Downfall of the Welfare State

Downfall of the Welfare State

Matthew 25:29-30

For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

These verses follow “The Parable of the Talents” which I have written about before.  (Using Your Talent)  The parable is about wasting a life, the gift of life, through covetousness, worry or fear.  In verse 29 Christ sums up this law of nature, or the law of the balance of the universe.

But reading these verses also brought to mind another thought which I wrote down as not to forget.  My note was: “downfall of the welfare state”. Continue reading

Take What Belongs To You and Go

Take What Belongs To You and Go

Matthew 20:14-16

Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”

In Matthew, Chapter 20, Jesus tells his followers the parable, “Laborers in the Vineyards”.  If you haven’t read it or are not familiar with it go and read it now.  I’ll wait.

Ok, here’s a recap if you decided not to read it. Continue reading

One Astray

One Astray

Matthew 18:12-14

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Chapter 18 begins with the Disciples asking Jesus a rather odd question, or at least it seems odd to me.  They ask, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”  I’m not sure what they are asking.  Are they wondering if Moses, Elijah, or Isaiah holds the most power?  I don’t know, but it demonstrates that the Disciples, like all of us, couldn’t truly forsake worldly thoughts and ideas.  It shows a thinking of class warfare.  The poor versus, the middle, versus the upper class, versus the royalty.  And it reveals a concern about what other individuals think. Continue reading

What Goes Into Your Mouth

What Goes Into Your Mouth

Matthew 15:18-19

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:

Continue reading

The Power Of The One

The Power Of The One

Matthew 13:31-32

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

The Seed, The Individual

The Seed, The Individual

Matthew 13:18-23

“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

We Withhold From Ourselves

We Withhold From Ourselves

Matthew 13:10-15

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