Archive for the ‘First Person Story’ Category

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 »

Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus’ Parable of the Two Seeds

picture of what on left and tares on right

Could You Tell the Difference in these Immature Plants?

Jesus was addressing the people with parables again. Matthew doesn’t make it clear here where Jesus is and whom He is currently addressing. I think this could have been one of the parables He shared on the seashore when He spoke about the sower and the seed. Reading further into this chapter we see Jesus explain this parable to His disciples, so we know that this telling is before a crowd at this point.

We have another farmer’s story today. This farmer only had to deal with one kind of soil. It was prepared beforehand to receive the “good seed” he intended to plant there. He ran into problems, however, concerning the crop that sprang up on his land. Apparently his “good seed” wasn’t the only seed that got spread on his field that season. Read more »

Matthew 13:1-9 Jesus’ Parable of the Sower and the Seed: The Crowd

(In advance, I’m going to warn you that today’s story is a bit long. After all, we have a whole day on the beach to look at with Jesus.)

Playing and listening

Playing and listening

Yesterday we looked at Jesus’ story of the sower and the seed from the perspective of the farmer. We went through the planting and growing season with him to get a closer look at the man and his crop. Today we are going to look at the crowd Jesus was teaching this parable to. Who was in the crowd? What were they doing as Jesus taught them? Why were they each there? What happened after they heard the story?

We find Jesus on the seashore. He has just left a home where He was teaching a group there. One of the last topics He had addressed there was who His true family was. He said it was those who did His Father’s will. We don’t know how long Jesus was relatively alone on the seashore but we are told that a large crowd came to Him there. It was so big that He got in a boat and set out on the water a little ways in order to be able to address them all. I’m assuming that the area He was in was a harbor with natural rock formations on either side. This would make a great amphitheater and His voice would be able to be heard clearly by all those in attendance.   Read more »