John 12

John 12: Receive Christ = Receive God

                Jesus comes to Bethany, six days before the Passover begins. He goes to the same place where He raised Lazarus from the dead, and there they make Him dinner. Mary took out ointment of spikenard and begins to anoint the feet of Jesus and wipe it with her hair. Judas Iscariot asked why this very expensive ointment wasn’t sold and the money given to the poor. Judas said this; “…not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bad, and bare what was put therein.” (John 12:6) Essentially the money given to the ‘poor’ was put in a bag that he usually had control over. His concern was not getting his cut of the expensive ointment. Jesus tells Judas to calm; “…Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.” (John 12:7-8)

                Many of the people who had heard about Jesus and how He raised Lazarus from the dead come to see, and believe on Him. Many people attended the feast and this made some Jews uncomfortable, so they plot the death of Jesus and Lazarus. Jesus continues moving forward, riding on a Colt into town as the crowd came to Him, saying; “…Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:13)

Jesus teaches that the “…the hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified.” (John 12:23) and continues by stating; “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” (John 12:25) We learn from this, that whatever state you leave this world, you will enter the next. If you lived a happy life and tried to look at the positive, even during the bad… you will have that mindset in the next life. If you are grumpy in this life, you will be grumpy in the next, and so forth. Jesus knew that His hour had come and knew that He was going to be dying for the Sins of all mankind.

Jesus looks to the heavens and says; “Father, glorify thy name.” (John 12:28) Then a voice from heaven came down saying; “…I have both glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” (John 12:28) Jesus explains to the crowd that the voice came down, for their benefit and not for the benefit of Jesus. This was another sign that was given to the believers. Many of the chief priests also believed that Jesus was the Christ, however; “…they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43) and because they loved the praise of man more than God, they did not want to lose their influence over the people. The chief priests saw Jesus taking their glory and they wanted it all. We can learn from this, by wanting spiritual things, instead of wanting the things of the world.

Mark 10

Mark 10: High Law of Marriage

                Jesus comes to the coasts of Judea by the far side of Jordan, where He is met by Pharisees who want to tempt Him with questions. They ask Jesus; “…Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? [divorce]” (Mark 10:2) Jesus responds by asking them what Moses had written about the matter. The Pharisees respond that Moses commanded them to “…write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.” (Mark 10:4) But Jesus quickly puts them in their place; “…For the hardness of your heart he wrote this precept.” (Mark 10:5)

                Jesus then goes on to remind them and us today of the importance of the Sacred Matrimony between MAN and WOMAN! Jesus said; “…from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife… they twain shall be one flesh… What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:6-9) Jesus warns that marriage is sacred, and should be performed between MAN and WOMAN, that they might become one flesh. Those who disrespect this sanctity will face the wrath of God.

After Jesus was done speaking to the Pharisees, He noticed that His Apostles were not letting little children come to see Him. Jesus was displeased and said unto His Apostles; “…Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God… Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:14-15) The Apostles had forgotten that little children are alive in Christ. If you do not humble yourself as a child, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven! This is why, little children before an age of accountability HAVE NO NEED FOR BAPTISM! Baptism is for sinners. Except Jesus, who also had no need for baptism, but did so to show us the way.

Jesus then leaves and runs into a man who when came across Jesus knelt down and asked Him; “…Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17) Jesus asks the man why he called Him “Good”, for “…there is none good but one, that is God.” (Mark 10:18) This little mention proves that God the Father, and the Son, Jesus Christ are TWO SEPARATE BEINGS. How can God and Jesus be one? Except ONE in PURPOSE.

The man then says that from his youth he has followed all the commandments, but Jesus quickly tells him that he has one more to follow; “…One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me.” (Mark 10:21) After hearing these words, the man departs in sadness because he had many possessions.  Jesus then tells the Apostles that “…With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)

                In the end of chapter 10 we learn that James and John ask to be on the right and left hand of Jesus in the next life. Jesus reminds them that it is not up to Him and that they should think in terms of the service they are giving and not in the self-glory that they would receive. When they arrive at Jericho they are met by a blind man, who was named Bartimaeus. Jesus heals the man and tells him to be of good comfort. “…Go thy why, thy faith hath made thee whole…” (Mark 10:52)

Psalms 49-50

Psalms 49-50

Chapter 49: The Glory of the Rich Man will eventually die

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

                “Hear this, all ye people; give ear… My mouth shall speak of wisdom… my heart shall be of understanding.” (Psalms 49:1-3)

                The author then goes on to tell us of an important message; “They that trust in their wealth, and boast of themselves in the multitude of riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom…” (Psalms 49:6-7)

                I think this is very important! Sometimes when people of understanding speak, we ignore them. Men cannot be redeemed by wealth, or ransom God with that wealth. All of the glory of the rich man, the famous man, etc… dies with him. The only thing we take into the next life is our knowledge, experience and wisdom.

Chapter 50: Asaph Speaks of the Second Coming!

A Psalm of Asaph.

                Asaph speaks of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and tells us that the Lord has spoken and in the end He will gather His saints!

“And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself” (Psalms 50:6) God will judge us for our actions while we are here on this earth.

 

Numbers 31-32

Numbers 31-32

Chapter 31: Moses sends 12,000 Warriors

At this point in the story, we have learned that Joshua was appointed to succeed Moses as the new leader for the Israelites. Joshua received the priesthood authority. Moses has another task, before he can be gathered completely to his people.

The Lord commands Moses to take vengeance upon the Midianites. Remember Numbers 25? Where the Midianites seduced the Israelites and caused that some of them worshiped their idol gods? Well Moses sends out 12,000 troops to fight the Midianites. This amounts to 1,000 from each tribe. With this group Moses sends Phinehas (the son of Eleazer) who takes some articles from the tabernacle and some trumpets which he uses for signaling.

The Israelites easily defeat the Midianites, killing every single man and taking the women, children and loot for themselves as plunder. They kill the five kings of Midian: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, Balaam and Reba.

The warriors return with the plunder and everyone except Moses is happy. Moses asks them;  “…Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor…” (Numbers 31:15-16).  Essentially telling them that the women were the ones who caused the Israelites to sin, so they should have been killed too.

Moses commands them to kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man, but save those who had not slept with a man. Anyone who participated in the killing or touched the dead bodies, would have to stay outside of the camp for seven days as part of the cleansing process.

After that, they divide up the spoils between the soldiers and the rest of the Israelites. The Levites are to receive 1 out of every 500 of everything the soldiers receive and 1 out of every 50 items that the rest of the Israelites receive.

The officers of the army report to Moses that they had 0 casualties, they wiped out an entire nation without any loss! They thank the Lord for this victory, by presenting an additional offering of 190 kilograms of gold. OR in today’s standard of Gold to US dollar equals:  $6,118,000!!! That’s right… over 6 MILLION dollars in Gold.

Chapter 32: Conquering of Canaan

The Israelites are about to enter into the Promised Land, what will become “Israel”, the land on the west side of Jordan. Before they cross Jordan, the Reubenites and the Gadites take a look at the surrounding lands on the East side, or the former lands of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Hesbon, Elealeh, Sebam and Beon. The Reubenites and the Gadites see that the land would be good and ask Moses if they can keep these lands instead, because they were favorable in their eyes.

Moses of course gets a little angry, especially since they haven’t made it to the Promised Land that they Lord had planned for them, and they already want something else. Moses speaks to the children of Gad and Reuben, saying: “…Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? And therefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord hath given them?” (Numbers 32:6)

                The Lord has prepared the Promised Land for them and wanting something else, is really not putting their trust in the Lord and this causes him to be angry. The children of Reuben and Gad come back to Moses and tell him that they will go with Israel into the Promised Land.

The Lord even reminds them of why they had traveled in the desert for forty years: “And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the Lord, was consumed” (Numbers 32:13). Essentially we learn about trials and tribulations…

The Lord gives us Trials that we can be strengthened. By “filtering” out the evil in the children of Israel, the Lord through a 40 year process was able to find the strongest and most faithful of the Israelites to live in the Promised Land. This reminds me of a scripture in (Romans 5: 1-6)

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

                We glory in tribulations… knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.

Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh receive their inheritances east of Jordan. They covenant to join the other tribes in conquering Canaan.