Render Unto Caesar

Render Unto Caesar

Mark 12:17

Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

This verse is spoken by Jesus, after the Pharisees and the Scribes attempted to lure him into saying something against the Roman rulers.  They wanted to get a comment from Jesus to use against him and have him arrested.

Politics hasn’t changed one bit in the last 2000 years.

But Christ’s answer did not give them the ammo they thought they were going to get. 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

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

Lift The Yoke

Lift The Yoke

Matthew 11:28-30

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

These Things Are For Children

These Things Are For Children

Matthew 11:25

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

Jesus was preaching to the crowd that gathered to hear the discussion he was having with the disciples of John the Baptist.  Christ was condemning the cities that had failed to repent even after having witnessed the works of Christ.

I would assume the cities that Christ was referring to in the earlier verses, considered themselves to be an epicenter of intellect and enlightenment.  But Christ is telling them they will pay the price for their arrogance, stiff necks and harden hearts.  This is just as the great prophets of the Old Testament had preached to metropolises of their time.

After denouncing these worldly centers, Christ then speaks the words in verse 25. Continue reading

Treasures In Heaven

Treasures In Heaven

Matthew 6:19-21

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

My post, Living In Your Paneled House, dealt with the words of the prophet Haggai. He was addressing the people of Israel after their return from captivity in Babylon.  The Old Testament Book of Haggai starts by him admonishing the Jews for taking care of their personal homes while neglecting the rebuilding of the Lord’s temple.  Haggai was letting all people who hear his words know that they must take care of their spiritual house, which is our spiritual self, which is the house of the Lord. Continue reading

Abandon The Spirit To Please The Flesh

Abandon The Spirit To Please The Flesh

Micah 6:13-15

Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
    making you desolate because of your sins.
You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
    and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
    and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
You shall sow, but not reap;
    you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
    you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.

Micah is explaining to Israel the consequences of their actions.  They have abandoned God and forsaken righteousness for the pleasures and treasures of the world.  Israel did in ancient times as we do today.  We abandon the spirit to please the flesh.  For the want of simple worldly things, we bypass righteousness and the work involved, and we do what we rationalize as necessary to make our existence comfortable and easy. Continue reading