Peter received correction. Had he been the first Pope and had the Pope been given immutable divine interpretation as supposed by Roman Catholic doctrine, he would not have needed correction. Paul would have shamefully exceeded his lesser authority. Their doctrine follows from a possible misinterpretation on the proclamation Jesus made that on 'this Rock' He would build His church. Rock more likely meaning the divinely revealed faith and not just Cephas 'the rock' personally kjv@Matthew:16:17-20 (literally - You are 'piece of rock' and upon this 'massive Rock' (which flesh and blood have not revealed) I build my church).
The bloodline of Jesus is of course important to scholars in confirming the qualifications of Jesus determined by existing prophecy. In the gospels we have two bloodlines written in case we were to misinterpret or loose the one. Both are valid to authenticate Jesus, Mary's perhaps slightly more as it is actual blood Jesus would have.
The human ancestry of Jesus is not as dry a reading as one might expect. It flies by in 16 quick verses, but, the personal histories of these individual lives cover an amazing 42 generations. You can imagine someone someday reading over your descendent's genealogy and skipping over your name as dry and inconsequential. What is important here is the lives, the lifetimes, passions and interests and occurrences, successes and set backs, wishes and desires, health and sickness, riches and poverty, sin and righteousness, freedom and captivity. Much like our lives, these people had the hope that despite everything that this life or at least the lives of our offspring was leading to something good. In these peoples case it lead from a promise to a patriarch to a fulfillment of that promise the living Messiah.
All Jerusalem? The Persians had (as recently as 40+/- years) invaded and temporarily held Jerusalem. This visit of the magi may have been seen in the city as a plot to regain the city. It is an interesting way to create a public buzz around the messianic arrival.
Some suggest that the Magi may have been influenced historically by the wise writings/influence of Daniel, at least indirectly. There is a lot of mystery over who these men are and how they knew what they did.
Who is 'he' that saw this? Jesus or John? The reflexive pronoun suggest he himself; Jesus. John may have known his cousin's mission, may have known his role in preparing the way, may have known the prophecies surrounding, but, later he will ask for confirmation whether Jesus is the the 'Promised One'. Did he not see this divine confirmation? Perhaps not!
Tempted - as in tested, examined. Of - as in by, from. Was there a chance that Jesus would not pass the test? Think of this as you examining a mirror. Is their any chance that it will not pass the test of being a mirror? Not if it is a mirror. Can you entice the mirror to be something else? An orange? By examining the mirror, you are testing your understanding of what a mirror should be, evaluating by your understanding if this is indeed a mirror. Satan is testing his understanding of Jesus just as we would. Literally, does the text say that He was being examined by God? Or by the Devil?
Believers in Jesus 'are' this by no work of their own therefore they should continue to 'be' this. Should we abide in this (His completed work and grace) we will by nature produce worshipful works to His glory and praise, good works preordained that we should walk in. Should we step outside of that by again striving for selfish favor or personal salvation, though we 'are' salt our salt loses it's savor, though still light our light becomes hid. This is not a permanent situation if we repent and get back on course, it is a permanent situation only if we insist on trying to produce our own works towards salvation/favor.
Neither the eye nor the hand have the will/resource to commit adultery; it is only the heart that can entrap/offend. Removing a limb will not remove the will/imagination of the heart it would only restrict the will from receiving the visual input or accomplishing the physical task (a slight improvement), the heart would still have it's invention (perhaps more so). The understanding is in the value of reaching heaven which is even more than life or limb and the necessity of fighting the lusts of the heart straight on.
mypad:FaithOfJesuskjv@Matthew:5:31-32 BUT I SAY UNTO - The common understanding again falls short. The purpose of a writ of divorce isn't only to protect the wife, it is to curb the effectual adultery that would result. If either spouse is unchaste then adultery is made. If both spouses are being chaste but have grown tired and loveless therewith adultery will be made should either take a new partner. We are not released from an eternal vow just because we want it to be unless the defilement of the vow by the one has forced the God fearing decision of the other. We are seeing the weakness of the Law in that it is interpreted and implemented by the human heart that is already deeply influenced by sin. The human heart at it's sincere best is searching from the inside out to see what God may have meant by the commandment. The faith of Jesus is looking from the outside in, knowing as the Father would know, looking in on the injured and entrapped heart knowing it's faulty logic and reprobate reasoning.
Notice that the heavenly reward is not based upon the deed but upon the heart from which it was issued. That is not to say that we should avoid doing good deeds being fearful of our hearts intent, it is to say search the intents out and do these good deeds right and one will be all the better off.
The 'therefore' here seem to point back to the singleness of eye and one master service preciously discussed. The key verse appears to be the 'seek ye first'. If you seek the food and raiment first then the worry for it becomes your master. It is not that you don't need these things for the Father knows that you have need of these things. It is not that the birds do go about the task of seeking out a field in which to eat, it is that it doesn't worry them. Serving two masters makes us to hate the one (most likely our Father) should the worry consume us.
Who does the Son reveal His Father to? Those who come to the Son toiling and heavy ladden in the convicting burdens of sin. Once relieved of such burden, having taken on His yoke humbly and with meekness, shouldering a sample of His burden, then one comes to know the Father. Such immense time released revelation is only by exchanging our burden for His Son's and carrying His Son's burden forward. It is not any other way around. The so called wise and prudent systematically avoid to see this.
We tend today to see the gospel as pertaining to individuals and salvation, which in part it is. Jesus is shown here as also seeing the gospel in terms of groups and cities and generations. Just as a man can be inhabited/possessed/re-inhabited so can collective movements and generations. Individuals think and act and behave within groups. Unclean spirits think and act and behave in similar conjunction. In Jesus' time He saw a perfect storm of the two mounting against Him. Though He could be convincing to some individuals one on one at this time, it would not be until His death and resurrection that the true forces driving individuals within masses could be dealt with.
This understanding is not a matter left to human intelligence, it is plain and evident to persons of all IQ's/literacy/backgrounds. Satan is not omnipresent so he utilizes man's sheep like pack and conforming nature. He will twist and distort ones intentions and honest curiosity, even God's own words to produce doubt and apparent contradiction to foster rejection and rebellion. It is not understood because the heart has fattened and calloused against it. A mans own peers become the fowls of the air as much as any demon.
From whom does the most pressure/persecution come from? Those just described as the wayside. Those here now without root expect peace and pleasantry. If the gospel is obvious to them it should be obvious to others they presume, and yet it is not obvious, ridiculed, divisive, persecuted against, even deadly. The young fledgling becomes disheartened, embarrassed, offended. A process - sunlight that is supposed to bring about growth instead kills off the plant. Though passive from ther out typically by number they are used by the wayside (therefore Satan) to increase the pressure on the remaining believers.
A believer that overcomes the first two elements must also contend with the cares of this world. It may not matter what others believe or think or behave, the believer is settled and assured in this part of his faith. However, the real issues of life and family and citizen present a constant drain on his time and energies causing anxiety and fatigue and over extension. The productive fruit of his life gets chocked out without him barely realizing it. I speak from experience.
For the few strong that remain all of this process works to produce fruit in them 30 60 100 fold; supernatural returns. Fruit like this would not be possible if it were not for the entire process the necessitated it and brought it about. We should not consider it odd that these many things go into producing spiritual fruit. It is producers like these that the Lord wants with Him in His Kingdom. These souls are basically the humble and meek He spoke of in the Beatitudes that His light and Spirit have shown through, His redemption has fashioned, branches abiding in His vine, created unto good works; they are the blessed.
The Lord sows a very particular seed expecting later a very particular fruit, a fruit worthy of the kingdom from which it was born, worthy of acceptance into the kingdom to which it is harvested. It is a supernatural fruit that comes forth in supernatural numbers; the fruit itself that bares more of this particular seed. The process it takes to produce from seed to root to a plant to fruit is deliberate and unavoidable as sunshine. Understanding this parable is to understand such spiritual process. Is this the fruit that I am producing?
This parable is to be placed beside the parable of the sower for direct comparison, one extends the other. The first is a look at the process of the individual believer and what he must overcome. The second is a picture of the field (world) of all. The enemy has come in and planted a false believer with every appearance of the true believer except in final fruit. To remove the false believer at this time would also uproot the true believer, so the two are left to grow together. Both parables work together to draw a broader and deeper picture. The Disciples will shortly ask Jesus to explain this further.
This is not to say that the Devil has created his own humans and planted them amongst God's. This is better explained by whom the God created human becomes moral agent of/to. The Kingdom of Heaven becomes firmly planted into one and the false kingdom of heaven becomes established in the other. The differences nearly indistinguishable until the fruit from each is bore out.
This passage almost reads backwards. At some point earlier the disciples of the Baptist told Jesus and His disciples the outcome of John's imprisonment - beheading. The crew is aware of the circumstances therein. What is happening now that Herod Antipas is associating Jesus with as a haunting of John. We do not know how this becomes known (perhaps one of Herod's servants) but, it does.
The comment about the leaven of the Pharisees is just as much a observation of what is currently transpiring against Him as it is a doctrinal fidelity teaching. Jesus sees what is developing and the rage mounting against Him so He checks to see how far along the Disciples hearts are in the revelation process. They are currently far enough to know that He is Christ but, not so far as to know what Christ must suffer for them in the very near future. Until they grasp this further more complete revelation they will not grasp their own future pathway - the baring of their own cross for Him in His absence up until His return.
We see that the focus of Christ's work with the disciples has sharply turned towards His Cross and is being confirmed from above with the types of signs that the Pharisees had asked for earlier. The disciples believed but, had not asked. The Pharisees did not believe and yet had asked. Which do you think were allowed a sign? Now that they've seen it they are kept from telling anyone of it. Worse than a non-believer not believing and not receiving a demanded sign is a non-believer disbelieving all the more after seeing a believer that has seen the sign by invitation.
The subject 'greatest' is often brought up and is often tied to child like qualities. Not child like as in play, but, child like as in service/respect to others. Perhaps one can be playful and imaginative in service, but, certainly not the other way around serving child play/imagination.
Recently, we have heard of the influences of a faithless wicked generation being at the root of a failed exorcism and now a world from which offenses/entrapments toward humble child like servants must/do come. The forces and momentums Jesus fights against are considerably larger than just you and I. We must also be aware of their effect and influence as well. They exist even amongst our own ranks!
What would Jesus know about marriage fidelity? Funny you should ask. Who is Jesus married to (future tense)? The Church Israel/Gentile. Has She been faithful? Is She unblemished? Has there not been cause for a writ of divorcement? Continuously. Why then has He not? What is it in Her that He sees in Her future and is willing to go to His grave for? What God has joined together... let no man put asunder. The principal is true as a church. It is true as a couple. Is Christ righteous in not serving us His papers? Is He merciful in this? Shouldn't we likewise be?
There is the physical temple and there is a temple of individual men's hearts. Where a man's heart is there will be his treasure. There are men who treasure making money from the religious needs of many. There are men who treasure peace that do not confront them. There are men who treasure their position in the church that allow for even profit from such allowance. There are men who treasure the way things just the way they are, the way things have long time been. There are those who treasure their own ideals of the temple and not the ill image it projects to those it mistreats. These are the types of men who would be displeased by Jesus' message carried out in the temple for they do not treasure Him. When we look as individuals upon a collective temple such as this we look upon men's collective hearts. The object is not to avoid coming to the collective temple, it is to call upon all men's hearts by a higher calling; to call upon all men to come observe the most holy heart of our Lord and Savior; to meet with Him by His grace then and there. And if need be, shake a few tables of our own.