All posts by Gordon Nesbitt

Matthew 9

Matthew 9

Matthew 9:2-3 NIV

[2] Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” [3] At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

In this passage, Jesus is forgiving the mans sins which is something only god can do. The religious leaders claim that Jesus is blaspheming which means that he is claiming to be god. 

Matthew 9:5-6 NIV

[5] Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? [6] But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”

Jesus calls himself “the Son of Man” which is a reference to Daniel and refers to the messiah. Jesus is also saying that he has the authority to forgive sins which is something only god can do so he is claiming to be god. I have heard people say that Jesus never claimed to be god but in these passages he is clearly doing so. 

Matthew 9:15 NIV

[15] Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

Jesus often prophecies about his death but no one seemed to catch on as to what was going to happen. 

Matthew 9:16-17 NIV

[16] “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. [17] Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

These passages confused me for a long time but I learned that they are referring to Jesus new teaching and how people that cling to the old teaching will not understand. It is human nature not to like change and radical change is even more frightening.  What changes am I afraid to make for Jesus?

 

Matthew 8

Matthew 8

Jesus performs many miracles. Heals a man with leprosy. Heals a centurions servant. Heals Peters mother in law. Calms the storm. Sends the emphasis into a herd of pigs. 

Matthew 8:2-3 NIV

[2] A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” [3] Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.

Are we willing to trust Jesus that he will heal us as he healed the leper?  Is there anything afflicting is that Jesus cannot heal?

Matthew 8:10-12 NIV

[10] When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. [11] I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. [12] But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Believers come from around the world but many who say they are Christians wi be left out of the kingdom. 

Matthew 8:21-22 NIV

[21] Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” [22] But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

This man was asking for time, possibly until his father actually died before he would follow Jesus. Jesus’ response indicates that the time is now. What is holding us back from following Jesus right now?

Matthew 8:25-26 NIV

[25] The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” [26] He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The disciples had been with him yet they were still afraid.   The gospel clearly states who Jesus is yet I still find myself afraid of completely following him. Jesus is asking us to calculate the cost of complete submission and balance that with the promise of eternity spent with god. 

Matthew 7

Matthew 7

Some hard teaching in Matthew 7

Matthew 7:1-2 NIV

[1] “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. [2] For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

In John 8 a woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus. John 8:7 NIV

[7] When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Since we are all sinful we should not “throw stones” at or judge others.  There are many Christians today that are very judgmental and often turn people away from Jesus due to this judgmental attitude. Until I take care of my own son I should not be so quick to judge others. 

Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

[7] “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. [8] For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Do I ask? Do I seek? Am I knocking on the door wanting to get to know Jesus better?  The Bible is full of promises if we are truly seeking god. 

Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

[13] “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. [14] But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

This and the next verse are hard teachings as they indicate that few will enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Being a true follower of Jesus is the narrow path and few truly take it. Are you on the right path?

Matthew 7:21-23 NIV

[21] “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ [23] Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Many preach and talk about Jesus but what he wants is a relationship. Are we spending time with god?  All relationships require time and energy. If you are not investing time and energy into people then there really isn’t a good relationship there. We can get pulled away from relationships for many reasons like work and even good works like church committees and mission or volunteer work. Even if they are good things, if the force is to sacrifice time with family or god then those relationships will fail. Just like in the song “cats in the cradle.”

Matthew 7:29 NIV

[29] because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Another indication that Jesus is the son of god. He teaches with authority that can only be given to him from

God.   His authority is above the teachers of the law. 

Matthew 6

Matthew 6

Matthew 6 warns us about public displays and being hypocritical about our giving and our prayer. 

Matthew 6:1 NIV

[1] “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:5-6 NIV

[5] “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. [6] But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

And of course the Lord’s Prayer. 

Matthew 6:9-13 NIV

[9] “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, [10] your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. [11] Give us today our daily bread. [12] And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. [13] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ‘

Matthew 5

Matthew 5

Poor in spirit 

Matthew 5:3 NIV

[3] “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Micah 6:8 NIV

[8] He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

James 4:10 NIV

[10] Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Isaiah 57:15 NIV

[15] For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Mourning

Matthew 5:4 NIV

[4] Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV

[10] Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Isaiah 61:1 NIV

[1] The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

 because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV

[4] who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

James 4:9 NIV

[9] Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

Grieving and mourning are tied to repentance. 

Meekness

Matthew 5:5 NIV

[5] Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Psalm 37:7-9 NIV

[7] Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. [8] Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. [9] For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

[28] “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 5:6 NIV

[6] Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Isaiah 11:4 NIV

[4] but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

Isaiah 42:6-7 NIV

[6] “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, [7] to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Philippians 3:9 NIV

[9] and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Matthew 5:7 NIV

[7] Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Psalm 41:1 NIV

[1] Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.

Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV

[1] Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children [2] and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Matthew 5:8 NIV

[8] Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Psalm 24:3-4 NIV

[3] Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? [4] The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.

1 John 3:2-3 NIV

[2] Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. [3] All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Matthew 5:9 NIV

[9] Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Isaiah 57:18-19 NIV

[18] I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners, [19] creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”

Isaiah 60:17 NIV

[17] Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones. I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler.

Matthew 5:10 NIV

[10] Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV

[4] Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. [5] But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:7 NIV

[7] He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Isaiah 53:12 NIV

[12] Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

2 Timothy 3:11-12 NIV

[11] persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. [12] In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Matthew 5:11-12 NIV

[11] “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. [12] Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 4

Matthew 4

Matthew 4:1 NIV

[1] Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Satan tempted Jesus when he was tired, hungry and alone. I find that being tired or weakened is usually the time when I am tempted. Jesus was able to withstand the temptation by relying on the word of god. Memorizing scripture is a good way to prepare to overcome temptation. 

Three times Satan tempts Jesus. The first two times the temptation begins “if you are the son of god…”. A prideful person would want to prove that they were indeed the son of god but Jesus resists. 

Satan tempted Jesus by asking him to produce a miracle for himself – turn stones into bread, to test god by jumping off a tower and have angels rescue him, and with power over the world. I am not tempted by these things as they are completely unrealistic for me. Satan tempts me with things that are more realistic and more in line with my current life. 

Matthew 4:6 NIV [6] “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

Satan also quotes scripture so knowing scripture does not make us a follower of Christ. We must live the scripture and believe that Jesus Christ is our lord and savior and the true son of god. 

Matthew 4:18-19 NIV

[18] As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. [19] “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Usually the students would come to the teachers but Jesus went looking for his disciples. As he called them they left everything for him. I wonder if he calls me will I be ready to leave everything?

Matthew 4:23 NIV

[23] Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

There was no dispute about the miracles that Jesus was performing. 

Matthew 3

Matthew 3

John the Baptist preaches saying “repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  A person who repents stops rebelling and turns around to start following god.  Repentance means we must confess our sins and turn away from them. I find that this is nearly impossible on my own. But with god all things are possible. We need to stop trying to do it on our own and rely on god to help us. 

John the Baptist helped prepare people to meet Jesus. As a believer I should be following in his footsteps. I cannot concert anyone but I can introduce them to Jesus and then let god do the rest. 

John also confronts the religious leaders calling the a brood of vipers. 

Jesus comes to John to be baptized.  This may have been his sign that he was ready to take on the sins of humanity. 

Matthew 3:15 NIV

[15] Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

Matthew 3:16-17 NIV

[16] As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. [17] And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

With the numbers of people coming to John to be baptized there must have been many eye witnesses to this event. 

Matthew 2

Matthew 2

Magi from the East came to Jerusalem to see The Who was born to be king of the Jews. Herod called together the chief priests and teachers of the law who knew the prophesy that the messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Herod sent the Magi to find the baby and not the chief priests. 

The magi may have been from Parthia near the site of Babylon. Parthia was an enemy of Rome and as powerful. 

The magi presented gold and incense and Myrrh. Gold for a king, incense for a God, and Myrrh, which was used for embalming, to foreshadow the death. 

God directs Joseph to take his family to Egypt to avoid the killing of boys due to Herod’s jealousy. 

God then directs Joseph to come back from Egypt when Herod dies but Herod’s son is ruling in Jerusalem so Joseph goes to Nazareth. 

Herod, like most Jews of that time thought that the messiah would be a great military ruler and fight for political freedom. Jesus came instead to wage a spiritual battle and fight for souls. 

Matthew 1

Matthew 1

Matthew lists the genealogy of Jesus which includes Ruth and includes the statement that Solomon’s mother had been the wife of Uriah the Hittite. 

The genealogy is a quick way to recite all the history contained in the Old Testament from Abraham. The readers at that time would know all the names and their stories. 

The four women mentioned in this genealogy all have ties to gentiles. Three were gentiles that married into Israel and Bathsheba was an Israelite that married a Hittite before she married David. 

Matthew 1:19 NIV

[19] Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

Joseph could have divorced her publicly but did not want to make it public. 

By marrying her Joseph adopted the child and gave him a birthright and heritage but also adopted the shame of Mary being pregnant before marriage. 

Reading through the New Testament

I will be posting some thoughts as I read through the New Testament.  I welcome input and polite discussion.

Here is some information I found in the Gospels to get started.

Matthew concentrates on how Jesus came to fulfill Jewish prophecy.   No other gospel so forcefully shows the hypocritical outlook of the Pharisees. Jesus is portrayed as a teacher. 

Mark emphasizes action.  He stresses how Jesus taught that he must suffer and be rejected. 

Luke stressed the blessing of salvation.  Luke brings out the grace of god revealed in Jesus. 

John reveals Jesus as the one sent by god. John brings out the eternal significance of the god become man. 

The good news demanded a response. Jesus calls us to repent and become his disciples. 

The gospel forces us to make a decision as to who Jesus is. Is he a prophet, is he a crazy man, is he the son of god?

As a believer, I cannot concert anyone. I can only provide you with the information and then it is up to you to make the decision as to who Jesus is. I hope you make the same choice I did that Jesus is the Son of God and my Lord and Savior.