Archive for the ‘First Person Story’ Category

Matthew 26:47-56 The Kiss of Death

Betrayed with a kiss

Betrayed with a kiss

Jesus has just woken Peter, James and John for the last time following His prayer time with God. They are in Jesus’ favorite garden spot. One well known to all of His disciples. The one place Judas knew He would visit after the meal. As Jesus is still speaking to His three closest disciples, Judas and his group arrive. This is where we join our story today.

Peter is startled awake at Jesus’ voice. Peter didn’t intend to fall asleep, again. He just couldn’t keep his eyes open. He looks over at James and John to see them emerging from sleep too. At least he wasn’t alone in his disgraceful behavior. Jesus had asked them twice to watch and pray while He spent time in prayer alone. Peter was ashamed to be found sleeping by Jesus, again. Read more »

Matthew 26:30-35 Jesus Tells Peter His Future

Another walk with Jesus

Another walk with Jesus

Dinner is concluding for Jesus and His disciples. They sing a closing hymn, maybe the traditional closing hymn of Passover, and then head out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus seems to have an affinity for this setting. He often went there for private time with His disciples. The Garden of Gethsemane is also located on the lower slopes of this mountain. This time He and the disciples go there for another heart to heart talk. Read more »

Matthew 24:1-2 The Temple’s Fate Foretold

Not one stone left on another

Not one stone left on another

Jesus and His disciples have just left the temple after dealing with the religious groups. They are heading out of town and headed for the Mount of Olives for some alone time for Jesus and His disciples.

Jesus was in the lead of this procession and the disciples were hanging back doing a little crowd control. When the disciples got free they caught up to Jesus, who was a bit ahead of them on the road. This has been an amazing week for His disciples. They know He is not popular with the religious leaders, especially after He shut so many of them down today, but the crowds all love Him! Their plans for His march to power are still on track. Surely He is going to make His move soon. The disciples are almost giddy with anticipation! Read more »

Matthew 23:37-39 Jesus Longs to Love Jerusalem

Jesus longs to love

Jesus longs to love

We are still with Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem where He has been through testing by every religious group imaginable and bested them all. He has just shared the seven woes of the Pharisees and is now expressing His deep longing to show love to His chosen people.

Jesus looks out longingly from the temple steps and surveys the crowd. His heart aches for all the people He sees. The widow, the merchant, the boy running in the street, and even the Pharisee standing near the column watching Him. He longs for them to understand and accept the truth. He longs to share the Father’s love with each one of them personally and as a group collectively. He thinks over all the times God has reached down personally and changed the course of events to protect Israel. He remembers all the times the people stubbornly refused to follow God’s commands. How they were sent direct instructions from God through the prophets and how they beat or stoned or outright killed each one sent. Read more »

Matthew 21:33-46 The Wicked Tenants

The Master carefully prepared the vineyard

The Master carefully prepared the vineyard

We are continuing on with Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem. He is still addressing the chief priests who came to challenge His authority. Are you ready for round three? I think we all know who is going to win this one too.

Jesus uses another parable today in His battle. This one is about a landowner and his tenants. Jesus’ story starts out with the master of the house making preparations. The master didn’t simply lease out a piece of land and wait and see what the tenant would do with it, but he cultivated and tended a vineyard until it was productive. He dug ditches around the vineyard to create an irrigation system and a barrier to predators. He built a watchtower to protect it from any enemies. This was a carefully tended and established piece of property. A lot of planning and care went into making this vineyard profitable. Read more »