Posts Tagged ‘Jesus teachings’

Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus Address Fasting

Fasting

Fasting Focus

Jesus begins His instruction on fasting the same as He did on prayer and giving. It is to be done in private and not for show. Apparently fasting was a common practice of the religious leaders at that time and their behavior and practice of it was anything BUT private. The same holds true for the religious leader’s behavior and practices of giving and prayer. Thus Jesus’ instructions.

I was thinking about the practice of fasting and wanted a little more information. I was curious about the origins of fasting, if God ever told anyone to fast, and the biblical reasons for fasting. I came across some interesting websites while searching out the answers to these questions. Here is what I found. I DO NOT agree with everything I found but thought I would pass it on and let you make up your own mind. Read more »

Matthew 6:1-4 Jesus Teaches Quiet Giving

giving

Giving in Secret

Jesus’ teaching today starts with righteous living for righteousness sake and not for personal praise. He tells us that if we are living rightly just so someone will notice how “good” we are, that we have already received our reward.

I started wondering just what a righteous life would look like. Dictionary.com defines righteous as: characterized by uprightness or morality; morally right or justifiable; acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous. Ok. So what does that mean? I broke it down a little further and looked at “right” as defined by Dictionary.com. They define right as: in accordance with what is good, proper, or just. Now that definition breaks it down enough that we can visualize actual behaviors.

A person living a righteous life would do what was good, proper or just in all circumstances. They would never cheat anyone. Never steal or lie. Not accuse someone unjustly. They would never physically hurt someone. They would do the right thing in every situation. On our own it is IMPOSSIBLE to live a righteous life all the time. Even the best behaved person, at some point in time, will miss these standards. And that is why we need Jesus and the forgiveness He offers us WHEN we do fail. Read more »

Matthew 5:38-42 Jesus Teaches on Retaliation

question marks

Full of questions today

Jesus addressed how we deal with someone who has wronged us. The illustrations Jesus is using are of innocent people being wronged by “the one who is evil” (verse 39). Not returning evil for evil is NOT the natural way of doing things. It goes against every self-preservation instinct we have. But it is exactly what Jesus calls us to do.

Am I supposed to lie down and be a doormat? Isn’t this victim mentality? What if they want to do more than just smack me in the face? Do I still stand there doing nothing? What if they want everything I own in court? Do I let them have it? Do I give to anyone who “begs” from me or wants to “borrow” what I have? Do I expect the borrower to return the item? What if I have nothing left afterwards? Is Jesus calling us to these kinds of behaviors ONLY with other believers?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, so I decided to do some looking around and asking those who claim they do. Here is a little of what I came up with today. I am going to make sure and provide you with links to the source I found so you can weigh the evidence they present yourselves. Read more »

Matthew 5:33-37 Jesus on the Subject of Oaths

Oath

Taking the Oath

“Spiders, snakes, nor lizard heads; if I tattle tale I’ll die till I’m dead.” This was the oath Toby (the little turtle) had to swear to Skippy and his sisters (the rabbit children) in Disney’s Robbin Hood movie. Even children recognize the importance of a promise or an oath.

I was all set to argue the difference between a promise and an oath with regard to Jesus’ teaching today. I had already written a page and a half of this very concept, but was struggling within myself as to how that fit with what Jesus was saying. Then I received a different picture of what Jesus was saying. I don’t believe Jesus was distinguishing between swearing to something through an oath and making a promise. I believe He was instead, addressing the character and authority of the ones making the oaths or promises.

Jesus started His teaching by stating what had been the norm up until then. In Jewish society, it was common practice to make oaths. Making oaths involved making a promise, then swearing by something of higher value or authority than oneself as proof that the promise would be fulfilled. Read more »