond from Micah 5:1: Bethlehem.
Now follows the falsehood of Herod, he tells to the wise men that he too wishes to bring tribute to the child, while his real intension is to kill the child so that he himself can stay in power. The wise men go on the road and they rejoice when they the star again above Bethlehem.
The wise men go into the house (this is no longer the Inn where Mary gave birth to Jesus) so we are months later, maybe a year? The Bible does not mention the time. Matthew talks about "to paidion" (the child), while Lucas talks about "to brephos" (infant).
The wise men offer gifts of gold and valuables (Royal gift), incense (Deity of Jesus) and myrrh (anointing of his death at the cross). In any case, God provides for valuables to sustain the poor family of Joseph.
The wise men are warned not to return to Herod and they leave Judea via a different road. In a dream again, Joseph receives an order: go to Egypt.
Herod discovers that he has been cheated. Why did he wait two years? We do not know, in any case he commands to kill all boys of two years old. It was two years ago, that the wise men had visited him. Herewith fulfills the prophecy by Jeremiah, God knew that Herod would kill the children in Bethlehem. Rachel is the matriarch of Israel (Genesis 29), the wife of Jacob (whose name was later changed into Israel).
After the death of Herod, Joseph receives again in a dream (twice) the command to return to Judea and very specific to Nazareth. Nazareth was a despised by the Jews (John 1:47).
Baptism in the Jordan River near Qasr al-Yahud, located near the desert, the most likely place where Jesus was baptized. Today, the Jordaan is narrow due to the extraction of water for irrigation. As a result, the Dead Sea level is also falling.
The desert of Judea is a hilly desert area located west of Judea and the dead sea. It is a deserted area, an undulating arid chalky soil covered with boulders, broken stones and rocks with some bushes where serpents hide. John proclaims the Kingdom of Heaven: deep repentance of sin, leaving the sinful life and passing to a live up to the honour and glory of God and obedience to God, and God lives in the hearts of man. Leaving his life of this world, in which human beings are act selfishly and look only to his or her own interests, wealth and prosperity thinking. John Sermoned, "repent", which is a weak translation: John Sermones imminent calamity, a disaster if it is not converted which only can be avoided if you feel deep remorse and repent radically and turn to God. A really deep sincerely repent of his or her sinful life, and leave this all behind.
John the Baptist is the fulfillment of the words spoken by the Prophet Isaiah (40:3), John is the one who prepares the way for the Messiah Jesus. John calls for repentance of sin, he proclaims that the Messiah's coming is near. John was only 6 months older than Jesus, as such he was also a forerunner.
John's lifestyle is clear: simple. An example of repentance and simple life. He stays in the hot (daytime) and cold (night) desert. A place of trial. His clothing was made of camel hair: wear-resistant and economically, no fine expensive clothing. Clothes that will last years, fully consistent with his message. Honey was found in the desert and is a reference to the power that it gave to Samson (Judges 14:8-9) and Jonathan (1 Sam. 14:25-30). Also one finds plenty of grasshoppers in the desert. Cheap food, without abundance, but sufficient to man, not a luxury life, but obedience to the Lord God.
The message of John drew the attention of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Judea and all who lived on either side of the Jordan River. Please note that already in the time of John and Jesus, the Over-Jordanian region (what is now occupied by the Palestinians) belonged to the area of Israel. Israel is not at error to claim this area, at error are the Palestinians who OCCUPY this country (Over-Jordanian), they have no right to live and claim this area, which has been given by the Lord God to the Israelites. In 70 AD the Romans drove out the Jewish people from their land, and other nations took hold of it, but legally the present Israel and the Over-Jordanian BELONGS TO the Jewish people.
After repentance and confession of sin, the baptism in the Jordan took place, a washing away of sin and passing to the new life to the honour and glory of God. A life in obedience to God. Baptism symbolizes leaving the worldly life and entering into the Kingdom of God. It is a public place, with other witnesses of your statement: I put behind my life of this world, I am a sinner and I choose for the rest of my life, to live for the Lord God. Please note that running water is used to baptized, the Jordan River was and is running water, the flowing water washing away sin and sin was taken with the flow.
John calls the Pharisees and Sadducees: sons of snakes. The Pharisees (meaning: separators) separate themselves from the gentiles, public people and sinners, they elevated themselves above the people who "did not know the law". They did their best not to be infected by somebody, which was regarded as unclean. The Sadducees were in many ways the opposite of the Pharisees: they sought compromises (does the present Pope not do the same?), they depended on the law of God, but had no disgust of Greek culture. They were priests, from who usually came the high priest. See Acts 23 for their differences in faith. Both had one thing in common: by own work to come into Heaven. Hence it is no surprise that John calls them sons of snakes: they wanted to know of no remorse, only by own work to enter into Heaven.
That they came too for baptism, is not strange. John attracted a lot of people, and the Pharisees and Sadducees were afraid to lose their influence and power over the Jewish people. And did this not ultimately lead to the crucifixion of Jesus? The Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to avoid God's judgment (God's wrath). John responds with: show repentance of sin and bring fruits (of the Holy Spirit) (Gal. 5:22; Ef. 5:9).
Belonging to the people of Abraham, does not lead to eternal life in Heaven. Faith in God by father Abraham, led him to God. And his faith went with deeds (works), which confirmed his faith in God. Faith without works, is dead and does not lead to eternal life in Heaven.
When the Jew, Israelite or believer bears no fruit, then the axe lies already at the tree to be cut and to be burned in the (hell) fire. (Matt. 7:16-18; 12:33; 13:8; Luke 13:6-9, 1 Corinthians 3:10-16). When the believer bears no fruit, then it is to be seen if he/she enters into Heaven. John and Jesus Sermon both the repentance of sin (not just sins of the past) but also to end with a sinful life and to live up to the honour and glory of the Lord God, thus lives up its laws and institutions (the Christian values and standards). The axe of disobedience felt over the Jewish people in 70 years after Christ, the fall and destruction of Jerusalem. The prophets in the Old Testament, now John the Baptist and Jesus, after them the Apostles they repeatedly called the Jewish people for repentance. Their tenacity was overthrow them, Jerusalem was destroyed and the Gospel spread among the Gentiles. Let this be a lesson for the gentile (but also to the believer) that when he/she is not free to a life of sin and to remain living a worldly life. The believer has also the duty to bear fruit. If not, then also the axe falls on him or her.
The fire refers to the eternal fire (verse 12, 25:41), which is prepared for satan and the fallen angels (demons). Is God then without mercy? God is patient (examples are Lot, King Saul), but everything has its limit. Iniquity and disobedience (and especially stubborn perseverance in this) are not without consequences, all has consequences. God is love, but can NOT condone sin and iniquity. Which parent whose child is killed, desires that the killer remains without punishment?
Baptism by water happens AFTER conversion, AFTER the recognition of sin, AFTER repentance. This calls for the immersion as "adults". Infant baptism or sprinkling does not apply, that is a recording in God's family by the salvation of the faithful parents in the Lord Jesus Christ. The child himself when fully understand what sin is, and repents and come to acceptance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ only can be baptized as "adult". Repent of sin is not enough. The baptism of John was repentance (Acts 19:1-5), however after repentance follows the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour (Acts 19:1-5). Jesus is the One Who comes after John the Baptist, He is stronger than John. It is Jesus Christ Who died for sin and takes away the Sin. He is the One Who is risen from the dead and has overcome death. Jesus is stronger: John was beheaded and died. Jesus was hung on the cross of Calvary and died. But he stood up from the grave after three days, and enter into Heaven, now He sits at the right hand of God the Father: HE IS ALIVE.
Thereby he can give the Holy Spirit. Every believer who accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her personal Saviour, will immediately receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ef. 1:13-14) and does not need to wait until he/she is baptized. Baptism is, however, an obedience to God. The Holy Spirit convicts of Sin during the Christian life of the believer and the fire cleanses the believer of his/her sin.
The grain is separated on the threshing floor, the bundles are bundle, and the bundle is thrown into the air. The hard grains fall on the threshing floor, the chaff, the dust and the small hay, is blown away with the strong Mediterranean winds. So the good is separated from the bad, and nothing good is lost. The winnowing fork is in the Hand of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer will be judged about his or her Christian life. Has fruit produced or not? The grain is collected in the barn: the believer who has produce fruit (a life full of the Holy Spirit) will receive eternal life in Heaven. The chaff that have rejected Jesus Christ (never accepted, the fallen believer, the believer without fruits??) their fate is the (hell) fire, the unquenchable fire. The fire also points literally to the fire what will thrown upon Earth during the Great Tribulation. But there is also the fire (lava) in the interior of earth. Researchers of the core of the earth, have heard awful screaming and yelling. According to Rabbis, the hell is in the Interior of the earth.
Jesus comes from Galilee (Nazareth Mark 1:9) to Bethany (John 1:28), a village north of the dead sea, to be baptized by John the Baptist. With this ceremony of baptism and fulfillment by the Spirit (verse 16), starts the service of Jesus on earth. John tries to keep Jesus away. John knew very well the divinity of Jesus, of His virgin birth. John was the son of Elizabeth, a related of Mary (Luke 1:36) and the priest Zacharias.
Why the baptism of Jesus? That is guessing, Jesus was without sin. Yes, however, He was with our sin (Isaiah 53:5-9). Here it shows the symbolic way of the sinner: recognizing debt, of sin, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit.
Jesus rose up out of the water, this is probably a full immersion. And the heavens opened, probably as a sign for the other attendees who wanted to baptize. And the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) descended in the form of a dove upon Him. We know that the Holy Spirit is not visible to people, but the believer can clearly experienced His strength in his/her life. Why in the form of a dove? Therefore is no answer, the Bible does not explain. However, the attendees and the Gospel writers recognize clearly that the spirit of God descends on Jesus here. And a voice from heaven says "this is my son. So it must be the voice of God his Father. Why the beloved? Obvious: Jesus left all His glory and power that He had in Heaven, is born as a man, and is now starting His heavy task on earth to the death on the cross. God his Father has pleasure in it that His son is doing this voluntarily and, yes the punishment on SIN takes on voluntarily including the terrible crucifixion and all temptations that He must endure.
Jesus was led into the desert. The desert is very hot during the day and pretty cold in the night. A person should drink plenty of water during the day and eat well for the cold nights. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Then comes the devil and tries to seduce Jesus. Equally the first Adam, who also was without sin (at Creation), just like Jesus. Adam was not hungry, because he was allowed to eat of all the trees in Eden, except one. Now again came the seducer, the devil, and he tries to trick Jesus and let Him sin. Much has been written whether these temptations were real or not. Jesus was a man, but also divine. Is possible that even God could sin?
We do not know. The first Adam in Eden was also without sin, yet he sinned. I think we need to think of our free will. Adam had the choice, to obey God or not. Jesus had the choice: either obedience to God, His Father, and going the heavy way to the cross, or an easy way and accept the offer of the devil. Bare in mind, the road with the devil is false. The devil is a liar, what seems easy, however the price is high, the end is the Lake of fire.
Verse 3 begins with the first lie of the Devil: "If you are the son of God". Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and God, His Father, just had already confirmed that Jesus is His son. No 'if'. The devil knew very well that Jesus is the Son of God. The devil tries with a doubt. Lesson: the faithful should not doubt the Word of God and ask God to prove.
Jesus responds with: a man needs no bread to live, the Word of God is sufficient. The Israelites were starving in the desert, but God sent manna to everyone. Lesson: the believers must be full of the Holy Spirit, trust in God, He will provide for our needs.
The second temptation. The devil takes Jesus to the Holy City, and places Him on a pinnacle of the temple. How should we explain the word 'takes'? Was really the devil taking Jesus? Or Jesus walked along with the devil to the temple? The Bible says only "took", nothing more.
Where was this pinnacle of the temple? The Bible gives no exact place.
Josephus gives Herod's Palace, a point Southeast of the temple, that sticks out over the Valley Kedron, about 140 meters straight down. According to tradition, here the brother of Jesus, James, is thrown down.
The Devil tries that Jesus tempts his Father. Jesus replies: "You shall not tempt the Lord your God". Lesson: the faithful should not tempt God, do not go to places where there are dangers, to places of temptations and then say "God will protect me." Only when you are sent by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel in a dangerous neighbourhood, you may go. If you are not send by the Holy Spirit, then you should not go in own strength and tempt God.
Be on your guard when the devil speaks, he can quote, but he might take the Word of God out of context or omission of a word or words, or that you are going to sin by putting God to the test. The devil may try that you insist, that God keeps his Word.
The devil took Jesus to a high mountain. Is this in a vision? The Bible says nothing about this, nothing about which mountain. Interestingly, Jesus does not dispute that all the kingdoms of the world is the property of the devil. The Bible says that all people are born as children of satan. The work of Jesus was the heavy way to the cross, to buy the world, to salve men free from the penalty of sin. This was the way of Jesus' Father, a difficult road. If Jesus falls in this pit of satan, the Jesus worships the devil, and in the future He has to be obedience to the devil, and the devil WINS everything, because the devil will be his master and not Jesus. No one will obtain salvation through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and everyone ends up in the Lake of fire.
- The believer himself has to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation each year. It is not enough to visit every Sunday the Church, the faithful himself must have knowledge of the Bible in order to resist the devil. Without exact knowledge of the Bible, the believer is easy prey for Satan.
- Do not say: "God does not need my tithes and offerings". God wants your gratitude and use your money to save other people.
- Do not say: "God will heal me". Yes, God can heal, but it is your responsibility to live healthy and to eat healthy. Not too much food, no meat twice a day, not overweight. God does not heal you from cholesterol, that is your responsibility.
- Not to say when you are courting with an unbeliever, God will lead my partner to believe. 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness??" is very clear. Therefore do not starts a relationship with an unbeliever (including a Catholic worships those images and saints, Matthew 4:10).
- No sexual intercourse before marriage. The Bible and Jesus are very clear. A sexual relationship belongs within marriage (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5). A sexual relationship means marriage whether or not one is officially married. And you may no longer be living with your parents.
Do not allow the devil to trick you! Then the devil will flee away!
If Jesus went right after the temptations to Capernaum, is not clear. Some comments say that there is a time interval is one year. Luke 4:28-31 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away. And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath.
Calling of the disciples
Jesus calls simple fishermen, people without education. It is Jesus who teaches and trains, not fishermen of fishes but fishermen of sinful men. Look at the greatness of Jesus: his strength affects the mind and heart. This let these called fishermen immediately leave their family behind and go along with Jesus.
Along with His disciples, Jesus Sermones the Gospel, teaches in the synagogues of Galilee entirely. Not limited to one place, but in different places. Jesus teaches the Gospel of the Kingdom and also explains what it means. The Gospel of the Kingdom means a profound recognition of being a sinner, that only Jesus can save you, the change of your life: leaving your life in the world and beginning a new life to the glory of God. The Kingdom of God knows no diseases and torments, the demon-possessed, madmen and ham-strung. Jesus healed them all. He shows His supernatural character. The healings of Jesus has three meanings:
- Confirms his message.
- Confirms that he really is the promised Messiah.
- The Kingdom of God is near.
Since Jesus healed all, this means that the Gospel is for all, Jew and Gentile, because Jews and Gentiles lived in Galilee.
Because Capernaum was on the road from Antioch and Damascus to Galilee, Gaza and Egypt, it is not surprising that the fame of Jesus spread rapidly in Syria, Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the over-Jordan.
Lesson: Proclaim the gospel on places where are many people who travels (bus stations, train and metro stations, airports) and build your church at a good visible place and easy to reach.
Jesus healed of all diseases and possession among people. All those who suffer from various diseases and torments, the demon-possessed, lunatics and crippled, He healed them. Jesus shows His power over Satan. Satan brings serious disease and death. Jesus heals all and He alone has the power over death and life. He is granting eternal life.
Matthew the Evangelist consciously uses the definite article "the" mountain. For the Jews, there was only one mountain, the Mount Sinai or Horeb, where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
The Sermoning has a clear theme: the lifestyle of the believer. It is structurally built. Let this serve as a lesson for today's Sermoners.
- The inhabitants of the Kingdom of God.
Describes their character and life. Their relationship with the world. They are the salt of the earth (verse 13) and let your light shine in the world (verse 14): the proclamation of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ.
- Justice in the Kingdom of God (verses 17-48).
The high living standards, required by King Jesus. Jesus came to fulfill the Torah (the first five books of the Bible, including the Ten Commandments) (verses 17-18), to summarize: love God with all your mind and soul, God in the first place. And secondly: love your neighbour as yourself.
- The spur to enter the Kingdom of God (verses 13-16).
The Kingdom of God is doing the will of God, the Father. Firstly, accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour for your sins and then live a life under the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit (the fruits of the Holy Spirit) and a life following the example given by Jesus during His life on Earth. Jesus wants not just listeners, he wants followers!
The Sermoning that follows (verse 3), one might think that it is madness what Jesus is speaking: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, have pain, grief, sadness, etc.. But Jesus sees this as a temporary agony, which is of a short time during the life of man on earth and it is nothing compared to the glory that awaits for the believer during his/her everlasting life in Heaven, where neither of these sufferings are present, there is only joy and happiness. But be careful, there are conditions: conditions for the person to whom it applies (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-18).
Today, the scholars, students of universities are saying: God does not exist, they know to explain scientifically everything in their wisdom=foolishness of them, (no reasonable basis, all based on their own assumptions). So it is better to stay poor in spirit, and recognize that there is the God of the Bible and that man is a sinner, who needs salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Verse 4 Blessed are those who mourn. We can think of sadness. But also that the believer mourning about the many sins in the world of selfishness, corruption, injustice, violence, sexual abuse, murder, theft, etc.
Verse 5 Blessed are the meek. Blessed is the believer who is able to forgive his fellow-creature (think of parents who forgive the murderer of their son). The believer who does not keep any hatred or resentment for the injustice done to him or her.
Verses 6-9 Think of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19 -31). Who was rich at the end? Not the rich man, who had a life of luxury on earth, but the poor, starving Lazarus, he received wealth in Heaven. Also the believer should speak the truth, the believer must have a hunger for justice and take care that no injustice happens with his neighbour. The thief, murderer, the unjust ought to receive a fair penalty and should not be acquitted (through bribery, because of their class).
Verses 10-11 The believer suffer persecution, this may be the literal pursuit: prison and torture. But also a believer who testifies of his/her Christian faith, by revelling, is made ridiculous, validated as a fool, is denied a job, etc.
Verse 12 Do not look to this suffering on earth, but look ahead: your reward in Heaven.
Verses 13-16 Today the believer is the representative of Jesus Christ on earth. The Mission of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 is: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations". The believer is the salt of the Earth. The believer MUST proclaim the Gospel to all peoples of the Earth. He or she is the best rider of evil, the soldier who fights against satan and demons. If he or she does not fulfill his/her job, then the bad gains, satan and demons win. Result when the believer is not doing his/her job? Does not serve for anything. The believer has extinguished the action of the Holy Spirit and the believer is trodden under foot by men. Yes to be thrown out, namely the believer loses his reward in Heaven and possible his/her eternal life in Heaven.
The believer must let shine his/her light in the world, which is the light of Jesus=salvation from sins through the blood of Jesus Christ. A city on a mountain may be seen from a distance at night, because the houses radiating light and doe not stay unnoticed. If the believer does not witness of Jesus Christ in WORD and DEED, his/her work is invisible. After all, nobody puts the lamp under the table, but raise the lamp on a high stand so that the light can appear everywhere in the room. So too the unbelievers should recognize by means of good works (do your work as it was for Jesus), visiting the sick, adopt financially a child in the third world, support for the missionaries, being an example (not participating in lies, theft, drugs, alcohol, violence), etc. How can the believer do good works? Not in own strength, for that the oil (energy for light) of the Holy Spirit is necessary, for Jesus is the Light.
First: Because God the Father looks from Heaven to the believer and notes your behaviour.
Second: Through a good witness God in Heaven will be glorified. How sad it is not today with believers, who just live in the world, take part in wild parties, wealth, adultery and you name it. Sermoners, who enrich themselves through the gifts, driving expensive cars, live in luxury villas, paid from the tithes. A farce for the unbelievers. But note their end in Matthew 7:21-23: Jesus does not know them and says: "I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers." and their destination is the Lake of Fire.
Verses 17-19 About these verses is rarely Sermoned in churches, but is the Foundation of the Christian faith. Jesus came, that is Jesus left His Habitat in Heaven and came to earth, He was born as a baby.
Why Jesus came?
He came to fulfill the law (=the first five books of the Bible, including the Ten Commandments) and the prophets.
In short, a Christian who says that he/she does not need to keep the law, is very wrong. Remember, Jesus has fulfilled the law and the prophets: animal sacrifice and sacrifices for sins, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus is accomplished at the cross of Calvary for the sins of Christians. But the Christian must walk in the footsteps of Jesus and live a Holy life and keep the law as an example against the unbelievers. The law and in particular the Ten Commandments, the people cannot be put aside, which are very clearly shown in the four Gospels and the letters of Paul (do a scoop on top).
Jesus says: "till heaven and earth pass away". This points to the future New Earth and New Heaven.
"not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law". The Greek iota ι and Greek dot ' are the smallest letters of the Greek alphabet. That underlines their importance. The minimum (commandment) is important.
"until all is accomplished". Jesus will fulfill the law and the prophets. He will bring the perfect sacrifice for Sin on the cross of Calvary. He will rise from the dead after three days and three nights, as described in the prophets.
He will overcome satan and the demons (future as described in Revelation). The seven years of the Great Tribulation are near, the 1000 years of the Kingdom of Christ is future. Satan and the demons will have your eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. God will punish the unbelievers and the believers will come before the judgment seat of Christ and be judged by their work (or none). THEN follows the New Earth and the New Heaven.
There are Sermoners who say that in this century we do not have to take the commandments literally. Many facts of the Bible are spiritualized. People are liberal. Notice what Jesus says: Whoever (referring to the believer) then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teach men so (those who Sermon or teach the Bible), shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, that is, will hardly receive a reward, as if saved by fire (1 Corinthians 3:15). The believer who KEEPS and DOES the law and instructions in the New Testament and about the Christian life, and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 3:14).
Verse 20: "For I (Jesus) tell you". Here begins a clear transition, a direct addressing of Jesus to the believer. Not the words and the interpretation of the scribes and Pharisees, but a direct interpretation of God (Jesus) Himself. It is not just the external actions (as with the scribes and Pharisees), but the state of the heart of the believer. Your attitude towards the Lord God and not your presentation in front of people who are watching your action. God looks at what is in the heart of the believer.
The scribes and the Pharisees began with: "O God, thank you that I am not like the rest of the people ...". Today, there are many believers with a lot of show: they speak in tongues. But the tax collector aloof in mind: "O God, be merciful to me, I am a sinner ...".
The scribes and Pharisees teach keeping the law with their own (free) interpretation. Today we see this in the liberal churches, their interpretations and distortion of the Bible: it is spiritually, that is not in the original text (as in the church of homosexuals).
The scribes and Pharisees had no recognition of sins, according to them, the Jew keeping the law goes in heaven. Today how many people do not think that by doing well (Buddha, yoga, good works, etc ...) can get into heaven. One refuses to acknowledge that one is a sinner and cannot redeem himself, but needs Jesus Christ. Note the warning that Jesus gives, through the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees by no means you will ever enter the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the only way to eternal life in Heaven!!
Verses 21-22 Whoever kills shall be liable to judgment. In the Ten Commandments: "thou shalt not kill", the men of old had added: who committed murder, the murderer had to be killed, based on Genesis 9:6. Murder, often begins in the mind, arising out of hatred, revenge, anger and rage. But Jesus continues, He says who lives with his brother in anger, already is guilty of murder (shall be liable to judgment). In addition, a person who insults his brother, he shall be liable to the council. And who says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire=divine Court.
This inner attitude towards one's fellow man, compares Jesus with manslaughter and will be punished by God. We passes this on, then it is also killing someone when drunken, traffic of drugs, assault, armed robbery, etc.
Verses 23-24 The previous verses directly affected the relationship with God, the Father. God knows our thoughts, there is nothing hidden for Him. When the horizontal relationship (man/man) is disturbed, then also the vertical relationship (man/God) becomes disturbed
Verses 25-26 Try as soon as possible to reconcile with the other party, because lest your accuser hand you over to the judge. And who knows what the court rules?? Court judgment is not always correct. So who knows, you end up in prison. Until you get to pay the last penny, κοδράντην (=quadrant. The quadrant has a 1/16 value of a Drachma.) The Drachma is a Greek silver coin with the value of 4.31 grams of silver. A drachma was a good daily wage, about 120 dollars (Matthew 20:2)).
Lesson: If you have a debit/credit, pay it as soon as possible, since otherwise this might work in your disadvantage.
Verses 27-28 It is not just for the actual act of adultery, it is the greed of the heart, this applies to men and women. There is no wrong to look at a woman/man without thoughts wrong. The word used here means staring at with lust, with sexual thoughts, desire for sex, possession her, use for own pleasure. This applies for both married and single persons.
Verses 29-30 The eye is the part that entices to sin. This can be: looking to a woman, but also pornography, the enticing images of a movie (mouth kissing) or at television and you name it. Too many examples. The Pharisees closed their eyes in order not see a woman walking in the street. They even did not touch a woman (shake hands). The Qumran Sect renounces marriage entirely. One should not enjoy the earthly lusts which only lasts (for 40 years?), but focus your thoughts on eternity. If not, the end is the Lake of Fire, for it does not outweigh the short duration of sexs, lust and desire.
The hand is the part of the executive part (touching of the body), doing sinful things (feeling, robbery, murder).
The Christian is, after all, bought with the blood of Jesus and, therefore, your body needs to glorify God (1 Corinthians 6:20). If not, and one desires and/or commits adultery, then the body is polluted and one loses the life in Heaven.
Verses 31-32 The scribes and Pharisees based on the ancients that one only ought to give a certificate of divorce, as if a piece of paper could break a covenant between God and man. Jesus is very clear, this is not possible. See Genesis 2:24, 24:67; Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18; Malachi 2:14-16, Ephesians 5:31-32; Hebrews 13:4). Marriage is only dissolved by the death of one of the parties. Jesus explains that the certificate of divorce only applies in one case: adultery. Adultery is when the man has (had) sexual relationship with another woman than his own wife or the wife has (had) sexual relationship with another man than her own husband. With this act, the marriage is dissolved.
The adulterer has with this act dissolved the marriage. Who is innocent, is free to remarry, but it is better to be single. See what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:1-17.
If the woman received a certificate of divorce, then she is NOT free to remarry, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11! For example, think of domestic violence, then the woman may leave her house. Who has received a certificate of divorce, must remain single. Both can seek help and try to reconcile and continue their marriage.
Verses 33-37 Be very careful with promises.
Numbers 30:2 When a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Deut. 23:21 When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not be slack to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin in you .
Judges 11:30 The promise by Jephthah comes to him too expensive: the death of his only child.
Heaven and earth are created by God. Jerusalem is the city of King David and Jesus. When you swear by this, then you swear by God, this is without distinction. Swearing by your head, you swear by God, because God has domination over the colour of your hair. Therefore, discontinue swearing. Tell the truth, for the Lord God hears and sees from Heaven. About your words, your 'Yes' and your 'No', you are responsible to God. Perhaps through a false witness, someone can avoid your just punishment on earth. However, the one given false testimony and the one avoided penalty on earth, after life on earth will appear before God, and God will punish (both). Remember this, when you swear. Be careful to swear and do this only in extreme necessity. God is watching!
Verses 38-42 The majority of the comments write that these verses should not be taken literally, but the intent of the content needs to be understand. Of course, one must resist the evil of satan and the demons. But as a Christian one must have the mind of Christ and the believers in the Old Testament.
Abraham came to the rescue, despite the previous betrayal of Lot.
Joseph forgave his brothers, even though they had sold as a slave.
David saved the life of King Saul, although Saul wanted to kill him.
Jesus forgave the priests when He was crucified.
If any one wants your coat, give him your cloak as well. The cloak, however, could only be borrowed until night (Exodus 22:26-27) because they often served as blanket at night.
Forces any one you for one mile, go two miles. Think of Cyrene, who was forced by the Romans to carry the cross of Jesus.
Verse 42 Remember that money in possession of a believer, is not of himself, but of the Lord God. Only through Him, we have our daily bread, our house, our car. Therefore, if someone wishes to borrow money, we need to borrow without interest, because it is of God. The question arises: how far do we go. The person with one talent was called to account because he did not deposit it in the bank with interest. We can refund to settle inflation (currency devaluation)? May we lend money to someone who throws money down the drain, someone who gambles, spend irresponsibly money, who spends money for unnecessary things? Personally, I think the believer that loans must take his responsibility in relation to God.
Verses 43-47 All (unbelievers) are the enemies of God, the Father, because of sin. Though we are enemies, Jesus came to Earth as a baby in order to die for man's sin. It shows the love of God the Father and Jesus. Following the believer has to love his enemies and pray for them, asking that they come to faith in Jesus as the Saviour. Carefully consider that once you too were an unbeliever, an enemy of God.
Versos 47-48 We may not be the same as unbelievers, who does good to those who do well to them. The Christian must do good to the gentile. After all God is perfect. The Christian must follow in the footsteps of the Heavenly Father, in word and ACTION to do good to all people.
Verses 1-4 In the days of Jesus, the care of the poor was well arranged by means of a compulsory contribution. In addition, there was a voluntary contribution which was made public on the walls. Especially the rabbis allowed themselves to this proclamation. Their voluntary contribution was not focused on the poor to support, but directed to receive the honour and respect of people. The Lord Jesus addressed against this way of giving. He says that these people have already received their wages: namely, the honour and respect of people. And thus the reward by God, the Father, was lost. Normally the right hand knows what the left hand is doing, because they have to work together to grab something, both are commanded by the brain. But Jesus said: "do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing". Give in secret, do not let it be known how much tithe you give, in offering, in voluntary contribution. Let yourself be surprised when Jesus praises about your acts in life as described in Matthew 25:31-40. Support the poor through donations through the church, food parcels through the church, then the poor people will praise God and give glory to God for their support. Yes, the church members may build houses for the poor. But note, that the poor does not remain dependent on assistance. The assistance shall be designed to support and in the future to be able to independently make their living! Do what God gives you in your heart. It sometimes calls for sacrifices, that you have less for yourself. But God, the Father, loves the obedient and cheerful giver. Your gift should aim, not on own glory and honour, but to the honour and glory of God. Just remember that your money is a gift of God to you.
Verses 5-8 At the time of Jesus, an intensive prayer life was common. Often three times a day at fixed times (compare Daniel). What Jesus protested against, is gain the honour and respect of people: openly praying in synagogues and the busy squares. God desires that you pray seriously, not with vain repetitions, a pray a rosary, a prayer repeating things several times within the prayer. No, go to your room, separate you, take the silence and seclusion, to be alone with God. Switch off the phone, pray when you cannot be disturbed by your children. And prays directly, without verbiage. Say directly in short words what you need. Pray specifically for fellow humans, for the government.
God knows what are your needs. Like a child asks something from his parents, the parents already know what the child wants. That makes the questioning of the child not redundant. The parents often know even better what their child needs.
Verses 9-14 the Lord's Prayer.
Verses 9-10 The believer has no longer satan as his father (John 8:44) but is born again and has God as his/her Father, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. This makes Christianity unique, in no other religion, exists God as Father. And where is our Father? In Heaven, He is the Almighty and Sovereign God. Not just a god, NO, the God Who lives in Heaven, Who is Holy. The Christian must be holy, because his/her Father is Holy. Through our daily lifestyle and our actions, the unbeliever has to see that we are a holy people and belonging to God, the Father. The Kingdom of God should be visible by the fruits of the Holy Spirit, through our actions that we do not take part in the evil, to the wicked, to a worldly way of living. The Christian is focused on to do the will of God, the Father. He is the centre of our lives. God's angels do the Will of God in Heaven, so the Christian has to accomplish God's will on earth. God's angels fight against satan and demons. So too the Christian has to fight against satan and demons, and should not get involved in the worldly. No stealing, no adultery, no free sex, no abortion, not covet what your neighbour has, but a life as God wishes.
Verse 10 By means of Sermoning the gospel, the Kingdom of God is approaching. That is praying that unbelievers will be convinced of sin, a practical notification of redemption through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. A prayer that God puts an end to the power of satan and demons on earth. The governance of God on earth is getting closer. The Gospel must be Sermoned to the ends of the Earth, in any language.
Verse 11 The believer recognizes to be dependent on God, the Father, for his daily bread (=his daily living). Note that in the Lord's Prayer is requested for one day (daily). The believer asks God to provide what he/she needs for that day. A simple life without redundancy. Remaining aware to depend on God. Aware that God protects you, gives your a job.
Verse 12 The believer receives forgiveness of his/her daily sins by the confession and cleansing the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Read Matthew 18:23-35. Our debt is so great before God, how can we justify not to forgive a fellow human. Yeah sure, sometimes requires a lot of man. Corry ten Boom, who suffered in the concentration camp, saw the many torture and murders of her family, fellow men and Jews, she had to forgive her camp executioner who had come to faith. Or the parents who should forgive the rapist and killer of their daughter. That is not easy. When people ask for forgiveness, the Christian has NO right not to forgive. Jesus forgives us our sins when we confess our sins and throws them in the depth of the sea. As if they had never taken place.
Verse 13 The believer is every second exposed to the temptations of demons and satan, as well as the lure of the earthly delights and wealth. Time and time again, the believer needs to make the choice to be guided by the Holy Spirit and by the power of the Holy Spirit to say "no". The believer should pray that he/she does not fall in temptations and will be protected against the powers of darkness. One can see a beautiful woman/man, but your thoughts should not go on. You can see something beautiful and expensive, but remain free of thinking to steal.
In the first manuscripts prove the text of For thine ... is missing and seems to be added later. Be that as it may, it is completely in line with the Christian mind. From God is the Kingdom, He is the Creator and the only One entitled to rule. His Power created the heaven and the earth. Through the power of Jesus on the cross, and the Power to raise from the dead, is the redemption through the blood of Jesus for forgiveness of sin. And the believer may see the glory of God in Heaven during eternal life.
Verse 14 The believer should forgive in his/her heart a man who has committed an offence against him or her. There should be no hatred. Yes, there rests upon the offender the duty of debt recognition and repentance. But if unwilling to acknowledge guilt, the believer shall have no resentment nor hatred. Jesus forgives our sins, and the believer should follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ. If not, God, the Father, shall also not forgive the sins of the believer and one will be judged before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Verse 16 Repeats the correct setting: honour and respect of people, or sincerity to God. A fasting as the Jew did by not washing himself, walk dismal and spraying with ashes, is not pleasant to God. A Pharisee fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. Fasting is in the attendance of God, no announcements in the Church that one (goes) fasting. It is a matter between you and the Lord God.
What is fasting?
- Refrain from doing of labour Lev. 16:29-34, 23:26-32.
- Abstinence from eating the morning until the evening Judges 20:26, 1 Sam. 14:24, 2 Sam. 1:12.
- Abstinence from food for 7 days 1 Sam. 31:13.
- Abstinence from meat and wine, tasty dishes, no anointing for 3 weeks Daniel 10:2-3.
- Abstinence from food and water Deut. 9:9, Mat. 4:2.
- Abstinence from intercourse 1 Cor. 7:5.
- Fasting is to be able to concentrate on God in order to achieve a deeper fellowship with God.
- A longer period of time without television or internet, but use the time to pray.
- Making important decisions Acts 13:2-3.
- You are looking for an answer of God.
- Appointment of church members Acts 14:23.
Evangelist Henk Hebold: "God will not answer our prayers faster as we fast, we get at least in that sense no reward of God, because we are fasting. Even if we fast a month and we pray the night, yet God will not reward us on the basis of this achievement. If the Lord gives us something, then that just because He loves us and he wants to have mercy on us because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Fasting is primarily a way to free up time and in that time to work on our relationship with God."
Verses 19-20 Moths belong to the group of insects that lay their eggs in clothing and eat the clothes, so that holes arise and be worthless. At rust we can think of the rusting of metals, but also of stone and wood. It corrodes the material to make it unusable and worthless. Thieves break in and steal your valuable earthly possessions (diamonds, gold) so that you are left with nothing. But also earthquakes, tornadoes, floods destroy homes and earthly possessions. It has all earthly and temporary value, which in the best case takes a terrestrial life. Pointless comparing with the eternal.
Verse 20 It is much better to build with things that have eternal values, which God appreciates: proclaiming the gospel, winning unbelievers for the Lord Jesus Christ, being full of the Holy Spirit and showing the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:14-16, 22), giving tithes and offerings, pray for evangelists, pastors, missionaries, governments, all which brings prosperity to the Kingdom of God.
So that means we may not have earthly possessions and wealth? The Lord God gave man a common sense. Owning a simple house is not a sin. Rent often costs more than buying a house. Joseph gave the advice to Pharaoh to store grain for the coming bad times. Taking care and taking measures for old age is not a sin. Look at Acts 4:32-37. The very rich sold their land and shared it to the poor. But what if they sold everything what they possessed. Then they too would poor and needy! The believer may be "rich" and from his revenue shares his wealth with the poor. Often the "rich" support longer the poor and God's Kingdom than when the rich person sells everything at one time.
It is a question of where the heart is. Is the heart focused on earthly affairs and wealth? Or is the heart focused on God, meaning God's Kingdom, his Will, the glory of the Lord God?
Verses 22-23 How can the eye be a lamp? The eye is no energy source. In a sense it is. When the sun is shining, the eye narrows, to see well. But in the night, the eye opens, and we are still able to see things. For that we need healthy eyes. Has one cataract or is the eye sick, then it becomes all blurry until one sees nothing even more: the body is completely darkness, one observes no more, one is blind. When our thinking is focused on earthly wealth, then we are blinded by satan. When our thinking is focused on the Lord God, then we are in the LIGHT.
Our eye passes light from the outside inward, it is an expression of our inner being. The look which a person has on his/her life, is the responsibility of the person. And determines how one looks at and against things in life.
Verse 24 We cannot build up earthly possessions and at the same time serve God. Sooner or later it comes to the choice: or the earthly or the Heavenly. The Lord God requires money, time and your talents. Mammon (money, power, wealth) takes time to shares (speculations), time to buy and sell homes and properties, your talents for more gain. There is no time and place for the neighbour. God takes time and money for Sermoning and evangelism.
Verse 25 Pastor Nielsen: "The interrogative form is used in order to involve the reader more personally. Essentially a oppressive anxiety. People are afraid, that one does not control anymore and seize therefore to material things in life, which gives security and safety. This fear leads to the delusional thought, that food is life and that it is necessary to protect life by "being concerned". It is a cramp-like existence, that one lives in this way, but because many are equally so living, one does not notice and realize it."
With the word "Therefore" a connection is made with the preceding verses. God has created man and thus He also provides for food and drinks. Stop fearing and focusing your eyes on the Mammon, also food and drinks can be a Mannon. The man can be completely obsessed with food and drinks, which often leads to obesity and fat. Stop being concerned and anxiety, focus your eyes on God and His Kingdom. Trust in the Lord God that He provides in work, food and drinks.
Verse 26 Israel is a land full of birds (Lev. 11:13-19 mentions 19 species, and more are named in the O.T.), all are fed by God. So do not be concerned. They act intuitive: they are not lazy, but active. Do not wait until food get in their mouth. They are looking for worms and insects. Build nests, care for their young ones, learn them to fly, etc. Travel to warmer and cooler areas. Man needed to take this as an example: search for work, arrange a house, taking care of children, teach them in God's Word, the Bible, learn to be independent and to stand on its own two feet. In all this trust and pray to God, the Father.
Verse 27 Span can mean: age, height, or body type. No one is able to change something by concerns to how long one lives, how tall one is. Concern increases the risk of an obstacle to growth and aging.
A cubit is a unit of length and amounts to about 0.5 metres. The size is taken from the elbow (forearm or ' forearm ') of the man: the distance from the top of the middle finger to the bend of the elbow. The exact length of the cubit is disputed. Thenius calculated the length of the old-Hebrew cubit (six hand's breadth) on 483.9 millimetres.
Verses 28-31 Whethers Jesus referred to this literally the lilies or all flowers that grow spontaneously in the field is not important. God is the Creator, He takes care of the reproduction and the necessary rain to grow. It is a beauty and fragrance to glory of God, the Creator. How much more shall God, the Creator and Father, then not worry about His children. Lesson: pray and trust God.
Verse 32 The believer should not seek earthly matters, should not be concerned. Throw all your concerns upon God. The eyes of the Christian should focus on the building of the Kingdom of God. The appearing of the Kingdom of God: that God reigns on earth through the works of his children, the Christians. Who pray, showing the fruits of the Holy Spirit to the infidels, proclaiming the gospel. When the Christian is busy in this, and his eyes are focused on this, a promise follows: all this (clothing, food and drink) will be given. This means implicitly when the Christian is concerned on worldly things, God leaves him/her by the concern and God does not care. The Christian wants to care himself.
Do not be concerned about the problems of tomorrow. All right, you should take care of your old age, that is even a duty, because to take care of your pension, take care that you do not worried when you are retired. Do not keep yourself busy with the things for tomorrow, but with the things you need to do TODAY. That is itself enough. All right, you may prepare things, such as a Sermoner prepares his sermon for the Sunday. Examine things when you plan to buy a home. But it should not be or become an obsession. Not being concerned, means free of anxiety, tension and agitation. Relying on the way (God) to the future!
Verse 1 What does it mean that we should not judge? We submit this in its context: Matthew 18:15-17 shows how we should act.
Verse 2 2 Sam. 12:1-10 is a good example. King David was angry about the injustice of the rich to the poor. Nathan the Prophet replied, you are the one who has caused this mischief, o King! Maybe derived is the Dutch saying: a cookie of your own medicine. The believer should judge righteously, without bias, without hatred, without love, for doctrine.
Verses 3-5 First the believer must himself investigate his own flaws. First, look to your own weaknesses, your weak points. In this light, are you capable to make up an objective judgment and to help your brother in Christ. Jesus saw the hard judgments of the Pharisees. How does Jesus, the perfect One see man, the Christian with all its weaknesses? There are weak brothers and sisters, and there are adult Christians. We do not drink alcohol when (ex-) alcohol addicts are present? Or do we judge the alcohol addicts? First settle your own weaknesses (by the power of the Holy Spirit) and then let the Holy Spirit lead you in love to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Verse 6 The dog, not as a pet but a wild dog, was a vile animal in the days of Jesus. The swines were unclean animals. Possible the dogs and swines point out on people who rejected the Kingdom of God (=pearls), Christians who wish to continue to live in the flesh. Jesus instructed his disciples to proclaim the Gospel on Mat. 10:11-15. Verse 14 "And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shakes off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town". Christians are obliged to Sermon the Gospel, but if an unbeliever persistent rejecting the Gospel, do not waste your time on him or her. The Christian has the duty to point out sin to a fellow Christian, but when the fellow Christian persists any reprimand, opt for a life in the world, earthy richness, the judgment is up to Jesus, and do not waste your time on him/her. One has to be patient, however there is a limit (Acts 13:46-47).
Verse 7 Is there a link with the verses 1-6? Jesus wants us to clean and without prejudices, then on the basis of the cleaning by the blood of Jesus, we can enter in prayer. There is upward going line in prayer: pray, search and beat. Pray means humility and aware of the need. The verb that is used here is the request from a junior to a senior person. When someone asks anything, then he expects an answer. When the believer prays, then he/she should expect an answer from God. Pray without an answer to expect, is meaningless.
Search is questions and ACTING. It is a sincere petition, however inadequate. One must be active at what one asks. For example, one can ask for a deeper knowledge of the Bible, but one himself needs to be active in reading the Bible, asking the Holy Spirit to open your eyes about what one reads, reading Bible studies and comments, thinking about the Bible passages. John 5:39 you search the Scriptures (the Bible), Acts 17:11 with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Examine what is the will of God, not passive, but active! When God reveals to you something, you go active investigations if this really is the will of God.
Knocking is quite strong. The castles had thick walls, sometimes 2-3 meters thick. And a large area. And no doorbell. A visitor had to make themselves audible KNOCKING very hard, in order that the knocking reached the room where the resident lived. The sound had to move about 10 meters through thick walls. One kept knocking until the castle door was opened. KNOCKING means shouting? Very definitely not! God lives in Heaven, the universe is many light years in size. Screaming silences after several (tens of) meters. A sound system reaches some tens of meters. So speak normally. The Holy Spirit lives in the believer, which carries your prayer to God Who is in Heaven. It does not concern the praying, searching and knocking. The performance which the believer carries out, on which basis God answers. It concerns the perseverance to find the Kingdom of God and God's will.
Verses 9-10 An earthly father gives the good to his child. When a child asks something in ignorance, the father gives the good. However the believer must be careful, if a believer persists in asking, God might grant it (bad). Therefore, the addition "thy will be done" shall be added. With stone is meant the inedible, unusable. With serpent something dangerous or harmful.
As an earthly father (although naturally sinful and bad) already gives the good to his child, the more God, the Father, wishes to give the good thing to his child, the believer. Provided the believer asks for it.
The law, the first five books of the Bible (Torah), and the prophets are the other books of the Bible in the Old Testament. The Ten Commandments commands that one loves God in the first place, followed by the love of the neighbour. More extensive: you shall not covet what is your neighbour, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet your neighbour's wife, etc. That is after all what you want what people do (not) to you. What you hate, you shall not do to no one.
The image of two roads is already mentioned in Deuteronomy 11:26-28:
The narrow gate is the living path which leads to the Heaven: The faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who through His blood, brings the forgiveness of sins. This is a narrow way, which needs daily fulfillment of the Holy Spirit. A Holy lifestyle, because the believer is a Royal priest, the believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It requires the removal of earthly lusts, no worldly lifestyle. Loving God and your neighbour. Keeping God's commandments and doing God's will.
Wide and broad is the road that leads to destruction, namely eternal life (=death) in the Lake of Fire. Rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior from sin. Loving the world, life in the world. Steal, murder, adultery, lying, false testimonies, injustice, hatred, indifference, selfishness. But the most important thing is and remains: no believe in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord and not doing God's commandments.
Verse 14 Regrettably only a FEW accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Many seek the easy, wide road of faith in yoga, Buddhism, Islam, occultism, etc. Despite the much propaganda on the internet and television, Evangelical books stores, there are few who find Jesus and come to faith and are prepared to follow Jesus Mat. 13:18-23. Mat. 25:1-13 The five wise and five foolish virgins: only few enter into Heaven (the wedding). No one has an excuse to say: but I did not knew the road to Jesus.
Verse 15 With whom are this persons referred to? The false Sermoners, who Sermon the word of God twisted and incorrect. Explain that the Bible false, who say "but it does not mean so", who seek their own (financial) interests and honour. The Liberal Sermoners. The Sermoners of verses 22-23. Who cheat believers, Sermoning but "in the ground the text is not writing so, it is an error of translation". Unfortunately, popular Bible translation is too popular and focused on comprehensible language. Therefore, it is necessary to read an old King James Bible and also read comments that have explanations based on the Hebrew and Greek text.
Verses 16-20 How do we recognize these false people? On the basis of their works and fruits. Someone who is not full of the Holy Spirit. Someone who does not show the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22), we do not see in his/her daily life. Who proclaim beautiful (Biblical) words, but they themselves do not practice them. Someone who is full of the Holy Spirit (the good tree) shows the fruits of the spirit (the good fruits). A bad tree (false prophet, liberal predecessor, believer who lives in the world) shows the bad fruit (Worldly living, distorts the facts, etc.) and is hewn down and cast into the fire (Lake of Fire).
False prophets are the prophets whose prophecies does NOT fulfill, or only five out of ten fulfill. Do not be fooled, with a true Prophet ALL prophecies are fulfilled. Pastors with expensive cars and luxurious villas are an example of the bad tree. The good tree used the money to evangelism and mission, to build up the church community.
Verses 22-23 join perfectly with the bad tree and the false prophets. One can think of that someone who prophesies in the name of Jesus, expels evil spirits in the name of Jesus or heals people in the name of Jesus or do many forces, they are all good fruit. Unfortunately, here too is the bad tree, they did so for their own profit. The good ones praise Jesus Christ and gives Him all the credits and honours and proclaim openly Jesus as Lord, and asks for NOTHING in return, proclaims the Gospel and demands faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. The bad one giving himself honour, ask for money, without Sermoning of sin.
The answer of Jesus on the day of the judgment 2 Cor. 5:10 then says openly: "I never knew you, depart from me" (Mat. 7:23). Lesson: be careful who you allow to cure you. By whom you permit to lay hands on you, better is NEVER to accept that one lays hands on you, unless you are sure of his relationship with Jesus and the fruits of the Holy Spirit are clearly visible in him (her). The Apostle Paul warns of hand imposition, 1 Tim 5:22: Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor participate in another man's sins; keep yourself pure. By laying hands on, evil spirits can be transferred. Thereby I refer to spiritual laying on of hands and not to a laying on of hands by a parent with his child. In some countries, it is a normal friendly gesture hands on shoulders. Search the Bible yourself on this matter and let the Holy Spirit make clear to YOU. Do not go blindly on what on the internet and believers/pastors tell you. I cannot find any Biblical grounds when hands are laid on that someone falls onto the ground, that makes me very suspicious.
Laying on of hands in the Old Testament we see at the blessing and in the New Testament when Jesus blesses the children.
Source InternetBijbelschool (Internet Bible school): Also in the occult is laying on of hands. Remember the magnetizers. Force is going from them but it is demonic power. In Hinduism, there is the touch by the yogi. They call that the Shakti Path. When the yogi touches, usually on the forehead, then one gets an experience. Shakti Pat, "an expression, which is used for the touch of a guru, usually with his hand on the forehead of the worshipper, what causes supernatural effects. Shakti means "power" and in inflicting shakti pat, the guru is a channel of primal force, the cosmic force, which is embodied in the universe and in the goddess Shakti, the wife of Shiva. The supernatural effect of Shakti by the touch of the guru can do beat the worshipper to the ground, or he can see a bright light, and get an experience of inner alleviation or yet another mystical psychic experience." Here one has to do with a medium, a medium is someone who transfers evil spirits. Maharaj says he was only thirteen years old when he already administered the "shakti pat" to people. He clarifies that Shakti is one of the names of Kali. Shiva's wife, drinking blood and murderous, Mother Goddess of primal power, which flows in the heart of the universe, grants. It was an exciting time for Maharaj thought that he would become the "channel" of her power. End of source.
Verses 24-25 For the rabbis counted that whoever builds a good foundation, are the ones who do a lot of good work and has studied the Torah and learned by heart. For Jesus, this is the sermon on the mount (chapters 5-7). We can draw this on and say that the house built on the rock, is the Christian life who built on the Foundation, the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ as Lord, recognizes the will of Jesus, full of the (fruit of the) Holy Spirit, and gave up his/her sinful life.
The hearers of Jesus' words were familiar with the storms in Israel: The storm from the Mediterranean Sea. Wild storms associated with cloudbursts resulting in wild streams of water annihilating everything and pounded on the walls of houses. The rain, streams and winds, we can compare with the setbacks, serious illness, disasters, attacks from satan and demons in our lives.
Building on the rock requires knowledge and energy, digging and removing the soil until the rock is reached. Build on the rock Jesus takes energy, it requires seriously reading and study of the teachings of Jesus, the Bible.
Verses 26-27 The fool has no foundation. When the setbacks, the trials of faith, the temptations of the worldly wealth and businesses, then it turns out that the Foundation is not founded in Jesus. The house falls and one lose eternal life.
Verses 28-29 The Sermoning by Jesus does the listeners be amazed, are outdoor phrases, aback. They are perplexed because of the simplicity and simple explanation of the Torah and the will of God. He teaches with authority and through practical examples, points to the sins of people and the will of God. Not as the scribes who explained the Torah accordingly to the traditions of the fathers, with dogma, a (impossible) keeping of the Ten Commandments, targeting a salvation by law.
Verses 1-4 Leprosy was a very feared disease and concerning this disease were precise rules, see Leviticus 13 and 14. At the outbreak of the disease, the priest had to issue a declaration of "unclean" and in healing the declaration of "pure". Leprosy was seen as a punishment of God (sister of Moses, Miriam (Numbers 12:10), 2 Sam. 3:29, 2 Kings 5, 7:3). The leper speaks to Jesus with "Lord", which shows a deep respect. The leper expresses that he knows that Jesus can clean him with the words "if you will". Jesus stretched out His hand and touched the leper. According to Jewish law, it was strictly prohibited to touch a leper. The leper was immediately clean. Jesus forbids the man to mention Jesus as the healer, because Jesus used His Messianic power and His time as Messiah had not yet come. The leper must quickly go from Capernaum to the priest in Jerusalem, distance 79 miles (127 km). The priest was not to know that Jesus had cured him, because the priests were full of envy on Jesus, so there was the possibility that the priest would not declare him "pure". The leper must show to the priest in accordance with the Jewish law and bring a sacrifice of cleanness. Jesus wants the law to be fulfilled, because therefore He come to earth.
Leprosy is a terrible disease. The skin becomes white and swells in particular around the eyes. Fingers and toes fall off. The smell of a leper stinks. Leprosy was seen as an incurable disease, but not contagious (but there are exceptions). However the leper was excluded from the community.
Verses 5-9 Capernaum is a village in the North of Palestine. A centurion was a soldier who by firmness and years of service moved up to a commander of hundred men. Here again the humility with addressing "Lord". This centurion was compassioned about the fate of his servant. Possible a paralysis with severe pains and a paralysis that could lead to respiratory arrest and death (see Luke 7:1-10). The centurion, a pagan, knew that a Jew was not allowed to enter his home. He puts his trust in Jesus. From experience he knows that when he gives a command, the commands are obeyed by his servants, similarly he follows up commands giving by his superiors. It recognizes to be a subordinate to Jesus. Therefore, it was not necessary that Jesus enters his house. Speaking of healing (Word) by Jesus, is already enough for him.
Verse 10 Jesus is amazed at the faith of a non-Jew. Jesus expected faith of the Jews who have knowledge of the Torah and the prophets, which speaks about the Messiah. This non-Jew puts his trust in Jesus, of which he had heard about the miracles He performed. Jesus is amazed at the submission of the Chief (the priests themselves elevated themselves above Jesus) and his trust in Jesus that Jesus can heal at a distance.
Verses 11-12 The promise of forgiveness was given to the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Also here counted: faith. The belief which brings healing and deliverance. First the faith of the Jew, but it also applies to the Gentile, on which this centurion dares to claim. He knows that Jesus came for the Jews, in spite of this, he takes (with a heart for his servant moved and subordinate) as a pagan, the initiative and calls upon Jesus.
The Jewish people invoked on the fact that they have the law and are children of the Patriarchs. However, many people lacked the sense of sin and faith. Many rejected the call of repentance and the recognition to be a sinner, as was called by John the Baptist. For Jews and persons who do not wish to recognize that one sinner and no faith in Jesus Christ, for these there is NO place in the Kingdom of Heaven (bosom of Abraham), their fate will be the outer darkness (Hades, hell) where there is weeping and pain (Luke 16:19-31).
Verse 13 Jesus' answer to the centurion, according to your faith, so shall it come to pass. Jesus does not go along with the centurion, does not enter his home. The faith of the Centurion is sufficient and the sick boy is completely healed from that moment on.
Verses 14-15 The first healing happens on a Sabbath day, it is Peter's mother-in-law who is lying in bed with a fever. From Marcus we know that it happens when Jesus and the disciples just come out of the synagogue, and from Luke 4:38 we know that it was a severe fever, and that they asked for help. Jesus takes the mother-in-law's hand and immediately the fever leaves her and is immediately capable of serving Jesus. Jesus breaks the Sabbath commandment here according to the then prevailing opinion. However, Jesus shows here that in acute and serious situations, the well-being of a person has priority over the commandment. The reaction of Peter's mother-in-law must also be seen in that light, she stands up and serves Jesus and His disciples. The woman of the house was also free on the Sabbath. She too was allowed to celebrate the Sabbath according to the fourth commandment, food had to be prepared on Friday, and consumed on the Sabbath. Because of her illness, she could not have done this, and now, out of necessity, she is breaking that rule.
The fact that Jesus came into Peter's mother-in-law's house indicates that Peter was married.
Serving, the Greek word indicates here to prepare an (evening) meal.
Verse 16 Possessed: either mental sick, or the people who were possessed by demons. It did not matter what disease one had, incurable or fatal, psychological or by demons. Jesus has the power over all diseases and demons. He healed all. A man could have lost the control over his own-I because demons had taken possession of the man. On the authority of Jesus they had to leave the man, so that man gained control again of its own-I and could take a decision for Jesus. No limit to the authority and healing by Jesus.
Verse 17 We should not literally think of that Jesus took over the human disease and so the disease took possession of Jesus. Jesus was moved over the sick people and He had sympathy for the sick, emotional compassion moved Him to heal. The fall is the basis of all diseases. Our diseases Jesus has taken and worn by His suffering on the Cross of Calvary. There the sin (fall) is nullified and Jesus took the punishment on sin upon Himself.
Verse 18 It was already evening (verse 16) and Jesus is a human being. He had many cured and by his human nature, He is tired (verse 23). Therefore He shall send the multitude away, after He had cured all (verse 16).
Verse 19 However, before Jesus can go aboard, a scribe comes to him. A scribe who himself teaches the law and prophets, acknowledges that he needs Jesus the teacher. He addresses Jesus with "Teacher" and expresses its willingness to follow Him anywhere. Jesus replied in verse 20. The Bible does not mention if after these words, he followed.
Verse 20 Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests. They have fixed residences, however Jesus did not. He crossed the entire Jewish country, was rejected in Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Gadarenes and finally the world rejected Him and crucified Him. So the warning of Jesus by the desire to following Jesus, calculate the cost of following Me: persecution and rejection, without permanent residence and without dwelling.
The Son of God (Mt 26:64), Son of Man (Daniel 7:13) points to Jesus as man, who overcomes sin and sits at the right hand of God (Mt 26:62) and overcomes all the powers on earth and heaven (satan and demons).
Verses 21-22 In Judea, the dead were buried immediately after their deaths, because of the heat and rapid dissolution. This was often accompanied by an extraordinarily (hypocritical) weeping. Jesus says here seek first the Kingdom of Heaven. The dead man is already no longer on earth. I am going to leave NOW (verse 23) and I am not here anymore if you buried first your father. Compare: the disciples Peter and Andres immediately followed Jesus (Mat. 4:19-20). Jesus is the sovereign Lord.
Verse 23 The true disciples followed Jesus and went with Him in the boat and left.
Verse 24 Jesus as man was very tired after He had cured all. Despite the heavy storm (notorious in the sea of Galilee), those swamped with large waves over the ship, and with all accompanied noise, Jesus slept very deeply by its fatigue as a human being.
The Lake of Galilee is approximately 210 meters below sea level, between Mount Hermon about 2800 meters high. Hence the fierce winds and high waves.
Verse 25 The noise of the storm does not wake up Jesus. His disciples are desperate and terrified, and wake up Jesus: Help us because we are perishing! How often does it not storm in the life of the believer. We do not see it anymore in all the misery and attacks of sadness, sickness, pain and poverty, the attacks by satan and demons. We scream and pray to Jesus, but we received no answer as if the heavenly Father and Jesus do not exist (as if they are in deep sleep). Jesus sleeps deeply in full trust on His heavenly Father. The disciples have seen His healings and miracles, but now in violent storm, their fear has the upper hand.
Verse 26 Jesus rebukes his disciples with: Why are you afraid, O men of little faith? Jesus had called them to be His disciples, therefore I shall not allow that evil happened to you and you shall die? Jesus does not immediately put an end to the violent storm, first admonishing his disciples. He speaks first, He teaches: I have you called, you have to have faith and trust in Me. I have shown My power already to you.
Thereafter Jesus shows that He is Lord and Master over everything, and the violent storm and high waves disappear together. Normally after storm, the high waves continue for a while yet. Here after the sanctioning by Jesus, the winds and the sea are perfectly still at once.
Verse 27 Men: undoubtedly there were several boats accompanying the boat of Jesus. After men had come ashore, the people who lived in the land of Gadarenes, surprised about their retain arrivals and that the storm and sea had become silent all of a sudden. The disciples will have recovered of what Jesus had done. Logical that many people were marvelled. The believer not only has power to heal the sick in imitation of Jesus. The believer also has power over rain and storm, to command that the storm and rain that cause (mud) flooding, ends. That is my own experience.
Verse 28 The land of Gadarenes is probably Khersa, a place full of caves, about 9 km (overseas) southeast of Capernaum. Mark 5:1-5 gives a better description of their obsession and how dangerous they were.
Verse 29 The demons know Jesus and scream "Son of God". The demons (and satan) know that their eternal destiny (after 1000-year Kingdom of Christ) is the Lake of fire (Revelation 20:9-10). They ask Jesus not prior to their time to be sent into the Lake of Fire.
Verses 30-32 The demons know that they can do nothing without the consent of Jesus, that they HAVE TO obey Jesus. Whether this area was a pagan or Jewish area, we do not know. For Jews, swines were unclean animals. So if these were herded by Jews, this truly was gross sin. The demons wish to have a new dwelling in the unclean swines. The believer has the Holy Spirit as a Home. The demons and satan need as a home, the body of an unbeliever or animal to show their powers.
Verses 33-34 The herdsmen tell their story in the city. The city residents knew of quieting the storm and sea by Jesus, and now the power over the demons. There was little joy over that Jesus had liberated the two dangerous demoniacs, there was more concern about their prosperity: the swines and the source of income. There was no faith. On the contrary: fear had the upper hand. The residents ask Jesus to leave their area, to which Jesus responded to. Let us hope that the demoniacs were able to bring later the residents to other thoughts and to proclaim the Gospel.
How is it with our condition? Do we attach more values to our earthly possessions, food and drinks, our house, our prosperity? Or are we busy with the Kingdom of God, the Gospel, our spiritual life and our eternal life and eternal home in heaven?
Verse 1 Jesus returns to his home town, which is Capernaum, based on Mat. 4:13: Jesus went to live in Capernaum.
Mark and Luke give a detailed description. The paralytic was carried by four men and they could not reach Jesus because of the crowd. Therefore, they took away the roofing and lowered the paralytic down on his mattress. This shows the faith of the paralytic and his four friends. The roof consisted of dried straw and mud, which formed a hard and solid roofing. Difficult to break. Luke 5:19 talks about taking away the tiles of the roof.
Verse 2 Jesus sees their faith, the basis for healing. In general, sin is the basis of disease. By the fall sickness came into the world. Compare James 5:14-16: confession of sin is the basis for healing. According to the Jews only God could forgive sins, every man who forgave sin, committed blasphemy, made himself equal to God. Here is Jesus, the Messiah, the son of God, who is in the authority of God, His Father. In this power of attorney, he has the authority to forgive sins.
Verse 3 The scribes correctly say that "He blasphemies God, because they do NOT recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but see Him as ordinary person.
Verse 4 Jesus knows the thoughts of a man. Nothing is hidden for Him. Therefore, He asks them: Why do you think evil in your hearts? Jesus knows that they just have evil thoughts about Him and their envy about His followers among the Jewish people and His curing.
Verse 5 Words and promises are very easy to pronounce, however to turn them into deeds is a different story. It is easy to make a promise to your child. But how often does it not happened that the parent does not fulfill the promise? Easy to say: "your sins are forgiven", because no one can verify this, because sin is a violation of God's commandments and so only God can forgive. Jesus is about to act and to DEMONSTRATE. Because disease is a result of sin, then the conclusion is as the disease (paralysis here) is removed, then too the sin is forgiven.
Verses 6-7 Jesus proves to be the Messiah (Son of man), He has the authority of His Father. The act, Jesus speaks: Rise, take up your bed and go home. First, the healing is a proof of the forgiveness of sin. Second, take up your bed means no weakness, no, the cripple is completely healed, he is able to carry weight (just remember that it is a solid bed, for he was lowered through the roof). Third, with this weight of the bed, he walks to his house. A proof of complete healing (and forgiveness of sin).
Verse 8 The crowds is afraid. Why? Here Jesus shows His power. His proof that He can forgive sin which was only reserved to God. The crowds "see God" in person. A Jew had deep respect and awe for God. And they proceed to glorifying God, because they see God's presence. Later, Jesus will transfer this authority of healing to His disciples (and to believers and elders of the church).
Verse 9 Lucas 5:27 used the name Levi. For the Jews, two names were not uncommon. Also it may be that Jesus gave him the name Matthew. Matthew means "gift of Jehovah". Matthew was a tax collector, therefore skilled in writing and accounting (capturing of facts), and multiple languages. A property that come to use in writing the Gospel.
Jesus said: "Follow me", and immediately Matthew left his source of income behind and followed. What a contrast with the person in Mat. 8:21.
Verse 10 Tax collectors were seen as dishonest people, in the service of the Roman occupier, extortionists, money greedy people. Matthew takes immediate action, he invites his friends (?) the tax collectors and sinners. He wish to point to Jesus, the Savior and Forgiver of sin. Had he heard of the forgiveness and healing of the paralytic? May it be, he acknowledged to be a sinner.
Verse 11 This in contrast of the Pharisees, they raised themselves. They speak to the disciples, you are seeing Him as master? With derogatory words, how can you see Him as master, as teacher, who eats with tax collectors and sinners. Are you not ashamed?
Verse 12 Jesus hears it and responds. Were it not the Pharisees who had to instruct the law to the Jewish people, who should teach in the violations of the law. You Pharisees are the ones who need to teach the tax collectors and sinners. However you exalted yourselves above the people, and neglect your task given by God. They justify themselves by keeping the law (with a lot of show). As if the law brings liberation and salvation from sin. They ignore that they themselves are sinners.
Verse 13 Jesus refers to Hosea 6:6 "For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings". God wants in the first place that we love Him and we love our neighbours as ourselves. God desires that we have practical knowledge of His word, the Bible. Bringing in practice what the Bible teaches. God has NO delight in the fact (that Jews) animal sacrifices for the remission of sin (calling righteous). No show, but a troubled heart (of the sinner).
Verses 14-15 The disciples of John the Baptist (probably was Johannes already in prison or was already beheaded) came to Him. They followed the teachings of John the Baptist in spite of the fact that John had pointed out that Jesus was MORE than he. Jesus draws a parallel with the wedding: the Jewish people are the bride of God, the Bridegroom. How can you (as friends) fasting when you feast in the proximity of the groom? The days will come when there will be mourning, namely by the crucifixion of Jesus and when the Bridegroom has ascended to Heaven and is no longer present on earth, then they may fast.
Verses 16-17 When you sew a new lap on a used garment, then when washing the new lap shrinks and rips off the clothes which has already shrunken. Similarly one does not do young wine in old bottles, usually a goat or sheep jar. Young wine expands. A new bag is elastic and can expand when the young wine expands. An old bag is missing this elasticity and breaks, and the wine runs out of the jar. The old is keeping the law, which is no remission of sin. The new is the forgiveness of sin by the blood and crucifixion of the Bridegroom Jesus. The old fasting has shrugged off, the new fasting is the rejoicing of the liberation by FAITH in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
Verse 18 Matthew does not mention the name of the ruler. In Mark and Luke, the name Jairus is given. A ruler of the synagogue was someone who was responsible for the good order in the synagogue. The ruler shows respect, kneels down before Jesus and shows his faith: my daughter died, please come, put Your hand on her, and she will live. This ruler, despite all the criticism and rejection by Pharisees, believes that Jesus can bring his dead daughter back to life. What a belief!
Verse 19 Jesus stands up and follows him immediately without waiting.
Verse 20 But now comes a break: a woman is also looking for healing by Jesus. This woman, according to the doctor Luke (Luke 8:43), could by no one be healed. She had already spent a lot of money to doctors, which only made the outcome worse. If a woman had a blood flow, she was not allowed to enter the temple (?) because she was unclean (Lev. 15:19-30). Any person or object she touched, was partly unclean (up to the evening). No wonder that this woman was distraught, partly because she had it already for 12 years.
Also she shows lots of faith. According to Jewish use, the robe of Jesus had four fringes. Jesus was wearing a Talit in full compliance with the Torah, which had four commemorative fringes. A fringe was a showing wire (blue purple wires to look at) which were at the four corners of the upper garment. In Israel, it was custom to wear upper garments which were made of four square cloths. In Numbers 15:38-40 is written: "Speak to the people of Israel, and bid them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put upon the tassel of each corner a cord of blue; and it shall be to you a tassel to look upon and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to go after wantonly. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God".
Verse 21 The woman knew that she was not allowed to touch, but her faith said if I only touch a fringe of His garment, then I shall be cured. It was unlikely that Jesus would notice that a fringe was touched. And certainly not in a busy crowd, where many would touched His garment.
Verse 22 Jesus feels that power went out of Him. He turns around and speaks to her hopefully with "daughter". An indication that she is a daughter of father Abraham. True children of Abraham walk by faith. Jesus points to her faith, it is her faith in Jesus that the healing works out. And the woman feels from that time on, that her blood flow has stopped. What a testimony in front of the crowds.
Verse 23 Professional mourners (Jer. 9:17-18) were not uncommon in Israel, loud howling sound and flute players.
Verse 24 Jesus sends these people away with the words: "the girl is only sleeping". He is laughed at, because the people have counted for her death. Jesus knows that He has the power over death, not satan.
Verse 25 First of all, the crowd who made fun of Jesus, is sent away by Him. After all, they have no faith. The ruler had asked in verse 18 that Jesus would put His hand on the dead daughter. Here Jesus takes her hand and with the words Talitha cumi (Mark 5:41) the child arises. The faith of the father in Jesus is not ashamed and brings his daughter back to life.
Verse 26 The crowd sees the living child and the crowd spread this wonder in the region.
Verse 27 Two blind followed Jesus, crying: "Son of David". They recognize that Jesus is the coming Messiah, the expected Son of David. After all, the Old Testament spoke of the Son of David, the Messiah, who would bring miracles and healings. They continue to follow Jesus, they do not give up, because they persist in their desire that Jesus heals them.
Verse 28 Jesus asks them "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" Does this mean that our faith is a prerequisite to get what one desires of Jesus. No, all what the believer receives, is a mercy of God. However, the believer should recognize that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and He is able to do it.
Verses 29-30 After their answer of Yes, Jesus touches their eyes, and immediately they see good and sharp. Here again the prohibition of Jesus to announce Him as Messiah. The Jews expect the Messiah as King, as liberator of the Roman occupier. Not as the Savior of their sins.
Verse 31 However, the people knew these two blind men. In their joy, they to announce Jesus, a logical act. But they commit a severe sin in going against the commandment of Jesus not Him. Let this be a lesson for the believer. Sometimes the Lord asks us to show our gratitude to Him alone and not to announce widely what (a great work) Jesus did in our lives. What is valid for us personally, we are not allowed to arise hope by others (believers and unbelievers).
Verse 32 With the blind men, there was no question of possession. Here a dumb demoniac was brought who is possessed by one or more evil spirits (demons). Not all sickness is a result of demonic possession. Disease can be a result of sin or a persistence in sin, or to glorify God, or to understand others who has the same diseases, remember of Joni Erikson.
Verse 33 Jesus commanded the evil spirit to leave the dumb demoniac and immediately the man speaks. The miracle is that the man (or maybe a wife) speaks. He does not have to learn like a child to hear and to speak, NO, he hears and understands and speaks. No wonder the crowd is surprised.
Verse 34 Even though the Old Testament speaks of the wonders that the Messiah would do, the Pharisees (Apostle Paul was a Pharisee) who ought to know well the O.T., persevere in a rejection of Jesus. Despite that the blind shouted: Son of David. The Pharisees commit a very serious sin, they address the work of Jesus to God's enemy: satan (Prince of demons). And thus they rejected God.
Verse 35 Jesus continues his work in Israel, He travels through all cities and villages, teaches the Jews in the synagogues where the Jews gathered for education in God's Word. The lesson for the believer is this: All means the complete world. Cities: not only the easy-to-reach areas, with large numbers of inhabitants. Villages: but also the unreachable places, the distant places, with small numbers of inhabitants. Where? On those places where people gather: squares, churches (synagogue), stadiums, football fields, etc.
Verse 36 How should we proceed? With MERCY for the lost people, whose future is hell, an eternal lostness without God, the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Owned and deceived by satan and demons, their eyes focused on the temporary world of lust and wealth, not seeing on eternal life in Heaven. A humanity (sheep) without the Shepherd (Jesus as Savior from sin and spiritual Leader, without the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit). Fainted and jaded to their daily existence, lust for more earthly possessions and wealth and power.
Verse 37 Many come to believe (the harvest indeed is large), but many do not grow from the milk to the solid meat (1 Cor. 3:2), being babies in faith growing to spiritual maturity (Hebr. 5:12-13), many desert the faith (the seed falls on the rocks, grows up with the weeds). This means that only few become workers (teachers in the faith, who Sermon the Gospel).
Verse 38 Therefore, we have to pray to God, the Father, that He moves people to grow in faith, grow into spiritual maturity, and broadcast believers who in truth (no false doctrine) proclaim the Gospel and teach believers up to spiritual maturity.
Verses 1-5 In connection to Mat. 9:37-38 now follows the broadcast and command by Jesus of the twelve disciples. Who later will be called the twelve apostles (Judas Iscariot is replaced by the apostle Paul). They are the twelve apostles who, during the life of Jesus on earth, were directly educated by the Master Jesus. Therefore today no one can call himself an apostle, because he does not receive directly from Jesus in person during three years education have received and he did not lived at the time of Jesus. This is in contrast of the apostle Paul, who despite skilled in the Old Testament as Pharisee, was directly educated by Jesus Christ Himself (Gal. 1:12) for three years (Gal. 1:18).
Jesus gives power to the disciples, in imitation of His power of attorney received from His Father, to expel spirits (=satan and demons) and heal all disease and maladies, like blind, deaf and dumb, lame, lepers, etc. None disease excluded.
There are twelve apostles, they will judge the twelve tribes (Gen. 49:1-28), Mat. 19:28: "sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel". They will sit on twelve Thrones in Heaven (see also Revelation 4:4) to judge each Jew (two tribes of Judah) and each Israelite (10 tribes of Israel) for their life on earth, and their possible rejection of the Messiah Jesus.
Verses 5-6 The Messiah was at first intended for the 12 tribes, not to the Samaritans. The Samaritans were residents of the region Samaria, between Judea and Galilee. The Jews regarded them as unclean and their worship at Shechem as illegal. After the fall of the city of Samaria (722 BC), the Israelites of the ten tribes were carried away by the Assyrians. The remaining Israelites intermixed with the Gentiles to a new people, the Samaritans.
Verses 7-8 The Apostles had to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven, that is (the Sermoning of John the Baptist): recognition of sin (Luke 3:3) recognize to be a sinner and the need to receive forgiveness. Leaving behind the worldly life and live a life in imitation of Jesus. Today, through the power of the Holy Spirit, so that the fruits of the spirit become visible for the unbelievers.
The disciples had the power of attorney over evil spirits and disease. For nothing (without payment) you shall give it. According to Rabbinic source, it was incorrect as a learned passed his Torah knowledge for their own benefit, or received reward. The gift of casting out demons and healing is a grace of Jesus Christ, obtained by the work of Jesus on the cross. Only by recognition of being a sinner, exorcism of demons and healing are possible. This has nothing to do with the power of a believer. It is the power of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, no believer nor Sermoner nor anyone, may receive a reward for expulsion or healing. Also not by begging for tithe. Jesus gave and gives it freely, without reward.
Verses 9-10 Money (gold, silver, copper) was preserved in the belt. In the backpack was often preserved food and drinks, a second garment (if carried one had got wet by rain), a second set sandals. All this was not necessary for the apostles, because God Himself would provide. No worry to carry food. The people where the apostle would stay, would provide for his shelter and food. Because God cares for His workers. See 1 Thess. 2:9 Paul provides his own livelihood. And 1 Cor. 9:4-7.
Verses 11-15 It was usually when entering a house to give the peace greeting, "peace be with you" (Num. 6:24-26). Every city, town and village in Judea had to be reached by the apostles, therefore they went two by two. Does a person receive you hospitable, stay there and Sermon the Gospel. Then the peace of God and forgiveness of sin come to that House. However, rejects the house (town or village) the Gospel, then leaves this house, city or village. God's wrath will descend on them on the day of judgment. For them, the judgment will be more terrible than that of the inhabitants of the cities of Sodom and Gomorra which were destroyed by sulfur. Why for the inhabitants of Judea a heavier verdict? In Sodom and Gomorra NO Sermoning of the Gospel took place. These cities were destroyed because of their gross sins. Now first by Jesus Himself and now by the broadcast of the twelve, all Judea will be reached with the Gospel. And not just a proclamation, it is accompanied by proofs of forgiveness of sin through the curing of all sickness and disease, exorcism of demons. A abundant evidence of the proximity of the Kingdom of Heaven. NONE excuse not to come to faith. The lesson for the people who lives presently, is: NO ONE can say that he/she does not know of the Christian faith. People spend a lot of money on mobile phones, so one is also able to buy a Bible. Young people pay a lot of money to a Rock concert, so they can buy a Bible. Television and the internet proclaiming the Gospel and explains the Bible. Students brought up in the Christian faith, but some once at College, taking parts in drugs and wild parties, they squander the eternal for the short temporary life on earth and ends in an eternity lost.
Verse 16 The sheep are the disciples of Jesus, thus also presently the believers. Ezech. 22:27 says that the princes (Pharisees and scribes) are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. With wolves, we can also think of all those who are against the Christian faith and persecute the believers, torturing and killing.
Careful in the sense of observing the situation well, being on qui-vive. The serpent is a deadly creature, full of poisons or strangulation. You can think of the cunning and deception of satan and demons, but also of false prophets with false misleading lessons. The dove is purity, simple and unsuspecting (see Acts 17:22-33).
Verses 17-19 Courts (also called Sanhedrin) consisted of local committees of 23 people. With the Jews, a whip was of just leather. With the Romans, pieces of metal were interweaved. According to Deut. 25:3 it was not allowed to give more than forty stripes. The sentence was carried out by three members of the synagogue. One quoted Deuteronomy 28:58 the reason of the punishment, the second counted the number of strokes and the third gave the order to the battle. According to rabbinical tracts, there were several reasons for the forty minus one strokes among other things: violation of one of the Ten Commandments, incest, sacrificing outside the temple, the breaking of the Nazarene vow.
When we look at Paul was led for governors and Kings and testified in front of them.
Verses 19-20 Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit to testify in front of governors (Pontius Pilate, Felix, Festus, Herod Agrippa, etc.). The believer needs not to worry, what he/she should speak, it is the Holy Spirit Who will give the right words to the believer.
Verse 21 Some within the family can come to faith in Jesus and they will be hated by their fellow family members (thinking in particular of Roman-Catholic family members). Also think of the Muslims, who does not allow a family member comes to faith in Jesus, often they are merciless killed. Sometimes vilely, as seen on the internet and television, by beheading the Christian and throwing from the rocks. Or the two young daughters, who were raped and deflowered by Muslims, while the father, the evangelist, had to watch.
Verse 22 It comes to persevere in the Christian faith. A man can kill the earthly body but not the soul. Everyone dies, but each person will be revived, or to life, or to death (Lake of fire). The believer who dies for Jesus, comes immediately in paradise until the second Coming of Christ, then receives an incorruptible body to go to Heaven. That is better, than that the believer to disavows Jesus and goes to hell.
Verse 23 When the believer is being persecuted, he is allowed to flee. Why? In order not to lose time (verses 11-15) to those who reject faith. Many cities on earth need the Gospel, where one receives the Gospel with open arms. Lesson: do not lose your time, flee and go to a place that is open to the Gospel.
Verses 24-25 A disciple (follower) of Jesus is not more than Jesus Himself. If Jesus already called Beelzebul (demon-possessed), then one need not be surprised that the followers of Jesus will be persecuted and called insane. The taking on of the cross of Jesus and following Jesus, has its price. Satan and demons hate the Gospel proclamation, so do not be surprised to encounter great resistance.
Verses 26-27 Fear not your persecutors, Sermones in public, let the light of Jesus Christ shine in the world. The proclamation of the Gospel should not take place in the living room, but in public, on the market places, on the squares, in the church with complete truth.
Verse 28 See verse 22. Only God can kill body and soul. Where man goes, is ONLY determined by God Himself. The believer in Jesus, comes into Heaven. The one who denies or rejects Jesus, comes (first in hell and thereafter) in the Lake of fire.
Verses 29-31 A sparrow was the cheapest edible meat. When God already sees upon them, how much more value has the believer. A penny equals 1 dollar cents now.
Verses 32-33 Jesus wants the believer to stand firm, even in persecution, torture and death (threat).
Verses 34-37 Jesus wants the love of the believer on the first place. If a family member calls not to go (for example, the mission), the believer has to choose for Jesus and go. That can cause discord.
Verses 38-39 Following Jesus, means stepping into the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus went to death at the Cross. He did not consider the cross unworthy to die for the sin of man, although He Himself was innocent. Alike the follower of Jesus, he will find life, if he follows Jesus.
Verses 40-42 See Matthew 25:31-46.