Archive for the ‘First Person Story’ Category

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 »

Matthew 17:14-21 Jesus Heals the Boy with a Demon

I want THAT KIND of faith!

I want THAT KIND of faith!

Jesus, Peter, John and James are coming down from the mountaintop. Jesus has just finished telling this small group to keep quiet, for a time, about what happened on the mountaintop. They approach the place where the rest of the disciples and a crowd have gathered. The disciples had been ministering to the people in Jesus’ absence. Jesus had given them the authority to do so a while back. As they approach though, something is obviously wrong.

Matthew, Mark and Luke all record this event in Jesus’ ministry. You can find Mark’s account in Mark 9:14-29. Luke’s record can be found in Luke 9:37-43. There are many things that are recorded by all three of these gospels, but not a lot of the miracles make the cut across them all. All three accounts tell of the demon’s final hurrah on the way to Jesus and also mention Jesus’ remarks about the multitude being faithless. John’s is the only gospel that doesn’t record this event.   Read more »

Matthew 17:1-13 Jesus’ Transfiguration

jesus standing with Moses and Elijah as Peter, James and John look on

His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light

This is the first time that Matthew has told us how many days have passed between one story and the next. I wonder why he is being so precise today. Because Matthew has not mentioned that Jesus has traveled, I’m going to assume that we are still in Caesarea Philippi. I wonder what was going on during those six days. I assume Jesus was still engaged in healing people and spreading His teaching. As before they were probably repeat kind of ministries and didn’t rise to the level of significance required to be included. Not that the events themselves weren’t significant, but for the sake of space, they were left out of the synopsis of Jesus life.

Jesus takes Peter, James, and his brother John with Him to a mountaintop. On that mountaintop the true Jesus shown through His earthly vessel. So many people depict Jesus in pictures as having a halo all the time. They paint Him with almost glowing garments and an unearthly light emanating from His hair. This is NOT how Jesus looked on any other day, except today. Today puts those pictures to shame. “His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light” (verse 2). Jesus was literally glowing! Read more »

Matthew 13:53-58 Jesus Rejected by His Hometown

Family dinner with Jesus

Family dinner with Jesus

Jesus goes home for a visit. Jesus just finished teaching and explaining many parables. He taught only in parables to the crowd but provided explanations to many of His parables privately with His disciples. During one of His times of teaching His earthly family came to take Him away. They thought He had gone off the deep end and were trying to save Him from Himself. Jesus refused them an audience and distanced Himself from them. Is He returning to Nazareth to make amends? Let’s see how it goes.

Jesus has been teaching, drawing HUGE crowds, and performing miracles for some time. The other day His family came by and asked to talk with Him. Normally, hearing from one’s family is a happy event. But He knew the real reason they had come. They thought He was making a fool of Himself with all His references to being the Messiah and running around healing people. Sure, He was able to handle what was thrown at Him, so far, but sooner or later He was going to get Himself into real trouble, and then what? He had to realize how dangerous His actions were, especially for someone like Him. He was just a carpenter’s son. He didn’t even have any training for what He was doing. His family believed that it was time to put a stop to all His foolishness. Read more »

Matthew 13:44-46 Parables of the Value of God’s Kingdom

What is it worth to you?

What is it worth to you?

Jesus is sitting with His disciples in a home. He just finished explaining a parable He had used with the crowd a little while ago. His disciples asked for an explanation and He willingly gave it to them. But He didn’t stop there. He told them a few more parables to better emphasize His point. We are going to look at two of them today. Both have to do with how precious God’s word is. I want to paint a picture of each of them, and then address a couple of questions they both raise in me.

Our first story starts with a man digging in a field. Jesus doesn’t specify what the treasure was or why the man was digging there in the first place. I’m going to take a real life story I know and adapt it a little to fit our scenario. Read more »