Bringing Tongues Of Fire From The Sparks Of Faith…
THE GOSPEL 5
By Rev. G. E. Newmyer
INTRODUCTION TO LESSON 14
This first part of Luke will open the door to denying the self and picking up our cross. Luke is the only Gentile writer (scribe) of the New Testament, and really… he was the only Gentile scribe in the entire Bible; however, it doesn’t take away from the importance of his account. Rather, it proves that the Promise was opened to the Gentiles. The irony of Luke is, how he, as a Gentile, is writing to a Gentile teacher about Jewish mannerisms. Luke was with Paul, meaning that he was privy to knowledge regarding Jewish rites; yet to many Gentiles, the Jewish ways were a mystery, making it hard to teach the Gospel without knowing about them. Thus we find God using a Gentile to teach a Gentile about the Jews.
To the Gentile, self-righteousness had nothing to do with the Law, which can be a clue to those of us who have Gentile backgrounds. Paul said that God (the Sower) gives the Seed, and we in turn, “water it”; but the growth is dependent on the condition of the Ground, whether the ground is Jew or Gentile. We also know God gave the Law to Israel, yet He also gave the “measure of faith” to all. Why then, do we use any of these, and think we’ve done some great and righteous thing? There would be no “step of faith”, without the measure of faith. There would be no “deed under the Law,” without the Law. There would be no “good thing,” unless God gave us the “Good Gift.” Self-righteousness is… using anything from God, and then taking credit for the doing. Abraham believed God, not to gain right standing, but simply because he knew that God was faithful. Abraham didn’t brag in his belief, he held it. Belief is the foundation for our faith, it is not “the unseen,” but nonetheless, without a sound belief, our faith has no direction: let us begin.
THE GOSPEL 5
LUKE’S ACCOUNT – PART 1
Today’s society appears to be upside down, inside out, backward, and headed downhill at an alarming pace; and, if ever the cares of this world were able to rock our foundation it becomes obvious, that today’s world is capable. However, we still have a promise of being an over-comer, the Blood of Jesus is still just as powerful, and we are still being cleaned and prepared. The world may suffer tribulation, but the Kingdom of God is unharmed. We are a people set apart to enter the process of Growth, and it won’t stop until we are face to face with the Lord. Luke is a teaching on growth, the area where we can get a handle on this thing called “Denying the self.”
Matthew’s account was directed to the “Seed and Root”; Mark to the “Blade”; now Luke to the “Full Ear”, who are also the “Young Men,” who have overcome the wicked; therefore, this lesson is purposed to place us in a position where our minds are centered on gaining the Power of His Christ, to become the promised overcomer. The Root is usually affected by the world, the Blade maybe, but the Full Ear never: the Full Corn in the Ear are so heavenly minded, that they have to be reminded, there is a world.
As the Full Corn in the Ear, we arrive at the place of continual belief; where will not be those who waver back and forth, but those who are steadily headed for… the purpose of our faith, “even the salvation of our souls.”
Luke wasn’t an apostle or a prophet. We don’t read where he was one of the seven Deacons, nor do we read where he was an Elder; neither was he involved in the early days of the ministry, nor is he recorded to have done any healings or miracles. We don’t see any evidence regarding where he preached, but he is nonetheless the only Gentile scribe in the Bible. It’s so fitting, Luke will be a “no-body Gentile” writing to a Gentile about the Jewish view of the Messiah. Luke will either make direct mention, or hint about various Jewish rites and traditions connecting directly to the viewpoint of the Jew who is looking for the Messiah. Luke is our promise, he was not a theologian, not a Bible scholar, but he was Born Again, and he was fully able to hear the Master’s voice.
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, (1:1).
The word Declaration means a Narrative, or an Explicit statement in written form, which is always better than word of mouth. We see then with 1:1, that Luke is going to put things in writing, a good idea; (and when we get a Word, we should write it down). With this Book of the Bible, Luke is not the first to write, yet he isn’t out to correct anyone; he is out to explain to a Gentile how the Jewish mind saw Jesus.
Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the Word; (1:2).
Luke identifies himself here as the scribe, but he doesn’t claim to be an eyewitness; rather he uses the benefit of having all the eyewitnesses around him. Therefore we find, that both Mark and Matthew were among the eyewitnesses, and as they spoke, Luke listened.
It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto you in order, most excellent Theophilus (1:3).
Luke shows, that this Understanding is not based on his own conclusions; rather, Perfect Understanding comes from the experiences that one has with the Holy Ghost. Luke is obviously Born Again, and his Spirit did bear witness to these things being true and “good”.
The name Theophilus is Greek, which actually means “a friend of God”; but in the Hebrew it is Gutlieb, which means A Lover Of God. A search of Roman history shows that there was no procurator (most excellent) person by this name; thus this reference points to the respect due to one who is appointed in the Offices, and here more specifically, a Teacher. Metaphorically we can see that the Holy Ghost is writing to those who are: Lovers of God, who desire to be Friends of God, and to those who desire more teaching on “denying the self and picking up their cross.”
Theophilus is also one of the few Greek names which could be given to a Jewish male at circumcision, adding to the concept of this account and giving us the Jewish perspective, from one Gentile (Luke) to another Gentile (Theophilus,) who loves God.
After Luke wrote this Gospel Account, he wrote another treatise to this same Theophilus, regarding the “Acts of the Apostles” (Acts 1:1). The Book of Acts explores how the teachings of Jesus were applied by the disciples after the Resurrection, as the Holy Ghost operated with the disciples. Here in Luke however, the subject is not the “Acts” of the apostles, but the “Ways” of Jesus. Both this letter and Acts are teaching documents; the structure of this letter especially, lays out events in a teaching mode, and in adding “most excellent,” we find that this letter is written to a teacher for the sake of teaching. The use of the wording, Most Excellent means of Great Dignity, or Great Power and Might. Luke explains why Theophilus was known as most excellent, showing Theophilus as a Christian leader. Felix was known by Luke as “an” excellent governor, not as “the most excellent,” and so we can’t confuse the two (Acts 23:26). The phrase Most Excellent points to one who is appointed and anointed by God, while the term “excellent” points to one who is appointed.
How do we know that the Book of Acts came second? In Acts, Luke said, “the former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1). Clearly Acts was written to the same Theophilus as an addition to this document; and the most obvious reference to show this, is a teaching document (is his reference to “teach”).
That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein you have been instructed (1:4).
Theophilus had been instructed in matters, recorded in both Mark & Matthew, since both were open letters to all Christians; thus Luke lifts a layer on these truths, without changing the context of the Truth. Attempting to make the Gospel some natural intellectual endeavor loses much. Luke’s account is an example of how a teacher links premise to concept, based on the knowledge of God, not the knowledge of man. Luke will take some events, place them completely out of order, yet link them to a premise of teaching.
These first four verses give us the scenario for the purpose of Luke’s account. The word Certainty doesn’t mean that Theophilus had false information, rather, this teaching was adding to his basis of Truth, thus Luke is adding precepts on matters that Theophilus had been teaching, not to correct him, but to bring the precept into a more meaningful position. Luke will add information to John’s birth, then show the Jewish concepts regarding the young male; he will show how Jesus, as a youth, was more than exceptional, yet Jesus, as the Son of man, was born of a woman as a Jew…. according to the Law, in order to represent mankind (Rom 1:3).
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth (1:5).
Isn’t it interesting how God stuck to the orders He had established, as we see in “the priests from Aaron, the kings from Judah.” The phrase “daughters of Aaron” was neither in reference to a social or religious club, rather it reflected Elisabeth’s genealogy and went directly to the actual daughters of Aaron. The “course of Abia” speaks of the duty of Abia (which is the Greek for the Hebrew Abijah). This duty was in relationship to keeping the lamps and incense burning. By using the terms Daughters of Aaron with the Course of Abia, Luke covers the first tabernacle maintained by Moses and Aaron, as he brings it to the rebuilt temple in the days of Zerubbabel (Neh 12:1 & 12:4). In the rebuilt temple they continued the same course of Abijah, as did Iddo, who was the father of Zechariah, the prophet, but Zechariah the prophet is not the same person as Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. Neither is this Herod the same Herod who would cut off John the Baptist’s head, rather this is Herod the Great, the father of Herod Antipas; and it was Antipas who cut the head off John the Baptist.
We find that both Elisabeth and Zacharias have lines going back to the original priesthood under Aaron, giving John the Baptist priestly authority under Aaron. It might not seem important, but under the Law only a priest could wash the Sacrifice. God had it all in the plan before Adam took his first breath. Since Zacharias is a temple worker, one would think he would know the importance of prayer, but knowing the importance and believing in our prayers are different, as we will see.
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless (1:6).
This form of Righteousness is not based on faith, rather it is based on doing the commandments and ordinances willingly, which is still self-righteousness. However, we must keep in mind that this is still before the Cross, and all man had was his self-righteousness. Yet, we find that man can obey willingly, or reluctantly.
And they had no child, because that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years (1:7).
Zacharias had the knowledge of “Abraham’s belief,” (as found in the Scriptures) as Abraham believed God. But Zacharias is like most of us who presume… “yeah, that’s Abraham”; but Zacharias will soon find that God has a Plan to be done, even if Zacharias doesn’t believe it.
And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord (1:8-9).
It was up to Zacharias to keep the incense burning; the incense represented the prayers of the people, another example of a “duty” being done, but lacking the witness of truly believing. Zacharias had prayed in the past for a child of his own, but did he really believe his prayers? The man is in charge of the Incense, the very symbol of the prayers of the people, surely he would believe his own prayer.
And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of the incense, And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense (1:10-11).
The angel appeared on the right side, as a symbol of the Messiah sitting on the right hand side of God, this was a sign of the Authority granted the angel to bring the message; this was not an e-mail from heaven, this was a message from God Himself as if God was standing there.
When Zacharias saw him (the angel), he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John (1:12-13).
The phrase “Fear not” also means “I’m not of fear”, yet it was up to Zacharias to believe it. The people were praying outside, Zacharias was burning the incense, then the angel says, “Your prayer is heard”; and the man did pray for a child and he was a man in charge of “prayers.” Then adding all the prayers going on outside, surely now he will jump for joy; God has heard him.
And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth (1:14).
Wow… Joy, Gladness and Rejoicing; sounds like a “good word”, but like any Word, it must be received. Not only do we have the angel saying that there will be a child, but he even names the sex (he), gives the name of the child, adding the ministry for the child. It’s all in order, the Plan is there, this is not a guess, it’s a fact about to come to pass.
For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb, and many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God (1:15-16).
Here the wording is Shall; “not” perhaps, as this should have been enough to set Zacharias on a course of belief, so “it might be by faith.”
There is a difference between being Filled with the Holy Ghost for a purpose, and being Filled with the Spirit as a result of the New Birth. John was not Born Again, nor was he baptized with the Holy Ghost; rather the Holy Ghost worked with him in respect to his calling and ministry. The Holy Ghost will not go beyond the authority; John never healed the sick, or cast out devils, as those were not under the authority granted him. John’s position was to “prepare the way,” not make it, as he preached the coming Christ; he was to baptize in water unto repentance. He was to preach that Jesus would be the one to baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire; he (John) was to wash the Lamb of God (Son of man), in reference to the task that he was God’s priest by the Holy Ghost, to present the Lamb to the Father. Only the Holy Ghost could be the true presenter, thus John was filled with the Holy Ghost for the purpose.
And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord (1:17).
The angel didn’t say that John would have The Power of Christ, or The Power of God, rather… the power of the prophet, with the same attitude, conviction, and purpose of Elijah. John shall go Before the Lord, and this should have taken Zacharias to Malachi, where it is written, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6). The primary purpose of Elijah, was preparation unto repentance, and John would be no different. John was not a reincarnation, he didn’t have the soul of Elijah; he maintained the Elijah message (conviction and attitude).
And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years (1:18).
Everything was going along just fine, until Zacharias decided that all of this depended on his ability. Zacharias wanted some sign, goose bumps, walls shaking, or some other tangible indication; yet there was an angel standing before him, plus the words spoken by the angel came from God. Yet Zacharias wanted a personal sign, some covenant agreement; but the prayer was his request, and it was answered, providing him more than enough reason to believe.
And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season (1:19-20).
Gabriel just finished saying, “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just” (Luke 1:17). Zacharias should have known “the Just live by His faith”, yet, he was still holding unbelief. Well, he would get his sign. Zacharias prayed, but he failed to believe unto the result of the prayer. Doing what God gives us day by day is obedience, believing that we have received the promise takes continual belief, which becomes the foundation for our faith.
God imputes something to us, we believe we receive, then our faith enters until it becomes imparted. Although Zacharias entered unbelief, it didn’t stop the event, so who then, had the faith? It wasn’t a matter of faith, it was a matter of belief. There was past evidence in the life of Abraham indicating to Zacharias that God could do this, what the angel had imparted; the prayer was said, and now answered. Unbelief says that God is not able to start, and Zacharias felt that it wasn’t going to begin. Gabriel is telling Zacharias that, all that God has seen the child do, the child will do, yet Zacharias still says, “how will I know?”; he wanted his own personal sign, yet his prayer was answered, thus he didn’t even believe his own prayer, something to be aware of. It seems that our first area of teaching is, praying in faith and looking for the result, rather than speaking words into space.
And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless (1:21-22).
The people looked for a sign as well, but their concern was over the incense. As they were praying, Zacharias was holding the incense before the altar, thus he was standing for the prayers of others, but refused to believe in his own prayers. Zacharias was bound by the attitudes of the Temple at the time. Like many, he sought hope, but really didn’t see any hope about him. When Hope did present itself, he fell into unbelief. This is a very good lesson, showing how our belief must be day to day. In Zacharias’ case, he felt that having a child was impossible, yet he prayed for one, and when the news came and his prayers were answered, he turned back to the “impossible”, causing him to fall into unbelief. His faith never became an issue, but his unbelief stopped any concept of faith before it had a chance to begin.
The physical body movements of Zacharias told the people that he had seen a vision, but he was unable to speak with his voice, or explain what happened. Zacharias wanted a sign and got one; however, it wasn’t the sign he was looking for.
And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus has the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men (1:23-25).
Zacharias would finish his course in the temple, then immediately Elizabeth would conceive; but then she hid herself for five months. The thought that “a Jewish man wasn’t a real man until his wife had a man-child” was, (and is) popular in many cultures. Elisabeth hiding herself was a protection of the miracle as well, showing that there are times when we don’t cast our pearls before swine. Later this same Elisabeth will tell Mary, “Blessed is she who believed”, indicating that Elisabeth understood the importance of belief.
The Jewish custom regarding the birth of a male child, as compared to a female child, would send chills down the spine of a modern thinking woman; however, to these people, a male child stood for a sign of the continuance of their family name in the tribe. Also, it was the male who would gain the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant, not the female, thus they felt that a male child was better than a female. The father of a Jewish house would prepare a great feast on the day of delivery, invite all his friends, neighbors, and family, then they would wait to hear the news. If it was a male they would celebrate for days, if a female they would all go home, with no celebration at all. The angel told Zacharias that the child would be a male, which was an additional point for his belief.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary (1:26-27).
Gabriel was not waiting on earth, he was sent From God to complete the second part of the message. The First Part was promised on earth, and produced on the earth for the family of the earth; the Second Part came from Heaven to link heaven and earth.
Zacharias was very close to binding things to the earth, John was of the earth to announce a heavenly action, yet Mary is a different story. God wasn’t waiting in heaven wondering if Elizabeth would conceive, neither was Gabriel pacing the floor wondering if Elizabeth would go full term. This was something seen from the foundation of the world; it was time for the timing of God to meet the time of man.
The actual date of the birth of Jesus, or of John is not known, but the actual dates of the Cross, Resurrection, Ascension, and Pentecost are known. Why not the Birth? The Birth was a beginning, but the Cross brought us our beginning.
The word Espoused refers to the custom wherein the man was engaged to the woman for a period of one year. During the year there was no sexual contact whatsoever; if they could get along with each other without physical contact, then the premise was, that they could marry and maintain as husband and wife. This was not part of the Law, but what the Jew calls, Agenda, or a precept not clear in the Scripture but suggested therein.
It would take much more than simple belief for Mary to go along with the words of the angel. Her belief in the words empowered her faith, she did have the words of the prophet to support her belief (Isa 7:14). She received the words of the angel, as a foundation to believe. From the foundation, her faith could take hold; however, when she meets Elizabeth we will find that “belief”, not faith, brought Mary into the area of being blessed.
Her belief would be tested: if she appeared with child during the espousal period, she would be subject to a stoning, public exposure, and ridicule. Zacharias was married; Mary was not. Elisabeth was expected to be with child; Mary was not. Zecharias prayed for a child, Mary had not. Mary had to believe beyond her condition, and in God’s protection as well. She didn’t have the experience of another, she couldn’t reach for her tape study, and she didn’t run to the prayer circle to find a like experience. Zacharias had Abraham as a past experience; Mary did not. Therefore, we find another premise of belief; to believe what is said, even if there is no prior proof. The angel gave Mary a “Word”, yet the performance had to couple with her belief. There are some who don’t give Mary enough credit for her belief, others who give her too much; but nonetheless she believed, and became blessed among women.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed art thou among women (1:28).
This is not a greeting that one would expect, and any of us in the same condition would wonder, “what is going on?” if presented with such a salutation. God said through Isaiah, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa 7:14). The name Immanuel means God among us, or God with us; so, it would seem that Mary missed it by calling the child Jesus, but the title Immanuel reflects God’s purpose, rather than the actual name of the child. The identification usage for a name, and the name which represents Authority, are much different. Jesus means “JAH is Salvation”, and the name Jesus appears well over 900 times in the New Testament; however, if we limit the Name to identification, we become a legalist…for instance, in how to pronounce the name or how exactly to spell it. After all, perhaps we should spell it “JSUS” in all due respect. Wrong, the Authority in the Name is the issue. We don’t say, “Come out in the Power of Jesus”, or “Come out in the positional arrangement of Jesus”, rather, we say, In the Name….representing the Authority granted us from God Himself.
No Name (authority) is greater, the Authority (Name) of Jesus is greater than all names (Authorities). Jesus is Immanuel (God with us), after the Resurrection, the Authority of the Trinity… Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, was combined in the Name of Jesus. Whether one says, “the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,” or “the Name of Jesus,”… it’s still the “Name.” The Birth of Jesus introduced the Name, and the Earthly ministry placed it into action, while the Resurrection made it the only Name by which man can be saved (Acts 4:12).
To the Jew, the word One means indivisible, thus Jews can’t conceive of a Triune God. Jesus said, He and the Father were One, and to the Pharisees, this went six steps past Agenda, and deep into heresy. They could see that God is One in Character, Purpose, and Mind; but they couldn’t conceive of God displaying His Character, Purpose, and Mind in three aspects, yet remaining One.
The Jews knew that they “are the chosen,” and so they held to… Tzadikei umot ha-olam (the righteous of the peoples of the world); however, they forgot that the “works of Abraham’s righteousness” pertained to “belief,” not the “deeds” of the Law. They also forgot the words of the prophet, as they Limited the Holy One by refusing to believe that All things are possible with God, even the concept of God being incarnate (Ps 78:41). The “chosen” aspect of Israel didn’t stretch to heaven, rather it consisted of God having chosen Israel from all the nations of the earth; they assumed that God gave them the Law as a form of honoring them, rather than the Law being a production from God’s Mercy to protect them because of their unbelief.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God (1:29-30).
Mary wasn’t afraid of the angel; it was the saying that troubled her. Perhaps this angel may have stopped at the wrong address; and like many of us, she looked around and said, “Who me?” She wondered what deed she did to gain Favor; she knew that Favor represented a very honorable position. However, it wasn’t her great works, but her belief making her favored before God. We saw how Zacharias was righteous, but here we see the word Favored; is there a difference? The word Favored is the Greek word Charis translated as Grace, thus we find Mary as a type of “imputed Grace” because Jesus was in her, the same imputed Grace we have the instant we receive the Spirit of Christ in us. It was the child in her bringing Grace to her, not her works, social position, or Jewish roots. She was blessed among women, making her a variable, not a constant. John’s account tells us that Grace came with Jesus, thus Mary being “found” in Grace, doesn’t mean she obtained Grace, it means she was carrying Grace in her womb; yet, her belief was seen before the foundation of the world.
Jesus is a constant; He changes not. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. However, Mary will be changed, more than once. The first change is here, when her belief will be enforced; later, on the Day of Pentecost, she will be changed again. However, if Jesus changes not, how then is He the Son of man and Son of God? Being the same, yet operating in different positions is possible. Paul told us that Jesus was made (not created) of the Seed of David according to the flesh, but Declared to be the Son of God with Power, according to the Spirit of Holiness by the Resurrection (Rom 1:3-4). Before the beginning, Jesus as the Word “was,” Jesus was also the Son of God before the Resurrection, but the Resurrection “Declared” the evidence and proof of His position.
Jesus is the same, and we can count on it. He won’t have mood swings, yet we know that Jesus is He who grants us Salvation, and yet will also be the same Jesus who administers Judgment. Will He change? No, but aren’t there marked physical differences between the Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, and the Jesus who John sees in the Book of Revelation? Yes, but John sees one “like unto the Son of man,” not the Son of God; thus it’s positional (Rev 1:13). Jesus will judge with the same Honesty and Mercy as He uses in Salvation, the same Character, the same Nature, the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8).
We can continue with Mary, as she builds her belief unto her faith.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: (1:31-32).
Mary knows that she is a handmaiden. The angel didn’t say, “your son”, or “you are the mother of God”, rather it was “the Son of the Highest,” indicating the importance of who Jesus Is. Mary gave birth to the Son of man, while the Father produced the Son of God, giving us the dual positions noted in Romans 1:3-4. Mary is the line to David; this doesn’t take away from her, but we don’t want to exalt her above measure, doing her a disservice. Mary is hearing something that the prophets talked about, but this for her, went far beyond the known method of conception. Here the angel says, Mary will conceive, yet it was known that God had set forth the rule, and therefore, it took one male and one female to conceive. This angel is telling her that God has “changed”? Some of us would have said, “Get you behind me Satan, you are just trying to trick me”. However, when God formed Adam it was not by conception, yet God told Adam male and Adam female to multiply. However, before Adam was formed, God said, “Let us make man in our image,” thus, the process is beginning here with Mary. God was not changing, He was moving along in the Plan.
Mary had some choices here….she could have asked, “is this of God?” She could have said “can’t be, it’s not in line with the methods of God,” yet it was. With God, the impossible is possible. Was it Scriptural? Yes; the prophet Isaiah said this is exactly how God would do it (Isa 7:14); therefore, Mary had the evidence in Scripture, just as Zacharias did, but the difference is, that Mary believed.
The selection of Mary alone tells us something about her; do we think God would have picked her if she would have marched down the street telling people, “Watch out now, I’m carrying the Son of God, don’t touch me, don’t you dare mess with the anointed of God” or if she strutted down the street telling everyone about her great belief? Not hardly, her meekness and humbleness became her trademarks. On the same note there are variables and constants, the constants change not, but variables are subject to change. God is a constant, Mary was not, she was picked from among women. Special yes, a God, no.
Since Jesus is known as the “son of David,” does this mean that God is going to raise David from the dead so that David can become the father of Jesus? Was the Holy Ghost a reincarnation of David? No, David was the first anointed and appointed king by God, Solomon was appointed by David; but Jesus would take the promised throne of the House of David. Since one can only take the throne when the king dies, it stands that no one can take the throne from Jesus, who Lives forever more. Thus Jesus still has the keys to the House of David. Knowing what we know about the king and priest events just before the Romans took over the land, shows us that the “kingly” position according to God, has to come from the line of David, not Aaron. David was not from the tribe of Levi; God established an order for Israel and one for us. We can’t mix orders, it would make us unequal.
And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end (1:33).
The House of Jacob produced Israel and the Twelve Tribes; the House of David produced the position for the kings; it will be the House of David opening for the Remnant. Jesus will reign over the House forever, yet He has the keys to the House of David, which House has an appointed time and duty.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? (1:34).
Zacharias asked, “Whereby shall I know this?” which is much different, than “how are you going to do it?”. Zacharias wanted a sign, while Mary wanted an explanation. Mary was willing to give up everything based on the promise; Zacharias didn’t have to give up a thing. Mary knew God had a plan, she simply wanted to know her role in it.
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (1:35).
Here Mary is told, that the Creator is going to produce Himself in the womb of a woman, and use her reproductive flesh to develop a covering, so the child will have a right to operate on the earth as the Son of Man; and all this without any special preparation on Mary’s part. Mary didn’t have to stand on her head, bow to the east, pray fifty times a day; she believed.
Paul said that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col 1:15). From this statement, some tend to think that Jesus was created before time existed, or Jesus is created; however, Paul’s use of the Greek clears up the question. The word Image means “Which Resembles”; it doesn’t mean a reproduction, but it really defines “Let us make man in Our image.” Paul shows that the Image is the New Man; the prophecy may have begun with Adam, but it comes to pass in the New Birth.
The Greek wording used for “First begotten” or First born doesn’t mean “the first one born,” rather it means the cause of creation. Jesus is the cause for all creation, not the result of it. Paul didn’t say Jesus was created (Greek, Ktisheis); rather Jesus is the beginning or the source of creation (Greek, Arche).
Mary was told that she needed to do nothing, except continue to believe; then the Holy Ghost would overshadow her to take care of the rest. This premise proves, “If you have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, you can have the Spirit”; it’s merely asking, then God imputes, then comes the faith, then the Impartation, but it all starts with belief.
And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible (1:36-37).
The confirmation of the promise came as Elizabeth was also with child; the phrase, “with God nothing shall be impossible” goes far beyond what our human minds can conceive. Mary knew that God was able, even though there were no physical conclusions, or past experiences for Mary to trust in. She reached beyond her reasoning and believed beyond any reason to believe. Also, the phrase, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” …reminds us of Sarah as she heard, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Gen 18:14). Although these two phrases are related, they are also separated. Sarah laughed, while Mary Believed; Sarah was asked a question, and Mary was given a statement. As soon as Mary heard that God was putting this together, her belief touched her faith, and she submitted to the Power of God. Not a bad lesson to consider, when we hear God promising us, what seems to be impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me according to your word. And the angel departed from her (1:38).
Gabriel knew that Mary would believe; her confession of belief was evidenced in her words and regardless of what “man” would think, or anyone else, she was going to believe in God. So, Mary said, “Let it be done”, regardless of what she would have to give up, “let it be done.” Grace is a free Gift, but it does cost something to maintain; if it didn’t, why would Jesus tell us to count the cost? None of us can do anything of the flesh to obtain Grace: no good work, no sacrifice, no effort. However, to maintain Grace, will cost us; thus Grace is… the ability to “do Grace.” Once we obtain Grace, it’s proven by having the New Man (Spirit); thus the Ability is found in the New Man, but it still costs us to maintain. Why would Jesus tell us to deny the self and pick up our Cross, if there wasn’t a cost? Everything we need to overcome, is included in the Gift of Grace; thus Grace is the Spirit and Jesus provided the means for us to receive the Gift. Then, through “The Gift” we are able to pay the price willingly.
When Mary heard that Elizabeth also conceived, she knew that much of this event went beyond her, but she considered….. who was she to disbelieve God?
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and spoke out with a loud voice, and said Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord (1:39-45).
As soon as the angel left, Mary went to see Elisabeth to share their good news; and soon as Mary appeared, Elisabeth prophesied. We also see that Elisabeth was “filled with the Holy Ghost”, but she didn’t lay hands on the sick; the “filling” was specific to the purpose,which was to give a prophecy regarding Jesus, and to pronounce a blessing on Mary.
The fruit of the womb is the product, or the produce at birth; the Fruit of the Spirit is the product of the growth of the Seed of God. Thus we are “Born Again,” so that “Born of the Spirit is Spirit.” We may have a physical body, but we are Spirit, learning how to be spiritual.
Mercy places us in the kingdom of heaven giving us Life, much like the position of Adam, but Adam didn’t have the character of Christ. Instead of God taking character from us, He puts the Christ Character in us; thus the Process of Justification is a forming of our souls by the New Creation, rather than forcing our souls to accept the Character. God has declared us Justified by the Cross, and the New Man is bringing us into the fullness of the justification by growth (Mark 4:28).
In all of this, we come to the conclusion that Mary was special because she believed, and all the other issues are moot. Many of the early church fathers respected Mary, although they didn’t worship her or have her intercede for them. It stands that, if the devil hates any woman, he hates Mary…even more than he hated Eve. The plan would be two fold on the devil’s part: if he can cause one group to place Mary in a position higher than God intended, and then have another group reject her importance by taking away due respect…well, the devil wins on both counts. However, if we are Wise…then we respect Mary without placing her in a position above the one God gave her. Even Paul gloried in his weakness, as he gave God the glory for the thorn in the flesh, knowing it was better to be abased, than exalted above measure. Jesus would also hear a woman say, “Blessed is the womb who bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked” (Luke 11:27). In response Jesus said, “Yes rather, blessed are they who hear the Word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28). Jesus didn’t say that Mary was not blessed, rather He said she was…but blessed even more are those who Hear the Word of God and keep it. Faith still comes by hearing, blessed are those who hear and obey the voice of the Lord. We also see the phrase, “blessed is she who believed”; therefore, it was not by works here, but by belief.
Think about the people of the time; here we find two families, related to one another, Mary with a child, yet she had never been with a man. What would they call her today? Whacko? Yes, it would be on the news, “Mary the whacko.” We know The Promise, we know that this is of God, yet, to the natural mind of man, many things are “impossible”; however, we also know this is a one-time event, and there will not be another like it. Clarity and discernment by the Word in us, removes the fables and sets our sights on belief and faith. Did Mary claim to be “the mother of God”? No, not at all, she claimed to be a handmaiden for the Lord, as she gave God the Glory.
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior (1:46-47).
Here the word “spirit” is used in the same context as the Old Testament, referring to the outward expression of the inward soul, or better her Expressed Attitude was joy, thus her heart was filled with joy, and the joy was expressed through her heart and soul, becoming obvious on the outside.
Mary had choice in the matter, she picked Joy, but she could have viewed it as a burden as well. She was unmarried, she had to face her future husband, telling him she was with child from a miracle. She looked for the Precious, found it, and joy came. It would surprise us how many times the Lord has presented us with events to obtain the blessing, yet because of our attitude and self-based thinking we have blinded ourselves to the blessing, ending missing the joy, or falling into bitterness.
For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever (1:49-55).
This entire prophecy speaks to the Full Ear; God has seen us in our low estate, and He lifted us for His Name’s sake, which Name (Authority) is Holy. He has done a mighty work in our hearts; He has given us the Strength of Christ, and He has exposed our wild imaginations. He is saving our souls, scattering the thoughts from the “spirit of man” back to the “Sea,” pulling down strongholds, braking up the foundation, and restoring our souls to their rightful purpose.
Mary’s prophecy also covers the Time Of Comfort, thus the purpose of God was to present the fullness of the Promise; however, having it “at hand,” and having it “in hand” are different. The Pharisees were so close, yet so far away. The Prophecy was presented, the kingdom was presented; and it was all complete in the eyes of God, yet at the same time, God knew, they would reject it.
And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house (1:56).
Since Mary arrived when Elisabeth was six months along, this would mean that Elisabeth was nearing delivery when Mary left. Mary would have been at least three months along after the visit; this also shows that John was about six months older than Jesus.
Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her, and it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child: and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father (1:57-59).
This shows that Mercy was granted to Elisabeth, yet Mary was looked upon as Favored. Mary gained her imputed favor by the child she carried, but this opened for her when “she believed”; the same was/is true with us. It’s the Seed of God in us granting us favor before the Lord. Thus we “believed,” then received; it isn’t the other way around. This allegory shows how John would walk in Mercy, yet proclaim that Grace was approaching, in Jesus. Without the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, all this would be a mind game; but since we have the Cross and Resurrection, it’s not a mind game, but faith.
Before the Cross no one could impute their old man dead, they had no foundation to do so, but since Jesus died and was raised again the foundation is established. Based on the Resurrection we obtained the Seal of the Holy Spirit, by the evidenced of being Born Again we know the Resurrection is real, yet without the Cross there is no starting place, and without the Resurrection there is no Life.
And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John (1:60).
By this time Zacharias was able to write down enough of his experience for Elisabeth to know at least the name of the child; yet this broke tradition. Before John was even born he was breaking down the “traditions of men.”
And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name (1:61).
John is the Greek Ioannes, but it’s the Hebrew Yowchanan meaning Jehovah favored, or Jehovah has graced. Prior, the angel said, “he shall be great in the sight of the Lord”; therefore, the Greatness was John’s position, making the paths of the Lord straight. Mary was Favored, and she became the vehicle for the Son to take on the form of man, John would present and wash the Sacrifice, yet neither Mary or John could obtain those positions without Jesus being the cause and purpose.
The act of John baptizing Jesus only happened once in the life of mankind; John washed the Sacrifice of God, an act that no high priest, or priest had ever done. Sure, they washed themselves and washed the sacrifices unto God, but none of them washed the One from God. When the Dove and Voice came, the Sacrifice was accepted. This man named John heard and saw the evidence of the Sacrifice of God being accepted, yet he didn’t run off saying, “I’m the cause of Christ”. Humbleness takes choice, we are “sons of God”, but does it mean we run around saying, “Watch it, I’m the anointed”? Hardly, since pride and humbleness are opposed to one another.
And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John, And they marveled all (1:62-63).
They weren’t satisfied with Elizabeth’s answer; they wanted the father to name the child. The name of John didn’t come from either Elisabeth or Zacharias; it was ordained of God before the foundation of the world. John’s name had to point to a past priestly order as evidence, showing his purpose and ministry; and regardless of the crowd, the child would have the ordained name.
And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout the hill country of Judea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him (1:64-66).
What was the first thing coming forth? Praises unto God, the man learned his lesson well; God has many “classrooms” for us, yet each has a place of graduation as well.
When Zacharias failed to believe, his mouth was closed; and when he made a step of belief, it was opened. Confession isn’t always what we say, rather confession is a manner of life matching the words spoken. With all this, the Jews knew something was special about this child. This child is prophesied over, yet according to Jewish law, the effort shouldn’t come until the child reached his age of responsibility.
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life, and thou, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on High hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (1:67-79).
The name of the male child was given at circumcision, not at birth, and circumcision came on the eighth day; therefore, these events are at the circumcision of John. Don’t forget, these are Jews; thus they are following the Law of Moses, allowing us to tell from the events taking place what aspect of the Law is being completed. These sayings and events relate to the male child’s circumcision, which was always on the Eighth Day.
Now wait, if God finished all His work on the Seventh Day, why did He allow circumcision on the Eighth? Ahh, a New Beginning; the act of Circumcision related to the Covenant of Abraham, and the Sabbath Day to the Law of Moses. “The Shadow” pointed to the time when another “male child” would open the New Beginning, which would be “The Day,” for the Time of Salvation. The time was at hand for the changing of the Law, from a Law given to the disobedient, to a Law designed for the obedient. The New Beginning was at hand, the circumcision of John explained why God finished His works and rested on the Seventh day; yet God had Abraham begin the mark of the covenant on the Eighth. This was something New, it was the dawn of the Day, the time for the creation of the Day to begin. God is faithful; here we find, several thousand years past the fall in the Garden, that the prophecy was coming to pass. How many prophets of Old desired to see this day? How many of the Pharisees saw it, yet failed to believe it?
In the Book of Revelation we find another “Eighth”… one who is of the Seven (churches and nations, making it Gentile), associated with Perdition (drawing back to – Heb 10:38-39), only one group fits the position, the Wicked, the sons of perdition, the workers of iniquity, so why the “Eighth”? They had the ability to be circumcised of heart, but rejected it for the old heart. This act of circumcision was not by chance, God didn’t make up the “eighth day”, it had a Purpose.
The name John (Ioannes in the Greek) was not among the acceptable Jewish names used for circumcision; the accepted name would either be Jonathan (Yehonoson), or Jochanan. At circumcision, the male child is given a Jewish name for the purpose of the Torah (Law), yet he can have another name for social reasons. When the people asked for the name of the child, they weren’t looking for the child’s social name, but for his name as it relates to the Law of Moses. This is another area showing that a change was taking place; God picked the name for this child. But, was God breaking the very Law that He gave Moses? No, there was a change, an advancement from the natural to the spiritual; this was not in addition to the Old, but something brand New. The Law and Prophets were until John; thus the short time for John was the space between the Old and New, but it held great Changes in the Advancement of the Plan.
According to the Jew, Circumcision is the second commandment of the 613 commandments of the Torah, but the act didn’t come into being until Abraham. They seem to leave out, “thou shall not eat of the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of good and evil”.
Circumcision of the flesh was a sign to tell the holder that they had a right by the sign, to obtain the Abrahamic Covenant. However, Paul points out that Abraham received the sign after his belief; thus the mark of the Abrahamic Covenant for his offspring is based on his belief, not theirs. The child had no say so in the event, but the mark was merely a token giving them the right to enter. With Abraham, it was imputed righteousness; thus those who enter the Abrahamic Covenant do so under the covering of Abraham, not the covering of Christ. The point was so important, that Paul told the Galatians they were about to fall from Grace because they were seeking signs not afforded to them (Gal 5:4).
The circumcision rites and other Jewish rites explain why there were only ten disciples present at many events, yet the ten were considered Twelve. A Jewish quorum is called a Minyan, and it consists of ten adult males, representing all twelve tribes. When Jesus appeared to the disciples, Thomas was not there, and Judas was dead; but John 20:24 tells us that Thomas is one of the “twelve”, so how can this be? By Quorum, although Judas was dead, the Quorum was still twelve. Perhaps Peter’s reasoning in Acts chapter one, is based on gaining back the twelve, yet they voted based on Quorum. Nonetheless, Peter and the others were told to Tarry, not to appoint. The Holy Ghost is the one who appoints people into the five-fold Offices (Acts 13:1-3). This still shows that when Jesus appeared, there were ten disciples, making the Quorum, which would have been considered a complete unit.
Also we find the Jewish Kiseh shel Elijahu Ha-Navi or “Chair of the Prophet Elijah.” The child is put in the chair as a part of the circumcision rite, thus when John was placed in The Chair, Zacharias started to prophesy as the people were amazed and wondered, could this be Elijah? They all expected the child to get up and do something, thus they had the preconceived concept of Elijah walking down the road as an adult male announcing the coming of the Messiah. This false concept was held by some of the Jews regarding the Messiah as well. Even today we find some who think the word “virgin” means unable to give birth, thus we find males who think the virgin birth of the Messiah will be through them. Silly? Yeah, well most traditions are.
The thought of John being Elijah, the man, will be seen when John begins to baptize; the religious rulers wanted to know if he was Elijah, or the Prophet, or the Messiah. However, John proclaimed, “I am not”. John understood that it was the message of the prophet, not the prophet himself, but the people were looking for the man Elijah, not the message.
The mother of the child is forbidden to be present at the actual act of circumcision, but women in general can be present. The child is kept in another room with the mother, until the time of circumcision, then the Kvatter, (a man designated by the father) brings child into the room where the act is to be performed. The child can, and usually does have a godfather, called a Sandek. The ceremony itself is called, Brit Mila, or simply Briss. The one who does the actual cutting is called a Mohel, who may or may not be a rabbi. The Mohel will call in a Loud Voice, Baruch Ha-Ba or “Blessed be he who comes”, this is done as the child is placed in the Elijah Chair. The entire prophecy of Zacharias centers on this one saying. This shows how the tradition went from a token of the Abrahamic Covenant to including all sorts of things. Surely Elijah wasn’t the son of Abraham, so how does he fit here? Tradition.
The Sandek is the only one who can remain seated during the ceremony, all others must stand. The father of the child says a blessing, similar to, “enter into the covenant of our father, Abraham”. When this blessing is done, all those present say with a Loud Voice, K’shem shenichnass labrit ken y’kaness latorah ul’chupah ul’maasim tovim or “Just as he has entered into the covenant so may he enter into the Torah (study of), marriage and the performance of good deeds”. This shows that the circumcision was not a sign or Token regarding the Law, but it was required of the people to whom the Law was given. The good deeds noted here, are of course all deeds associated to the Law of Moses, just as our “good deeds” are based on Mercy by faith and belief. Once our fleshly heart is cut away, it would not only be foolish, but an insult to the Cross to continue in works of self-righteousness. We can see the type and shadow of our hearts being circumcised, and why Jesus said, “From the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak.” These young males had no choice, they were only eight days old, but we do have a choice to submit to the New Heart.
After the cutting away comes the rite of uncovering and binding. To the Jew, this means releasing the person into the promise, but the circumcision of the heart goes further. Jesus said, “Whatsoever you bind on earth is bound,” but if we release Mercy on earth, the Father releases His Mercy on us and as we forgive, we are forgiven; however, if we refuse to forgive, we bind the Father’s Mercy in heaven from us.
The rite of uncovering and binding is called P’riah. The procedure is to bind the wounded area, while leaving the rest of the body exposed. This is a type and shadow of being open and naked before God. This doesn’t end the rite, the Mohel then takes a cup of wine and recites a blessing during which the boy’s name is proclaimed. Until this time the name of the child was secret, as a type and shadow of our hidden name found in Jesus, it’s a name no man knows, yet it’s known by all men. Our new Name is The Name Of Jesus, for as He is, so are we in this world. No one can understand the Three Positions of Jesus (Son of man, Son of God and God the Son), unless they have Jesus in them of a Truth. The mystery takes us from knowing Jesus as the Son of man by the Cross, to knowing Jesus as the Son of God by the Power of the Resurrection, and to knowing Jesus as God the Son, through the Blood and Sacrifice. As the Son of man, Jesus represented man to God through the Mercy of the Father; thus Jesus would speak from His position of flesh and blood as the Son of man. Yet as the Son of God, He represented God to man, as He speaks from the position based on the Grace of God. As God the Son, He rules His Kingdom by His Righteousness; the three positions could be equated to Savior, Lord, and Master, yet He is still One.
Without the Holy Ghost giving us the Greater He in us (the Spirit or New Man), we could not call Jesus Lord (I Cor 12:3 & I Jn 4:1-5). This doesn’t mean that one can’t mouth the words, “Jesus is Lord”, nor does it refer to Jesus being their Savior; rather it means, one can’t be a true Servant without the Spirit. One can say all sorts of things, but their “Ways” will show if their words match their doings. A hypocrite says one thing, but does another. We know the word Hypocrite is a compound word meaning to judge under, or judging someone under us, so we can feel superior; but it’s defined as “an actor”, or “a pretender”, so how can it be? The actor in times past, would hold a clay mask before their face, thus they would pretend to be something they were not; a hypocrite thinks they are one thing, but in truth they are another. The Pharisees and other religious rulers gave off an appearance of holiness, but inside they were doubters and judges of things they knew nothing about.
The Torah has a means to postpone the ceremony of circumcision; if the child is weak, sick, or unable to endure the process, the ceremony can be postponed. Really, any commandment can be postponed if there is a danger of death. The saying goes, “The Torah is to live by, not to die by”… showing that it doesn’t bring life; rather it gives man a means to live on this earth without having the curse fall on them. This saying after becoming twisted, produced the false concept that the Pharisees held; they presumed that since they read about Life and did the Law of Moses, that they had Life. But Jesus corrected the false concept by saying that the Scriptures spoke of Him (Jn 5:38-41). The same is still true, the Bible talks about Life and Grace, but only Jesus can give us Life. We can also see how they twisted the concept of the Law which was the “law of sin and death,” not “remission and life.” The letter of the Law still kills, even if one says it doesn’t.
Since we are considered dead to the flesh, the 613 commandments of the Law of Moses are not designed for us; rather, the Law of Moses is purposed for those who have not died. The Law of the Spirit is for those who have died, are buried and raised again by the Power of the Spirit. It seems impossible for us, but God imputes, then imparts. From this premise we can call the old nature dead, yet we live by the life of Christ living in us, and by the Faith of Jesus who loved us, before we loved him, as He gave Himself for us, long before we accepted Him (Gal 2:20).
There were also the rules governing a child born to a mixed marriage, where one parent was Jewish, the other a Goy (Gentile); this was called the Dam Ha-brit, or the Blood Of The Covenant. In this case the child had to wait until eight days before the Age of Reason (13 years), thus giving them choice in the matter. In order for one to be Jewish, their mother had to be Jewish, thus this ceremony related to a child who had a Jewish mother, but a Gentile father, just as Paul who was Jewish by his mother, but Roman by his father, thus he could claim to be a Jew to the Jews, and a Roman to the Romans.
The Circumcision is a sign of the covenant; it’s not the covenant. Thus, it became a secret mark reminding the male that he was promised a position in the Abrahamic Covenant. Without the circumcision of the flesh, any attempt to claim the Abrahamic Covenant would be illegal. The Gentile is called “not of the circumcision”; whereas, the Jew is classed as, “of the circumcision”, which simply means, that a Gentile has no right whatsoever to enter the Abrahamic Covenant, but every Jew does. This also helps us define the term “Jew”; which is different from the term “Israel”. Israel is a nation, a Jew is a person. There is no nation called “Jew”, there is one called “True Israel”, and someone from Israel is called an Israeli. The term Jew comes from the name Judah; Judah was one of twelve sons, he was not all twelve. It has become a generic term over the years, but it means that one has a token to allow them entry into a covenant with God. We however, are circumcised at Heart, making us a “true Jew,” meaning, the circumcised Heart is the Seal of the Holy Spirit.
Most all orthodox Jews, whether Ashkenazim, Sephardim, or among the Others, can’t see any correlation between the Old Testament and the New; to them the New is/was merely a means for a Gentile to move around the Law of Moses to steal a position in the Abrahamic Covenant. This has a hint of truth, but lacks a great deal. As Gentiles, we came around the Law by faith, while the Jews came out of the Law by faith. However, as Paul points out to the Galatians, if any of us under the New, attempt to obtain the token of the Abrahamic Covenant… we fall from Grace. The Abrahamic Covenant had 153 blessings, Peter had to make his choice, the “153 blessings” or Jesus; he couldn’t have both.
People who pick acts of self-righteousness over the Righteousness of God, do so for various reasons: some want to appear holy before men, some want to appear holy before their own self, some think they are impressing God, some think they have validated God’s love for them. They mistake the blessing on (from) the deed, for affection from God on the person. It’s sad, but the Jews hold a like-thought process; they assume that since they have the Law of Moses, that they have the inroad to God’s love. The Law of Moses came from God’s Mercy, provoked by God’s wrath. God loves us all, He even loves cockroaches and bugs, since they are created; but acts of self-righteousness will never gain God’s love. He first loved us, before we loved Him. One receives the Love of God, they don’t earn it.
These acts conducted by the Jews had to do with position, not affection, as the child was given a position from which to choose. The like-element for us would be the kingdom of heaven; we are pulled from the darkness by the Cross to become a “living soul” by the Mercies of God, free to make a choice without the influence of the prince of the power of the air. Our decision will be based on belief and faith, as we accept the Spirit coupled with the guidelines regarding Mercy and Grace in order to have Life more abundantly. A Living Soul is still earth related and natural thinking, but free of the darkness, as Adam before the Fall; but in the end he failed. The fall proved one thing above all else, natural thinking man is unable to understand spiritual matters. Paul says we are sealed by the Holy Spirit; he also tells us not to grieve the same Holy Spirit that we are sealed by. An example of some who were delivered from the world, and had the Spirit, yet who remained carnal…. would be the Corinthians. Luke will be the only Gospel scribe to use the title “Holy Spirit”, showing that the Holy Spirit is the New Man, a product of the Seed given us by the Holy Ghost.
God is still God, the devil is not; yet there is a “god of this world.” Paul said that the “god” of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not (II Cor 4:4). The Greek word used for “god” in the text is Theos referring to God, or something from God. What Power has God instilled on this earth? How about the Law of Moses? Yes, in the same place where we find “god of this world” we find Paul talking about the Veil of the Law of Moses, as this same Veil “blinds the mind” (II Cor 3:13-18).
The Law of Moses is a Principality, and the Ten Commandments, a Power (Col 2:14-15). A Principality is a place, or element within a realm, it is not the realm. From a Principality would come a Prince, and the Prince is known by the Principality he represents. The Law of Moses is a result of the Ten Commandments, making the Law of Moses the prince. In the case of Jesus we find that He is the “Prince of Peace”; thus Peace is not all the Kingdom is, but peace is within the Kingdom. On the other hand, we find that there is the prince of the power (authority) of the air (unseen natural realm around us – Eph 2:2). This Principality is not the “air”, but rather…. “disobedience” (Eph 2:-3 & Col 3:6). With all this we find all these traditions to be winds of doctrine coming from the Covenant which God gave Abraham, plus the Law which God gave Moses.
However, why would Paul think that God would allow some to be blinded? “The Night,” the “Remnant” cannot know of the Gospel, yet hold to the Commandments. However, if we know of the Gospel, then claim to be of the 144,000, we lie and the truth is not in us.
At the time of John’s birth, we find the ruling order was Rome; yet the people at the circumcision were amazed when Zacharias said, “That we should be saved from our enemies”; so, who is this child, what manner of child is this? What should we look for? They ask but won’t see it, for the child would grow as any child, but with an attitude making him much different from the other children. We don’t read where John walked as a holy child, but we do know that he was separated as a Nazarite; whether he acted out any childish rebellion or not, really becomes moot, since the Nazarite vow was accepted as a sign of what might be.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel (1:80).
The spirit talked about here, goes back to the “spirit of Elijah”; the message was growing in John, and we can see that he was separated until “the time of his message” joined “the timing of God.” We know, for the most part, that prophets aren’t a lot of fun to be around. They have a propensity to make all things naked and open, and therefore, some people go out of their way to avoid the prophet, simply because they don’t want “things open”.
Early Jewish writings indicated the ages where a male was considered at age; one age was thirteen, when the male was considered responsible to their learning and adhering to the Commandments. Really neither John nor Jesus had to prove that they would adhere to the Commandments; they lived them. John lived in the shadow of Mercy before it was given as Pardon by Jesus; thus he was a type of the Red Sea. He wasn’t the Old, and he wasn’t the New; he was between the two. Luke now goes to the birth of Jesus and fills in some Jewish gaps.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria (2:1-2).
Cyrenius was also known as Quirinus, which produced the title Quiritarian meaning a Roman citizen by Roman Law. This taxing was not something new, but something Caesar decided was a good idea; yet we know that Caesar didn’t dream this idea up; God allowed it to be formed. Couldn’t God simply tell Joseph, “Go to Bethlehem”? No doubt; but there was more involved here, than simply going to Bethlehem. The “going” had to be by decree, and it had to be from an outside source. More specifically it had to be as a result of something the Oppressor purposed, thereby removing any thought of Joseph attempting to bring prophecy to pass.
In order to include the Gentile, God made sure that the Romans had a hand in the birth by association; it didn’t open the Door, but it did bring the Gentile to it. The evidence shows how God used the events of man, it doesn’t mean God manipulated them, rather God knew the events before man did.
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: (because he was of the house and lineage of David:). To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child (2:3-5).
Joseph didn’t write to Rome and suggest the tax, neither did he assume that the child would be born in Bethlehem; he was following the commands of the civil government. Joseph didn’t sit down and say, “You know Mary, if we do this just right, all of them will think this kid is the Christ”. No, the man simply obeyed the law of the land.
There are three cities known as the City of David, but only one where David was born. Zion is the promised City of David, where the House of David waits for the Time of Comfort (Rev 14:1 & 3:7). The city of Jerusalem is built on the mount known as Zion, thus David also took Zion the City of David by force (I Chron 11:4-5). Jerusalem is the City where David ruled as king, but it was also the city that he was run out of, by his rebellious son. Jesse was David’s father, and he was known as a Bethlehemite, which is not with respect to a tribe, but a city. Both Jesse and David were of the tribe of Juda (I Sam 16:1). Bethlehem means House of Bread or House of the Shewbread; therefore, the House of David in Jerusalem is set aside for the Remnant, the House of Jesus is centered on The Bread Of Life. It depends on which “city of David” one is talking about, here it’s the city of David’s birth which was Bethlehem, later Jesus will weep over Jerusalem, yet the Remnant are marked on Zion, three areas, all have a time and timing in the plan of God.
Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth in Galilee through Nain, along the river Jordan past Sychar and Ephraim and Jerusalem to reach Bethlehem. Bethlehem was located approximately eight miles south of Jerusalem, but Nazareth was nearly 90 miles north east of Bethlehem. They didn’t take the train or even a bus, they traveled as any person would in those days.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered (2:6).
Since Mary was with child, the trip took time, and when they reached Bethlehem, many, if not all the other people from the house of David were already there. Joseph couldn’t rent a room, but it wasn’t because he didn’t have money. If Joseph didn’t have the money, why would he look for a room? God saw there would be no rooms available; Joseph tarried as a result of God’s will. It wasn’t time to open the Door to the House of David, thus Jesus had to be born outside the House, yet in the line to the House.
Jesus was born in the open, just as Adam was formed in the open. Jesus was born within the sight of the Pasture where the sacrificial lambs were being raised, near enough for the shepherds to honor the true Lamb of God. God knowing the mind of man, made sure that no man would be able to claim, “Jesus was born here” or “Joseph slept here.” Some Wicked person would end up making a profit by selling pieces of the Inn, as his counterparts would continue selling the Inn for the next fifteen hundred years. Today in Israel we can find people selling “pieces of the Cross,” but if all those pieces were put together the Cross would be taller than the Empire State Building, hardly the case. Selling the Dove was a sin during the earthly ministry; it’s still a sin drawing the Lord’s anger.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (2:7).
Not only was there no room in the inn, but Mary didn’t bring any clothes for the child, nor did she have any furniture for the child, simply because… they came to Bethlehem to pay their taxes and then go directly home; however, God had a plan with a timing and purpose. Did Mary expect to have the child in Bethlehem? No, or she would have prepared for it; but God knew this, then allowed the event to be just as it was. This event may not have appeared good to either Joseph or Mary, since they knew that the child was special. By the way, this was approximately three months after John was born. Surely Mary and Joseph knew of the great event regarding this birth, or how close it was to the time of delivery. Yet, here they were…no rooms available… now, here comes the birth. How could a good God allow His own Son to be born with a bunch of animals? Wow, could Mary have something to blame God for? Well, she didn’t; she knew God had a plan and purpose. Our concept of good, is not always the same as God’s. Our souls tend to define Good by how comfortable our flesh feels during the circumstance, or if the event makes us happy. Being happy and holding Joy are different, being blessed gives us a reason to be happy; Joy brings us into happiness, regardless of the event.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night (2:8).
The phrase, Watch over their flock by night, could also read, “These were night watchers of the flock; thereby showing that the sheep were the temple sacrificial sheep; thus the shepherds left the things purposed for a sacrifice, to worship Him who is the Sacrifice.” God’s wisdom also made sure that the shepherds didn’t have to ask any man in the inn which room the King of the Jews was born in; rather they followed the sign. Ahh, the “sign”; the time was changing, and there was a New Sign for a New Covenant. Could God bring a New Covenant? Yes, the Law of Moses was a new covenant, and really the Abrahamic Covenant was new to Abraham, as the Noahic Covenant was new to Noah.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people (2:9-10).
This is Gabriel, as shown by the phrase, The angel of the Lord, rather than An angel of the Lord. Right from the beginning we see the promise of something New “at hand”; the Good tidings (Gospel) will be for all people, not just the Jews. The Jews rightly proclaim that the Torah was only given to them, as they are “the chosen,” but under the Law of Moses. However, “being chosen by the Law”, and “answering the Call to be among the Chosen”… are different. God picked Israel from all the nations of the earth; but God has another Kingdom not of this earth. Jesus would later say, salvation was for the Jews, yet we know Jesus knew from the beginning, the Jews would reject Him; therefore, the purpose of God was to present the one means where “the called” could become “the Chosen.” The Reality of God knew, that they would reject it; thus He also said, “Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:2-3). Walking in the Law of Moses is not “agreeing with God,” it’s “agreeing with the Law”; walking in the Spirit is agreeing with God, by having the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord (2:11).
The term “A Savior”… doesn’t mean one among many, rather it shows the Jewish meaning of, “God Our Savior.” This was made clear by Paul, when he wrote to Titus and said, “God our Savior” two times (Titus 1:3 & 3:4); then, “Lord Jesus Christ our Savior” two times (Titus 1:4 & 3:6); then he linked them together by saying, “Looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Paul didn’t have a problem calling Jesus “God our Savior”; thus the True Savior incorporates the Gentiles and Jews into the Newness, yet leaves room for the Remnant, but it’s still One Savior. It’s one thing to save man from other men, but another to save: man from himself, man from sin, man from the sin nature, as well as from the confines of the earth.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on the earth peace, good will toward men (2:12-14).
The phrase “sign unto you” shows that Jesus is the Sign of the New, as the New Man is created after God’s holiness and righteousness to be our Sign of the New (Eph 4:24).
This separation is for our benefit; the angels knew that the Father was in heaven, but Jesus was on earth, and the connection was presented and complete. To the Jew, this is impossible, but not to God; Is anything too hard for the Lord? The Peace noted here is on the earth, not the world, rather this is Peace with God on earth, thus Peace in our Season is only found in the heart of the Believer. Since this Peace is in Jesus, it stands that when we enter Jesus, we enter His Peace as well.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds (2:15-18).
By this time in Jewish history, the shepherds were considered lower class, the night watchers were considered even lower; therefore, the priests avoided contact with them. Jesus didn’t come down the road all decked out as a Pharisee, or as a King covered with jewels, a mystic making miracles (some side show); He came a little lower than the angels, in the form of a common man, faced with the common decisions of growing up in a strict religious atmosphere (Ps 8:5 & Heb 2:7-9).
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them (2:19-20).
Seeing and hearing these things would set a mother back; here the shepherds show up, yet she knows the child is special, but not even Samson had this much attention, no not David, or even Abraham, what is going on?
Luke shows that there were witnesses to the birth of Jesus, yet the Pharisees wouldn’t consider these witnesses reliable. Simply put, the shepherds were not among the inner group, and “they weren’t ordained, don’t you know.” We tend to run into this problem whenever the Pharisees rule and reign. Pharisees are Pharisees regardless of the time in man’s history. While the faithful are out doing the work of the Lord, the Pharisees are holding meetings attempting to ascertain “by what Authority” the faithful are operating under. The metaphor “Pharisee” came about by the actions of the Pharisees during the earthly ministry of Jesus; thus we find Pharisees are called, but they are among those who reject the call to be Chosen. They followed/follow the spirit of the world, with their envy, and strife.
Mary and Joseph were still under the Law of Moses, still under the civil authority of Rome, and they were just two common people. Since they were under the Law, it also stands that if Mary just had a baby, she was unclean and unable to travel for seven days, but nonetheless… they had to get home. Ahh, they were near Jerusalem, thus they waited the eight days to take care of two requirements of the Law at the same time. It just so happened that all these events came to pass in these locations; it just so happened that they completed many prophecies. Just so happened? We know better, Amen?
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, His name was called, JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb, and when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him before the Lord; (As it is written in the Law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord) (2:21-23).
This would be in accordance with the Pidyon Ha-Ben, or the Redemption of the Firstborn son (Ex 13:2, 13:13 & Numb 18:15). If the child is the firstborn male, the boy’s father is under an obligation to redeem the child. God took the Levites, which included the Cohanim in place of the firstborn sons, thus the father is really compensating the Cohen (Levite) for serving in the firstborn’s place. If the man is married more than once, the firstborn of each wife must be redeemed. The phrase, “Which opens the womb,” is only applicable to the firstborn of the woman, whether she had any more children or not. Simply saying,”The firstborn”, doesn’t mean that the woman had more children; it means, the firstborn who Opened the Womb. Jesus opened the Kingdom of God, by bringing the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven becomes the Womb for the Kingdom of God, the place where the Firstborn from the Dead saves us from death.
The redemption is a matter of someone of the Cohen coming to the home, breaking bread, and then the father pays the Cohen a sum of money (five seliam or shekels).
In the story of Jesus, the Father sent the three wisemen to the house of Joseph to pay the tribute according to the Law, which makes it impossible for them to be in Jerusalem when Jesus was eight days old. Why? The Law said that the child had to be at least one month old before the tribute could be paid, yet the child could be any age after one month: Numbers 18:16 says, “from a month old”, not “up to a month”.
This also shows that by Jesus submitting to the Cross, He paid the price for us to change family orders, which took effect on Pentecost, some fifty days past Passover. God looks at each of us as “joining the Firstborn from the dead,” which makes each person who is Born Again a type of the Firstborn. None of us are going to be raised unless we die first, thus God used Abraham to show us the principle of imputing.
The name of the child is supposed to be from the father and mother, with the father’s desire being the prominent one, yet accepted by the mother. Here an angel told Mary the name that The Father wanted for His Son.
The days of Mary’s purification would be according to Leviticus 12:1-3; a woman who gives birth to a male child is unclean for seven days; on the eighth day the foreskin of the male shall be circumcised, and the mother makes an offering for herself in order to be called clean again. Mary made her sacrifice as prescribed by the Law; she wasn’t without money, rather she gave the sacrifice according to the Law, nothing more, nothing less. This gives us an exact time element, Jesus was still in the area of Jerusalem at eight days of age. The taxing was the purpose for going to the “city of David”; thus they remained in the area for at least eight days.
Jerusalem is another city of David, and the Kingly Order was now taking place. Since this was in Jerusalem, the name of the child, the birth place, parents names, with the child’s genealogy would be recorded in the Temple records. The evidence showing that Jesus was born in Bethlehem was before the priests the whole time. Whether they looked or not, we don’t know; whether they had the evidence or not is clear. The records were intact until 70 AD, when the temple was destroyed; thus the high priests, religious rulers and Pharisees all had the evidence they needed to determine if Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Like any evidence, we must make the choice to receive it, before it can do us any good.
This evidence will cast off another tradition; in Matthew it’s clear, that the wisemen show up, give their gifts, and after they leave, Joseph takes his family into Egypt. According to these Scriptures it would be impossible for Joseph to take an infant and a woman who just gave birth, into Egypt, yet get back to Jerusalem on the eighth day in order to have the child circumcised…not withstanding, Mary giving her sacrifice, much less giving the offering for the firstborn male. These verses affirm the premise showing that the wisemen went to the House of Joseph, at a time when Jesus was a youth, but not an infant.
And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons (2:24).
There were three different events this day: first the child was named when He was circumcised, and Mary gave her sacrifice for purification; then came the offering of the first male unto the Lord. Yet all were according to the Law, all eight days after the birth of Jesus. Luke clearly shows that the offering was according to the Law, not according to their income.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (2:25-26).
Since the Holy Ghost was “upon Simeon,” this indicates that it was for this purpose. We don’t see the title “Holy Ghost” in the Old Testament, although Peter says, that the men of Old were moved by the Holy Ghost. Peter also says, that the purpose for those holy men of Old to write, was based on the Spirit of Christ; thus their words in them projected to our hope in Christ. Again we find that the function of the Holy Ghost, either “in” or “on” a person, is relative to the function of the calling of the person. In our case we have the Seed granted by the Holy Ghost, yet when it comes to dealing with the Masses, the Holy Ghost will fill us multiple times. So, we only get one Seed of God, but many fillings of the Holy Ghost.
In Acts, the disciples were Born Again, but they were filled with the Holy Ghost several times, and each time was to deal with the masses in some manner. The Seed of God in us is the Spirit, who has two functions: to save our souls and Witness Jesus. The Manifestation of the Spirit is for those one on one encounters, and the filling of the Holy Ghost is for the masses. The anointing on the Office is for the leaders to assist the Body, but we need something more to present Jesus to the masses, thus the Holy Ghost will fill us for the purpose (Acts 4:29-31).
We will also see Anna, and she will give a “like prophecy,” but there are differences between the two, for good reason. Simeon points to the nation Israel and the Consolation of Israel, the word Consolation means Comfort, referring to the Time of Comfort, or the Restoration of Israel. The time for Restoration was at hand, the promise was before them, yet the Day must come before the Night.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, (2:27).
If there was any question as to the location, here is the answer; they were in Jerusalem in the Temple, for the specific purpose of completing the “Custom of the Law.” All this adds to our time table; Mary being unclean, wasn’t going anywhere until her offering was made, yet it couldn’t be made until the eighth day. Jesus was circumcised the same day; thus there isn’t any room for the wisemen to show at the house in Nazareth, then have Joseph, Mary and Jesus leave for Egypt, and then get back to Jerusalem for the offerings. Clearly the wisemen did show, but they showed up at the house of Joseph several months after the birth of Jesus.
The words, Spirit and Ghost come from the same Greek word; the translators of the Authorized Version were making a distinction between the directional action of the Holy Ghost, and the Spirit in us. The Holy Ghost brings the Seed, while the Seed is the Spirit Holy, or “the Spirit that is of God” (or the Holy Spirit) as Luke will point out (Luke 11:13). The Spirit has specific authority and tasks, as does the Holy Ghost. The Spirit is connected with Salvation and Grace, while the Holy Ghost has other functions, including being a part of the Record in heaven with the Father and Word. (1 John 5:7)
The Holy Ghost brings the ability for us to be the Witness (Water, Blood, and Spirit). Jesus will be filled with the Holy Ghost, but He will also have the Spirit on Him.
Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou, Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people: a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel (2:28-32).
Later Jesus will take the little children in His arms, saying, Hinder not the little ones. Jesus knows what it feels like to be in the arms of a prophet; we have a better promise of being in the Hand of the Lord. The phrase “Your Salvation”, could also read “Jehovah’s Salvation”, and even the simplest of rabbis should have seen this prophecy. When someone is blinded to the Gospel, they are blinded. It’s important to see how Simeon is pointing to the “people Israel”, not all people.
And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him (2:33).
The word Marveled means To hold in admiration; therefore, they knew that something was special about Jesus; they had all the prophecies, but the greatness of the importance…. it wouldn’t be known for years, in fact Joseph won’t be alive to see it. How many of us have a “word” or a “prophecy” regarding our children, yet forget how God has given us the word or prophecy to show what will be, not necessarily what is. As the child is growing we do wonder, and at times we tend to force the word to come to pass, but we must trust in God to bring the Word to pass.
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against: (2:34).
This shows that there must be a Fall, before the Rising can take place. This generation will reject Him and fall, but later God will put His hand a Second Time to Recover Israel through the Time of Comfort. Simeon was blessed, and he blessed God; but now he blesses both Joseph and Mary. This also gives us the first and second purpose of God for Israel, leading to the Restoration of Israel (Isa 11:11). The first purpose was to bring the Christ for the Salvation of the Day, and the second purpose is to make the enemies of Jesus His footstool in the Night. Since the first did come to pass, we know that the second will surely come to pass.
(Yes, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed (2:35).
The Word of God is able to separate for clarification, (bringing clarity to our intents and thoughts). Yet, we are also told that the unbeliever and the unlearned hear prophecy and fall on their face when their hearts are exposed. Of course the Wicked get in our face when they’re exposed. On the same note, the Believer and the Learned jump for joy when prophecy comes…three different responses to prophecy, yet the prophecy was presented.
Simeon speaks in the future tense; the Sword is not the sword of some Roman solider, rather we find it connects to “spoken against” which is the Greek Antilego meaning to gainsay, which also means “to oppose or declare false.” Some prophecy… but really it’s good, Simeon speaks of the Wicked who will say things evil of Jesus, but they will also say evil things of the “vessels of honor” as well. Once Simeon testified, the second witness would speak as the two agreed, yet pointed to two different aspects.
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher: she was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day (2:36-37).
Luke gives us the qualifications of Anna, showing that she didn’t partake of the lawful ceremony to marry her husband’s brother, but joined herself to the temple. The widow lived with her husband from her virginity for Seven Years, this doesn’t mean she was a virgin during the Seven Years; rather it points to her being a virgin at the time of her marriage.
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spoke of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee to their own city Nazareth (2:38-39).
This prophecy goes to the City of Jerusalem, the Woman, or to those who look for Redemption, not Restoration. This goes to the time when God places His hand a Second time to Redeem the Remnant. The Time of Comfort is not a fable, or a dream; it’s prophecy yet to come, but it’s still for the Night. We are children of the Day; we are not children of the Night, or of the Darkness.
Luke shows that Joseph and Mary returned to Nazareth in Galilee, as their duties under the Law were complete. This is vital; putting the time element together, we can cast away some traditions. Jesus was circumcised at eight days of age according to the Law (Lev 12:1-3, Luke 1:59 & 2:21). Mary gave her sacrifice on the eighth day as well, and Joseph gave his according to the law of the firstborn (Luke 2:22-23). Then, they went home to their “house.” Some time later, the wisemen showed up in Jerusalem where they spoke to Herod. Herod feared that the coming Messiah would displace him, thus he had all the children two years old or younger slain (Matthew 2:16). When the wisemen left Herod, they started to travel to Bethlehem, but they noticed that the star was not toward Bethlehem, thus they turned to find Jesus “in the house” (Matt 2:9-11). When they entered the house they found the Young Child Jesus, (not an infant), and this identifies “The House” to be the same one noted here (Luke) as being in Nazareth. The wisemen then had a dream of warning, and went back a different way. Herod believing that he had been mocked…had the children in Bethlehem (from two years of age and under) killed. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth…” (Matthew 2:16) Joseph also had a dream of warning, then took Jesus and Mary into Egypt. All these events take place over a period of at least 18 months, to perhaps two years. So, having the wisemen show up at the same time as the shepherds makes a good “tale,” but it doesn’t match the Scriptures (Matt 2:2-23).
The three wisemen were known as Magi or Star Watchers, but there is a vast difference between looking at the stars to find God, and looking at the stars to find man’s future.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him (2:40).
One function of a teacher is to end controversy; Luke puts to rest the heresy of “Jesus became the Son of God at the baptism.” There is a difference between Knowledge and Wisdom, and between “having the Holy Ghost fall on someone” and “being Filled with The Spirit”; there is a difference between “being filled with the Holy Ghost” and “being Born Again.” If the “child Jesus” was “strong in spirit,” why did the form of a dove fall at baptism? The baptism of Jesus was the presentation and acceptance of the Sacrifice; and the Holy Ghost signified the opening of the ministry to deal with the masses. So, the dove was related to the Mercy of the Father, and connected to the purpose of the ministry, which was to present Salvation through Grace.
On the same note… the acceptance of the Fourth Cup points to Judgment. Jesus operated as the Son of man in the presentation of Mercy, but the goal was Grace as the Son of God, then maintaining the Kingdom as God the Son.
Paul was a teacher, prophet, and apostle; and when he operated as a teacher, he was a teacher. When he operated as an apostle, he was an apostle. Jesus, as the Word, “was” from the Beginning, but we find that His witness on earth is His Blood (I Jn 5:7-8). The correlation between the Record and Witness is important, the connection for the Father is the Water (Mercy), the connection to the Word is the Blood (Grace), the connection to the Holy Ghost is the Spirit. When we see the phrase “ the Grace of God was upon Him,” we can understand the connection of the Dove to Mercy leading to Grace; as the Dove was the sign of the ministry. The premise of Jesus becoming the Son of God by the baptism, would mean that He wasn’t The Word prior, since Paul tells us the Declaration is based on the Resurrection; so all this shows that the baptism was the beginning, not the end of the race.
The Book of Acts explains it best; Peter went to preach to Cornelius. While there, Peter talked about the Holy Ghost, and then Cornelius and his house received the “gift” from the Holy Ghost, the evidence of which was when they spoke in other tongues. Peter wanted water to baptize them in the Name of Jesus. Later, Peter equated the Holy Ghost as having given the gift, when speaking about John the Baptist as having said, “ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 10:45-46 & 11:15-16). So, we see two different acts here…”the baptism by the Holy Ghost which brought the Gift of the Spirit,” and then Peter water baptized them. This verse represents one of those important areas, and later in the Temple Jesus will say, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me,” which shows authority and power with which to begin the earthly ministry….yet here we find (verse 2:40) that the Grace of God was upon Him. Both Grace and Truth came in Jesus, giving us His purpose and character, He never lied, pretended. Grace was His purpose, but it began with Mercy, leading to Grace.
Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover (2:41).
Joseph and Mary didn’t leave the child home, they joined as a family. The Jewish custom of having the children in one group with the adults in another, was for the children, not the adults. The children didn’t see each other often, thus the family groupings allowed them to mingle.
Luke moves forward in time, to a time when Jesus was not yet at the age of accountability, yet He had grown (waxed strong). There are some who have assumed that Joseph was a poor man; but this yearly trip was more than a vacation, and it was very costly. The Passover was one of three feasts where the males were required to travel to Jerusalem, if they could afford it. The Passover is the main time indicator in John’s account, showing the beginning, middle, and end of the earthly ministry.
The Jew holds the Passover above all the other feasts, and without knowing it, they are really proclaiming the importance of the Cross, since God picked the Passover to bring the Cross. To the Jew, the Passover represents the deliverance from Egypt, as a reminder of “what was,” but to us, Jesus is our Passover, Delivering us every day. One would assume Rosh Hashana (which is the New Year or the time to celebrate God’s creation of the world, or even Yom Kippur known as the Day of Atonement), would be more important than the Passover; however, Passover is the most important feast day of celebration to the Jew.
We have two Times (feast days), and half a Time (feast day), our two Times are Passover and Pentecost, and the half of a Time is found in the Feast of Trumpets. The Last Trump will sound the opening of the Jewish New Year, a time when the Jew believes that the devil will be bound, as Peace comes to and from Jerusalem. But to us, it marks the Rapture; both premises are correct. The Promise was opened on Passover, but it came on Pentecost, and it will end at the sound of the Last Trump. Thus, Paul longed to go to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, not Passover. Without Pentecost there is no purpose for being saved from the world; yet without our Passover, we can’t reach Pentecost, and without the Last Trump, all of it is moot. We accept the Cross, but we must also accept our Pentecost to continue to the time of the Last Trump.
When God told the Jew, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and the house of slavery,” it marked Passover and became most important feast of all the feasts and celebrations for the Jew. The day before Passover is the Taanit B’chorim, or the fast day for the firstborn male; this fast was not a celebration as such, rather it included the mourning for the firstborn of Egypt who died, as well as the firstborn of Israel being spared. God didn’t like doing what He had to do, but do it, He did, and He expected His people to feel the same compassion or sorrow He felt for the acts He had to do in Egypt. God takes no pleasure in the death of a sinner.
Included in the Passover is Ma’ot Chittim, or the collection of money, food, and wine to feed the poor. Today, as it was during the earthly ministry of Jesus, the act is important; even the disciples assumed that Judas was going out to feed the poor, which would have been the act of Ma’ot Chittim. However, he was going out to engage with Lilith (demons), and Terach (idol worshipers) as the Datan (traitor). No Jew would ever name their child, Lilith, Terach or Datan, which to them are all names inviting demonic activity.
And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast (2:42).
Luke wants us to know here, that Jesus was twelve years of age, which would have been one year before His obligation to the Torah. He was already circumcised, linking Him to the Abrahamic Covenant. The age 13 was partly based on the age of Ishmael when he was circumcised, history shows that the Arabians picked up the rite and circumcised their males at the age of 13; but to the Jews it an age of separation unto the Torah and Commandments.
The Age of Reason for any Jewish male is thirteen; another name for the Age of Reason is the Age of Rebellion (Josephus Antiquities 12:2). The assignment to the Commandments was not circumcision, since it was done when the male was eight days old, and this is when they are 13 years old. According to the Talmud in the Pirkei Avot, the age of 13 was assigned as the age when one was to begin to learn the Torah, including the Commandments. The child would also be accepted or granted a position among the Minyan or Quorum, but until the age of 13 they were restricted to asking questions at home. Perhaps this could have been Paul’s point with the Corinthians; being carnal, they were not able to understand spiritual matters….so, best for them to learn at home as “infants.” However, here we find at the age of 12 Jesus not only asked questions, He gave answers, something unheard of. Today we know the ceremony as Bar Mitzvah, but the Bar Mitzvah is only a few hundred years old, and it’s nothing like the obligation to the Torah found in the days of the earthly ministry of Jesus. We should not confuse the two; in the days of Jesus it was a simple prayer on sabbath, and today, it’s a big undertaking.
And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it. But they supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance (2:43-44).
As already mentioned earlier, it was a custom for the children to travel with other children; Joseph and Mary assumed then, that Jesus was with the other children, or riding with some of their relatives, yet, He was in the Temple doing His Father’s business. Since Jesus was also applying Mercy before the fact, it stands that Mercy endures. Often the foundation for Godly warfare is based on Mercy; if we can respond in Mercy we are far better than entering retaliation. Jesus didn’t heal anyone, do any miracles, or make any statements regarding His future works, yet it’s clear, He knows who His Father is.
Why is it so important to know that Mercy endures forever? Why doesn’t God say, Grace endures forever? One would think so, considering that we are saved by Grace through faith. Ahh, Grace goes in the Rapture; God’s Mercy is the little strength that the 144,000 use, as they send the knowledge of God from Jerusalem during the Time of Comfort. Without Mercy, we lack the ability to forgive as we are forgiven, and now we know that the manner in which we forgive dictates how we are forgiven. God’s people are destroyed for a Lack of knowledge, and it’s not because God withholds Knowledge, rather His people reject it. How so? They reject Mercy causing them to be blind to Knowledge. This shows why Jesus told the Pharisees to study what it means, “I would have Mercy,”…. mercy is an eye opener.
And when they found Him not, they turned again to Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers (2:45-47).
It would almost appear as if the devil would have something to accuse Jesus with; after all, it does appear as if He disobeyed His parents, or did He? His parents brought Him to Jerusalem for the Passover, and He was about His Father’s business; thus He did all things free of sin. Yet He, Himself, was tempted in all ways, as we are. Since Jesus was tempted, yet “God cannot be tempted to do evil,”… does this mean that Jesus is not of God? Hardly; the concept of “do evil” must be included, as well as Jesus succumbing to the temptation, which He did not.
Did Mary chasten the Lord? No, she voiced her concern; but we know we are chastened of the Lord. On the one hand, a lack of Chastisement means we are bastards; but, on the other, it means we have missed something, and thus to be Chastened of the Lord is not evil, but to miss this point is. God will Chasten us to keep us from being condemned with the world, but the purpose is, for us to bring the Fruit of Righteousness. Yet if we reject the chastening, or take pride in the fact of being chastened, we will miss the purpose, as well as the point (Heb 12:7-11).
Today, there is a Jewish celebration for the girls called Bat Mitzvah, showing when the girls move from being a child, to womanhood. Once the girl reaches Bar Mitzvah, she can no longer remain with her father in the men’s section of the synagogue, but must take her place among the women. In the extreme Orthodox synagogues, as it was in the days of Paul, the women were not allowed to sing or speak within the hearing of the men. Paul used this symbol to explain why women (congregation) should remain silent in carnal churches, and why carnal churches are still under the Law. In order to be free of the Law we must be Spiritual in nature, or at least attempting to be (I Cor 11:1-7). If we desire to hold to the premise, “women remain silent”, we are also admitting we are carnal, or lacking in Spiritual awareness. Traditions, traditions… they make more veils than the Law of Moses. Traditions spin from some factual element, but end so far out of sync, that it is hard to determine where they even came from.
The Bar Mitzvah came from the simple obligation to the Torah by a 13 year old male, and the Bat Mitzvah was the time when a female was moved from sitting next to her father in synagogue, to sitting with the women. Today it’s a big deal, with celebrations, nothing like the events Jesus faced. Nonetheless, we can see how Jesus at 12 years of age was answering questions, something unheard of for a child His age. Luke shows that Jesus had knowledge and wisdom well before the baptism; thus the baptism didn’t make Jesus the Son of man or the Son of God. The tradition regarding Jesus becoming the Son of God at the baptism stems from those who reject or ignore the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. To them, water baptism grants them the New Birth; but we know that Scripture says, that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost grants us the Gift (Acts 11:15-16, 15:8 et al).
It was Mercy healing the people; thus we can be forgiven of our sins, and still fail to enter the Blood of Jesus. Yet, the Blood is the basis for the New Covenant, as it cleans us from unrighteousness, bringing the Remission of sin. A form of Iniquity or being unequal, would be to accept Mercy, but reject Grace, or worse, to think that Mercy is Grace.
And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and His mother said unto Him, son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (2:48).
This is so classic to the time when the Body of Jesus would be in the tomb, as His soul was going through the battle for us. Mary shows sorrow, as it appeared to her that they had lost the one possession God entrusted them with; and like us, they found that Jesus was never lost, we were. Perhaps she felt this was the “sword” spoken of by Simeon (Luke 2:35).
And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought Me? Knew ye not that I must be about My Father’s business? (2:49).
What is “His Father’s business”? Mercy. This shows the difference between the circumcision which relates to the Abrahamic Covenant and being responsible to the Torah. Perhaps in the mind of Joseph, he assumed that Jesus was repairing the structure of the temple; and in some degree He was. A carpenter either builds afresh, or repairs something broken. Jesus was doing both.
And they understood not the saying which He spoke unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (2:50-52).
Until Jesus becomes Of Age (Thirty Years of Age), His responsibility is still to His family. We might think: This is Jesus, He could leave at any time, who was to stop Him? However, until the Law of the Spirit is established, the Law of Moses prevails. The devil accuses by the Law of Moses, since it points to sin and death, he doesn’t understand a thing regarding the Law of the Spirit; thus the Law of the Spirit has made us free of the Law of Sin and Death.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea, and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene (3:1).
The word Tetrarch means One of four rulers: Pontius Pilate was the governor, Philip was the Tetrarch, (he was still married to Herodias), while Herod his brother (and Tetrarch) was over Galilee. Herod’s father was also named Herod, so we don’t want to confuse them. Rome appointed Herod as king; but that king was still subject to the oppressor. The conflict between Pilate and Herod was well known in those days, Herod thinking he was king, but Pilate knowing that he was a governor representing Rome.
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness (3:2).
John the Baptist didn’t have a physical manifestation of God appear to him; rather the “Word of the Lord” came to him, as it did to the prophets of old, although John was more than a prophet. This is important, it keeps things in order. John didn’t hear, “You are my beloved Baptist,” nor did a dove descend on him; the Word of the Lord came to him, and then he began his ministry.
Annas was the son of Seth; he was installed as high priest by Quitinius, during the time when Herod Antipas and Philip were administering their Tetrartchies. Yet, Annas was removed, and his son-in-law Caiphas installed. The third Caesar was Tiberius, who appointed Valerius Gratus to succeed Rufus as procurator over the Jews, according to Josephus (Antiquitates, XVIII, iv, 3), Caiphas was appointed the high priest of the Jews by the Roman procurator Valerius Gratus (predecessor to Pilate), around 18 AD. However a switch took place by the procurator Vitellius who took office in Palestine around 36 AD, since he put Annas back in the position of high priest, with Caiaphas (Acts 4:6). All this shows the power of Rome over the priesthood, as the priests not only feared for their positions, but used their Roman connection in their accusations of Jesus. Jesus will face five trails, the first in front of Annas, then Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, and back to Pilate.
After Annas, (the father-in-law to Caiphas – Jn 18:3) was removed, and Caiphas was installed as high priest, we find that Annas still had influence over Jewish affairs even though his son-in-law held the position. This explains the above passage; when we find other passages indicating that only Caiaphas was high priest. Luke brings the “hidden influence” to the surface, indicating that Annas still had “strong suggestive authority” behind the scenes.
Caiaphas and Annas were appointed from the Sadducees, showing their connection back to the Zadoc priesthood. The Romans really didn’t want any “rebel forces” from the Maccabees in any position of authority. However, we can see how God allowed a rebel to illegally make himself both king and priest for a purpose, bringing back the Zadoc line for another purpose. In 1990 an archaeologist discovered a burial cave on the outskirts of Jerusalem which contained a collection of bone boxes. During the first century, bodies of the dead were laid in caves, but after the flesh had decomposed, the bones were gathered and put into boxes; therefore, we find the grave of Jesus was “never used” before. One of the casket-like bone boxes found in 1990 was inscribed with, “Joseph, son of Caiaphas”, or Joseph BenCaiaphas, showing that Caiaphas perhaps had a son. One might say, “big deal,” but we find the meaning of the name Joseph is Adding, or Jehovah has added; and Caiaphas felt he was eliminating Jesus the Son of God, but found that his actions only Added to Jehovah’s Salvation, as many converts with Jesus in them surfaced.
Both of these high priests would be involved in the trials of Jesus, yet neither wanted to know the Truth, much less search it out. Watch dogs search for things feeding their pride; they never have time for the Truth. These two priests were suppose to be examples of someone seeking God, but they became examples of religious watchdogs searching out sin in others to exalt their own egos and positions. The influence of Annas is obvious in Scripture: he headed the first trial of Jesus, and then Jesus was taken before Caiaphas for the second trial (Jn 18:13). Accordingly, the father-in-law, and son-in-law stood in judgment over the Son of The Father.
It’s also evident that John was in the wilderness, and not among his family members. He was separated unto God under the order of the Nazarites, according to the Nazarite Law. Oh, I get it, we denounce our family members, right? No, not at all, Jesus didn’t say that, neither did John denounce his. We keep God in first place; however, for many, their family order is in first place, which causes them to fail time and again. This principle is not about denouncing our family; it’s a matter of determining our priorities, of keeping first things first. The placement of John shows how the Wilderness is still the place of training, and God does some of His best work in the Wilderness. Separated is also the meaning of the title Pharisee, but it doesn’t mean that the Nazarite was separated unto the Pharisees; far from it. Rather, the Nazarite was separated unto God, while the Pharisees were supposed to be so.
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make His paths straight (3:3-4).
Simeon saw the Consolation of Israel in the child Jesus, Simeon didn’t foresee an act, or some event, rather he looked on the Baby Jesus, then saw the restoration in the Face of Jesus. John is merely proclaiming the Consolation, proclaiming the time of man, and the timing of God at its purposed juncture.
In reference to the Consolation, Isaiah wrote, “Comfort you, comfort you My people, saith your God” (Isa 40:1). This is just prior to Isaiah saying, “the voice of him crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isa 40:3). The Hebrew word used for God in Isaiah is Elohiym, rather than El, the title LORD, means JAH; thus John was preparing the way for Jehovah to bring Jehovah’s Salvation to the people of God. Jehovah-Jireh was being completed, the Lord was seen among His people.
John preached the Baptism of Repentance for the Remission of sins, he didn’t perform it; rather, he performed the Baptism of Repentance saying that the people should believe “on Him who was to come.” Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost “unto the Remission of sin.” What does it mean, “to make the Paths straight?” This would be…to remove hindrances. Repentance is the act of turning from sin, unto the Kingdom; and repentance to avoid danger lacks fruit, while repentance seeking the Lord, has fruit.
The purpose of Yom Kippur was to present a sacrifice in the person’s place in order to Atone or balance the person’s sin against the Commandment. But the act didn’t Pardon the person’s sin; it merely balanced the scale of Justice for the moment. If the Law of Moses pardoned, then there would be no need to make continual sacrifices. When Jesus said “go and sin no more” He announced Pardon, something which the Law could not do. The sentence was there, as the Law of sin and death had declared it; but Jesus, by the Mercy of God, Pardoned the person from the sentence, giving them a fresh start, with the proviso of “sin no more”.
Today, Jewish Agenda says that Atonement and Pardon are the same; but this is based on Minhag Israel, Torah Hi, or “The customs of Israel are Law.” This is really strange, since no where in the Law does it permit the premise; thus the premise goes beyond the confines of the Law, and in so doing violates itself. Therefore, we find that Atonement and Pardon are not the same, since they look at sin differently, and as they handle it differently. This false premise caused Jesus to rebuke the Pharisees for their traditions; thus the traditions of men always make the Word to no effect. Unrelated inferences, void of connecting Scriptural evidence making the inference clear, ends in traditions of men, soon to be elevated to “doctrines of men.”
The Jews during the time of Jesus as well as the Jew today, also hold to Minhag Oker Din or “A custom can abolish a Law.” This same thinking changes the Law to fit the mind of man, rather than the mind of man fitting the Law. Of Course, the Body adopted the same tactics, changing the Commandments of the Lord through Agenda. It’s also the reason behind the tradition of Bar Mitzvah, today we find some Jewish leaders wanting to do away with Bar Mitzvah, and go back to the type of dedication done during this time.
Today through mountains of Traditions, we forget what baptism stands for, or what the words Atonement or Pardon mean, much less the blessing of Pardon unto Remission. These traditions are not our fault, but we are nonetheless victims, yet we have a choice to turn it around. It’s when we continue in the tradition or promote it as doctrine, making us no longer victims, rather we become the oppressors.
We say, that Jesus has forgiven our sins, yet we don’t know what forgiveness (Pardon) means; thus we confess, yet know not, missing the Blessing, rather than gaining from it. “Pardon,”… is Mercy, granted directly from God on/to the person, void of deed or sacrifice; whereas, “Atonement,” is granted on the basis of the act or sacrifice, presented by the person. “Remission” is the removal of the sin (conciseness and nature), becoming fully Justified (innocent to the point where there is no charge against us).
Pardon will be the one area where the Pharisees become the most offended, since they know what it means; they even said, “who can forgive sins but God alone.” They had the knowledge, but lacked understanding.
The three areas of Pardon, Atonement, and Remission all differ, yet all relate to the “releasing of the sin” issue. Pardon is “direct forgiveness based on Mercy,” which for us began when Jesus said, “Father forgive them.” This saying of Jesus, allowed the Father to impute Mercy on us as a Pardon; but the Blood of Jesus is where we find Remission. Pardon is based on the conclusion of “not enough evidence to indicate we are completely guilty under the Law”; therefore there is no reason to keep us in prison. This doesn’t say that we did nothing; rather it says we did, but the Mercy of God claims that we have suffered enough. Atonement is when someone presents a lower innocent life form, like an animal (in their place) to balance their sin against the Commandment. Remission is completely different however; Remission negates the definition of sin, to the point that…. where there is no definition, there is no accusation. Remission says, “what sin? you are pure because the Spirit of Christ is in you”; thus we find the Commandment, “Ye must be Born Again”.
“What about the unpardonable sin?”…one might ask. The Unpardonable sin becomes unpardonable because the person refuses to ask for Pardon. They might say, “forgive me”; but they not only go back to the same ways, but they really don’t consider them sin, and, they rather enjoy using the ways of darkness. Thus, they failed to turn from the darkness, to gain the light.
If all sins are forgiven, yet the unpardonable sin remains, then Cross is limited, which can’t be the case. In Matthew, the teaching on the unpardonable sin was based on the Pharisees equating the works of Jesus to the devil; but we will also find how it leads to self-deception. The “unpardonable sin” is really the result of Iniquity, when the person feels that what they are doing is Godly, yet their words lack Mercy; for instance…they can be slanderous and nasty, attacking the work of the Gift of the Holy Ghost in the person who is Born Again. And whatever the Born Again person does, the vessel of dishonor attacks. The exception is, that when the vessel of dishonor is the center of attention, then they allow to gain the fame.
“Ask, receive, and believe,” is true, as God is able to forgive us from All sin, and as He raises us up. “Well, I spent the last ten years slandering everyone in the Body, so I’m lost; it’s over.” Wrong, “I write unto you little children, that you sin not, and if Any Man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ The Righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the Whole World” (I Jn 2:1-2). When we find words like, “Any Man”, and “Whole World”, don’t you think it would include us as well? Sure, thus the unpardonable sin is only unpardonable because the person refuses to admit that their slanderous behavior is sin. Enjoying sin, and wanting to be free of sin are much different.
Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God (3:5-6).
Isaiah 40:4, says, “every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low.” The Mountains are nations, and the valleys are those places below the mountains where the shadow of death reigns. This verse doesn’t say “The Mountain”; rather it’s plural, including all nations. During the Time of Comfort the Mountain of the Lord will sit on the mountains of the world, yet they will be brought low; whereas, the Remnant who walked the valley will be raised.
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham (3:7-8).
The Wrath to come is the Great Winepress, the Fire is not the Fire of God’s Affliction, but the fire of hell becoming the transfigured lake of fire on the last day, when the earth turns inside out. Here the Jews presumed being a Jew was all they needed; but we find they were appointed to the Wrath to come as well, if they fail to repent.
Fruit is the product of the tree, and it identifies the type of tree from which it came. The tree cannot produce a fruit from another group: apples come from apple trees, not orange trees. The Fruit of repentance begins when the person admits that they have sinned, or that they are a sinner, adding to the desire to turn from the sinful life. It doesn’t end it, since one can admit they are a sinner, then turn toward some earthly religion. The Product of the fruit is when we turn toward the Kingdom, by accepting God’s principles regarding Mercy and Grace.
The Pharisees were a “generation of vipers” because they lacked the desire to repent; rather they felt that their self-righteousness took the place of repentance. They assumed that they had Life, and they assumed that they had Right Standing before God by virtue of their efforts, just as the modern day Pharisee thinks that they are saved by their efforts and intellect. There are all sorts of examples of Right Standing; for instance, there is “Right Standing before the Law,” but the Right Standing we have by the Spirit, is Right Standing before God.
The “stones” John refers to are not associated with “The Rock”; this is a different Greek word, it was used in the phrase “stone of stumbling.
And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire (3:9).
“Trees,” as a plural shows the produce, then we see the singular (Tree), regarding the source. Each person is a Tree, and the root produces the growth of the Tree, while the Fruit is the product of the growth; however, all trees come from one tree, so …..we need a tree transplant, from the corrupt to the Good.
There is good fruit from a good tree, but corrupt fruit from a corrupt tree, and the fruit of repentance is not going about saying, “Oh Lord, I’m just an old sinner”; rather, it’s a humble heart seeking the Greatness of God, with the constant awareness of our potential position and condition which God has to offer. We know that the potential for sin exists in the flesh, yet the power and authority of the old nature (with the deeds of the flesh) are imputed dead on the Cross. But, this doesn’t mean that the old man’s mouth is shut. The old man still entices as he looks for his targets; but we also know that he is ineffective, and he can’t deceive us, because sin has lost its authority over us. But the potential is still flesh based, thus we known there is no condemnation for those who walk after the Spirit.
And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? (3:10).
The Pharisees didn’t say, “What should we do?”; they said, “What do you think you’re doing?” The evidence of the people repenting was the evidence of the work; here John didn’t heal anyone, or cast any devils out, or do any miracles, thus the Elijah “spirit” is the message. However, the people repenting, indicated a sign of “good works.” How many people do we read about, repented at the messages of the Pharisees in the Temple? Not one, but we do read about the money changers and such; thus, the people repenting, became an offense to the religious rulers. And they should have questioned why they themselves were offended, rather than allow the offense to act for them.
Some of us think, that if we ask forgiveness, then we must do some act to make up for our sin; we use phrases like, “go to the priests” or “give our offering” as our foundation. But in-so-doing, we fail to see that the only purpose for those acts would be to give a testimony against the religious rulers, rather than perform some effort to secure the forgiveness. When we presume that we must add to God’s forgiveness, we introduce self-righteousness into the process, ending right back where we started. We must receive the forgiveness, then move on with the New Man on the path of the Faith of Jesus.
These were Jews, and it would seem by their background, that a reasonable answer for the Pharisee would be, “Do the Law of Moses as your fathers commanded.” In our time, there is the saying, “Have faith”; yet as James points out that the Testing of our faith is to help us determine if our words and actions are the same. It’s easy to say, “have faith”; it’s another to do it. Faith is hard, sin is easy. It’s not merely “having Faith,” but knowing what Faith entails. There are all sorts of self-defined areas of faith: one can have faith in the Law of Moses, faith in one’s self, faith in a government, faith in one’s denomination, faith in the man of God, faith in the system, faith in each other….any of this, yet never have Faith In God. One can have the faith to move mountains, but not a faith, working by love.
He answered and said unto them, He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do likewise (3:11).
John didn’t say, “give both coats,” rather he simply says, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” as acts of Mercy; thus the Preparation was to introduce the people to the Mercy of God. It would connect to “having our feet shod with the Preparation” of the Gospel.” Mercy is powerful, yet it doesn’t mean “to lay down and let them drive a truck full of stones of theological abuse over us.” It means that we center ourselves in the Ministry of Reconciliation, by not “imputing” sins on the people, but making a way for them to be free in Jesus (II Cor 5:18-20).
In the latter days, the Two Witnesses of the Law and Prophets will again call for the Sackclothe of Repentance; but the Woman will find herself in violation of the very Law she proclaims. According to the Jew, the wife cannot divorce the husband under any circumstance; however, if she has reason for a divorce she appears before a Jewish court, or Bet Din and if her case is legitimate, the Bet Din can demand for the husband to divorce her. In essence she can’t obtain the divorce, but she can force her husband to divorce her; the result is the same, it’s just that the procedures differ for the husband and wife. All this connects to the Woman in the Book of Revelation: the divorce must have Two Witnesses who sign the Sh’tar (bill of divorcement). These Two Witnesses must be observant Jews, not related to either the husband or wife, or each other. The Law and Prophets are not the sons of God, but Servants. Thus they stand next to the Lord of the whole earth, they don’t stand as the Lord of the whole earth; they will be the Witnesses in the end.
If the married woman is found in an adulterous relationship, she is forbidden to marry the person with whom she had the affair, even after the divorce. If she does marry him, she is considered the Adulterous Woman, and a Prostitute. This is important when we read the Book of Revelation as it relates to the Woman; as we found in Ezekiel, the city was adopted and it is that she came from the heathen to marry the Beast of the Sea after God has saved her, which makes her the “whore.” According to the Jewish divorce rules, the name of the woman’s lover is actually written on the Sh’tar, to warn future rabbis of the adulterous affair. The Lover of the Woman in the Book of Revelation was written many years ago; in the latter days, she proclaims she is not a Widow, yet she still joins to the bed of adultery with the Beast, ending as the Whore, as a city known as Babylon. She begins by giving two coats, but ends by taking them.
Under the Law, any property given the woman who is divorced because of the adulterous affair, must be returned to the husband; therefore, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, but in the end, all Glory is seen with God, as it is taken from those who abused it, or used it for adulterous reasons, or attempted to bring it into the bed of adultery.
The essentials of the marriage ceremony for the Jew haven’t changed for centuries, although both the Sephardim and Ashkenazim have added some elements. The marriage to the Jew is a contract, or a legal document. The ceremony itself s called Kiddushin (Sanctification); therefore, it’s a shadow, relating to the Marriage of the Lamb. We are Justified to be Glorified, and the process is one of sanctification. The word Sanctify means Holiness, or More Than a Saint. The word Sanctuary means a building or place of Holiness, or the place where Holy Things are kept. Mary was told, “therefore also the Holy Thing which shall be born of you, shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). This is a future tense reference to the Son of God, but a present tense reference to the Holy Thing. Mary became the Sanctuary; the Body of Christ is the Temple of God, with those of us in the Body being formed into Tabernacles.
The marriage for the Jew was not centered on The Two Shall Be One, rather it was centered on “Be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth.” The word Replenish means, To Fill Completely, or Re-Fill; thus the hidden element in the Jewish ceremony points to the Christian. Paul said, “be you not unwise, but understanding what the Will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be Filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:17-18). This shows a Fruitful Multiplying within us, as often the works of our faith are, “speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks Always for All Things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:19-20). When the event turns upside down, then our faith will determine the source. If we slander, panic, attack, curse, hate, or use the same means as the world, then the source is still the old man.
Although, marriage to the Jew is a business transaction with compensation paid by the husband in the form of a ring, without stones, it nonetheless reflects to us. The ceremony is held under the Cuppa, or canopy, being held by four friends of the groom, and this covering points out the groom and bride for all to see. Metaphorically, it points to a covering. Before the wedding takes place the Bridegroom submits to Oifrifung, or He is “called up” to the Torah; the Oifrifung takes precedence over all other matters. It’s customary for the bride and groom to be separated for at least one day before the ceremony, so their joy at the meeting under the Cuppa will be Greater. This premise is based in the Jewish idiom, “It’s for the wife’s sake for a man’s house to be blessed.”
There are Two cups of wine served to the Bride and Groom, and they both drink from the cups together. Jesus took of the Fruit of the vine when He gave the Sacrifice before the Father; thus our Mansion (Bridal House) is waiting in heaven. The marriage is actually performed by the Groom, who acquires the Bride by Both Word and Deed in the Presence of Two Witnesses. The Two Witnesses in our case are not the Law and Prophets, but the Father and Holy Ghost. The rabbi or the m’sader kiddushin is simply an overseer, to ensure that the ceremony is conducted according to the Law. John came as the Friend of the Bridegroom, but he was also a son of a priest. Thus he was telling these people how to obtain an invitation to the Wedding, since the word Invitation refers to a Calling; in order to be Chosen one must enter the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.
Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed to you (3:12-13)
A Publican is a collector of public taxes; this is different from the term Tax Collector. Matthew was at the Gate of Custom, collecting taxes on goods, whereas, a publican took taxes based on property or personal value already in the possession of the person. Publicans were also the Assessors; they had authority to overcharge, then keep the excess. John isn’t telling them to stop collecting, rather he is saying to be honest about it. This premise is, “love thy neighbor, or do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” Hypocrites become outraged over wrongs done to them, while they do the same wrong to others.
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? and he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages (3:14).
The soldiers had the authority to do violence to men without cause, they also had authority to bring charges against people. It was a common practice for the soldiers to bring false charges, then take bribes to forget the charges. John tells them to stop stealing under the color of authority, or to “love your neighbor as yourself,” an act of Mercy. All these areas of admitting wrong, then seeking the correction, are fruits of repentance. We have two Basic areas of Commandments, Jesus gave us the Least Commandments of Mercy, meaning that these are the least we can do. The Mercy Commandments are the Royal Law kept by the Good kings in the Kingdom; they have authority, but they simply don’t use their liberty as a cloak of maliciousness (James 2:8 & I Pet 2:16). We also have Commandments of Grace, starting with loving one another as Jesus loves us, as we Believe in the Name of Jesus. If we believe in the Name of Jesus, we believe in the effectiveness of the Name as well as the ability of the Name to forgive sins and raise us, just as we believe the ability of the Name to cast out devils, heal the sick, or bring us into the presence of the Father.
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire (3:15-16).
The word “Mused” means “To deliberate by reflection, or Discussion,” or “To meditate at length,” usually entailing the use of reason. The word, “Expectation” means “To watch with anticipation,” with a root word meaning “To expect.” This defines the method in which we Watch; watching without expectation isn’t watching at all. The word Expect means, “Looking forward to the appearance of something,” but it doesn’t mean to dictate what the something must be, nor does it mean to go about using the pride of life to accomplish “the something.” The Guard watches for intrusion, the night watchman looks for intrusion; we Look for the Door to open, taking us to meet the Lord in the air.
Matthew and Mark laid out the foundation for casting the shoe, but Luke shows us the Jewish mindset. The casting of the shoe is known as the Chalitza; if one’s theology is limited to making this classes of gender, they miss the importance of the lesson. The Chalitza became effective at the death of a husband, yet God isn’t dead, neither does He have a brother for the wife to take; but John’s context is not in reference to the death of the husband, but the death of the Old to bring about the New Covenant. It’s obvious that the Law of Moses isn’t dead, but we can be dead to it by receiving the Death of Jesus. Thus, we were subject to the old man under the Law until death, yet if the old man is imputed dead, we then live by the New Man according to the New Covenant. It took the Old Covenant to maintain the people, until the New was at hand. Thus when John began to Baptize, it was a New Thing, something the Pharisees knew would come; but they didn’t like the method which God picked, rather they would have preferred to be the center of attention.
Why didn’t God use these religious people? After all, they did know the Old better than most. Well, they were locked into a religious mindset, lacking Mercy; they enforced the Letter of the Law, not the reason for the Law. They wanted an extension of the Old, rather than a Newness. The New means a New thing, to raise one above the Old, without destroying the Old for those it was intended for. This was so New, that the Pharisees simply couldn’t adjust to the newness, because they held too tight to the old.
According to the Talmudic, the Chalitza called for both the widow and the brother-in-law to agree, thus there can be no marriage without consent of both parties. The brother-in-law has the option of refusing to marry his dead brother’s wife, but the widow must still enter Chalitza before she can remarry. If the brother-in-law refuses the widow, she takes a shoe, usually provided by the Bet Din (Jewish legal body), then she spits on the ground. The Shoe is a symbol or her “walking papers,” releasing her to walk away from the old family to find the New. She then obtains a document called the Gett Chalitza; she is then free to marry whomever. All this is only relative, if there were no male children in the first marriage. If there were male children, than a different set of rules apply.
Paul used this same premise in Romans; in Chapter seven of Romans, Paul speaks of the “natural person under the Law”, as they desire to do good in their mind, but the effort has to be through the flesh, making the entire matter against the Commandment, Thou shall not covet. Chapter eight is how one is released from the bondage, but in Romans 7:1-4 we find the same premise John is speaking of, that as long as the husband lives, the woman is bound to the Law, but if the husband dies she is free to marry; thus we impute the old dead on the Cross of Jesus, to gain the Power of the Resurrection by the Spirit.
Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable (3:17).
The word “Fan” goes further than the earthly ministry of Jesus, it means A scattering like spittle. Jesus tells the Lukewarm Laodiceans, “so then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (spew) you out of My mouth” (Rev 3:16). In the Hebrew there are two words used for the English word Fan, one means “To scatter anything,” the other means “To scatter the chaff” (covering for the Grain). This adds to the Grain of Mustard Seed, as it relates to the Transfiguration. Since our English word Metamorphosis comes from the same Greek word translated as Transfigured, we can determine the purpose. Transfigured is not the change in and of itself, it’s the point between changes. The caterpillar is a devouring little bug, who goes about thinking of nothing but the flesh; it eats and lusts for more. Then one day it enters a cocoon (Greek Kokkos), and when the time ends, it comes out a butterfly, one of God’s most colorful creations. It changes course, form, and purpose, and what it was before, is done away with, so what it’s purposed to be can live. As the caterpillar, it lusted for the flesh, but the butterfly spreads life from one flower to another. As a caterpillar, it was bound to the ground, but as the butterfly, it’s loosed to the air. We will either be scattered to pieces, or enter the saving of the soul to have the Chaff scattered so the Grain can live.
Isaiah said, “for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they who wait for Him” (Isa 30:18). Then he tells us about the last days, by saying, “His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire” (Isa 30:27). This makes sense when we read, “the oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which has been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan” (Isa 30:24). The position of the Son of man has two areas, for two purposes: the first is Salvation, the second is Judgment. During the Day it’s strictly Salvation: the Lord shall divide the Wheat from it’s own chaff, (the chaff represents the old nature); then He brings the Wheat (fruit or Beauty) into His house, but the wood, hay, and stubble will all burn. We are Baptized with the Holy Ghost to gain the Spirit; but the Baptism of Fire burns away the stubble which kept/keeps us identified to Egypt. Some seek the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, yet run from the Baptism of Fire; but it’s the Fire bringing the Power to the Baptism.
And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people (3:18).
The word “Exhortation” means, “To incite, by giving advice and counsel.” It doesn’t mean “to Edify or Comfort”; rather Edify means to Charge One from an outside source, at times entailing shaking our cages to get our attention. The words of a prophet will give us direction and doctrine, but personal prophecy will edify, exhort, and comfort us, but either source has to be of God. John is giving Godly counsel, preparing the people to receive what was to come. Did John yell at some? Yes, but the purpose was not to belittle them; it was to bring them to a point where they could see the Truth, so they could enter in.
But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added yet this above all, that he shut John in prison (3:19-20).
The only reason Herod was reproved, was based on his own conduct; thus in order to maintain his evil, yet not be reproved, he cast John in prison. Luke gives us the reason, rather than a specific time. While Jesus was in the forty day fast, John was still active, but when Jesus came out of the wilderness John was in prison (Jn 3:22-24, Mark 1:14 & Matt 4:12).
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased (3:21-22).
In John’s account, we find the disciples of Jesus, (and John’s disciples) baptizing in water after this point in time, showing that Jesus had a few disciples, even in the wilderness experience. Luke adds information for us. In this verse we find “and praying”; thus Jesus didn’t repent, He was the Sacrifice, washed by someone who had the Holy Ghost. This shows us that Mary had to be “overshadowed by the Holy Ghost”, but John had to be filled by the Holy Ghost (not to be confused with having the Gift/Spirit, since no one had been born again yet); no human had a position or authority to touch or bring to pass, “the Word made flesh.” It had to be a heavenly endeavor, with earthly benefits.
Luke points to John (the Baptist) being a Jew, born a Jew, raised a Jew, and purposed for acts of a Priest of the Jews, by the connections of both his mother and father to Aaron. But what about Jesus? Matthew showed the kingly line, thereby bringing Jesus into the Jewish Thanksgiving prayers of, “Blessed are You, O Lord (Adonai) our God (Elohenu), King of the Universe..” as the purpose of all creation.
The modern Jew, as his counterpart in the days of the earthly ministry of Jesus, felt it unwise and improper to ask a woman before shaking her hand in case she was unclean; thus they refused to touch any woman, and in some cases it was a stoning offense for the woman to touch a man, if she was unclean. After the seven days the woman would take a bath of total immersion or the Purification Bath, known as Mikva. Accordingly, each temple had a Mikva, but where no Mikva existed, the ritual of purification could take place in a River, but her entire body had to be covered by water. Although this associates to our Water Baptism or Purification in some degree, it is mainly a shadow (Jn 3:25); it’s still the person doing the act, thus it’s not Justification, but Purification Preparation. Although water baptism is our Token regarding entrance into the Body, we also find that the Purification is our acceptance of the Justification to take place, once we enter the Body and receive the Spirit. The Jews knew what “Purification” stood for, baptism to them was more than a bath; it indicated a preparation to reach a position of being declared Clean.
There is no commandment to be water baptized, since the person is outside the Body giving their token for entrance. However, we are commanded to teach and then baptize anyone after they acknowledge their belief in Jesus. All the signs for the token are in the shadow, but not the Act. It would take someone from the Body to baptize the candidate, or it would be in vain (Acts 19:1-5). To be Baptized in the Name of Jesus, means that the person doing the baptism has the Authority (name); yet no one had the authority until Jesus granted it in Matthew 28:19. Prior, the only other water baptism was John’s, even when the disciples of Jesus baptized people in water before the Cross it was still unto repentance, saying the people “should believe” (Jn 3:22-36).
And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli (3:23).
From the outset there is a difference between Luke’s genealogy account, and the one given by Matthew, yet they agree regarding purpose. As we found in Matthew, in order for one to be Jewish, their mother must be Jewish, and in order to be the king they must be in line to the kingly position established by God in David. Since 70 AD the evidence or proof is impossible to obtain, for good reason. The Jewish concept of the Messiah today, is no different from the one held by the Pharisees during the earthly ministry. They are not looking for one raised from the dead; they are looking for someone to establish the Torah and Jerusalem as the center of the earth.
The genelogy was important for Jesus, but since God allowed all the records to be destroyed in 70AD, it indicates that the records have served their purpose. Our genelogy is simple, “Three bear Record in heaven are the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and these three are one, the Three bear Witness in earth are the Water, the Blood and the Spirit” and these three agree in one, showing the Witness of God in us joining us to our heavenly family (I Jn 5:7-8).
The Messiah (Hebrew Mashiach) must be a direct descendant of the House of David, and announced by Elijah the Prophet; this is God’s design and it came to pass when John said, “Behold the Lamb of God”; therefore John is Elijah (by message), if we receive it. The error of the religious rulers was thinking the Messiah and Elijah had to come from their ranks, also making the Messiah subject to them; thus they were looking to the flesh.
David had sons, and his son Solomon was the king after David, but Nathan was also a son of David. Solomon’s mother was not Jewish, but Nathan’s was; but in reference to the kingly line it made no difference, as long as the person descended from David. Nathan means, Lift up, or Give; there was also a Nathan who was a prophet in the House of David, but not a son of David. Nathan the son of David was born in Jerusalem, as well as ten other sons of David; thereby giving us eleven sons of David, all pointing to the quorum of Apostles (II Sam 5:14-16). These eleven came after David knew in his heart, that God had confirmed him as king, as a type of the Kingdom lifted up on High (I Chron 14:2). Nathan was older than Solomon, but Nathan never challenged David’s choice, nor did he challenge Solomon as king over Israel.
David’s Eleven sons were named, Shammuah (renowned), Shobab (rebellious), Nathan (lift up), Solomon (peaceful), Ibhar (choice), Elishua (God of supplication), Nepheg (To spring forth or sprout), Japhia (bright), Elishama (God of hearing), Eliada (God of the king) and Eliphalet (God of deliverance). Out of the eleven there was only one named rebellion, yet in the context it shows rebellion is conquered, not exalted.
Heli would not have been Joseph’s father, rather Heli was Mary’s father. The Jewish method of saying “as was supposed” is used in two meanings by Luke, and both fit. First Jesus, was….”as was supposed,” the son of Joseph, but in truth He was not. The second use points to the family line of the wife. In Matthew, it’s clear that the name of Joseph’s father is Jacob, and the Hebrew for Heli is Eliy, not Jacob (Matt 1:16). Correctly, to the Jew this should read, “Jesus, the son of Joseph, as was supposed Heli”, but it’s not how Luke wrote it. In the manner he displayed… we find that Joseph was the “supposed” father of Jesus, showing that the Holy Ghost overshadowed Mary; thus Luke covered both areas with “as was supposed”.
This was a complex system, yet it was the only method to prove one is Jewish, while not using the names of the women. Without the temple records, it’s impossible to determine both sides of the genealogy beyond a reasonable doubt. Why? One has to go through the maiden names all the way back to David, then back to Abraham. Now we find that the general term “Jew” means anyone who has a mother who is Jewish. What about Ruth? She wasn’t a Jew, yet she is in the line to Jesus. Ahh, the death of Ruth’s husband, who was Naomi’s son, coupled with Ruth rejecting her past family order and becoming the daughter of Naomi, made it possible for Ruth to be a Jew (Ruth 2:22). If Ruth would have remained with her past family order, the entire process would have fallen apart, but God knew. So, why does it have to be the mother? This goes back to Sara; if it was based on the father, then Ishmael would have been a Jew, but Ishmael’s mother was not Jewish, she was not married to Abraham, neither Hagar or Ishmael were of the Promise. Somewhat complex, but with God we find so many things are, showing us how God has all this well in hand.
In the Beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God, then the Word became flesh for us. Which was first, Adam or the Word? Ahh, the Word; thus when we receive Life, we obtain a position like unto Adam, but then when the Word lives in us, we move to a time before the Beginning, a place before the fall, a place before earth, a place with God in God’s heaven, before sin was defined. Thus we sit with Jesus now, although it doesn’t appear to the natural eye to be so. “I got it…. imputed position, based on a present condition.”
Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge, which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son Juda, which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er, which was the son Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Jacob, which was the son Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lemech, which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jered, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God (3:24-38).
Luke also uses a different word regarding the generations; whereas Matthew shows one beget another, Luke shows one Which was the son of another, thereby pointing to the mother of the child, showing how each was Jewish. Matthew begins with Abraham, then leads to Jesus, whereas, Luke begins with Mary then goes back to Adam, then God. We also see a great change when we get to David’s sons, in Luke’s line we find “Nathan”, but in Matthew it was “Solomon” (Matt 1:6). Also in Matthew we find, “David the king begat,” showing the kingly line; thus Matthew establishes the Kingly right, and Luke, the Jewish position.
In either case, we do not find “Moses” or “Aaron,” simply because neither the kingly order or the order of Mary’s line came from the tribe of Levi. However, we find that John’s did; thus John was a cousin, not a brother, giving us different lines. John’s parents go back to Aaron, but the line of Jesus does not….another complexity, yet showing God’s hand in all this.
Since Jesus was not of the line of Aaron, His Priesthood called for a New Law for the New Order of Priests (Heb 7:12). Our Order is much different from the Levitical, although they both are called “priesthoods.” Our High Priest had to be more worthy than all the priests under the Order of Aaron. This new High Priest not only had to present the most holy of all Sacrifices in a place where no earthly priest was ever authorized to perform, but this High Priest had to be the Sacrifice as well. The Order had to be special, and had to encompass both the Jew and Gentile. Melchisedec was a man, but he was also a priest who had an Order. The Book of Hebrews talks about the man, but centers on the Order of the man’s priesthood.
The genelogy of Luke points to being Jewish, thus all Jews could trace their mother and father, but this Melchisedec could not. If one is not a Jew, then, they are a Gentile; thus Melchisedec was Gentile standing for the Gentiles (Heb 7:3). Jesus took the “Seat of David” establishing His kingship, but His act of giving the Sacrifice opened up the New Priestly Order. If one is of the New Order, they can’t be of the Old (Heb 7:12). This New Law called for many things; there are some “like terms” found in both the Old and New but they differ by definition.
The phrase “Adam, which was the son of God” doesn’t mean that Adam and Jesus are alike; rather it shows that Adam was the Beginning, to bring about The Son of man on earth. Adam was not born of earthly parents, he was formed of the earth, then God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils; God didn’t place a spirit in Adam, neither did He breath some spirit into Adam, Adam was a living soul before the fall, not a “quickening spirit.” Adam was a mixture of elements, Jesus is Pure in all respects.
The paradox shows that Adam was formed of the earth, then God breathed into him, but “Jesus was” in the Beginning; He took on the form of man, He was not created. Adam had no choice, he was formed of the elements of the earth, Jesus not only had choice, but took on flesh as a matter of submission. Wow, does it mean Jesus was a separate god in heaven? No, it shows how God’s Word is still God, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was God”; the Word took on flesh to represent man as the Son of man. Then The Word defeated “him who had the power of death”; and then the Spirit of Holiness declared the Word the Son of God by the Resurrection, making it possible for the Holy Spirit in us to declare us to be sons of God by the Power of the Resurrection (Rom 1:3-4, et al).
Luke points to purpose: thus the purpose of Adam is/was Jesus, the purpose of Mary is/was Jesus, the purpose of you and I, is still Jesus,and the purpose of every Jew, Gentile, and pf creation for that matter, is Jesus in us, the Hope of Glory. The Jews are so offended by the Name of Jesus, that they refer to Him as Otohaish, or “that man”, yet they refer to Mohammed as Mohammed. According to one Jewish scholar, “Scratch a Christian and you’ll find a spoiled pagan”; this concept was not arrived at without cause. To the Jew any Image is an idol, yet we are being formed into the Image of God’s Son. To the Jew it’s the same as idol worship, to us it’s salvation. On the same note, the Jew holds the Law of Moses in the same position as God; thus without them knowing it, they have an Image. To the Jew they worship Through the Law, but in so doing they also must worship the Law. We on the other hand worship Him who brought us the New Covenant, much different. Jesus said the Father was seeking those who could worship Him in Spirit and Truth; thus the people lacked the ability, yet John (of 1 Jn) shows we that have the Spirit of Truth, if we are Born Again (I Jn 4:1-4).
The word Image means “something resembling something”; an idol is a physical resemblance of some element, but the design is a product of the mind of man. However, we are not a physical resemblance of Jesus, we are in the Image of His Character and Nature by the Spirit, a likeness of His Love, Hope, Faith, Grace and Mercy, or a likeness of Jesus by having the Same Mind, Attitude, Nature and Character; thus it’s not a robotic state, but one being formed by the Spirit in us, to change our souls from natural, fleshly-thinking, to Spirit-thinking, bringing to pass “that Born of the Spirit is Spirit.” An idol is by the efforts of man, based on the will of man; John the apostle, tells us that the New Birth is not by the will of man, nor by the efforts of man (Jn 1:13). Perhaps a fine line, but a line nonetheless.
When we fail at the Likeness of Christ, yet remain religious, we then are no different from any other religious group on earth. How are we suppose to drive them to jealousy, when we have become the bunt of their jokes (Rom 10:19)? We can acquire Agenda, then form Winds of Doctrine, as fringe areas in a Doctrine become more important than the Doctrine itself. “Winds” produce foolish questions and strife, yet a Spirit filled teacher is centered on removing controversy, and bringing unity; a false teacher brings controversy and produces division (II Cor 12:19-21 & I Cor 3:3). Luke is removing controversy by showing that Jesus was Jewish, not a Gentile; yet the purpose was to join Jew and Gentile into One Body. Whether lost tribes or not, it doesn’t matter, we are of Jesus, who is proven as the Son of man relating to the Jews, yet the Son of God by the Spirit of Holiness (Rom 1:3-4).
Luke points out that Mary was a direct descendent of David, then he adds: Heber, Noah, Abraham, Seth, and Enoch in the line of Jesus, showing that Jesus goes back past the Jewish line to the Beginning. The Jew stops at Jacob, the Hebrew stops at Abraham, and many stop at Moses; yet Luke shows, that unless God is involved, there are no Jews or Gentiles, when Adam was formed and created. When Jesus is alive in us, we are neither Jew or Gentile, rather we go back to before there were any Jews or Gentiles, and even before time was a factor.
Most Jews stop at the Torah and Moses, yet claim the promises of Abraham. The sign of the Abrahamic Covenant is still circumcision of the flesh; the sign of the Law of Moses is keeping the sabbath. One has choice in keeping the sabbath, but none in the circumcision. According to the Jew, God in His love, gave the Torah and Sabbath to the Jew alone, which is not true; God by His love gave them Jesus, God’s mercy provided the Torah, but the unbelief of the children caused it.
When we recognize how the Torah was given because of disobedience, but that Jesus came to free us of disobedience…. we can stop making claims to the Law of Moses, or we can stop producing imaginations causing us to hold the Truth in unrighteousness.
Luke also adds some female names, breaking tradition. The females are: Joanna, Janna, and Maath, showing that God looks at the heart, not the flesh. Luke gives us Jesus as the purpose of the Jews, then moves right into the temptations. This is Paul’s point, he uses allegories for the “head of the woman”; yet Luke a companion, lists females as equals.
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered (4:1-2).
It’s so clear that the Spirit led Jesus into the Wilderness, for the purpose of His being tempted of the devil. Why then, do some of us assume that we won’t be taken into the wilderness to defeat the works of the devil? God cannot be tempted to do evil, yet the Spirit of God took the Son of man to a place to be tempted. Therefore, the Spirit took Jesus, yet the Spirit didn’t tempt Jesus. Although the devil did the tempting, we find that Jesus was not tempted. The temptation unto evil is only complete when the one doing the temptation has a lust, and the one tempted reacts from a lust to complete the temptation. If the temptation is rejected, then it’s a test. However, the reverse is also true, God can send a test, yet we can filter it through a lust making it evil, but it doesn’t mean God tempted us unto evil. Therefore, we find that exposure for the child of God is a blessing, thus we Rejoice when we fall, it’s time to be clean.
The evidence shows that Jesus is more than man; the temptations came, yet not once was Jesus tempted to do evil. He defeated the temptations, one by one, showing by Him, that we too, can win in the wilderness.
Luke covers the three temptations, however, he uses a different order than the one noted in Matthew, for good cause. Luke brings the teacher into the picture, showing us that the temptations don’t come in some formed order. The devil uses darts, not mallets; he is the prince of the power of the air, not the king of the air, or even the prince of the air, merely the prince of the power (authority) of the natural realm. Thus the weapons of our warfare are not Carnal (natural air), but mighty through God (spiritual air). The prince of the power of the air is also the “spirit of disobedience”; the old man is a product of the authority (power), making the old man subject to the carnal, natural things of man. However, we are subject to the “Law of the Spirit,” meaning that the old nature is not invited into the New Covenant. The old man is not our soul; it’s the nature of fallen man affecting our soul. Our soul is still the treasure, the very element that the New Man is working to save (cleanse, justify).
Although the devil’s intent is to kill, rob, and destroy, it doesn’t mean that the result has to end in his favor; rather God has a purpose, “to turn things around for Good to those called according to His purpose, and for those who love the Lord.” The wilderness of Jesus proves this; Jesus defeated the devil in the wilderness, then destroyed him through the death of the Cross.
And the devil said unto Him, If You be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread (4:3).
This is different from Matthew’s account, in Matthew it was stones (plural), here it’s one stone (Matt 4:3). We can conclude that either Luke made a mistake, or since all Scripture is inspired by the Holy Ghost, that there is more here for us. The latter is better. Matthew uses the Greek word Lithos meaning A millstone, or A stone of stumbling. Luke uses the same Greek word, but in the singular (as “this stone”); it’s the same Greek word that John the Baptist used prior, showing that God is able to make children of Abraham from the Lithos. This is not the Rock, since it’s a different Greek word (Petros or Petra). In Matthew the temptation points to gaining our need outside of the proper order; here, the teacher is given a deeper conceptual aspect. The devil is tempting Jesus to take a stone of stumbling and make it Bread; yet the Scripture says that the Gospel is a stone of stumbling, but only to the unbeliever. This goes further than food for the flesh, this temptation is to force unbelievers into the Bread (Body), or to make people believe, rather than produce evidence so they can believe. It suggests the use of manipulation over choice. Did Jesus come so the stone of stumbling could become the Bread? Yes, but not by deceptive ways, and surely not at the suggestion of the devil.
How do we know that this is suggestive manipulation? We know by the word “command”; it’s the Greek Epo, a primary verb used only in definite past tense, showing that once spoken, it must be, regardless of the choice or desire of what it’s spoken to. Here it’s simply making the people believe; yet in the last chapter of Mark, we found Jesus upbraiding the disciples with their unbelief, then telling them the signs follow the believer, showing that the temptation was defeated for all time, if we receive it.
Matthew writes to “people” Luke to “one person”; yet both are giving us the same example. The Gospel is not four opinions, but one Gospel with one Author. Taking Matthew and Luke, we find that the devil sends his darts based on the same three evils, but uses them in different manners. Whether it’s, “change the masses,” or “one person,” it’s still the temptation to “make someone believe,” rather than present evidence, so they can make the change.
The devil questions our position and condition, bringing his lies as the basis for his attack. Bowing to the suggestion will rob us of our ability and anointing. The devil can’t raise himself to our position, but he can convince us to lower ourselves to his. Then comes the various IF attacks, “if you say you are who you are, do this”; “if you can do this, then you will prove who you are”; “if you are who you say you are, then show me your power”; or “If God said…”. Perhaps the most common one is “If God said…”, but all the “IF attacks” entice us to use our position to prove our condition, and each is designed by the devil to pull us from our position into self-justification, which empowers the self, the very thing he uses to destroy us.
Clearly we can see how these attacks point to entering self-justification. The devil didn’t say, “if God be God”; rather he attempted to make Jesus prove His position to satisfy the devil. This same temptation spills out of the mouth of the modern day Pharisee, who is bound in the traditions of man. We read a verse, yet they say, “if it’s still true, why don’t you….”, or “I see you say..”, those statements remove the teacher from being led of the Spirit, as it challenges the person. If they said, “I see God said through you…” their question would be a direct challenge toward God. The devil is challenging the Father, but challenging the Father through the position of Jesus. Tempting words entice us to prove ourselves, causing us to enter self-justification; we end using carnal weapons, thereby falling into temptation. Is it bad? Only if we ignore it. It has nothing to do with legitimate questions, it has to do with someone tempting another.
Stones are hard; bread is soft. Since Bread is a metaphor for the Body, which we are, we can see that this would be turning the unbeliever into Bread without giving them choice, which act would be demonic. The devil didn’t say, Turn the stone into chicken soup, or Turn the stone into prime rib, rather it pointed directly to bread alone. The word for Bread is the Greek Artos meaning Bread, but it also means the Shewbread, not the Manna.
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (4:4).
This is one area proving the Unity of the Body is not the call, rather we are to enter the Unity of the Spirit by the Unity of the Faith. The Greek word used for Word in the phrase, “every Word of God”, is Rhema, not Logos, we notice the phrase, “proceeds out of the mouth of God”, is missing here. Faith comes by hearing, but the hearing by the Rhema (word). We have three areas noted by Jesus, “it is Written”, “Bread” and “Word”, each with a different aspect. The Scriptures are not the only “Word of God”, the Scriptures define themselves as the Holy Scriptures, they define Jesus as the Word (Logos), and the Rhema metaphorically points to the Spirit (Jn 1:1, Rom 10:17 & II Tim 3:15-4:3). Rhema thinking is always Life centered, as life seeks Truth, Hope, Faith, Light and Love (Jn 6:63). The Living Word is Jesus in us, not the Bible. Even cultic systems use Scripture, as do Pharisees, yet Jesus said the Pharisees didn’t have the Word (Logos) in them, but He told them to read the Scriptures (Jn 5:37-40). Since the Pharisees read about life, they assumed they had it, but man does not live by the Body (Bread, I Cor 10:17) alone, we need the Rhema of God based in seeking Life by the Spirit.
The influence of Paul on Luke is displayed in this account; if any of the disciples after Pentecost knew anything about Jewish teaching and tradition, it was Paul. This same Paul was a devout student of Gamaliel, who was one of the most renowned teachers of the Rabbinical order at the time (Acts 5:34 & 22:3). These teachings would have a greater meaning to the orthodox Jew, or the Gentile who was informed of the orthodox Jewish concepts, rather than the modern day Christian. We also know Jesus came for the Jews, thus much of what He did is explained by Jewish concepts. We also know Paul counted his past education and intellectual endeavors as a waste (Ph’l 3:8 et al). Why? No spiritual influence, thus someone can quote every verse in the Bible, yet be void of spiritual understanding.
Stones were used by the Jews as memorials, even the stacking of stones as a memorial to God was common and reported in the Torah (Gen 28:11 & 31:46). Stones were also a sign of judgment and punishment (Deut 13:10). Although stones were used as memorials, once a tool was placed against the stone to change its appearance, it became an idol (Ex 20:25). Changing stones into bread would also be a form of idol making. The temptation didn’t stop at merely changing the stone, it reached to changing the stone into something specific. John said God was able to turn the stones into children of Abraham, but here the temptation went further (Matt 3:9). It’s one thing to know God is able, it’s another to tempt Him to prove it. The stones referred to by John, were the people who refused to repent of their sins; therefore, the stones who did change, did so by hearing, then accepting the choice to be changed, no one forced change on them (Matt 3:5).
To the Jew the acceptable bread must come from the five acceptable grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and red wheat [spelt]). The number Five represents Grace, the Grains used by the Jew reflect to the Faith of the Grain of Mustard Seed, but Bread to the Jew is still a symbol of Life. The Hebrew blessing for washing before anyone can eat bread is, Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu al netilat yadaim, translated as; Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us in His commandments and commanded us to raise up our hands”. This blessing has nothing to do with washing, but with the Raising of hands, but to the Jew it means to raise the hands after the washing in order to allow them to dry, to us it means, “Praise ye the Lord”. Within the blessing, or within many of the Jewish blessings we find the Trinity. First is Adonai (Lord or Spirit), then the Father (God or Elohenu), then the King of kings (Son or Melech). One might ask, does the first usage of Adonai really refer to Jesus? Jesus said, David said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord (Jehovah) said to my Lord (Adonai), sit at My Right Hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool, thus the first usage points to Jesus, but in context we also find we sit with Jesus in high places. Jesus as the Son of man is our example of walking in Mercy, as the Son of God He is our example of walking with God in Grace by the Spirit.
The blessing for bread cannot be conducted until two things are done, first is the prior blessing, but a Jew never eats bread without some Salt. Jesus said, if our Salt has lost his saltness, we are inept, thus the Bread without the Blessing and Salt, is not Bread, but a stone. The blessing for bread in the Hebrew reads, Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz, or “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who brings bread out of the earth”. This means more to us, when we recall Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life”, with “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the Bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die” (Jn 6:35 & 6:48-50). To the Jew the manna was the Bread from heaven, but it was not so, the command came from heaven, the manna from the ground, thus the manna was a type indicating the growth of the Seed, but the Shewbread is a type of Jesus. The Jew stops at the bread from the earth, we have the Bread from heaven.
Jesus didn’t say, “Stones is stones and bread is bread”, nor did He say, “pieces are pieces”, rather He went to the Scriptures, more specifically to the Torah, the heart of all Jewish belief. The key was Every Word (Rhema) Of God, not just the ones we pick, or the ones fitting our theology, yet here Jesus picked certain words from the Scriptures, yet He spoke the Rhema; therefore, He used Scripture, but the words had Life behind them. The devil will also use Scripture, but instead of life, there will be death and destruction behind them. This is the difference between reacting and responding, the Pharisees and other religious leaders used Scripture, but as their father the devil they did so to attack Jesus, but Jesus responded by the Rhema. Debates are reactions against reactions, when the Rhema is introduced, there is no debate.
The devil is defeated by the promises of God, thus traditions made into doctrines of men are methods used by the devil to destroy the promises. The temptation comes to force us to use a God given premise in a twisted carnal manner to gain some self-desire. We must submit to the Scriptures, yet live by the Rhema, by allowing the Rhema to bring Life through the Logos in us.
The pride of life inserts Agenda to make the Scripture fit our thinking, faith submits to the Logos (Word) to bring a change by the Rhema. This also helps us understand those times we Heard from God, but then comes a Pharisee with Scripture with their supposed error. God is asking us to believe in the imputing, but the carnal minded who hear the old carnal nature come with a hindering attitude to stop us before the impartation takes place. It’s not theology at question, but obedience regarding the Rhema of God.
We understand, In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God (in His bosom), the Word is God, then the Word was made flesh; however, to the Jew, the concept of one’s words becoming flesh is impossible, yet Is anything too hard for the Lord? One of the holiday blessings for the Jew entitled the Blessing of Rosh Hashanah or the Kiddush for Rosh Hashanah says in part, “..Your Word is Truth and endures forever”. To the Jew this means the Law of Moses, but we know the Word (Logos) is Jesus.
This shows how Pilate looked at a What is Truth, while he was looking at Truth (Jesus). Misinterpretation of the Truth caused Pilate to miss the greatest moment of his life. The Jews look for the Messiah as a Jewish man, yet they failed to see the Messiah as the Word of God made flesh, yet they know God’s Word is Truth. This connects to John 3:6, the Word of God is Spirit, since God is Spirit, yet the Word took on flesh to die so we can live. In the process we find the Holy Ghost brings the Seed of God, the Seed of God is the Holy Spirit we are sealed by, also known as the New Man, the Greater He, Another Comforter. The New Man is Spirit, but our souls are fleshly, thus the process of change is by the Spirit in us making our souls Spirit in nature, turning us from the flesh. The devil attempts to introduce the flesh again, based on the premise “that born of the flesh is flesh”.
These Jewish concepts were well known to the Pharisees, bringing the Gospel to it’s real Glory. When Jesus said, I Am the Truth, the Life and the Resurrection; the religious rulers went Tilt, tilt, tilt. These three areas were not items one could see or touch, they were invisible attributes of God, yet Jesus was standing before them. The invisible became visible for the Jew first, then the Gentile, if they receive it. God presents, then imputes, we believe and doubt not, then God imparts. A mind game falls apart, or jumps to witchcraft, thus a mind game is never based on Faith, it based on presumption.
And the devil taking Him up into a high mountain showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me: and to whomsoever I will I give it. If You therefore will worship me, all shall be thine. (4:5-7).
The High Mountain is Zion, the mountain of the Lord. From Zion, all the kingdoms of the world were seen, but the devil made the wrong assumption; he felt he had the power to give. Psalm 24:1 says, “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world and they who dwell therein.” The devil was attempting to give something that he didn’t possess, which is the same trick he pulled at the tree. Recalling how the devil uses the flesh to tempt Eve, we see the same acts of temptation going on here. When Eve (Adam female) saw that the tree was good for food, the” lust of the flesh” birthed in her. When she saw that it was pleasant to the eyes, the “lust of the eye” was birthed; then, the desire “to make one wise” produced the “pride of life,” or self-confidence, (making the flesh superior). The first act of Adam-male, as a result of the fall, was to cover his flesh; that born of the flesh was flesh, which could not change until Jesus made it possible. The flesh loves the darkness and void nature; the soul attaches to it’s guide, and if the flesh is the guide, then man loves darkness rather than light (Jn 3:19). However, within the soul is the “measure of faith,” looking for the Holy Ghost and the Proceeding Word of God.
The flesh being earthly, loves sensual matters, but the end thereof is death. The Jewish concept of hell is/was much different from ours, and their concept was much different from the one taught by Jesus. The Jew usually calls heaven Gan Eden, or the Garden of Eden, commonly known as Paradise. Jesus didn’t extend Paradise back to the Garden of Eden, rather He called it the Bosom of Abraham, showing that one “entered” based on faith, not deeds of the Law. How do we know? It wasn’t called the “Bosom of Moses.” The Jew also assumes that the “world to come” is Paradise; thus they hold to Isaiah 60:21-22, which to the Jew means, “All Israel will have a place in the world to come.” Paul said, All Israel will be saved, but he added, not all who call themselves Israel are of Israel.
Hell in the Hebrew is called Gehinnom, from which we get the word Gehenna. Jesus said, hell is a place where the worm dies not, the metaphor Worm points to the soul of man. However, to the Jew, no Jew can stay in hell for longer than a year. This is seen today in the placing of a headstone on a grave, a Jew doesn’t place the headstone on the grave immediately, they wait for nearly one year. To them once the headstone is in place the person is taken from hell, if it so happens that the soul passed through there. They also believe that the sabbath is so holy, that even heaven and hell are shut down for the sabbath. If this was true, there would be no evil, or death on the sabbath; thus “man was not made for the sabbath, but the sabbath for disobedient man.” The sabbath is not God, or a god, it’s a sign of the covenant which God gave man, but the covenant was between man and the Law of Moses, not between man and God. It was more than keeping the day, it was keeping the meaning of the day; thus man took the sabbath, and rather than make the day holy, they felt that they were holy for keeping the day, forgetting the very premise for keeping the day. The concepts regarding hell by the Jew are Agenda, since there is no obvious written teaching in the Torah regarding hell. In the end, hell is tossed into the lake of fire; it’s the lake of fire burning eternally as the place for those resurrected into damnation, or those of the Second Death.
The temptation entices us to bow one time to the devil, or use the ways of the flesh, after we have imputed it dead, meaning, we end using death in the place of life. Most temptations are based on reasoning: after all, Jesus came to take Zion, to bring Peace to Zion, Salvation to Zion, to set the captives free. The devil had a simple plan, it wouldn’t take the Cross, the earthly ministry, the mocking from the Pharisees, nor any length of time; all Jesus had to do, was bow once, not twice, or forever, just give the devil one bit of worship, then the devil would have released every Jew; however, behind the request was the trap.
We also find another mystery, Jesus allowed the devil to take Him, but He didn’t follow the devil’s suggestions. It would almost seem as if Jesus submitted, but we can see how Jesus allowed the devil to take Him to a place, and then he defeated the devil at the place. Does it mean we should allow the devil to take us “wherever?” Hardly; Jesus knew what He was doing, but we must have ears to hear, knowing when to submit, or respond.
Matthew postions this temptation last, but Luke is adding to the teaching for the Full Ear. Here we will find Jesus telling the devil to “get behind Him,” or better, to leave and remain in a place of lower authority, or as a slave who is not allowed to walk beside; yet the devil came right back with another temptation. Simply because the one temptation is defeated, doesn’t mean another isn’t close behind. Above all else, we know, that the devil doesn’t use a game plan conducive to our benefit. Each of the three temptations relate to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life, as each is sent to steal, kill, and destroy, and all are looking to entice us to use the power, seat, or authority of the devil; all three of the elements are motivated by the spirit of the world, as the “he of the world.”
God will test us, but He will never tempt us with evil, nor will we tempt Him to do evil; all three of these temptations by the devil are “unto evil,” yet it was the Spirit who brought Jesus into the wilderness, and for the specific purpose of being tempted of the devil.
Why the Spirit and not the Holy Ghost? The temptations relate to Salvation, the Holy Ghost relates to the ministry, or toward the masses (providing guidance to); this is an example of the Spirit in us protecting us in the face of danger. God proves our faith, He doesn’t tempt us to do evil, if we’re doing some evil, yet claim it’s something God told us to do, we’re sadly mistaken.The Father could not tempt Jesus unto evil, thus there was nothing in the Father that the Father could use. The Spirit couldn’t tempt Jesus, there is no evil in the Spirit, yet Jesus had to face the same three temptations from the same tree to overcome them in order to separate the tree from the kingdom. Does it mean we will not be tempted? No, it means that we have power over the temptations, more important it means if we fall, God has provided a means of escape (I Cor 10:13).
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (4:8).
From this we can find a key, or a secret to warfare; did Jesus come “against” the devil? No, this was the devil coming against Jesus, Jesus was resisting the temptation by placing Scripture between Him and the temptation. When we come against the devil, we must venture into his realm, but when we Stand with the New Man (Armor of God) we are “resisting evil.” We could use, “well I come against the devil and it works, in fact, I do it every day”; if we have to do it everyday, it’s not working. This doesn’t mean we don’t come against the Wiles (works) of the devil, clearly we do, and clearly Jesus did; but we must discern the differences between demons, the power, authority, seat of Satan, and the Wiles of the devil. We could spend hours rebuking the devil by using the wiles of the devil to do it, and be none the better.
Here Jesus uses the term “Satan”, as we found that Satan is opposed to the people, especially the people of God. This attack was against Jesus, but it affected the people whom Jesus was sent to. Jesus defeated the devil, so we can defeat the works of the devil. Jesus didn’t say, “As far as it is translated correctly, it is written…”, or “I think it is written…”, or “From the original transcript it is written.” Jesus as the Word, spoke the Scriptures with authority, thus because the Word (Jesus) used the Scriptures, we find validity in the Scriptures. The same is true with us, the Word in us is the Power from on High, the God granted ability to walk by faith.
Regardless of the Translation, we must seek the Interpretation to determine what the Author was thinking when the words were written. We can find various texts, even find some where it appears that verses are missing, but why? The hand of man? Even so, we find a two edged test. We can seek out reasons to believe in finding other evidence to support the presentation of the verses. Or we can doubt, and once we doubt the veracity of the Bible, we will doubt in the Word, allowing the devil to have us questioning everything, even the obvious. Once we begin to question the veracity of God, or the Scriptures, we fall into the “If” trap, ending hanging ourselves by our own tongue.
Jesus is life, the devil is death, and the two can’t mix. The devil attempts to make us think that he is more than he is, while telling us that we are less than we are. Then he adds the false concept, of God being unable to finish what He started. Instead of debating the issue with the messengers of the devil, we merely say, “It is written”; then we walk in faith, love, and hope, backed up by the Word in us.
One can use Scripture to bring harm, just as one can use the Word to bring life and peace. We preach the Word; yet anyone can read Scripture, and even the devil used Scripture. Thus, it’s not the use of Scripture alone, but adding the Word in us to bring Life, which is the Logos in us being used to speak the Rhema to those who have Rhema ears.
And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee: and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone (4:9-11).
This temptation points to the pride of life; the temple is where the Pharisees and Scribes were holding service. Therefore, if Jesus jumped from the top of the temple and made an open display of His greatness to prove Himself, with the obvious observance of angels holding Jesus up, the Pharisees would have been convinced by what they saw. However, the issue of faith and receiving Jesus on the principle of belief and love, is more important than showmanship. On the day of the Cross, Herod called for Jesus, simply to see some miracle, but Jesus did nothing; thus, this temptation came again, but it was nonetheless defeated.
The pride of life calls out, “Show them your power”, or “look at the power you have”, or “tell the rain to go away, take control”, all producing some “Jesus Christ and His traveling puppet show”, with theatrics, ending in self-exalting. This same temptation comes when we attempt to force our Agenda, or enter self-justification to prove our position. The devil enjoys seeing us use his Wiles to come against demonic elements. The devil doesn’t care if we’re coming against him, it’s the method used that he either fears or enjoys.
The devil started the quote, but he forgot the rest of the quote, which reads, “because he has set His love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known My name” (Ps 91:14). Faith without a love for the Lord, ends in using the pride of life to seek self-pleasure. The Scripture shows that God will deliver because we love Him; but the devil turned the Scripture into, “Show them who you are, prove Yourself.” So, one is trusting in God, the other is promoting the self; the former is faith, the latter is sin, yet both are based in Scripture.
And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (4:12).
The devil was tempting Jesus, attempting to get Jesus to tempt the Father. Jesus again quoted the Torah; all His answers come from the Law (Deut 6:16). Does this mean that we can only quote the Law? Does this mean that the only means to defeat the devil is by the Law? The answer is, No. Jesus used the Law for the disobedient in the face of the “spirit of disobedience,” proving that even the Law of Moses can rebuke the devil, but it takes the Spirit to defeat the works of the devil. Adding to this, we know at this time, that the Bread and Cup were not presented. The real premise is how the devil used manipulation, deception, and subtle methods; but Jesus used Scripture the way it was intended to be used. Jesus stood as the Son of man, the challenge was directed to prove He is the Son of God.
And when the devil had ended all the temptations, he departed from Him for a season (4:13).
This verse is a promise; after the wilderness, when the Root has faced the three temptations of: the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things, the devil is removed for a Season. However, as we know, the works of the devil continued to attack Jesus through the religious leaders. Warfare? Yes, yet Jesus was not moved by the temptations. There isn’t one temptation facing us, which Jesus hasn’t faced.
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all (4:14-15).
Jesus started by Teaching, not doing miracles; John tells us, that when Jesus turned the water into wine, it wasn’t time, yet Jesus did it to please His mother. The second miracle came after Jesus left Galilee, and was on His way to Capernaum (Jn 2:4 & 4:54). After Jesus entered Capernaum, the healings and miracles were all part of His ministry; however, the Jews were first given the opportunity to Hear and gain faith. Signs and Wonders are great, they prove that we believe, but faith still “comes by Hearing,” so we must move from belief to faith, without ignoring either.
This verse shows, that after the wilderness, Jesus went about doing many things; this verse is a preview to the events, not a matter of the events all happening at one time. In John, Nicodemus viewed the cleaning of the temple as a miracle, as any Jew would. To the Jew, if anyone did what Jesus did, such as rebuking those who sold the dove, it would be a miracle. Power used outside of given authority is rebellion and witchcraft; so, the religious leaders saw the power, yet the temple was in their hands. Thus, the religious leaders questioned His authority, not His power.
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read (4:16).
It was always the Custom of Jesus to teach. Luke tells us that this custom was prevalent when Jesus was twelve years old. Not only was it His custom to be in the synagogue, but He was going there to read. The chapter and verse were not in the Bible until the 1600’s; therefore, the Jew knew the Scriptures, they also knew where to find Scripture without having to look at chapter and verse.
And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book He found the place where it was written, (4:17).
The phrase, “He found”, doesn’t mean that Jesus was playing Bible roulette; rather it means that He sought out a specific area. The practice on the Sabbath was not to read from the Prophets, but from the Torah. The reading of the text on the sabbath is called the Kiddush; yet Jesus departed from the norm, not to make an uproar, but to open a door for the people to be free indeed.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord (4:18-19).
This is a Proclamation, according to Jewish history which was done when one army knew that it could take the enemy with ease. The Proclamation was given to allow the enemy to surrender. The ones bringing the Proclamation were dressed in White, thus showing the tradition of the white flag for surrender. Only in this case, the ones dressed in white were asking the enemy to surrender. Jesus defeated the devil in the wilderness, but here He is putting the works of the devil on notice, that they are defeated as well.
A Proclamation is also the means of the “Report in heaven” (1 John 5,) proclaiming something as done, while the Witness on earth is bringing it to pass. If we look at Justification we would find verses indicating that it’s a past issue once we enter the Body; but we would also find verses showing it’s “unto”, or a process. The Report proclaims it done, the Witness is bringing it to pass. For God it’s calling something done, while we are in the process. Once the ability is granted, God considers it done. We Believe God Is; in this respect we believe that God has given us the ability, our faith then hold the Reward is “in hand,” although we are in the process.
We must see the order here: the Spirit was on Jesus because of the Anointing, not the other way around. When we receive Jesus, the Righteousness of Jesus is “imputed,” then the Anointing comes to complete the task given. We don’t need to run all over looking for the Anointing; if you have the Spirit, you had the Anointing first.
Jesus used the word Preach three times, and the first point of faith is “to hear.” Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1-2; however, He left off, “and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn” (Isa 61:2). To the Jew, God’s Mercy and Justice (Judgment) are the same; here, Jesus divides the two, showing God’s Mercy frees us from His Justice. Many mysteries in the Bible are found in the little words.
And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (4:20-21).
The Scripture wasn’t fulfilled to their Eyes, but in their Ears; thus faith was “at hand,” but not “in hand.” The choice was before them: to either believe and enter in, or reject and be rejected. This group will be the first to see the Sower Sow the Word; what they did with it became the evidence of the Parable of the Sower.
And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? (4:22).
The Seed did bear Witness, but the devil brought his character in full force as Satan bears witness with Satan. They wondered at the Words proceeding out of His mouth, yet they also trusted in their own limited thoughts, ending with rejecting the Seed as soon as it was Sown. The religious leaders came with the same temptations as the devil did in the wilderness; the works of the devil were working in them, yet Jesus didn’t cast the devil out of them, why? These are the works of the devil, not devils.
And He said unto them, Ye will surely say unto Me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country (4:23).
This is something they will say at the time, as a result of what Jesus will do in Capernaum, not what Jesus has done. The verse does not say, “you are saying”, rather it points to the future, “you will surely say.” They will Hear of the great works in Capernaum, thus Jesus is speaking a prophetic message, knowing what will be. He is not guessing at the events yet to come; He is not speaking words to make the events happen. He is speaking words about events yet to happen.
The people birthed their own unbelief, rather than accepting the Seed, regardless of any prior knowledge they may have. When someone speaks, we must be able to discern the words, regardless of the person. God is able to turn the stones into children of Abraham; we would be surprised at who God uses to make the point. Viewing the person to determine if they speak the truth or not always hinders us; discerning the words they speak regardless of who they are is the goal.
These people expected Elijah to come marching down the road, or be displayed in such a manner that faith would not be at issue. They also expected the Messiah to come with wondrous signs, including the promise of taking Edom, Moab and the children of Ammon. They expected the Messiah to place the Mountain of the Lord, over the mountains of the world; however, they confused times and seasons. God warned them regarding the mixing of Seasons and times, yet they missed the warning. Here the Messiah personally is presenting the signs; in the Book of Revelation we find that the Messiah will use the 144,000, without personally appearing until the very end… two Seasons, two Reasons, two Methods, two different goals, one Result.
No Jew would consider the Season of Passover the same as the Season of Shavuot. Passover is the Season of Freedom, whereas, Shavuot is the Season of the giving of the Torah. The Jew knows that one must leave Egypt before they receive the Torah. They can’t receive the Torah, then leave Egypt. To the Jew it’s either Torah, Agenda, or foolishness; thus, to the carnal mind, spiritual things are foolishness. The Kuddish regarding the Exodus from Egypt, states in part, “He has chosen us and sanctified us above all people and Your Holy appointed times have You caused us to inherit in joy and gladness.” The Curse falls because we fail to serve the Lord with joy and gladness of heart for the abundance of All things (Deut 28:47). The choice to receive the change of Seasons with joy and gladness, or to remain in an Old Season which was ineffective in respect to defeating the devil…. was the premise; yet Jesus never forced choice, He presented it.
And He said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian (4:24-27).
The example shows how the same blessing was “At hand” to many widows, yet only one received it”In hand,” because she obeyed the prophet; thus she survived the Change in Season. There were many lepers, but Naaman made a decision to believe the prophet, and he was healed when he obeyed. At first Naaman didn’t obey, but then he had a change in heart and did, it’s the issue here. The Widow was the only one that the prophet was sent to; the Jews were the only ones the Christ was sent to. Although Naaman didn’t believe at first, he did change and obey the words of the prophet, no matter how silly they sounded. These people did see, heard and obeyed not.
The Jew still knows that God will present the Kingdom to the Jew first, thus if Jesus wasn’t Who, He said He was, then their time is still yet to come; however, if Jesus was/is Who He said He was/is, then the times and Seasons have changed. The Jew is convinced that the Time of Comfort and the coming of the Messiah are linked into one Season, one time, one event; therefore, if Jesus didn’t bring peace for the nation by defeating the Romans, then He was not the Messiah. They confused the term Peace, assuming Peace first comes to the nation, then to the person, rather than Peace having to be established between the person and God before there can be any peace at all.
In order to make a Difference, one must be a Difference; Difference doesn’t come to make the person different, the person moves to the place to become a Difference. The Difference was presented, but one has to enter therein.
And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (4:28).
The offense came, the choice was made, what they missed, others would gain; but nonetheless, they missed it. Offense is not to be taken lightly, and whenever, or whatever the offense, it must be discerned before we react. The soul reacts to protect itself, and anger is a method we use to turn the offense back on the other person, while justifying our inept condition. This offense came in the synagogue, and the reaction came in the synagogue. Two people can be in the same church: one can receive the offense and “enter in,” the other can “retort” and miss the blessing; yet it was the same offense, same message, same church.
And rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon the city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong (4:29).
Jesus was taken to a High Mountain; He could have allowed the people to toss Him off, then have the angels save Him, and then they would believe. However, Jesus won’t/didn’t submit to the manipulation, nor would He retort or attack it. From this we find that we cannot tempt God to do evil; it doesn’t mean we can’t send the temptation, rather it means it won’t be received by God. Rather, He will send back a test of exposure. Clearly the children in the wilderness tempted God, but they couldn’t tempt God to do evil. Instead, God sent a test back to expose the children, and what they did with the test proved the point.
But He passing through the midst of them went His way, and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee and taught them on the sabbath days (4:30-31).
Jesus simply walked away in Peace, leaving the people with their wrath. Jesus would leave this area then travel through Cana to reach Capernaum. While in Cana, He would do His second miracle. Jesus could have healed someone, anyone in Nazareth, but the premise was still based on the faith of the people. When He reaches Cana there will be one in need, yet He will say, “Except you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” Therefore, signs and wonders are for those who must “see to believe,” yet signs and wonders follow the Believer. The Believer doesn’t look for the signs and wonders, they bring them; while the unbeliever looks for signs and wonders before they believe. However, in many cases it’s the signs and wonders drawing the unbeliever to become a believer.
Cana sits between Nazareth and Capernaum, John’s account fills in the gaps by showing that Jesus didn’t do any miracles in Nazareth (Jn 4:44-54). John’s account of the events in Cana are not related to the healing of the Centurion’s servant in Capernaum. Jesus did many miracles before the Centurion’s servant was healed, John shows that the second miracle was done in Capernaum, but came from Cana (Jn 4:46-50, Matt 4:23 & 8:5-13). Why would Jesus heal this man’s son, yet do no miracles in Nazareth? First, while in Nazareth no one asked Him, nor did they believe He could, second Jesus already did one miracle in Cana, when He turned the Water into Wine.
When Jesus turned the Water into Wine it was near the time of the Passover Feast (Jn 2:1 & 2:12-16). After Jesus turned the Water into Wine in Cana, He cleaned the temple; thus we find that even the cleaning of the Temple is a type of miracle. But the real miracles came after the Fast, and after He preached in Nazareth (Jn 2:11-16 & Mark 2:1-17), since the turning of Water into Wine was near the Passover, and the fast lasted forty days. We find that Jesus went home to Nazareth where he entered the synagogue there. After leaving, He started toward Capernaum, and on the way, a man stopped Him in Cana as the man’s son was sick in Capernaum. After the healing, then Jesus went to Capernaum.
The time element to the Jew is very important: Jesus turned the Water into Wine at a Wedding, healed the man’s son on the Path to Capernaum, and both relate to the Feast days. The Passover was a time of deliverance, whereas, Pentecost is the time of Rejoicing and Filling. No one was healed at the Wedding, but they Saw the vessel filled. In Cana, the Word went forth regarding the man’s son being healed.
The differences between the son being healed and the servant noted in Matthew’s account are great. In John’s account, Jesus is in Cana, but in Matthew Jesus is in Capernaum. In John’s account it’s the son of the Nobel man, but in Matthew it’s the servant of the Centurion. The only connections are Jesus and the healing, all the other circumstances and times are different. Luke picks up the events in Capernaum, again going to the area of the synagogue where Jesus started teaching; however, the difference between the people in Capernaum and those in Nazareth is obvious, and the result is also obvious. In Nazareth the people did bear witness to the words spoken, but they failed to couple the Word presented with faith; rather they began using natural reasoning.
And they were astonished at His doctrine: for His word was with power (4:32).
Once the Sower Sowed the Seed, these people received, and the Proverb, “Physician, heal thyself,” was taking effect. They didn’t use mind power, they received the Seed and used faith in Jesus.
And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with You, You Jesus of Nazareth? Are You come to destroy us? I know You, Who You are; the Holy One of God (4:33-34).
Did Jesus destroy the devil? Yes. Will the devil be bound? Yes. But here, the temptation is to do it before the time. The phrase “Holy One of God” is interesting, it shows how the devils are now temping Jesus. Isaiah and others term Jehovah as the Holy One (Isa 5:24, 10:20 et al), in essence the devils are calling Jesus “Jehovah, the Son of God”; but Jesus was acting as the Son of man. James tells us that even the devils know there is one God, the problem is they continually tempt Him (James 2:19).
The Jews have many Agendas regarding demons, some of those are still held today. When Jesus asked, “Who do they say I Am”; the disciples said, “Some say, Moses, some Elijah, some Jeremiah, some the other prophets.” The concept of a soul not filling its intended purpose or assignment in one life, then coming back after death to finish its course in another body, was a common thought among the Jews, and even the disciples held like thoughts. It was also a common thought regarding a vengeful soul coming back to invade a body to finish its evil work. This was considered the person being possessed with The Evil Eye to finish the assignment in life; thus they were left alone. After all, they were nonetheless a Jew; they were only completing their assignment in life. Jesus broke the agenda by casting out devils, thus showing it was not the soul of a person finishing an assignment, but a devil invading the soul of a person. The Pharisees felt that Jesus was interfering in the assignment of life, yet it was obvious that the people were demon possessed. When the disciples told Jesus, “some say You are Moses, or Elijah”, He asked, “who do you say I am?”, thus putting an end to the foolish concept of a soul coming back to finish an assignment. Accordingly, if the Evil Eye took over someone, the possessed was a victim and not allowed Choice to pick good or evil; therefore, the Evil Eye violated the commandment of the free moral choice (choosing Life or Life – Deut 30:19). The term Evil Eye is called the Ayin Hara, the Jews make noises at weddings, births, and other events to frighten off the evil influences, but the religious leaders couldn’t understand why Jesus cast out devils, by simply saying, “Come out.” Jesus also said, If the Eye offend thee, pluck (cast) it out. Instead of casting out the Evil Eye, the Pharisees gave it a chief seat.
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold your peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not (4:35).
This event gives us a different view of demon possession, other than the one we obtained from the man in the tombs. In this case the demon was one demon, yet used the plural Us, by saying, “Let us alone” thereby incorporating the person into the request. It would appear as if Jesus violated the man’s free moral choice; if he wanted to remain possessed, why not let him? However, the man was already voided of free moral choice by being possessed, thus devils invade the soul, inserting their thoughts and pleasures, removing the person’s choice. Jesus operated in the Wisdom of God (James 2:1-2), thus He knew the demon was speaking, not the person. Of course there are some who think they are better off with the demon, than without; however, once the demon is vacated, they can see their former state wasn’t good at all. If the person loved the demon, yet the demon is cast out, they will fail to fill their heart with faith, allowing the demon to return. However, they at least had a choice in the matter, they were free, but loved darkness rather than Light.
The demon was told to muzzle it’s mouth; the only power any devil has is their mouth. Demons go about “as a roaring lion,” they are not “roaring lions”; rather, they are like a cockroach with a mouth like a lion. Fear of demons is a sign of our lack of belief in the Name of Jesus; Paul called it “Superstitious” (Acts 17:22). If we lack belief in the “Power and Authority in the Name of Jesus,” we have no business casting out devils, neither should we conduct water baptisms. We were all in darkness and under the power of the spirit of disobedience (Eph 2:2-3); but we left the old realm, by entering a place with a higher authority, where there is no reason to fear demons, or the powers of darkness. If we are in the Body, and all things are under the Feet of Jesus, then we are above the things of the world; thus, never fear the inferior, put your fear in the Superior One, God.
The word Thrown means “A sudden motion,” or “A deliberate hurl to deposit something,” or “To toss back,” thus the demon tossed back the person with a sudden motion, yet the person was unharmed.
And they were all amazed, and spoke among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out (4:36).
The wording “What a word is this!”, is not a question, but a statement of amazement. These people had never seen Authority coupled with Power; in like manner, they never saw Satan cast out of anyone. They assumed, since the Pharisees allowed it, it must be in accordance with the Torah.
And the fame of Him went out into every place of the country round about. And He arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought Him for her. And He stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them (4:37-39).
Peter’s mother-in-law wasn’t demon possessed, and the demon possessed man wasn’t sick. Peter’s mother-in-law had a great fever, thus Jesus rebuked the fever; He didn’t rebuke the woman, or Peter, or the devil. The word Rebuked means Dismissed; it’s a compound word meaning To smite or To cause to leave. The Jewish divorce action is called a Dismissal of the marriage; Paul said that there would be a falling away, and in the Greek, this means a Divorce Action from The Faith. Jesus isn’t about to leave us, but it doesn’t mean we can’t divorce Him. In this case the fever was Dismissed from the woman, the woman wasn’t Dismissed from the fever, there is a difference.
Luke isn’t simply repeating events for the sake of correcting either Mark or Matthew, he is bringing us into the Full Corn in the Ear, the knowledge of the Jewish viewpoint, which includes their religious viewpoint and which tells us why these Pharisees rejected the obvious, while others received. The spirit lusting to envy is a killer, it attacks, yet claims it’s doing a good deed, it slanders, yet calls it “truth”, it’s motivated by the power of darkness, it’s the fall nature of man.
Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with different diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them (4:40).
Jesus laid hands on men and women; to the Jewish male, this was a violation of the Law of Moses, but the violation was based on Agenda and tradition. According to Jewish Agenda, the woman could be unclean, thus laying on of hands would transfer the uncleanness to the one laying on the hands. Some of us have picked up a “like Agenda” based on something Paul said; but the Agenda uses it backward. Paul warned us about who we lay hands on, not who lays hands on us (I Tim 5:22). Paul’s warning tells leaders to be careful about who they ordain to “Helps” ministries; be wise, consider the person, not the need to fill an office.
And devils also came out of many, crying out and saying, You are the Christ the Son of God. And He rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that He was Christ (4:41).
This verse expands our definition of a “devil”; there are entities or evil spirits who are devils, but anything opposed to the Will of God is a devil. Thus Jesus called Judas a devil (Jn 6:70). When James says that the devils believe there is one God, he doesn’t limit the term “devils” to the fallen angels (James 2:19). If one Believes in the “One God,” they also believe in His Son; if they say they believe in the One God, yet reject His Son, James terms them as devils. The Jews called idols devils, based on their opposition to God.
And when it was day, He departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought Him, and came unto Him, and stayed Him, that He should not depart from them. And He said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. And He preached in the synagogues of Galilee (4:42-44).
This doesn’t mean that the Kingdom of God was available at the time, rather Jesus was going to “Preach it” as a matter of preparation.
The people wanted Jesus to remain in the area of Galilee, but Galilee was not all of the land of Israel; it was merely a portion of the land. The devils couldn’t stop Jesus, the people couldn’t stop Him; but the unbelief of the people stopped the people from receiving.
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon Him to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Gennesaret (5:1).
In Mark’s account, we find that Peter, Andrew, James, and John were located at the shore of the sea of Galilee (Mark 1:16). The lake was noted as the Sea of Galilee when the location was on the Galilee side, but the other side of the lake was known as Gennesaret. Luke wants us to know this is the other side of the lake, after the disciples crossed the sea.
And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fisherman were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And He entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship (5:2-3).
Mark shows Simon and Andrew casting a net into the sea (Mark 1:16), and James and John Zebedee were “in the ship mending their nets” (Mark 1:19); but here, the location and events are different, for good reason.
Now when He had left speaking, He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught (5:4).
These fishermen had finished for the night, they didn’t return back to the Galilee side, since they didn’t have a catch. The Night is a metaphor for the Time of Comfort, they fished in the Night, and caught nothing; work while it is yet Day, for the Night comes when no man can work. Now Jesus tells them to try again, only this time they will be following the Word of the Lord during the Day.
And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at Thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake (5:5-6).
The Greek word used for “word” is Rhema; the proceeding word came, in which Peter was about to get his first lesson regarding “man does not live by bread alone”.
At this point in time, the nets started to break; later after Peter knows that he denied the Lord,(as his displeasure with himself caused him to return to his old line of employment), he will again hear, “Cast your net”; and again, he will find a net breaking catch, but the teaching will be different, as will Peter’s response.
This catch would be a preview of the “Net cast into the Sea to bring forth both good and bad.” There is a difference between the Sea and the Field, the Sea is the place to bring in the Fish, and the Field is a place of decision and separation.
The catch yet to come will contain 153 fish, there are 153 blessings associated with the Abrahamic Covenant. Peter was called on the other side of the sea, then he will be chosen on this side, and later, he will be restored at the Shore (Jn 21:6). The saying in John 21 told Peter that God is a God of more than one chance. After the denials, yet before Peter was restored, Jesus would say, “tell My disciples and Peter”; thus Peter went back to his old way of life. After all, how many times can one deny the Lord, and not be cast away? Peter found out that he may have denied the Lord, but it wasn’t with the same intent as Judas betraying the Lord. Peter wanted to do something for the Lord, but lacked the ability, whereas, Judas wanted to do something to the Lord.
And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord (5:7-8).
Peter did as he was told, but he wasn’t able to complete the task without his partners. The net needed more than one disciple to be effective, although one disciple tossed it. Paul would tell us, one plants, another waters, but only God can bring the increase (I Cor 3:6-7). Who is he who casts the net? Who are those who pulled it in? They were servants, but Who was He who filled it? He is the Lord.
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken (5:9).
Peter toiled all night, yet he didn’t even see a fish, much less catch one, now the net is breaking. Peter had faith in his ability, he was a professional fish catcher, yet his net would come up empty. The Ability and the Desire are different; we must submit and have the desire, but the Ability is still the Lord’s. Jesus spoke the Word, Peter obeyed, and by his obedience he received.
And so was also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth you shall catch men (5:10).
Peter was Astonished, what kind of Man was this Jesus? This was a faith test just for Peter, as the test pointed to a promise. This promise would prevail past the Cross and Resurrection, as Peter would later hear, “Feed My Sheep” (Jn 21:16). It’s one thing to catch them, another to Feed them; some catch, some Feed, but it’s God who fills the Net.
Both Matthew and Mark show that Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19), and “Come you after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17); thus both Matthew and Mark are future tense callings. Here in Luke we see, “from henceforth…”, thus we have “the calling” in Mark and Matthew, then the act of being Chosen in Luke. They had to cross the Sea, hear the Sermon on the Mount and make the decision to leave All. Once the decision was made, Jesus would bring the ability and training unto the calling.
And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him (5:11).
Both Mark and Matthew show that they “forsook their nets” (Mark 1:18 & Matt 4:20); but here in Luke they left All to follow Jesus. There is a process, a time between hearing the call and being chosen, adding a process of time to be chosen. We receive the Calling through Mercy; we make the decision to be Chosen by entering “Grace experiences” to then be Justified “unto” the saving of our souls; therefore, “many are Called, but few are Chosen,” because few make the choice to be Chosen. This area is not an issue of Faith, but obedience, although obedience is an aspect of Faith, but it’s not all Faith is.
And it came to pass, when He was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought Him, saying, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And He put forth His hand and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And He charged him to, tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (5:12-14).
Leprosy is an obvious uncleanness, whereas, an “issue of blood” was not obvious; but nonetheless unclean. Today, few Jews talk about leprosy, but during the earthly ministry, there were many lepers. The four lepers during the time of Elisha said, Why sit we here until we die? (II Kings 7:3). The four lepers then entered the camp of the Syrians and found that the Lord had made the host of the Syrians flee, and the lepers enjoyed the spoils, yet they remained lepers (II Kings 7:6-9).
Miriam became leprous because she sinned against the Lord, and the Lord’s Prophet (Numb 12:8-10). Moses interceded and the Lord healed Miriam after seven days; then she was received Again (Numb 12:14). The Jew knew that Leprosy was a Plague, yet any Plague is a result of the curse (Lev 13:2-59). Leprosy is noted as the Fretting Plague; the word Fretting means Bitter, or To be bitter, or a result of bitterness (Lev 13:51-52 & 14:44). Proverbs 19:3 says, The foolishness of man perverts his way: his heart frets against the Lord. In this case the word Frets means Angry, thus Anger brings Bitterness and bitterness produces an uncleanness on the inside, which then becoming obvious on the outside. This also shows that bitterness and envy can cause us to attack members of the Body, just as Miriam was within the family, yet her bitterness and envy caused her to attack Moses. Does it mean if we are bitter we will get Leprosy? No, it means there is an allegory to enlighten us; bitterness is an inner plague, the Book of Hebrews warns us, “looking diligently lest any man fail (fall from) the Grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, thereby many be defiled: lest there be any fornicator (one who disrespects the vow of the birthright) or profane person as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright” (Heb 12:15-16).
This area will be the beginning of the Teaching provided by Luke. To a Jew the phrases, “In a certain place,” or “At a certain time,” or “A certain person” all reflect to teaching precept upon precept, not line upon line. Although Luke is writing to a Greek, he is bringing the evidence to draw anyone to the Cross. If we are looking for historical time periods or chronological order, we will get lost in Luke. Luke isn’t making an attempt to place these events in a chronological order, the chronological order was established by Matthew and Mark, and added to by John. Luke is linking events and sayings in categories of study regarding the phrase: deny the self, pick up your cross in order to follow Jesus.
But so much the more went there a fame abroad of Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed (5:15-16).
These people came for one reason, to be healed of their infirmities; yet Jesus didn’t reject them, He didn’t rebuke them by saying, “All you people want is a healing, you’re so self-centered, so get out of here.” In John we will find that Jesus refused to feed a certain group of people, after having fed them the day before. The day prior they wanted to hear the Word, the day after, they just wanted food; thus they attempted to manipulate Jesus into doing something. Here they came for something without manipulating or tempting Him. On the other hand if we go to meetings just to have the “man of God” lay hands on us, we have missed the mark by miles, since we are commanded to lay hands on others.
Jesus is our example; we talked about the tradition of praying before we preach, here we find what the tradition hampered. After the healings, Jesus went to pray. How many of us do that? We pray up a storm before the meeting to make sure we’re right before God; but praying for the people after the fact is just as important if not more so.
And it came to pass on a certain day, as He was teaching that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them (5:17).
Luke now uses the term, “On a certain day,” which is his teaching statement, showing that he is linking events; thus he is not concerned with the chronological appearance. He will remain in this teaching mode until Jesus reaches Jerusalem for the last week of the earthly ministry.
The Power of the Lord was present to heal the Leper; and the Power was in the house to heal any who reached for it. To the Pharisees it may have seemed to pass away when the leper was healed, but the evidence proves the Truth. The Power can be there, but we must enter the presence of the Lord to receive.
Could someone be healed with all these unbelieving Pharisees around? We will see that the unbelief of others can’t hinder the one who is seeking. A promise indeed, we can be up to our necks in unbelieving Pharisees, yet gain by our faith. Not easy, but possible.
The Pharisees were sitting there with the Lord in their presence, but they were hardly in the Lord’s presence. The phrase “the power of the Lord was present to heal them”, could also read, “the power of the Lord was to heal them”; therefore, this connects to the Leper’s question. The Power of the Lord in this case is based in Mercy, while the faith of the people was based in their knowledge of Jesus being able to impart Mercy directly into their lives. This is still the earthly ministry, still the time of the Mercy, if the man’s sins were forgiven, the man knew by the findings in the Law of Moses, that he was healed.
And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the house top, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus (5:18-19).
Matthew showed that the men had faith enough to get the man through the roof; thus it became a symbol of the partners helping with the net (Matt 9:2). This man had Palsy, or was paralytic as the Greek word Paralutikos shows. The paralytic condition was unheard of to Moses or the children in the wilderness, yet it was still noted in the Curse under, “every sickness and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until you are destroyed” (Deut 28:61). The removal of the curse began with the stripes of Jesus, each mark bore our sicknesses and pains; the Cross put a finish to all curses, whether the curse of the Law, the curse of the Fall, a family curse, a curse in general, or some plain old curse. All things against us were nailed to the Cross, to the point where the Son of man laid a barrier of Mercy, a barrier so strong that the devil himself can’t bear to look upon it. And all this is not even counting the New Birth (Grace); we have so many benefits it boggles the mind.
To Moses, the title “Jehovah” meant both Justice and Mercy in the same package, but Jesus came as Mercy, Truth, and Grace. It’s the Second Coming where the Justice of the Son of man is displayed. The aspect of God being both Mercy and Justice in the same package is confirmed in the Law of Moses, by the many blessings and curses; but there is no cursing in the Law of the Spirit. Therefore, the Law of the Spirit is for us, not against us.
It’s evident that the blessings of the Law of Moses came from Jehovah; it’s also evident that the cursing came from Jehovah, thereby forming the Two Mountains in Deuteronomy. Those who live by the Law of Moses, must live in Every aspect of the Law, or die by the entire Law. Those who live by the Law of the Spirit, Live forever more.
What evil did this man do? What great and horrible sin did he commit? What difference does it make? Jesus never asked him, “what did you do?” However, this man was a type of Mirror in the face of the Pharisees, Scribes, and other leaders, proving the truth of Ezekiel 34. It was up to the religious leaders to do the healing, yet they held unbelief, assuming that those days were no more. The Door to the House was blocked; the religious leaders from every corner of the land had the best seats, and there was no way to enter in; however, the man’s (paralytic) partners joined in unity, finding that there is a way to enter in.
They couldn’t enter the Door, they couldn’t come in through the Window, thus they tore the roof off. The holy of holies was fifteen feet square, with an eighteen inch thick Veil covering the opening; therefore, the walls were just as high as the ceiling was wide, and the walls were just as thick as the ceiling, but the Veil was thicker than the walls or the ceiling, nonetheless the high priest was still able to make entrance once a year, but not without blood (Heb 9:7). However, Jesus by His own Blood entered Once into the Holy Place, having obtained the Eternal Redemption for Us (Heb 9:12). If it’s eternal, the Power of the Lord is still to heal them all, as far as Jesus is concerned the Veil of hindrance is ripped.
And when He saw their faith, He said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven you (5:20).
This is Pardon, not atonement; the man gave nothing to atone for his sin, yet Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” The Power of the Lord is to Forgive our sins, and if forgiven, we are healed. Whether it’s our sins, the sins of the Body, the sins from the world upon us, the sins others committed against us, the sin nature, or simply sin, it makes little difference, the phrase “Your sins are forgiven” covers them all, it’s plural, not singular.
We could say, “Well brother this was before the cross, and for the purpose of selling the Gospel”; however, the Harvest is the Harvest, and if Mercy was only granted to these people, what right do we have to claim that our sins are forgiven? How can we come boldly to the throne of Grace to Obtain Mercy, if there isn’t any? If this was only for the Jews prior to the cross, why did James tell us to call for the Elders? If Jesus was selling the Gospel, why was Simon of Samaria rejected? If Mercy is only a figure of speech, why does God say, “His Mercy endures forever?” Why did God fill the temple with the Glory when the people shouted, His Mercy endures forever? Mercy is our starting place, yet if we don’t understand Mercy, how can we enter Grace? Mercy is still connected to Grace, yet without Mercy we will not be able to maintain in Grace.
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? (5:21).
Who indeed can Pardon Sins but God alone? Could one who truly represent God on earth also forgive sins? Perhaps the answer is already written for us. These Pharisees were more than knowledgeable regarding atonement, and they were almost correct in their thinking; thus they had right answer, but the wrong question. We could say Salt is made up from sodium and chloride, and be correct, but the question is “what is pepper?” The Pharisees always have a answer, but the wrong question. It’s not “what are the people of God doing wrong?”…. but “what is God doing?”
The Day of Atonement only forgave man’s sin against the Commandments; it didn’t forgive man’s Sin nature. The plural aspect of Sin involves two areas, not fifty. The first is our sin against God, regardless of how many trespasses are involved, the second aspect is the one which the Pharisees objected to, man’s sin against man. According to Agenda, if someone held unforgiveness against us, it was just, the unforgiveness fell on us, until the person forgave us. On the Day of Atonement the people would seek balance through their sacrifice, then they would run out and seek forgiveness of those they trespassed against. Jesus taught us a different method, with better results. When we stand praying, we forgive; thus the burden is not on the one who caused the unforgiveness, but on the one holding it.
No man can say, Your sins are forgiven, only God can utter the phrase, but someone with Heavenly Authority can stand in the authority making the statement when they see that someone accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. What? Sure; after the Cross the disciples went out to heal, if they said, “your sins are forgiven”, or “raise up”, it was still the same. When we tell someone, “welcome to the family of God”, or some other phrase, we are telling them that their sins are forgiven. Wow, do you mean we can forgive sins? No, we can tell the people that their sins are forgiven, much different. The Lord forgives; we announce it.
But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven you; or to say, Rise up and walk? (5:22-23).
The evidence was the same, so what difference did the wording make? If the man stood up, his sins were forgiven, and if his sins were forgiven, he could stand up. In our terms, It’s six of one, or a half dozen of the other. What would this mean to us? Is there more to the phrase, “Name of Jesus”, than we know?
After Pentecost, Peter and John were going to the temple, then came across a lame man at the Gate Beautiful (Acts 3:1-8). When the man looked upon them expecting to receive something Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I you: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6), and the man was healed. What is the difference between Jesus saying it, or someone empowered with the Name of Jesus saying it? Is there any difference between Jesus saying, “Rise up and walk”, or Peter and John saying, “Rise up and walk”? No; Jesus gave Peter the authority to say it, just as He did anyone who enters the Body. The man at the Gate knew that if he heard, “Rise up and walk”, it was the same as, “your sins are forgiven you”.
All humans are a fleshly reproduction of Adam, as Adam’s flesh was formed of the earth; sin happened on earth, not in heaven. The devil sinned against heaven, but on earth; thus he lost his position and spiritual ability. The devil remains a spirit, but limited to the natural realm, or the things common to man. The devil can’t go beyond the things of man; therefore, if we are heavenly citizens we are raised far above the realm of the devil, and his accusations, if we receive it. We are the Body of Christ, all things are under the feet of Jesus, why do we think those things are over us?
Jesus simply asked the Pharisees, which statement best suited their theology; both mean the same thing. This man didn’t receive Grace, he was not a heavenly citizen, he was not Born Again, he was however a member of the group that Jesus came for. The first aspect of “Will You” is based on our conditional purposed position, are we called? Did we believe in the Cross? If both of these are, “Yes”, then we are among the called. The second aspect of, “I know you can” is a faith statement, but faith without belief in God’s ability is a mind game. When this man heard, “Your sins are forgiven”, he didn’t wait for his legs to move before he believed; he was a Jew, and he knew the meaning of the phrase. It was up to the Pharisees to see the evidence and submit to Jesus and His Authority. Perhaps it’s our lack of knowledge in this area causing us problems. James tells us that the Prayer of Faith heals the sick one, and if they have committed Sins (not sin), they shall be forgiven, then the Lord shall raise them up (James 5:15). James defines “the sins” as words spoken against people, words of strife and envy, or faults between members of the Body. Ahh, a sin against God, is a sin against His people. The Lord doesn’t raise, then forgive, He forgives, then raises; some of us want to be raised to prove that we are forgiven. Perhaps we talked ugly about the people of God, if so, we spoke from the old nature giving the enemy opportunity. Repentance and our prayer of faith to gain and walk in the Wisdom of God will correct the situation.
When this Jewish man heard, “Your sins are forgiven”, he knew that the next move was a raising position above the condition keeping him bound. The man felt it was imputed; he knew an act of his faith would bring the impartation. We tend to call this a “step of faith”; whatever, when we hear, we add our faith, and the impartation comes. The man was loosed from the condition, since he was already bound.
The entire purpose for the Day of Atonement was to be healed of the plagues and sickness through the Law by God’s Mercy. The Rebuke against the shepherds of Israel started with, “you do feed yourselves, should not the shepherds feed the flocks?” (Ezek 34:2). If we have the Truth, we must be ready, willing and eager to feed the flock of God, but we must also wait to be sent, rather than make our own self-determination (Rom 10:14-15).
The next area was “The diseased have you not strengthened” (healed – Ezek 34:4). How was a Pharisee suppose to heal the sick, if only God can forgive sins? The sacrifice was only effective if the priest presenting it was as clean as the purposed sacrifice. If the priest was self-based, evil eyed, or not clean, the sacrifice, regardless of the person, would also be tainted. Based on the “uncleanness,” the Pharisees refused to touch Jesus when Jesus was on the cross. Even the Roman used a spear, yet no one broke a bone or touched Him, except Joseph of Arimathaea, a man who waited for the Kingdom of God, and Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night and believed. These two men are types and shadows of those of the Day (Joseph of Arimathaea), and those of the Night (Nicodemus) “who will look upon Him they have pierced”; both rejected “tradition” in order to take care of their Lord.
Many of the people who were under the curse during the earthly ministry were not ill because of their sin toward God, but their sin toward man; and if this was the case, why not simply go and obtain forgiveness? If someone holds unforgiveness against us, yet they die, how can we be forgiven? Or, if the person refuses to forgive us, how can we be forgiven?
Jesus stood as the Son of man and as the Timeless One; thus He stood on behalf of all mankind and forgave us while we were yet sinners. We stand as the “sons of men” and “forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us”; but in order to stand as a son of man, we must be in Mercy. How can we stand in the authority of the Name and say “your sins are forgiven”, if we don’t believe that ours are? Or, if we hold unforgiveness, how can we say Rise up and walk? Not only do we pray for the Lord to expose any and all self-deception, but we must submit to the exposure of those hidden areas of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness hides behind pride, the mother of revenge. The deeds of the flesh gain power through pride, as pride uses the works of the devil to gain validation or revenge. When God begins His work, yet the person rejects the exposure, there is a sure sign of their rejection: they can get real nasty, bitter, as they go about accusing everyone of the very thing God is exposing in their heart. The test is on our side, Do we hold Mercy? Are we kind? Or did we attack?
We must know that there is evidence to the forgiveness of sins, if we receive it. God told us, that His people are destroyed (cut off) for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). In one aspect, it was the rejection of the knowledge; however, there is also the hiding of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). If the truth of “Greater is He in me,” is a prevalent position and condition, then it is Christ in us who says, “Your sins are forgiven”; and since “the signs follow the Believer,” there are signs of release within. It begins with our decision to forgive others, based on the Authority of the Ingress Aires, the very foundation for the saying of Jesus, “Receive you the Holy Ghost: whose soever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins you retain, they are retained” (Jn 20:22-23). We have the authority and ability by the Breath of Jesus to remit sins done unto us; then we can stand as sons of men in the mighty Mercy of God, proclaiming Mercy to others. Silver and gold we may not have, but what we do have we can freely give, since we freely received.
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (He said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house (5:24).
This connects to the rebuke in Ezekiel; the Pharisees knew the Scriptures, and they knew that they were feeding themselves, not the people. Jesus taught with Authority and Powe;, thus He gave to the people. This is the second time Jesus tells the man he is forgiven, now he tells him to pick up his bed.
Jesus didn’t say, the Son of God has power on earth; rather it’s clear the Son of man has the Power to forgive sins, meaning, the healing was based on Mercy, not Grace. In our case the Water, Blood, and Spirit still bear witness on earth (1 John 5:6); if any man sin (singular), we have an Advocate with the Father, and Jesus Christ the Righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins (plural) and not for ours only, but also for the sins (plural) of the whole world (I Jn 2:1-2). The sin which so easily besets us is the sin of unbelief; and unbelief binds us to the earth, as it binds the Power of His Christ to heaven.
Since Jesus said, that He had authority on earth, it didn’t mean He lacked heavenly Authority. Rather, as the Son of man He was teaching His disciples how to operate by Mercy through His Name. We can’t forget, that during this time, the disciples were not yet Born Again; the first step in their teaching was to learn the Power of God’s Mercy.
However, even the religious leaders knew what was going on, and if we were Jewish, we would have known that God forgives sin through the Law, based on the Law and the sacrifice; yet here, they are seeing Jesus forgiving sins. So, how can this be? Jesus is: the Sacrifice in preparation for the Cross, accepted by the Father, recognized by the Holy Ghost, and witnessed by the Spirit. We give ourselves as living sacrifices, which is our reasonable service, thereby granting us the same rights as sons of men. What did Peter and John have? They had “Authority in the Name of Jesus,” thus the man believed in the Authority (Acts 3:16).
Atonement was through the Law, but this man received Pardon, which requires God to come directly to earth, and this is what upset the Pharisees. Jesus never mentioned the Law, or an offering to this man, yet the act was a testimony against the religious leaders. If Mercy in the Son of man can forgive, what then can the Greater is He in us do? The Witness is still the Water (Mercy of the Father), the Blood (Grace of the Word), and Spirit (Gift of the Holy Ghost), saving our souls, as signs follow those who believe.
And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things today (5:25-26).
Both the man and the Pharisees left the house glorifying God; however, the man worshipped God as he came into the house. The man’s healed condition was based on his prior acts, not based on the signs following; thus it didn’t take long for the Pharisees to change from giving God the glory, to accusing Jesus again. Emotionalism only lasts for the moment, almost to the parking lot. The sign caused the religious leaders to praise the Lord, which is correct; but they failed to continue in praise, which was wrong.
Pharisees seem to forget the Glory of God when the “old man” rules the nest. If we praise the Lord solely on what we see, it won’t last long; but if we praise the Lord based on what we Believe, then it will last. These same Pharisees would come again with their accusations, yet the man with the Palsy would remain healed. Which do we desire? How do we know that these people remained healed? How many returned saying, “it didn’t work”? Or how many came to the Apostles after Pentecost and said, “I lost my healing, pray for me again”? If we lose our healing, it’s based on ignoring the cause, these people knew the cause; once forgiven, the cause was taken care of. The phrase “go and sin no more” was conditional on the Mercy of God; the Mercy endured forever, yet the person being freed could go out and commit the same sin again. The Spirit in us is our guide, and conscience; and the conviction of the Spirit is stronger than the written words in the Commandments.
And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He said unto him, Follow Me. (5:27)
This corresponds with Mark 2:14 and Matthew 9:9, but it doesn’t mean that Luke is correcting either account; it means that we are viewing this as a teacher would. Thus, the prior events set the teaching premise for the next.
After the leper was healed, and after the man with Palsy was forgiven and healed, then came the heart of a man named Levi. Matthew represented more than a tax collector, his name was seen by God before the foundation of the world. What this man would do, was what those of Levi should have done.
Matthew says, “He saw a man, named Matthew”; but Mark says, “He saw Levi..” (Mark 2:14). Luke uses both to show the change and why. Levi was appointed as the religious tribe of Israel; Levi means “united as in marriage,” whereas, Matthew means “Gift of God.” Thus, the religious order was changing to bring The Gift of God in reference to the Olive Tree, not the Fig Tree.
This simple premise shows, that one mistake won’t cut us from the New Covenant; Jesus won’t give up easily. The Pharisees would receive more chances “to receive,” and if Jesus as the “Son of man” had such longsuffering, how much more does Jesus as the “Son of God” have?
There are “sons of perdition,” and there are carnal members, but none have to stay in their old condition. Jesus still sends prophets, teachers, and pastors to assist us on our walk. If we have sinned, then our prayer of faith is still in order; thus we can be restored faster than we fell. Jehovah-Jireh was being seen among the people, while the ground was being prepared to receive The Gift, and the same “Jehovah-Jireh provision” is within those who are Born Again.
And he left all, rose up, and followed Him. And Levi made Him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against His disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? (5:28-30).
The phrase, “Left all,” goes further than leaving house and goods, for this same Matthew would hold a feast in honor of Jesus. Matthew left the bondage of religious thinking under Pharisee rule to follow Peace and Freedom in Jesus. Luke shows that this was the house of Levi (Matthew), indicating to the teacher how Levi would remain in the realm of the natural, but Matthew would become a member of the New Testament Priestly Order.
Matthew wanted to share his Joy (Pearl), but he was casting It before swine. Both Mark and Matthew show the Pharisees and scribes questioning the disciples, but they don’t show that Matthew had other publicans present, nor do they use the phrase, “but their scribes and Pharisees…”, which shows that the religious leaders were the religious leaders of the publicans as well. The religious leaders didn’t have any trouble taking the publicans money, but they refused to deal with them in public. Matthew is being called from the old publican order to become a saint; he wanted to honor his benefactor, but the Pharisees wanted to be honored. When Levi (Matthew) sat at the gate of custom, the Pharisees didn’t have time for him; but when Jesus picked this tax collecting publican sinner over the Pharisees, they were offended. Peter told us that the false will feast with us, but their intent is to seek the self-gain, or use us to benefit their pride and ego, as they exalt their self through their pride by portraying some form of religious morality; so, they can act like ministers, while lacking the power thereof (II Pet 2:1-15).
The truth remains, that if one person heard and received, then, the Power was there for all to hear and receive. The Pharisees had ears, but refused to hear; they had eyes, but refused to see. They allowed unbelief to blind their minds to the Gospel, a point Paul makes to the Corinthians.
And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (5:31-32).
This doesn’t mean that the Pharisees are/were righteous, for surely they failed to believe; rather, this has to do with religious tradition. To the Pharisee, if one attended Temple they were righteous, and no “self-respecting” Pharisee would be found in the company of these “sinners.” Jesus simply asks, “how can I call them, if I don’t go to them?” It doesn’t mean that Jesus got drunk with the drunks, or wild with the nuts; it means that He was able to show them the difference between where they were, and what they could be.
Jesus takes us back to the time in Nazareth where He said, “You will surely say unto Me this proverb, Physician, heal yourself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in your country” (Luke 4:23). The Power of the Lord was there to heal the righteous and the sinner, yet if one is righteous, then they believe the Power is there to heal them; and if they have sinned, they know that Jesus is fully able to forgive sins.
This takes us to the man who was healed in front of the Pharisees, connecting to the phrase, “Physician heal thyself.” The word Heal in the phrase Physician heal thyself is the Greek Therapeuo, meaning a process of being healed; it doesn’t mean one is healed immediately. This same word also means to Worship, thus it refers to the process or the means to enter the process. When Peter told us, By His stripes you were healed, he used the Greek Iaomai meaning the result.
Praise is an act Thanking God for: what He has done, is doing, and will do. Worship is a means to enter the presence of the Lord. Faith brings the result, belief is a conviction giving our faith a basis from which to move forward to the hope. Therefore, one can praise, yet lack faith, or they can worship, yet lack belief; they will feel good for the moment, but soon after they are right back to being mad, angry, or bitter.
The result of emotionalism is short, but not enthusiasm, which seems to stay with us. Our word Enthusiasm comes from the Greek Enthousiasmos meaning To be inspired by God; it holds a keen interest not in the event, but what generated the event. Emotionalism is only concerned with the moment, or the visible, since it’s only surface; the vision of the visible is soon gone when the next event is not pleasing. Running from meeting to meeting just to feel good, is a band-aid; it only covers the pain for the moment, but it doesn’t heal.
The phrase, “Physician heal thyself” has little to do with will power, but it does have to do with attitude. James said, “Is any sick among you?” (James 5:14). James doesn’t say, “Are you sick?”, thus he not only points to the sick one, but to all; we should be looking to see if one is sick among us, rather than wondering how the sickness came about.
James is telling us to put our faith into action, and not to merely talk about it. If we are sick, we can call for the Elders, and they will pray over the sick one; but they are not the ones to give the prayer of faith (James 5:14). Some of us are searching for the person to pray the prayer of faith over us, yet it’s we who are commanded to pray the prayer of faith. Elijah didn’t have someone pray in his place, he was a like man with passions like us, yet he prayed. The Elders anoint us with Oil as a sign of presentation of God’s Mercy, we pray our prayer of faith seeking the Wisdom of God. James begins by telling us to pray for God’s Wisdom in faith, it stands the “prayer of faith” is based in seeking God’s Wisdom allowing us to deal with people and events in Godly manner, rather than dealing with people and events through the wisdom of man. The Promise is written for us, God’s Wisdom is Full of Mercy, as it forgives and heals us, thus we find James telling us, “if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven” (James 5:15). James shows among those “sins” would be faults produced among the brethren (James 5:16). We all miss it from time to time, Elijah was a man with like passions, but he was also a man of prayer (James 5:17-18). Elijah didn’t beat himself up, he prayed and believed his prayers were heard. Then he acted on the prayer when he saw the smallest of signs.
And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink? (5:33).
Luke is linking premise to premise, this is not the same as the conversation just finished in Matthew’s house, rather this carries on to the time when John’s disciples questioned Jesus. The premise is still, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners”.
And He said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? (5:34).
We know this reference goes to the questioning of the Purification of Baptism, before John was cast into prison, during the forty day fast (Jn 3:22-23). What makes a sinner? One who has committed sin of course; but what is sin? Sin is defined in the Scriptures, the first was “do not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. A trespass is venturing into a place we are forbidden to go, thus the Law of Moses defined the Law of sin and death.
The first time we heard the “self-nature” call, we answered with the knowledge of what we were doing, meaning we sinned. However, as babies we found that doing things gained the attention we needed, but it didn’t mean that we had the knowledge of what we were doing.
Then the day came when we tested the nature: we listened and used the flesh to get what we wanted, regardless of the consequences, and so… then we sinned. The punishment came from our parents, or someone in authority over us, but sin had its hold, and the voice of the stranger became our guide and instructor.
How many times in one day does the self nature call us? It’s not the call, but answering the call (James 1:15). Many days prior, John’s disciples heard the “religious-minded” ones question John, and they heard his answer; now they are being motivated by the same envy which attacked them prior. It’s so easy to turn the tables from “how dare they”, or “well I tell you what, this is what I will do to get even.”
“What they did to us, we do to others,” is a sign of the sin nature. The “Mercy nature” is what John and Jesus were teaching these people, “do unto others as you would have them do to you, forgive and you will be forgiven, apply mercy, then man will apply mercy to you, shaken together and running over.”
Jesus came to call the sinner, not the righteous, yet there is none righteous, no not one; but it doesn’t mean we can’t ever be. Righteousness is a means to grant us standing, and our standing begins by our belief in Jesus. There are many kinds of Righteousness and many kinds of Justification; one can have right standing in a government function, but none before God. One can be justified before the Law, but not before God. The New Man is our basis of Righteousness; he is justifying us before God by Christ in us. We come boldly to the throne of Grace, because we have Grace in us of a truth.
Belief is a “present tense condition,” not a “future tense condition.” Faith is a “present tense confidence” in a future tense hope. Both are productive in the Now. We can have faith in a fable, but our hope can be a false hope; belief defines the Hope and sets our faith in the right direction. The Pharisees had the Scriptures, they saw the Acts, yet they allowed their unbelief to form a fable; and they trusted in the fable, which produced their envy and bitterness.
An interesting aspect of this, is how the sins of the people are being forgiven, but not their iniquities. The references to iniquity either relate to the end times, or the workers of iniquity (Matt 7:23, 13:41, 23:38, 24:12 & Luke 13:27). The word Iniquities never appears in the Gospel accounts, yet the Pharisees were neck deep in their iniquities. They loved the pomp, the people looking up to them, the honor of the office, but they refused to do the duties of the office. Jesus will tell them they fail at the duties of Mercy, yet the premise behind the Law of Moses was God’s Mercy on the people, rather than destroying them all. It would take Grace with a change in natures to free us from the danger of iniquity.
But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days (5:35).
Even if the disciples of Jesus were fasting, no man was suppose to know it (Matt 6:16-18). If the disciples of Jesus weren’t fasting, what business is it for John’s disciples? Our biggest problems come when we begin to control other people, or question what others are doing. Here is a perfect example: the disciples of Jesus were doing things that not even John did, much less John’s disciples. If John was First, should not Jesus be subject to John? This was the same error the Pharisees were making; if the Old is first, should not this New be subject to it? No. The first is last, but the last is first. The word “submit” pertains to this, in essence it doesn’t mean being a slave; it means “not to cause hindrances,” or “not to set obstacles in front of people, not to cause arguments, not to debate foolish issues”; rather, to know that what Jesus does with one person, He may not do with others. Here is the perfect example, the disciples of John will have their chance on Pentecost, they will be among the 120 in the upper room as Matthias and Barsabas prove (Acts 1:22-23).
And He spoke also a parable unto them: No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he says, The old is better (5:36-39).
How can an old clothe identify to the New? Or how can the New identify to the Old? Mixing Seasons and times, tears, rips, or destroys both the old and new, yet a good scribe knows both the Old and New, they simply don’t mix them attempting to gain some form of self-righteousness. John the Baptist said, “This is He”, why then question it? Simply because we’re not involved, or simply because they didn’t ask our permission doesn’t mean we have a right to question.
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that He went through the corn fields; and His disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat rubbing them in their hands (6:1).
Here Luke notes that this was the second sabbath after the first; Matthew shows this event in Matthew 12, which would be after the first sabbath in Capernaum, but the second sabbath in which the Pharisees attacked Jesus, rather than the second sabbath in succession of time.
Therefore, Matthew shows this event as the first sabbath in his account (Matt 12:1), Mark shows the two sabbath attacks (Mark 1:21 & 2:23), as does Luke (Luke 4:16 & 6:1); thus we are looking at the second sabbath when Jesus did something, yet the Pharisees attacked Him, rather than the second sabbath in succession of time.
Later in John, Jesus will ask the Pharisees, “for what good work do you stone Me?”; they will say, it’s not for good works, but because Jesus, being a man, says He is God. The truth? No, they were upset over the good works. Again the Pharisees had an answer, but mixed it with envy and self-justification, forgetting the question. Jesus didn’t say He was God, rather He proved He was God who became man, not the other way around.
To Blaspheme the Holy Ghost goes much further than talking directly against the Holy Ghost, rather one can preach about Jesus, but then blaspheme the Holy Ghost by attacking either the work of the Holy Ghost or the person in whom the Holy Ghost planted the Seed. “Well, I tell you what, I’m not sure they were operating in the Spirit.” It’s simply an excuse to justify using the “spirit of the world” against the Christ nature; in truth we held envy, we saw them doing what we knew we wanted to do, and so we attacked.
These Pharisees said “He casts out devils by Beelzebub,” which is the same as saying, “well I tell you what, I don’t think he was operating in the Spirit.” The Spirit testifies of Jesus, but isn’t Jesus Love? Isn’t He Life? Isn’t He Light? When one says they are in the light, yet they hate (slanders) their brother, they are in darkness even until now.
As far as some violation of the sabbath, the Wheat in the hand had nothing to do with Preparation; it was fully permissible to eat on the sabbath. One just couldn’t Prepare the food. According to the Pharisees, the rubbing was a form of preparation. In the wilderness, the children didn’t pick the manna on the sabbath, but there wasn’t any to pick either. Their Agenda ended in a tradition, and the tradition was being used to belittle one group, while exalting the Pharisee. The Pharisee didn’t have to worry about violating the sabbath; they could always say that they were doing the work of the temple, whether they were or not.
Therefore, a priest cannot violate the sabbath, and Jesus will make the point; thus Jesus assigned His disciples in the role of priests unto Him. Therefore, Jesus wasn’t condoning a violation; there was none.
And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? (6:2).
Jesus wasn’t eating the Wheat, so why would they attack Him? Exodus 20:10 says, “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.” The Pharisees looked at the disciples as the manservants of Jesus, but the Pharisees missed the purpose of the Commandment. Why would God say that their cattle couldn’t work? Who has ever seen a cow keep the sabbath holy? Who has seen a cow praising the Lord? The Sabbath Commandment is the picture of the heart of those who do the Law of Moses, as well as why the Law was imposed. One would use their animal to work, then say, “I’m not working, my cow is, I’m just following it around.” The stranger is the Gentile; the Jew would send the Gentile out to work the field and say, “oh him, he’s a Gentile, he’s not subject to the sabbath, and I’m not working.” These were all methods for someone to get around the Commandment; however, more important is the wording, “in it you shall not do any work”; rather than, “During it you shall not do any work.” How can one be “In Rest,” and do things, yet not “Labor” to them?”
There remains a Rest to the people of God (Heb 4:9). Ahh, the mystery, the sabbath is not a What, but a Who. One can keep every sabbath granted by Moses to the end of the earth, and never enter the Rest of God. God rested On the Seventh day, He didn’t rest In It; therefore, in order to keep the Day holy, one must enter Him, Who made the Day holy (Heb 4:10-11 & 4:16).
Clearly if they didn’t enter the Rest of God, yet kept the day, the day had nothing to do with the Rest of God. Rather the day was given to a people who failed to believe, so they could gain a meaning of what the word “rest” entailed. The sabbath day was not a factor until they entered the wilderness; when they started to murmur and complain, they rejected the premise of God working with them, causing them to attack the work of God.
If God rested on the Seventh Day, the works were complete. Why then is Jesus bringing a New Covenant? If the works are complete, they are complete. Rest entails belief in God, our first stand of faith is to enter with the Belief of “God Is working for us, not against us.” The “Works finished” pertain to the Judgment of God; thus Jesus is bringing the Salvation of God, a work in progress now, and continuing until the Rapture. The Pharisees were between Seasons and couldn’t see it, because they held to strongholds, as they followed the voice of the old man.
Abraham began a New Thing with circumcision of the flesh based on a Covenant with God. Other cultures had circumcision, even the children of Ishmael did, but they were not subject to the Covenant. We also have a Mark of the Covenant, “a Circumcision not made with hands,” the Seal by the Holy Spirit giving us a change in heart, producing a change in nature. This New Circumcision was of the heart, not the soul, granting us a foundation from which our souls can believe, giving us entry into the Rest of God, where we “cease” from our own works of self-righteousness, much different from keeping one day above another.
Any Jew knows that when the Sabbath is over, it’s time to work again until the next Sabbath. Moses said, In the beginning God, but John said, In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was God. There are two beginnings, one for the Night and one for the Day; thus there are two types of sabbath, a “what” for those of the Night, and a “Who” for those of the Day.
Our Sabbath is Jesus; He gave us Rest for our souls. We can’t keep a day and expect to come boldly to the throne of Grace in the time of Need; it would be a labor (Heb 4:16 & 12:1-2). We don’t look to the “what,” but to the “Who,” and the Who is Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Faith, who for a Joy set before Him endured the Cross, and Sat Down to Rest (Heb 12:1-2). Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God; so we see they could not enter in because of unbelief (Heb 3:12 & 3:19). One must “enter In It,” they can’t simply “keep It.”
And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; how he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? (6:3-4).
In reference to Aaron and his sons, Exodus 29:33 says, “and they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they (the things) are holy”. The stranger wasn’t holy, the priests weren’t holy; it was the atonement on the sacrifice making the sacrifice holy. This is a Shadow pointing to the New Covenant. We partake of Communion as Priests of the New Covenant; we take of those holy things, because we are holy. “Well I tell you what, I don’t feel holy.” “Holy” means that we are being dealt with by God as children; the New Man is based on God’s True Holiness, not a holiness found in man’s perceptions, or in the Law of Moses. We are the Bread (I Cor 10:17), the Blood is the New Covenant. We “Remember”; we don’t “become.” If we are Born Again we are in the process of Becoming God’s son.
Once Pardon is made, the person receiving the Pardon becomes holy; if holy, they also become a type of sabbath. All things were holy unto them through the giving of thanksgiving, whether it’s food, people, prayer, or an action (I Tim 4:4-5). The Wheat being sanctified by prayer, was as holy as the day, one can’t out-weigh the other. John tells us that the Believer is a king in the kingdom, but a priest unto God; therefore, whether king or priest, we can’t violate the sabbath (Rev 1:5).
And He said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath (6:5).
When one has authority over anything, the thing becomes subject to them, rather than the person being subject to the thing. The Lord of the Sabbath could forgive sins on earth, and if He could forgive sins, His Authority was not only over the Law, but began at a point long before the Law came into being.
Did Abraham keep the Sabbath holy? Hardly; he wasn’t subject to the Sabbath, yet the Lord “imputed righteousness” toward him. Before, or after the Fall, was Adam required to be circumcised? Not hardly; circumcision came with Abraham, yet before the Fall, Adam had standing in the Garden. If we have “Life,” then the Tree of Life is in us; we hear the Spirit and obey, and as we long to hear, we are to be ready and willing to obey with joy and gladness of heart.
Faith still comes by hearing and hearing By the Word (Rhema) of God. If the Lord says eat, we eat; if He says Go, we go. If He says sit, we sit. Faith comes by hearing, faith doesn’t produce the hearing; the Rhema produces the hearing, and the Rhema comes when we set our minds on the Spirit, Life, Love and Light of Jesus. Jesus is the Word (Logos), and speaks the Rhema; thus faith can come, but unless we hear by the Rhema, we will not detect it. Therefore, we need both the Logos and Rhema.
And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered (6:6).
Luke links two sabbath events together; one is recorded in Matthew 12:2, in which appears the man with the withered hand in the synagogue on the same day. But Luke is taking us deeper into the premise. Mark says, “He entered again into the synagogue” (Mark 3:1), Luke takes Mark and Matthew, bringing the importance of the event happening on the Sabbath, indicating the difference between “doing Good,” rather than just “keeping a day” while remaining so corrupt, that faith doesn’t have a chance.
And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him (6:7).
Their intent was to accuse, and their watchdog eyes were looking for evil; yet this is the sabbath, a day to remain holy. When God rested, He finished all His work (Gen 2:2). The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, and the end was seen before there was a beginning. Unbelief attempts to change the present to bring a self-pleasing result to the end; yet God has seen it, finished it, then asked us to join the Good side.
The Pharisees were watching Jesus, hoping against hope, that one little error, one stone would be turned into bread; and one mistake is all they wanted, even if they had to make one up. However, the best laid plans of mice, men, and Pharisees oft times goes astray.
But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth (6:8).
Why would Jesus ask a man with a withered hand to stand? It wasn’t a withered foot. Jesus didn’t tell this man, “By your faith you’re healed”, neither did the man say, “Have mercy on me”; yet the man was healed. This man acted on faith, he didn’t have to speak it; rather when he stood, he displayed his act of faith. The man knew how the religious leaders felt, he knew it was the sabbath, and he knew that by standing, he was taking a position with Jesus. Jesus placed the man right in the midst of the Pharisees, yet there was no violation of the Law, and no wrong to accuse Jesus of. The man stood in silent faith believing that the Power of the Lord was there to heal him. If God honored the sabbath so much, why did the Power of the Lord heal on the sabbath? The Pharisees and religious rulers were stuck; if God healed the man, then their views of the sabbath were wrong. However, rather than admit they were wrong, they made the choice to reject the obvious sign by giving the devil the glory.
In essence, Jesus was showing that the sabbath was to do good, and if one was doing good in the Name of the Lord, how then, could they violate any Law of God? It was not for man to fight day and night to keep the sabbath; it was suppose to entice man to do good. The sabbath was given to the children so they could do good at least one day out of seven; the evidence in Scriptures show the only “good” they did was to build the tabernacle.
This event is like unto the one prior; thus Jesus didn’t give up on the Pharisees, He continued to give them evidence until the time when the fruit on the Fig Tree would come to an end.
Prior, when the Pharisees were in the house in Capernaum, Jesus knew their thoughts and answered them; but they had yet to learn who Jesus was/is. Here Jesus is teaching in their domain, even regarding the sabbath. All Jews know, even if one is subject to the sabbath, life is more important; but they also define it as immediate danger of losing life, rather than a withered hand, or seeking life. Jesus is showing that anything challenging life is an immediate danger.
The first thing faith tells us, is that the “worlds, were framed by the Word of God; so the things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear” (Heb 11:3). Wait, if faith is looking forward, then how can this relate to faith? The word “worlds” means Ages; there is an Age to come, and there is another second in this age to come as well. Faith knows that the things which have happened, were nonetheless seen of God before they happened, and things to happen are nonetheless seen of God before they happen.
Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? (6:9).
There are two parts to this question, and both relate to “See, I have set before you this day, life and good, and death and evil” and “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live” (Deut 30:15 & 30:19). With Good comes Life; but Death is produced from Evil; with Life comes Blessing, but Death is the result of cursing. The Choice was to do Good, or do Evil; but the Pharisees assumed that keeping the Commandment was life, rather than “a means to live by.”
The Pharisees didn’t care if Jesus healed people; they just wanted Him to stop doing it on the sabbath. They held the sabbath above doing Good, therefore, they held the sabbath above God, a violation of the Law. Taking anything of God, and placing it above God, or even elevating it higher than God has, is still “having gods before God.”
And looking round about upon them all, He said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other (6:10).
The Jews wanted a sign regarding the Restoration of Israel, and Jesus is giving them a sign of the “hand” being restored; but it wasn’t the sign they wanted. They wanted Jesus to take and abolish Roman rule, and make them leaders of the world; yet they were no more ready to lead than Judas.
The Restoration had to begin by restoring the people and the City; but the Pharisees wanted the nation restored, without touching the City or their religious ideas. Therefore, they made another god out of the City, forgetting that their religion was merely a tool used by God to benefit the people. Some of us want a nation to act Christian, instead of us being the Christian in the nation.
This man was healed, rather than receiving a miracle. A healing is the restoration of some physical or mental element to it’s original condition; whereas, a miracle is bringing something, where there is no source for it to exist. Rebuking a fever is a healing, while producing eyes where there were no eyes, is a miracle. Healing is a sign of the Pardon of our sins, but a miracle is a wonder pertaining to the Power of Christ; the two give us signs and wonders.
Jesus operated knowing that the devil had nothing against Him, and nothing could stop Him; yet the Pharisees were always coming against Jesus, and they were always seeking fault. Thus the devil wasn’t the problem; the “works of the devil” in the religious-minded became the problem. But “the problem” failed to see it was the problem.
And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus (6:11).
They could care less about the man being healed; they didn’t even praise the Lord this time. Rather, someone violated their sabbath, and it was more important for them to think about bringing death, than give God the glory for the Good done unto the man. Today’s Pharisee is no different, they are more concerned with their bruised theology, than the Good done onto the people.
And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God (6:12).
Luke is again using a situation out of context to give us the intent to something else; as he notes, “it came to pass in those days”… rather than, The next day, or The day after. Jesus wasn’t praying for Himself, rather He was making intercession. Prayer is a form of communication, and part of the communication is a method for the Servant to receive their commands from the Master, as the Servant makes their requests known to the Master. Prayer limited to a one sided conversation, is not effective unto faith. We must hear from the Lord in order to have the foundation for faith; thus faith comes from hearing and no one calls Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost.
And when it was day, He called unto Him, His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles; (6:13).
Jesus healed, taught, prayed, then chose the twelve, and among them was a devil known as Judas. Jesus knew about Judas from the beginning (Jn 6:64 & 6:69-71). It’s very interesting, since Jesus knew Judas was a “devil”; yet Jesus ordained Judas, sent Judas out to do the works of the ministry, even made him the treasurer of the ministry. Judas could never say he didn’t have the opportunity, and there isn’t one son of perdition who can’t say that they didn’t have the opportunity.
The Wicked are much different from a sinner, the Wicked have made entry, tasted of the heavenly calling, received Jesus; yet turned on Him like a wild dog, while claming to be a loyal saint. Therefore, it will be harder on them, than on those who didn’t have the opportunity.
Luke shows that there were many disciples, but only twelve were placed in the Quorum Order. Moses used the Twelve tribes already established by God through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; however, here a change is taking place. Jesus established Twelve New Positions. These positions were not based on tribal birth right, rather they were based on whether they would follow Jesus or not. However, we must also see that these positions relate to Mercy as sons of man, limited to the Jews alone; after Pentecost, a change takes place in the eleven, as more are added to the positional areas (Acts 13:1-3).
The actual Jewish Quorum is Ten; but the Ten represent the Twelve. Therefore, we find times when Ten of the Apostles were present; yet it’s noted as “the Twelve” or “Eleven,” such as in the case when Jesus appears when Thomas is not among them. The number is given as “twelve”; Judas was also dead by this time (Jn 20:24).
Mark shows the number as Eleven pointing to the actual number of apostles; yet there were only Ten in the room at the time, and both numbers show us that there was a Quorum (Mark 16:14). From this we find, that prior to the Resurrection, these Twelve did in fact represent the Nation; but after the Resurrection, their positions changed, as Jesus began to establish His Church on the Rock, not the Nation.
If Judas was among these Twelve, does this mean that one position in the Twelve of the Twenty-four Elders holds a Judas? It wasn’t the man making the position, rather the man was placed in the position; and what he did with it, would determine the result.
Judas is the first “son of perdition” and those who follow in “like nature and character” will join him. If we don’t understand this, then we will never see how Jesus says that the role of the son of perdition is complete in Judas; yet Paul says it’s yet to be revealed.
When Judas was acting on his own, he allowed Satan to enter his heart producing a position outside of the calling, later to be identified by John in the Book of Revelation as the “Eighth.” The Eighth is not of the Seven churches, but nonetheless came from them, having retained the authority of perdition (Rev 17:11 & I Jn 2:19). This Eighth is of Perdition; it points to a violation of circumcision, which would be to deny the circumcision of the heart.
Being from the Seven, it also shows that they separate themselves into what is known as the “synagogue of Satan,” which is not “Jewish”; rather the word Synagogue means Gathering together, whereas, Church means “Called out ones.” The position of Judas was known by Jesus and Paul as the “son of perdition”; and Jesus lost none, except for the son of perdition (Jn 17:12 & II Thess 2:3). If we are in the hand of Jesus, yet He loses none, how did He lose Judas? Judas separated himself by his own choice; he denied the Faith, rejected the teachings, and he knew what he was doing.
We don’t want to get sidetracked here, but we need to understand; the Office of Judas and the Position of Judas, after violating his Office, are different. Before the Spirit was given on Pentecost, Jesus told the disciples to “Tarry.” He never told them to fill the office of Judas, or hold a meeting. However, they were still natural, and thinking as men; thus spiritual matters to them were still foolishness. It seemed right to replace Judas, but even so, they still had a Quorum without Judas (Acts 1:6-8 & 1:15-26). They had Scripture, they even prayed; but ended tossing dice, or voting to make their decision.
Part of the requirements was for the replacement to come from the baptism of John, thus they were not looking for a person qualified, but one to follow in the same manner as Judas. After Pentecost we find that the Holy Ghost said, “Separate unto Me…” (Acts 13:1-2). Much different. We know that no man can appoint an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, or Teacher; confirm the calling…. yes, appoint… no. Those offices are only for Jesus to fill; however we also find that leadership does appoint Bishops and Deacons in helps, and Elders; but it’s far different from appointing to the five-fold Administrations of the Lord.
Adding to this, John sees Twenty-Four elders in heaven; he doesn’t see twenty four Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, Priests, Pharisees, or Scribes. He doesn’t even see himself. What were these twenty-four? Positional authorities for the Day and Night; John knew that there were Twelve positional areas for the Day, and Twelve for the Night; yet they each had different purposes. If there are only twelve apostles, then there are not 144,000 Jews, only twelve. The positional Elders are represented to show the division between the Day and Night, twelve for each Season as foundational, but not restrictive.
Matthew also shows, that the twelve were picked, then told to go only to Jews, which means that they were yet to “go into the all the world,” and that they were still in training…without the Power from on high. Mercy was still the purpose, the disciples were told to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8). What would this be? The “work of the ministry” (Eph 4:12) as it applied to them at the time. Their authority and power was still based in Mercy; Paul says spiritual things are foolishness to the natural person, and at this point in time, the Apostles were still natural.
Matthew 10:8 is clear; the disciples were given authority in the Name of Jesus to do the same acts that Jesus was doing as the Son of man. Yet the disciples were not Born Again, neither did they receive the Spirit until Jesus was glorified (Jn 7:38-39). This area shows the power of Mercy, yet the command is “Ye must be Born Again”; although they cast out devils and healed the sick, they still lacked spiritual understanding. Yet God is Spirit. Doing acts of Mercy are required, but so is being Born Again in order to have a spiritual nature. A good deal of Paul’s letters talk about rendering good for evil, and walking in mercy. Mercy is like Belief; we make a choice to believe, and we make a choice to grant the same Mercy that God gave to us.
The disciples could only Give what they Received; therefore, they Received Mercy and the forgiveness (pardon not remission) of sin, they went out to give Mercy and forgive sins by the Name (Authority) of Jesus. They were not Jesus, but sent by Him; thus they carried the Authority of His Name as sons of men. Regardless of our systematic theological training, none of us would consider these men had Grace or the Spirit before the Cross and Pentecost, yet they did works most of us long to be involved in. Jesus never once told these men they had Great Faith, puny or none, but not Great. Their faith was not at issue, their Belief was (Mark 16:16-18).
Among this group was Judas, the foundation for the son of perdition. Judas was saved by Mercy, but hardly saved from his self nature. Judas cast away (perdition) The Promise before he was able to reach it. Those who say, “Lord, Lord haven’t we”, all did works based in the Name of Jesus, but so did Judas. The Prophets of old prophesied, thus one doesn’t need to be Born Again to prophesy, the disciples, including Judas, cast out devils, and did many wonderful works; however, until Pentecost they couldn’t walk in the Spirit. Mercy is the Will of the Father, yet we are saved by Grace through faith; yet if we seek Grace, but reject Mercy we are unequal. We need both, thus we come to the throne of Grace to Obtain mercy and Find Grace.
Simon (whom He also named Peter), and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip, and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor (6:14-16).
The Judas named here as the brother of James, is of course Jude (short for Judas) who wrote the book of Jude (Jude 1); he is not the same person as Judas Iscariot, don’t confuse the two, rather we will find him termed, “Judas not Iscariot” (Jn 14:22).
And He came down with them, and stood in the plain and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea, and Jerusalem, and from the sea of Tyre, and Sidon, which came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases (6:17).
Here Luke makes it clear, Jesus was on a plain, but the Sermon on the Mount was on the Mount. Luke is showing us how Jesus taught on one subject more than one time. It would be inconceivable to assume Jesus taught on one subject, then refused to teach it again. Would a Merciful Jesus say, “Peter, I taught it two months ago, go buy the tape, I’m not going to teach it again”, or “You didn’t get it the first time, tough, your loss is My gain.” There are many times when we are taught the same lesson more than once, or the same teaching more than once; each time we gain more than the last.
There are other reasons to teach the same subject again; we find Matthew was not “called” until after Jesus taught on the Mount (Matt 9:9); yet Matthew is here at this teaching, thus Jesus taught again so All could gain.
And they that were vexed with unclean spirits, and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him: for there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all (6:18-19).
The word Virtue means Power; it’s the Greek word Dunamis. Prior when Jesus talked to the Pharisees the Power (Dunamis) of the Lord was there to heal them all (Luke 5:17); therefore, the Virtue of the Lord is the Power of the Lord, and the Power of the Lord connects to the Authority of the Lord, for the purpose to “heal them all”. The word All is all inclusive, no matter how many manuscripts we view, the word appears. However, we also know from the same Scriptures, that not all received the Power.
The disciples didn’t have the Glory of the Lord, but they did have authority to use the Name of Jesus; the Name of Jesus has the Power to accomplish the authority. However, there is the Authority and Power of Mercy, then the Authority and Power from on High related to Grace.
At this point in time Jesus is still operating as the Son of man, thus the disciples understood Mercy, and they understood that the Authority granted them, was Mercy-based. The restrictions indicated the limits imposed by the Authority: a policeman is given power to arrest,but not given power to rob the bank. This is still a training, thus the Lord will send us to areas, yet restrict our involvement until we learn.
This still relates to the Sabbath, if God finished His Work, He also put The Record into action; the Witness in total was yet to be presented, but the Mercy of the Father had to be presented and seen by the people before the Blood and Spirit could be accepted.
The Jews hold certain days of the year as Special Sabbaths, one such Sabbath is called the Shabbat Shira, or the Sabbath of Song. This Sabbath uses the Song of Moses from the Red Sea crossing. As part of the custom, some of the Jews will “toss seeds to the fowls of the air.” Tossing seeds is as much labor as taking the wheat from the stalk, but tradition is a soulish means that one uses to compromise the commandment. Jesus says that the Sower sows the seed, but the fowls are the ones who devour the seed before it can take root; yet the tradition gives the seeds to the fowls of the air. The tradition made them feel good, but feeling good and doing good are different. Pride has a feeling, religious conceit has a feeling, thus it’s not the “feeling” proving that the act is righteous, it’s the Righteousness of Jesus proving the act.
Jesus will begin to teach on Mercy, and open the method of how one denies the self in order to pick up our cross, in order to enter the most precious Rest of God.
And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God (6:20).
Luke leaves off the phrase “in spirit”, in so doing, shows us how Jesus is repeating a prior teaching. These people were poor in many ways: they were poor in faith, poor in religious leadership, as well as, poor in attitude. However, the Greek word used for Poor is Ptochos, meaning a Beggar, or a Pauper. How could this be a blessing? They must seek the Spirit, at this point in time, the Mercy of God is being presented, but they must receive the Mercy to gain of the Blood and Spirit. This doesn’t mean after Pentecost one must beg, cry out, or yell to receive the Spirit; the example is Cornelius, the first Gentile to receive the Spirit by the Baptism with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:45-46 & 11:15-16). However, here they are learning of Mercy, as preparation to receive the Spirit.
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake (6:21-22).
The hunger here is not for food; the content still points to lacking the Spirit…they shall be “filled,” pointing to something yet to come. The same is true for those who weep now; they shall laugh. This is a promise to receive the Spirit; yet at this point in time they are still acting in Mercy under the Authority of Jesus as the Son of man. Nonetheless, the Promise of the Holy Spirit is being presented, and they will receive.
Jesus will use Four Blessings in this teaching, rather than nine; this is still teaching us about “denying the self.” Being among the “company” is what some seek, but if we stand for Mercy as we Seek the Kingdom, we will be filled. Those who trust in their social religious positions will turn us away, mock us, tempt us; yet we are the blessed. For many the act of denying the self will include denying the social, acceptable religious attitude of superior morality. We are a moral people, but it’s based on our nature, not some mask of social acceptance.
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets (6:23).
The phrase “their fathers” brings all this into the realm of those times when we are attacked by the conceited religious minded. This is still future, for it points to “that day”, which we know will come; John and Peter were beaten after Pentecost, and James the brother of John, was killed by Herod. Steven was stoned to death by the Jews, yet the Body grew, and from the Body came the Church (Acts 4:23-25 et al). There is a vast difference between “their company” and “our company”.
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation (6:24).
This takes us to the metaphors; as James uses the same metaphoric content. If all rich people were cursed, then God is a respecter of persons. To the Jew, the term Rich means “one is afforded the promise,” while the Poor point those “outside the promise.” James was writing to the dispersed Jews who were living among the Gentiles. James pointed out how the Rich are the blessed under the Law, but their riches will become corrupt, because they have killed the Just. Thus, the Just live by faith, yet whether Jew or Gentile, if they gain the Wisdom of God, they will know how to deal with God’s people in the same manner as God.
This becomes clearer when we see that the word Consolation refers to the Sabbath; the keeping of the day was a reflection of the Time of Comfort. One can “keep the day,” yet never enter the Consolation. This divides the Rich and Poor from money; to those who think they are blessed in the Law, and to those who know there is Something Better in Jesus.
It’s not real pleasant to be mocked for your stand on Mercy, and it’s not a pleasure to have someone cast you out of their local church because you want to operate in the Spirit. However, there is a purpose in experience.
Hebrews 13:6 reads, “So we may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Some of us worry more about our social appearance, than how we appear in the eyes of the Lord. Obedience is always a key, and faith still comes by hearing. The Lord may have us go to a place which seems like “carnal junction”; He may have us observe all sorts of “out of order conditions”, yet tell us to remain silent. We are in the “observation mode,” and we are learning what not to do.
Woe unto you that are full for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep (6:25).
Now the reverse; those who think they are full because they have the Law, will be hungry when the New Covenant is opened. Yet those who “hungered after Righteousness” will find it in the New Birth.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets (6:26).
This is just the opposite of being cast out of their company; this is when the world thinks you are great, and when they are not offended by your actions, words, or nature, rather they are comfortable. Not good, it means that both are using “the same spirit lusting to envy.” If we are the “conscience of Righteousness,” then “self-righteousness” will be offended. So how do we handle it? Hit them with a bigger stick? Fall for the trap of rending evil for evil? What to do?
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And to him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have you? for sinners also even the same (6:27-33).
The word Thank is the Greek Charis, or as we know it, Grace. Yet, this is a call to Mercy; the context is to give Mercy in order to reach Grace, the same principle as “come boldly to the throne of Grace to Obtain Mercy and Find Grace.” Unless we’re in Mercy, we won’t Find the fullness of Grace. If we love only those who love us, what Grace have we? If we do good to those who do good to us, what makes us think it’s Mercy? Peter said, what Glory is it, when we suffer in patience for those things we did, rather when we suffer in patience for those things we didn’t do, this is acceptable before God (I Pet 2:20). The real test of Mercy comes when we do good to those who have caused us harm, and pray for those who have persecuted us.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again (6:34).
If we lend, yet know that the return is greater than the loan, it’s an investment, and it has nothing to do with either Mercy or Grace. Even a sinner knows the advantage is motivated by self-gain. Giving and investing are much different.
But love ye, your enemies and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil (6:35).
This verse tells us much; it relates to the prior verses, showing that the separation between the application of Mercy and the refusal to forgive. There are Three elements, with the first being Love. The Jew doesn’t hedge the question regarding, “Love your enemies”; but they also hold, “hate your enemies.” They have Scripture supporting both views; thus to them, enemies outside the Jewish culture are to be hated, but within the Jewish culture they are to be loved. They use the Torah as a basis, as it says, “blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under Heaven; do not forget” (Deut 25:19).
We viewed this Scripture, finding that it means “don’t forget what Amalek did, but blot out any unforgiveness against the man”; however, the Jew looks at the phrase as, “do not forget the man” as a means to hate those outside of the Jewish culture. A Jew who gives support to any organization who has or has had in the past, any anti-Semitic policy, is considered a traitor, and then termed as a fool who sharpens his ax for his own neck.
The Jew is obliged by Jewish law to visit the ill, or help the poor of the Gentiles, but they separate themselves from the pollutions of the Goy; therefore, they think they are the ones keeping the true religion honored before God. What in the world is a Goy? Some who have visited the holy land, had a Jew call them a Goy,and they found that the Hebrew word Goy means kingdom, assuming they were giving a complement. However, there are various kingdoms; thus a Goy is a member of the kingdom of man. All Gentiles are collectively known as Goyim. There are those known as Shkotzim (or Sheigetz), meaning ill mannered non-Jewish males. The word Shiksa is the same as Sheigetz, but refers to a female, these words are very offensive. They are not commonly used against Gentiles; however, they don’t think the word Goy is offensive. After all, God did separate the Jews from the rest of the world.
Jesus is taking the Commandments to their purpose, as He shows elements of denying the self. If we can love our enemies, we will not allow hate to enter into our souls, turning into bitterness; thus we deny the position of revenge, hate, validation, or getting even. If we lend without expectation of any return, then we are denying any concept of “deceitfulness of riches.” In essence, we are not lending, but giving.
For some of us the “tithe” has become an investment, and the only reason we give is to get a return, which is hardly in line with this verse. The Law of Moses was given by God to Moses, based on the request of Moses to spare the people; thus it came from God’s Mercy, but to an unbelieving people. The Mercy of our Father in heaven is mighty and powerful, and the same Mercy is granted us when “we forgive as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us.”
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: give and it shall be given unto you; good measure pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye measure out, it shall be measured to you again (6:36-38).
What is the context? It is Mercy, not Grace; this pertains to “denying the self,” by not allowing the soul any self motives of pride, ego, validation, or any of the other “self traits” demanding recognition. The Will of the Father is for us to walk in the same Mercy that He gave us. Is it self-based on the Father’s part? Not at all, for we “forgive as God for Christ’s sake forgave us granting us a better life in the Spirit.” When we forgive, we are showing the world the purpose for God forgiving us; thereby drawing the Fish to the Net. On the other hand, when we refuse to forgive we give a false witness.
We tend to use this verse, or the wording as it relates to money; but the context is first and foremost walking in the Mercy of our Father so we don’t end as “workers of iniquity.” This verse gives us a division between the self and denying it; we would deny the self by granting Mercy, even if there is no foundation to do so. We would promote the self by applying condemnation and judgment. This type of Judgment is not discernment, rather it’s accounting the person guilty of some evil, whereas the Ministry of Reconciliation refuses to impute sin on others (II Cor 5:19-20). Condemnation is one step beyond judging, it finds the person guilty as it applies the punishment. The self demands Justice, the Spirit of the Lord applies Mercy. On one hand, the old man tells us, “look what they did to you, they must pay”, but the New Man reminds us we have the opportunity to apply Mercy.
This verse does not say that God will bring the Merc; it says men will. Will the person you apply mercy to, turn and grant you mercy? Perhaps yes, perhaps no; but down the line, when you need Mercy, you will gain your reward. This is the Law of Reciprocity, meaning an exchange of privileges, or favors, the word Favor means a friendly regard toward another. God will move on our behalf, on the hearts of others. The incentive of the principle tell us, if we give Mercy, the time will come when we need it, and it will be returned shaken together and running over. Therefore, the greatest benefit comes after we apply mercy to the unmerciful.
We must understand, that the person we are applying Mercy to, may not reciprocate in like manner. Some of us think that by applying Mercy, the person we are giving it to will fall on their face saying they are “so sorry.” When they don’t, we presume it didn’t work; but like the verse in Romans where God turns things around for our good, it may not be immediate, but nonetheless it will be when we need it. If the only reason we applied mercy was to see the other person fall on their face, then we are using the wrong spirit.
We may even tell the other person, “look, I have no idea why you are so mad, but if I did something, I’m sorry”. They might take it as an offer of cowardice, then turn it around by telling people, “they admitted they were wrong, and I was right.” Is the test on? Yes; for us it’s application of more mercy, and for them it’s receiving the Mercy in a Godly manner. The point is, we don’t give up, but we apply mercy at every opportunity, and the return will come when we need it; the primary reason for granting Mercy is not the return, but knowing that it pleases our Father in heaven for us to do so.
This teaching isn’t out of the blue; it’s connected to the prior teachings. “The poor,” who are begging, seeking, knocking, and looking for the Kingdom of God… will find it,and they will gain. The context between the Rich and Poor, as it fits in the Letter of James, is seen in these verses. James was there listening, back in verse 6:26 when Jesus defined the Rich by the phrase, “likewise did their fathers kill the prophets”; pointing to the Jews, especially the religious rulers.
The religious rulers didn’t repent, since they felt they were Rich and in need of nothing. The Poor were people like the Gentile woman, who begged Jesus to help her daughter; she even equated herself to a “dog” subject to the crumbs. On the other hand, after the Cross, there were some Gentiles who looked down on the Jews who were still under the Law, as the Letter to the Romans show. In either case, we find these verses would appl; mercy provides room for redemption.
These verses are reaching beyond the requirements of the Law of Moses, and beyond Atonement. According to the priests, the smell of the sacrifice would reach heaven and God would grant Atonement on the sacrifice. Then the atonement would transfer to the person. But here, Jesus is telling us to have the same Mercy as God the Father. This is not “removing the Law,” but removing the person from the confines of the Law of sin and death.
According to Yom Kippur, after the sacrifice, the person still had to go and seek forgiveness from those they trespassed against. The Jew considers Atonement and Pardon the same in content, yet they also note that Pardon comes directly from God, not man.
When we apply Mercy toward others, we are acting in the same manner as our Father did with us. We asked, He forgave; but in our case, it goes one step further. The person need not ask; we apply Mercy anyway. Thus, we find the reward coming from men. Since this is a direct involvement, we find that we are accepting the Sacrifice by our display of Mercy. However, this is not an excuse to tell someone, “I forgive you because I’m a Christian” or “I forgive you because God has told me to”; either of which are manipulative in nature, and both or these examples put all the blame on the other person, thereby showing that we consider ourselves more holy than the other person.
Mercy applied, is refusing to get mad, refusing to seek revenge, refusing to insert, or seek validation; it’s an act of not imputing the sin on the person, which entails not telling the other person that we are not imputing sin on them. Forgiveness is something we do unto others; yet we seek it from God. It’s not something we use to manipulate people into begging for our forgiveness. Whenever we force someone to seek our forgiveness, or if we force them to justify their self, we have caused them to sin, meaning we are the ones in error. Is applying Mercy easy? No, but it’s not impossible either. It first takes a decision to do as the Father desires, rather than do as our flesh desires.
Mercy doesn’t care if the person is guilty or not, it immediately applies Pardon. The evidence of their guilt is the same as the evidence of our guilt; yet God forgave us. Pardon dictates that there is some evidence of a wrong, but not enough to condemn the person.
This same principle is used in the legal system when a government official grants a Pardon; it’s as if the person was never found guilty of the crime. It’s different from Parole. Parole still says that the person did the crime, but it allows them to leave the confines of the jail. It also demands for them to report to an overseer who determines whether or not they can remain out of jail.
The Law of Moses is akin to Parole, and the sin is only”balanced”; it is not considered “vacated.” Mercy goes further than the Pardon; in the eyes of God, the Cross of Jesus is the application of the Pardon, and it finds that even if we did something, the Cross is more than able to show that we are not guilty, rather it says we must be exonerated.
Judgment applied by man is always self-based and self-determined. The Law of Moses had many areas regarding Judgment and Condemnation; but the Law of the Spirit is for us. Thus, we must be For others as well. The Law of the Spirit doesn’t define sin, it defines iniquity, yet it always provides an escape.
Paul rebuked the church of Corinth for their failure to be spiritual by pointing out how carnal they were; yet we find several verses showing the escape. Thus the Holy Ghost wasn’t saying, “You’re carnal, you’re carnal, and I’m going to get you”; rather it was, “Beware, don’t remain carnal, I have an escape for you, if you receive it.”
The Spirit uses many means to point out how carnal we are; but nonetheless, the Law of the Spirit is still for us, not against us. Our own minds can view the exposure as condemnation, yet it’s based on freedom. If we view the exposure as God punishing us, then, we are just like the children in the wilderness. But if we see “the exposure” as a means to bring us into a greater and higher realm of freedom, we gain.
Bitterness is the result of unforgiveness, since bitterness is a type of cancer eroding Mercy. Condemnation often condemns before the facts are seen, and it also produces self-justification, thereby imputing the sin on the other. Judgment and discernment are different, don’t confuse them. We discern things, and often the person using the “things” thinks they are being judged. If we discern someone’s words, yet their those words are part of their nature, they will think they are judged, when in truth their words exposed their hearts.
God knows what lies ahead, so if we reject the giving of mercy today, we receive none tomorrow. We hear some say, “this always happens to me, they judged me guilty, but I didn’t do anything.” Yet three days prior, we heard the same person say, “the person over there is so wrong, I will get them; I swear I will!”
When we seek validation, revenge, justice, or use manipulation or coercion to make others feel guilty, we will also find man bringing condemnation back on us. We recall how God applies His Mercy; it’s not automatic, but it’s prepared to be applied when we ask. God’s Mercy was there waiting for us, yet we could twist the premise to say, “well I had to ask, and so do they.” Not so, the application of heaven “being loosed on us” was based on our asking God to forgive us; but our endurance in Mercy is based on us freely giving what we received. God’s Mercy endures, His Grace is Sufficient, and we need both.
This is a discernment area; some assume that they are persecuted for the Word’s sake, when they dealt out condemnation and it came back, “shaken together and running over.” What if they ran out to “let so and so know how God feels about this or that evil” or what if they came to our door with a false doctrine. Then, when they were “exposed,” what if they assumed that they were “being persecuted” for the Word’s sake, when actually….what if they were being rebuked for their false doctrine, or slanderous ways. Then, what if they slandered others in the Body by assuming that they had the “only truth” or that the entire Body was wrong, except them, of course. Then, when were rebuked, what if they retorted with, “you’re coming against the anointing of God.” But, this could not be true, since the anointing of God never slanders, but it does rebuke. Hitting someone with our anger is not Mercy; yelling at them, demanding validation, and then saying, “God wanted them to know it” is a lie, and only a means to excuse out of control anger. Here, however, we find, that if we give Mercy, the Light shines; and where there is Light, there is no blindness, or darkness.
And He spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind: shall they not both fall into the ditch? (6:39).
If we lack Mercy, we’re blinded to the Light of the Gospel. Mercy is our Lamp, while the application is the Oil; without the Lamp, the Oil has no place to burn, and without the Oil, the Lamp can’t produce Light. This also shows how a Veil of condemnation blinds us to the Glory of the Lord. Mercy is a door opener, and Grace the vehicle to enter therein.
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master (6:40).
This doesn’t say we shall be The Master, rather we shall be As the Master; and the only way we can be As Jesus, is to have His Character by being Born Again unto a Spiritual nature. Assuming we can act like Jesus, yet remain corrupt, is the foolishness of religious conceit at work
We can give to the poor with a bitter heart, yet be none the better. We can remove every evil mountain from our path, yet produce mountains in front of others, and be none the better. Our example is Saul the Christian hunter and killer, who was breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the Christians (Acts 9:1). This same Saul permitted and encouraged the killing of Stephen, the saint of the Most High God (Acts 7:58-59). This Saul came face to face with Jesus on the Road to Damascus; he found Mercy and Repentance were far greater than condemnation and judgment (Acts 9:4-5). When Saul said, “Lord, what will You have me to do?”… his path changed, causing his result to change (Acts 9:6). Jesus forgave Saul (Paul), because the Character of Jesus is Mercy and Forgiveness, and although He will deal out justice, Mercy is His first course of action. The attitude of Jesus changed toward Paul based on Paul’s repentance. Although Jesus knew Paul would repent, Paul didn’t’. Where did Paul say, “Lord forgive me”? We don’t see it, but the second he said, “what would You have me do?”, it was repentance, a decision to turn around and go in a different direction.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (6:41).
The phrase “behold you” is the Greek Blepo meaning to see or perceive; this is not taking the Mote out, it’s questioning it, perceiving, yet doing nothing about the beam in our own eye. The self nature will ignore the Beam in our eye, yet magnify the Mote in the other person’s. Are we to ignore the Mote? No, the verse refers to the failure to see our own (mote). Why judge someone, when we do the same (Rom 2:1).
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye (6:42).
Now we move from seeing the mote, to taking an action. The self nature will see the Mote, then think it’s a gift, something to be used to gain the advantage. If we don’t perceive the Beam in our own eye, we will judge the other person based on our opinion. The word Hypocrite means to “Judge under,” or to judge someone in order to place them under us, so that we can feel superior, which is a far cry from discernment.
How can we minister to someone when we think we are so holy, that we even made the water we walk on? Some of us even go so far as to condemn the world, yet use the methods of the world in our everyday lives; then, we are a hypocrite. The world is being reproved, yet it’s the very place we cast the Net. The world is in sin, as we were in the world, but now we are not; thus we toss the Net to gain “the called.”
What good does it do to point out sin, yet provide no escape? Judgmental attitudes are quick to call out “sinner” but for the sole reason of being exalted over the sinner. This is not to say tha we shouldn’t preach, but the Gospel is Good News, and it should provide an escape. So, if we don’t deal with the Beam in our own eye, we will fall into a judgmental attitude regarding the Mote in the eye of others.
A Beam and Mote are both products of wood; and the wood is based on the corrupt tree, yet the premise is “what one sees”; and they have to view through the Mote. Thus this connects to Paul’s teaching on strongholds. Whatever the stronghold, we will view people, words, or teachings through the stronghold. We could have sound doctrine on Baptism, yet hold strongholds regarding Mercy and Grace; thus whatever we say or receive has to be filtered through the Mote.
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (6:43).
Here we find two trees; one is natural, the other is not. The fruit of the tree is how we identify the tree; if we see figs, we know it’s a fig tree. We would not expect to see oranges, then say, “oh, an apple tree.” The outward product determines the tree, and religious jargon does not make a good tree. The New Birth produces a New Tree.
For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes (6:44).
The Fig Tree is a metaphor for the religious order of Israel, which enforced the Law of Moses. There are two elements displayed here, yet it can be confusing, since the Fig Tree does have blessing and cursing (thorns). However, Jesus shows us, that the purpose of the Law of Moses was to grant Mercy to an Unmerciful people and the Curse of the Law was a means to keep the person in the Blessing. The Grape of course points to the Vine, of which we are. In this case it shows that the Bramble Bush is not going to produce the fruit of the Vine; the metaphor Bramble Bush is the attitude of cursing. If things don’t happen the way we want, our source tells the tale. “I’m cursed, this is cursed, it’s cursed”; all these statements tell us we are a Bramble Bush. “Bless the Lord oh my soul” tells us we are of the Vine. The Olive Tree is not noted here, this is between two Covenants, the Fig Tree and the Vine.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (6:45).
This is center of the teaching, the tree is the heart, and the old heart is flesh; it causes the soul to be born (identified) with the flesh. The old heart seeks the things of the flesh; yet if we are “circumcised of heart” we gain a New heart, (and void of the Curse), making us a Blessing. The obvious point here is that the Fruit doesn’t change the Tree; rather, the Tree produces the Fruit.
This also shows us why we must get rid of the Mote; clarity of discernment only comes when we can See the source of the words spoken. Words of those who lie in wait to deceive, are only detected by a circumcised heart. We must learn to listen to the New Man when words are spoken; the person may think we are attempting to read their mind, but not so. The fruit of their words expose their heart.
And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (6:46).
One of the commands Jesus gives is “ye must be Born Again”; this is not “it’s a good idea to be Born Again”, or “it would be nice if you were”, it is “ye must”, making it a Commandment. How are we going to love one another as Christ, without Christ in us?
Mercy and Grace, operating by the Spirit, brings the Living Water by Abundance; thus we can show Mercy by refusing to debate, fight, or show our anger, which is imputing the old man dead. However, it’s not the end; we must accept the New Birth, which is Grace, and then allow Grace to be the “Ability in hand.”
Will the old man attempt to “rise up” for the occasion? Yes; but the more Mercy we apply, the more strength we gain against the old man. Imputing the old man dead is half of the call; then, accepting the Righteousness of Jesus in the New Birth, is the other. Simply saying, “I impute you dead”, isn’t the complete call; we must walk in faith to gain the impartation of the Spirit, and then we can walk in the Spirit. It is complete error to think we can walk in the Spirit, without the Spirit.
Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great (6:47-49).
The Tree grows from the Foundation of the Root, and the Root began from the Seed. The Holy Ghost plants the Seed, not the act of water baptism. This is not only hearing, but the doing; the same context as James. The center of James is asking for the Wisdom of God so we can deal with events and people in a Godly manner. However, we must have a foundation, which foundation is Christ, the Rock. We are the Body of Christ, so what does it mean? We imputed our old body dead, and we need a body in which to operate, thus Jesus gave us His. We still have the flesh, but our souls are now joined to the Body of Christ, while the Spirit is making our souls Spiritual in nature, bringing to pass “That born of the Spirit is Spirit.”
Being in the Rock demands hearing, then doing, which defines a Rhema ear; thus the doing becomes the walk of faith. Faith never tested, is mind power counterfeiting faith, while the test of faith brings the works of faith. A faith failing to maintain in the valley, has no business bragging on the mountain top. Simply believing that all Jesus said, isn’t enough either…. many believe the sayings, but rebel when it comes to the doing, or they twist the sayings to maintain control of their religion. Clearly, the first step of doing is Mercy, the one element becoming the factor separating the vessels of honor, from those of dishonor.
Now when He had ended all His sayings in the audience of the people, He entered into Capernaum. And a certain Centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die (7:1-2).
This connects to the sayings with the doings. Jesus is doing the Work of the ministry; so, how then can we call Him Lord, yet refuse to do the works of the ministry? Why do we call Him, Lord, Lord, yet reject the operation of Mercy?
On the surface, it would appear that Luke is taking an event from Matthew; however, this is a different event with an extension to the lesson gained in Matthew. The Centurion’s servant is an example of each of us; thus the Centurion’s servant called him lord, yet he was found sick, on the brink of death. In contrast, when we call Jesus Lord, we must be willing to die to the self nature, in order to live.
And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto Him the elders of the Jews, beseeching Him that He would come and heal his servant (7:3).
This Centurion heard of Jesus, and sent others; whereas, the Centurion in Matthew’s account came to Jesus making his request personally.
This is another area of our Master saying, then doing, to give us the premise with the example. We do as He says, and do as He did.
And when they came to Jesus, they besought Him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: for he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue (7:4-5).
The Centurion may have heard of Jesus, but these elders surely didn’t know Jesus. The elders judged a man’s importance by what they gained from the person; the elders didn’t say that the Centurion loved the Lord, they said he loved the nation. They felt that building a synagogue was more than enough to secure a healing; but the following verses show that Jesus was moved by the Centurion’s faith, not the words of the elders.
The Centurion is also an example of someone who showed Mercy, then gained Mercy; thus the Centurion gave from a good heart, and the elders received it with an evil heart. If we give, yet the one who receives, receives with an evil heart, it doesn’t effect the blessing of our giving.
This is also true if we are an Elder and are asked to anoint someone with oil, yet they are merely playing a mind game. Simply because the receiver is playing a mind game, or refuses to give their prayer of faith, doesn’t mean that the Worship of the elders is corrupt. On the other hand, if the elders are corrupt, it won’t corrupt our prayer of faith, since the prayers of a righteous person still avail much.
The Centurion didn’t tell the religious rulers to do anything more than make a request; he didn’t demand, he didn’t tell them how much he gave. He didn’t even think he was worthy enough for Jesus to come near his house, much less enter it. The Elders based worthiness on the self-benefit of what a person does for them, Jesus based it on faith.
Then Jesus went with them. And when He was now not far from the house, the Centurion sent friends to Him, saying unto Him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that You shouldest enter under my roof (7:6).
The Centurion sent Friends, thus he gave to the Jews, but he didn’t consider them friends. The friends of the Centurion told Jesus what was on the heart of the Centurion, it was not based on how much he gave, or to whom he gave it. The “word of the testimony” of the Centurion was in the mouth of his friends.
Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it (7:7-8).
The Centurion didn’t think that his giving made him worthy, yet he would find, his faith did; it’s by our faith that we are able to please the Lord.
This Centurion, like the one in Matthew, knew the power of authority. The Centurion was under authority, yet knew how to respect it. His authority was two-fold: as a Centurion, he had people under him whom he expected to carry out orders, but he was also under authority, thus he was expected to carry out orders given to him. He was also master of his house, and he gave his servant orders generated from him. He had a full grasp of authority based on his knowledge of Authority, which became a display of his faith; thus we find the fruit of the man proved his knowledge of Authority. He also knew, that although he had Authority, he didn’t have authority to make his servant well. He didn’t mix authorities, and he didn’t treat his servant as a member of his army, or his army as his servant. The Centurion respected the authority over him, those under him respected him. Give and it shall be given. Positional awareness was the issue; he was asking Jesus to do something that he was sure Jesus had the authority to do, and since Jesus had the authority, the Centurion knew it would come to pass.
Having authority and respecting it are different: one can have authority, yet fail to respect it. One can have authority, yet be afraid to use it, or have authority, yet fail to respect the authority over them, all three fail to know the importance of self-esteem, which is not self-confidence, rather it’s the opposite. The word Esteem means to respect, or be able to Value, it doesn’t mean to over–value, or under-estimate; thus it means to Discern or Judge something in its proper place. If we Judge ourselves, we shall not be judged. Self-esteem knows our position, and it respects how we obtained it; whereas self-confidence is a trust in the self-nature. Therefore, self-esteem is a matter of knowledge and clarity, while self-confidence is a matter of self-trust, two completely different elements.
When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed Him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel (7:9).
Our faith includes our respect for Jesus; and if we respect Him, we will honor His authority, meaning we will use His Name as He would. The Name of Jesus works for anyone in the Field; even Judas saw the results of the Name of Jesus when he applied it correctly. Thus, “acts” come as a result of the Name. Matthew 7:22 shows that the Name works, but some take credit for the acts, or trust in the acts, rather than allow a change in “Ways.”
And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick (7:10).
The “They” are the Friends; they were more concerned with the Centurion’s servant, than the religious leaders were. The only reason that the religions leaders made the request was based on the Centurion building their synagogue. If the Centurion hadn’t given a dime to the religious leaders, they would never have lifted a finger to help him; whereas, his friends were ready, willing and able to help their friend.
Although the elders were self-based, the Centurion’s Mercy was still evident; as a testimony, it spoke for him. The Centurion gave, and it coming back to him, shaken down and running over. This is an example of one doing a law, without knowing it; thus the Centurion was a man of Mercy and Authority relating to his measure of faith. Jesus was giving to him, as he gave to others.
And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people (7:11).
Not all of the disciples went with Jesus, thus there were times when the disciples were off doing other tasks for the ministry. This would seem strange if “Jesus is no Respecter of persons.” We assume the phrase “No Respecter of Persons” means that Jesus treats us all the same, but it means that He doesn’t hold one above another based on their personality, position, or the good He can gain from the relationship. If we act like Judas, then Jesus treats us like Judas; if we act like Christ, Jesus treats us like Christ.
This is still related to Mercy, as Mercy heals and sustains. The phrase in truth means that no one person is greater than the other, or has a greater advantage before God when they enter the Body. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the mount, while the other disciples remained at the foot of the mount. Peter’s shadow did heal, Paul gained special power, and John was known as the disciple Jesus loved…yet all were seen as individuals. Just because Paul had special power, doesn’t mean that God has to give us special power. Just because John wrote the Book of Revelation doesn’t mean that God will have us write another. Discern, don’t burn.
Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And He came and touched the bier: and they that bear him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto you, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited His people (7:12-16).
This widow woman also connects to the prior teachings. Since this was her only son, she was a widow indeed, but to the religious leaders, a “widow indeed” was a widow with money. Without her son, there was no one to care for her; Jesus gave her back her need. This was a matter of Restoration; when John the Baptist appeared, the Time of Restoration was opened, yet Jesus is the means.
The people still didn’t understand the importance; they recognized Jesus as A Prophet, but failed to see Him as The Prophet. A prophet can come and go, but The Prophet has the authority to introduce doctrine, even if the doctrine is a New Law. In this case, Jesus is introducing a doctrine regarding a Law to make the people free of the Law of sin and death. God gave Moses a Law, and Jesus is giving the people a Law. The Law of Moses is called the Law of Moses because it became a barrier between man and God. The Law of the Spirit is called the Law of the Spirit because it unites man to God by the Spirit.
And this rumor of Him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about. And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things. And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Are You He that should come? or look we for another? (7:17-19).
The disciples of John didn’t see the man raised from the dead, but they heard about it and then reported what they heard to John. It’s one thing to be an eye-witness, another to repeat hearsay. Without the Spirit, we give hearsay evidence, but with the Spirit we have The Eye-Witness. The Witness is still the Water (Mercy of the Father), the Blood (Grace of the Word), and the Spirit (Born again of the Holy Ghost), the soul is aware of the Witness as the benefactor of the Witness, but it is not part of the Witness. Natural knowledge of the Bible is not a Witness; it’s still natural and spiritual things to a natural mind are foolishness.
When the men were come unto Him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou He that should come? or look we for another? And in that same hour He cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind He gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me (7:20-23).
In the Same Hour Jesus taught, cast out devils and cured many; these are the works of the Christ of Mercy as the Son of man. This is another example of the Master giving us the example to go with the premise. Instead of telling John something based on hearsay, they were to tell John what they saw, which of course was people healed and set free, as the time of Restoration was in hand. Jesus didn’t make one person blind, He didn’t make one sick, He didn’t put a devil in any of them; to assume any different is foolish.
The word Offended has several different meanings depending on the intent. Jesus offended many, meaning to bring Displeasure; but the displeasure is the soul being confronted with its own unbelief. In the context above, it means Thoughts from an intent to produce sin; thus saying or assuming that Jesus made anyone sick, is offending His Name. It’s true, the Law of Moses held both cursing and blessing, and Jehovah Himself said that He would bring the curse; but this shows that the Law had the power and authority built into it, to either bless the doer, or to curse.
The plagues in the last days come when our prayers are mixed with the coals from the altar of God; yet under the altar, the Dead in Christ wait. Thus, we can assume the prayers are evil, or the coals from the altar are evil, missing the context completely. The prayers are holy, the coals are holy, when holy lands on unholy, the unholy is turned back to its source. God is still unable to tempt us to do evil, since He has no evil in Him.
And when the messengers of John were departed, He began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? (7:24).
The people looked at Jesus as a prophet, but Jesus says, John is the prophet; yet John didn’t heal anyone and he never cast one devil out. But the disciples of Jesus did. The disciples of John represented John; thus their questioning and envy reflected on John. Yet, John wasn’t there. Our unbelief, debate, doubt, anger and soulish behavior all reflect on Jesus, since we are of the Body of Christ.
But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they which are gorgeously appareled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send My messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he (7:25-28).
If John was much more than a prophet, what did it make Jesus? Without John, there would be no messenger, without the messenger, the Messiah couldn’t come; thus the one announcing had to come first. In Matthew 17:11 Jesus said that the time of Restoration came with John, but John isn’t the holder of the Restoration, only the one who announced it, yet the announcement was vital.
One could say, “If Zacharias, the father of John, would have only known”; however, the same could be said of us. There are many events appearing mundane in the natural, yet hold great things in the spiritual. On the same note, there are some things which we hold as great in the natural, meaning nothing in the spiritual. How do we know the difference? “But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit” (I Cor 2:10), and “which the Holy Ghost teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (I Cor 2:13).
The phrase, “born of women” means the natural conception of one man and one woman, which excludes Jesus. The Least in the kingdom of God, is greater than John; but John is greater than all those before him, which would include Moses, Elijah, David, Adam, or anyone else. The most carnal Corinthian had a greater opportunity than John… something to think about. John was not privy to the Spirit, or the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, he wasn’t a member of the Rock.
This area proves that John was not of the ministry of Jesus; thus he did not operate under the Name of Jesus. John was between places, thus he appeared in the wilderness; he was not the Old, yet he was not the New. The act of his baptism ceased when he was cast into prison, and the effectiveness of his baptism ceased at the Cross. It doesn’t take away from his importance as Jesus shows, neither does it take away from our position in the Body. The least in the kingdom in the Name of Jesus, is greater than John, something to think about when the lust of the flesh thinks that being Elijah or John the Baptist is better than being a member of the Body of Christ.
And all the people that heard Him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him (7:29-30).
This was not “the baptism in the Name of Jesus,” since the Name had not been granted at the time, until Matthew 28:19. This was still “John’s baptism” based on repentance coupled with, “that the people should believe.” This same mistake of putting too much on some efforts, thus losing the purpose… is found today. These people heard how great John was, so if they were baptized by John, then they must be great as well. Paul ran into the same thinking with the carnal Corinthians, “I was baptized of Paul”, “Oh I’m better, cause I was baptized of Apollos.” (I Cor 1:12). They were baptized under the Name of Jesus, not the name of Paul, or Apollos. They failed to ask, “what was I baptized unto?” (Acts 19:3).
Mark 16:16 told us that baptism was important; it’s our token of acceptance into the Body, but without continual belief it remains either a Tradition, or a bath, nothing more. On the same note Mark 16:16 shows that we can believe all sorts of Godly things, but unless we’re in the Body, the concept of “shall be saved” does not apply.
Some say, “If it wasn’t in the Name of Jesus, it was void”; others say, “If it wasn’t in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, it was void” and both are right since it’s still one Name (Authority). But it has little to do with what the person doing the baptizing says, but much to do with their position. Were they in the Body? If so, they operated under the Authority (Name) of Jesus. How do we know if the person who baptized us was in the Name? What happened to us? Was there a change? The water didn’t do it, the acceptance by the Mercy of God did; the Mercy of God is our proof, not semantics.
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? (7:31).
The Generation is the one facing Jesus, and it’s also specific in nature. There was a Generation from John to the Resurrected Jesus. Our Generation began on Pentecost when the Gift of the Holy Ghost was granted.
They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and you have not wept (7:32).
Jesus says that these are children calling, “one to another” with “How come you don’t dance?”, “How come you don’t mourn?” or “we played the music, but you don’t want to dance to our tune”. “Oh yeah, well we mourned, but you didn’t weep.” These are two completely different emotions, yet the same marketplace. The people wondered, when we question what the Lord is doing, and people wonder about us, or they wonder what is wrong with us. Here we find that those in the ministry of John the Baptist were questioning Jesus; the people centered on the act of baptism, rather than the purpose. Here Jesus was before them, if the purpose was for them to believe on Him, why didn’t they?
Those who were baptized felt that they were better, and those who were not better became angry. The groups in verses 29 and 30 fit the children in the market place and one group Justified God, since they felt they were justified by the baptism of John. Wrong, the baptism was unto repentance not Justification. It also said that they should believe, so did they? The other group was not baptized; they rejected it. Thus, we find that some dance, but reject the mourning, and some mourn, but reject the dancing.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine: and you say, He has a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and you say, behold a gluttonous man, and winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! (7:33-34).
Jesus takes the parable right to the Pharisees, when John came, they didn’t want to dance to his tune, when Jesus came, they didn’t want to mourn for their error of not receiving John.
Two men, Jesus and John, each sent to do the work of God, yet Jesus shows the character of one, was different from the other, so does it mean one or both of them were not sent by God? Not at all, Jesus points out how the religious rulers were looking at flesh and blood, thus making their determinations based on their own carnal thinking, looking for the self-benefit, yet they failed to look at the result of the works being produced. John’s ministry had results, the ministry of Jesus had results, thus the results determined the source. Some of us get so involved in personalities, we can’t tell if there are results or not. In some cases we ignore the results, so we can slander the person. Not very wise, not wise at all.
But wisdom is justified of all her children (7:35).
The result would prove who is right, thus it didn’t do any good to debate the issue. Which generation had the “signs and wonders following,” would determine the Truth. History has proven the Truth, and “Who” Truth really is.
James will show us two types of Wisdom, the Book of Proverbs talks about two types of Wisdom as well. These religious leaders knew what the parable was talking about, they knew the wisdom of man was earthly, but they also knew the Wisdom of God was heavenly. However, they felt the heavenly Wisdom was not something natural man can have. They were right, only those with the Spirit can gain the Wisdom of God.
Which Wisdom one uses will determine if they are child of Wisdom. Wisdom being the manner in which one deals with people and events goes right back to the examples. Those who played the music, refused to mourn, but those who mourned refused to dance to the music. Neither wanted to change, yet both got mad because the other didn’t do as they wanted. Over a year before the Cross the people who were baptized under John’s baptism repented, yet there was another proviso, “should believe on Him who was to come”, at the Cross they rejected the premise, rather than believe they mocked. Both groups centered on error, they either took pride in the effort, or took pride in rejecting the effort.
And one of the Pharisees desired Him that He would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat (7:36).
This Pharisee is attempting to work around repentance; after all, if Jesus sat at the table, surely He would see how righteous this Pharisee was,and therefore, in the mind of the Pharisee there no need for him to repent.
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment (7:37-38).
This isn’t the same incident as the one noted in Matthew, Mark, or John, as the anointing for the burial of Jesus; all three show Mary the sister of Lazarus anointing Jesus just days prior to the cross, at the house of Simon the Leper, the father of Judas. But here, the woman is a sinner, and they are in the house of a Pharisee; the purpose is much different. This woman didn’t allow the house of the religious leader to stop her from getting to Jesus. Also Jesus never stopped her from her task. She couples the anointing with worship. For those who have trouble reaching over the wall of tradition and recognizing that Jesus is the visible of the invisible Jehovah God, these verses should destroy the barrier. Jesus accepted her worship, something not permitted if He was not the Word of God made flesh.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden Him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: for she is a sinner (7:39).
The Pharisee felt that his self-righteousness removed him from being a sinner; however, self-righteousness is temporal at best; the second the act ( of attonement as per their religious code) is accomplished, it’s done, meaning the person has to start all over again. For instance, if one keeps the sabbath day, then as soon as the sun sets, then the purpose is accomplished and then they have to begin again; thus the act has to be performed weekly. For us there is the Rest of God by belief; we take the yoke of Jesus to find rest for our souls.
The act of worship shows that this woman knew in Who’s presence she was, yet the Pharisee believed that Jesus should feel privileged for being in his presence. The Centurion knew that Jesus had Authority greater than all of Rome put together, this Pharisee didn’t so much as offer Jesus the general customs granted to any guest.
To the Jew, the Threshold and Door were more than a means of entry; the second they granted someone permission to enter, the person was under the protection of the householder. There were certain rites granted the guest, such as washing the feet of the person, usually by a servant. We find that the Pharisee didn’t provide the basic elements afforded to the most common of guests, yet the woman knew Jesus was very special.
There is the thought of our water baptism being a similar act to the washing of the feet, based on entrance into the Body. We as members of the Body are the ones who water baptize others; they submit to the act. For them it’s an ordinance, since they are yet to be granted entry into the Body by one who represents the Householder. For us it’s a Commandment to teach, then water baptize. If a candidate makes their confession of belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus, then we are obligated to water baptize them. One aspect of our teaching is to teach them about the “laying on of hands, the repentance from dead works, faith toward God, eternal Judgment, and receiving the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.” We can have millions of foot washing ceremonies, but the purpose is regarding, acceptance into the household, not simply something to give us a “good feeling.”
The Pharisee asked Jesus into his house, but only to show his (the Pharisee’s) greatness. The Pharisee knew that giving worship to anyone other than God, was akin to idol worship; yet Jesus was allowing this woman to worship Him. The Jew is/was so strict in the area, that they won’t even use the name of Jesus in reference to any religious conversation; rather they refer to Jesus as “that man.” Not only is it a sin for the Jew to worship “other gods” it’s a sin to mention their names. The Jew calls the crucifix A Tzelem or Image, the same word they use to define idols. Based on the sin of David, the Jews are so zealous they won’t even count each other, instead of saying, One, Two, Three, they say, Not One, Not Two, Not Three. However, later David and Solomon counted people, but it wasn’t a sin; thus David’s sin was questioning God, rather than counting. Legalism is a hindering spirit causing many problems.
The Pharisee also trusted in his position, while the woman wanted Jesus to change her condition. Yet both the Pharisee and the woman had something in common, they were both sinners, and the woman knew it, but the Pharisee denied it. Both were facing Jesus, but for different purposes. Both were in the same house, thus they were akin to the children in the market place; the woman sought the presence of Jesus, the Pharisee sought his own importance.
This woman hadn’t given a sacrifice, nor had she been purified according to the Jews Lawa; therefore, it was a sin for this woman to be in the house of a Pharisee. Not withstanding, she didn’t even stop at the threshold; she came straight in. The Pharisee was thinking of his own reputation and religious demeanor, he didn’t care about the woman. How could this Jesus allow a sinner to touch Him? How could He allow her to worship Him? How could Jesus allow her to remain in the house of this righteous Pharisee?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have some-what to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on (7:40).
Simon the Pharisee, was not Simon called Peter, or Simon the leper, since neither of the latter two were Pharisees. This Simon was expecting honor from Jesus, or at the least expecting an apology from Jesus for allowing the woman to stay in the house.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell Me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged (7:41-43).
Again this pertains to Mercy; regardless of what was owed, they both owed and both were forgiven. To Simon there were degrees of sin. This woman was a sinner, and Simon feels he used to be one. This lesson is for us in that it’s true, we are in a place where sin has lost its power, and it’s true that we are a special people, but it’s also true that it’s because of Jesus.
Once we recognize that sin is sin, then we also know that as long as we have this flesh, we still have the potential to sin. If we say we have no sin (potential) we lie; yet if we continue to sin by coming against people, and we like it, then we are still in sin (I Jn 1:8-9 & 2:11 & 3:9). Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin (singular); the sin is exactly what Simon is doing here, condemning the woman after she came to Jesus.
In the case of Simon, he felt he owned nothing, while the woman knew who she was. A lack of awareness of who we are, tends to lead us into religious conceit. However, if we recognize that we were sinners, since the old nature made us evil, nasty, self-based, self-serving, self-centered, self-willed, full of pride and ego….then we also know that God by His Mercy, forgave us. He then set us on the road of Restoration, and this is why we can appreciate Grace.
And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest yhou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my My feet: but she hath washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head (7:44).
Simon didn’t even do the simplest honor, thus he allowed Jesus in his house, but not under the protection of the householder. To Simon, Jesus is the one who allowed this woman to get past the threshold of Simon; how dare He? Simon didn’t have a clue as to what was going on; but the Mirror of God was as big as the entire house of Simon. The woman was doing, what Simon should have done, thus Simon entered iniquity unto sin. His iniquity was, to not treat Jesus as he would anyone else; he was partial, but the sin came when he judged the woman.
Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didt not anoint: but this woman hath anointed My feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little (7:45-47).
Olive oil was used to cool the head; so it was also a custom to anoint someone’s head when they came in from the hot sun. Yet Simon felt that by allowing Jesus to sit at his table…well, that was more than enough. Simon was counting his good works, but was also allowing his own religious pride to define a “good work.” Good works are works of Mercy and Grace, and Simon was not showing Jesus the least of the common courtesies.
This parable doesn’t mean that we should run out and commit as many sins as we can; but it does show the power of repentance. The Pharisee may not have committed as many sins, but he was also failing to honor Jesus, whereas the woman was.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And He said to the woman, Thy faith has saved thee, go in peace (7:48-50).
Jesus Pardoned her sins, but Simon retained his. The word for “Saved” used here is the Greek Sozo, so it doesn’t mean that she was saved by having the Spirit, nor does it mean that she received Grace. She was Saved from her sins by God’s Mercy, and now she is expected to freely give what she gained in order to maintain her condition.
Luke puts these comparisons together before he ventures into the teaching on “denying the self.” Each comparison reflects to delusions and self-deceptions. The woman knew who she was, while Simon was living a delusion. Thinking that we don’t need “the saving of the soul,” even after reaching Sozo, is a mistake. The purpose for our faith is the salvation of our souls, yet we can’t enter this area until we put away self-righteousness, self-deception, and religious delusions.
We can receive the Prophet in the name of the Prophet, or make demands for the Prophet to dance to our tune. The Pharisees were blinded, but their blindness was not only based in unbelief, it was supported by their self-righteousness and religious-deceptions. The Law of Moses produced a veil of blindness to the Righteousness of God (Rom 10:3 & II Cor 3:15). There are various types, there is the Veil Paul speaks of in II Corinthians and the Veil he speaks of in Hebrews. The Veil was the clothe Moses placed over his face to hide the glory; it’s the same thing that the Law of Moses does, not because God desires it, but because the doer trusts in their own self-righteousness. The other veil is the one between the holy place and the holy of holies (Heb 6:19, 9:3 & 10:20). Once we enter the Body we have passed through the veil, but if we continue to fall back to the Law of Moses we nonetheless place a veil over the glory of God.
The religious leaders wanted to maintain their self-righteousness, yet the act of self-righteousness uses the flesh, meaning it will produce pride, ego, and arrogance in the effort. Self-righteousness holds deeds as a means to obtain the blessing, while faith holds Jesus as a means to be a blessing. Once we ask God to expose any and all self-deception, we can then obtain the Good Crown of Life, based on faith.
And it came to pass afterward, that He went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him (8:1).
Here the twelve returned, and although they just finished doing the work of the ministry, they were going to learn more about the term “Salvation.” This also separates the prior event from the anointing during the week of the Cross, since the time when Jesus was in the house of Simon the Leper, Judas and the other disciples were present. Here we can see that they were not in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Two different events, both show someone anointing Jesus, but each event has its own lesson, and timing.
And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance (8:2-3).
Mary Magealene had seven devils cast out of her, while the others were healed of their infirmities. All of them ministered unto Jesus from their substance. The word Substance means, Property or Possessions; thus the women maintained a great deal of the financial backing for the ministry. It wasn’t always based on, “get the money out of the fishes mouth.” There are those behind the scenes who provide the foundation for a ministry who are just as important in the disciples doing the ministry.
And when much people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spoke by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when He had said these things, He cried, He that has ears to hear, let him hear (8:4-8).
Mark’s account of this Parable is more detailed, but Luke is nonetheless going to give us additional information. Luke doesn’t say Thirtyfold, Sixtyfold, and a Hundredfold, rather he goes directly to a Hundredfold. Therefore, he is talking to the one who did produce the Sixtyfold, encouraging them to seek the Hundredfold.
If we have only one pound of corn, it’s all we have, so we can’t give two pounds if we only have one. Elisha wanted double the drive, motivation, and desire (spirit) of Elijah; but how can we give what we don’t have? How could Elijah give twice as much as he had? So, he didn’t and Elisha got mad. Nonetheless we find that the “Growth of the Gift” and “getting more gifts” are different. Elisha received what he was to receive, which was the mantel. We have the Seed, and it grows as we water it with Mercy; but no Mercy, no growth, and soon we separate ourselves from the Seed. In this case, Luke shows that we have reached the Sixtyfold, but we are not to stop in this “Youngman” stage. We have overcome the Wicked, so the fear of becoming among the Wicked is no longer a factor; we know our sins are forgiven, and we appreciate it. However, it’s not the end of the race; we need to reach the place where we know “Him who is from the Beginning,” in fullness (I Jn 1:1, 2:12-14, 2:26, 3:14, 4:6 & 5:1).
And His disciples asked Him, saying, What might this parable be? And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand (8:9-10).
Having ears to hear, means we also have a mouth “speaking the Truth in love.” The people heard the same words, yet they didn’t ask Jesus, “What do these things mean?” His disciples asked and He answered, but there are those who look us right in the eye and say, “Oh yes, I know”; yet they have no idea what we’re talking about, to them parables with very simple explanations must be given.
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (8:11-12).
Those by the Way Side did Hear, but they also heard the voice of Satan (the old man). In Mark it was… “Satan comes immediately,” while here, it’s the devil; both give us the “old nature ruling the nest,” and the spirit of disobedience is quick to insert unbelief: “isn’t this the son of the carpenter?”
In Mark we see the use of the title “Satan” and here it’s the source with the same temptations, “Did God really say?” The “ground-keeper” in this case, is regarding those who are not only in the darkness, but love the darkness as well as the things of darkness. They are not begging to get out; they where they want to be.
The devil uses this same principle, only in his case it’s planting tares in the field, to disrupt the process. For some reason we think it all went wrong with the Body around 400 AD. Not so, read the letters to the Romans and Corinthians; they were written before the Persecution, and shortly after the Church was established. The spirit of error was a concern in First John; Simon of Samaria proved that the wicked were sent by the enemy in the very beginning. However, we also find that clarity by the Spirit is our method of protection from the wiles of the enemy. Don’t seek the pollution, find the solution.
The gates of hell moved into the Body within years of Pentecost; division, strife, carnal thinking in leadership roles (Corinthians), thoughts of unbelief, or teachings based in traditions, or theology based in unbelief (II Tim 2:16-18); it’s all from the same “spirit of the world” taking on a religious role as the “he of the world”.
The word Away in the phrase, “takes away the word…”, means Make To Doubt; thus the two areas of unbelief and doubt are demonic, self-based, and are products of the old nature. The “spirit of man” knows that the moment we get serious about Salvation, then he is done for; thus he moves in with weapons of doubt and unbelief. Yet, our weapons of belief, faith, and mercy counter them completely. Belief is a choice; we can make the choice to believe, or not to. Doubt is the mindset of “God not being able to finish what He started,” while unbelief is the mindset of “God not able to start.” Here the Seed was sown, but the ground rejected it. Doubt attacks our long range memory, while unbelief, our short range; doubt will allow us to begin, but stop us long before we gain the result; whereas unbelief stops us from entering in.
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away (8:13).
Luke takes us back to the building process; this is not on the Sand, or the Sea, but the Rock. Thus from the Rock comes the Church. Paul tells us that the Rock is Christ (the Anointing, or Body); we are the Rock, the Body of Christ, and the Bread. However, although they are the Rock, although they have entered, and although they have the Seed… they lack the Root. Without the Root we will chase every wind of doctrine, seeking to feel good, or go from meeting to meeting to gain the feeling of the corporate anointing, but lack staying power. This group is not “by the Way,” or “outside the Way,” they are “in the Way.” This group would be akin to the Corinthians,” they have the Seed, but are yet carnal, they still hold to strife, division and listen to the spirit lusting to envy.” The Root must grow; yet it grows by Mercy and Knowledge.
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares, and riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to perfection (8:14).
Luke takes this group further than Mark; in this case they Heard, and went Forth. Thus they started to preach or work assuming they had the Power; however, since they lacked the Root, their eyes looked for social change. They sought many things, but the wrong things; they equated holiness to their own thoughts. They trusted in world acceptance of who they were, they spent all their time making sure they said no evil, did no evil, or saw no evil; but they were still a carnal monkey. Social change benefits the world, compromise appeases the world, but it doesn’t provoke it to the Cross. Without the Root they lack the Power from on high; they have authority, but not what it takes to carry out the Authority. And when the things of the world come at them, they seek social change, rather than Christ change.
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience (8:15).
Now we have the conjunction, “but”; here we find that the word Honest connects to the Good heart, adding the phrase “Keep It.” Thus, the prior grounds were not honest, nor did they Keep the Word (Seed), which means, they failed to have the circumcised heart, yet they had the Seed. The circumcised heart is, “the engrafted Word becoming our new heart,” thus we enter a ground change able to secure the Root. How can we preach the Word, if we lack the Word in us? Religious concepts, and the Word are different, one can preach about Jesus, or preach the Word (which is…Jesus in us).
The Key to this is the word Patience; it takes Patience for Faith to have her work, and it takes Patience for the Seed to endure the Root stage unto the Blade. Thus the growing of the root would be the Novice stage, which is a time of learning, not a time of doing.
The word Patience means to endure, or to stay the course without venturing from side to side, which is more in line with this Parable. It’s easy to gain a little knowledge, and then run off thinking we have it all. However, enduring secures the Root. We will not produce or run after winds of doctrine, or attempt to make doctrines out of traditions of man. Patience will suffer affliction, yet do so in calmness, just as Jesus was calm in the face of the storm. The word Calmness means Tranquil, or Undisturbed.
We are told to love as Jesus loved His disciples, and we know that God so loved the world; but what is a constant element of God’s Love? It is Mercy, and the application of Mercy must be love based, or it ends in self-adulation.
Thirtyfold is in reference to the ability to discern and overcome: the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts for other things. Sixtyfold is in reference to: the ability to overcome the wicked one who bring the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts for other things as their agenda, for the purpose of pulling back under the hand of the world. A hundredfold is with regard to the ability to stand with Jesus, as He stood from the foundation of the world, in a time when sin was non-existent. Thus, the Hundredfold is the Full Corn In The Ear, they operate in the world, but are not affected by the cares of this world, by the deceitfulness of riches or the lusts for other things. Their confidence in Jesus is so evident, that the product is visible on the outside; therefore, they are the manifested sons of God.
The Pharisees knew the commandment “love thy neighbor”; so, why then didn’t they love Jesus? Their own self-deception said “He’s not my neighbor”…yet, He was Jewish..right? Doesn’t matter, “He’s not my neighbor”; but He is advocating God. Right? Doesn’t make any difference, “He’s not my neighbor.” Pharisees always twist the commandment to fit their emotions or self-based thinking, in order to satisfy their anger, envy, and pride. They won’t bow to the Word, rather they hinder their own walk by making the Scriptures bow to them, even if they have to change them to fit their thinking.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed: but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light (8:16).
Luke points to the Vessel; thus we are the Vessels of the Lord. God doesn’t give us the Light to keep it hidden in our hearts, or in the cave. The training of the Lord brings us to a point to keep the Lamp burning, and the Jew knows the miracle of the burning lamp.
The Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, or Chanuka (dedication) came about when the superior armies of Syria, led by Antiochus of the Roman empire defiled the temple, and Judah Maccabees defeated, then drove out Antiochus and his army on the 25th of Kislev in 165 BC. After the defeat, the Jews lit the Menorah; however, they only had enough oil for one day, yet it takes One Week to prepare oil in order for it to burn. The oil lasted for eight days; this miracle really pointed to Jesus. There are two menorahs, one is the temple menorah, with its seven candlesticks, but the Hanukkah (Chanuka) menorah has nine candlesticks. There are nine manifestations of the Spirit, nine blessings of mercy, and nine fruit of the Spirit; however, in the Book of Revelation, Jesus is seen in the midst of the seven bowl candlestick, and each candlestick represents a church, or time.
One of the Jewish songs sung on this day is Ma’oz Tzur, better known to us as Rock Of Ages. The holiday was also called the Feast of the Dedication, which began on the 25th of Chislev, or December. This feast was merely 170 years old (164 BC) during the earthly ministry, and so it was not mentioned anywhere in the Law, yet Jesus kept it (Jn 10:22). It’s interesting how some feel about the 25th of December, yet the exact date is the date for the Feast of the Dedication, and Jesus kept it.
Is this another area where the servant thinks they are above the Master? Could be, nonetheless if one keeps one day above another, they do so unto the Lord. Whether it’s the temple Menorah or the Chanuka Menorah, it still takes the Oil to bring the Light; both give us the Truth of having a lamp and the oil. The Main Branch or the Branch holding the lamps is not a symbol of Jesus, since Jesus is seen in the midst of the candlestick. He said the seven bowls are churches, (as many)… or the Body, but not The Church as one (Rev 1:12-13 & 1:20). Jesus is the Light granting Light to the Greater Light and Lesser Light; but He is neither the Greater Light of the first five candlesticks, or the Lesser Light of the last two, yet without Him there is no Light. If Jesus doesn’t hide, then neither should any of the seven candlesticks.
For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad (8:17).
The term Nothing, means nothing; Paul shows If the Gospel is hid (veil), it is hidden from the Lost (II Cor 4:3). Paul expected the Rapture at any second; he knew that the Remnant had to be blinded to the Gospel for the Night, but he also knew the Veil of the Law blinded some, as well as God giving some a “spirit of slumber” (Rom 11:8) regarding the Gospel. Paul didn’t know which was which, so he preached to all. It’s no different with us; we have no idea when the Rapture will happen, but we know all is in place for it to occur. Paul knew that if the Gospel was Hid, it wasn’t going to be he who hides it.
The word Manifest means Open, or Known, connecting to the word Manifestation, as in the Manifestation of the Spirit. The Manifestation of the Spirit is the manner in which the Spirit in us displays Jesus; thus the Light in us is a product of Jesus. Our Light is the New Man, and the Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. Thus, if we have the Spirit, then this verse applies to us. The “secret” would be the unseen; our faith is the evidence of the unseen. Although it basically means the hope before us is unseen, it also means the source of our faith is unseen; but our seen faith will tell us the source. If our Faith is Christ-based, it will show it, and if self-based, it too will be seen.
The nine areas listed in the Manifestation of the Spirit are not the manifestation(s) (plural) of the Spirit, nor are they Gifts; they are a product of the Gift, or the Fruit of the Gift at work (I Cor 12:7-11).
Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever has not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have (8:18).
Here Luke adds the word Seemeth/Seems, showing a Self-Transformed condition, or an illusion of what a person assumes they have. Although self-righteousness was all man had until the Righteousness of God was presented in the New Birth, self-righteousness is still an illusion. One presumes they have standing by their own definition of good works. Those self-based acts are not faith-based, thus they are short lived at best. Once the effort is complete, the process begins all over again; the proof is “keeping the sabbath day,” once the day was done, another had to be prepared for.
On the other hand, those who have Light, more Light will be given, as a continual growth. This is not a promise of yester-year, rather it’s still a promise as long as “He who now lets, Lets.” The increasing principle is based on the giving, but the giving is based on the receiving. We can only give what we have, if we refuse to “receive” the Word, how then can we give it?
Then came to Him, His mother and His brethren, and could not come at Him for the press. And it was told Him by certain which said, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee (8:19-20).
After telling us, “To whom has been given, they shall be given more,” we are warned about taking pride in our position and condition. Jesus didn’t grant partial treatment between His mother, or the stranger sitting before Him. James uses this very area to show us that the Faith of Jesus had the fruit of Wisdom; Jesus was not partial (James 2:1-3). Partial means making a distinction between persons or classes based on the self-benefit we gain. James explains this as, “seeing someone we know as someone who has the ability to do us some good…and thus giving the person honor based on the self-benefit to us.” It has nothing to do with picking one person to disciple more than we do another, or taking three from the twelve.
And He answered and said unto them, My mother and My brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it (8:21).
Clearly there are two elements, many hear, and some do what they hear. The “honest ground” heard and kept the Word; once we make the decision to be honest before the Lord, we gain a new heart, one fully able “to believe” in the face of adversity. The premise is not only hearing, because many do, but in the Keeping. What was the Word He presented? The Word was “The Ways of Mercy.”
Honesty is not about “speaking” or “holding our opinions,” it’s an openness, a Pure attitude, one wherein we know, “what you see, is what you get.” The phrase, Keep the Word, doesn’t mean to quote it, memorize it, or say we believe it; rather it points to “The Word” in us, which is the Life of Christ in the New Man. This doesn’t refer to the Scriptures; we must make the Godly division between “the Word” and “the Scriptures”, or we will assume that simply reading the Bible gives us “the Word.” The Word is the New Man, the Life in us (James 1:21). The New Man uses the Scriptures, but He is not the same as the Scriptures.
Now it came to pass on a certain day, that He went into a ship with His disciples: and He said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed He fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy (8:22-23).
This is a simple lesson of Keeping the Word; the disciples were told, “let us go over unto the other side of the lake” thus the Word was clear, and they were going to the other side, meaning that they would make it. Those who “Do the Word,” and those who “Hear it” are being defined for us. The Hearing is plain, “go over unto the other side,” and the doing will begin, but will something attempt to hinder the “doing?”
The storm came, the winds were blowing, yet Jesus was sleeping. Why didn’t He wake and calm the sea? He just told the disciples to Do the Word; then He told them that they were going to the other side. So, why say anything further?
Patience will also be an issue here, as Patience and Faith are sisters; Godly faith always allows Patience to have her perfect work. Puny faith lacks patience; it stops midway to make all sorts of displays, but fails to complete the Command.
And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Master, Master, we perish. Then He arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased and there was calm. And He said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of Man is this! for He commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey Him (8:24-25).
This goes right back to the other teachings, showing that the Temptation came, so where is their faith? They had to have the “measure of faith,” since it was the basis for them to receive the New Birth on Pentecost, so where is it here? Fear is the enemy of faith; if we pick up our shield of fear or anger, we will forget about faith. Here the words “other side,” should have enforced their faith. Even simple reasoning would have helped, “Jesus is here in the boat, the storm is out there, He said other side, He never lies, so we have to keep going.” This lesson is for us; the New Man was given so we could finish this race, if Given, it means the Report (1 John 5) says it’s done, and if the Report says it, the Witness will bring it to pass, we must keep going.
In Mark we found that Jesus was walking on the water, and here He is in the boat. We could get confused and presume the writers either didn’t know what they were talking about, or they were just giving us their opinions. Neither is the case; this is a lesson which goes right back to the testing of our faith. The test is still, “will they do as commanded?” Jesus was sleeping, yet the disciples just knew they were about to perish. Psalm 23:4 says, “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” The Rod of God is for correction, the Staff is for direction; Jesus would use both in the phrase, “Where is your faith?”.
In the testing noted in Mark, Peter did his famed “water walk,” at the time Jesus said, “how is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40); here, it’s where is your faith?” Both tell us that we can move from faith, although we have it. The faith issue links this to the prior teachings, their Light was fueled by faith, thus when faith was not applied, their Light did not shine. Did they make it to the other side? If so, the evidence proves the point, if not then all is lost.
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee (8:26).
Ahh, they made it! Faith won the course, and it was possible. The area of the Gadarenes was South along the Galilee side of the Sea of Galilee. Some Bible maps show the area directly across the lake, which would have been in the land of Gaulanitis; however, here we find, that they went to an area more toward Piloteriai, or nearer to Decapolis. Regardless, it was not on the same side of the lake as Capernaum.
When He went forth to land, there met Him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and wore no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs (8:27).
We saw how Matthew said there were two, but his context shows: the man possessed with the devils, and the people possessed with Satan thinking. In Mark the man was chained, but continually broke free; here the man comes from within the city, but we will find that the term “Legion” will link all this together, showing how the man was once of the city, but then became demon possessed, as he was used by the people. Luke will link this with faith, showing how our measure of faith is enough to overcome the strongest devil. On the Lake the disciples were possessed by their own fear; then Jesus asked, “where was their faith?” Here, this man is possessed with devils, yet he is able to come to Jesus, regardless of the storm which the devils caused.
This man had “devils long time”; one would think that the devils had complete control over the man. This one lesson shows us that the old man is not a devil, but a nature which we took from the devil…. devilish yes, the devil… no. We took of the fruit from the wrong source, and it planted a “nature” or a guide to hell; but nonetheless a guide. The nature was then accepted and used by us. While we were using it, it was using us, yet we still have more authority than the devils. How? It didn’t make any difference if the person had “a devil”, “fifty devils” or “a legion of devils”; the devils can’t stop anyone from falling down and seeking the Mercy of Jesus.
The greatest battle we fight is against the old man (flesh); yet the “weapons of our warfare” are mighty through God, and so, the victory is promised. Those who know that devils are real, know they come out when commanded to do so. But go tell the old man “he is crucified,” and see what happens. Oh yes, there is a battle, but one wherein the victory was recorded for us before the battle began.
This one man desired to be free, indicating that the journey begins with a desire, and from the desire faith springs forth. At times it’s not a lack of faith, but not using it, the measure of faith is more than enough. Do we desire the works of darkness, more than the Light? If so, we will fail at faith, if not, we will win by faith.
When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God most High? I beseech You, torment me not (8:28).
The demon spoke, but the man worshipped Jesus. The phrase, “what have I to do with You?” means more to the Jew, than us. This man was over the age of thirteen, and he was an adult; thus it was assumed that if he did something evil, he deserved the Evil Eye. When a Jew is faced with something Evil, they will automatically say, Chas V’Shalom, which has been reduced to Cholila or Chas V’Chalila, all of which mean “Heaven Forbid,” thereby assuming that heaven will forbid the evil on earth. When complimenting a child, it’s proper for the Jew to say Imbeshreer, or Unbewitched, or Kein Ayin Hora, meaning No Evil Eye. All of these are requests without authority, and each moves the responsibility to heaven in order to remove the evil. Therefore, the demon used the title “Son of God,” thus tempting the Lord. In essence, the demon knew that sin was of the earth, not heave; but the Jew looked to heaven to remove demon possession. Jesus operated as the Son of Man based on Mercy; thus, the casting out of demons is based in Mercy as a son of man, yet the demons were attempting to get Jesus to operate as the Son of God.
When Jesus said He had the Power to forgive sins on earth, the Pharisees had a theological fit. To the Pharisee, it was up to God to remove the Evil Eye when the person reached Paradise; however, Jesus said if the Eye offend thee, pluck it out, thereby putting the responsibility back on the person. Today there are some unbelieving Pharisees who are offended when anyone says, “Have faith in God.” Do you wonder why? It doesn’t take long to discern their source: self-righteousness, pride in theology, faith in the self-nature and the deeds of the old man; Pharisees are void of Faith in God, but strong in trusting their self-righteousness.
(for He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For often-times it had caught him; and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven by the devil into the wilderness) (8:29).
This is interesting, since the man was not always under the influence of the devil, only “often times”, thus one can appear fine today, but demon possessed tomorrow.
Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit to defeat the devil, and this demon drove the man into the wilderness to destroy the man. The devil counterfeits many things, but we find that the results of anything counterfeit are much different from the results of Truth. When Jesus came out of the wilderness, He proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me..” as the Acceptable Year of the Lord unto Liberty was preached; but the devil drove this man into the wilderness to bind him in chains of darkness and fetters of torment. The devil does the binding; Jesus does the Loosing.
What else do we see here? The man was from the city, but driven into the wilderness; thus he is a type of backslider, one who has gone back. Yet God allowed him to taste of the corruption, but now he wants to return, but lacks the ability. What to do? What to do? Ahh, Jesus is here, it’s okay. Even if the old man is able to lead us into temptation, God is still able to deliver us (I Cor 10:13).
And Jesus asked him, saying, What is your name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him (8:30).
The term “Legion” connects this to Mark’s account, showing that we are viewing this event from a different prospective. From this encounter we assume that we must always ask the demons their name, but Jesus didn’t ask the demons their name to find out who they were, rather it was to expose the power in the Name of Jesus. It really doesn’t make any difference how many of them there are, the Name of Jesus applied by a son of man is always greater. Jesus is still operating from Mercy, and the disciples were also operating from Mercy. At times we forget, or assume that we must have the complete Power of heaven to take on devils. Not so, even Judas was able to cast out devils; it was Judas whom Judas couldn’t deal with.
There were many demons, but they also lied supposing they were one. Jesus discerned the demon asking What is your name, not What are your names. The demons are united, yet they are united in one evil.
And they besought Him that He would not command them to go out into the deep (8:31).
The word Deep here doesn’t refer to the Water, rather it’s the Greek Abussos from which we get the word Abyss meaning Bottomless, or without bottom, or without End. It wasn’t time to bind the devil, the devils knew it, but if they could get Jesus to make the error of acting out the beginning of the Night before the Day, then they would win.
But like all demons, they go one step too far, spelling out their own defeat. Mark shows that the demons besought Jesus, asking that He not send them away out of the country, and Luke adds to the concept, by showing that they wanted Jesus to bind them, as the people had bound the man. The demons wanted the Restoration of Israel to take place, but wait, if Judgment comes before Salvation, then all will be lost, and none saved. The temptation was to do something out of order, to change the process of events. No one is going to usher in the Night, the time and timing are in the hands of God.
This lesson shows that no devil can read someone’s mind; if he planted the tares, he merely brings the tares to the surface. One demon makes a suggestion in the mind of one person, another demon makes the same suggestion in the mind of another, and the people assume that they just read the other’s mind. How does this relate to discerning the thoughts of others by the Spirit? The intent, purpose, and result all separate the acts of the Spirit in us from the self-based, self-centered, self-exaltation deeds of devils. Reading someone’s mind doesn’t mean a thing; it’s being able to discern the cause and source, which comes from the Spirit of Truth in us.
And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought Him that He would suffer them to enter into them, and He suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked (8:32-33).
To the Jew any Swine is the center of all uncleanness; they don’t consider their dietary laws as hygienic, but ethical and religious. When Moses gave the people the Law, they said, “All the Lord has said, we will do and obey”; however, a more accurate translation would be “we will do and listen to”; to the Jew the wording, “Listen to” means to Understand. Faith still comes from hearing, and “the hearing” is a desire to enter into and do as the Lord commands.
The Jew knows that the dietary laws were given to them alone by God, but they assume God did it to separate them from the Goy. However, God told Jeremiah that the purpose in the Law was neither good or evil, rather it was to get the children in an area of obedience (Jere 7:21-23).
When God created the pig, He didn’t say, “This is evil, what have I done!”; rather when God created anything, He saw it was Good (Gen 1:12 et al). The Law of Moses was Good, but so was the devil when he was created as the anointed cherub who covered. It’s what man, or the devil does with the creation determining if it remains Good or becomes Evil.
In order for man to be created in the likeness of God, man had to have free moral choice, yet without choice there is no choice. Simply because we made the choice to be evil, doesn’t mean that God created us to be evil. Therefore, the saving of the soul brings us back to the intended Goodness God saw from the foundation of the world.
Why did God pick on the poor pig? God created animals to perform certain tasks. Before the fall, the thought of death for humankind was moot. After the fall came the Law of Sin and Death, and with Moses came the Law to define sin and death. The two give us the completed Law of Sin of Death. The purpose of certain animals was changed as a result of the fall; instead of eating grass, they consumed death from the ground, instead of eating fruit, they consumed garbage. Thus they became symbols of the fall; whereas, other animals became symbols of life. From Noah we found how man was granted the right to eat meat, and in the process however, the meat was granted the right to eat man. God wanted His people to place their minds on life; however, the result was, man placing his mind on what “not to eat,” rather than the blessing of being chosen.
How does this relate to the Christian? Now the Spirit speaks Expressly in the latter times some shall depart from The Faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats; therefore, they will center on the flesh, rather than the Spirit (I Tim 4:1-3). Every creature of God is Good, nothing to be refused, that is…if we can receive it with thanksgiving, whether it’s pork or beans (I Tim 4:4). They will listen to the fears of the world, they will use food as a means to determine holiness. What wasn’t destructive in the eyes of the world 100 years ago, wasn’t sin; but as soon as the world said the element would kill us, we made it sin. We then equated sin to the definition of the world, not real wise. If we don’t like it, don’t eat it. If we can’t give thanksgiving for it, don’t even think of eating it.
Strong Meat belongs to them who are of Full Age, even those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb 5:14). Those of full age don’t discern good From evil; they discern both good and evil, and they need not taste of the fruit to detect the tree. The Law of Moses discerns good From evil by comparison, pointing to obedience without faith; whereas, the Law of the Spirit is based on making us Good by the change in nature unto the Faith.
These demons knew, that whether it was protecting the swine, or raising them for consumption, it didn’t make any difference; the intent was to get around the Law. These people received the Law of Moses, they lived in an area where the Law of Moses was practiced. So, to raise the unclean for human consumption was disrespect for the Law. The violation opened opportunity for the devil; thus the people used the possessed man to protect the swine, and they trusted in the works of the devil to protect their labors.
When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. They went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid (8:34-35).
Here come the people; Jesus made sure the man was clothed, and of a sound mind before the people had a chance to bind him again. Our hope is found in this one event; no matter how many demons come against us, no matter how many items of uncleanness are about us, Greater is He in us, than he in the world.
The warning is also here; these people wouldn’t be raising pigs if there wasn’t a market, so they used the cares of this world as a means to provide their income. When we sell the unclean to fill the treasury, it makes us unclean. This links to using the ways of the wicked to gain the wealth of the wicked. Using the wiles of the devil is the quickest way to give him front row seats in our lives; therefore, we are to war against the Wiles of the devil.
They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought Him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and He went up into the ship, and returned back again (8:36-37).
It was not only the man being healed, but the Means in which he was healed. The people were exposed; their evil trade was destroyed, and they got mad. The man was glad, he was free, the people were also free, but failed to discern it. We saw the faith of the man, but where is the faith of the people? Ahh, desire. The man wanted to be free; but also, the people were in bondage, yet they didn’t want to be free. These show two areas of exposure with two different results, based on how the people discerned the event. The man discerned freedom, while the people discerned destruction; yet the Power of the Lord was there to heal them all. The motivation of the man was freedom from possession; the motivation of the people was money.
Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought Him that he might be with Him, but Jesus sent him away saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him (8:38-39).
The man was told to preach the things which God did for him;so he became a walking experience of the Mercy of God. As the town’s people came to their senses, they would seek mercy; therefore, the Lord left one who knew about Mercy to inform them.
And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned the people gladly received Him: for they were all waiting for Him (8:40).
When the people with the swine saw the demon possessed man set free, they told Jesus to leave, but these people waited with expected anticipation for Jesus.
And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house: for he had one only daughter about twelve years of age, and she lay dying. But as He went the people thronged Him (8:41-42).
Luke will add to Mark, not only was Jairus a ruler of the synagogue, but we find that his name means Enlightener. Jairus became enlightened to the Power of Christ, as Luke connects this with the demon-possessed man, as well as to the people who rejected Jesus. The demon-possessed man had faith, he desired to be free, while the people desired riches. Here we find that Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue, and he was privy to all the things that the Pharisees were saying about Jesus. Yet he saw the hope for his daughter was in Jesus, not the Pharisees. His faith and desire connected; his desire was for his own daughter, and he was willing to seek Jesus, even if it meant rebuke from the other religious rulers, and even if it meant losing his papers. Thus his desire overrode his fears, causing him to believe.
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any (8:43).
This woman was not demon possessed, but she was Satan possessed and bound over by her own dilemma. This woman is the comparison to the people who raised the pigs. Her illness was physical in nature, but she needed more than a physical healing. Again, we find belief and faith matching. This woman believed if she touched… yet her faith had to teach to the place where she could touch. Jairus believed the that the Lord was able to make his daughter live, and it will be the center of his focus when he hears some disrupting news.
Doctors have a purpose, but they can’t change our attitude; they can’t vacate our unforgiveness, and they can’t remove our bitterness. The best they can do, is teach us how to control our feelings, not how to be free of them. Doctors don’t treat sickness, they treat symptoms. Jesus goes to the source of the problem, two completely different methods.
In both of these cases we tend to look at Jairus, or the woman, but the key is to look at Jesus, He was walking in the Mercy of the Father. The Mercy in Him was so strong it actually penetrated His garments; thus touching His garment was the same as Jesus laying hands on them.
Came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched (8:44).
This woman was so ashamed of her condition, she came from behind, but her faith knew If she could only touch the garment of Christ, she would be healed. This woman looked at the garment of Jesus as her source; her act of faith was not in Jesus touching her, or in her ability to touch Jesus, rather her act of faith was reaching for His garment.
It was a sin for any Jew to touch this woman, but it was “a stoning offense” for her to touch any Jew. The Garment to this woman was a symbol of the Veil separating her from the holy of holies. In her condition she couldn’t enter the temple, much less touch the Veil; now Jesus is her connection to God’s Mercy. She was in a tough position. On one hand the Pharisees wouldn’t have a thing to do with her, yet they had to receive her sacrifice for her to be healed; thus she by-passed the middle man to gain her healing.
Knowing how a Jew feels about blood, we can see the choice before the disciples on the night of the Last Passover was great. To the Jew, any suggestion of consuming blood was sin upon sin; thus one could hold out milk, and say, “this is blood” or wine and say, “this is blood.” The suggestion to the Jew was the same as drinking blood, thus when the disciples heard, “This is My Blood, take drink.” It was more than mere choice, it was a total separation from what God gave to their fathers. They had the past to consider; Noah was allowed to eat pig, and Abraham was allowed to eat pig; but the children from Moses on were not. Did this mean that Noah and Abraham were evil? Not at all; it wasn’t the pig, but the obedience. On the Night of the Last Passover it was no different. If they loved Jesus, they would do as He said. Of course we have the Whacko who says if we love Jesus, we do as they say; thus Jesus told us to judge the Ways of a person. The disciples were to judge the Ways of Jesus, just as they were to judge the ways of the Pharisees. The Ways proved who Jesus was, just as the ways prove who the Whacko is.
And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, master, the multitude throng thee, and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched Me? (8:45).
The people were pushing, shoving, yet He says, Who touched Me? Merely touching Jesus isn’t going to bring our healing; touching Him by faith is. This woman touched His garment, not Him. Yet He felt Power leave Him. His garment is a type of the curtain between the holy place and the holy of holies; but it also represents the Unction over the Body. A million people can touch, yet gain nothing, while one with faith can touch, gaining much.
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me (8:46).
The only time Jesus perceived being touched was when the Virtue left Him, thus Virtue leaves Him when faith touches Him. This woman didn’t say, “If only I can get someone to give a sacrifice for me”, or “if someone can pray for me”, no, she had to touch Jesus, she knew it had to be by her action of faith, thus she is really giving her prayer of faith.
And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately (8:47).
The woman’s act of faith was to reach the Garment, but here, there was an addition to the act of faith, one after the healing. We find that her body felt the impartation, but there remained another area, the act of her faith to announce what God did for her. This is interesting, since prior to being healed, she was in violation of the Law, but now she is healed, meaning that she is no longer in violation of the Law.
And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith has made thee whole; go in peace (8:48).
The word “whole” is the Greek word Sozo which denotes a protection as well as a healing, she knew in her heart she was protected: peace came through the Virtue, and her trembling left.
While He yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master (8:49).
As soon as one daughter heard she was whole, the news of the death of the other daughter came. This news seemed anything but good, but the result would be very good. Jairus would gain an experience regarding belief; an experience far out weighs an opinion.
They came to Jairus, not Jesus; but it was Jesus who will give the answer. Jairus had a choice, listen to the news or hear Jesus. He also could have said, “if it wasn’t for the woman, Jesus would have been on time.” It’s easy to blame, and hard to stand in faith.
But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole (8:50).
The first step for Jairus was to “fear not,” but in order to accomplish this, the second command of “believe only” had to take place, plus remaining quite. What was he to believe? Prior he told Jesus, “she shall live,” becoming the point of his “God Is” thinking. This was not a battle of faith, but the battle of believing what he said.
The news was worse than he expected, yet Jesus looked at him and said “believe only, and she shall be made whole.” The word Whole is the Greek Sozo, thus, Jairus was to base this on the past experience he just witnessed, coupled with his request. If Jesus knows all things, surely He knew that the daughter would die before He got there. Yet, He came based on “she shall live”; it has to remain the basis for the belief of Jairus.
And when He came into the house, He suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father, and mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth and they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise (8:51-53).
The voices of death filled the house of Jairus; Jairus heard the sounds of unbelief, but he believed and prevailed. Instead of preaching, Jesus removed the source of the unbelief. The word Scorn means to Deride, or to Treat with contemptuous mirth, or simply to Laugh at. Unbelief will either laugh out loud, or in the heart; but nonetheless it laughs at the Power, while running from it. This is an example of how the spiritual things are foolishness to the natural mind. Their unbelief and laughter caused them to hinder the miracle about to take place. There are times to preach the truth in love to counter the unbelief, and there are times to chase those with the hindering spirits out. This is also an allegory; the unbelief was in the same house as the need, yet in the same house was Jesus, thus this is much like our own souls, we have to cast off the unbelief, before we can “believe only”.
And her spirit came again, and she arose straight away: and He commanded to give her meat (8:55).
The use of the word “spirit” doesn’t mean the girl was Born Again, or spiritual; rather it refers to her vitality, or her breath coming back. She was not Resurrected, rather she was resuscitated, or brought back to the same flesh and body she had prior. Therefore, the same breath came back, she didn’t receive a New Breath.
And her parents were astonished: but He charged them that they should tell no man what was done (8:56).
This was not to protect Jesus, but the girl; there are some who simply can’t discern a miracle, and therefore, they would assume that the girl was the walking dead, ending up by making her some idol. “Come let us see the girl who was raised from the dead, and bring her an offering.” The same is done today; they make idols of miracles, rather than worship God who brought the miracle.
Then He called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases (9:1).
Luke shows: that Jesus cast the demons out of the man, that the woman with the issue of blood was healed, and that the daughter of Jairus was raised from the dead; all these are the works of the ministry. The disciples didn’t have the Spirit, Grace, or the Ingress Aires (John 20:22-23) at this time; but their sins were forgiven. So, they went out to tell others how their sins could be forgiven in the Name of Jesus. Mercy for Mercy, freely they received and freely they would give.
Jesus sent the Apostles out among the people with His Dunamis power and Authority, since it takes both, Dunamis power is relative to the authority; thus the authority dictates the amount of power. Paul had special Dunamis, but anyone who has received Power from on High (Born Again) has Dunamis from on High.
Authority is the permission to do something, Power is the ability to carry it out. Jesus first grants Authority, but we can confuse it for Power, thinking we have it all, yet lack the Power. Jesus will tell us “Go”; but the rest of the phrase is “tarry for Power from on High”.
The Apostles couldn’t do a thing without the Name of Jesus, yet among these men was Judas, the traitor, the son of perdition. We could assume that Judas didn’t do the works, but ran to some corner to hide; however, we know they went out two by two, thus we know Judas did acts, so, it was “his ways” that were in question.
This also shows the Rock was being established, but the Church was yet future tense.
And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And He said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves nor script, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house you enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them (9:2-5).
Here they have the Name, they are sent, but it still took the people to Receive them, before the people could gain the reward. Luke also shows that they preached the Kingdom of God, but it doesn’t mean they had it; rather it’s still being prepared. At this point in time, they were still operating under Mercy, not Grace. We found in Mark how they didn’t understand the Cross or Resurrection, so how could they preach the Cross? They couldn’t, thus this Gospel was the Gospel of Mercy; yet they were commanded to heal the sick, showing that the basics of the Gospel still calls for signs, regardless of any excuses to avoid them.
This area corresponds with Mark 6:7; thus between Mark, Matthew, and Luke… we find that the apostles went out prior to mid-point of the earthly ministry. But it also proves that we are called, trained, chosen, trained, sent, then trained the more. The Harvest hasn’t changed or passed away; how then can the means to bring the Harvest pass away? The Field and Sea are still there; we can run from it, or enter the call to cast the Net; the Fishing is Good and the Net is able.
And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead (9:6-7).
It was the efforts of the disciples, but it was the Name of Jesus perplexing Herod. Accordingly Herod knew enough about Jewish prophecy to get him into trouble. Herod assumed, that in order to do the works the disciples were doing, one had to be raised from the dead. In part, he was right; however, in principle he was wrong. Jesus was looking ahead to the Cross, as He often called the Cross done, although it was yet future tense. The disciples didn’t have the foundation or position in which to call the flesh dead, but Jesus knew that the day was coming. Some contend that these acts are to introduce the Gospel, it may be; yet all of us are sent to introduce the Gospel.
The disciples were going about doing the work, yet Jesus wasn’t personally with them; thus it’s our belief in the Name of Jesus, producing the effectiveness to the Name.
And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of Whom I hear such things? And he desired to see Him (9:8-9).
These Jews knew the Scriptures, and they knew, Elijah must first come; but they confused John with Jesus, assuming that John would become Elijah after he was raised from the dead. The Jew also held the belief that when someone was beheaded, it’s impossible for them to be resurrected, or to be raised from the dead. Some of us have the same Jewish fable-thinking, assuming that Elijah the man will be one of the Two Witnesses, or he must be raised from the dead in order to appear. However, Jesus cleared the issue on the Mount of Transfiguration. John was the first stage of “Elijah must first come”; thus the message and position doesn’t need the man Elijah, but it does need the message.
Both Moses and Elijah stood with Jesus on the Mount; Luke will show the importance of the event as it relates to the Two Witnesses who stand for the Remnant, as compared to the One Witness that we of the Day have. They knew that the call of Elijah began with John, and they knew that they were given more ability than the disciples of John, they simply didn’t understand the call of Elijah as a message, nor did they grasp John’s role in all this.
And the apostles, when they were returned, told Him all that they had done. And He took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida (9:10).
Prior it appeared that Jesus went to a lonely place to mourn the death of John; however, the accounts show that it wasn’t to mourn John, but to give the apostles rest. Bethsaida is on the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee; Matthew tells us that it was just after Jesus heard about John being beheaded when He departed to a desert place (Matt 14:13). Mark adds, Jesus told the apostles “come you yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). The premise was not to sit around and mourn for John, it was to give the disciples rest.
And the people, when they knew it, followed Him: and He received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto Him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place (9:11-12).
Jesus didn’t ask the people to follow, since the purpose was to give His apostles a rest, but Jesus wasn’t ready to rest; He was always willing to heal those who came to Him in faith. Although He is sitting on the Right Hand Side of Majesty On High, He has not stopped being our Provider. Not all needed healing, but those who did, received; however, they received after Jesus taught them about the Kingdom. The first premise of the Kingdom to these people was still Mercy: receiving it, holding it, understanding it, and doing it.
Luke points out how the apostles just came back, were told to rest, yet they are the ones telling Jesus to send the people away. After all, Jesus did bring them there to rest, who are all these inconsiderate people? On the same note, since it was their suggestion, it now becomes their responsibility to feed the people.
But He said unto them, Give you them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fish; except we should go and buy meat for all this people (9:13).
John shows Jesus said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, so these may eat?” (Jn 6:5); therefore, the apostles told Jesus, “send them away, so they can buy”; but now they say, “where can anyone buy in this place?” They didn’t consider that it would be just as difficult for the people, as it would be for them. They were willing to send the people out, but not willing to go out. James points to this as a testing of our faith, when someone comes to our door in need, do we tell them “have faith?” Or do we do something regarding their situation? (James 2:15-18).
Prior when they were sent, their needs were taken care of; this lesson was one where they saw a need, they knew something had to be done, but what? We can run around with our five loaves and two fish, or we can hold a fund raiser, or we can go to Jesus and have the need taken care of.
For they were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down (9:14-15).
The apostles didn’t go out, the people weren’t sent, rather Jesus had a better plan, taking less effort, yet holding a greater reward.
Then He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude (9:16).
This event appears in all four accounts, and it gives us a time table in John, and connects to how Jesus cares for the people. The doubters and pouters will tell us that this event didn’t happen, but they fail to see in the mouth of two or more witnesses a fact is affirmed.
When the prophet Elisha came to Gilgal, there was a great drought in the land. At the time Elisha had a prophet school, thus the prophets obtained various plants for their meal; however, within those plants was poison. There are times when we gather what appears to be good food, but within the food could be poison. As soon as the meal was ready, the prophets tasted then said, “O you man of God, there is death in the pot” (II Kings 4:38-40). Elisha said, “bring meal”; the meal is used to make bread, but it doesn’t mean the prophet made bread, rather it shows that he knew to add the makings of Bread to take away the poison. Was there poison in the pot? Yes; the others knew it, and they tasted it. What good was this meal going to do? As soon as the meal was introduced, the prophet told the other prophets to eat. How did the prophets know the pot was now free of poison? If the meal was the answer, why didn’t they put the meal in the pot to begin with? Why didn’t they know to put meal in the pot? Prophet schools are a waste of time, if they don’t give us lessons of faith. The prophets believed The prophet; their faith reached beyond the “natural danger” to a place of acceptance to be free. They could have said, “Oh man of God, the days of meal have passed” or “Oh man of God, you taste first”; but none of those were issues of faith. Their belief knew what the Prophet said to do, they had to do by faith. Some of us would have said, “Yeah right, go ahead; have a good time. I think I will sit this one out” or “meal is unclean to me, thanks anyway.” The same is true here; the apostles could have said, “We don’t have enough, let’s feed who we can” or they could have said, “Feed these people? What for? They will only turn on You.” However, they went to Jesus, the source of all blessing, Who produced a blessing.
And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets (9:17).
Only after Jesus blessed the product did it become sufficient; the first place we go with our wherewithal is to Jesus; we don’t run about filling self-desires or using the ways of the world to meet our need.
This lesson also shows us that we may not have a thing, but someone will give; then we take the gift to Jesus, He takes, He blesses, and He increases to the point past sufficiency for the sake of the people.
And it came to pass, as He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him: and He asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again (9:18-19).
In reference to this question we find that this is a different location and time from either Mark or Matthew; thus we are given additional information. Matthew shows that this question was after the feeding of the four thousand (Matt 16:10), but just before the Transfiguration (Matt 17:1), as well as along the coasts of Ceasarea Philippi (Matt 16:13). Luke shows us that this question was asked more than once, for good reason. Each answer added to the other; in John we find that the first time was a Revelation from the Father, but then Peter started to use it for self-honor and glory, and then was told by Jesus, “Simon son of Jonah, or Peter, do you think you are a son of a prophet?
He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God (9:20).
Regardless of what others say, Who do we say Jesus is? There is a difference between Peter’s answer here, and the one to come, when Peter adds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt 16:16 & Jn 6:69). The first time is after the feeding when Jesus speaks of His Flesh and Blood, yet many of the disciples walked away (Jn 6:66). The Father gave Peter a Word at the time, as incentive to remain with Jesus; but Peter began to use it outside of the Revelation (Matt 16:16). Of course Peter had no idea it was a Revelation, he thought he came up with it. “Sounds good to me, think I will use it”; as long as we give God the glory fine. But it’s not what Peter did. In truth he missed the warning, and he soon felt that everything he said was Revelation (Matt 16:22). Any of us can fall into the same trap, the Spirit gives us a Word for someone, yet we think we’re a Prophet. We can allow our minds to run wild, coming up with all sorts of fables and follies.
The people assumed that Jesus was someone raised from the dead, or a soul from some dead prophet; but God is the God of the Living, not the God of the dead. Jesus must live, to live in us.
And He straightly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing (9:21).
Why? This had to do with the Cross and Resurrection, they didn’t have a clue what the spiritual entailed. They understood Mercy, but Grace is something you must have in order to understand it. Many cult systems define Grace as “Mercy, unmerited”…. meaning…that they don’t have a clue either. It’s one thing to be the Christ of Mercy, as the Son of man, but the term “Christ of God” refers to the Son of God. In John 1:49 Nathanael called Jesus, “the Son of God”; but Jesus answered by saying, “Son of man” (Jn 1:51). Nathanael was not filled with the Holy Ghost; he was moved by the moment, meaning it was excusable. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost; thus for him to say “this is the Son of God” would be permissible, since it would be by Revelation.
Here, Jesus is still operating as the Son of Man; the goal of the ministry is changing to face the Cross. The preliminary evidence is laid, the Words are presented, the path is now centered on the goal. Until Jesus is raised from the Dead, the positional ability for these disciples to proclaim Jesus as the Son of God or the Christ of Grace, was not within their authority. Really, it’s unlawful for anyone to confess Jesus as Lord but by the Holy Ghost (I Cor 12:3).
Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day (9:22).
This separates the positions; first the Son of Man must complete these efforts as the Son of Man, then the Son of God can move into our hearts. Although He is speaking of what the Son of man must suffer, it’s still based on the Cross and Resurrection, something the disciples didn’t understand. We can also see that “the Son of man position” relates to Mercy, just as our son of man position does; and the position of the Son of God to Grace, just as our position of the sons of God relate to the Resurrection. The Spirit of Holiness will make the Declaration regarding Jesus as the Son of God by the Resurrection (Rom 1:3-4). It doesn’t mean Jesus wasn’t prior; it means that the Declaration came at the Resurrection, since the Resurrection opened the door for us to be sons of God.
There are some who consider this to be a negative statement; so did Peter, but he was rebuked. If we understand the difference between the words Negative and Positive we can also separate ourselves from foolish conclusions. The word Positive means “Of A Certainty” or “Confident,” or “Moving In A Direction Of Increase”; whereas, the word Negative means “Denial,” “Something Less Than Zero,” “Opposition,” or “Resistance.” This statement would have been negative if Jesus would have left off, “be raised the third day”; however, He didn’t, the statement may not have been pleasing to the ears of Peter, but it had a result, looking to the Increase.
The same could be said about the phrase, “In the Law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; yet, they not hear Me, saith the Lord” (I Cor 14:21). Paul tells us that speaking in Unknown Tongues is a negative sign, but only to the unbeliever or unlearned, not the Believer. Since it’s God speaking by His Spirit in us, it can’t be the Speaker termed the unbeliever; rather if the unbeliever or unlearned hear Unknown Tongues, and they fail to understand them, they will attack, mock, or reject them. However, since it’s God speaking, what would the mocking be? It would be against God; thus Paul tells us, it’s better if we speak in words which the unbeliever and unlearned can understand.
We find that there is no Commandment telling us that we have to speak in unknown tongues, or even prophesy; but there is a Commandment telling us never to forbid anyone from speaking in unknown tongues (I Cor 14:36-39). The carnal Corinthians had the Spirit, yet the disciples at this point in time (In Luke) didn’t. Since the disciples lacked the Spirit, they were among the unlearned, and to them spiritual matters would be foolishness. Peter proved it with his, “Not so Lord” or rebuking Jesus for speaking of the Cross and Resurrection. Peter saw no logic in the upcoming Cross, no purpose, or goal. Jesus wasn’t keeping it a secret, rather He was the only one at the time who had the position to speak on such matters. John the Baptist was dead, yet he was the only other one who had the Holy Ghost for the ministry position, to make such a statement.
And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it (9:23-24).
Up to this point the teaching has been on the foundation of Mercy, the very element allowing us to deny the self. Now we are looking at the Cross of Jesus, being our example in reference to picking up our cross.
When Elijah called Elisha, Elisha said, “Let me, I pray you, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you” (I Kings 19:20), and Elijah said, “Go, back again: for what have I done to you?”. What? Does saying good-bye in some way harm the Prophet? It was stopping his progress; before we can truly pick-up our Cross, the past must be dead, and the old fleshly nature imputed dead. The Prophet denied himself; his goal was the calling of the ministry, and Elisha would finish the ministry of Elijah, yet he wanted to bid the past good-bye. Some of us want to bid the old man good-bye, perhaps have a little going away party; but we must consider him dead.
Matthew 8:21-22 reads, “And another of his disciples said unto Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.” Clearly the context is following Jesus, but the orthodox Jew admits, they don’t know what to make of the verse. They assume the physically dead must bury the physically dead, or that Jesus was telling the disciple to leave his father’s body unburied, which is unthinkable to the Jew. Jesus said no more than the statement by Elijah to Elisha; it’s not the physically dead, but the dead past. Leave those things on the Cross; we must move to the Resurrection to be the New Creation in Christ.
Will there be times when some of the old nature will attempt to creep back in? Yes, but it’s not creeping back in, it’s being exposed. Something hidden in a corner somewhere that is a “shame” to our goal will be exposed so we can be free. God will allow the temptation to come, simply to expose the lust, so He can deliver us from the evil. Therefore, everyone is lead away by their own lust (James 1:14), thus it’s the lust exposed bringing “count it all a joy,” since it’s time to be rid of the lust attempting to trip us (James 1:2).
For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? (9:25).
What good does it do any of us to have the fullness of the Abrahamic Covenant, yet reject the purpose of the Blood Covenant? In the latter days the Woman will gain the entire earth, as she sits on the mountains of the world; but she will also become lukewarm, as she draws others into hell with her. It’s the result that Jesus wants us to look at. If we die to the Self, as we allow the Holy Ghost to Crucify us, and then if we submit to the Spirit, as we allow Him to live the life of Jesus through us…. we will gain our reward in heaven. If there is a washing of the water by the Word, as the Word is discerning and dividing…. if there is a growth from the little children to the youngmen…. if the Blood of Jesus is cleaning us from all unrighteousness…. then the Justification is taking place so we can be Glorified; yet it’s not going to happen if we are not Born Again.
For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father’s and of the holy angels (9:26).
The word Ashamed is first seen as a result of the fall (Gen 2:25 & 3:10); Ashamed refers to Guilt, but it also holds the thought of Reluctance Through Fear. The sin manifested, produced the guilt, but Adam felt that being naked was the sin, rather than partaking of the fruit. Thus he looked at the result, not the cause. The “fall nature” defined the sin as one thing, in order to hide the real sin from the mind of Adam. This is the same thing that a lust will do; it will manifest as one thing to hide its root cause. It may manifest as greed, but the root is our fear of being accepted by people. Is it a lust? Yes, if we fear people, or fear not being accepted, we will tell them what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear.
There are two main Greek words used for the English word Ashamed, one means “to be Part of a process to disfigure”, and the other means “to Move in a direction to disfigure.” The latter of these two is used here, referring to the direction, rather than being a part of the Body to bring about the disfigurement. John says, those who are run by the spirit of antichrist came from us, but were not a part of us; thus this reference goes to those who disfigure the Body by refusing to Deny the Self.
A lust based in envy is shame; it’s determined to disfigure our New Creation. When this type of lust is exposed we should not feel guilty. If we are aware of the process, we will view the lust as an enemy. However, if we begin to use “the lust to envy” as a tool to get our own way or make excuses for it, or attempt to make it sound as if it wasn’t a lust to envy… but something someone else caused…then, we will not only miss the cleaning. But if so, we will allow the disfiguring element to remain as leaven, ending using the spirit that produced it (James 4:1-5). James shows that if we ignore the lust, we can still receive a good gift from God, yet the lust will cause us to make the gift a temptation to trap others with (James 4:1-4 & 1:13-17).
But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God (9:27).
Both Matthew and Mark point to this verse; but Matthew says, “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom” (Matt 16:28). Mark says, “Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1). Just prior it was, “let the dead bury the dead,” not “some shall not taste of death.” This has nothing to do with physical death, but it does pertain to the second death.
After the Resurrection, all of the disciples were upbraided with their unbelief; thus unbelief is a form of corruption, yet corruption is death. The Book of Revelation tells us that those who are partakers of the First Resurrection are free of the Second death (Rev 20:6). Judas would taste of the Second death, as his position is seen in the lake of fire with the devil (Rev 20:10).
In all the accounts, referring to this event the word “Taste” is the Greek Geuo meaning to Sample, and metaphorically it means to either Partake of, or To prove, but this has nothing to do with physical death; it has to do with soul death. On the other hand we taste of death by imputing the flesh dead on the Cross.
And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, He took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray (9:28).
Matthew says, “after six days” (Matt 17:1) Mark says, “after six days”; however they don’t say it was exactly six days, rather they note it was After six days; Luke says About Eight days; thus the one number missing is Seven. Seven is after Six, and about Eight, there is a mystery in all these numbers explaining the Mount of Transfiguration experience as it relates to our Sabbath being found in Jesus.
And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering (9:29).
Luke doesn’t tell us that Jesus was Transfigured, but he does add some elements to the Transfiguration process. The Greek word used for the English “Transfigured” is the same Greek word from which we get the English Metamorphosis, which is not the change, it’s the process during the change. Thus, the Mount experience we go through, is the changing process, and the purpose is the saving our souls.
We enter the process by making the decision to deny the self, and if we attempt to save our own soul, we will never enter the process. The number Six refers to man, the number Eight means New Beginnings, thus we move from the things of man, to the Rest of God in the process of Transfiguration, for a New Beginning.
Transformed is a change on the outside, which we obtain by Mercy, while Transfigured is the change on the inside which we obtain by Grace; however, there is also Self-Transformed, where one wears the mask of righteousness, but inside Satan still rules (II Cor 11:13-16). One can be self-transformed, but no one can be self-transfigured. The method of self-transformed is based in self-righteousness: see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil, yet remain evil. The Transfiguration and Transformation by God is much different, it’s a process in the change of natures.
This really connects to the Process, explaining James’ comments. We could be solid as the Rock in many areas of our walk, but hidden back somewhere, is a lust to envy planted by the enemy before we entered the kingdom. The time and timing for “the exposure unto the cleaning” may be future, but it’s in the Plan. Then, one day, out of the blue comes corrupt thoughts. What to do? Hide them? No; it won’t work. Ignore them? We can attempt to; but it won’t work. Then, have we lost our Salvation? No, not right. What then? The answer is…to see the exposure, deal with it by doing what we’re suppose to do, and allow the New Man to do what He does, which is to make us “Free indeed” by “Justify Us.”
The word Fashion as it’s used here, means the View, or How one Sees Something. Some of them would See the Kingdom from their view point at the time, then have their view point enlarged greatly on the Day of Pentecost. The word, Countenance means the Surface Appearance; therefore, Peter saw the Surface change, then he formed his own view point regarding the evidence, thereby moving him to the desire to make three tabernacles. Showing the concept of spiritual matters being foolishness to the natural mind, the natural mind will come up with foolish suggestions regarding spiritual matters all the time.
The word Glistering/Glistening means Jesus was Radiant, the Greek tells us the that the Origin was pure Light; thus Jesus held the Pure Light as its Origin. This description of Jesus on the Mount is the only place where we find this change unto Pure White produced from the Light within. Yet, we don’t see His Feet at all; not in one word in any of the accounts regarding this Transfiguration, do we find the Footstool. This is the Salvation Jesus, the Jesus of the Day; the footstool is not a concern.
Later in the Book of Revelation, we find the Judgment Jesus, as the Son of man, and then we do see His feet. The Transfigured Jesus is two-fold, the Law and Prophets are talking to Him; thus we see the Son of Man, but we also see Jesus as the Head of the Body with the Body, and so, we see Him as the Son of God as well.
In reference to Transfigured, or the Greek Metamorphoo, we find that it comes from two Greek words, both of importance to the New Birth. The word, Meta means an Intermediate Position or a Position between Two Positions, with the prior being the inferior with the future the Greater. The Greek Morphoo means the Form, thus the Meta Morphoo means the Intermediate Position between Forms. In the classic Greek, Morphoo was used when an artist would change the shape of his clay to represent something. Thus it pointed to the changing process. With the addition of Meta we find the intermediate position, with the intended result as something sought after because of the intermediate position. Does it explain it better? The Transfiguration is the place between places, the position change was to take place, Jesus the Son of man would go to the Cross, the Spirit of Holiness would declare Jesus the Son of God by the Resurrection.
In Galatians 4:19 Paul said, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you”; the word Formed is the Greek Morphoo. Paul shows that Christ, being formed in us, is a process, thus Grace is not salvation, it’s the heavenly means to reach the salvation of our souls through Christ. For the Galatians, they ventured off the path, and they heard something which sounded Godly, they had Scripture and the prior commands from God to the men Abraham and Moses. It seemed like the right thing to do, yet it was something which God gave to a people who lacked the Spirit, not to a people who had the Spirit.
Paul also used Metamorphoo in his teaching to the Corinthians regarding the process of growth; however, instead of being translated as Transfigured, it was translated as Changed, showing the intent of the process. Paul said, “Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Cor 3:17-18). The method for the change is the Spirit of the Lord in us, the purpose is to finish the Change unto the Glory of the Lord; thus we are given the Glory within by the Gift of Grace as the evidence of something not seen, to support our faith unto the finished product, which is our hope.
And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elijah (9:30).
Moses represents the Law, thus the Law of Moses is the Body of Moses; the symbols are displayed before us….. Jesus in us as the hope of Glory, and the Law and Prophets as the Two Witnesses. When Michael contends with the devil over the body of Moses, Michael doesn’t bring a railing accusation, but says, The Lord rebuke you (Jude 9). The dispute isn’t over the physical body of Moses, it’s over the Law being misused.
The False Prophet surfaces with all the self-desires, pride, and ego, or the fullness of the authority of the First Beast, yet when he surfaces, the devil will be bound. The False Prophet will stand with the “working of Satan”; thus those who end, as this Beast, never came against the wiles of the devil in our Season. Rather, they enjoyed them, enhanced them, or used them….even carrying them into the Night. The synagogue of Satan is seen in the Day and Night, and the two horns of the goat relate to two Seasons (Rev 2:9, 3:9 & 13:11).
We know Moses represents the Law, and Elijah represents the Prophets; now Luke shows they Speak to Jesus, they don’t act for Jesus. The Law and Prophets testify of Jesus, they don’t confess Jesus.
Who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (9:31).
This doesn’t stop at the Decease of Jesus; rather it points to the Decease He should Accomplish, or the reason for the Death of Jesus. Here we find that Moses and Elijah appeared In glory, and they didn’t appear as The Glory. There will be many “deaths” to take place on the Cross: The Law and Commandments, as the handwriting of ordinances, will be nailed to the Cross. We will also impute the death of our flesh to the Cross, the death of the power of the sin will be nailed to the Cross, the fear of the world will be nailed to the Cross, as well as many other things binding us to earth, or the world (Col 2:14-16 et al). The Cross becomes the Passover Door, the point where the Blood and Water from Jesus becomes a barrier between the Body of Christ and the enemy.
But Peter and they that were with Him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw His glory, and the two men that stood with Him (9:32).
Prior Luke told us that Moses and Elijah appeared in glory, but here we find that Jesus is the Glory they appeared in; thus the Law and Prophets didn’t incorporate into Jesus, they were the Two Witnesses, assigned to the Night, and they will be the basis to make the enemies of Jesus His footstool. On the Mount we see Jesus as the Son of man and Son of God, as the Light for the Day fills His garment; but we also see the Two Witnesses of the Night, both Seasons accomplished by the Demise in Jerusalem, and surely not all will see the second death, but all will experience physical death, it’s still appointed unto all to die once, then comes the Judgment.
And it came to pass, as they departed from Him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah: not knowing what he said (9:33).
Peter wanted to build three tabernacles, but he reacted simply because he didn’t know what to say, it would have been better to “only believe” (Mark 9:6). There are times when we as Christians really don’t know what to do, but we want to do something: start a ministry, feed the poor, rebuke the pastor, rebuke the government, do something, but our desire is based on our self-desires, or the emotions of the moment, not on “Hear Ye Him”. The command will be Hear ye Him, thus faith comes by hearing, unless we Hear ye Him, we are acting in presumption; at this point Peter hadn’t heard. To Peter is seemed like the right thing to do, giving honor to these three figures. However, two of those figures were subordinate to Jesus, the three tabernacles would have made them equal, not the purpose for the vision.
While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud (9:34).
Luke points out that the cloud overshadowed the disciples; the metaphor Cloud refers to Witness. Thus the Witness overshadowed them. How many Witnesses were there? Jesus as the Word is a Witness, the Law and Prophets are Two Witnesses and Peter thought to build three tabernacles; but would it be a Witness? Or would it become a memorial becoming a shrine, turning into idols?
And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son: hear Him (9:35).
The Voice didn’t come from the Law and Prophets, it came from the Cloud, and in the Cloud was the Father, the purpose of the Witnesses. It’s the Father who will use the Two Witnesses to make the enemies of Jesus His footstool; the Father is not going to use three shrines.
Later Peter will hear Jesus say, “what do you care, you follow Me.” Here is the foundation, “Hear ye Him”; if we run around hearing the Law or hearing the winds of doctrine, how can we Hear ye Him? How do we “hear ye Him?” In days past, God spoke in various manners; but since the words were spoken on this Mount, then the only way anyone hears from God is by Jesus (Heb 1:1-2). If Mohammad didn’t hear from Jesus, he didn’t hear. If anyone didn’t hear from Jesus, they didn’t hear God. “Greater is He in you, than he in the world,” thus the He in you is the New Man, the Spirit of Truth, the voice of Jesus as the Word in us (James 1:21).
The Father didn’t say, “Here My Son, then the Law and Prophets”, nor did He say, “Here is My Son with the Law and Prophets”, nor did He say, “If you want, hear My Son, if not, hear someone else, there are many ways to Me.” This saying narrows it down; there is only one Way, and no matter who they are, they must face Jesus, either at the Table as a saint, or on the last day. Even in the Night, the Two Witnesses are dressed in sackclothe, as they preach repentance, not salvation. The Everlasting Gospel is based in Judgment, but it’s still “Hear ye Him.”
Who is going to administer the Judgment? Every eye will see Him, it will be Jesus as the Son of man. Therefore, the Everlasting Gospel reads, “Fear God, and give glory to Him: for the Hour of His judgment has come: and worship Him who made haven, and earth, and the sea and the fountains of waters” (Rev 14:7). “All things were made by Him; without Him was not anything made that was made” (Jn 1:3): in reference to, “In the beginning was the Word”, with, “He came unto His own, His own received Him not” (Jn 1:1 & 1:11). It’s still “Hear ye Him.”
Peter would later comment on this experience, telling us, that although he heard the Voice of the Father, and although the cloud overshadowed him, he still didn’t have the Spirit; he still didn’t have the Better Word of Prophecy. Faith was at Peter’s finger tips, but without the Spirit, he couldn’t mix his faith with the hearing to gain Faith (II Pet 1:17-21). The prophecy came to the scribes from the Holy Ghost; therefore, in order to understand the prophecy, it takes the Holy Ghost to interpret it. Intellectualism can’t interpret it, theology can’t interpret it, the world can’t interpret it, the sons of perdition can’t interpret it, and although all these attempt to, they end with private conclusions (II Pet 1:17-21).
And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone, And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen (9:36).
The phrase, “in those days” refers to the days prior to the Resurrection; thus the knowledge to understand would come on Pentecost. After Pentecost the disciples would be able to present Grace, as they speak of Jesus as the Christ with all the proper authority and power. This again confirms why they were not allowed to speak on Jesus as the Christ of Grace, or Jesus as the Son of man on the Cross.
Jesus didn’t give up on the Jews because of the Cross, rather the disciples were first sent to the Jews after Pentecost (Acts 1:6-8). Salvation through Grace was presented to the Jews, then to the Gentiles; in all cases, the signs and wonders were part of the presentation. The forgiveness of sins by Mercy also has signs and wonders as part of the presentation; they continue until “He who now Lets” takes us out of here. Signs are God’s signature, wonders give the signs validity, and the greatest is when someone is moved from darkness into Light by the New Birth.
Matthew shows the phrase, “in those days,” referred to the time period until the Son of man was raised from the dead (Matt 17:9). This also shows why Matthew said there were fourteen generations from Babylon to Christ, yet only thirteen are listed (Matt 1:12-17). Matthew doesn’t say fourteen generations from Babylon to Jesus, or from Babylon to Christ Jesus; thus he is opening an area hidden from the prior generations. The Body of Christ is the hidden Generation, known as the time, or dispensation of the Gentile.
And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met Him (9:37).
Luke explains, it was the next day,and the only thing happening on the day of the Transfiguration was the transfiguration. This tells us, that during our time of transfiguration we place our hearts on “Hear ye Him”.
Moses had three mountains, Sinai, Gerizim, and Ebal; Jesus also had three mountains. The Sermon on the Mount brought us Pardon and Mercy, the Transfiguration points to Grace, the Cross on Golgotha gave us Jehovah-Jireh. Recalling how Jesus said He would be raised similar in manner as Moses raised the serpent, we also recall the Staff Moses used was called a Nace, which also means Standard or Staff and metaphorically means Cross by it’s shape. Thus, Jewish history shows that Moses placed a Cross piece near the top of the Staff to hang the serpent from. Of course this doesn’t mean Jesus is the serpent, it shows how He defeated the serpent(s) through death (Heb 2:14).
The Mounts of Jesus are all for us, and not one is against us; not one holds a cursing in any aspect. When Jesus came down from the Sermon on the Mount, He found sickness; when He came down from the Mount of Transfiguration He found demon possession, as well as unbelief among His disciples. Yet He healed the sick, cast out the devil, then provided the method for His disciples to overcome unbelief. Thus, Jesus always provides the answer, or a route of escape.
And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech Thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child. And lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him. And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not (9:38-40).
When Peter, James and John were on the mount they heard the Father say, “This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him”; when they come down from the mountain there was another father with his only son, but the devil was tearing this man’s son to pieces.
Matthew shows that the demon tossed the child into the fire and water; thus the child was possessed with an evil spirit of suicide. The demon brought fear, but the Mount of Transfiguration established faith. The battle of the works of the devil attacking at the base of the mountain shows the devil had no place in the Transfiguration, neither has he any part in ours: greater is He in us.
And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring your son here (9:41).
If there is no other verse in the entire New Testament which tells us how the children of promise have authority, this is it. Jesus merely asked, “why don’t you have the faith to believe in the Power I have given you?” This man would never have brought his son if he didn’t have some belief, but his belief was based in someone else doing the effort. How many times have we heard someone who goes to church,and even claims to have the Spirit say, “why don’t you cast the devil out of them?” They have the same power, but their belief is centered in someone else doing the effort. This man admitted how he “besought” the disciples; the word Besought is the Greek Deomai meaning to ask or make known a need that one is unable to fill. This man came expecting, but things weren’t turning out the way he thought, causing his unbelief to gain over his belief. His belief was still based in others doing the work, or in what the disciples could do; thus when they began to fail, his belief took a trip to another country. By limiting his belief to the efforts of man, he was using his own pre-conceptions as a guide. This is different from Jairus, or the Centurion. Jairus believed Jesus was able; he didn’t run around expecting the disciples to do what he knew Jesus could do. We tend to do the same, rather than considering it’s the Power of Christ through the person, we chase after the person, ending with putting our belief in the person.
And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father (9:42).
This is the Power of the Transfiguration, giving us three areas, the removal of evil spirits (attitudes, or the flesh), then the healing of our souls, then the Deliverance. The actual event was given to us in Matthew and Mark, but Luke explores the Power of His Christ. All of us: came from Babylon, all followed the spirit of disobedience, and all took of the fruit or used it to our advantage. Contrary to what the world assumes, the spirit of disobedience is bent on tossing us into the fire of hell, or into the depth of bitter waters.
Jesus wasn’t putting on a show, He cast the devil out, then presented the free son to his father. The weapons of our warfare are Mighty Through God to the pulling down of strongholds. We say unto the Mountain, Be Gone; then have faith in the ability of Jesus to clean us, then present us to the Father.
And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, He said unto His disciples, Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men (9:43-44).
These sayings refer to the many times that Jesus would tell them how He must die in Jerusalem. The disciples saw the Mighty Power of God, and anyone would assume that no one could touch Jesus, that no one could harm Him. Yet He is telling the disciples that there will be pain, harm, and what would appear to be evil events taking place; therefore, they were not to form preconceived conclusions. Rather, they were to believe in what Jesus told them, as a foundation for holding faith in the adverse event.
But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask Him of that saying (9:45).
We now understand how these disciples preached Mercy through the Pardon of sins, with signs following, yet didn’t have a clue about the Cross and Resurrection. Mercy is still the ability for us to operate in Grace in a Godly manner.
Prior Luke taught us about denying the self, now he joins the concept to picking up our Cross.
Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by Him, and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in My name receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me receiveth Him that sent Me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great (9:46-48).
The word Least means “In decrease,” suggesting humbleness; the word Greatness would become evident when the Spirit confesses Jesus through them after Pentecost. The Greater Works are performed when we no longer give a theological opinion, but allow Christ to live through us. This also goes back to the “least in the kingdom,” showing how the least in the kingdom is greater….that is… when they don’t go about attempting to make everyone think they are great.
And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils, in Thy name, and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us (9:49).
The prior teaching was a warning not to hinder the children, and now John recalls how he rebuked one outside the group; however, John isn’t bragging, rather he is asking what he should do. John like many of us, rebuked one for doing good, simply because they were not among us, yet, it was a hindering act. Now John is very concerned, he knows it was wrong, but it’s done, now what?
And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us (9:50).
Jesus did not say, “those for Me, are not against Me”; rather He used the plural, “Us”, showing that even if the man was a son of perdition, he couldn’t do works without leaving some seed on the ground. Paul reflected on this by saying that, some preach Jesus out of Agape love, yet others from the carnal heart of strife and envy, nonetheless, Christ is preached; and if the people hear about Christ, they will have the opportunity to believe (Ph’l 1:15-18). Paul is talking about the hearing, not the speaking. James refers to the speaking, showing that speaking from envy and strife is still using the wisdom of the world. Paul’s comments indicate that even if someone preaches from strife and envy, some truth will come forth; if the hearer is seeking Truth, they will gain, but the speaker is still in trouble. This is the same thing we saw in Mark 16:16; even if they don’t believe, someone will hear, and those who hear and believe the signs, will follow.
And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him. And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem (9:51-53).
Prior, He talked about what was going to happen in Jerusalem, and the center of His focus has changed to the Cross; the people lacking understanding rejected Him. Their time would come after the Resurrection and Accession when the disciples receive Power from on High. These steps to the Cross all show how much pertains to the one week, as well as how much the Lord loves us. Jesus didn’t suffer to gain some spot in heaven, and He didn’t suffer to make Himself a martyr; He did it based on His love for His brethren, of which we are a part.
And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will You that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijas did? (9:54).
Here James and John received the concept of being Elijah; yet they misinterpreted the call, presuming they were to do the acts of the man Elijah, rather than preach the message. When Elijah called fire down from heaven, it was based on the king seeking idols, with the question, “Is there no God in Israel?” (II Kings 1:1-10). In essence James and John were suggesting that Jesus was seeking idols, and there was no God in Israel; wrong time and season, yet it was something Elijah did. Before we ask, “where are the Elijah’s,” we better determine what aspect of Elijah we are seeking.
But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of, for the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village (9:55-56).
Here we find the basis for the test of the spirit; the spirit that James and John heard, was the spirit lusting to envy centered in death, not life. Jesus said, “what manner of spirit you are of”, rather than “your spirit” thereby showing their confession was the evidence of the spirit they were hearing, not as a result of some demon in them. Clearly if this was a demon, Jesus would cast it out, thus they “heard”, but from the wrong source.
And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto Him, Lord, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest. (9:57).
Luke is still linking phrases, rather than looking for a chronological order. This man wanted to Walk In The Way, but allowed his mind to bring “an hindrance.” The hindrance is another wile of the spirit lusting to envy; thus the ability to follow Jesus was there, but so was the ability to reject the call. If we can rebel, we have the power to submit as well. If we can hate, we have the power to love as well, but it all depends on our desire, determined by what we want to do. This man said he wanted to follow Jesus, but now the test of his words.
And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head (9:58).
This doesn’t mean that Jesus was poor, or rich, it means He was self-less. The foxes rest, the birds rest, but the earthly ministry of Jesus shows that He picked up His Cross long before He entered Jerusalem. When the people came, He was ready, and when the people were in need, He was ready. Jesus warns the scribe, that doing the work of the Lord and holding to the self nature won’t work; this servant must make a decision.
And He said unto another, Follow Me, but he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, let the dead bury the dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home, at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (9:59-62).
Two men with two different desires, one said he wanted to follow, another was asked to follow, yet both formed excuses; therefore, both had the ability to follow, but both wanted to return to take care of something they felt was more important. The first wanted to wait until his father was dead; the second wanted his family to understand what he was doing. So, neither had their heart on the calling.
To the Jewish mind, this verse is offensive, since no Jew would allow a dead body to lay around; but they fail to see the intent and message. Jesus isn’t talking about the physically dead; rather He is talking about those who attempt to save others, while they are still accounted among the walking dead. This is not to be confused with being crucified with Christ, since the purpose is to gain Life; here, it’s being of the world, thinking they can save mankind.
None of us can look back to what was, or long for the “good old days”, since those times were centered in death and darkness. The time before us is the greatest time yet which is Progression in Growth to reach the potential God saw in us before the world began. The time before us is the greatest time yet, Progression in our faith, leads to Progression in Grace, we haven’t seen anything yet. This looks like a good spot to stop, the next Lesson will pick it from here.
By Rev. G. E. Newmyer – s.b.i. les14 rev6/© 2003