An Explanation of Lessons from Lent
In the next 40 days (38 now because you have already accomplished two), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.
I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.
I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.
I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.
That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.
So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?
At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.
I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!
February 20, 2015 ~~ Matthew 13-18
Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.
That same day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting beside the sea. 2 But such great crowds gathered about Him that He got into a boat and remained sitting there, while all the throng stood on the shore.
3 And He told them many things in parables (stories by way of illustration and comparison), saying, A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil; and at once they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they dried up and withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them out. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil, and yielded grain—some a hundred times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some thirty.
9 He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him [a]consider and [b]perceive and comprehend by hearing.
10 Then the disciples came to Him and said, Why do You speak to them in parables? 11 And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will [c]be furnished richly so that he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because [d]having the power of seeing, they do not see; and [e]having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand.
14 In them indeed is [f]the process of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive.
15 For this nation’s heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them.
16 But blessed (happy, fortunate, and [g]to be envied) are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men [men who were upright and in right standing with God] yearned to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
18 Listen then to the [meaning of the] parable of the sower:
19 [h]While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside. 20 As for what was sown on thin (rocky) soil, this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts it with joy; 21 Yet it has no real root in him, but is temporary (inconstant, [i]lasts but a little while); and when affliction or trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble [he is repelled and [j]begins to distrust and desert Him Whom he ought to trust and obey] and he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it; he indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty.
24 Another parable He set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while he was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed also darnel (weeds resembling wheat) among the wheat, and went on his way. 26 So when the plants sprouted and formed grain, the darnel (weeds) appeared also. 27 And the servants of the owner came to him and said, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then how does it have darnel shoots in it? 28 He replied to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and weed them out? 29 But he said, No, lest in gathering the wild wheat (weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat along with it. 30 Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers, Gather the darnel first and bind it in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my granary.
31 Another story by way of comparison He set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. 32 Of all the seeds it is the smallest, but when it has grown it is the largest of the garden herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and find shelter in its branches.
33 He told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like leaven ([k]sour dough) which a woman took and covered over in three measures of meal or flour till all of it was leavened.
34 These things [l]all taken together Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, without a parable He said nothing to them. 35 This was in fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet: I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world.
36 Then He left the throngs and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him saying, Explain to us the parable of the darnel in the field.
37 He answered, He Who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed means the children of the kingdom; the darnel is the children of the evil one, 39 And the enemy who sowed it is the devil. The harvest is the close and consummation of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the darnel (weeds resembling wheat) is gathered and burned with fire, so it will be at the close of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of offense [[m]persons by whom others are drawn into error or sin] and all who do iniquity and act wickedly, 42 And will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth. 43 Then will the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let him who has ears [to hear] be listening, and let him [n]consider and perceive and understand by hearing.
44 The kingdom of heaven is like [o]something precious buried in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.
45 Again the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a dealer in search of fine and [p]precious pearls, 46 Who, on finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a [q]dragnet which was cast into the sea and gathered in fish of every sort. 48 When it was full, men dragged it up on the beach, and sat down and sorted out the good fish into baskets, but the worthless ones they threw away. 49 So it will be at the close and consummation of the age. The angels will go forth and separate the wicked from the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) 50 And cast them [the wicked] into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.
51 Have you understood [r]all these things [parables] taken together? They said to Him, Yes, Lord.
52 He said to them, Therefore every [s]teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has [t]become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar].
53 When Jesus had finished these parables (these comparisons), He left there.
54 And coming to His own country [Nazareth], He taught in their synagogue so that they were amazed with bewildered wonder, and said, Where did this [u]Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s Son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And do not all His sisters live here among us? Where then did this Man get all this? 57 And they took offense at Him [they were repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority, and caused to stumble]. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.
58 And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief (their lack of faith [v]in the divine mission of Jesus).
At that time Herod the governor heard the reports about Jesus, 2 And he said to his attendants, This is John the Baptist; He has been raised from the dead, and that is why the powers [a]of performing miracles are at work in Him. 3 For Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison [to [b]stow him out of the way] on account and for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 For John had said to him, It is not lawful or right for you to have her. 5 Although he wished to have him put to death, he was afraid of the people, for they regarded John as a prophet. 6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced in the midst [before the company] and pleased and fascinated Herod, 7 And so he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 And she, being put forward and prompted by her mother, said, Give me the head of John the Baptist right here on a [c]platter. 9 And the king was distressed and sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests, he ordered it to be given her; 10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 And his head was brought in on a [d]platter and given [e]to the little maid, and she brought it to her mother. 12 And John’s disciples came and took up the body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. 13 When Jesus heard it, He withdrew from there privately in a boat to a solitary place. But when the crowds heard of it, they followed Him [by land] on foot from the towns. 14 When He went ashore and saw a great throng of people, He had compassion (pity and deep sympathy) for them and cured their sick.
15 When evening came, the disciples came to Him and said, This is a remote and barren place, and the day is now over; send the throngs away into the villages to buy food for themselves. 16 Jesus said, They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat. 17 They said to Him, We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish. 18 He said, Bring them here to Me. 19 Then He ordered the crowds to recline on the grass; and He took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and blessed and broke the loaves and handed the pieces to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve [[f]small hand] baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about 5,000 men, not including women and children.
22 Then He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent away the crowds. 23 And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone. 24 But the boat was by this time out on the sea, many furlongs [a furlong is one-eighth of a mile] distant from the land, beaten and tossed by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch [between 3:00—6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright. 27 But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid! 28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. 29 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. 30 But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]! 31 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt? 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat knelt and worshiped Him, saying, Truly You are the Son of God!
34 And when they had crossed over to the other side, they went ashore at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent around into all the surrounding country and brought to Him all who were sick 36 And begged Him to let them merely touch the fringe of His garment; and as many as touched it were perfectly restored.
Then from Jerusalem came scribes and Pharisees and said, 2 Why do Your disciples transgress
and violate the rules handed down by the elders of the past? For they do not practice [ceremonially] washing their hands before they eat. 3 He replied to them, And why also do you transgress and violate the commandment of God for the sake of the rules handed down to you by your forefathers (the elders)? 4 For God commanded, Honor your father and your mother, and, He who curses or reviles or speaks evil of or abuses or treats improperly his father or mother, let him surely come to his end by death. 5 But you say, If anyone tells his father or mother, What you would have gained from me [that is, the money and whatever I have that might be used for helping you] is already dedicated as a gift to God, then he is exempt and no longer under obligation to honor and help his father or his mother. 6 So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect].
7 You pretenders (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: 8 These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. 9 Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men.
10 And Jesus called the people to Him and said to them, Listen and grasp and comprehend this: 11 It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that makes him unclean and defiled, but what comes out of the mouth; this makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. 12 Then the disciples came and said to Him, Do You know that the Pharisees were displeased and offended and indignant when they heard this saying?
13 He answered, Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be torn up by the roots. 14 Let them alone and disregard them; they are blind guides and teachers. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a ditch.
15 But Peter said to Him, Explain this [a]proverb (this [b]maxim) to us. 16 And He said, Are you also even yet dull and ignorant [without understanding and [c]unable to put things together]? 17 Do you not see and understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the [d]abdomen and so passes on into the place where discharges are deposited? 18 But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. 20 These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him].
21 And going away from there, Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And behold, a woman who was a Canaanite from that district came out and, with a [loud, troublesomely urgent] cry, begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is miserably and distressingly and cruelly possessed by a demon! 23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, Send her away, for she is crying out after us. 24 He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 But she came and, kneeling, worshiped Him and kept praying, Lord, help me! 26 And He answered, It is not right (proper, becoming, or fair) to take the children’s bread and throw it to the [e]little dogs. 27 She said, Yes, Lord, yet even the little pups ([f]little whelps) eat the crumbs that fall from their [young] masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish. And her daughter was cured from that [g]moment.
29 And Jesus went on from there and passed along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Then He went up into the hills and kept sitting there. 30 And a great multitude came to Him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the dumb, and many others, and they put them down at His feet; and He cured them, 31 So that the crowd was amazed when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they [h]recognized and praised and thanked and glorified the God of Israel.
32 Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, I have pity and sympathy and am deeply moved for the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days and they have nothing [at all left] to eat; and I am not willing to send them away hungry, lest they faint or become exhausted on the way. 33 And the disciples said to Him, Where are we to get bread sufficient to feed so great a crowd in this isolated and desert place? 34 And Jesus asked them, How many loaves of bread do you have? They replied, Seven, and a few small fish. 35 And ordering the crowd to recline on the ground, 36 He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they gathered up seven [[i]large provision] baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over. 38 Those who ate were 4,000 men, not including the women and the children.
39 Then He dismissed the crowds, got into the boat, and went to the district of Magadan.
Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came up to Jesus, and they asked Him to show them a sign (spectacular miracle) from heaven [attesting His divine authority]. 2 He replied to them, [a]When it is evening you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red, 3 And in the morning, It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and has a gloomy and threatening look. You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and morally unfaithful generation craves a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. Then He left them and went away.
5 When the disciples reached the other side of the sea, they found that they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 Jesus said to them, Be careful and on your guard against the leaven (ferment) of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 7 And they reasoned among themselves about it, saying, It is because we did not bring any bread. 8 But Jesus, aware of this, asked, Why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? O you [men, how little trust you have in Me, how] little faith! 9 Do you not yet discern (perceive and understand)? Do you not remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many [[b]small hand] baskets you gathered? 10 Nor the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many [[c]large provision] baskets you took up? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But beware of the leaven (ferment) of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 12 Then they discerned that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
13 Now when Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? 14 And they answered, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? 16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and [d]to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are [e]Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a [f]huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the [g]infernal region) shall [h]not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth [i]must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth [j]must be what is already loosed in heaven. 20 Then He sternly and strictly charged and warned the disciples to tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
21 From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised [k]from death. 22 Then Peter took Him aside [l]to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and [m]charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You! 23 But Jesus turned [n]away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are [o]minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [[p]cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. 25 For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting]. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed [q]life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] [r]life [in the kingdom of God]? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory (majesty, splendor) of His Father with His angels, and then He will render account and reward every man in accordance with what he has done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in (into) His kingdom.
And six days after this, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And His appearance underwent a change in their presence; and His face shone [a]clear and bright like the sun, and His clothing became as white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, who kept talking with Him. 4 Then Peter began to speak and said to Jesus, Lord, it is good and delightful that we are here; if You approve, I will put up three booths here—one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah. 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud [[b]composed of light] overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am [and [c]have always been] delighted. Listen to Him! 6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were [d]seized with alarm and struck with fear. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, Get up, and do not be afraid. 8 And when they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9 And as they were going down the mountain, Jesus cautioned and commanded them, Do not mention to anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead. 10 The disciples asked Him, Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? 11 He replied, Elijah does come and will get everything restored and ready. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know or recognize him, but did to him as they liked. So also the Son of Man is going to be treated and suffer at their hands. 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them about John the Baptist.
14 And when they approached the multitude, a man came up to Him, kneeling before Him and saying, 15 Lord, do pity and have mercy on my son, for he has epilepsy (is [e]moonstruck) and he suffers terribly; for frequently he falls into the fire and many times into the water. 16 And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to cure him. 17 And Jesus answered, O you unbelieving ([f]warped, wayward, rebellious) and [g]thoroughly perverse generation! How long am I to remain with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to Me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked privately, Why could we not drive it out? 20 He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of [h]firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [[i]that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
21 [j]But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
22 When they were going about here and there in Galilee, Jesus said to them, The Son of Man is going to be turned over into the hands of men. 23 And they will kill Him, and He will be raised [to life] again on the third day. And they were deeply and exceedingly grieved and distressed.
24 When they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the half shekel [the temple tax] went up to Peter and said, Does not your Teacher pay the half shekel? 25 He answered, Yes. And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him [about it] first, saying, What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly rulers collect duties or tribute—from their own sons or from others [k]not of their own family? 26 And when Peter said, From other people [l]not of their own family, Jesus said to him, Then the sons are exempt. 27 However, in order not to give offense and cause them to stumble [that is, to cause them [m]to judge unfavorably and unjustly] go down to the sea and throw in a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find there a shekel. Take it and give it to them to pay the temple tax for Me and for yourself.
At that time the disciples came up and asked Jesus, Who then is [really] the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And He called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. 4 Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives and accepts and welcomes one little child like this for My sake and in My name receives and accepts and welcomes Me.
6 But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in and [a]acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin [that is, who entices him or hinders him in right conduct or thought], it would be better ([b]more expedient and profitable or advantageous) for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be sunk in the depth of the sea.
7 Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influences to do wrong! It is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the person on whose account or by whom the temptation comes!
8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; it is better (more profitable and wholesome) for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into everlasting fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away from you; it is better (more profitable and wholesome) for you to enter life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the hell (Gehenna) of fire.
10 Beware that you do not despise or feel scornful toward or think little of one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels always are in the presence of and look upon the face of My Father Who is in heaven.
11 [c]For the Son of man came to save [[d]from the penalty of eternal death] that which was lost.
12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray and gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost? 13 And if it should be that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. 14 Just so it is not the will of My Father Who is in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost and perish.
15 If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a pagan and a tax collector.
18 Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be [e]what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be [f]what is already permitted in heaven.
19 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and [g]everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I Am in the midst of them.
21 Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and [h]let it go? [As many as] up to seven times? 22 Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven! 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a human king who wished to settle accounts with his attendants. 24 When he began the accounting, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents [probably about $10,000,000], 25 And because he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made. 26 So the attendant fell on his knees, begging him, Have patience with me and I will pay you everything. 27 And his master’s heart was moved with compassion, and he released him and forgave him [cancelling] the debt. 28 But that same attendant, as he went out, found one of his fellow attendants who owed him a hundred denarii [about twenty dollars]; and he caught him by the throat and said, Pay what you owe! 29 So his fellow attendant fell down and begged him earnestly, Give me time, and I will pay you all! 30 But he was unwilling, and he went out and had him put in prison till he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow attendants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and told everything that had taken place to their master. 32 Then his master called him and said to him, You contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you? 34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed.
35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.
And the Women of God joined their hearts as one and raised their praise with a mighty “Amen”
What a Word we have read today! The order of things is so striking to me. Please don’t miss that sandwiched right in between the accounts of the feeding of the five thousand with baskets of bread leftover and the feeding of the four thousand with baskets of bread leftover is the woman who professes that the crumbs will be enough for her. She gives voice and expression and life to the belief of the beggars who simply wanted to touch the hem of His garment.
- Imagine how her declaration of faith fell upon the ears of the Bread of Life – “Lord, Savior, Messiah whatever I have of you will be enough!”
And Jesus doesn’t stop with simply telling Peter to forgive an innumerable amount of times. . . He explains to him why with the parable of the human king and the unmerciful servant. Peter, nor you and I, can misunderstand that Jesus was speaking directly to us. I must forgive the little I have been sinned against because I have been forgiven of the much I have sinned.
O How I am praising Him for a fresh word today from sweet, familiar, read-a-thousand-times passages. It’s exactly what I’ve asked Him for and I thank Him for His kindness toward me.
58 And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief (their lack of faith [v]in the divine mission of Jesus). Matthew 13:58
30 But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]! 31 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt? Matthew 14:30
He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of [h]firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [[i]that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. Matthew 17:20
Lord, thank you for the blessing of an expectant heart and showing yourself again to be the God of More. Protect me from unbelief that will keep you from doing a powerful work in my heart. Keep me from being so frightened by the storms of this life that I doubt Your care and your goodness toward me. Shield me from a small faith that refuses to ask big things of you and help me to always believe you to be more than I understand. Jesus, you are always enough! In Your Mighty Name I pray.
No life-storm can take you where the hand of Jesus cannot reach you. #lessonsfromlent