Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Matthew – the Gospel of Fulfillment – Chapter 15   Signs

“Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there.  And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them.  So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.”  (verses 29-31)

Jesus came and performed the miracles that the Old Testament had foretold the Messiah would do, the greatest authenticating miracle being the blind being given their sight.  Why?   Because this miracle had never been performed before.   So do you respond like the religious leaders did because Jesus did not fit their man-made rules and regulations (see verses 1-7) and remain spiritually blind?   Or do you accept the authentication provided and ask Jesus to help you see?  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Matthew – the Gospel of Fulfillment –Chapter 14   Perfect Provision or Impossible?

This chapter records how a large group of people (between 5,000-15,000) were gathered to be fed and all the food that was available was 5 loaves of bread and two fish.   Jesus told His disciples to feed the people, knowing that they could not.   He wanted them and us to understand what is impossible for us to accomplish is very easy (possible) for Him.  We’re told Jesus blessed the food and had it distributed and when what remained was gathered, there was just enough left to feed the disciples too.   As Jesus can satisfy hunger in the physical sense, He can also satisfy the hunger and thirsting of your soul.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Matthew – the Gospel of Fulfillment – Chapter 13  Why Parables?

You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’    (verses 14-15 quoting from Isaiah chapter 6)

Where do you stand with Jesus?  He told parables to draw the listener in to understand greater truths and also to hide them from those who would not believe.   So are you spiritually deaf, blind and indifferent, or have you been cured?    He is the great Healer.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Matthew – the Gospel of Fulfillment – Chapter 12  Unforgivable Blasphemy

“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”   verses 31-32

It’s curious that people often use God’s and Jesus’ name in an inappropriate matter.  Just think of what a mess this world would be in if God heeded every use of His name.    But curiously, I’ve never heard anyone swear or inappropriately use the name of the Holy Spirit, perhaps due to a misunderstanding of these verses.   But this is not the unforgivable sin.

For some people there are several unforgivable sins.  For example, committing suicide or converting to another religion.  But Jesus indicates there is only one such sin – rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit, which is showing a person that the only forgiveness of their sins is through Jesus, the One who offered the perfect sacrifice.   Only the sin of unbelief cannot be forgiven.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Matthew – the Gospel of Fulfillment – Chapter 11  An Invitation

Jesus extends an invitation like no other:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and My load is light.”  (v28-30)

He’s waiting for you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Matthew – the Gospel of Fulfillment – Chapter 10  Confession

It’s said that “confession is good for the soul,” but according to Jesus it is vital that we confess / profess our faith in Him:

“Everyone therefore who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (v32-33)

For Jesus, confession is more than just words.  A few verses later, “And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who has found his life, shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.” (v38-39).  

Jesus made a total commitment to us by taking our punishment for sin upon Himself and for our own good, He expects us to be totally committed to Him.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Matthew – the Gospel of Fulfillment – Chapter 9  Your Sins are Forgiven

Jesus made a bold statement and proclamation in this chapter when he said to a paralyzed man, “Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven.”  Now this caused quite a stir among the leaders of the Jewish faith, because only God can forgive sins.    But Jesus asked them, what’s easier to do, tell someone their sins are forgiven (because how can it be proved) or to tell a paralyzed person to get up and walk?  So to prove He has the authority to forgive sins, He then told the paralyzed man to get up, walk and take his mat home with him.   And that’s just what the man did – his life was forever radically changed.

And Jesus can just as radically change yours too, no matter what the so-called religious experts may say or think.