But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
In Matthew, Chapter 15, the Pharisees and Scribes had come to Jesus to ask him why his disciples break the traditions of the elders by not washing their hands before they eat. Christs asks the Pharisees and Scribes why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your traditions. Jesus sites the prophesy of Isaiah 29:13:
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
This is one of the many parables told by Christ. Most commentaries that I read about these verses interpret the story to mean, one person sharing the words of The Gospel will grow and spread around the world and be given to all of mankind. It is referring to the growth of the Christian faith, from one to 2.2 billion.
I agree with all of that, but once again my take on this was not about the masses but about the one, the individual. Christ is talking about the power, the gift, which has been given to each individual by God. Continue reading
“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
At the beginning of Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus tells the crowd, The Parable of the Sower. If you like, go to your Bible, either book or online, and read the parable. I’ll continue assuming that you are familiar with it. And if you are familiar with the parable, then I am going to assume you are also familiar with the explanation that Jesus gave to his disciples as referenced in the beginning of this post. Continue reading
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
The Disciples of Christ asked why he was teaching the masses in parables, which for many, were difficult to understand. They wondered why Christ did not tell all the followers and all the leaders of his coming, his purpose, and the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. Continue reading
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
After I read these verses I wrote the verse numbers on a slip of paper that I keep on the nightstand by my bed. I keep paper and pen there for just such an occasion. The note that I wrote about these verses was just two words; habits and diligence. Continue reading
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Just a quick post about this short, simple and eloquent verse.
In the verses preceding this verse, Christ is instructing his disciples before they are sent out to preach the word of God. Christ sends his messengers out into the world with nothing, no worldly things. He tells them that while they are traveling and delivering the gospel to receive nothing more than what they need to sustain life. Christ instructs them to forsake worldly items and desires. Continue reading
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This verse follows the verses that I wrote about in a previous post, These Things Are For Children. In that post I wrote about the Kingdom of God being in our hearts, and how the world comes along and fills our hearts with worldly things. We then allow these things to push out the Kingdom of God. Once this is done we burden ourselves with worldly desires and these burdens wear us down. Sometimes the burdens don’t allow us to realize the Kingdom of God was in our hearts and it is really still there if we just make the room for it. Tragically, sometimes they wear us down to the point of denying the existence of God. Continue reading