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Archive for January, 2013

Mark 10:1-12 Divorce

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 27, 2013


Mark 10:1-12 NLTse Then Jesus left Capernaum and went down to the region of Judea and into the area east of the Jordan River. Once again crowds gathered around him, and as usual he was teaching them. (2) Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?” (3) Jesus answered them with a question: “What did Moses say in the law about divorce?” (4) “Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.” (5) But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. (6) But ‘God made them male and female‘ from the beginning of creation. (7) ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, (8) and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, (9) let no one split apart what God has joined together.” (10) Later, when he was alone with his disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again. (11) He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. (12) And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.”

 

What is Jesus really saying about divorce here? The only way to understand within the proper context is to look back and see how the author, Mark lead into this text. When we look back, we see Jesus teaching His disciples about relationships since the beginning of chapter 9 which begins with Jesus taking Peter, James, and John up a mountain where Jesus meets with Moses and Elijah. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.” (Mark 9:7 NLTse). God wanted us to pay attention and listen to Jesus because He was introducing a new subject, relationships.

 

Jesus introduced this new course by showing three of His disciples His relationship with Moses, Elijah, and of course, God, His Father. Why did Jesus introduce this subject with these particular people? Moses and Elijah were two of the most respected and better know prophets. The disciples had no problem recognizing them on the mountain. They were names people would pay attention to.

 

Later in chapter 9 Mark tells us, Jesus wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” (Mark 9:31 NLTse). Jesus wanted to expand and enrich His relationship with the disciples. He longed for their encouragement and understanding. He also longed to share the details so they would pay closer attention to the details. Jesus knew teaching the prophecies He was about to fulfill was going to be one of the most important aspects of their ministry. If they were to become effective teachers, Jesus had to be their best friend. They had to know each intimate detail of Jesus and His life. The only way the disciples were going to start a whole new religion was to teach the connecting factors, the links in a manner that brought Jesus to life. Mere teaching from a book, memory, or imagination would never do. Their job was to teach everything about Jesus, the prophecies about Him, His life on earth, and His life in Heaven. They had to make it real. People had to believe Jesus fulfilled the prophecies, and lives to fulfill the remaining prophecies from His Heavenly throne.

 

Jesus used the love of a little child to illustrate the relationship He was teaching them. “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.” (Mark 9:37 NLTse). Jesus explained the direct correlation between helping a child, or anyone for that matter and how it relates to a close personal relationship with Himself and God the Father. Jesus used the concept of the family to explain the type of relationship He came to offer the world. It was easy enough for the disciples to see and understand love between a father and child. Jesus sitting in front of them with a child in his arms showed how the love He brought from Heaven extended beyond the immediate family to everyone. Jesus hoped they remembered earlier lessons, how He healed everyone who came to Him. Jesus also explained His family extended to all His followers. “Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35 NLTse).

 

Did you notice how Pharisees presented the question to Jesus? “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?” They intentionally put the man in charge of the situation. There was no question in their mind how a divorce should be handled. They studied, taught, and lived their interpretation and concept on divorce. That’s why Jesus asked them, “What did Moses say in the law aboutdivorce?” He wanted their concept repeated so it would not be missed by future generations. “Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorceand send her away.” There is no doubt, the Pharisees view marriage as an institution where a man is in charge no matter what the circumstances.

 

Look at how Pharisees view marriage. “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?” This is a mindset they taught before committing to marriage. If a man is not happy with his wife for any reason, he can leave. The Pharisees claimed, “a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.” Where was the woman’s input or view? In the eyes of the Pharisees, a woman was little more than a possession.

 

God has always used marriage as a symbol pointing to something far greater, our relationship with HIM. It was an institution created by God. Jesus knew they rejected God’s concept of marriage. By doing so, they also rejected a relationship with God. This was one reason they rejected Jesus. This was one subject Jesus came to correct. Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. But ‘God made them male and female‘ from the beginning of creation.” Going back to Eden, Jesus reminded them of being created in God’s image and how God showed Adam unconditional love before bringing him Eve. You see how the Pharisees turned marriage into a one sided conditional agreement by teaching, “a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.”

 

Jesus provided a simple response. “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts.” Although a divorce decree was given to Moses, Jesus pointed to their hard hearts as if they requested the change in God’s perfect order. Jesus’ response not only began His explanation, but pointed to the form of religion they preferred with some on top, others beneath them, and a simple way of rejecting anyone not totally agreeing with every point. They turned God into a dictator fashioned after their concept of marriage. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!” (Matthew 23:15 NLTse).

 

Jesus explained God’s concept on marriage. “‘God made them male and female‘ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” Jesus chose His words very carefully. He pointed to the equality God intended in a marriage. His response was a stark contrast to the statements made by the Pharisees. Jesus used a string of related words; joined, united, one, and together. There was no room for error, or false teaching when it comes to the subject of marriage. It was and always will be a symbol of Jesus’ relationship with His followers. Jesus could not afford to loose one of His sheep by teaching any other concept.

 

Later, when he was alone with his disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again. He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.”

 

How can you divorce God? You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? (Romans 2:19-22 NLTse).

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Matthew 25:1-13 Ten Virgins

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 23, 2013


Matthew 25:1-13 NLTse Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. (3) The foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them. (4) But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. (5) While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. (6) And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him. (7) Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. (8) And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps have gone out. (9) But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there be not enough for us and you. But rather go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. (10) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came. And they who were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. (11) Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. (12) But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you. (13) Therefore watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour in which the Son of Man comes.

 

Jesus was trying to convey an important message to His disciples. He wanted them to realize how important it was to live their lives always preparing for His return. He told them a series of parables in the temple court, each showing how little people appreciate God’s preparation for the harvest of the world. Jesus continued the lesson that evening in the garden. As they sat alone in the quiet of the evening, Jesus warned them about false prophets and others claiming to be the Messiah. He added a series of parables to teach them to be prepared for the harvest, and His return. He wanted them to know, they must always be prepared. Not only to prepare themselves, but the world. His parable about the faithful and evil servants in charge during the master’s absence left a mark on John. It reminded him of Jesus’ sermon on the mountain at the beginning of His ministry.

 

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do–blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (Matthew 6:1-8 NLTse)

 

John could see, if an earthy master could return and see the work of his servants, God is watching to a much greater degree.

 

Jesus wanted to emphases the point of being prepared, and how to be prepared. He began teaching them another parable, comparing the preparation of a wedding to the Kingdom of Heaven. “Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them.”

 

This immediately reminded some of the disciples about the wedding parable Jesus taught in the temple court. They remembered the preparation the king put into his son’s wedding and how little his closest subjects appreciated the effort and planning. They wondered if the same lesson applied to the foolish virgins. Was it a lack of concern, or their foolishness which caused them to act so carelessly?

 

It was the custom at that time for the bride to wait at her father’s house until the bridegroom arrived to take her home to his father’s house. The groom attended a feast at his father’s house, often lasting many days. At the time appointed by the grooms father, always during the evening hours, the groom would begin the journey to claim his bride. As the bride waited through the days and nights for her groom to arrive, her bridesmaids would comfort, encourage her, and watch for the groom to arrive. At the first sign of the groom the bridesmaids would light their lamps, go out and greet the groom, letting him know his bride was kept safe and well comforted. Some of the disciples had their own thoughts on what the foolish virgins represented. Peter thought, how could those women be so foolish? They were chosen because they were the closest and most trusted friends of the bride. How could anyone place so little value on such an honored position?

 

The disciples were beginning to understand the lesson. They began to consider a connection between themselves and the bridesmaids. Jesus was not finished with the lesson. “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”

 

For a moment the disciples forget there were two groups of bridesmaids. Now they began to compare their features to the group of wise bridesmaids. Not only did the wise remember to fill their lamps, they also carried an extra supply of oil in their vessels. John began to think about how oil is used in the tabernacle service. He knew there had to be some type of spiritual meaning to the oil. It seemed to be the focal point of the lesson. But what? Oil was used to anoint. It was also used to provide light in the tabernacle as well as the return of the groom.

 

Before the disciples got too carried away comparing their qualities to the group of wise bridesmaids, Jesus added a new twist to the story. “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.”

 

This really caught the attention of the disciples. Their thoughts and emotions were swinging from one extreme to another. Thoughts about the foolish group made them feel inadequate. Comparing themselves to the wise made them feel good about themselves. Now it didn’t seem to matter which group they associated themselves with, both groups had committed the unthinkable error, sleeping when they should have been watching. This would have disgraced the bride and her family. If no one welcomed him, the groom would have felt, feeling under appreciated and unwelcome. He may have passed by, turned and headed back home alone, without his bride. Imagine the humiliation this would have brought upon both families.

 

Jesus rose to His feet, raised His arms high, and spoke out in loud clear voice piercing through the darkness, “and at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him.” The disciples thought for just a moment, no one knew, or dared ask where the cry came from. It was the job of the sleeping bridesmaids to announce the groom’s coming. After the unexpected departure from tradition, Jesus gave them only a moment to think before continuing. “Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps have gone out.” John thought to himself, why would the foolish claim their lamps went out when they had not taken any oil with them?

 

As He walked around the disciples, Jesus then added a most unusual detail to His parable. “But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there be not enough for us and you. But rather go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.” John shook his head as he thought of how foolish those five must be, Not one of them considered the fact it was the middle of the night and the shops were closed. The whole town was sleeping. No one was awake. No one could help them. Before John could consider the two scenarios, the foolish leaving to buy oil, or what would happen if they stayed with no oil in or light from their lamps, Jesus answered the question for him. “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came. And they who were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.”

 

John was thinking, they will be waiting hours for the merchants to wake from their sleep. He thought to himself, is there a connection? Before his mind had time to consider the possibilities Jesus continued. “Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you.”

 

John was thinking, serves them right. They did not bother to properly prepare. They did not appreciate the time spent planning the wedding, all the details and preparations involved. They did not place the feelings and well being of the bride above their selfishness. Did they expect the bride’s household to provide them with oil? Everything they did seemed to be self centered. What display of friendship did this add up to? If nothing else it showed exactly how dedicated the bridesmaids were to the friendship and well being of the bride. It appeared as if the foolish group accepted the position to enrich their social status and that is as far as their concern reached.

 

After giving the disciples a few minutes to think about the parable, Jesus finished it with, “therefore watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour in which the Son of Man comes.”

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Matthew 25:1-13 Ten Virgins Story

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 23, 2013


Matthew 25:1-13 NLTse Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. (3) The foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them. (4) But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. (5) While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. (6) And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him. (7) Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. (8) And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps have gone out. (9) But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there be not enough for us and you. But rather go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. (10) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came. And they who were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. (11) Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. (12) But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you. (13) Therefore watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour in which the Son of Man comes.

 

Habal had never been so excited in her life. Her best friend, engaged to be married, asked her to be one of her bridesmaids. It was the first time anyone asked her to fill such an important role. Coming through the door of her home, she announced the good news to her family. Her mother went to her bedroom, returning with a small, ornately carved wooden box, handing it to Habal. Inside she found the ceremonial lamp handed down through generations. Along side of it was a vessel complete with a snugly fitted cap. The attention of the entire family was focused on the contents of the box as Habal carefully lifted them out, displaying them one at a time as she respectfully held them with both hands. Carefully placing them back in the box, she closed the cover and handed it to her mother for safe keeping.

 

A smile came to her face as she thought about the preparations ahead. She leaned forward to address her mother. “I will need a new dress, sandals, and of course the right bracelets and earrings.” I want the day to be perfect for my best friend. She will be so happy she chose me.” Her mother suggested they set a date to do a little shopping, Habal replied, “but mother, I wanted to do this with my friends, I already promised them. I will need some money though.”

 

A few days later Habal was shopping with her friend Minney. They looked at every dress, running their fingers over the material, holding them up, asking the other how it looked. They were about ready to give up when the shopkeeper, noticing their determination, went to the back of the shop, returning with a pale white dress made of the finest linen, highlighted with silk trim. “This is the finest dress in the entire region.” Habal feel in love with it the moment her eyes rested on the dress. “This is exactly what I am looking for, it will make me the center of the entire procession.” After dancing around the shop with the dress held against her body for a time, she turned to ask, “how much?” The shop keeper answered, “twenty talents of silver.” The price was high, Minney’s mouth dropped wide open. Looking over at Habal, she noticed her expression had not changed.

 

On the walk home Habal went over every detail of her dress, and the decorations she was planning to wear. Entering her parent’s house she announced, “I’ve found the perfect dress. You are going to love it. It is the most beautiful dress I have ever seen.” Her mother and father listened to her description of the dress and her account of the day spent shopping. Her father asked, “how much is the dress?” Habal answered, “thirty pieces of silver.” Minney gave her a cold stare, hoping to attract Habal’s attention. She hoped it was a mistake on Habal’s part. After a few moments Minney began to get the feeling she was being intentionally ignored. She kept her comments to herself.

 

The night before the wedding arrived. Habal was beside herself. The endless preparations were taking their toll, proving to be too much for her. She worked long into the night arranging her dress, jewelry, and placing the wooden box with the lamp in their proper place. She tried to get some sleep, but her mind was too caught up in the details. She had to rise early, bath, fix her hair, get dressed and travel to her friend’s house. She thought to herself, why does she have to live so far, and why is she getting married in the dry season? The roads are full of dust that will get my new sandals, feet and, oh no, not the hem of my new dress dirty.

 

The morning was spent shouting out orders to her mother and other family members. Habal wondered out loud why no one seemed to support her in her hour of need. One that should have been her day of happiness. Once she was dressed, she convinced her father to drive her to her friend’s house in the cart. She did not want to risk anything in her preparations. It was evident she was leaving late. No matter she thought to herself. That way when I arrive, everyone will be there to see me. She opened the wooden box. Looking in she thought to herself, why should I have to occupy both hands with the lamp and vessel. Besides, the oil may spill on my new dress. She grabbed the lamp, shut the box and quickly headed out the door.

 

When Habal arrived the other bridesmaids were already attending the bride. It wasn’t long before they broke into two groups, one attending the bride, the other seated off to the side. The second group swapped stories, each out doing the other in fantasies about how many hours they spent preparing for the wedding. They talked about shopping adventures, coloring their nails, choosing the right jewelry, fixing their hear, how the weather would not cooperate. The first group gathered around the bride, encouraging her, telling her how happy she will be, how blessed she was to be given to such a caring and wonderful husband. They talked about the future ahead and time spent developing the relationship.

 

As was the custom, the bridesmaids attended the bride while the groom attended a feast at his father’s house. A number of days passed. The second group of bridesmaids began to complain. They had not anticipated the expected delay. Although it was the tradition, their inexperience began to show their lack of planning. They spent their time fixing each other’s hair while passing the hours in endless chit chat. When meals were served, they ate very little, trying to impress one another, showing they were concerned about watching their figures. The first group, arrived at the home of the bride’s parents dressed in simple everyday garments. They knew there was work to do. In addition to keeping the spirits of the bride up, they assisted the household in cleaning and preparing the home for the groom’s arrival. The second group, unprepared and unwilling to risk soiling their new dresses, sat, watched, and quietly criticized every task performed by the others.

 

When the day finally arrived, the first group rose early to change into the garments set aside for the wedding procession. The second group bound closer together, trying to provide a sense of empty support, more like excuses for their lack of preparation. Shortly after the sun rose, it was evident the day would be hot. Once again the unprepared bridesmaids grouped together to discuss their discomfort. The other group of bridesmaids attended to the bride. The group of maids, up to this point remaining distant decided they were better suited to perform the final preparations on the bride. They gathered around the bride, sending out obvious signals to the first group, their services were no longer required. The first group of maids quietly waited nearby, helping other family members with the final preparations of cleaning and dressing for the special occasion.

 

Finally evening came. All ten bridesmaids gathered at the gate to watch for the groom. They stood in silence as the watched the sun set in the west. The wise wanted to express their feelings of joy by worshipping and thanking God for the splendid colors as the reddish orange sun reflected off the clouds, and the sky lite up in shades of green, blue, and purple. The foolish once again complained about the heat, hoping the night would bring a measure of relief.

 

After a few hours of waiting, the bridesmaids who preferred to remain distant filed back into the house for something to drink. It didn’t take long for the others to follow. All ten were in the house, taking a short break before resuming their post. Reclining upon pillows on the floor, they all soon fell asleep. No one spoke, as each thought the others would surely remain alert. No one noticed the time as midnight approached.

 

No one knew who it was, but someone raised up a shout declaring, “the bridegroom has arrived.” The ten maids quickly rose to their feet. Looking around they appeared to be disoriented for a moment. Light from the cooking fire dimly lite the room. All ten bridesmaids quickly grabbed their lamps. Five of them opened their vessels, topping off their lamps for the midnight journey to the home of the bridegroom’s father. The ten stood around the small fire. Two of them grabbed long branches, lite them from the fire to light their lamps, handing the burning branch to the next in line. It did not take long for the distant group, the foolish to realize the wicks on their lamps quickly extinguished. Those five suddenly realized, they never filled their lamps with oil. A sad look came across their faces as the realized, the reasons for leaving their vessels behind was very foolish. They shouted out to the other five already headed for the door, “our lamps have gone out. Give us some of your oil.” The five wise answered, “we can not, otherwise we will not have enough for ourselves. Go and buy some oil for yourselves.” Some of the foolish began to complain, “why didn’t the brides household provide us oil?” They hesitated for only a moment, then quickly tried to catch up with the others headed into town to purchase oil. They lost their heads at the mere mention of shopping.

 

When they arrived, they suddenly realized the entire town was sleeping at the midnight hour. Feeling defeated, they propped themselves up against a wall, waiting for the shop to open. Before falling asleep, they swapped stories, each blaming the shopkeeper and others for their predicament.

 

When the shopkeeper arrived he noticed the women sleeping against the wall. He opened his door, prepared for business, went outside, and woke the foolish bridesmaids. They quickly went inside, browsing around, chatting amongst themselves, picking up and commenting on a number of trinkets. Finally the shop keeper gathered their attention asking, “what can I get for you?” They all exclaimed, “oil, we need oil for our lamps.” It seemed this was not the first time the shopkeeper had seen this predicament. His powers of observation instantly told him their need. He set the price very high. They began to barter back and forth on the price. Every time the bridesmaids lowered the price, the shopkeeper lowered the amount of oil he was willing to sell them. Finally realizing what was happening, they agreed on the price, paid the shopkeeper, opened their lamps, and received a small amount in each lamp.

 

After purchasing oil, the group left the shop. Shielding their eyes from the sun they soon realized they had no use for the oil at that time. They hurried down the road to the groom’s house. Along their journey the wind picked up. Dust from the road blew all around them, blurring their vision and stinging their skin. At times the wind was so fierce they could hardly tell where they were going. They clung to one another for safety.

 

The dust was so thick they hardly noticed the storm clouds gathering overhead. Without warning lightening lite the sky, thunder crashed, and it began to pour rain like they had never seen. They began to cry as they looked at one another. Their make up and hair immediately ran down. Their clothes were soaked. One of them lost a sandal in the mud. The others pulled her along, not giving her the opportunity to look for it in the muddy water. At last they reached the bridegroom’s house.

 

They immediately knocked on the door, making as much noise as they could. An attendant opened the door. They asked for entry, the attendant asked them to wait outside. Arriving at the door the bridegroom hesitated for a while. He could hear them through the door left opened just a little bit. They poured blame on one another faster then the driving rain. Habal was so disgusted, she pushed one of her friends down into the mud. On the way down she grabbed onto another, they both fell. The two got up and went after Habal. Before long all five foolish bridesmaids were fighting, rolling in the mud, shouting insults at one another. The bridegroom opened the door. Looking upon the scene he watched the five rolling on the ground, covered in mud. It took them a moment to recognize the figure standing at the door. They shouted, “Lord, let us in.” He had no other words for them but, “Truly I say to you, I do not know you..”

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Mark 7:31-37 Jesus Heals A Deaf Man

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 20, 2013


Mark 7:31-37 NLTse Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns. (32) A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him. (33) Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue. (34) Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!” (35) Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly! (36) Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news. (37) They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”

 

What lesson did Jesus teach by healing a deaf man with a speech impediment? Why did Jesus led the man away to be alone with him? Were the disciples present? How do we find the answer to these questions? These questions point us directly to another rule of Bible study, the structure of chapters. When the Bible was translated and divided into chapters, translators led by the Holy Spirit noticed a consistent style of writing used by all the authors. Even though the Bible was written over thousands of years, this style remained consistent. It is a style of writing still used today in books, reports, letters, and Internet blogs which follow generally accepted rules of composition. The first few sentences, known as verses in the Bible, consist of a simple introduction. The last few sentences, or verses form the summary. To test this rule we simply compare the introduction and summary to this text, looking for words and thoughts that are the same, similar, or related.

 

Mark 7:1-3 NLTse One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. (2) They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (3) (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions.

 

Mark 7:36-37 NLTse Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news. (37) They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”

 

In the introduction we see the Pharisees and other religious leaders who often followed Jesus. We also see some very strict traditions which they forced on anyone who would listen. The tradition mentioned in the introduction is hand washing before eating. When we look how Jesus healed the deaf man, we see He put His fingers in the man’s ears, spit on His fingers and touched the man’s tongue. If Jesus did this in front of the Pharisees, can you imagine the first words this man would have heard? The man’s ears and mind would have been filled with useless doctrine. This is the lesson Jesus was teaching His disciples. Jesus used an unorthodox method of healing to bring attention to the introduction. Combining the two reveals the spiritual meaning.

 

Isn’t this what happens today? People are drawn to Jesus for the first time in their lives as He opens their ears, but the church forgets the fact, He also gave them the ability to speak. The church has little interest in listening. They can’t see half the blessings Jesus provided. They fail to give the glory to the Spirit who leads new believer to Christ. Instead they rely on a preplanned formula to turn new members into denominational converts. God sends the church new believers so they can witness the work of the Spirit. Instead of listening and learning how the Spirit worked to lead a new believer to Jesus, the church follows their prearranged method of teaching which consists of nothing more than doctrine, following in the footsteps of the Pharisees.

 

In the summary we see Jesus telling people not to say anything about the man receiving his hearing and speech. The more Jesus told them not to tell anyone, the more they announced it. They were so amazed by the miracle Jesus performed, they could not hold it in.

 

There is a distinct contrast between the two groups. The Pharisees relied on tradition and doctrine. Jesus’ followers listened, watched, and learned. They could not wait to share. This was an important aspect to becoming a disciple. Its no wonder Jesus replaced the traditional church with the New Testament form of worship.

 

When we carefully examine the introduction of each of these two stories we find a number of interesting facts which would have been missed if we did not go back and review the way Jesus instructed His disciples.

 

Mark 7:24-27 NLTse Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. (25) Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit, (26) and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, (27) Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children–my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

 

Mark 7:31-33 NLTse Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns. (32) A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to himand the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him. (33) Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue.

 

When Jesus was in the corporate headquarters known for its worship of money, He didn’t want anyone to know where He was. But a woman, a foreigner finds Him, falls at His feet and begs for His help. Jesus tests everyone witnessing this act by appearing to deny her the help she needs. Once Jesus left the lure of financial wealth, people brought a deaf man to Him, and begged Jesus to heal him.

 

Is this contrast here for a reason? All of these events were arranged by God’s Spirit to teach the disciples lessons they needed to conduct their own ministries and write letters to the newly formed churches. We can see Jesus is showing them how riches will distort views, concepts, and even the way people are led to Him. Hasn’t this been proven true through history? Rich, powerful churches have a different way of recruiting people. They look for a certain class, those most able to help them achieve their goals, while holding others back from reaching out to Jesus. This is not only true on the denominational, but local levels among every denomination. It is also a problem in the personal level, which is human nature to accept people who tend to be like you, while rejecting people who are different.

 

Outside of the financial temptations of Tyre, we see people going out of their way to bring others to Jesus, especially individuals ignored by many classes of society. This is a difficult emotion to explain because it is so rare. The only way to experience it is to learn to be led by the Spirit. When the time is right, He will put people in your path to plant a seed, and lead to Jesus. It takes a lot of patience and practice to learn how to listen to the still, small voice of the Spirit. When you learn to recognize it, you will never forget.

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Mark 7:24-30 Tinapay para sa Aso

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 17, 2013


 

Marcos 7:24:30– 24 Mula roon, umalis si Jesus at pumunta sa mga
lupaing nasasakupan ng Tiro at Sidon. Pumasok siya sa bahay at ayaw
niyang malaman ng sinuman na naroroon siya, ngunit hindi siya
makapagtago. 25 Ito ay sapagkat narinig ng isang inang may anak na
babae, na inaalihan ng karumal-dumal na espiritu, na naroroon si
Jesus. Pumunta siya kay Jesus at nagpatira pa sa kaniyang paanan. 26
Ang babae ay taga-Grescia, ipinanganak sa Sirofenicia. Hiniling niya
kay Jesus na palabasin ang demonyo mula sa kaniyang anak. 27 Ngunit
sinabi ni Jesus sa kaniya: Hayaan munang mabusog ang mga anak sapagkat
hindi mabuti na kunin sa mga anak ang tinapay at itapon sa mga aso. 28
Subalit ang babae ay sumagot kay Jesus: Totoo, Panginoon. Sapagkat
maging ang mga aso man na nasa ilalim ng hapag kainan ay kumakain ng
mga nahuhulog na mumo mula sa mga anak. 29 Sinabi ni Jesus sa kaniya:
Dahil sa sinabi mong ito, lumakad ka na. Lumabas na ang demonyo sa
iyong anak. 30 Pagdating ng babae sa kaniyang bahay, nakita niyang
lumabas na ang demonyo sa kaniyang anak. Ang kaniyang anak ay nakahiga
sa kama.

Pumasok si Jesus sa kabisera ng ekonomiya sa mundo, sa Tiro upang doon
ay makapagpahinga. Bagamat katakataka ang Kanyang desisyon na pumunta
dun at subukang ito’y panatilihing lihim ang Kanyang paglalakbay sa
Tiro. May isa lamang na lugar kung saan sinubukan Niya upang itago ang
Kanyang pagkakakilanlan; ito ay ang Jerusalem kung saan Siya’y
naglakbay sa panahon ng paskua. Bakit kaya kailangan itago ni Jesus
ang Kanyang pagkakakilanlan sa Kabisera ng pananalapi at relihiyon sa
mundo? Ito ang lokasyon na sa tingin natin ay kinakailangan nang
pinakamataas, kalubus-lubusaan at pinakamahalagang uri ng trabaho. Sa
pagtatapos ng Kanyang ministeryo, malawakan Siyang nangangaral sa
Jerusalem, ngunit makita natin ang maliit lamang na ebidensiya sa
Kaniyang gawain sa Tiro at nitong mga huling kapanahunan, bagaman
sinasabi sa atin ni Marcos na binisita ni Jesus ang Tiro sa
kapanahonan ng Kanyang pagmiministeryo.

Sa lahat ng mga residente sa Tiro, ang pinakamataas na ranggong
opisyal ng kawal, Kapitan ng mga industriya, mga negosyante, mga
nagmamay-ari ng bangko, dalubhasa sa pananalapi at iba pang
makapangyarihan at maimpluwensyang tao, sino ang lumapit kay Jesus?
Isang hentil, taga-Grecia, ipinanganak sa Sirofenicia. Paano niya
narinig ang tungkol kay Jesus? Ano ang nalalaman niya tungkol sa
Kanya? Siguro narinig niya ang tungkol kay Jesus mula sa mga taong
nakarinig kay Jesus na nagsalita, nakakitang marami Siyang pinagaling
at pinalayas na mga demonyo. Alam nating ang babaeng ito ay lumapit
kay Jesus upang iligtas ang kanyang anak na babae. Isa sa
pinakamarangal na gawain na ginagampanan ng maraming mga kababaihan.
Isang sakrispisyo na kailanma’y hindi napuna at napansin ng karamihan.
Hindi nakapagtataka na isinasagawa ang mga ito ng Espiritu sa sentro
ng kabisera ng ekonomiya sa mundo. Isang hindi pangkaraniwan na babae
na minsa’y hindi napuna ng karamihan dahil siya ay naiiba sa lahat.
Ang kanyang damit ay simply, na malinaw na nagpapakita na siya’y salat
sa kayamanan. Oo, nakikita siya ng mga tao. Alam ng mga tao na siya’y
nandiyan, ngunit sila ay walang interes na alamin at makibahagi sa
kanyang pasanin na dinadala. Pagkatapos ng lahat, sa mata ng karamihan
at sa mundo, siya lamang ay isang ina.

Ano sa tingin mo ang panahon ngayon? May nagbago ba? Maraming mga tao
ang nagsasabi at nagmamalaking ang babae ay kumakatawan ng isang
simbahan ayon Bibliya. Ngunit may alam ba silang teksto na
magpapakita, magpapatunay at susuporta sa kung ano ang sa tingin
nilang alam nila? Kaya ba nila? Sinubukan ba nilang alamin? Ano naman
ang tungkol sa isang babae na kumakatawan sa sangkatauhan, ang mga
pagmamalasakit, mga pasanin, at sakripisyo na ginagampanan ng isang
ina sa araw-araw? Ang mga tao ba’y may pagmamalasakit upang
matulongang matugunan ang panganailangan ng isang ina? Isang inang
naghahanap ng paraan dahil sa limitadong pondo. Naghahanap ng
kaparaanan ng sa gayon ay mapagkasya ang pagkain ng pamilya. Tinitiis
ang gutom ng sa gayon ay makakakain ang kanyang mga anak. Paano pa’t
hindi maipagdiwang ang kaarawan dahil sa kawalan ng badyet, maliban sa
kung ano ang kaya nyang ihanda. May pakialam ba ang mundo kung gaano
kalaki ang kahihiyan at kalungkutan na idinagdag nila sa kanya at ng
kanyang pamilya? May pakialam ba at ramdam ba ng mundo ang kalam na
naramdaman nya sa kanyang sikmura, ang bakas ng pag-aalala sa kanyang
mukha o ang sakit na kanyang nararamdaman? Ngayon isina-alang-alang na
ng gobyerno na ang “kahabagan” bilang isang tungkulin sa mundo, ngunit
ito ay hindi natin makikita sa kahit saan mang simbahan ngayon kompara
sa kapanahonan ni Jesus. Tingnan natin ang mga alagad ni Jesus. Nang
sinabi ng babae ang kanyang problema, may nag-alok lang ba sa kanya ng
yakap o anumang paraan upang mapagaan ang kanyang nararamdaman? Ngunit
ano ang sabi ng Kanyang mga alagad, hinimok nila si Jesus upang ang
babae ay lumayo sa kanila.” Ngunit hindi Niya siya tinugon ng kahit
isang salita. Nilapitan Siya ng kaniyang mga alagad at pinakiusapan na
sinasabi: Paalisin mo siya sapagkat sigaw siya nang sigaw habang
sumusunod sa atin.” (Mateo 15:23).

Marami sa mundong ito ang nahulog sa tukso na hindi masayod nang anung
paniniwala at pag-iisip. Habang minamasid ng mundo ang isang ina at
iba pang nagdurusa sa kamay ng mga pinili. Ang mga bangko at iba pang
kompanyang nagpapautang ay sinubukang samantalahin ang pagkakataon sa
mga nangangailangan upang singilin ito ng multa, mga naantalang bayad,
mas mataas na interes sa kung anumang rason. Kahit gaano pa man kaliit
ang mga ito, ang mga pampinansyal na institusyon tulad ng matatagpuan
sa Tiro ay gumagawa ng kaparaan upang mas lumago at umunlad ang mga
ito sa kahit ano pa mang kaparaanan. Kung kaya’t ang isang ina’y
humantong sa isang puntong napakahirap para sa kanya, ibibinta niya
ang kanyang singsing sa kasal, isang palatandaan ng mga magagandang
alalahanin, mga masasayang araw ng kanyang buhay at isang pag-asa sa
hinaharap. Ang hinaharap niya ngayon ang isang pag-asang makakaahon sa
isang linggong puno ng pagdurusa. Ang mga tusong mangangalakal ay
walang habag sa kanya, imbis na makatulong ay inaalok sya nito ng
kunwari mas mababa na interes upang ng sa gayon ay maisakatuparan ang
kanilang bawat pansariling kapakanan at plano. Ang isang mapagmahal na
ina ay walang mapagpipilian at walang magawa kundi ang subukang
maiahon ang isa pang linggo na mapakain ang mga anak at sa kabila nito
mabayaran ang iilang bayarin. Nag-atubili mang isanla ang kanyang
katapusang pag-asa ngunit pagkatapos ay walang ibang paraan kundi ang
ibigay ito sa mga kamay ng isang tusong mangangalakal. Ang Espiritu sa
gayo’y sinusubukan upang siya ay matulongan—sinusubukan upang
mahatulan ang tusong mangangalakal. Ang Espiritu’y umabot sa
kasukdulan ng budhi ng bawat mangangalakal sa sandaling ang isang
butil ay maipunla, butil ng kabutihan. Ang huling sinag ng pag-asa ay
magwawakas galing sa puso. Datapwa’t kunwa’y natakpan at pinawi ang
anumang sakit na naidudulot ng isang nagkakasalang budhi sa isang
isang kita mula sa pangangalakal.

Walang iba kundi ang babaeng ito ang kumakatawan sa mga taong inaapi
sa lipunan. Mga taong tinatawag ni Jesus dahil walang ibang makikinig
sa Kanya kundi sila, at sinabi Nya, “9 Pumunta nga kayo sa mga
lansangan at sinuman ang inyong matagpuan ay anyayahan ninyo sa
piging. 10 Lumabas nga ang mga alipin sa mga lansangan at dinala ang
lahat ng kanilang mga natagpuan. Dinala nila kapwa ang masama at
mabuti. Ang piging ay napuno ng mga panauhin”(Mateo 22:9-10). Ang mga
tao sa mundo ay nahulog sa isang kagaraan at mga pangako ng kayamanan
at kasaganaan sa mundo. Dinala ni Jesus ang Kanyang mga alagad sa Tiro
para sa isang pagsubok kung ang Kanyang mga alagad ba ay maakit o
mabighani sa pera. Maging ang paglingap at pagpapahalaga sa pera at
kapangyarihan ay makapagpapurol ng kanilang katinuan, na maghahatak sa
kanila papalayo mula sa Espiritu, pabalik sa mundo. Nakalimutan ba ng
mga alagad ni Jesus ang lahat ng mga leksiyon na itinuturo ni Jesus at
ang Kanyang pangako sa mga ito na bigyan sila Niya ng kakayahan upang
maunawaan ang lahat ng parabula, mga talinghaga na Kanyang sinasabi sa
bawat aralin nito? Nakalimutan ba nila kung paano pinakalma ni Jesus
ang unos o bagyo sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang salita, pagpapalayas ng
daan-daang demonyo, ang pagpapagaling Niya sa isang babaeng may
problema sa dugo, pagbuhay Niyang muli sa isang batang babae,
pagpapakain Niya sa 5000 ka tao, at ang paglalakad Niya sa ibabaw ng
tubig upang silay sagipin Niya? Kamangha-mangha kung paano ang isang
maliit na parala at kislap galing sa mundo ay maaari nitong
makalimutan. Hindi ba’t konting paghihirap na hinaharap ng mga
Israelita sa disyerto ay nakalimutan din nila kung paano at ano ang
buhay nila sa Ehipto bilang mga alipin? Hanggang ilang beses ba nilang
subukang sumuko at bumalik sa mundo ng pagiging alipin? Ang mga alagad
ni Jesus ngunit sa ibang paraan ay sinubukan din. Ang ilang sandali na
sila’y napapalibutan ng karangyaan at kasagaanan ay magiging dahilan
upang makalimutan nila ang mga leksiyon na iniukit ni Jesus sa
kanilang mga puso at isipan. Ang simpleng pag-iisip ng makamundong
kasaganaan ay magiging dahilan upang sila’y magiging espiritwal na
bulag at bingi. Nakalimutan nila na ang kanilang Guro ay may
kapangyarihan na galing sa langit. Ito ay isa pang panahon at
pagkakataon upang magkaroon ng isa pang leksiyon; isa pang panibagong
paalala upang pumukaw sa bawat isa.

Sinabi ni Jesus sa kanya, “Una ay dapat kong pakainin ang mga bata—ang
aking sariling pamilya, mga Hudyo. Hindi tamang kunin ang pagkain mula
sa mga bata at itapon ang mga ito sa mga aso.” Biglang naalala ng mga
alagad ni Jesus na Siya ay palaging nagsasalita sa pamamagitan ng
patalinghaga sa tuwing Siya’y nagtuturo sa kanila. Naisip nila ang
parabula sa nagpupunla ng buto. Napansin din nila na Siya’y huminto.
Alam na nilang ito’y hudyat na upang silay magdasal. Ang kanilang
koneksyon sa Espiritu ay biglang nanumbalik. Ang tugon ng babae ay,
“iyon ay totoo, Panginoon, ngunit ang mga aso sa ilalim ng
hapag-kainan ay pinapayagang kumain sa mga tira mula sa mga plato ng
mga bata.” Ikinumpara ba ni Jesus ang babae sa isang aso? Sa isang
sandali inisip nila na ito ay isang susi o paraan. Bigla nilang
napagtanto kung paano ang tingin ng mga Hudyo sa isang babaeng
dayuhan. Sa mahabang panahon ng Kanyang pananahimik bigla nilang
naalala ang mga leksiyon sa mga pagtuturo ni Jesus na ito’y
nagpapakita sa kanila kung paano nila kinakailangan na ihiwalay ang
kanilang mga sarili sa mundo, isipan at maling kuru-kuro tungkol sa
iba, at sa sinuman. Napansin nilang si Jesus ay hindi kailanma’y
tinataboy ang sinuman papalayo sa Kanya. Ni hindi ang taong inaalihan
ng demonyo, ang maruming babae na may problema sa dugo, ang mga pinuno
sa sinagoga, hindi kahit ang ketongin. “Mahusay na sagot”, ang sabi
Niya. Sinabi ni Jesus sa kaniya: “Dahil sa sinabi mong ito, lumakad ka
na. Lumabas na ang demonyo sa iyong anak.” At pagdating ng babae sa
kaniyang bahay, nakita niyang lumabas na ang demonyo sa kaniyang anak.
Ang kaniyang anak ay nakahiga sa kama.

Natutunan ng mga alagad ang isa sa pinaka-mahalagang leksiyon sa araw
na ‘yaon. Huwag kailanma’y hayaang ang mga ipinangako ng mundo ay
magiging dahilan upang ikaw ay lumayo at kalimutan ang iyong tunay na
misyon. Alam nilang nabigo sila sa pagsubok na iniukol sa kanila,
ngunit alam din nilang si Jesus ay hindi kailanman ay tumalikod sa
kanila.

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Mark 7:24-30 Bread to Dogs

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 16, 2013


Mark 7:24-30 NLTse Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. (25) Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit, (26) and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, (27) Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children–my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” (28) She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.” (29) “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” (30) And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

 

Jesus entered the economic capital of the world, Tyre to find some rest. It seems strange Jesus would try to keep His presence a secret when He traveled to Tyre. There is only one other location He tried to conceal His identity, Jerusalem when He traveled there during one Passover. Why would Jesus conceal His identity in the financial and religious capitals of the world? These are locations we would think required the maximum amount of work. At the end of His ministry Jesus preached extensively in Jerusalem, but we see little evidence Jesus worked in Tyre at a later date, although Mark tells us Jesus visited Tyre earlier in His ministry.

 

Of all the residents in Tyre, high ranking military officials, captains of industry, merchants, bankers, financial wizards, and other powerful and influential people, who comes to Jesus? A Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia. How did she hear about Jesus? What did she know about Him? She must have heard from people who heard Him speak, saw Him heal and cast out demons. We know the woman came to Jesus to save her daughter. A noble task performed by so many women, sacrifices which go unnoticed. No wonder the Spirit arranged this scene in the middle of the economic capital of the world. A strange woman who hardly goes unnoticed because she is different from everyone. Her dress is simple, showing her lack of wealth. People see her, know she existed, but they have no interest in the burdens she carries. After all, in the eyes of the world, she is only a mother, and much less in the shadow of the financial world.

 

What about today? Has anything changed? A lot of people boast they know a woman represents a church in the Bible. But do they know how to show a single text supporting what they think they know? Can they? Do they care enough to try? What about a woman representing humanity, the cares, burdens, and sacrifices a mother makes everyday? Do people have compassion on single mothers struggling to make ends meet? Searching for ways to juggle limited funds. Finding ways of stretching a weeks worth of food to feed her family for a month? Going hungry so her kids can eat? Having nothing to celebrate birthdays except for what she can make with her hands. Does the world care how much embarrassment and grief they add to her daily life and her family? Can the world associate with the hunger pains in her stomach, worry lines on her face, or pain in her heart? Today the world considers compassion a role for the government. Its missing from many churches today to the same extent as Jesus’ day. Look at Jesus’ disciples. When the woman announced her problem did any of them step forward to offer a hug, any form of comfort? His disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” (Matthew 15:23 NLTse).

 

Many in this world fall to temptations beyond belief and comprehension. While the world looks on single mothers and others suffer at the hands of the elite. Banks and credit companies jump at the chance to take advantage of those in need, charging penalties, late fees, higher interest rates for any reason their distorted minds can invent. They make it impossible for anyone to climb out of a financial hole. No matter how small it may be, financial institutions like those found in Tyre, dig the hole as large as they can make it, using every means at their disposal while all the time inventing more. When she finally reaches a breaking point, she sells her wedding ring, a remember of better days and hope for a future. Her future now is making it through another week. Crafty merchants feel nothing for her, offering her a small percentage of the profit they plan to make. She has no choice but to feed her children and try to pay a few bills. She hesitates, then hands over her last hope to a hand shaking with guilt. The Spirit is trying to help her — trying to convict the merchant. The Spirit reaches the conscience for a moment with a single seed sown among thorns. The last ray of hope is quenched from the heart. Profit will try to ease the pain of a guilty conscience.

 

If nothing else this woman represents the outcasts of society. The very class Jesus calls because no one else is listening. Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests. (Matthew 22:9-10 NLTse). The world is caught up in the splendor and promises of riches and wealth. Jesus took His disciples into Tyre as a test to see if the lure of money, just the thought of wealth and power would dull their senses, pulling them away from the Spirit, back into the world. Did the disciples forget all the lessons Jesus was teaching since He promised to give them the ability to understand all parables? Did they forget how He calmed the storm with His word, cast hundreds of demons out of a man, cured a woman from an issue of blood, raised a little girl to life, fed 5000, and walked on water to save them? It is amazing how a little tinsel and glitter from the world can make people forget so much. A few hardships in the wilderness made Israel forget about their lives as slaves in Egypt. How many times did they want to give up and go back to slavery? The disciples were being tested from a different angle. A few moments surrounded by luxury and affluence turned their heads and hearts. The mere thought of worldly prosperity engulfed every thought, making them spiritually blind and deaf. They forgot the Teachers power He received from Heaven. It was time for another lesson, a new reminder.

 

Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children–my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” The disciples suddenly remembered, Jesus always spoke in parables to teach them. Their minds went back to the parable of the farmer sowing seeds. They also noticed He paused. They knew this was a signal for them to pray. Their connection with the Spirit was being reestablished. The woman replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.” Was Jesus comparing this woman to a dog? For a moment they thought that was the key. For a moment they thought this was how Jews viewed the woman because she was a foreigner. During Jesus’ long pause they began to realize the lessons Jesus was teaching were showing them how they needed to separate their thoughts from the world and its misconceptions about others, anyone different. They noticed Jesus never turned anyone away. Not the demon possessed man, the unclean woman with the issue of blood, the ruler of the synagogue, not even a leper. “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

 

The disciples learned one of the most valuable lessons that day. Never let the promises of the world pull you away from your mission. They knew they failed the test. They also knew Jesus was not going to give up on them.

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Mark 6:30-44 Jesus Feeds 5000

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 15, 2013


Mark 6:30-44 NLTse The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. (31) Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. (32) So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. (33) But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. (34) Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. (35) Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. (36) Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.” (37) But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!” (38) “How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.” They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.” (39) Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. (40) So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. (41) Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. (42) They all ate as much as they wanted, (43) and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. (44) A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed from those loaves!

 

Up to this point Jesus has been teaching His disciples a number of techniques to study and understand scripture. This acted parable with Jesus feeding 5000 is a continuation of those lessons. Each lesson is designed to build upon previous lessons which began in chapter 4 where Jesus explained, “You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven.’ If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?” (Mark 4:11-13 NLTse).

 

Jesus began teaching by introducing simple symbols. He explained that seed is a symbol used to represent God’s Word. When asked for an explanation, Jesus quoted scripture to indicate where and how symbols are defined and revealed. We have to see what Jesus sees and hear what He hears to understand. In other words, His lessons would include not only verbal teaching, but visual in the form of events the disciples were about to experience with Jesus. What about the aspect of hearing? What does Jesus mean when He refers to hearing? Many people do not see the connection. They cannot perceive or see the answer Jesus provided. “The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.” (Mark 4:14 NLTse). Look at Jesus’ answer. He tells them not only the interpretation of the symbol, but the source of the spiritual definition. Look again. Can you find it? Do you understand? There is only one possible explanation, seed represents God’s Word, the source of all knowledge. The is what we need to listen to and hear. When we look at supporting texts, Isaiah tells us not only the spiritual meaning of seed with a direct relationship to the parable of the sower, Isaiah introduces other spiritual words, and assures us of its success. This is also in illustration showing how God’s Word grows.

 

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. (Isaiah 55:9-11 NLTse).

 

Jesus also introduced a common method of writing used throughout the Bible. Authors often begin a story by first writing a conclusion, then fill in details as the story progresses. Jesus used this method in the parable of the sower to teach His disciples how to recognize, understand and teach this simple study method. Jesus introduced the fact Satan will use many methods to steal away God’s Word. More details were added in the acted parables where Jesus rebuked the wind, cast out a legion of demons and more. Jesus also explained this method in two verses. “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Mark 4:20 NLTse). Here Jesus explains only two phases of growth. The seed is planted and moves directly to the harvest. In a later parable Jesus fills in more details about the growth pattern of a seed. “The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.” (Mark 4:28 NLTse). As Jess progresses through the acted parables, He is also teaching lessons which provide details about spiritual growth between the first seed and the final harvest, which is one of the most important objectives of Jesus’ ministry.

 

Once the simple methods of listening, learning and understanding were taught, Jesus progressed to a number of parables, both verbal and acted. Each added a vast array of lessons which are revealed by the Holy Spirit on an individual basis. A far deeper understanding is achieved when the subject is studied with prayer and the Holy Spirit. Scripture should be allowed to reveal scripture just as Jesus showed. This applies to parables Jesus taught, acted parables, prophecy, the entire Bible.

 

The lesson progresses in the acted parable of Jesus feeding 5000. When we consider a list of repeated words in the story, we see how lessons come to light. We see the apostles returned to tell Jesus what they had taught. We also see Jesus teaching. Once we look at the timing of this story we understand this is only the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and the beginning of a long learning process for the disciples. The important point is, Jesus sent out His disciples while they were still in the learning process. He did not wait for them to reach a certain level of knowledge, but used experience as a teaching aid.

 

The word people is repeated to show the connection between Jesus, the apostles and people they served. We see how people followed Jesus and His concern for them. He not only fed them, but had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. This shows how important a personal relationship with Jesus is, as well as training for His disciples. The lesson also introduces a new symbol and its spiritual meaning, people and sheep. This is the type of information you need to learn to focus on.

 

We also see a spiritual lesson as the disciples brought bread from Jesus to the people. We understand the spiritual lesson once we learn what bread represents. Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.” (John 6:51 NLTse). Bread represents Jesus and His salvation. Bread is made from seed used in the parables Jesus taught His disciples.

 

We also see the disciples thought they had to work for bread to feed the people. Jesus proved this was not true. Not only in this parable, bit the previous one where He gave them the authority to share gifts with others. Disciples have to learn where the authority to share comes from and what it can accomplish.

 

As we study repeated words we begin to understand their relationship. Many of the words have an interwoven connection which becomes clear with more time in the scriptures. Just like a plant from seed, God’s Word grows and grows, adding more and more fruit. The most important point to realize is, concentrating on individual words gives the Spirit time to work with you, to show you the wonders and riches just below the surface.

 

What do we learn from the acted parable of Jesus feeding the 5000? His disciples will always come back to find more to share. No matter how many times they come back to a verse, story or parable, Jesus will always have more bread to share with others. No matter how many times we return Jesus will always have more because He His Word is blessed. We see the evidence in the twelve baskets the disciples gathered. This represents the careless way people handled Jesus’ bread of life. The people had no interest in gathering it themselves. Once served with the Word, they felt they should always be served. The option was there for them to gather bread for themselves, but they chose to leave it behind. Jesus showed His disciples how sacred His Word is by having them gather it into baskets. The vast majority will sit down and expect to be fed. They will feel full, but are they? What are you, a disciple, or member of the crowd?

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Mateo 1:22-23 Si Hesus natututo

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 11, 2013


Mateo 1:22-23 “Ang lahat ng ito ay naganap upang matupad ang sinabi ng

Panginoon sa pamamagitan ng mga propeta. 23 Sinabi nila: Narito, isang
dalagang birhen ang magdadalang-tao at manganganak ng isang lalaki.
Tatawagin nila siyang Emmanuel na ang ibig sabihin ay: Ang Diyos ay
sumasaatin.”

Binigkas ng Diyos ang Kanyang mga salita, at sa tamang panahon ang
lahat ay natupad. “Narito, ang isang birhen ay may anak.” Sa unang
pagkakataon sa kasaysayan ng mundo ay may isang birhen na magkakaanak.
Ano kaya ang naisaisip ni Jose ng may isang anghel na lumitaw at
nagsasabi na tanggapin niya siya bilang asawa sa kabila ng kanyang
katayuan? Ito ay isang pagsubok ng pananampalataya. Kung inuusisa ni
Jose ang salita ng anghel na ipinadala ng Diyos, nagsusuri, tanggapin
at sundin ang tradisyon ng mundo, ano kaya ang mangyayari, maaring
magkakaroon ng pagakakataon si satanas ng dahil sa kanyang pagdududa
sa sinabi ng Diyos. Maaring sundin ni Jose ang kaugalian ng mundo
kaysa salita ng Diyos, at maaaring mawalan siya ng pagkakataong maging
ama ng anak ng Diyos. Nakikita ko ang dalawang himala dito. Ang
pagbubuntis ni Maria sa pamamagitan ng Banal na Espiritu, at ang
pananampalataya ni Jose. Nang magpakita kay Jose ang Espiritu, dala ba
nito ang salita ng Diyos at iniukit Nya sa isipan ni Jose?

Isaias 7:14-16 “Kaya’t ang Panginoon nga ay magbibigay sa inyo ng
tanda; narito, isang dalaga ay maglilihi, at manganganak ng isang
lalake, at tatawagin ang kaniyang pangalan na Emmanuel.(15) 15 Siya’y
kakain ng mantekilla at pulot, pagka siya’y natutong tumanggi sa
kasamaan, at pumili ng mabuti. (16) Sapagka’t bago maalaman ng bata na
tumanggi sa kasamaan, at pumili ng mabuti, pababayaan ang lupain ng
dalawang haring iyong kinayayamutan.”

Sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya ni Jose, siya ay naniwala na ang
kanyang anak ay ang Anak ng Diyos. Ang maliit na sanggol sa loob ng
sinapupunan ni Maria ay may malaking epekto at mabuting maidudulot sa
mundo. Alam nina Jose at Maria na ang Panginoong Diyos ay kasama at
kaagapay nila. Ipinagkaloob ng Diyos ang tatlong paraan sa Kanyang
paggabay at katibayan. Ang Banal na Espiritu na nagpakita kay Maria,
nagpakita kay Jose sa pamamagitang ng panaginip, at ang salita ng
Diyos na isinulat sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang mga propeta. Sina Jose at
Maria ay saksi sa para isa’t isa. Madalas na sinasagot ng Diyos ang
kanilang panalangin sa parehong paraan, sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang
salita at mga patunay ng iba sa pamamagitan ng paggabay ng Banal na
Espiritu.

Dumating si Jesus sa mundong ito, ngunit ang kanyang impluwensiya ay
noon pa may malinaw na nagpapakita nang kahalagahan ng pag-ibig at
pagtitiwala sa simula ng buhay.

Sa Isaias makikita natin ang isang mahalagang aspeto sa buhay ni
Jesus, ang Kanyang edukasyon ay nakasentro sa salita ng Diyos. Bilang
isang bata, gusto niyang tanggapin ang simpleng katotohanan ng “gatas”
ng salita. “Kanino siya magtuturo ng kaalaman? at kanino niya
ipatatalastas ang balita? silang nangalayo sa gatas, at nangahiwalay
sa suso?” (Isaias 28:9).

Habang si Jesus ay lumalaki, lumalago rin ang kanyang kaalaman sa mga
koneksyon sa pagitan ng isang teksto at sa isa pa. Bilang isang bata,
pinag-aralan ni Jesus ang salita ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng
paghahambing ng banal na kasulatan at sa iba pang banal na kasulatan
upang makakuha ng isang mas mahusay, mas mainam at buong pang-unawa sa
kahulugan ng mga ito, at kung paano ito naaangkop sa buhay, at mga
relasyon. “Siya’y kakain ng mantekilya at pulot, pagka’t siya’y
natutong tumanggi sa kasamaan, at pumili ng mabuti” (Isaias 7:15,
Kawikaan 30:33)

Hindi lamang ang tadhana ng mundo ang ganap na umaasa sa pang-unawa ni
Jesus sa kasulatan, ngunit maging ang buhay na walang hanggan para sa
hindi mabilang na indibidwal. Ang pangunahing interes ni Jesus ay
nakasentro sa mga indibidwal na relasyon. Ang Ebanghelyo ay puno ng
mga halimbawa ng kung paano naabot ni Jesus ang mga tao sa kaparaanang
kailanman may hindi pa nila naranasan noon. Kalimitan ay nagsasalita
si Jesus nang iilan lang salita sa isang tao. At ang Kanyang mga
salita ay purong panghihikayat sa sinumang nangangailangan sa isang
partikular na sandali. Konting salita galing kay Jesus ay madalas na
maging isang karanasan sa paninibagong buhay.

Inalam ni Jesus kung paano gumawa ng isang tamang desisyon sa lahat ng
oras o pagkakataon. Isang kasalanan, isang pagkakamali, isang maling
salita lamang ay maglalagay sa sanlibutan sa pamamahala ni satanas.
Kailangan malaman ni Jesus ang lahat ng bagay na napapaloob sa
Kasulatan ng Diyos para sa Kanyang Bugtong na Anak. Habang
pinag-aaralan ni Jesus ang Kasulatan na ipinadala mula sa langit,
binuksan nila ang Kanyang mga mata at itinuon ang Kanyang puso sa
Kanyang Ama. Kay Jesus ang mga Banal na Kasulatan ay mas higit pa
kaysa sa isang manwal para sa buhay na walang hanggan, ang mga ito ay
isang sulat na nagmumula sa Kanyang Ama. Ito ay paraan ng Diyos upang
maipadama sa Kanyang Anak na Siya ay kasama nito. Ang Kanyang
masigasig na pag-aaral sa salita ng Kanyang Ama ay isang paraan upang
makita at makilala ng mundo ang Kanyang Ama.

Si Jesus ang anak ng Diyos at anak ng tao. Si Jesus at ang Diyos ay
Sumasaatin. Ang bawat aspeto sa buhay ni Jesus ay isang paglalarawan
ng Diyos. Habang hinuhugasan Nya ang mga paa ng Kanyang mga alagad,
ipinapakita Nya kung paano maglingkod sa langit. Pinagaling Nya ang
mga may sakit, ipinakita Nya dito ang mapusok at magiliw na malasakit.
Bilang pagpapatawad sa mga kasalanan, siya ay nagpapakita ng walang
hanggang paghuhukom ng Diyos. Namatay Siya sa krus, ipinakita Nya ang
pag-ibig ng Diyos, kapatawaran, at ang Kanyang tungkulin sa Langit
bilang ating tagapamagitan. “At sinabi ni Jesus, Ama, patawarin mo
sila; sapagka’t hindi nila nalalaman ang kanilang ginagawa. At sa
pagbabahabahagi nila ng kaniyang mga suot ay kanilang
pinagsapalaranan” (Luke 23:34). Ang Diyos ay Sumasaatin.

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Mateo 1:21 Tawagin mo Siyang si Jesus

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 11, 2013


Mateo 1:21 “Magsisilang siya ng isang batang lalaki at Jesus ang

ipapangalan mo sa sanggol sapagkat ililigtas niya ang kanyang bayan sa
kanilang mga kasalanan.”

Ito ay isang pangunahing kaganapan sa plano ng kaligtasan. Kinuha ng
Diyos ang Kanyang Anak, si Jesus mula sa Kanyang trono sa Langit,
binago ang ilan Nyang selula, inilagay Siya sa sinapupunan ni Maria,
at tulad ng iba sa mundong ito ay inihinga ang hininga ng buhay sa
Kanya. “At nilalang ng Panginoong Dios ang tao sa alabok ng lupa, at
hiningahan ang kaniyang mga butas ng ilong ng hininga ng buhay; at ang
tao ay naging kaluluwang may buhay.” (Genesis 2:07)

Ano kaya ang pananaw ng Kalangitan ng malaman nila na ito ay plano ng
Diyos upang sagipin ang sanlibutang puno ng kasalanan? Nakita na nila
kung paano nilinlang ni Satanas sina Adan at Eba sa hardin ng Eden.
Kapwa nilikha ng Diyos mula sa Kanyang Imahe “At narinig nila ang
tinig ng Panginoong Dios na lumalakad sa halamanan sa kulimlim ng
araw: at nagtago ang lalake at ang kaniyang asawa sa harapan ng
Panginoong Dios sa pagitan ng mga punong kahoy sa halamanan” (Genesis
3:08). Kapwa nilikha upang handa at ganap lumaban sa anumang tukso,
datapwa’t sila parin ay parehong nahulog sa tukso; kung kaya’t
inilagay ng Diyos ang Kanyang anak sa mundo kung saan nangingibabaw sa
loob ng apat na libong taon si Satanas, kung saan nagiging ganap na
nangingibabaw ang pandaraya sa pamamagitan ng sakit, kalungkutan,
kasakiman, takot, kahirapan, at kamatayan. “inihagis ang malaking
dragon, ang matandang ahas, ang tinatawag na Diablo at Satanas, ang
dumadaya sa buong sanglibutan; siya’y inihagis sa lupa, at ang
kaniyang mga anghel ay inihagis na kasama niya.” (Apocalipsis 12:09)

Napakahirap isipin ng sinuman na makikipaglitan ng trono para sa isang
mundo ng kahirapan, sakit, pagdurusa, at kamatayan sa krus. Isa-isip
ang karangyaan at kislap ng Langit, ang perpektong kapayapaan, ang
walang hanggang pag-ibig, kagalakan, at kaginhawahan. Isipin ang labis
na pagnanais upang magbahagi, at ang malugod na talikuran ang lahat
para lamang sa langit. Kapalit ng isang bagong buhay sa isang orihinal
na mundo, mundong kakaiba at nabalutan ng kasalanan, na kung saan
ito’y sabay-sabay na nawasak.

Isang matagumpay na karangalan nang Kanyang malikhaing kakayahan, nang
ang Diyos, tagalikha ng sandaigdigan ay matagumpay na naipunla ang
isang Jesus sa sinapupunan ni Maria na kung saan ang lahat ng nasa
langit at lupa ay utang ang kanilang buhay sa kanya. Maaring isipin
natin na ang pinakamataas na bundok, malawak na kalangitan,
pinakamalaking araw, malawak na sanlibutan, iba’t-ibang klase ng isda,
ibon, insekto, mga hayop, o tao at ang kanyang kabiyak ay maaring
naging isang pinakadakila ngunit hindi maaaring ihambing sa
kasukdulang gawa ng Diyos ng Kanyang likhain ang Kanyang Anak sa
pamamagitan nga isang buhay at lumalagong mga selula. Ito ay isang
pangyayaring ang Diyos lamang ang makakagawa. “Sapagka’t sa Kaniya
nilalang ang lahat na mga bagay, sa sangkalangitan at sa sangkalupaan,
na mga bagay na nakikita at ang mga bagay na di nakikita, maging mga
luklukan o mga pagsakop o mga pamunuan o mga kapangyarihan; lahat ng
mga bagay ay nilalang sa pamamagitan niya at ukol sa kaniya;(Colosas
1:16).” Ang Paglalagay ng Kanyang anak na lalaki sa mahinang estado ay
hindi lamang ang kataas-taasang paglalarawan ng kapangyarihan ng
Diyos, ito rin ay nagpapakita ng tiwala na kailangan natin sa para
Kanya. Higit sa ano pa man, pinagkatiwalaan ng Diyos ang kanyang plano
ng pagtubos sa sanlibutan. Ito ang tanging paraan upang maipakita sa
Diyos sa sanlibutan na ang lahat ay tapos na. “Pinili na siya ng Diyos
sa gawaing ito bago pa nilikha ang daigdig, at ipinahayag siya
alang-alang sa inyo, bago sumapit ang katapusan ng mga panahon (1
Pedro 1:20)”

Para kay satanas, maari tayong sumunod sa batas. Ngunit, kumikilos
siya araw at gabi at tinitiyak niyang ang bawat isa ay magkasala ayon
sa pagtutukso niya sa kanila. “Maging handa kayo at magbantay. Ang
diyablo, ang kaaway ninyo ay parang leong umaatungal at aali-aligid na
naghahanap ng masisilá(1 Pedro 5:08 KJV KJV).” Gustong ipakita ni
Satanas sa sanlibutan na may kalayaan ang tao na pumili sa kasalanan
ayon sa ninanais nito. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit ipinadala ng Diyos
ang Kanyang Anak na si Jesus bilang isang hindi nakakapinsala at
inosenteng sanggol, upang harapin si Satanas,” At kinaladkad ng
kaniyang buntot ang ikatlong bahagi ng mga bituin sa langit, at
ipinaghagis sa lupa: at lumagay ang dragon sa harapan ng babaing
manganganak na, upang lamunin ang kaniyang anak pagkapanganak niya.”
(Apocalipsis 12:04) Isang napakaliit at inosenteng sanggol laban sa
isang-katlo ng Langit na pinalayas ng Diyos at itinapon sa lupa, at
maging ang lahat ng mga tukso na maaari nilang ibulid nito sa Kanya.
Ang plano ng Diyos ay isang perpektong halimbawa ng Kanyang
kapangyarihan, kahabagan, paghuhukom at pagpapakasakit. Si Jesus ang
isang perpektong halimbawa ng pagiging Diyos, makapangyarihan at puno
ng pag-ibig sa makasalanang sanlibutan. Ito lamang ang tanging paraan
upang mailigtas ang sanlibutan sa mundong makasalaan, ito ay ang
perpektong sakripisyo ni Jesus sa krus. “Upang ang sinumang
sumampalataya sa kanya ay magkaroon ng buhay na walang hanggan. 16
Sapagkat gayon na lamang ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa sangkatauhan, kaya’t
ibinigay niya ang kanyang kaisa-isang Anak, upang ang sinumang
sumampalataya sa kanya ay hindi mapahamak, kundi magkaroon ng buhay na
walang hanggan. 17 Isinugo ng Diyos ang kanyang Anak, hindi upang
hatulang maparusahan ang mga tao, kundi upang iligtas ang mga ito sa
pamamagitan niya. “(Juan 3:15-17).

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Mateo 1:18 Ang kapanganakan ni Jesus

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 11, 2013


Mateo 1:18 “Ang pagkapanganak nga kay Jesuscristo ay ganito: Nang si

Maria na kaniyang ina ay mag-aasawa kay Jose, bago sila magsama ay
nasumpungang siya’y nagdadalang-tao sa pamamagitan ng Espiritu Santo.”

Sa Diyos, ang lahat ng bagay ay nasa perpektong kaayusan. “Sa simula
nilikha ng Diyos ang langit at ang lupa. At ang lupa ay walang anyo,
at walang laman; at ang kadiliman ay sumasa ibabaw ng kalaliman; at
ang Espiritu ng Diyos ay sumasa ibabaw ng tubig.” (Genesis 1:1-2) Sa
simula ang lupa ay sakop ng Banal na Espiritu. Ito ay nananatiling
totoo hanggang sa ngayon.

Ang kapanganakan ni Jesus ay ang perpektong pagkakaisa o pagkakabigkis
sa pagitan ni Maria at ng Banal na Espritu, isang misteryo na dapat
nating pagnilay-nilayan. Ang bawat babae ay makakatanggap ng isang
sukatan ng Espiritu sa paglilihi. Diyos lamang ang maaaring magbibay
ng buhay, at ang bawat buhay ay nagsisimula sa hininga ng Kanyang
Espiritu. Ang bawat buhay ay isang yunyon sa pagitan ng lalaki, babae,
at ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang Banal na Espiritu.

Ang pag-ibig at tiwala sa pagitan nina Jose, Maria, at ng Diyos ay
na-itinatag. Ang pagmamahalan ng dalawang tao ay ibunuklod o itinakda
ng Diyos, Siya ang nagbibigay-lakas, ng tatag upang ito’y tumagal at
manatiling buo sa anumang klaseng pagsubok na dumating.

Mateo 1:19 “At si Jose na kanyang asawa, palibhasa’y lalaking matuwid,
at ayaw na ihayag sa madla ang kanyang kapurihan, ay nagpasyang
hiwalayan siya ng lihim.”

Pinaplano na ng Diyos ang yunyon sa pagitan ni Jose at Maria, at ang
kapanganakan ni Jesus bago pa man ang palikha Niya kay Adan. “Bago
kita inanyuan sa tiyan ay nakilala kita, at bago ka lumabas sa
bahay-bata ay pinapaging banal kita; inihalal kitang propeta sa mga
bansa” (Jeremias 1:5).

Ang bawat tukso at pagsubok na haharapin ng isang tao, maging ang sa
antas ng pag-aawasa ay alam ng Dakilang Diyos. Ang lahat ay alam Nya,
at ito’y bahagi ng Kanyang plano. Bago pa man dumating ang mga
problema sa ating buhay, alam na ng Diyos ang kalutasan ng mga ito.

Mateo 1:20 “Datapuwa’t samantalang pinag-iisip niya ito, narito, ang
isang anghel ng Panginoon ay nagpakita sa kanya sa panaginip, na
nagsasabi: Jose, anak ni David, huwag kang mangamba sa pagtanggap kay
Maria na iyong asawa: sapagkat ang kaniyang dinadalang-tao ay sa
Espiritu Santo.

Bago pa man makapagdesisyon si Jose, bago pa man siya’y makapagsalita,
at bago pa man siya’y magkaroon ng pagkakataon upang maging dahilan ng
anumang kapinsalaan, ang Espiritu ng Panginoon ay nagsalita sa kanya
at binigyan siya nito ng banal at dakilang gabay.

Nagtiwala si Jose sa Diyos, sinunod nya ang tagubilin ng Espiritu, at
ginawa ang tamang desisyon na naging resulta nga ng kapanganakan ni
Jesus, ang tagapaligtas ng sanlibutan. Kung ang bawat isa ay handang
makinig sa gabay ng parehong Espiritu mula sa Diyos, makita at
maunawaan ng bawat isa ang kahalagan at pangangailangan ng Espiritu
upang gumabay hindi lamang sa kanilang buhay kundi pati na rin sa
aspeto ng pag-aasawa. Si Jesus lamang ang maaaring mag-alis sa mga
kasalanan ng sanlibutan, ngunit ang bawat isa ay tinawag ng Diyos
upang arugain, palakihin ang kanilang mga anak na may takot at
paggalang, at kaalaman ukol sa plano ng kaligtasaan at handang ibahagi
ang mga kaalamang ito. “At nakita ko ang isa pang anghel na lumilipad
sa gitna ng langit, na may mabuting balita na walang hanggan upang
ibalita sa mga nananahan sa lupa, at sa bawat bansa at angkan at wika
at bayan.” (Apocalipsis 14:6).

Ang Panginoon ay nag-aalok ng parehong tulong sa mga mag-asawa. Ang
kapangyarihan ng Espiritu ay buhay, at kumikilos upang baguhin ang mga
puso ng bawat isa; lalaki man o babae, at maging ang mga bata. Inaalok
niya ang pag-ibig ni Jesus na di masayod ng pag-iisip. “Walang takot
sa pag-ibig: kundi ang sakdal na pag-ibig nagpapalayas ng takot,
sapagkat ang takot ay may kaparusahan; at ang natatakot ay hindi
pinasasakdal sa pag-ibig” (1 Juan 4:18).

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Leviticus 22:19 An Offering Without Blemish

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 10, 2013


Study methods explained. Bible stories, studies with links between Old and New Testament texts.

Learning about prophecies fulfilled shows how to understand all scripture.

Leviticus 22:19 KJV Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.

When people see this verse, they immediately know it is a prophecy about Jesus. But how do we show people how this was fulfilled? If you were to explain how Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, what verses would you show people? If you didn’t know, how would you find them? The easiest way is to search the most obvious words which are, “without blemish.” This leads us to one obvious text.

1 Peter 1:18-19 KJV Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; (19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

How do we know these two verses are used within the same context? How do we compare context between two chapters, especially one in the Old Testament, the other in the New? The same method used to compare any context, look at the theme of each chapter. The theme is introduced within the first few verses of a chapter.

Leviticus 22:3 NLTse Give them the following instructions. “In all future generations, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean when he approaches the sacred offerings that the people of Israel consecrate to the LORD, he must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD.

Leviticus 22 contains instructions for Aaron and his descendants, the priests assigned to minister in the Tabernacle. The command of remaining clean, God established with the priesthood, also applied to the sacrifice. We see evidence of this in the description, a male without blemish. The theme of Leviticus chapter 22 relates to the condition and reverence of both the sacrifice and the priests offering it. The introduction in Peter’s first letter discusses the same subject, remaining clean in the presence of God.

1 Peter 1:2 NLTse God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.

Based on a simple observation of the introduction found in the first few verses of each chapter, we see Leviticus chapter 22 uses symbols pointing to the sacrifice of Christ, while 1 Peter chapter 1 describes it in greater spiritual detail. The animals without blemish were symbols pointing to Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. We also see a reference to Aaron, the high priest and the awesome responsibilities he carried. Then the LORD said to Aaron: “You, your sons, and your relatives from the tribe of Levi will be held responsible for any offenses related to the sanctuary. But you and your sons alone will be held responsible for violations connected with the priesthood.” (Numbers 18:1 NLTse). The high priest was also a symbol pointing to Jesus. “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.” (Hebrews 4:14 NLTse).

How do we explain how a physical lamb with no physical blemishes is a symbol pointing to Christ? When we read a few more verses in Leviticus 22 we find additional details describing the sacrifice. “Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land.? (Leviticus 22:24 KJV). How do we explain the connection between the physical and spiritual? Was Christ offered as a physically perfect sacrifice? What verses comes to mind? One of the most detailed prophecies of Jesus is found in Isaiah. “My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected– a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” (Isaiah 53:2-3 NLTse). The entire chapter is a prophecy about Jesus, telling us, Jesus did not come to this world in a physical appearance the world would expect. Because of His physical appearance, we turned our backs on Him. Is this the physical imagine pointing to a perfect sacrifice?

Are there other verses about Jesus’ physical appearance that come to mind? What about His physical appearance just before His crucifixion? “So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.” (Matthew 27:26 NLTse). Think of this in physical terms of inspecting a lamb offered as a sacrifice. Would a priest accept an animal whipped nearly to death? Maybe there was more to this than what we have considered. Although the texts shows Pilate ordered Jesus whipped, did the priests know this was the normal procedure used by Rome? What about another Old Testament text? “His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 21:23 KJV). It seems the priests know enough about scripture to be dangerous. Did the priests turn their backs on Jesus and despise Him so much they did everything in their power to ensure Jesus could not be a sacrifice without blemish? Was it their plan to mark Jesus and hang Him on a tree, the cross, so He could not be the perfect sacrifice they used in their services? It seems the priests planned to have Jesus hung on a cross. Before Pilate had a chance to make a decision, they convinced the crowd to free a violent prisoner and sacrifice Jesus. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!” Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” (Matthew 27:20-22 NLTse).

Reviewing these texts shows us the physical struggle Jesus endured. How do we look at the spiritual, which is the fulfillment of the physical? The first place to look is the original chapter. “And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.” (Leviticus 22:21 KJV). We find the word perfect substituted for the phrase without blemish. When we search perfect offering we find: The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer.” (Hebrews 10:1-5 NLTse).

There is no better book to study than Hebrews to understand the relationship between the symbols used in the Tabernacle and how they were fulfilled by Christ and His ministry. Knowing these relationships exist is one thing. Studying them, knowing how to explain them, and sharing them with others is fulfilling the role of Jesus’ disciple.

 

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Mark 6:14-29 Death of John the Baptist

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 8, 2013


Mark 6:14-29 NLTse Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because everyone was talking about him. Some were saying, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead. That is why he can do such miracles.” (15) Others said, “He’s the prophet Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet like the other great prophets of the past.” (16) When Herod heard about Jesus, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has come back from the dead.” (17) For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip’s wife, but Herod had married her. (18) John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife.” (19) So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod’s approval she was powerless, (20) for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him. (21) Herodias’ chance finally came on Herod’s birthday.He gave a party for his high government officials, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee. (22) Then his daughter, also named Herodias, came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased Herod and his guests. “Ask me for anything you like,” the king said to the girl, “and I will give it to you.” (23) He even vowed, “I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom!” (24) She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother told her, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!” (25) So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, “I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!” (26) Then the king deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn’t refuse her. (27) So he immediately sent an executioner to the prison to cut off John’s head and bring it to him. The soldier beheaded John in the prison, (28) brought his head on a tray, and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother. (29) When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they came to get his body and buried it in a tomb.

 

This is a most unusual story based on its location in Mark’s Gospel. It is written between Jesus sending out the twelve and their return. Once we examine the context we begin to understand its deeper meaning.

 

Nothing meant more to Herod than his power. To Herod knowledge is power. Herod gained power through knowledge, keeping it meant everything to him. He paid well to hear all the news about Jesus. Most of the reports were either exaggerated or missing information. Because Herod did not get out of the house very often he had no way of knowing. Relying only on reports he didn’t know if the new prophet was Elijah, one of the other prophets, or John the Baptist come back from the grave. But how?

 

Herod’s wife did not appreciate John after he told him he shouldn’t have married his brother’s wife. Since that day she began plotting John’s death. During that time she decided to plan a birthday party for her husband. Nothing pleased her more than planning a party. Setting the theme, arranging the food, decorations, guest lists and all the details no one appreciated. She wrote out the guest list as her mind wondered over the details and expectations of an endless stream of compliments. After going over details and handing down orders to servants preparing the party she went to see her husband. Walking into the study her joy quickly erupted into a rage when she found Herod talking to John. Nothing enraged her more than to see her husband with her enemy.

 

Once the day arrived guests from all over Galilee began to arrive. Princes, merchants, governors, city and religious officials arrived early knowing Herodias planned something special for every hour of the great event. As the party worn on, Herodias’ patience worn thin. Where were the compliments she had been dreaming about and hoping for? Not even a thank you from her husband. It seemed all her work was for nothing. People drank too much, spilled wine all over the place, dropped food wherever, knocked over furniture, and groped the servants. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

 

Herodias hesitated for a moment, considering if this rowdy crowd deserved to see her daughter dance. He saved her performance for the highlight of the evening. Since everything else failed, she wanted to save her daughter the embarrassment. Something changed her mind. She wasn’t sure why she did. Maybe her dance would save the entire event. Herodias sent her daughter out to dance before the king and guests.

 

Her daughter wore a dress no one would wear in public. The revealing dress showed off every feature of her young slender body. Not much was left to the imagination. In his drunken stupor Herod was filled with lust for his step daughter. The look on his face and body language did not go unnoticed by his wife. Once again rage engulfed her as she looked at Herod then her daughter.

 

As soon as the dance was finished the hall erupted in a resounding applause. The young girl thought it would never end. The response burned in Herodias’ heart as the cheers echoed in her ears. Trying to stand Herod felt light headed from the wine and slunk back into his chair. Clearing his throat as the applause quieted, Herod spoke up. “Ask me for anything you like, and I will give it to you.” He even vowed, “I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom!” Giving away half his kingdom meant nothing to Herod in his drunken state. After all, raising taxes was already on the agenda. He had big plans to increase his riches far beyond expectations he had when taking office. His influence grew to a point few people would, or could question his decisions. Not even the Roman governor. The girl stood there for a moment trying to look innocent. She was drinking in all the attention she could. After a minute she gave her response. “I must ask my mother.” The girl knew better than attract all the attention to herself. If she cast a bit of it on her mother, she would remain in her favor. She knew what her mother was capable of.

 

She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother told her, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!” So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, “I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!” The request shocked Herod as well as all the guests in the room. Herod looked around the room from face to face,.waiting for someone, anyone to speak up. Everyone held their peace, all waiting to see how the crafty Herod would worm his way out of this predicament. With no way out Herod gave the order to have John beheaded and present the head on a platter to the young girl.

 

It took some time. Everyone waited in silence to see the outcome. No one ate, drank, or spoke. The festive atmosphere turned sour by the gruesome site as a guard entered the hall with John’s severed head. The young girl took the platter and delivered it to her mother.

 

It was an emotional time for Jesus to hear about the death of His cousin John while His disciples were away. He had no one to turn to. John was Jesus’ forerunner, the one to carry the message announcing the new ministry soon to spread across the world. John’s sacrifice was a sign of things to come. It was best the disciples were away learning important lessons as the news spread across the region. Being away from Jesus forced them to discuss the matter among one another, to seek and answer on their own. It was an event designed to test and increase the loyalty and faith of each disciples.

 

Why has this story placed where it is in the Bible? What lessons are learned as we look at the sequence? As Herod gorged himself on lavish foods and wine, willing to give away half his kingdom at the expense of the common people, the disciples were learning lessons to help introduce a proper picture of Heaven when the time arrived for them to begin their ministries.

 

The death of John the Baptist shows the contrast between the lives of Jesus’ disciples and the lavish life style enjoyed by the powers of this world. The wealth and power of Galilee flocked to the extravagant party in Herod’s palace paid for by the sweat and sacrifice of people never expecting to see the inside of Herod’s court. The event showed not one Galation leader dared to stand up for justice. They stood speechless as an innocent man was sentenced to death. For what? From their view point, a silly, misguided pledge by a power hungry, drunken, foolish leader. Judges, doctors, merchants, and religious leaders watched the event escalate to murder without uttering a word. To what degree does this represent the world today?

 

Is the example set by the disciples seen in the same extreme as that of Herod and his collection of dignitaries? The disciples traveled two by two. Jesus sent them out with no money, food, or bag to carry anything extra. They had to rely on the hospitality of strangers. Many of them had little to share, but still took in the two strangers, sharing meager meals and accommodations. The disciples had nothing to offer in return but the authority Jesus gave them to heal, cast out demons, and stories about Him. As the disciples received the physical essentials of life, they freely gave the spiritual. What a drastic contract to Herod who gave the very best, but when one word of justice was required, nothing was offered in return.

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Mark 6:7-13 Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 3, 2013


Mark 6:7-13 NLTse And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. (8) He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick–no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. (9) He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes. (10) “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. (11) But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” (12) So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. (13) And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.

 

The reference to demons and evil spirits takes us all the way back to the beginning of Mark chapter 5 where Jesus cast a legion of demons out of a man who became one of the greatest evangelists in the Gospels. Which raises the question, did Jesus send His disciples out to cast out demons and heal, or to make evangelists? We see a hint when Jesus tells them part of the message is, “turn to God.”

 

Turning to God is a personal experience which grows like a tree, reaching out to others, like the parable of the mustard seed which Jesus taught just a few days before sending them out. Which brings us to the context of these texts. In previous verses and chapters we see Jesus teaching His disciples, preparing them for this moment, and their future. With little time to hone their skills related to understanding scripture, Jesus introduced another important lesson they needed to learn, how to help others. Jesus did not add any parables from the time He introduced concepts required to understand them before He sent them out. Jesus wanted His disciples to learn the concept of helping others so they could master concepts involving the personality of scripture. Jesus knew reading words and interpreting their meaning was not enough. Jesus knew scripture is a living gospel of action.

 

Another aspect Jesus was teaching could only be mastered after they learned to rely on others. This is why He sent them out with no money, food, or bag to carry other essentials. Jesus put the disciples in a position they had option but to depend on others. A lesson designed to teach them how to rely on the Holy Spirit when the time came for them to study scripture and minister to others. In the boat, the disciples had to rely on Jesus during the storm. When they got out of the boat, only Jesus could heal the demon possessed man. Jesus showed them relying on people is not always possible when He preached in His hometown. That is why Jesus gave them instructions to shake the dust off their feet when they were rejected? The dust took them all the way to creation when God formed Adam from dust. A time before sin.

 

The pair of disciples lived with one family during their entire stay. The family provided all their needs. This gave the disciples time to study the needs of the family. They could not help but see the sacrifices the family made to house the pair of disciples. They went out two by two so they had someone to discuss the sacrifices they received. This also showed the disciples a view of the sacrifices they would have to make. Because they had nothing of material value, they had nothing to offer the families who housed them in return except the authority Jesus gave them to heal, cast out demons, and share their experience with Jesus.

 

Jesus sent His disciples out following a specific pattern designed to teach them essential qualities. Some of these included, recognizing the sacrifices of others, learning to depend on others and the Holy Spirit, to help others, and most importantly, to share what Jesus gave them. In essence the disciples learned to share the love Jesus gave them. The disciples were able to witness the difference between the love of the world and love from Heaven, love that flows from Jesus through us.

 

John was one of the most passionate writers of the New Testament. We can see the lessons John was able to learn as he followed Jesus when he wrote: “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17:22-23 NLTse)

 

Can you imagine some of the experiences the disciples may have had? Some of them lived with people with little or nothing to share. Arriving at the home the disciples realized how little their hosts had to share. Children running around the small home with simple furnishings. Nothing more than a table, a few chairs, beds for the kids to share. How was this family going to provide for the needs of the disciples when they hardly had enough food for themselves? Met with happy faces the disciples felt a little ashamed with nothing to share as they accepted the simple gift of hospitality they received. Not only were the disciples blessed by believing the Spirit would provide for their needs, they learned a double portion witnessing the faith families had in the Holy Spirit to provide. The family knew the more they shared, the more God would bless them. It was all a matter of patience. How many times did the wife go to the jar of flour thinking it was almost empty to find it was still half full? Oil loaned years ago with no expectations to ever be repaid was suddenly returned with more than interest. After hearing they were housing Jesus’ disciples, neighbors came with gifts, food, bedding, more than required. Soon word spread. People came from near and far to be healed and listen to stories about Jesus. Gifts allowed the family to share food and what little room they had with others who had no place to spend the night. Some paid, all placed their blessings on the home.

 

The disciples saw how the faith of families was rewarded in more ways than they could imagine. The blessing had just begun. Little did the disciples know, they were in fact building a home based organization of church homes soon to be used to launch a new faith. These were the homes the disciples would go to with confidence after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. Jesus was not only teaching His disciples lessons they would need in their independent ministries, they were actually establishing base homes for the new church to replace the institution whose days were numbered.

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Leviticus 22:11 If the Priest Buys Any Soul He Shall Eat Of It

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 2, 2013


Study methods explained. Bible stories, studies with links between Old and New Testament texts.

Learning about prophecies fulfilled shows how to understand all scripture.

Leviticus 22:11 NLTse However, if the priest buys a slave for himself, the slave may eat from the sacred offerings. And if his slaves have children, they also may share his food.

This text shows how important it is to pay attention to unusual statements in the Bible. Especially when it appears to say something strange or a little difficult to understand. This particular prophecy about Jesus relates to one of the most misunderstood stories in the Gospels. One in which Jesus asks a question where an answer does not seem obvious.

Mark 2:25-26 NLTse Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? (26) He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest) and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. He also gave some to his companions.”

One of the things many people do not realize about Mark, is the miraculous way He recorded the instructions provided for studying scripture. In Mark chapter 2 we find Jesus asking a question, pointing to an obvious text written by Samuel, and for those paying attention, also Leviticus.

We first notice Jesus’ instructions, ” read in the Scriptures.” We see one lesson of Bible interpretation when Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” (Mark 2:27-28 NLTse). We see Jesus comparing Himself to the Sabbath. This is a basic principle of Bible study. The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of the people. Jesus is Lord over the Sabbath. We cannot argue the point, Jesus came to meet the needs of the people. He is doing this by pointing them and us back to scripture, written evidence.

The lesson continues as we look at the texts Jesus referred to. We learn another lesson used in modern Bible study by looking in our Bibles. Many Bibles contain chain references which provide a list of associated texts. Chain references are also found on popular Bible study computer programs. They help us to quickly locate associated texts. In this case the chain reference leads us directly to 1 Samuel chapter 21. David is fleeing Saul with a number of men when they come to a synagogue where they ask Ahimelech the priest for food. “Now, what is there to eat? Give me five loaves of bread or anything else you have.” “We don’t have any regular bread,” the priest replied. “But there is the holy bread, which you can have if your young men have not slept with any women recently.” “Don’t worry,” David replied. “I never allow my men to be with women when they are on a campaign. And since they stay clean even on ordinary trips, how much more on this one!” Since there was no other food available, the priest gave him the holy bread–the Bread of the Presence that was placed before the LORD in the Tabernacle. It had just been replaced that day with fresh bread.” (1 Samuel 21:3-6 NLTse).

We see bread is the main topic of discussion because the word is repeated five times. We also see two phrases dealing with women, which seem out of place and hardly related to the same subject. This is designed to draw the reader’s attention, just like Jesus was trying to draw the attention of the priests to Leviticus chapter 22. If they had looked they would have found some interesting information, a direct connection to the original story, and the answer to Jesus’ question. “If any of Aaron’s descendants has a skin disease or any kind of discharge that makes him ceremonially unclean, he may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has been pronounced clean. He also becomes unclean by touching a corpse, or by having an emission of semen, (Leviticus 22:4 NLTse). We have to keep in mind, Jesus answered a question from the Pharisees, whose mind was set on the detail of not being allowed to eat the bread. Jesus knew where their interests would be directed if they did look at the original scripture.

The obvious connection shows us these texts are all converging to teach the same lesson. We see the spiritual application when we look at the actual text explaining why David and his men were allowed to eat the sacred bread reserved for only the priests and their families.

Leviticus 22:11 NLTse However, if the priest buys a slave for himself, the slave may eat from the sacred offerings. And if his slaves have children, they also may share his food.

Notice how the word slave is repeated three times. This leads us directly to the New Testament for an explanation to understand how we are freed. “Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you–but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.” (1 Corinthians 7:21-23, Ephesians 1:5-9 NLTse).

Christ is our High Priest who purchased us with His own blood. This is why David and His men were allowed to eat the sacred bread.

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2012 in review

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 1, 2013


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 66,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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