Showing posts from February, 2022


Jesus also said, “The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed on the ground. Each night and day he sleeps and rises, and the seed sprouts and grows, although how it does this, he does not know. All by itself, the earth produces a crop—first the stalk, then the head, then the grain ripens within the head. And when the grain is ripe, the man swings the sickle to reap, because the time for the harvest has come.” (See Mark 4:26-29) (Editor's Note: "Kingdom of...": In these series of parables of Jesus on the kingdom of God, the Gospel of Matthew uses the term "kingdom of heaven" while the Gospels of Mark and Luke use the term "kingdom of God." In these passages, the two terms are the same and the term which is used is at the preference of the writer.) -

Pay Attention

Jesus also said to them, “Does anyone light a lamp, bring it in, and put it under a jar, under a basket, or under a bed? Don't they set it on a stand, so those who enter can see the light? For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light. “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” Jesus went on: “Pay attention to what you hear and how you listen. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and even more will be added to you. For whoever has will be given more. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” (See Mark 4:21-25; Luke 8:16-18) -

Wheat and Weeds

Jesus put before the crowd another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was asleep, the man's enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then slipped away. So, when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to owner and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this,’ the owner replied. “So, the servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’  “‘No,’ the owner said, ‘if you pull the weeds now, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First, collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat into my barn.’ ” Later, after Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house, His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” Jesus replied, “The One

The Sower

That same day, Jesus and His disciples left the house, moved to the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and sat down. And large crowds were gathering there, with people coming from town after town. Such large crowds gathered around Jesus that He got into a boat and sat down, while all the people stood on the shore. And as the crowds continued to gather, Jesus began teaching the people about the kingdom of heaven in a series of parables. He began saying, “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. “Some seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil. And the seedlings sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun rose, the seedlings were scorched, and they withered because they had no root and no moisture. “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with the seedlings and choked them, and they yielded no crop. “Still other seed fell on good soil, where they sprouted, grew up


While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, His mother and brothers arrived and they stood outside the house, wanting to speak to Him. But they could not reach Him because of the crowds. So, they sent someone in to summon Him. “Look,” Jesus was told, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, asking to speak to You.”  But Jesus replied, “Who is My mother, and who are My brothers? Who are my family?” Pointing to His disciples, who were seated in a circle around Him, Jesus said, “Here are My mother and My brothers. Here are my family. For whoever hears the will of My Father in heaven and does it, they are My brother and sister and mother; they are my family.”  (See Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21) -

Hear and Obey

After speaking on the sign of Jonah, Jesus continued: “When an unclean spirit comes out of a person, it passes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ On its return, it finds the house vacant, swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and dwell there. And the final plight of that person is worse than the first. So will it be with the people of this wicked generation.” As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and blessed are the breasts that nursed You!”  But Jesus replied, summarizing the teaching He had just given, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  (See Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-28) -


After Jesus made His statements to the scribes and Pharisees that were present, some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” Jesus replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign. But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. As Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation. The people of Nineveh will stand at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them; for the people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now One greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise and stand at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and now One greater than Solomon is here. (See Matthew 12:38-42


After making His statements to the scribes and Pharisees who were present, Jesus continued: “Therefore, truly I tell you, the children of mankind will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy, as many as they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; that person is guilty of eternal sin. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the one to come.” Jesus made this statement because the scribes and Pharisees were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” Jesus continued: “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of their good store of treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of their evil store of treasur


Jesus and His disciples returned home to Capernaum and entered a house. And once again a crowd gathered so that He and His disciples could not even stop to eat. When Jesus' family heard about this, they set out to take custody of Jesus, saying, “He is out of His mind.” A demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed the man so that he could speak and see. The crowds were amazed and asked, “Could this be the Son of David?” But the scribes and Pharisees who had come down from Jerusalem were saying,  "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and, “It is by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man drives out demons.” And others tested Jesus by demanding a sign from heaven. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus began to speak to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? Every kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Every household divided against itself cannot stand.  And if Satan is divided and rises against himself, he cannot stand; his

Women Minister

Soon after He forgave the woman at the house of Simon the Pharisee, Jesus continued traveling through Galilee, from one town and village to another. And as He traveled, He preached and proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God.  The twelve apostles traveled with Jesus, as well as some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities. The women included: Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had come out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s household manager Chuza, Susanna, and many others. These women ministered to Jesus and His apostles out of their own means. (See Luke 8:1-3) -

Perfume Anointing

One of the Pharisees, a man named Simon, invited Jesus to eat with him at his home. And Jesus entered Simon's house and reclined at the table. A sinful woman from that town learned that Jesus was dining at Simon's house. And so, she came to the house and brought with her an alabaster jar of perfume. The woman stood behind Jesus and began weeping. She wet Jesus' feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. After that, she kissed his feet and anointed them with the perfume. When Simon saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who this is and what kind of woman is touching Him—for she is a sinner!” But Jesus knew what Simon was thinking, and answered him: “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, Teacher,” Simon said. Jesus told Simon a story: “Two men were debtors to a certain moneylender. One man owed the moneylender five hundred denarii (Roman silver coins), and the other man owed the moneylender fifty denarii. But when they were u

About John

John’s disciples went to John, whom Herod had put in prison. And they told John about all the things that Jesus was doing. Hearing all of this, John called two of his disciples and sent them to ask Jesus, “Are You the One who was to come, or should we look for someone else?” And so, the men came to Jesus and said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are You the One who was to come, or should we look for someone else?’ ” At that very hour, Jesus healed many people of their diseases, afflictions, and evil spirits, and He gave sight to many who were blind. So, He replied, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the one who does not fall away on account of Me.” As John's disciples departed, Jesus began to speak with the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? Ot

Only Son

Soon after healing the centurion's servant, Jesus went to a town called Nain. His disciples went with Him, and they were accompanied by a large crowd. As He approached the town gate, He saw a dead man being carried out. The man was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the town was with the woman.  When Jesus saw the woman, He had compassion on her and said, “Do not weep.” Then He walked up to the coffin and touched it. And those carrying the coffin stood still. Jesus said, "Young man, I tell you, get up!" And the dead man sat up and began to speak! Then Jesus gave the son back to his mother.  A sense of awe swept over all of the people, and they glorified God. “A great prophet has appeared among us!” they said. “God has visited His people!” And the news of Jesus raising the son from the dead was spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding region. (See Luke 7:11-17) -

Such Great Faith

Jesus went to Capernaum. And the news of Jesus' arrival reached a centurion in the town. At that time, in the centurion's house, a highly valued servant was paralyzed and in terrible agony. And the centurion feared his servant was close to death. So, he sent some Jewish elders to ask Jesus to heal his servant. The elders came to Jesus and pleaded with Him earnestly on behalf of the centurion. “This man is worthy to have You grant his request, for he loves our nation and he has built our synagogue.” So, Jesus went with the elders. But when Jesus was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends with the message: “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. That is why I did not consider myself worthy to come to You. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell one to go, and he goes, and another to come, and he comes. I tell my servant to do something, and h


Jesus then concluded His teachings to the crowds on the mountain. “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I say? Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise person building a house, who dug down deep and laid their foundation on the rock. When the rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. “But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them is like a foolish person who built their house on ground without a foundation; on the sand. When the rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and immediately it fell—and great was its destruction!” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (See Matthew 7:24-29; Luke 6:46-49) -

By Their Fruit

“Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit, you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes? Are figs gathered from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, by their fruit, you will recognize them. “A good person brings good things out of the good treasure of their heart, and an evil person brings evil things out of the evil treasure of their heart. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ “Then I will tell the

Wide and Narrow

“Pass through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many pass through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.” “Lord,” someone asked Him, “will only a few people be saved?” Jesus answered, “Make every effort to pass through the narrow door and get into the house. Because many, I tell you, will try to enter the house and will not be able. After the master of the house gets up and shuts the door, you will stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ “But the master of the house will reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “And the master of the house will answer, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers.’ “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves a

Ask and Do

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you goes to your friend at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine has come to me on a journey, and I have nothing to set before them.’ “And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Do not bother me. My door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ “I tell you, even though they will not get up to provide for you because of your friendship, yet because of your persistence, they will get up and give you as much as you need. “So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; everyone who seeks finds; and to you who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your child asks for bread, will give them a stone? Or if they ask for a fish, you will give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, you will give them a scorpion? So if you who are evil know how to


Jesus then warned the crowd about sharing teachings with those who are not ready or not willing to receive them. "Don't give that which is holy to dogs; do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample under their feet your pearls, your holy things, and then turn and tear you to pieces. (See Matthew 7:6) -

Measure for Measure

“Do not judge, or you will be judged. For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Jesus also told them a parable about the responsibility of teachers: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you look at the speck in the eye of your brother or sister, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while you yourself fail to see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First, take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will se


In considering His teachings, Jesus advised the crowds not to worry. "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the ravens and the other birds of the air: They do not sow or reap, they have no storehouse or barn—and yet God, your heavenly Father, feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than the birds? "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? So, if you cannot do such a small thing, why do you worry about the rest?  "And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? "Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What

Two Masters

Following His teachings on lasting treasure and on the lamp of our body, Jesus then spoke on divided desires and divided motivations. “No one can be the slave of two masters: Eventually they will hate the one master and love the other, or they will hold tightly to one master and think little of the other." Jesus then gave a specific example. "You cannot serve both God and money.” (See Matthew 6:24) (Editor's Note: While it was possible for a slave to have more than one master (see Acts 16:16), Jesus was noting the psychological impossibility of the arrangement. While the slave might at first believe they can serve both masters equally, they will eventually come to prefer one master over the other.) -

Your Lamp

“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eyes are bad, your whole body is full of darkness, and how great is that darkness! Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness. So that, if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, then you will be radiant, as though a lamp were shining on you.” (See Matthew 6:22-23; Luke 11:34-36) (Editor's Note: There are numerous interpretations of the meaning of these Scripture passages. The editor humbly offers the following. First, consider these words and their meanings. eye (ὀφθαλμός / ophthalmos): the physical eye, and also the mind's eye. body (σῶμά / sōma): body, flesh; a body of people. clear (ἁπλοῦς / haplous): single, simple, sound, perfect. light (φῶς / phōs): light, a source of light, radiance. poor (πονηρὸς / ponēros): evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful. darkness (σκότος / skotos): either physical or moral. Given the abov


“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is happy to give you the kingdom. So, do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Instead, sell your possessions and give to the poor. For in doing so, you will provide yourselves with purses that will not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (See Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:32-34) -


“When you fast, do not look somber and gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces and neglect their appearance in order to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward in full. But when you fast, keep up your appearance by anointing your head and washing your face, so that your fasting will not be obvious to others, but only to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (See Matthew 6:16-18) -