God is knowledge  


Bible study of Matthew 11-20 verse by verse

 1-10     11      12      13      14      15      16      17      18      19      20     21-26    27-28 

Source: Het evangelie naar Mattheüs ISBN 9026607660; New Testament Commentary ISBN 0851511929

Following Jesus - Matthew 11

Verse 1 Jesus has given His teachings and instructions to the disciples. Now follows the command to proclaim this in all Judea and to practice it.

Verses 2-3 John the Baptist is in prison, Mat. 14:3-5 because John had said to Herod that he was wrong to have the wife of his brother. John let his disciples ask: "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" This doubt stems from the fact that John had Sermoned the Messiah Jesus like the person who judges (Mt. 3:7) and called for repentance over sin, and not as a healer of the sick.

Verses 4-6 Jesus' answer comes from Isaiah 35:5-6 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. Jesus reminds herewith to John, see these prophecies regarding the Messiah are being fulfilled by Me, that means I am the Messiah. Yes, more than the prophecies, because Jesus also awakens the dead from the dead.

Verses 7-8 While John's disciples return to the prison with the answer of Jesus, Jesus returns to the crowds. Many were to doubt John. He was only a reed, a weak person, who is now in prison. By no means, John had strongly called for repentance over sin, had called the Pharisees and Sadducees brood of vipers, had reprimanded Herod about taking the wife of his brother.

Verses 9-10 Why were you going to see John from all Judea? Yes, correct he Sermoned the Kingdom of God, the coming of repentance for sin. Yes, correct, he IS the fulfilment of Malachi 3:1 the messenger to prepare the way before the Messiah.

Verse 11 John had fulfilled his mission as prophet and messenger of the coming Messiah, see John 1:29 Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! He is the greatest of the prophets as Prophet and Sermoner of the Messiah.

Verse 12 John has spoken of Jesus as the Messiah, the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven (God's). This Kingdom is only for people (men of violence) who want to recognize being a sinner, repent of their worldly life and change their life by a service in satan and the world, into a life in service to God (this calls for violence, a conscious choice and resistance against worldly pleasure and riches and resistance against satan and demons. A complete surrender to the Holy Spirit to do God's will). On the other hand, we can think of the Sanhedrin (Chief priests, Pharisees and Sadducees) who want to stop by force the Kingdom of God.

Verse 13 The prophets and the law talked about the sinful man, the need for acknowledgment guilt, repentance and reversal of life in the service of idols.

Verse 14-15 John is the prophet Elijah, who would come on the Day of the LORD , Mal. 4:5, according to Jesus. Although the Day of the Lord is still in the future, is John a precursor. With Revelation 11:3 the two witnesses (Moses and Elijah) Mal. 4:5 will be fulfilled.

Verses 16-19 The children played on the market and called the other playmates to play with them. The children played on the flute and danced, however the called group, did not wish to dance. At a funeral, the lamentations are sung, however, a group did not wish to mourn. Or are it the children, who played funeral. One group will not be bossed and are game-breakers. It is clear that with this generation, are referred to the Jews who lived at the time of John the Baptist and Jesus. God sends His last prophets before the end of times comes. This generation can only dictate and criticize. John the Baptist was a game breaker, because he fasted, lived sober and called for repentance, while the Jews party wanted to celebrate. Jesus was a game breaker, because He dealt with tax collectors and sinners, while the Jews and Sanhedrin demanded strict discrimination. One did not want to get involved with John, but claimed of him that he had an evil spirit. Though partying Jesus, who cured of diseases and demons, of Him was claimed to be a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Both were rejected by the Jewish people and the Sanhedrin. This generation continued to prefer to be on the sidelines. No participation in repentance and recognition of sin, no eternal life in Heaven. The wisdom of God is shown by John the Baptist and Jesus, the justice is shown on the basis of the works of John and Jesus. They both have revealed God's Plan with the world and redemption of sin. However, this self-pleasing people have not wanted it and has rejected the salvation.

Verses 20-24 Jesus begins with mentioning of the cities where He has done most of the healings and His forces. Chorazin (Katzrin) possible a city, now as ruin, three kilometres northeast of Capernaum.

Bethsaida located north at the mouth of the Jordan River in the Sea of Galilee. Tyre and Sidon were famous for their trade, shipping and wealth, but also for their injustice in the trade. However, if the miracles of Jesus had happened there, soon they would have already repented. God's judgment about Tyre and Sidon are described in Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 26-28.
Capernaum, the city where Jesus "lived", and Jesus Sermoned in the synagogue and performed many miracles, which city expected to be exalted to Heaven, but just the Jews living there rejected Jesus. Therefore, their judgment will be worse than for the pagan Sodom, which already had been destroyed by God at the time of Abraham. God will judge on the Day of Judgement, on the basis of their knowledge. Sodom had not had the miracles and Sermoning of Jesus, however, the Jews had and therefore their judgement will be many times heavier.
Lesson: The people of antiquity who never have heard of Jesus, would be judge accordingly to their conscience. The man who has knowledge, or could have taken knowledge of (reading the Bible, see, examine what the Gospel means on television and the internet), he/she is more heavily judged by God on the Day of Judgment. The present man has no excuse of I am not conscience. Internet, television, and churches Sermoning the good news, the Gospel, the Kingdom of God.

Verses 24-25 After the preceding verses where Jesus uttered His judgments about the uncooperative cities and the verdict on the unbelievers, now Jesus praises His Father. These things refer to the liberation of sins and eternal life in Heaven.
The wise and understanding are the scholars, the people who have studied, the specialists in the Torah and prophets. People who must know. However their study with their own explanation brings them to disbelief and error.
The babes are the weak and poor, who need healing, to repent and repentance of their sin. Who dare to acknowledge being a sinner and need Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Recognizing that they cannot redeem themselves from God's judgment.
With a Yes Father, Jesus closes this prayer, for so it is a pleasure for the Father that weak little children, who do not beat themselves on the chest because of their knowledge, but recognize being a sinner and their need for Jesus.

Verse 27 The Father and Jesus are one unit in the Trinity. The Father stands out above all, and the Father has given to Jesus, through His crucifixion and His salvation, all judgment and power. Through the teachings of Jesus and His way of living God, the Father, is visible for sinful people on earth. It is the Son, who determines to which people (at that time only to the Jews in Judea and a single Samaritan) it becomes visible. It is He Who has chosen the twelve disciples (after prayer with His Father).

Verses 28-30 Not the wise and understanding, but the poor and the weak, who are weary and burdened, Jesus invites to come to Him. They are tired of the oppressive burden of the 613 rules of Jewish law, the yoke to the Torah, which brings no joy and liberation. A Torah to follow closely according to the wise, the scribes and Pharisees.
A yoke was put on the shoulders and neck, and then with ropes or chains the charge was attached at both ends, which heavily pressed shoulders and neck, and sometimes caused intense pain. Also think of the yoke, which was used by animals (e.g. ploughing oxen).
Take the yoke of Jesus, that is, bind you to Jesus, the yoke of recognition being a sinner and knowing the true meaning of the Torah (First love God first and second love your neighbour as yourself) and doing the will of God. Putting your life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Then comes the rest, the peace of the power of the Holy Spirit, WHO gives the power to do the will of God, to love your neighbour as yourself and fulfil the commandments of God. The yoke remains, however, is accomplished by the action of the Holy Spirit in the believer.
Learn from ME, My way of life, My instructions, My parabolas, My word the Bible.
Why? Because Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart. His humble attitude (of servant) to God, the Father. Jesus was meek, felt sorry for the man who is struggling to maintain the law, had compassion with the sick and demon-possessed people. Groaning under the burden of sins.
Rest for your soul. After the surrender to Jesus (recognition of the finished work and Jesus as your Saviour) and to the Holy Spirit (which God's will in you work out), follows the rest for your soul, the reconciliation with God, the Father.
The yoke of Jesus is soft and light. The will of God is best for you. Also under difficult circumstances, persecution, also in prison and torture because of your faith in Jesus Christ, Jesus is with you and He shall give you His strength.

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Working on the Sabbath - Matthew 12

Verses 1-2 The meaning of the Sabbath for the Jew at the time of Jesus, but also present can difficult be rated too high. Think of the lifts in hotels in Israel, which automatically work on the Sabbath and the Jews do not light fire on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:1-3 is very clear "These are the things which the LORD has commanded you to do. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death; you shall kindle no fire in all your habitations on the sabbath day". The death penalty consisted of stoning. The Pharisees hiking and observing Jesus and his disciples to catch them on violations of the law. They looked at the disciples if they break the law and that Jesus allows it, without punishing them (to let stone)..

Verses 3-4 Jesus' answer comes on the violation of the law by King David. The Pharisees are addressed on their knowledge of the law. King David was allowed to break the law, because he was a famous King and beloved one of God? He was an ordinary man, so also the King of Israel, strictly forbidden to eat the bread of the Presence. The bread of the Presence should only be eaten by the priests. 1 Samuel 21:1-6 David with his men are fleeing from King Saul. They are hungry but the priest has no bread, only the bread of the Presence. The priest demands that the men should be holy, that is they had no union with women. This bread of the Presence is removed, after changed by fresh bread of the Presence. Nevertheless, David and his men did not died after eating the forbidden bread.

Verse 5 Jesus continued his answer with a reference to Numbers 28:9-10 on which at the Sabbath, a burnt offering is burnt by the priests. Leviticus 24:5-8 each Sabbath the priest shall bake twelve cakes and pure frankincense on each row. So the priests are working on the Sabbath and kindle fire. John 7:22-23 The circumcision took place on the Sabbath, however, the law was not broken by the priests.
Tois sabbatois (plural) and not to sabbaton (singular), points to every and not to a single Sabbath.

Verse 6, 8 When the King David already allowed his men to eat of the bread of the Presence, how much more should the son of David, the promised Messiah, allow his disciples to pick and to eat on the Sabbath. Jesus is much more than King David. Jesus is the High Priest. So if a priest may violate the Sabbath, then the High Priest Jesus may serve on the Sabbath. The High Priest is Lord over the Sabbath.

Verse 7 Jesus refers to Hosea 6:6 "For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings". God is more pleased when people love their neighbour as themselves, rather then in bringing offerings for their sins. God has more delight in knowledge of God and the Bible, knowing the true meaning of the Torah, then in bringing burnt offerings and compliance with the law according to the elders. The law should to be fulfilled from the heart with love for God and his loved ones. God does not want the suffering of the hungry man, He wishes to feed from the Bible and yes too of food.

Verse 9 Jesus continues His way and goes to the synagogue of these Pharisees.

Verse 10 Lucas 6:6 mentions that it is the right hand, the hand with one uses to work. This person could not work and was condemned to begging. The Pharisees desired happily to bring Jesus before the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Court) to sue Him for violation of the Sabbath commandment. Hence their question, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath. According to THEIR explanation, it was lawful to save a man if there was immediate danger of life, but not in other cases.

Verses 11-12 Jesus sees through the hardness of their hearts. And reacts with a counter question: Does not a man rescue a sheep if it falls in a well? In other words is a human not more worth than an animal? Or are you hypocrites and consider property (an animal) more worth than a human being?
With this response, their question is answered, the man is more worth than an animal, and so it is allowed do well on the Sabbath and heal.

Verse 13 Now, something strange happens. Jesus DOES NOT SAY, that the hand should cure, only stretch out the arm. Stretching out can be considered a a regular act and without further consequences. This man is obedient, he stretches out. And by his obedience, the hand heals.
Jesus shows that He is Lord over the Sabbath, but there plays more, He shows that He is Lord over satan and demons. The fall and satan have brought sin into the world. The withered right hand, making this person unable to work and thus suffering hunger, was the power of satan and demons. Jesus shows His power over satan and demons, and He heals. The man is obedient to Jesus, and no longer to satan. He is saved by the obedience and his faith in Jesus and by not putting his confidence in the false Pharisees, with their fake human teachings.

Verse 14 The Pharisees hold onto their teachings, but they do not have the guts to bring Jesus now to the Sanhedrin because of the crowds, who rejoices to this beneficence of Jesus. They wish the death of Jesus, Who kills their teachings and their explanations.

Verse 15 Jesus with His divine knowledge is able to read the mind sees he evil intentions of the Pharisees. He goes away Himself from the synagogue and many people follow Him. In itself a strange case, the Pharisees accuse Jesus that He violates the law, while many people follow Him and Jesus heals them all. Which means that many people had no trouble, that Jesus healed on the Sabbath.

Verse 16 Jesus does not wish to be known as physician. His message is a message of recognition to be a sinner and the need for reconciliation with God, the Father.

Verses 17-18 Matthew quotes the words of the prophet Isaiah 42:1-4. Jesus is the Messiah, not the physician and liberator of the Roman yoke, but the liberator of the punishment by God on the sins of man. My servant, Jesus is the servant of man, the servant of God, on whose shoulder lays the heavy task to take on the punishment of God on sin and dying at the cross. At the baptism of Jesus (Mat. 3:16-17) sounded the voice from heaven: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" and descended the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove on Jesus. Thus Isaiah was fulfilled.

Verse 19 Jesus does not wrangle with the Pharisees and scribes. Jesus does not cry aloud. Let that be a lesson to the believers and pastors who shout it from the rooftops, shouting in the streets, crying aloud in the church, crying aloud in prayers. Jesus spoke on normal tone, so HE was well understood. By shouting, the message does not pass, when the message is (accompanied with hard music) inarticulated, and satan wins.

Verses 20-21 Jesus came for the weak people, the people who were struggling, the sick, the little faith, the tax collectors and sinners. With love He proclaimed the message of sin and salvation by God. After His death and resurrection, the Gospel also came to the Gentiles. Came the hope of salvation from sin and reconciliation with God, now no longer only Sermoned to the Jews, but also Sermoned to the Gentiles. Not only a remission of the Jew, but a worldly salvation, for any who desires to believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Judgment upon the man - Matthew 12

Verse 22 Many are cured and a demoniac was brought to Jesus, who therefore was blind and dumb. We know that through the fall, satan has ruined the world. Demons cause diseases, such as paralysis, blindness, and not being able to speak. We must not reverse and thus say that all diseases, blindness, paralysis are a result of possession by demons. All this is also a consequence and result of the fall and sin of man. This can be through personal sin, but also through sin in the family. But also because of objects at home, which are dedicated to demons (unconscious bought on holiday, pictures of saints, Buddha image, etc.).
Jesus is Lord and has the power over satan and demons. Here He shows His power, the demonic power is extruded, resulting in a perfectly liberation of the demoniac, so that he spoke and saw.

Verse 23 The people see with their own eyes what is happening. They are outside themselves by surprise. How is this possible? Which power works here? Is this the promised Messiah, the son of David? But on the first place, the Jew saw the material matters, the son of David as the Saviour of the Roman yoke. While Jesus points to sin. Sin and giving oneself to demonic forces, brings disease and misery. Jesus is coming as Messiah, Who brings redemption of satan, demons and diseases. Unfortunately, the people do not see this. Their expectations are different. Possibly, hence their outrace and their doubt about IS this the son of David?

Verse 24 Since the death penalty was on sorcery and witchcraft, the tactic of the Pharisees is clear. The fame of Jesus with the people should be broken by accusing Him that He is the Prince of spirits, that is, He practiced sorcery. On this accusation can Jesus condemned to death.

Verses 25-26 Jesus answers with: if I cast out devils, then this means that Beelzebub fights himself through Jesus. That is to say, the demons themselves are fighting against their own superior: satan. How can satan then maintain, then the kingdom of satan goes to fall through his own demons.

Verse 27 The disciples of the Pharisees also expulsed demons. The question giving by Jesus: by whom do they do this? Is it not by the power of God, therefore these students will judge the Pharisees.

Verse 28 The fact that I cast out demons by the power of God, that means that the Kingdom of God is coming. It is about you: whether you believe it or not, the Kingdom of God is proclaimed and is near. It is up to you. It is happening to you! It is believe or reject it. An extrusion by Beelzebub and not attributing to the Holy Spirit, is a deadly sin against the Holy Spirit (verse 31, Acts 5:1-11).

Verse 29-31 If a thief comes to rob a house and he finds the owner at home, then he must be strong enough to tie first the owner and then carry away the household from the House. Jesus must first bind satan and the demons before He can liberate sinful men (the Holy Spirit can convince sinful man of sin). In the future, satan and the demons are forever bound and thrown into the Lake of Fire. Then finally Jesus is Lord. Then and now the Gospel is proclaimed. The man can voluntarily choose: either for Jesus and be free from the power of satan and demons. Or against Jesus (like the Pharisees) and voluntarily surrender yourself to the power of satan and demons and remain in the world, with as a result the judgment of God on your sin.

Verses 31-32 In spite of what the Pharisees are seeing, they harden their hearts and describe the forces of Jesus through the Holy Spirit towards satan. There is absolutely no question of repentance. David repented of his sin of adultery and murder. Peter repented over his denial of Jesus three times. Every sinner, how big his/her sin, murder, theft, adultery, fornication, abortion, curse of God or Jesus or whatever, who repents, and confesses the sin, will receive forgiveness. However, the man, who persists in his/her sin and/or cursed the Holy Spirit, receives no forgiveness. Nor in this century, the century in which Jesus lived. Nor in the coming one, the century in which we live (the century after which Jesus lived in).
Also think deeply about Ephesians 4:30 the grieve of the Holy Spirit (resisting recognition of sin that the Holy Spirit reveals), followed at persisting in sin by 1 Thess. 5:19 the quench of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 3:7; Psalms 95:7: Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts!

Verses 33-35 Fruit and tree cannot to be separate from each other. It is the tree that produces fruits. The fruits need the JUICE of the tree in order to be able to grow. What comes out of the mouth, is what is in your heart. The mouth reveals what lives in the inner man. By the actions of a man, a believer, one recognizes his/her walk with Jesus Christ. Or Jesus Christ is his/her Lord and the lifestyle reveals if the Holy Spirit controls the life of the believer, taking care for the Kingdom of God (the good tree). Shows the believer no change in his/her lifestyle, shows a materialistic life, a life in the world, a life of earthly enjoying, then it is a bad tree. A bad tree, believer, does not take care of his fellow man, does not read and study the Bible, does not pray, does not love his neighbour as himself, his evil treasure displays in evil things and selfishness.

Verses 36-37 Each person is fully responsible for what he/she is, thinks, speaks and does. Although a man is a sinner, God has given him/her a voluntary will with which he/she can make choices and to take a positive decision for Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and voluntarily to be guided by the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible not to admit to sin, and to resist the temptations of the world and of satan and demons.
Of each word, an infidel or a believer or spiritual leader or politician speaks, he/she will be accountability to God. He/she has been a witness of the words of God, or has given a false explanation, or disrespected God's laws and commandments? On the day of judgment for the infidels, see Revelation 20:11-15. But also the believer is not free of judgment, the believer will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:10, and will be assessed to his/her work and words, 1 Cor. 3:12-15.

Verse 38 The scribes were the Torah-experts, the rabbis, who valid as professionals in question of Scripture. According to P. Bonnard they said: If THOU do not want us to speak bad about you - and your words (Mat. 12:25-37) shows, that you will think, that we do - let us see a sign which proves your Messiahship.
The sign (Sèmeion) is more than the general wonder (dunamis), it must be a divine legitimacy.

Verses 49-40 Jesus rejects this resolutely. An adulterous generation: Israel was seen as the Bride of God. Because of the killing of the prophets, the disbelief in John the Baptist and Jesus, Jesus calls it adultery. An infidelity to the marido, to God.
Jona remained for three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish (Jonah 1:17). This statement was very well understood by the Pharisees and scribes and used in Mat. 27:63. The heart of the earth was considered as staying for the dead until the resurrection of the dead, Hades.

Verses 41-42 The men of Nineveh, pagans have converted from their evil deeds upon the Sermoning of Jonah, without that this were accompanied by forces and miracles. For you is standing more than Jonah, the Messiah Who with deeds, miracles and healings, calls to repent. And that not to the Gentiles, but to his own Jewish people, with knowledge of the Scripture. Therefore the men of Nineveh will judge about you.
Also the queen of the South (Sheba, 1 Kings 10:1-10), a pagan queen, praised the God of Israel. She made a trip (of approximately 1800 km?) to Solomon. Jesus Himself came to His people. Left heaven and came to earth. Therefore she will also judge the unbelieving Jewish people.

Verses 43-45 Jesus is going to give an example. A man with an unclean spirit (a demon) is rather expelled (by the sons of the Pharisees Mat. 12:27) and the demon has gone to the barren places (the desert was seen as abode of demons). But there a demon is powerless, cannot do anything. So he returns to his expelled place, man. This liberated man, however, has not taken any measures and is not believing in God, that is why his/her home is empty. The evil spirit takes another seven (a number of fullness) evil spirits with it, worse than himself, and again takes possession of the freed man. The lesson for man, who receives liberation during sermons of exorcism. The evil spirit(s) is (are) expelled, but if one does not accept Jesus Christ as personal Saviour, the house is empty. Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the believer receives the Holy Spirit, and the house is inhabited by the Spirit of God, so that the demon (and no other demons) can make any new indwelling, because the house is already inhabited by the Holy Spirit. However, please note, the believer should continue in Jesus Christ in order that the Holy Spirit is not grieved and extinguished. Because otherwise it will be with that man worse than in the beginning. The believer should do the will of God and not return to a life in the world (Matthew 13 and 25).

Verse 46 The names of the brothers of Jesus, that is begotten of the father Joseph by mother Maria, are giving in Matthew 13:55 (verse 56 mentions that there are also sisters).

Verse 47 Probably Jesus was in a house surrounded by the people and the house was completely full, and therefore impossible for his mother and brothers to enter the house. The reason why they wish to speak, the Bible does not mention.

Verses 48-49 Jesus does not deny His mother, brothers and sisters in the flesh. Jesus refers to His spiritual brothers and sisters, those who believe in Him as the Saviour of sin then AND do the will of God.

Verse 50 Please pay closely attention: who are the brothers, sisters and mother (women are not excluded, it includes the female sex: the sister and mother)? They are them, who do the will of God:

  1. Recognition of sin and guilt
  2. Recognition of Jesus as personal Saviour from sin and Lord
  3. Then letting go of the worldly life (Gal. 5:19-21) and go on living a holy life under the control of the Holy Spirit
  4. Do the will of God, see e.g. Mat. 25, 28:19; Gal. 5:22; Ef. 5:1-4, 22-26, Ef. 6:1-6, and many more other texts.

The Pharisees and scribes are blamed that they say live according to the will of God, from their practices it shows clearly that it are only words and do not practice. How pious someone can Sermon, but if one looks at his daily life (sometimes full of self-interest and adultery), then a unbelieving can difficulty believe. Jesus' words are full of seriousness, someone who does not seriously repent, not changed his/her life and surrenders himself to the Holy Spirit and lives according to God's will, is lost and comes under God's wrath.

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Parable of the sewer - Matthew 13

Verses 1-2 Whether Jesus left his home in Capernaum (Mat. 4:13), is not mentioned, in each case he went out of the house and sat beside the sea (the Sea of Galilee?). There he speaks to the crowds. The sea has a good effect on speaking and acts as an amplifier. No sound installation required with microphone and amplifier, because the sea gives this effect. In this way, Jesus could speak on normal tone to many people.

Verses 3-9 Speaking in parables was a normal use by the rabbis. Comparing a story, education, with an example from everyday life. The crowds was familiar with the use of sowing. Sowing in Israel happened in an other way than with us. Here was sown before ploughing. On the road was also sown, despite that the road was hardened, because this was later ploughed. On the stony places, because the stones were covered by a layer of earth, and the stones were discovered when ploughed. Between the thorns, because later on this too was ploughed.
In the parable, it concerns the futility (3/4 or 75%) and the harvest (1/4 or 25%). Percentages are just an example. Despite that many seeds is interspersed, much is lost. However, the rest of 25% gives a great result, a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. A relief for the workers of God not to loose the courage. Many may reject the Gospel, yet there is a harvest (25%), which bears MUCH fruit!
He who has ears, let him hear. The parable is obvious from everyday life, however, the spiritual significance has yet to be explained, which follows in the verses 18-23.

Verses 10-11 From Mark 4:10 it shows that also the disciples of Jesus did not understand the parable. They are amazed at the fact that Jesus speaks in parables. Jesus replied that there is only a chosen part of humans, who can understand the meaning of the Kingdom of God. Man has his own responsibility. The Pharisees and scribes were among the group that could not understand the meaning, them it was not given. Why? They had their own rules and their own interests. However, we cannot say that all of the Pharisees and scribes were lost, a few from them come to faith.

Verse 12 Man has his own responsibility. When one has come to faith in Jesus Christ, then rests upon man the task to grow. A baby (feed with milk) remains no baby, it grows to child (feed with solid food), to adolescent, to adult. So the believer should to grow out of the milk to solid food (Hebrews 5:12-14), from baby to adult (1 Cor. 14:20, Hebrews 5:14). Therefore, it is the responsibility of the believer to grow in knowledge of the Bible (reading the Bible daily, daily prayer, Bible study), to grow in the knowledge of God's will and to do this, his/her life should be more and more under control of the Holy Spirit daily.

Verse 13 An introduction to verse 14 of the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah. The Jewish people want to see the Messiah as liberator of the Roman yoke. They were blind for a Messiah as the Saviour of their debt, their sins. Today man wishes a Jesus Who brings wealth, healing, a Saviour of disease and misery, and man do not wish to hear anything about guilt and sin, nothing to hear about God's laws. Today man wishes to remain living in the sinful world, nothing to hear about a life under the control of the Holy Spirit. Nothing to hear about no sex before marriage, nothing about biblical teaching and rules.

Verses 14-15 Their hearts has grown dull, their ears become heavy of hearing, and their eyes closed. The Jew was aimed at accomplishing the laws, the Torah. They wanted liberation in own strength, bringing sacrifices. Meeting the explanation according to the scribes, its own salvation, nothing by faith. Today man seeks salvation by worship of images (Buddha), Saints (in the Roman Catholic Church), yoga, meditation, acupuncture. Today man wishes to know nothing about being a sinner, that one cannot redeem himself from diseases and misery and that one must believe in Jesus Christ as the only way to God and Jesus Christ as Saviour of the punishment on sin.

Verses 16-17 However those who want to come to knowledge of sin, to them it is given the true meaning of the parables. Those who seek Jesus with an open heart, them is given the Kingdom of God. The prophets and righteous men (like Abraham) from the Old Testament have longed to understand the true meaning of the Messiah, the meaning of dying on the wood (=cross), resurrection from the dead. The disciples, ye see and hear, now receiving the education of Jesus. Jesus explains the meaning of the words spoken by the prophets. Jesus points out the Sin and the need of His death on the cross. Jesus explains the meaning of the parables. They are privileged. The present believer has the privilege of having the Bible, the many Bible commentaries which also are accessible for free on the internet. Although the believer must critically read the explanations on internet that it is conform with the Bible and should not be taken over without examination. There are many false prophets this century, be warned! Man is responsible for his/her faith and growth!

Verse 18 Jesus continues to explain the parable of the sewer, but only to the disciples. Lesson: The man must be active to find Jesus, and then the Holy Spirit will make it clear what the Bible says, what is the Will of God. The man who do not seek God, do not understand, and that is his/her responsibility.

Verse 19 What falls on and along the road, has no ground. It is stepped on. The one, who accept Jesus with Gloria to God, shouting Hallelujah, soon looses his faith because it has no ground. This believer has responded in a call, without that he/she has knowledge of the why. There is no true sense of sin. The church accompanied not, the church members guilty of no guidance giving the new born-again, there. The new believer lapses in a void, there is no growth and as a result still lost for eternity.

Verses 20-21 What is sown on stony places, cannot take root. When the sun rises, it withers, because without (deep) roots, it cannot take up juice (water). The one, who has come to faith, begins with Bible reading, but his/her busy life robs him/her of the time to read the Bible, visiting church and Bible studies. Care for daily life support let the faithful one work hard. Diseases come on his road, tribulations and misery by Islam, and the believer comes to fall and is deprived of eternal life in Heaven.

Verse 22 What falls between the thorns, the seed cannot grow because it is stifled by the thorns (weeds). Satan and demons (thorns, weeds) come and bring all kinds of temptations on the path of the believer. Wealth and prosperity, wild parties, so that the believer seeks his pleasure in the world and has no eye for the Kingdom of God. The believer stops reading the Bible, stops the brotherly love, stop giving tenth, looks for his/her own wealth. The wealth and pleasure on earth that only last a dozens years. And looses the eternal (millions of years) of wealth and pleasure in Heaven. They prefer the short fun and wealth on earth and have totally no eye for eternal life after death. They became fools. He/she does not bear fruit anymore and is lost forever. Denying the faith.

Verse 23 The good seed bears fruit. The believer who reads the Bible daily, follows Bible studies, brings neighbourly love in practice, giving the tithe and offering with a happily and voluntarily heart, proclaims or supports the Gospel. Maintaining God's commandments and lives a life full of the Holy Spirit. Who bears an example. Despite that many seeds is interspersed, much is lost. However, the rest of 25% gives a great result, a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty fruit. By him/her unbelievers come to faith in Jesus Christ as personal Saviour from sin. In their life, daily is visible the Kingdom of God, whereby they bear fruit.

Parable of the sower

Verses 24-25 Jesus continues with another parable about sowing. The Kingdom of God is like a man (owner) who employs sowers (slaves). This man (Jesus), orders the sowers (the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ) to sow seed (the Gospel) in the field (the world). While the owner and the sowers slept, the enemy came. How cunning and cowardly is the enemy, he waits for people to sleep. The enemy, satan, waits until the believers are no longer on their guard, and then opens the attack. Christians are tolerant, do not proclaim the truth, the Bible, the Gospel with power. The enemy throws weeds (the original word indicates a heavily poisonous weed). How powerful is not the poison that Satan sprinkles: falsities, attacks on hetero marriage, allowing sex with children, attacks on the truths in the Bible, undoing laws and commandments, incitement to violence (violent internet games and X-box ) inciting disobedience to parents and church leaders, etc. The enemy goes away, but satan uses the man who lives in the world as his servants. Satan is invisible to man, but his work is clearly visible.

Verse 26 The seed is coming up, the culms of the corn become visible, but also the weeds. The seed of the Gospel proclamation becomes visible (people come to faith, some grow in faith), but also visibly the work of satan.

Verse 27 The slaves come in amazement to the owner, had they not received good seed? It must have been a considerable amount of weeds, because normally there is always a small amount of weeds present. How typical is this not for the world, the amount of weeds that is the vast number of non-believers who follow satan and oppose the commandments of the Bible. The weeds came out: today we see the powerful poison of satan, more and more visible is the resistance to biblical values and norms: freedom from sex, away with man and woman everyone can freely choose whether he wants to be male or female or animal. Canada is a clean example of the rejection of biblical norms and by law anyone who turns against homosexuals is put in prison. The compulsory free norms at the schools and as a parent who opposes visibility, is put out of parental power and their children are deprived.

Verse 28 He replied that has done a hostile man. He certainly answers, Jesus knows the source, so the believer must also know the source of the evil one, Satan. The evil that we see today in the world (the rejection of biblical norms, drugs, the many murders, the violence, tattoo, piercing) originates from Satan.

Verse 29 When removing the weeds, the corn can also be lost. The roots of the weeds and corn have grown together. If the weeds are pulled out, the corn is pulled and both are lost.

Verse 30 When harvesting, the weeds and corn are harvested. Both are collected and at the gathering place the weeds are separated from the corn. The weeds are burned. During the final judgment (Revelation 14:14-20, 20:11-15), the angels are sent over the earth and the weeds and the seed are gathered together and find judgment. The weeds, those who are not in the book of life, are burned, that is to go to the lake of fire. The choirs, those whose names are in the book of life, come into the shed, the New Earth.
The harvest time is near. This century and the future century, that is two centuries, that is 2000 years (Matthew 12:32). We live in 2018 (year of this comment), now it is still possible to come to faith in Jesus Christ, in a few seconds, tomorrow it may be too late. It is up to you to belong to the weeds or the seed!

Parable of the mustard seed

Mustard seedMustard seedMustard treeVerses 31-32 Mustard seed is growing luxuriantly in Israel today. It is a tiny seed (about 740 seeds in 1 gram) that grows to 3 - 4.5 meters in height. In the autumn, the many species of birds seek their shelter from the storm and shadow against the bright sun. It is small at the beginning, but grows to great heights and ultimately offers great protection. How appropriate for God's Kingdom. It began small with the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, the dead seed. But millions of believers have come to faith in Jesus Christ, and He has grown and has eternal life for protection.

Parable of the leaven

Verse 33 A piece of leaven, yeast, versus a large quantity of three sizes of flour, almost 40 liters (Gen. 18: 6). The small amount of yeast passes through the whole meal after being left standing overnight. The power of the Gospel is great. It began with the finished work of Jesus Christ (the yeast), the proclamation of the gospel by the 12 apostles, with the result that it is spread over the whole earth (three measures of flour) and billions of people have brought faith in Jesus Christ.
But the yeast is also the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in the life of the believer. God's Word, God's commandments, the Holy Spirit must penetrate deep into the life of the believer, in all areas of life, in the deeds of the believer. The deeds and works of Jesus Christ should become visible in the daily life of the believer.

More parables by Jesus

Verses 34-35 Jesus speaks through parables to the multitudes, and gives the interpretation thereof only to His disciples. Verse 35 comes from the mouth of Asaph, Psalm 78:2. Psalm 78:1-4 calls on the people of Israel to listen with the ear to the words of my mouth and doctrine (here: the mouth and teachings of Jesus), and to hear the glorious deeds of the Lord and to see the wonders.
What has been hidden since the foundation of the world? The mystery of the Church: Eternal life is not just for the Jewish people, but for the whole world. Not only for the Jew, but for everyone who wants to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior of sin. The children of Abraham are not only the natural (Jewish) children, but all children through FAITH. To be the acknowledgment of being a sinner, not being able to redeem oneself, and the necessity of FAITH in Jesus Christ.

Explanation of the parables by Jesus

Verse 36 The disciples did not understand the meaning of the weeds in the field and ask for an explanation. When a believer does not understand something, there is nothing wrong with asking for an explanation of a Bible text. The Holy Spirit is given to explain the Bible, but the believer must take the time and ask for an explanation in prayer.

Verses 37-40 The owner of the field: Jesus Christ is the owner of the world. He is the King of God's Kingdom (Revelation 20: 1-6) and the King in the New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21: 1-7).
The good seed are the children of God's Kingdom: all believers in Jesus Christ, who have put their lives under the control of the Holy Spirit.
The weeds are the children of Satan who rejected Jesus Christ as Saviour. The enemy is the enemy of Jesus Christ, all demons and Satan.
The end of the world, see Revelation 14, 16-18, 19: 17-21, 20: 11-15. The reapers are the angels in Revelation 14: 15-16, Matt. 24:31.

Verses 41-42 refers to Revelation 20: 13-15.

Verse 43 The righteous are the believer in Jesus Christ, who have put their lives under the control of the Holy Spirit. They will shine in the kingdom of their Father, for they are the priests in the kingdom (1 Peter 2: 5,9, Revelation 1: 6).

More parables by Jesus to the disciples

Now there is a continuation of parables only to the disciples.

Verses 43-44 Because of burglars and wars, it was a custom to bury precious possessions and not to keep them in the house. If the person died, the wife and children often did not know where the treasure was buried. Here is a man who finds a treasure hidden in a field, by chance. If he was a slave, a tenant, a poor day laborer, that is not mentioned, but he was not the owner. In order to get hold of the found treasure, he first had to become the rightful owner of the field. That is why he sells everything he has to buy the field and get the rightful possession of the treasure. And so it is with the life of a person who, by chance, discovers Jesus Christ as the Saviour of sin. In order to come into possession of the remission of sin and eternal life in Heaven, the person first has to sell everything. His sinful life, giving up life in the world, to obtain the treasure, eternal life in Heaven. How many are prepared for this? Many discover the treasure, the redemption through Jesus Christ, but do not sell all they possess and continue to live in the world, they belong to the foolish virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) and do not obtain the treasure and lose eternal life.

Verses 45-46 Here is a wealthy person, a merchant. He could have been a merchant in all kinds of good, but with a special interest in pearls. Pearls were valid and counted as valuable possessions. Pearls came from the Persian Gol or from the Indian Ocean and were extremely expensive, far exceeding the average person's ability. He also sold everything he owned (including all the other pearls he already owned) to get hold of that one pearl.
Can we compare this with a person who is interested in religions? Consciously looking for redemption from sin? Someone who visits the church? But once Jesus Christ discovers to be the Savior of sin, gives up everything, follows worldly life, sinful life, and Jesus Christ, and puts his life under the control of the Holy Spirit to the wise virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) and to obtain the precious pearl, eternal life in Heaven.

Verses 47-48 Here too the main theme is the same: only on the day of the judgment a separation is made between unbelievers and believers. Until then, both live together in the sinful world. And the unbeliever has the chance to come to faith and to come into possession of the true treasure. Until the day of the judgment (our death) we live in the field or in one network.
The fishermen leave the trawl in the sea and pull it on. The gospel is lowered and drawn into the sea (proclaimed throughout the world). When the net is full of fish (the gospel is proclaimed all over the earth), the net is drawn to the shore where the separation takes place from the good fish and the useless fish and other objects. The salable fish was put in barrels. The day of judgment is reached when the completeness of believers is reached. Then the separation takes place between believers (the good fishes) and the unbelievers (the faulty ones: in the world believers and unbelievers lived).

Verses 49-50, see commentary on verse 40. It is not the people, believers, who judge whether someone goes to Heaven. It is the angels who, by order of Jesus Christ, make the separation between good and bad, whether or not eternal life in Heaven. It is up to the believer to Sermon the gospel, not the judgment.

Verse 51 Jesus asks His disciples whether they have understood ALL of this and gives them the opportunity to ask questions. All this can refer to the special to the disciples (verses 44-50) or all similarities (verses 1-50), but that is of no importance. The question is: HAVE THEY UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING? The answer of the disciples is simple: YES. How is it with the believer, does he or she understand EVERYTHING what Jesus Christ and the Bible teaches? Or do you have to go back to Jesus and say: Please explain it to me because I do not understand.

Verse 52 A scribe is a person with thorough knowledge and training in the Old Testament, the law and the Torah. A scribe was able to govern his household (1 Timothy 3: 1-7) and teach in Scripture. A disciple of the Kingdom of Heaven is a disciple of Jesus, who has obtained a new knowledge and explanation of the Old Testament. Not by law and Torah one obtains eternal life in Heaven, but through acknowledgment of sin and FAITH in Jesus Christ. The old things are the education of the law, the new things are the preservation by faith. The old can not do without the new one. There is no new, if there is not an old first. First the law had to come to the realization of sin and after knowledge of the Old Testament, only the new one can follow: salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through faith.

Verses 53-54 Jesus leaves Capernaum and goes to His father city Nazareth. Here Jesus continues His teaching in the synagogue. Those present in the synagogue are amazed at His teachings, knowledge and powers.

Verses 55-56 In His home town of Nazareth, Jesus grew up (Luke 4:16 where He was brought up), where He lived for about 27 years (first rejoiced in Egypt) and people know Him as a carpenter (Mark 6: 3) and the son of the carpenter Joseph. A carpenter was usually a person who learned the trade from his father and with little education. The people are amazed at the great Scripture of Jesus, His explanation and the miracles that He does.
Brother James: the Letter of James. Brother Judas: the Letter of Judas.
The brothers and sisters of mother Mary and the husband of Mary: Joseph. Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit by His mother Mary and not by her husband Joseph.

Verses 57-58 The prophets of the Old Testament were rejected, not believed and killed. The father city and the prophet's own house: the Jews and Israelites. Jesus did not do many miracles in His own city because He did not want to because of their stubborn disbelief.

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The murder of John the Baptist - Matthew 14

Verses 1, 3-5 From Matthew 2:13 is known the enmity of Herod the Great, now it's his son Herod Antipas. Born about 22 BC, at the death of his father in 4 BC he had not retrieved the title of King over Galilee from Emperor Augustus, but only the title of tetrarch. With this he was a little one of Rome depending monarch. In 26 Pontius Pilate came to power until 36 . Herod Antipas was married to the wife of his half-brother Herod II. A commitment in such a degree of consanguinity was according to Jewish standards forbidden (Lev. 18:16). John the Baptist had reproached this fact to Herod, for that reason he had put him into prison. Out of fear for the Jewish people he did not dare to bring John to death.

Verse 2 Herod said to his servants that Jesus is the John the Baptist resurrected from dead. Verses 3 to 12 indicate the reason.

Verse 6 On a birthday of Herod, the daughter Salome dances. This is already an error of Herod, for this party was exclusively intended for men (see Ester 1:9-12).

Verse 7 The second mistake of Herod, is a promise under oath what she would ask.

Verse 8 His wife Herodias had all too best understood the words of John the Baptist. She had no fear of the Jewish people and now saw her chance to kill John the Baptist. She and her husband had no scruples.

Verse 9 The King, although not named as such by Rome, however the Jewish people saw him as king, now is asked something what he desired in his heart, but because of the people was afraid of. However, now he has no choice, he has given his oath in the presence of high officials, whatever the girl (maybe an 18 year) would ask.

Verses 10-11 John was beheaded. The head was shown to the attendees of the birthday party of Herod and then the girl showed it to her mother. What a horror, a birthday party was no happy event anymore for the high attendees. What the response of the high attendees was, the Bible does not stated. Maybe they are disgusted and run away.

Verse 12 How the disciples of John the Baptist become to know his death and into the possession of his body, the Bible does not mentioned. We do know that the John's disciples were free to visit him in prison. They buried him and told it to Jesus.

Verses 13-14 Jesus with his human character is shocked about the cruel murder of John the Baptist. He wishes to be alone and pulls back of the crowds and goes with his disciples by ship to a lonely small town, Betsaida (Luke 9:10). Possible Jesus needed time to rest in order to grief about the murder of John.
However, the crowds heard this and went on foot through the rugged environment and reached Betsaida earlier than Jesus. Jesus came from the ship and saw this large crowds. Jesus was moved with compassion and continued with curing their sick. He put His own distress aside and continued to provide for the needs of these people. How is this with the believer and the church? When oneself is in grief and need, we put that aside? And we are going to meet the need of the man, that appeal to us?

Verse 15 The disciples are aware that they are unable to feed this large crowds (five thousand men, verse 21), nor financial (two hundred denarii is not enough John 6:7) they have the possibility. Probably the time had already passed to buy food in the villages. This lonely place was remote and this large crowds had therefore to be sent away to the various villages to provide food. A single village could possibly not provide food for five thousand men with women and children.

Verse 16 Now Jesus put to the test the faith of his disciples. He commands them: YOU give them to eat. The command is: you, My disciples, you guys give them to eat. The task of every believer is to give the food of the Gospel, the true and real living bread which gives eternal life.

Verse 17 John 6:9 Investigation learns that there is a boy who has five barley loaves and two fishes. With barley loaves, we need to think in the form of pancakes. Insufficient to feed all people.

Verses 18-19 Jesus ordered, bring to Me this five barley loaves and two fishes. And let the people sit down on the grass in groups of fifty and one hundred (Mark 6:39-40).
According to Jewish customs Jesus thanked and blessed. But added: He saw up to the sky (the sky where His Father lives). A Jewish househusband thanked before and after the meal with the words: "Praised are Thu, YAHWEH our God, King of the world", after which the bread was broken into piece.
It is Jesus Who breaks and multiplies the bread and the fish (the source, the finished work on the cross). It is the disciples who hand out, it is the believers who hand out the Gospel and proclaim to all the people in the world (the crowds).

Verse 20 It is not a lousy meal, EVERYONE gets ENOUGH to their need. The finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross is sufficient and gives eternal life, it is enough for always and forever, it gives abundance. The disciples, in accordance with Jewish costume it was forbidden to throw away food, collect the surplus, and it reached upto twelve baskets full of surplus.

Verse 21 According to Jewish costume only the men counted. Since one were sitting in groups of fifty and hundred, counting was easy. But the bread and the fish were not only for the men, ALSO for the women and children. The Gospel is not just to be heard by men, women and children are ALSO embedded in order to hear the Gospel and to participate in the Kingdom of God.

Verse 22 Jesus has shown by feeding to the complete crowds that He is the true Prophet, the Messiah. Moses "gave" the manna to the people, Exodus 16:11-16. Elijah and the widow were provided in food and drink, 1 Kings 17:2-16. Elisa gives food to the hundred men, II Kings 4:42-44. However the time of His reign, being the Messiah, has not yet come, therefore Jesus sends the crowds away, before the crowds make Him King by force (John 6:15).

Verse 23 Jesus has provided the crowds, now it is His time to process to the murder of John and be alone. Jesus needed His interrelation with His Father through prayer. Similarly the believer: the power of Jesus, praying in silence and solitude. A personal conversation with Jesus, the power source for every believer, who seeks Him.

Betsaida to CapernaumStorm Lake of GalileeVerse 24 The wind was blowing in opposite direction so that the disciples were making no progress. The disciples were en route by sea to Capernaum and about 25 to 30 furlongs (approximately 3 miles) far.

Verse 25 In the fourth watch which is between 3 and 6 hours in the night, Jesus has finished His prayer, there He was no doubt praying for the disciples, knowing that they are in need and under the storm. He comes to physically help to the disciples. He is Lord and master over the weather elements, sea and storm. He walked on the sea, the divine nature of Jesus, He is the Son of God.

Verse 26 Possible the disciples have recognized Jesus, but a man cannot walk on the sea, let alone on storming waves. After the miraculous feeding, they are not yet come to see that Jesus is the Son of God. Full of bewilderment they shout out: It is a ghost. Fear gave birth to them, as it stormed, and now they see a ghost, a demon who wants to do harm.

Verse 27 Immediately Jesus comfortabled them by the words: Take heart, it is I; have no fear.

Verse 28 Peter as well as the others is afraid, but asks: If it is your command and if it is you then let me walk on the water. The lesson for the believer: First, be sure that it is Jesus who speaks to you. Secondly, wait until Jesus instructs/orders you. Not going in own strength, but wait for Jesus' command.

Verses 29-30 Peter wait until Jesus says: Come! In faith Peter get out of the boat, on the stormy waves of the sea. Probably with his eyes looking at Jesus. But then Peter hears the sound of the storm, the raging waves, and sees the impossible of his walk on the sea. He loses his gaze on Jesus and fear envelops him with consequently that he fears and sinks. And he cries out to Jesus, Lord, save me.
The believer can go in command of Jesus, and everything is going well as long as the believer continues to rely on Jesus and not look at the conditions, the attacks of satan and demons (=the raging storm, Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour, 1 Peter 5:8).

Verse 31 "O man of little faith" that is not: small-of-faith, but: at the moment when it comes to heart, not be able to rely completely onto Jesus. Doubt split Peter's faith and makes him a "O man of little faith". Is a man responsible for this kind of doubt? Dr. Nielsen believes that this is not the case. According to him, man is guilty who doubts upon the power of Jesus, which here in Peter's case in his opinion was not.
Jesus asks for the cause of the doubt of Peter. The reason is given in verse 30: he saw on the wind. In short: he saw upon the difficult conditions.

Verse 32 Jesus reached out His hand, and Peter was saved and together they climb on board the ship. At the same time, the wind and the storm cease. Jesus has power over elements of nature, Jesus has power over satan and demons.

Verse 33 Everyone in the ship comes to the understanding: Jesus need to be the Son of God.

Verse 34 The storm is over and the ship with the disciples sails under calm conditions and continue to Gennesaret.

Verses 35-36 The people at the land must have notice the suddenly silence of the storm and sea. Jesus is recognized when He step out of the boat. Undoubtedly the disciples told what happened, and people recognize the power of Jesus. With the result that one brings the sick and ask in faith that they only might touch the fringe of his garment so that they are healed by faith.

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Jesus and the Pharisees and scribes - Matthew 15

Verse 1 Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem. Why? That we do not know, possible to reforce the local Pharisees and scribes. Or was it to take note of the teachings of Jesus?

Verse 2 The tradition of the ancients had taken a major role in Jewish life. It was seen as an equal obligation equal to the Torah, the laws of God. Even so far that the tradition of the ancients was major than the commandments of God.
It is true that God demands holiness. Some examples are the baths of the priest before he carried out certain services (Ex. 30:17-21, Lev. 15:5-27). But God's commandments of washing are not for everyone and before every meal. That was a pure interpretation by the ancients. Through the Babylonian exile, the Jewish people become aware of the need to maintain God's commandments. The priest Ezra and Nehemiah taught to the people in Israel after they returned. Then started the explanation by the ancients, who through oral tradition (rehearse by the student of the teacher/scholar) was continued by the Pharisees and scribes until in 200 AD these explanations by the ancients was posed in writing in the Mishna by the Rabbi Jehuda. The explanations in the Mishna were arranged in 6 commandments: Seeds, parties, women, damage (or wounds), Holy things and washing. Each commandment had chapters and paragraphs. In cleaning was a commandment concerning washing of hands. Pouring twice, each time by approximately 0.14 litres of clean pure water that had served for anywhere else. One had to use a can or jar, the hollow hand was forbidden. The first time, the water removes the uncleanness of the hand and is then itself unclean. The second time, it cleans the hand. The fingers should be kept up, so that the hand up to the wrist was cleaned.

Verse 3 The Pharisees and scribes referred to the ritual washing of the hands, not to the ordinary washing hands before meals. If the disciples had dirty hands, we do not know. The accusation is not performing the ritual, the human tradition. At that time, one was still not familiar with bacteria that can cause infections.
Jesus comes with a counter question. With this, it becomes clear that the Pharisees and scribes put their oral tradition above the written Torah.

Verse 4 In the example, Jesus points to the fifth commandment of the 10 commandments (Ex. 20:12) honour thy father and thy mother and (Ex. 21:17) who cursed father or mother, he will die.
Honour father and mother, is more than obedience. It is the inner attitude of the child against the parents. And excludes all selfish obedience or obedience under compulsion. Love means honour, respect and awe for father and mother.

Verses 5-6 In the days of Jesus, there was no social security. Mother and father at age were dependent on their children for their maintenance and care in case of illness. The tradition of the ancients, however, allowed that a child declared his property as sacrifice and thereby exempted from the care for his parents. Hereby God's commandments were inactivated and the tradition of the eldest put above the laws of God. And God's commandment to love your neighbour as yourself, out of action.

Verses 7-9 Jesus calls the Pharisees and scribes hypocrites because their practices were going against God's commandments. It was outer appearance and piety, however, their hearts were far from God. The core of Jesus' criticism is to do what allows the tradition of the ancients and thus exempts God's commandments. Jesus refers to Isaiah 29:13 Because this people (here the Pharisees and scribes) people draw near with their mouth and honour me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men learned by rote. Lip service is worthless and dangerous. It gives the appearance of piety, but the heart can be far away from God.
How often people are not deceived by the outward piety of Christians: shouting Hallelujah, speaking in tongues, exorcism of demons, long and noisy (many decibels, so hard that the environment even complains, and the church members are deaf) worship services to praise and worship of God. Also think of the deception of Rock gospel. Under the guise of that the youth likes Rock music, this is a means of to appeal to the youth and proclaim them the Gospel. However, listens carefully to the loud music (and sometimes thereby gave inaudible) and song text, then one hears the source. The Rock gospel musicians using drugs, free sex practicing, etc. give enough indication of the wrong source. That has little to do with the Gospel.

Verses 10-11 Jesus calls the people. Possible, the people were at a distance out of respect for the Pharisees and scribes who were close to Jesus. Jesus continues with the contrast clean and unclean by the Pharisees and scribes. Not the uncleanness of the world makes man unclean, on the contrary what comes from the heart, the wrong intents and what is spoken by mouth (curses, lies, words that hurt), in short what comes from the heart. Clean and unclean are no outward concepts, but the inner attitude of man towards God and fellow man. The love for God and neighbour.

Verse 12 The disciples are shocked. Jesus points openly out to the Pharisees and scribes in the near presence of the people. Jesus openly points to the false interpretation of the ancients and thus undermines their authority. No wonder these scholars take offense to the teachings of Jesus.

Verse 13 The Jewish people were seen as a plant (Isaiah 5:1 vineyard, Jeremiah 45:4 Whatever the Lord planted). They saw themselves as a people of God forever, regardless of their way of life.

Verse 14 Jesus compares the Pharisees and scribes with the blind. They are blind to the interpretations and teachings of Jesus. If two blind lead each other, they do not see the well in front of them and both fall in. The people rejects the teachings of Jesus and is guided by the Jewish teachers and their explanations, they are blind and do not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Similar presently those who are guided by Church leaders with liberal interpretations and declaring that parts of the Bible are not valid for this time, or saying but that is not the meaning in the Bible, leaders who give false Biblical interpretations, whose heart is not God-centered, they will fall into the pit, the Lake of fire.

Verses 15-16 Also the disciples live in incomprehension. Peter, as spokesperson for the disciples, asks for explanations. Jesus is amazed at the lack of understanding of his disciples. That the Pharisees and scribes are blinded by their own learning is not surprisingly, but the disciples were already for a long time with Jesus and aware of his explanation and education, they had to know better.

Verse 17 Everything that enters into the mouth, enters into the abdomen (digestive system). There it is digested and rendered harmless. And the digested food is excreted through the anus (so passes on).

Verses 18-19 What is spoken by the mouth (which lives deep inside the heart) that is what lives in man. It can be words of (neighbour) love and compassion, mercy, true praise and worship of God, intercession, etc. But also unclean angry words, a summary of the sixth, seventh and eighth commandment follows, lies and defamatories.

Verse 20 Not eating with unwashed hands, the ritual washing or the regular wash which makes man unclean. Many bacteria are rendered harmless by digestion. They make not unclean. However what comes from the angry heart and is pronounced through the mouth (and also through deeds) which makes the man unclean.

Verses 21-22 Jesus leaves the Jewish area and pulls back to Canaanite area. Here is a peel contrast, the Jews who do not believe, in contrast to the pagan Canaanite woman who believes. Her faith is evident from the words Lord and Son of David, it recognizes and believes that Jesus is the promised Messiah.
She is desperate, because her daughter is possessed by demons and appeals to the compassion of Jesus. She knows that Jesus can heal and is determined to obtain this by Jesus, she does not give up.

Verse 23 Jesus acts as if He did not hear her, tests her determination. The disciples are seeing a non-Jewish woman, and they are annoyed by her determination and cries. With the result that they, the disciples of Jesus, wish Him to send her away. Please pay attention, here it appears that the disciples recognize Jesus as Lord and Master, because they ask Jesus to send her away, the disciples do not send her away. Maybe the woman does not listened to the disciples, and the disciples were forced to ask it to Jesus. The disciples show no compassion for this woman and her daughter. How is the believer when he is called upon?

Verse 24 Jesus gives no attention to the ruthless call of the disciples to send the woman away. He appeals to the woman and mother. Indeed Jesus had come to earth for the lost Jewish people, the House of Israel, that was His first mission. Only later, after His death, the Gospel would come to the Gentiles.

Verse 25 The woman falls onto her knees out of respect for Jesus (how is our prayer attitude?) and asks: Lord, help me! NOT help my daughter, but help me. The mother unites herself as one with her sick daughter.

Verse 26 Jesus replies that He is sent to the House of Israel (the children's bread) and had not come to the Gentiles (the dogs). The dogs in the sense of a pet and not in the sense of the lacerating street dogs. Jesus heals not immediately, but let the woman wait, tests her faith and determination. We see this back to Abraham and Sarah, who had to wait for many years on their promised son. Zechariah and his wife, who pray for years and only in old age received their son John the Baptist. Lazarus, who first had to die of his disease in order to be resurrected from the dead. Everything happens as God wants, and only at His time. Also think of the slavery of the Israelites and their stay of 430 years in Egypt and only their exodus occurred after the ten plagues.

Verse 27 The pet was eating the crumbs of the table, and had no equally right like the children of the house.
The woman remains humble, despite that she was compared with a pet. She accepts the equation. However, she does not lead away of her request. After all, the pets also eat what falls from the table. So they share in the food. Therefore it is why I might share in the grace that is destined for the Jewish people. On those grounds, you may, Lord Jesus, help me. She gives arguments to Jesus on the basis on which He might help her.
In prayer, ask the believer only, or the believer states also grounds upon which Jesus has to help, biblical texts and clear grounds?

Verse 28 The result of the persistent faith, is rewarded by Jesus. The pagan woman shows determined faith, opposite to the disbelief in Israel. Jesus praises her faith and awards her request, her daughter is cure immediately. What a lesson for the disciples, who showed their disbelief often enough, think of the storm on the Lake after the miraculous feeding.

Verses 29-39 see comment Matthew 14:13-21.
At the first miraculous feeding there twelve baskets over of chunks. These twelve could be an allusion to the twelve tribes of Israel. After the pagan woman (unclean: Pagan and woman) comes the second miraculous feeding with seven months remaining of chunks. Seven the number of fullness: the Gospel is not only for the people of Israel (the pure), but there is also sufficient for the (unclean) Gentiles. There needs to be no hunger for Israelite and gentile. Eternal life is available for everyone, who wants to believe.

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Jesus' teachings - Matthew 16

Verse 1 The Pharisees and Sadducees, two Jewish groups that were each other's opponents due to their different interpretations of the Torah. But now united to overturn their common enemy Jesus in front of the people by requesting a sign from heaven. The healings and the miraculous nourishment they wrote as earthy, as of Beelzubel (of the devil). They demanded a sign like Moses who "left raining manna from the sky" (Ex. 16:4), like Joshua who prayed that the Sun and the Moon halted (Joshua 10:12-14), like 1 Samuel 7:10 the Thunder fought against the Philistines upon the request of Samuel, and 1 Kings 18:30-40 the fire from the sky. They were not present when Jesus silenced the storm (Mt 14:32)? And they arrived only later from Jerusalem (Mt 15:1)?

Verses 2-3 How blind were these scholars. The signs of the colour of the sky they could explain whether it would be good or bad weather. But the signs of miraculous nourishment and healings of all kinds of disease they wrote to the devil. Persistently they rejected Jesus as the Son of David, the Messiah. How is it presently with people. The first signs of the first Coming of Christ are obviously, the Rapture in the air is very, very near. Still believers turn their back to Jesus, falling from faith, and returning to their (luxury) live in the world. They are the foolish virgins from Mt. 25:1-13 and those who are left behind on earth (Mt 24:40-42) and going through the Great Tribulation.

Verse 4 These scholars will receive no other sign similar to Jonah who spent three days and nights in the big fish, before the fish gave him back life and spitted him out. How well have the scholars remembered this and used this argument in Mt. 27:63-64 in their request to Pilate to post a guard at the tomb of Jesus. They received this mark, Jesus rose from the tomb after three days, however, they refused to believe and persisted obstinately in their unbelief. Like now, the signs from Mt. 24:4-27 are present and clearly visible and observable via television and the internet. It is quite clear that the first Coming of Christ is soon. Many still refuse to believe. Few Sermoners Sermon about the Coming of Christ. But RecordTV television in Brazil clearly shows during months in the series Apocalipse (Revelation), the things that are going to happen according to the Bible book Revelation and Coming of Christ. Man who wants to know and is able to take knowledge about which are going to happen. No human being has an excuse to not to accept Jesus as Saviour or being without knowledge.

Verse 5 Jesus and the disciples leave the current location and go to the other side of the Lake. The disciples forget to carry bread.

Verse 6 The leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees is the doctrine of these scholars. The leaven we learned in Mat. 13:33, the little yeast leavened through the entire meal (bread). With their false explanation of the Torah, they poisoned the entire Jewish people.

Verse 7 How worldly is the thinking of the disciples, they think of bread, not to the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Verses 8-10 Jesus points out to them with the words of little faith. If Jesus really talked about the forgotten bread, then why worry? Had Jesus not shown twice before that five loaves of bread were enough for thousands and even had surplus? So a single bread what they had, was sufficient for their twelve!

Verse 11 How incomprehensible is your foolishness that you do not understand that I am referring to the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. And you do not understand that I not talking about the physical bread.

Verse 12 Finally the eyes of the disciples open. And what about believers? They read the Bible, whether or not daily, but their eyes remain closed and remain blind. They do not understand the biblical teaching and education. God is love and thus they explain there cannot be a Lake of Fire. However, they forget that God does NOT condone Sin and punishes (any and every) sin. God's love is revealed by Jesus Who took upon Himself the sin of man, and the penalty for Sin on the cross for ANY who believes (John 3:16). For anyone who DOES NOT BELIEVE the punishment upon Sin remains on him or her!

>Mountain HermonVerse 13 The area of Caesarea Philippi is a pagan area at the northern border of Israel. Possible Jesus wished to be only with the disciples, because the Jewish people according to verse 20 should not yet know that He is the Christ. Caesarea Philippi differentiates to do with Caesarea, Mt. 16:13, an important seaport South of Mount Carmel. Caesarea Philippi located on the one of the sources of the Jordan River, on of Mount Hermon 2814 meters, in the winter, covered with snow. A secluded place to par excellent to pray and being alone.
Jesus clearly asks: who say the people that I am.

Verse 14 The answer is that the people say that Jesus is, John the Baptist or Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets. The people has still not come to view that Jesus is the promised Messiah, they see Jesus only as a prophet. They are still blind.

Verse 15 Now Jesus changes His question: who do you, my disciples, think that I am. You are already for a long time with me, have you guys come to view who I am?

Verse 16 Peter, personally or as spokesperson for the disciples, replies, "You are the Christ (=Messiah)". Peter and the disciples are no longer blind, their eyes are opened and recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah.

Verse 17 No man can come to faith, it is the Holy Spirit who convinces of sin and man should react to it and making a choice. It is God, the Father Who is in heaven, Who opened Peters eyes open and lets him recognize that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

Verse 18 This verse we can divided in three parts:
I tell you, you are Peter
On this petra (rock) I will build my church
The powers of death shall not prevail against it
I tell you, you are Peter. Peter with all his pride, impulsivity and its weaknesses. Peter is the representation of the Greek word petros (stone). A rock is hard and steadfast, the house which is built on the rock (Mt 7:24-27), the Foundation is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11-15).
On this petra (rock) I will build my church. It is Peter who confesses that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ). It is man (person) who confesses that Jesus is the Saviour from sin. With the acknowledgement of Peter, as spokesperson, the 12 Apostles profess that Jesus is the Messiah. On this 12 Apostles, the Church of Christ (=all people who profess that Jesus is the Christ) is built. Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus will be replaced by the Apostle Paul. We can say that Peter is Sermoning the Gospel to the Jews, while Paul was employed mainly to the Gentiles. Both Peter as Paul have founded the church in Rome and according to tradition both Peter and Paul are buried in Rome.
An appropriation of the Roman Catholic Church that they only entitled as Church of Christ because they have Peter as Petra, cannot be justified by this Bible text. Church Ecclesia is not one particular Church, but the new people of God that after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is formed and brought together into the Church of Jesus Christ (both Pagans as Jews and not just Catholics). The origins go back to Abraham, the father of faith. In the oldest church, there is no primacy of Peter, next to him is his spiritual twin brother Paul.
The powers of death shall not prevail against it. At the gates of the entrance of Hades, that to the views of that time, was in the interior of the earth. This Sheol, Hades, was the place where one stayed after the death until the resurrection of the dead ones.
My understanding is that indeed Hades, but then in the meaning of hell, is located in the interior of the earth, where the infidels are located and stays until the last judgment Revelation 20:11-15.
Shall not prevail against it, that is to say, for the believers in Jesus Christ Hades, hell, has no more power. The believer in Jesus Christ goes after his or her death to paradise and not to Hades, hell. Just at the first Coming of Christ (1 Thes. 4:13-18) both the dead ones who stay in paradise and both the then living believers on earth will go with Christ to Heaven.

Verse 19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, Jesus transfers the proclamation of the Gospel to the 12 Apostles (the 11 Apostles and Paul in the place of Judas, the traitor). The power of Jesus (keys), His healings and revival from the dead, is transferred to the 12. They get the power to lead, to Sermon the Gospel and to exclude people from the Kingdom of Heaven (Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor. 5:5-13, 1 Tim 1:20 to satan).
And what you will bind on earth, will be bound in heaven, and what you dissolve on earth will be loosed in the heaven. Flavius Josephus relates that the Pharisees had seen chance by Queen Alexandra (78-69 BC) to obtain the favour and gain all the power. They prosecuted and renege from exile who they wanted, so binding and dissolving people of the ban. Bind gets the meaning of permit, are permissible. Dissolve the meaning of something forbidden. The 12 Apostles are given the power to declare something binding or dissolving, this dominant position is unique and NOT transferable! With no word is spoken about a transfer in verses 17 and 19 (no papal power). Exercising this given power by the Apostles in Acts 15:25-29. Paul gives in 1 Cor. 7 many rules about marriage and in 1 Tim. 3 the requirements who may be Sermoners, elders and deacons and who not.

Verse 20 Jesus prohibits the disciples the disclosure of "He is the Christ (Messiah). Why? Because the Kingdom of Heaven (the Millennial age?) has not come yet. The government of Jesus Christ is not yet applicable. The Jews may not use violently to make Jesus KING. First, Jesus has to die at the cross for the sins of man and to overcome death by the resurrection from the dead. First the Gospel has to be Sermoned to the Gentiles.

Verse 21 Now the disciples know that Jesus is the promised Messiah, Jesus must change their idea and expectations of the Messiah. The Jews expected that the Messiah would deliver them from the Roman occupation and they had no eye for and awareness of their sin. Jesus came to earth, was born as a baby with the goal to take upon Him God's punishment on the sin of man. Jesus had to suffer much of the Jewish scholars and die (under immense temptations, after all Adam had failed and had not passed to the temptation not to eat from the forbidden fruit) at the cross. And then to overcome death and rise on the third day from the dead. Despite the raising of Lazarus from the dead, the disciples understood but little of the words of Jesus.
According to the rabbis, the resurrection of the dead on the third day occurred after the end of the world taking place on the basis of Hosea 6:2 "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him". My interpretation of Hosea 6:2 is different. One day by God is like 1000 years. The Jewish people is "rejected by God" for two days (=2 x 1000=2000 years), during that time the Church is formed. The following is 1 day=1000 years, the millennial Kingdom of Christ. And the final judgment of all people, Revelation 20:11-15.

Verses 22-23 Peter who has just confessed that Jesus is the Christ, takes Jesus apart (aside) and begins to rebuke Him. Peter falls victim to satan. Jesus conceives the attack of satan and punishes satan. Satan is an offense because he wishes that Jesus does not die at the cross, and taking away the punishment of Sin and does not overcome dead.
Undoubtedly, this burst out of Peter is well meant, but it is a human reaction. He cannot reconcile that God the Father, would allow His son to suffer terribly. And he wishes that God the Father prevents this.
What about the believer, first full of the Holy Spirit proclaiming and doing great things, and then falling in the pitfall of satan. Depression, adultery, grave sin? Be on your guard, after having performed good things for God, satan comes with the attack upon the believer.

Verses 24-26 Peter's refusal to accept the suffering (of Jesus), is denying to follow God's way. God's plan is totally different than the weak human thinking. Peter stumbles and is more prepared for the things of men than that of God. The words of these verses are not only meant for Peter, but for all faithful Christians. Self-denial is a requirement to follow Jesus. Who is not willing to nail his earthly nature at the cross, and wish to continue to live in the world, commits no self-denial. One can win many souls for Jesus Christ, however if this is accompanied by that oneself continues to live in the world, then he or she suffers damage to the soul. Only those who renders their lives completely under the control of the Holy Spirit and deny oneself to their sinful nature, are worthy to Jesus Christ. Jesus resisted to satan, to the many temptations to have an easy way to go, resistance not to wait upon God's time.
Presently, many are killed because they refuse to deny their faith in Jesus Christ. Think of the Muslim countries where Christians are killed. Later on in the Great Tribulation, the terrible torture and putting to death of people who refuse the mark 666. One accepting the mark 666, then one loses eternal life in Heaven. Refuses one the mark 666, despite the torture and one is killed, one gains life, namely eternal life in Heaven.

Verse 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels, is a reference to the second Coming of Christ, see Matthew 24:29-31. The present in which man lives now, is extremely important, that is decisive. What one does, here and now reaches to the time that Jesus comes as judge and will judge. For the believer, see 1 Cor. 3:11-15. For the unbeliever, see Revelation 20:11-15.

Verse 28 There are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. By SOME, we can think of Peter, James and John (Mt 17:1) who were taken by Jesus after six days upto the high mountain. There appeared Moses and Elijah and they see Jesus transfigured 'And his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light" (Mt 17:2-5). They have seen Jesus' Royal dignity before they died.

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The meaning of the Messiah - Matthew 17

Verse 1 Six days after the confession by Peter that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), Jesus went up a high mountain with three of the twelve disciples. Which mountain is not listed, it may have been the mountain Tamor or Hermon. Why only three of the twelve, that also we do not know. But Mat. 16:28 says that some of you, who are here, will see the Son of man in his Royal dignity.

Verse 2 The body of Jesus changes in his Royal dignity. Also changes the appearance of Jesus like it was changed after His resurrection from the dead (Mark 16:12). Believers will also receive a new body at the first coming of Christ (1 Cor. 15:50-53).
His face is like the Sun (Revelation 1:14 his head and his hair were white as white wool, as snow, and his eyes like a flame of fire) and his clothing white as light. Jesus is the light (John 8:12). A primary function of light it is to drive out darkness. So also is the meaning of that Jesus is the light of the world. He is the light of the world that dispels the darkness. He is greater and stronger than the light of the Sun. Isaiah prophesied the great light. Jesus makes true that He removes the total darkness. Darkness represents the bad, the demons and satan. Light and darkness are incompatible: light and darkness can never present at the same time, it is or light, or darkness. Jesus came to destroy the Sin and satan.
The Sun is the source of a huge energy with very high temperature that burns everything. So too is Jesus who destroys all sins, and at the final time totally destroys all who refused to believe in Him.
White is the colour of purity, without sin, resurrection, new life.

Verse 3 Moses and Elijah are mentioned in Malachi 4:4-5 at the dawn of the Day of the Lord. Revelation 11:1-12 speaks of the two witnesses, probably Moses and Elijah, who will testify during 1260 days at the end of the Great Tribulation. Moses as the one who caused the ten plagues in Egypt. Elijah, who performed supernatural (from the sky) miracles. Neither of the two have seen death. Moses was not found and Elijah ascended into heaven. Both will have their death and resurrection at the end of the Great Tribulation.

Verse 4 Peter as usual full of zeal and well meaning, responds with "it is well that we are here". Let us build three tents. It suits him better that the agony that Jesus predicted earlier.

Verse 5 A cloud covered them. Grammatically it is not clear if this relates only to Moses and Elijah or to all six. A cloud means the presence of God, think of the cloud above the Tabernacle. The words in Matt. 3:17 (baptism of Jesus) are repeated. This is my son, with the addition: listen to Him. God the Father confirmed here to listen to the education of His son Jesus and about what he speaks concerning His agony and His resurrection.

Verse 6 The three disciples throw themselves to the ground. What they do is what the Old Testament people were doing when they heard the voice of God. Think of the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt at the Mount Sinai, fear overtook them.

Verse 7 Jesus touches the disciples and removes their fear. They felt down, not out of respect but out of fear. Jesus gives His confidence and remove their anxiety.

Verse 8 Everything returns to normal, the end of its transformation, they see Jesus again with his earthly appearance.

Verse 9 Commended (eneteilato) is a verb that means an exact assignment, a clear command. It is quite clear that this event were not to be told the other disciples, first the suffering and punishment of sin. Only after the resurrection of Jesus this could go public.

Verse 10 From their reaction, it becomes clear that these three disciples still does not have understood the work of the Messiah. Their expectation is that the Messiah will come and reign as King. Still no notion of a Messiah who frees from the punishment of God on the sin of man.

Verse 11 According to the Jewish faith, Elijah appears first before the coming of the Messiah. Elijah restores the unity of Jews (two tribes) and Israelites (ten tribes).

Verse 12 Elijah had already come in the form of John the Baptist, who goes in advance of Jesus. Elijah comes in Revelation 11:3 at the end of the Great Tribulation. Then Jesus comes to end definitively the wars in Israel (Revelation 1:7, pierced in John 19:34-37, Zechariah 12:8-11) with His angels (Revelation 19:11-21). This battle will take place at Armageddom (Revelation 16:16). And it shall also end the Great Tribulation.
John the Baptist was killed by Herod. John the Baptist was rejected by the Jewish spiritual leaders. Similarly, Jesus will be rejected and killed by the Jewish spiritual leaders.

Verse 13 Finally the disciples understood that John the Baptist is the promised Elijah who precedes the Messiah.

Verses 14-16 Coming down from the high mountain, waits a father of an epileptic son for Jesus. Or should we think of demonic possession (verse 18), because this son fell often into the water and fire. His father is at wits because the disciples of Jesus are not able to liberate and heal. After all, Jesus had given them this power in Mat. 10:1.

Verse 17 Jesus replied indignantly: O faithless and perverse generation! How long am I to bear with you? How long will I endure? Jesus does not refer only to these nine left disciples, but to the Jewish people. An unbelieving generation that do not wish to recognize Jesus as Messiah (but as a Prophet). And a perverse generation because of the many sins, diseases and demonic possession among the Jewish people. However, Jesus shows his compassion and commands to bring the son to Him.

Verse 18 Here it becomes clear that it is not epilepsy but demonic possession. Jesus casts the evil spirit (=demon). In our present time, we need to discern what is a real disease and what is caused by demons. This by observing the facts and through prayer we ask God to reveal the source.
Jesus does NOT start a dialogue with the demon. Jesus COMMANDS. Jesus is sovereign, all demons and satan must (have no choice than to) obey Jesus, He is the Son of God. And immediately is the son healed. INSTANTLY, nothing of falling onto the ground, without convulsions, he was cured! Let this be a lesson to current believers and Sermoners, today there are many places with ritual exorcism of demons, first a dialogue with demon(s), laying on of hands, convulsions, fall down onto the ground. This is NOT biblical, this is NOT what Jesus shows here!

Verses 19-20 The disciples are stupefied and ask Jesus why they were unable. Jesus gives a short answer: because of your little faith. Little faith means having scarce faith at the critical moment in order to that faith to work.
A mustard seed (see commentary on Matthew 13 verses 31-32) is very small. But through the power of God it is able to move a mountain. Nothing is impossible for God. Whether we really should think of moving a mountain, is the question. But God uses large miracles to convince people of sins. Nothing is impossible for the believer, who lives in perfect harmony with God and know God's will and wish to do so to the honour and glory of God.
The faith of Abraham needed years to grow, time and time again. It can be very dangerous for a young believer to cast out demons. A demon can take possession of the young inexperienced believer. This is a faith acquired through life experiences (the disciples had previously healed sick and cast out demons), tested and refined by adversity, distress and suffering, that in this conviction is able "to move mountains".

Verse 21 This verse appears in a number of manuscripts. RSV gives no text. KJV: "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting". At that time, prayer and fasting counted as a known effective way against demons, in which the Psalms 91 and 3 were recited. Presently (a group of) believers use a (long) time of prayer and fasting before (trying) to cast out a demon(s). Apparently Jesus rejectes this in this verse. Rebecca Brown, however, recommends prayer and fasting in her books. Personally, I have little experience in casting out demons. But according to my understanding, an order in the name of Jesus is sufficient to cast out a demon or demons. Every demon SHOULD BE obedient to Jesus. NO discussion with a demon! A COMMAND IN the NAME of JESUS and the demon(s) has to leave the person. With this order with no doubt no doubt the demon(s) leave(s) the person. With this act, the person can be anointed with myrrh oil. But be CAREFUL, the person's house should not remain empty (Luke 11:24-26), the freed person should immediately accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, so that the Holy Spirit dwells in immediately and takes possession. In addition, the new believer continue to live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and do not grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) or extinct (1 Thes. 5:19). Here is the task of the church to teach the new believer in biblical teaching and to help in spiritual growth. Also removing of occult objects (statues of Buddha, taken souvenirs (unconsciously idols), etc.) out of the house, is also a requirement.
Although no education of Jesus, a anointing of the person and his home (think of the anointing of the priests in the Old Testament) with myrrh oil, under pronouncing the blood of Jesus, is my personal experience a good continuation of extruding demons.

Verses 22-23 Jesus repeats the education explained in 16:21: the road and the task of the Messiah. Then He will transfer voluntarily, He who has power over disease and demons, this power in the hands of man (the believer). The disciples are very sad. Grief brings confusion and disorientation, and obscures things and can lead to despair. The remaing in and see the will of God and not looking at the circumstances, is a requirement.

Verse 24 While one arrives in Capernaum, the collectors arrive to collect the half-shekel tax. The half-shekel tax (a half a shekel according to Ex. 30:13) was a tax for every Israelite of 20 years (and older) which served as payment of the temple servants. Inland on the 15th day of the month, and on the 25th day of the month Adar, the half-shekel tax was collected. Possible the collectors went from house to house and came the house of Jesus. Based on Lev. 6:16 the priests were exempted, the rabbis themselves had appropriated this exemption. With the title of Teacher, possible Jesus was seen as Rabbi, and thus indicered if he wanted to make use of the exemption as Rabbi.
Peter's answer is clear: YES. Thereby denying that Jesus was to be indice as a Rabbi and take advantage of exemption. Jesus remains fully comply with the law (Torah) which was applicable to each Jew.

Verse 25 When he came home: Or Jesus came to His house Or Jesus entered His house to get the money. Jesus is in front of Petrus by asking: Is paying tax correctly? The payment of tax concerned corn, oil, cattle, food, clothing, toll. At the time of Jesus, the Roman tax was heavy, tax was also to be paid over water, salt, meat and other daily needs. In the occupied territories, the tax was highest, but the people in Rome was not spared, however it was less.

Verse 26 From strangers (from others), that is the nations which are occupied by the Romans.
So the sons are free, pointing to the exemption of the priests. The shift was to the cult and not a shift by the Roman occupiers.

Verse 27 HOWEVER, NOT TO GIVE OFFENSE TO THEM. Jesus does not want to use his Being-Rabbi and granting thereby the exemption to the students of the Rabbi. Strictly speaking, the exemption was only for priests and not to the rabbis and their students. Jesus keeps strictly to the law. Jesus does not wish to raise the impression that He does not follow the Torah. Not paying the tax, He could be considered as troublemaker.
Peter receives the order to go to the Lake, eject a fishing hook (not a net) and take the first fish. Then he will find a silver coin (shekel=estátar). The value of a estátar amounted to four drachma and was the exact value of the half-shekel tax for two people, Jesus and Peter. It is God himself who provides in the exact need of what a believer needs.

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The Kingdom of Heaven - Matthew 18

Verse 1 The question can be distracted by

  1. Peter, on who the Church will be built on
  2. Peter, James and John on the mountain
  3. Matter of the half-shekel tax, Jesus and Peter

The question is human, but against the background of Judaism it has a deeper meaning. The largest one was due the most reverence. Also in the future Kingdom of Heaven, there will be a difference between small and large (think of the place at the wedding). In Judaism counted as the largest: the martyrs and the righteous, great knowledge of the Torah and thereby doing good works, who taught children faithfully and truthly the Scriptures, and those who had moved many to righteousness.

Verse 2 A child was not as innocent, but seen as weakness who did not counted in society, open to all possibilities, poor in spirit. Here is a child, no baby, no adolescent.

Verse 3 With solemn words Jesus replies. Unless you turn (straphète) means reverse letting go of adult self-assurance to an uncomplicated and childlike openness. A recognition of sin, willing to be the least.
Become like little children. In Judaism, it was impossible to call God as Father. Hence, the Jews resent Jesus that He called God His father (blasphemy). Daring to say Father to God was a sign of repent and being like a child. Recognition being under age, weak, poor in spirit compared to an omnipotent God. Recognizing of the child that the father is superior, is much more than he.

Verse 4 Equally like a child counted itself as small in the surroundings of adults, so a believer should consider himself as small in the presence of God. Everything is the work of God through the Holy Spirit. It is not the work of the believer, the man, but through the wisdom and knowledge of the Holy Spirit, it is that a believer gains Bible knowledge, is able to Sermon and evangelize. It is the Holy Spirit Who convinced the sinner of sin. It is all grace, nothing that a believer can ascribe on his or her account. The parable of the publican versus Pharisee is very appropriate here.

Verse 5 The inclusion of an orphan counted in Judaism as a merit. What a man does to his fellow man, is as he did to Jesus, see Mat. 25:31-46.

MillstoneVerse 6 Whoever causes one of these little ones to sin. A every believer, eldest, pastor who explains the Bible incorrectly, who is misleading a sinner or believer with false explanation, for him or her it was better that he or she was swallowed up in the depth of the sea with a millstone around his neck. Let this be a lesson for believer and the one who explains the Bible. With God is Love, no one is going to hell or to the Lake of Fire, the Bible is wrong translated concerning homo sexualise and no sex with animals, adultery, etc. Leviticus 18-21 is very clear, the one who acts unholy, must be exterminated (killed). Yes, God's love is revealed in that His son Jesus took the punishment on sin, for THOSE who BELIEVE (John 3:16) but God is justice and for those who do not wish to believe, the wrath and punishment of God remains upon him or her. What father or mother wishes the murderer of his child to be without punishment? God does not tolerate sin. After the death, each one will account for his or her actions to God (1 Peter 4:5).
A mill stone is a large stone, of heavy weight that was used to grind grain in the mill. In the middle was a hole through which the grain was conducted. The presence of this hole, explains the "hung around his neck". With this weight around the neck of a man, one easy sinks to the deepest of the sea (or here to Hades) and one never comes out, death is final.

Verse 7 Unfortunately, Sin and temptations exist in the world. The voluptuousness of sex, adultery and wealth, the false explaining of the Bible and thus deceiving man. The temptations will be great at the time of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 18). However, man has a free will, man can say NO to sin, lust and temptations, refusing to believe in false explanations, and investigate himself. This world is still the work of the evil one. Think of the laws in Canada and Sweden, aimed at the destruction of the laws given by God. The magnetizers with laying on of hands who explains to cure by the power of God (but these gods are idols, Buddha, demons). The purpose of the evil is quite clear: deceit and destruction of faith in Jesus Christ and the truth of the Bible. These deceptions HAVE TO come and will at full force in the Great Tribulation, that is God's plan.
But woe to the man through whom these deceptions come, their destiny is with satan and demons (Revelation 20:10-14).

Verses 8-9 Hand and foot. The hand with which one performs work. The foot with which one runs. An eye with which one sees and covets things. One shall not give a chance to these limbs to lure of sin, better to amputate, then to end up in the Lake of Fire. Admitting, then one loses eternal life in Heaven.

Verse 10 Children are important. Being physically or young (just born-again) in faith. The father and mother, the spiritual leader must ensure a right education in the Christian faith and respect and maintaining God's commandments. Why? God's Angels report everything to God who is in Heaven, whether it is an incredulous or a believer, everything a person does on Earth is reported to God and written down in The Book (Revelation 3:5; 20:12; Malachi 3:16, John 3:16; 1 John 5:3), upon which one is judged. I personally believe that every child, has his own (protecting) angel. Some comments are of the opinion that this should not conclude on the basis of this verse.

Verse 11 RSV has no text, KJV has "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost" because in many manuscripts, this verse does not occur but it is a good introduction to the verses 12-14. The verse is clear, Jesus the son of man has come to die for the sin of man (the lost=man) to release (liberate) by the punishment on sin.

Verse 12 One gets lost, refers back to the little, the child. It is not the normal course of business that a shepherd leaves 99 sheep unattended and exposed to the dangers (wolves, demons and satan). Jesus stresses how very important is each believer. The 99 sheep put their trust in the Shepherd Jesus Christ. The stray sheep no longer put its trust in the shepherd, but on his own capabilities. The Shepherd Jesus Christ teaches the disciples on the importance to the deluded sheep to search and bring back in pure education.

Verse 13 There is joy in heaven when a sinner or stray believer converts.

Verse 14 God does not wish that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and comes to faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour from sin and Lord (is putting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit). Man is small, the believer can stumble in faith, fall for the deceptions of satan. God wants the shepherds (the disciples, the spiritual leaders) take care of the flock, the stray sheep (the sinner, the fallen believer) and that everyone joins into the faith in Jesus Christ (the Kingdom of Heaven).

Verse 15 Go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. This indicates a personal conversation without others knowing. This obligation rests on every believer and but also on each elder and Sermoner. Pastoral care is personal and first be personally and not make known in the pastoral council or in the church. This commandment follows on from Lev. 19:17. It is the care for the little, the child, the stray sheep. Sin brings separation between God and man. Sin brings separation between God and the believer (grieved (Eph. 4:30) and distinguish (1 Thes. 5:19) the (functioning of the) Holy Spirit. The goal is to bring understanding of leaving the right path.

Verse 16 If this conversation is insufficient and the brother or sister refuses to listen, yes ONLY THEN should serious measures be taken and only then does one proceed to publication in the pastoral council or Sermoner. Discipline: depriving one of services in the church (no dividing of the holy supper, no singer in the church choir, etc). But beware, there should be two or three witnesses, who have seen the deliberate sin. On the basis of an individual, while others have not seen, is a problem when the person concerned does not want to listen and then should the case not be made known (?)(Deut. 17:6; 19:15).

Verse 17 Does the believer still not listen (refuses to recognize the sin, persisting in sin likie adultery, drug use, having sex without being married, alcoholism, and other forms of sin), then the sin have to be made public within the own church. Repent the believer full of shame not, and then it is perfectly Biblical to be in conformity with this verse and commandment of Jesus Christ to deprive the persistent sinful believer outside the Church (think of Paul that hands down to satan) and membership of the church. Until the person in question repents and no longer practices the sin concerned.

Verse 18 See also John 20:23. Simon sins against God in Acts 8:19-24 and Peter rightly points with the words: "your heart is not right before God". Paul rules and delivers over to satan in 1 Cor. 5:15, 1 Cor. 16:22. See also Galatians 1:8-9. Here are given the right to the Apostles (and not only to Peter, Matt. 16:19) to bind and loose. YOU therefore refers to the church, the pastor and elders (the individual believer?).

Verse 19 Totally agreement by two or three believers that it is the Will of God and they covet this common, is the condition to the fulfilment of prayer. This unanimous covet should cover the welfare (promotion) of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Verse 20 Why two or three are important, because there Jesus is in their midst. In the persecuted countries, a large church is not important. If only two or three believers come together to read and to correctly interpret the Bible, then Jesus is already present, there works God.

Verse 21 Not one sheep may be lost, the believer who sins, has to be admonished until three times (in person, two or three witnesses, in the church). But now comes the question of forgiveness. It is the core concept of the Christian faith, so this question by Peter as spokesperson is not amazing.

Verse 22 According to Jewish custom, the one who received injustice, was obliged to forgiveness. This forgiveness should take place in the presence of witnesses and should be repeated three times if the offended irreconcilable. A fourth time was not necessary. Peter goes to great lengths with its seven times. From Jesus, Peter had learned forgiveness and now asks for the border of forgiveness.
Jesus uses Genesis 4:24. Cain is 7 times avenged, but Lamech 77 times. Seventy times seven is 490 times and then we are already forgotten the counting (and so it is infinity). Compared to the limitless vengeance of Lamech, is the other mind of the new people, the church of Christ of forgiveness. It is God the Father, Who unlimited forgives the sin of the believer through faith in His Son as Saviour. When the one received forgiveness, in his turn, is not willing to give forgiveness (verses 28-30), then the communion with God is broken. How difficult this can be, we can imagine in the situation of people who were in the concentration camp. Corrie ten Boom was abused in the concentration camp, every day for many years, her family found the death. Still, she had to forgive the Nazi camp commander, when he requested it.

Verse 23 It is not man who determines the border of forgiveness, this right is to God. A parable follows about the actions in the Kingdom of Heaven (of God). God's forgiveness is taken away as a man is not willing to forgive the one who came to him in debt or has done him injustice.

Verse 24 A Greek, or Attic talent, was 26 kg, a Roman talent was 32.3 kg, an Egyptian talent was 27 kg and a Babylonian talent was 30.3 kg. A talent was in ancient times also the name of a great worth, a certain weight of gold or silver, in the New Testament of the Bible is this equal to 34.2 kilograms. The worth is equal to 6000 wages, or the wages of 20 years labour.
The first debt with which the first debtor had to the King was 20 years daily wage x 10,000=200 thousand years of the daily wage. An unpayable sum. The second debt which is the second debtor had to pay to the first debtor amounted to 100 denaren=100 daily wages=100/300 is a third annual wage. In other words, a debt of 60 million daily wages compared to a debt of 100 daily wages. The first debt was 600,000 times greater. Compare, to the aspect ratio defined as: a debt of 600,000 dollars, against a debt of 1 dollar.

Verse 25 The sale of the wife was forbidden in Israel, while at full bankruptcy the sale of his children was a last possession. Therefore this sale here refers to a non-Jewish country. The price of a slave was between 500-2000 denarii, while this debt amounted to one hundred million denarii. Herewith the hopeless of the situation is clear. Also the debt of daily sin by man is a hopeless case to receive in any way reconciliation by God.

Verse 26 The slave throws himself down and begs to advance his debt to a later date. He claims to pay everything, however in his heart knowing that it is a hopeless case and he never can meet his debt.

Verse 27 Compassion is the totality of human compassion, which the King here shows. Similarly God those total compassion shows the sinful man, who wants to recognize that his debt is infinite, impossible to pay the penalty for sin and begs God for compassion. The King scolded the debt. So God donates the punishment on SIN free provided that man accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Verse 28 The following scene is incomprehensible and stunning. The slave has just been released and freed from its huge debt. He meets his fellow slave who owned him a very small amount. He grabs him by the throat, making it clear if you are not paid, then you die.
Apparently this slave used the money of the King to lend it to other fellow slaves. Why that we do not know. He asked high interest rates on the credits? In any case, it is clear that this slave had absolutely no self control and control and spended money largely. Let this be a lesson for people who use credit cards recklessly and hit in debts they cannot repay. God sent the Holy Spirit to the believer Who the believer may use for self-control. God desires that his children live up to the honour and glory of Him and being an example to the world.

Verse 29 The fellow servant uses the same words (except the word "everything") as the slave used in verse 26 before the king. Everything may be missing here, because it is a very small debt.

Verse 30 The acknowledgment of debt, is not honoured. The slave is merciless to his fellow slave with a much smaller debt and let him put into prison. Thus to depriving the ability to pay his debt.

Verse 31 Other slaves were present in verse 23. They witnessed the remission of the huge debt of the slave. They were grieved and went to inform the event of the fellow tell slave to the King.

Verse 32 The King calls the slave to account about his behaviour towards his fellow slave, his reprehensible moral behaviour. Because he had requested and received compassion for himself, but for his fellow slave he was irreconcilable. The King repeated "I forgave you all that debt because you besought me".
Jesus Christ has taken all the guilt and punishment upon the sin of the believer. For this reason need, man only needs to ask and to accept Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour. That is why the believer also the duty to forgive and love his fellow men (including his enemies). After all, the believer was God's enemy and God forgave the believer in Christ. Our debt is gigantic and prohibitively high. What someone inflicts to us, is in no relationship of our sinful life for God.
And with this story, the question of Peter about how many times of forgiving, is definitely answered.

Verse 34 The same King who had pity, now changed in wrath and ruthlessness. The slave has all to blame to his own behaviour, he was shown mercy about a huge debt and he himself was merciless upon a very small debt. The slave was handed over to the torturers, he must bear the punishment until he has paid for.
God the Father has shown His love and His son was willing to take the punishment upon Sin at the cross. God has shown His compassion with man about the inability to pay the debt. It is up to the individual to accept this offer of God the Father, and render as a reasonable worship by putting his or her life under control of the Holy Spirit and forgive fellow man. If man refuses this, yes the blame will be on man and will experience God's wrath, for our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) and human beings will have to pay the debt in the Lake of Fire.

Verse 35 Please note in this verse Jesus speaks not about unbelievers, but about his brother, so the fellow believers in Christ. The believer who does not forgive his brother or sister (but I also think the unbeliever who asks for forgiveness, debt relief), before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) needs to account for and suffer damage. The extent to which this affects the salvation, is not stated in this verse. According to some, the believer loses eternal life in Heaven, personally I do not want to go that far, but clearly is that this behaviour goes not unpunished!

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Marriage and divorce - Matthew 19

Tribes of IsraelVerses 1-2 Jesus leaves Galilee and crosses the Jordan River to the over-Jordanian area. This proves that Israel does not commit occupation at the Jordanian territories, because this area already belonged to Israel in the time of Jesus. It is the UN that does not respect God, the Bible and ancient country.

Verse 3 This time it are the Pharisees in the over-Jordanian, who come up with a tricky question to Jesus. It fits into the discussion of that time. The school of Hillel which declared divorce lawful. The school of Sjammai which recognized divorce, but upon much less recognized divorce reasons. The Pharisees desired to bring Jesus in conflict with (the law of) Moses.

Verses 4-6 However, Jesus goes a step back, earlier than Moses, back to the creation by God. God has created the earth, God is much more than Moses. Moses received the commandments of God, therefore God is more than Moses. God created man and woman, as a unit, independently bounded to each other. By virtue of the fact that a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh (=sexual relationship) (Genesis 2:24). Marriage is instituted by God from the beginning of creation, a full community of life between men and women, including sexual. This unity consists of two people: man and woman. There is no room here for bigamy and polygamy. King David and Solomon violated God's institution with polygamy of many women, who also led their fall.
Therefore no man has the right to bring separation and to violate God's command.
The marriage starts with the first sexual intercourse between man and woman. No sex before marriage, as illustrated by the words of Mary in Luke 1:34! The attitude and respect for God's Word seizes back to God's commandment given 4000 years back. Therefore, now (2000 years after Maria, 6000 years later from the first time that God gave this commandment) we CANNOT say that it does not belong to this time (age). Every believer who has sex before marriage, shows that he and she HAS NO RESPECT for GOD) and can expect little of God's blessings until they confess their grove sin (second degree) and marry with each other.
The Apostle Paul is very clear in 1 Corinthians 6:16 "Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her". Thereby Paul refers back to Genesis 2:24, that sexual intercourse is an unification between man and woman. From the moment on that a man and a woman have sex with each other, from that moment, these two persons are married in the eyes of God. Do man and woman not respect this, then they show no respect to God. Forces the man on with the words "that is out of date" then shows the man shows clearly that he has no respect for God and his lack of self-control. It is better to break this relationship than to maintain. Research has clearly shown that the divorce rate among people who had sex before marriage, is much higher than in case where both partners entered as virgins into marriage. That is not so surprisingly, after all it is a lack of respect for God and for each other, a lack of self-control (a fruit of the Holy Spirit). Marriage requires respect for each other, respect each other's opinions and actions. Lack of respect and self-control leads to tensions within the marriage what can lead to divorce. Partners who have, have much less marital tensions and thus much less divorces. God knows what is best for man, in this case no sexual relationship before marriage.

Verse 7 The Pharisees defend themselves with a harking back to Moses and the establishment of the bill of divorce, see Deut. 24:1-4. Jesus relies on Scripture, the Pharisees also in turn rely on Scripture. However, they oversee that Moses has set up this personally and it is not an institution of God, and is only given after the first commandment at creation.

Verse 8 Jesus' answer is clear, from creation, it is NOT so. It is your hardness, and the hardness of man, who do not know to reconcile. The persistent stubbornness of not wishing to accept God's way and lust of adultery. That is not enough to have one woman (or man). The bill of divorce of Moses had a purpose, namely, not to leave the woman without rights. See and study what the apostle Paul teaches on behalf of Jesus and on himself in 1 Cor. 7.
Yes, but what in cases of beating (violence) within marriage, cases of alcoholic and drugs? OK, my personal response, then leave the house and go and live in a safe (unknown) place (with the children). But as believer, request no divorce. Also no sexual relationship with another person. Then in the case of liberation of alcoholism or drugs of the partner, a return might be possible, and so a continuation of the marriage.

Verse 9 When it concerns fornication (unchastity) or having sex with someone other than with the married partner. Then the marriage is already broken. The fornication, adultery of wedding promise has already been nullified and the marriage is broken.
God's institution is that both husband and wife are obliged to marital fidelity, a lifelong faithfulness to each other until death puts an end to the marriage.
In the time of Jesus, the status of women was low, in Palestine it was permitted that men had concubines and only the man had a right to send away his wife.
The controversial question arises: Allows Jesus in this verse a new marriage (remarriage) by the one who is innocent? The one who has committed adultery, has dissolved the marriage and by the sexual relationship has already entered into a new marriage with another (marries another) and thus committed adultery. The opinions are very divided on the interpretation of this verse concerning the innocent partner. Some believe that here Jesus does not give a licence to the innocent partner and the innocent partner should not remarry. Also in connection with 1 Timothy 3 being one woman. Others (myself included) believe that since the adultery partner has already broken the marriage, here Jesus allows the innocent partner having the free choice to stay single or to remarry. But remembering to 1 Timothy 3 in case of remarriage. To which I have no answer. There upon the opinions also are divided, even within the church.

Verse 10 The disciples do not understand the intention of Jesus' explanation. Why should it not be advisable to marry (after all most people have their sexual need). How many marriages do not last and without sexual problems? The divorce rate is approximately 40%, 60% remains married. After all, from the beginning of creation, God has created marriage and the sexual relationship. Marriage is an institution of God. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Cor. 7:9 that it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion and in verse 5 remembers "do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer".
The Catholic Church uses this verse and following as a plea for celibacy. But this is in conflict with the institution of marriage by God and the words of the Apostle Paul. Among the Jews, it was an obligation of the religious man (Pharisee) to being married. Who studied the Torah, was married.

Verses 11-12 Jesus replies about the lack of understanding of the disciples by naming of three categories:

  1. The eunuch born so from the mother's womb, that is to say without sexual need or sexually immature
  2. The eunuch circumcised by humans (castration) (which was forbidden in Israel), think of a eunuch in a harem.
  3. The man, the believer who dedicates himself completely to God by studying God's Word and the work of God (the Kingdom of Heaven). Who through the Holy Spirit also receives the self-control for this and restrains of a sexual relationship and pornography.

Jesus hereby confirms the institution of marriage by God. However the voluntary remaining unmarried in order to dedicate himself completely to God's Kingdom, is given a legitimate place under the new people of Jesus Christ, the Christians. We can think of Paul, who after marriage (as a result of the death of his wife?) remained single. He was a Pharisee, so therefore he had to be married. Also look at the many experience he writes about the marriage.

Laying on of hands - Matthew 19:13-15

Verse 13 After the institution about marriage (and God's command to multiply) follows the "then". Then the children were brought to Jesus. Aware well Jesus is divine and pure, without any kind of evil. In the charismatic and Pentecostal communities it is a habit and has become a cultural phenomenon to impose hands during prayer and to bless children, based upon this verse. It is Jesus, divine and pure, Who blesses and transfers the good. In the New Testament, we read nowhere that this laying on of hands upon children is inherited nor is continued by the Apostles. The Apostle Paul warns serious in 1 Tim 5:22 "Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor participate in another man's sins; keep yourself pure.". Thereby it is clear that sin of an other believer is transferable by the laying on of hands. There are many cases where by the laying on of hands (children, prayer services, when for someone is prayed) sin of the handlayer is transferred to the one in who the hands (on the head) are laid on. Partly that is because one does not know the hidden sin of the Sermoner, eldest, handlayer. Cases are known that after the laying on of hands upon the believer, thereafter commits adultery, beats his children, use of excessive alcohol and drug, etc.
That is not so surprisingly, laying on of hands is TRANSFERRING. The priests laid their hands on the sin offering and transferred their sin (and of the people) onto the sin offering (the animal which was going to be slaughtered for the reconciliation of SIN). Further, we know the laying on of hands at the blessing by the FATHER (Jacob) of his children, hereby there is no question of an outsider as in the case of a Sermoner or eldest. In the New Testament the laying on of hands took place at transferring (appointment) of function, Ananias appointed Paul commissioned so by God (Acts 9:10-18), council of elders of the Apostles (who are no longer present) in 1 Tim. 4:14 who position Timothy into his function, James 5:14 the elders of the church under prayer and anointing with oil, however there is not a question of laying on of hands!
When Jesus is blessing NOT always He lays on His hands. At the miraculous alimentation, Jesus raised His hands to heaven and blessed the people, also so when the priest blessed the people.
A number of churches bases their infant baptism upon this verse, there is no ground. At the devotion of a newborn, there is also laying on of hands, my opinion is that this should be done by the Sermoner AND the eldest at the same time.
In short, let us take Paul's advice very seriously about the laying on of hands and not use as a cultural practice and be aware of the dangers. By magnetizers, laying on of hands is common practise, whereby people are healed. We difficultly can described the source as being from God the Father and Jesus Christ (despite the biblical texts in their consulting rooms).
The disciples are trying to prevent the people to bring to and bless their children by Jesus. We need to view this reaction from the Jewish beliefs that children are not counted. Children had to listen and to learn. On the other hand, Jewish children were much more fondled, embraced with love, carefully raised and educated by parents (think of the virgin Mary who knew everything about sexuality).

Verse 14 Jesus permeates again the wrong thoughts of the disciples. From Jesus' words, it is clear that also children are part (also in the Kingdom of Heaven). One should not prevent children to come of Jesus. Already at a young age, provided knowing what he or she does, a child (from the age of eight?) can come to faith and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and put his or her life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Here rests the task of the parents to guide and teach the child. Personally, I see no objection to that children (babies) participate in the Lord's Supper, but the child who has awareness, need to know what it does. Children of faithful parents are sanctified in the believing parent(s).

Verse 15 Jesus blesses the children and lay hands on. Just remember that Jesus is completely pure and no harm can be transferred.

Following of Jesus - Matthew 19:16-30

Verse 16 One, in verse 20 called the young man, came to Jesus. He addressed Jesus with Teacher, recognizing that He is an authority on the interpretation of the Torah. From his question, "what good deed MUST I DO, to have eternal life" it is clearly that there is no awareness of sin and he thinks that by own works one can come in heaven (a Catholic thought and especially a human thought). The Jewish thinking was based that the fate of the man depended on the obedience to the Torah. A unreal thinking, we only need to look to the ten commandments, then everyone knows that no man is able to comply with the ten commandments. Just think of to love God. What man is able to love God completely? How many people do not worship saints? Worship images?

Verse 17 Jesus focuses on "good". Only God is good, no human being is good and good works do not exist (selfish because focused on self-interest, by good labour getting into Heaven). What is the will of God, is revealed in the Torah: Recognizing being a sinner. By recognizing this and living accordingly, God has a sense of well-being in the sinner, but man remains a sinner who needs salvations. Jesus refers him to the Torah, all commandments that God gave to Moses.

Verses 18-19 The youth man keeps himself innocent, and asks "Which"? Jesus refers to the sixth to ninth commandments from Exodus 20 and replaces the tenth commandment by "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" from Leviticus 19:18. Oddly enough, Jesus does not refer to the first five commandments to honour and to love God.

Verse 20 But this produces a disappointment by the youth man. According to himself, he actively complied with the requirements of the Torah. Accordingly to the rabbis, man possesses the capacity to maintain the entire Torah. Earnestly they speak to maintain the Torah from a to z. Apparently, this is also the case by this person. But since he recognized Jesus as authority, and may be there was doubt in his heart, followed the question "what do I still lack".

Verses 21-22 Jesus is consistent and follows with a perfect. Perfect (tamin) is he who does the will of God completely. Whose thought are completely on God. God desires the good for all people, rich and poor. The rich must divide the property with the poor. Jesus' answer is, if you desire a treasure in Heaven, share your property with the poor, see 1 Cor. 3:11-15.
Now the rich young man has problems, for he was very rich. What Jesus asks, belongs to the institution of the Torah, love your neighbour as yourself. It is no undivided-being with God: toward God and toward property (on earth). Jesus determined the youngster at the core of the Torah: the love of God that goes out to all the people, rich and poor. The way in which he stands towards his property, is the critical point. He is willing to obey God and to share his property with the poor? He is totally focused on God, as he claims in verse 20?
Jesus asks to sell all his property and to follow Jesus (without a home, wandering, with no fixed dwelling place, a very simple life): FOLLOW ME. The young man is unable to do so and leaves sadly. His statement in verse 20 he cannot fulfil until the end. This unlike the rich in Acts 4:34-35.

Verse 23 Wealth in itself is not a problem, but it quickly leads to selfishness, wishing more possessions, indifference and rebellion against God. It provides doom (and loss of eternal life?) when the rich keeps his hands closed to the poor. The rich forgets that he has to thank his wealth to God that his possession is of God. God has been appointed man as steward. Each man is accountable to God. A rich can use his possessions for well-being of the poor. He can own a company with many employees (in that way providing alimentation and salary), handing out food parcels, support evangelism and mission, can (partly) pay the salary of a Sermoner, etc.

Verse 24 Jesus emphasized that it is very difficult for rich to come to faith and to live according to the commandments and will of God. No camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but there are exceptions of rich people, who give up their property starting with the Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector in Jericho, who gives away his possessions in Luke 19:1-10.

Verse 25 The disciples are perplexed, are completely beside themselves and come up with a question.

Verse 26 Jesus' answer is clear, by humans, this is impossible, but possible with God. The Holy Spirit can convince the man of sin, his wrong way of living and to bring insight and repentance, as with Zacchaeus. It is clear that with this statement both rich and poor, both need God to get access to the Kingdom of Heaven. Wealth and poverty can both prevent access.

Verse 27 Peter united himself with the fellow disciples, WE have forsaken all, and followed you. They have giving up their homes and job and followed Jesus. They also have left their families at home or travelled with their families where Jesus went? We know little about this. Peter had a mother-in-law, therefore a family. See 1 Cor. 9:5.
"What then shall we have" can be understood as what we will receive in the Kingdom of Heaven, we will have access?

Verse 28 You who have followed Me, you 12 Apostles (but remember the traitor Judas is replaced by the Apostle Paul) will sit on twelve Thrones to the 12 tribes (Judah: two tribes; Israel: 10 tribes). In the first instance, to work with Jesus to judge what each Jew/Israelite has done in his/her life and then reign the new Israel at the new Earth. See Revelation 4:4 the 24 elders being these 12 Apostles and 12 which is the Church of Christ.

Verse 29 The reward of following and doing the will of Jesus Christ is given in Mat. 25:31-46 and 1 Cor. 3:11-18.
"For My sake" thereby one can think of giving up family members and having a home, and going to the mission field (for example, in Africa). Leaving your adult children (without contact and seeing grandchildren) if one on the mission field works.

Verse 30 This verse is clarified in Mat. 20. This verse points out that the "the workers of the eleventh hour" will be treated in the same way as those who have worked a lifetime for Jesus Christ.

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The labourers in the vineyard and their wages - Matthew 20

ViñedoVerse 1 The working hours of the workers began at dawn and ended at the appearance of the stars. The householder is the owner of the vineyard, who needed labourers to pick the grapes.

Verse 2 There was negotiation with the labourers: the going wage of a denarius was agreed. Given the totally different way of life in the time of Jesus, there is no comparison with a value in Euros or Dollars.

Verse 3 The third hour, which is nine o'clock in the morning. The owner sees still unemployed workers. The Jewish day began at sunset (the previous day). However, the hours were counted from sunrise. The night was divided into four vigils.

Verse 4 Also these unemployed were hired, but without the owner did an agreement on the wages. These unemployed went to work without knowing what for pay they would receive. The owner said only that he would give a fair wage.

Verses 5-7 Similarly came to pass in the sixth, ninth and eleventh hour. Origenes refers these hours at the different ages at which a man accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour.
The eleventh hour is five hours in the afternoon. The work should be finished and that is why the owner once more went to see if there are any more hands available to complete the work.
Why do you stand here idle all day? Probably these unemployed standed in the blazing sun all day to wait until someone would hire them. The owner also rents them.

Verse 8 According to Lev. 19:13 the wage had to be paid the same evening: "The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning". The owner (God) calls the steward (Jesus Christ) to pay the wages. Starting at the last, that is the ones who were hired at the eleventh hour.

Verse 9 These workers of the eleventh hour each received a denarius, the full daily wage, despite the fact that they had worked only one hour. The owner acts here completely different than expected. However everyone who late in his or her life has come to faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour, will receive eternal life in Heaven. This is no question whether you come to faith at young or old age.

Verse 10 Humanly speaking, the workers from the first hour expected a higher wage. They had worked all day and not just one hour.
Or do we need to think of Sermoners, evangelists or missionaries who started to work for Jesus at a young age in comparison to the one who only has served Jesus the last years of their life? Or the number of years that a believer has lived under the control of the Holy Spirit? This parabola is in contradiction with 1 Cor. 3:10-15?

Verses 11-12 This wage, despite that it was agreed with the owner, is disliked by the workers of the first hour. They murmur because in their eyes, deficit was done. Their argument is: we have worked throughout the day in the blazing sun and heat. The last ones in the much cooler evening. Compare also the reaction of the oldest son in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).

Verses 13-16 The owner recalls the agreement of a denarius. The owner does not to dispute their heavy working conditions, but points back on the agreed appointment. He is the sovereign Lord, the owner of the vineyard. That is, Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord of the vineyard=the Church. It freely allows God to give mercy as He wants.
Begrudge: envious, award the other less, malicious. Generosity: God wants to bestow eternal life in Heaven to every one, whether sooner or later has come to faith. Compare Jonah who grumbles because at the last moment Nineveh repents, receives forgiveness and is spared. Jesus Who saves the murderer who confesses guilty and recognises Jesus. Many wonder why Jesus saves a murderer. I am thinking of a story in which a murderer was sentenced to death and had came to faith in Jesus, he asked the parents for their forgiveness, but replied that his death sentence at the electric chair was correct.
The disciples/believers cannot assert rights. It is the grace of God, it is the work of the Holy Spirit, Who enables the believer to work in the vineyard, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Church of Jesus Christ.

Jesus goes on to Jerusalem - Matthew 20:17-34

Verse 17 Jesus goes to Jerusalem, Himself preparing for the heavy task of His 40 lashes and death at the cross. No doubt a large crowd followed Him, so he takes apart the twelve and explain what is going to happen.

Verse 18 With the word BEHOLD Jesus points on the changing situation. No longer the Messiah Who heals and casts out demons, but a Messiah who is going to suffer and die. Who is going to be mistreated by the Jewish spiritual leaders and will ask for His death.

Verse 19 It are the Jewish spiritual leaders who will deliver Jesus to the Gentiles (Pilate, the Roman ruler). Besides the Sanhedrin, the Gentiles (non-Jews) are also fully responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. It are the Roman soldiers who mock, scourged and crucify Jesus. The deliberate delivery and action by the Chief priests, scribes and Sanhedrin. With the debt of the Gentiles who had the last and final right to crucify or not Jesus. Thus the fault is with Jew AND the Gentile, and thereby the debt of sin, whether Jew or Gentile is accentuated.
Mocking: the sarcastic taunting by the Romans.
Lashing was carried out by the Romans, as well as by the Jews in their synagogue.
Crucifixion was only allowed to be carried out by the Romans and as punishment unknown to the Jews. The Torah knew stoning, hanging (a God-damned Deut. 21:22-23) and burn with fire (Lev. 20:14, Joshua 7:15, 25), therefore no cremation with the death of a believer. Cremation is burning with fire which is a punishment from God. A believer is only buried (Returns to dust Genesis 3:19).
The condemned had to carry the lintel to the place of execution. There the body was nailed on the lintel and subsequently the lintel with body was raised to a pole standing perpendicularly in the ground. A footrest was not in question. Both feet were beaten with one nail into the wood. The height of the cross varied. Just over man-sized or higher to be visible from far away. On a plate was written the reason of condemnation and placed at the cross.
Matthew used the passive to make it clear that it is God the Father, Who resurrected Jesus on the third day.

Verse 20 According to Jewish custom, it is the mother who wishes the best for her children and asks Jesus. Apparently she recognizes Jesus as the Messiah (verse 21 in your Kingdom)? She is the one who will follow Jesus to the crucifixion. With respect bending to the ground, she asks Jesus. She knows her place.

Verse 21 Jesus sees her bending and asks: What do you want? Jesus goes up to Jerusalem, she is in the expectation that Jesus set up His Kingdom and reigns as King. According to Jewish custom, the most important person was in the middle, the second important one at the right side and the third (youngest) on the left. Probably she was not present when Jesus had said that Peter counted as the rock and to whom the keys of the Kingdom was given.

Verse 22 Jesus focuses directly to the two sons, without anger and accusation, with the question "Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" The Cup had the meaning of "fate". The answer from them is lightly? or not? Jesus had told His fate in the verses 18-19.

Verse 23 You will drink my cup. From James it is known that he died about 44 martyred (Acts 12:2). Whether John died as a martyr is not mentioned in the Bible. According to Papias yes, according to Irenaeus not namely he would have died a natural death in Ephesus.
But sitting on which place in the Kingdom of Heaven, is determined by God the Father and not by Jesus Himself.

Verse 24 The other disciples are annoyed by the request for taken in the highest places.

Verses 25-26 However, Jesus set things in order. He points to the worldly rulers. They rule out of lust for power, wealth, and power for their own benefit and to the detriment of the people which they pressured and paying heavy taxes. Not so in the Kingdom of God. There, the King Jesus wishes the best for His people. Great is the one who wishes to serve. Jesus gave His life under scourging and crucifixion. He will be the first. The largest is the one who wants to give his life and wish to serve, which was considered to be inferior. With God serving is fulfilling the commandment to love your neighbour.
The slave counted as contemptible, inferior. In the Kingdom of God, lord and slave are equal to each other, without ranking.

Verse 28 Equally as the son of man, thus following the example of Jesus. Jesus had left all power and dominion in Heaven and as a baby born and come to earth. Born as a human, leaving His deity in Heaven behind. He has come to taken the punishment upon sin, scourged, despised, mocked by Jew and Roman (gentile) and dying at the cross.
Ransom was the price that had to be paid for a prisoner or slave so that he became free. Jesus paid with His death at the cross and taking the punishment on sin upon Himself, as ransom of the death and punishment on the sin of man (for each that wants to believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour).

Verse 29 Jericho was a transit place on the way to Jerusalem, prosperous and rich.

Verse 30 Two blind people who were sitting by the road, no doubt to ask for alms for their livelihood. They hope for cure and speak to Jesus as Lord and Son of David. Lord a recognition of Teacher (rabbi) and Son of David as the one who would destroy the enemies of Israel and would lead the Jewish people to perfection.

Verse 31 The crowd rebukes them, they do not desire that Jesus is harassed. But the two blind people do not give up, they know that Jesus can cure their blindness, not being able to see, begging for money and the need to be guided.
Believers ward off people who want to get to know Jesus? We commend them to keep quiet so that we can listen to a Sermoning? Or do we take the person aside and we explain the Gospel. We show mercy?

Verse 32 Jesus shows mercy and stands still. He calls them and asks what they want. Of course Jesus knows already what they desire. Even before a believer asks something of Jesus. Jesus already knows what the believer needs and desires. Nevertheless, Jesus wishes that the believer clears the heart and asks for what desired.

Verse 33 Again the respectful LORD. With a simple request that we may see.

Verse 34 Jesus has compassion and touches the eyes of the blind. Immediately they see it. The reaction of the two blind people is that they follow Jesus. Thereby Matthew closes the curing by Jesus as well as to follow Jesus.

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