Matthew 19:13-15 Welcome Little One

Jesus, please speak blessings over my children

Jesus, please speak blessings over my children

Jesus has been in the region of Judea just across the Jordan. While there He has been healing, teaching, and encountered the Pharisees. Today He is asked to bless the children.

Everyone has been coming to Jesus for healing since the beginning of His ministry, but this is the first time we see someone coming simply to receive a blessing from Him. Jewish tradition has a special blessing for children, which is to be given every Friday night. It is called the Shabbos bracha. I wonder if this was what the parents were asking for from Jesus. You can check out the traditional blessing for boys and girls at Aish.com. 

Jesus has been dealing with the crowd and the Pharisees for a long time today. He is probably tired and in need of rest. But one last group wants an audience with Him. This is a group of parents and children. I’m imagining there were quite a few of them in this group. Read more »

Matthew 19:1-12 Jesus Addresses Marriage and Divorce

Two become one

Two become one

Jesus has finally finished His private teaching with His disciples in Capernaum. It’s time to head out again and be about the Father’s work with the rest of the people. Jesus and His disciples left Galilee and went to the region of Judea, beyond the Jordan. As expected, large crowds followed Him on this journey. He healed everyone who came to Him along the way.

When we get to where Jesus is going, some of our favorite pains in the neck show up. Surprise! The Pharisees have arrived. This time they bring up the topic of divorce. And of course they are here to test Jesus. If any of these Pharisees had been on the mountaintop when Jesus taught, beginning with the Beatitudes, they would already know the answer. Maybe they thought His answer would have evolved over time. Let’s jump into our scene with Jesus and see how He handles this group.

Jesus is standing in the middle of a crowd of people on the bank of the Jordan. He just finished healing a woman with a withered arm when a group of five Pharisees start pushing their way into the center of the crowd. Jesus notices them coming, but takes a few more minutes to talk to the woman and tell her how valuable she is to God. Read more »

Matthew 18:21-35 Forgiveness and Mercy

Have mercy on me!

Have mercy on me!

Jesus is still teaching His disciple in the house in Capernaum. Peter was listening closely to what Jesus was saying about the brother who offends you. “I know You tell me to forgive my brother, but how many times do I have to do it”, he asks Jesus. Thinking he is being generous, Peter throws out seven times as the number of times one should forgive his brother.

Seven is a number used quite frequently in the Jewish religion. It is considered the number of completion. Seven days in creation. Seven times Joshua marched around Jerrica. Seven of each clean animals on the ark. Got Questions.org does a very good job of exploring the use of the number seven in the bible. Read more »

Matthew 18:18-20 Binding & Loosing Factors

If I could only figure it out

If I could only figure it out

We are still in the house in Capernaum with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus has been giving private instructions to His disciples, as best as I can tell. Yesterday He talked about a brother offending you and how to handle it. I’m not really sure why my bible put that section and this section together. I don’t know if Jesus paused between these two topics or if He saw them as related. I also don’t know if Matthew used paragraphs and divisions when he wrote this narrative. To me, there seems to be a topic shift, so I split the lesson in two. Sorry if I offend anyone with this; it’s just how I see it.

In Matthew 16:19, Peter was specifically given the keys to the kingdom regarding binding and loosing things. Now Jesus extends that to the rest of the disciples. Just as Peter didn’t fully understand the gift when given to him, the other disciples didn’t understand the extent of authority being given here either. I am far from truly understanding it myself. Read more »

Matthew 18:15-17 How to Deal with Brother Trouble

The greater the number of steps the deeper the separation

The greater the number of steps the deeper the separation

We are continuing on with Jesus teaching His disciples in a home in Capernaum. Today Jesus addresses what to do if your brother sins against you. I’m assuming this is referring to a believing brother relationship.

Here we go again God. Once again, You brings me to a section that deals directly with me and what I am going through. That child trouble I mentioned yesterday is directly connected to a brother problem. Only this brother does not behave like a believer. He is a brother-in-law and I will leave the determination of if he is a brother in the Lord to the Lord Himself. We have gone WAY past the one or two witness point, and suffice it to say, the church option is out of the question. Now that you know why this section hits me so close to home, let’s see what Jesus was teaching that day and move on from my drama. Sorry if this is or sounds like gossip. It is not meant to be. It’s just me being real. Read more »