Archive for the ‘First Person Story’ Category

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 »

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 »