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27
Mar 2017

For the Week of March 27, 2017 Read: Matthew 18.10-14 Jesus cautions not to ever disparage one of the “little ones”. And He assures us that “their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven”. Does this indicate a long-held belief in the church about guardian angels? Many so think. But if we understand it in that manner we should not understand it only in terms of those of young age but little ones in terms of believers in general. Why? Because Jesus has just said in the......

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19
Mar 2017

Read: Matthew 18.1-9 How can a child be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? Aren’t the greatest people those of position and power and accomplishment? Then why does Jesus elevate the child? The child has not learned from the elders who to hate and to think little of. The child is more likely to express joy and enthusiasm. The child is more likely to be trusting and believe that if Jesus tells him something it will be the truth. In other words the child has not learned to be cynical. And the......

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12
Mar 2017

Read: Matthew 17.24-27 Jesus and the disciples arrive in Capernaum, Peter’s hometown. He is approached by those responsible for collecting the annual temple tax from each adult male for the upkeep of the temple in Jerusalem. The tax was two drachmas or two days wages per adult male. Some teachers and rabbis were exempt from the payment of it. Jesus asks Peter a revealing and teaching question, “do the kings of the earth collect taxes from their own sons or from others”? And Peter rightly observes, “from others”. Even though Jesus is......

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06
Mar 2017

Read: Matthew 17.14-23 Jesus and His disciples have just come down the mountain from the event of the Transfiguration. They are approached by a man asking Jesus to heal his son. The boy had been having seizures and would fall into the fire or the water. This dad had brought his son to the disciples but they could not help. So, he implores Jesus to do something. Jesus very plainly remarks about this “unbelieving and perverse generation”. Then He heals the boy. Later the disciples inquired of Jesus why they had been......

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27
Feb 2017

Read: Matthew 17.1-13 This is such a mysterious and fascinating event in the life of Jesus and His disciples, Peter, James and John. Jesus takes them on a high mountain climb. It was perhaps Mount Herman the highest mountain in Israel, at the base of which were many places of pagan worship. When they reach the right place Jesus is transfigured before their eyes. His clothes shine or radiate in a non-earthly manner. Then, Moses and Elijah appear and begin a conversation with Jesus. Peter wanted to preserve the moment and wanted......

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20
Feb 2017

Read: Matthew 16.21-28 In this passage, we see Jesus tacking with His disciples in a different way. He begins to prepare them for what He understands to be inevitable. In fact, in vs. 20 Jesus tells them that He “must go to Jerusalem and suffer” and He “must be killed” then “be raised”. These are hard words to hear. Like most of us, Peter can only take so much honesty. So, in vs. 23, he takes Jesus “aside” to “rebuke Him”. But Jesus understands His path! And He pointedly seeks NO sympathy......

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13
Feb 2017

Read: Matthew 16.13-20 The question of the ages – “who do people say the Son of Man is?” When the disciples are asked that question they are at Caesarea Philippi near a popular place of pagan worship of several deities. This site near the base of Mt. Hermon is not far from another site of pagan worship at Dan. It is here that Jesus asks this important question that each person must answer. Each person of all history will be required to answer concerning Jesus. The disciples say there are several possibilities......

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06
Feb 2017

Read: Matthew 16.5-12 How easy it is to misunderstand the meaning of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus has just finished observing that the Pharisees and Sadducees did not recognize His truth and the fact of His life being a sign from God. His observation is that they can interpret the weather signs but not the deeper spiritual signs. So, as they are going across the lake the disciples said, “oh shoot, we forgot to bring bread”. And Jesus responds with a word of caution about the “yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees”. The disciples......

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30
Jan 2017

  Read: Matthew 16.1-4 Surely the Pharisees and Sadducees had heard of the miraculous events that had accompanied Jesus’ ministry! Yet, they come to Him and ask for a sign from heaven. Apparently, the many healings and the repeated multiplication of the fishes and loaves didn’t qualify in their minds as “signs from heaven”. Notice that Jesus did not argue with them. He simply stated the truth: they could interpret the common weather signs of everyday life but they refused to interpretively see the “signs of the times”. Therefore, they would receive......

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23
Jan 2017

Read: Matthew 15.29-39 Jesus has just finished healing a Canaanite woman’s daughter and in the process has tried to teach the disciples a valuable lesson in the region of Tyre and Sidon. This was certainly “foreign” territory, definitely a pagan area that made the disciples uncomfortable. Now, He has come back to His “home base” near Capernaum on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is leading them back to more familiar territory. But they are about to enter spiritually UNfamiliar territory that will prove challenging to their meager faith.......

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