Reprobate Mind - Is of the mind that it is in control even when it is not. Here we see the intent revealed by parable, we see the attempt to trap Jesus in words being foiled, and the fear of what the people would think holding them back. And yet they will soon do exactly what the parable says that they will do. What control does it actually have?
It would be interesting to look at the remaining gospels in the same light as Simeons prophecy, the revealing of many a heart. To watch how the heart minimizes and compartmentalizes and justifies and schemes.
Joseph may not have lived to see the Jesus we've come to know. He is not spoken of after this event in Jesus' 12th year. Thus the Simeon prophecy of Mary's heart later being pierced at the crucifiction takes on an interesting light of completion.
Though this incident appears to resolve itself, doesn't at least appear that there is much friction between those tribes on the other side of Jordan and those on the Canaan? A decision is made to build a curious alter without announcing their intent, and the others would gather in a warlike stance without first determining the intent. Perhaps it is the english translanslation here but, building a testimony to stand between us and you for future generations seems to me biased and perhaps prejudicial and anticipating division and rift.
Reprobate Mind - Look at how quick they forget God. All of the battles. All of the victories under impossible odds. All of the miracles. So much for rational thought, the heart instead does what it wants and from that proceeds to rationalize it. The heart certainly has it's problems with God.
Do you remember how they swore upon the rock just two chapters ago at the end of Joshua? One generation should not make oaths for the children of the next. Did they not take into account that Joshua may well have brought all this up because of something he knew all to well? There were already foriegn gods in their possession for them to have to put away.
Interesting that religious hypocrisy is addressed so closely to the fear of others, the covetousness of brothers and dispute over inheritance, mis-appropriation of riches and insecurity over God's provisions. We could take the course of interpretation that these are separate unrelated items or we could consider more deeply the possible connections. I find the fear and insecurity angles possible indications that all items might be connected.
The later part of this verse was recently used by an American President to argue raising taxes on the rich. What riches have to do with being watchful and prepared for the second Lords coming knowing the marital will of the Lord, I am not sure.
That this teaching about settling up with ones adversaries before going to the judge is so close to the earlier talk of being watchful and prepared for the Lord's return indicates the urgency and type of preparations to be made.
Keep in mind that we are beginning to see signs of a split in the nation between Israel and Judah. A split that will physically divide them in the next generation at the death of David's son King Solomon.
Enemies of the Lord use this occasion against us to this day. It is presented by them that Israel was apostate and rejected of God long before this event and that God's effort had long since been with them and their religion. This would mean too that the blood line to the Messiah was no longer through David which would eliminate the rightful claims of Christianity.
If Satan truly had free reign and will, he could have attempted this attack long ago, perhaps before the possibility of Jesus having world wide ministry and impact. We know that there have been other chances. We know that the religious have been planning as well. We also know that the prophecies and Jesus have spelled the coming events out well so that Satan would know how not to go about this. And yet he does. God plays him like a fiddle.
Not sure if this discourse amongst the Disciples is given full justice by the text. I imagine this to have occurred much more organically over the course of the evening than presented. If our own dinner conversations where condensed down to two sentences, we'd look pretty foolish as well. What we are told is simply what we most need to know. Surely there was much discussed that night, all with sincere and honest and devoted intentions; just as much as that not discussed and reserved in fear and uncertainty. In other words, they were being human. It must have been a painfully haunting and surreal meal for Judas.
We find that Jesus prayed most all of the time. We are not privy to the contents of those prayers. Here we are privy and we must wonder both why and by whom? The disciples are in the distance sleeping. The Holy Spirit is telling us something very important here. This prayer is for our benefit as much as His. The cup cannot be taken away. This IS God's will.
"sleeping for sorrow". They knew something was about to happen. Mentally no doubt they had tried to work all the possibilities toward their favor. Jesus seemed to be taking this course regardless. This was there way of dealing with the sorrow and resultant mental fatigue.
I think that it is too easy for us here to judge Peter. He is not reborn yet. He is still trying to approach his relationship to the Savior Christ in intellectual rather than spiritual terms much like us. The fact is that none of us truly know how we would have reacted ourselves faced with this hostile and surreal situation. Rationally, if denial meant being able to continue observing the nights events without having been set out and/or beaten it may have been well worth it in a more practical way. None of the other twelve after all were risking the effort to witness the events unfolding; only the two Marys and doubting half brother James were also watching on.
The mob mentality begins. Perhaps you have witnessed or been part of this overwhelming dynamic yourselves. It is the most unexplainable force of humankind; what mobs of people will allow themselves to do when swept over by this force. Ration and reasoning, temperance and justice disappear. Captors assume license that in no other way would be granted. The strange, the ma-cab, the grotesque, the venomous comes out of men. The sin nature within us all becomes paramount like at no other time.
Can't help but think of the parable Jesus gave on the distant vineyard owner that sent envoys to gather it's produce only to be rejected by the hired hands. Jesus hints that there were those who knew who the Son was and yet killed Him to steal away His inheritance kjv@Mark:12:1-12. Who in this crowd would He be talking about?
It occurs to me that throughout the kings the high priests are pretty much silent. We see an occasional prophet, but, what about the general day to day counsel and influence of the church. This is not to say that they weren't there, it is to say that there is little mention of their role and position in these national matters.
Repairs to the temple and .... oh ya .... we found this book. Seems things had been so far off in Jerusalem for so long that not even the priests there knew of the existence and where abouts of this book. No wonder God was raging mad at Judah...His house and no one knows where His book is kept. By the way, do you know where His book has been kept in your house?
Jesus did not directly confront Judas here, but, kind of played along with him. Jesus could have just as easily said 'thieves like you will we always have' or 'if these friends here tonight only knew the heart from which you speak' or any other thing. Instead, Jesus focuses on the offering of the woman not allowing her moment to be spoiled by another's.
Much like Judah, when God is providing and blessing and is non-judgmental, people are more then willing to allow some resemblance of God into their lives. But, when the tables turn and God stands off in displeasure and reproof the same nominal people shut down and disallow any resemblance. The void is quickly muddied by every other notion and imagination. It is essentially the same god served in both cases, the god of whatever serves me best.
Words similar to the Assyrian King's echo brashly still today. I guess when you've been fighting against paper tigers all this time you'd just expect every other god to fall in the same manner. Many people today feel that this is what all gods are. Our God uses these people at times to test and foster the faithfulness of His beloved. What do these puppets get out of the deal? A moment of feeling brash and superior.
Yes, new wine often produces men and women that suddenly speak in multiple foreign dialects proficiently. How else could it be explained? (sarcasm). Had I only known that when I was trying to teach myself Spanish last time.
The importance of the "Spirit giving utterance" is paramount. There are many religions even today that profess to speaking in tongues. They are initially uttered as a steady flow of babel/gibberish and eventually become a secretive spiritual language between you and the Spirit. This however is another's ethnically/nationally derived language being used by the Spirit to communicate to that other person in their native tongue through an untaught medium. Much different - impossible if not by the Spirit. The text here is clear.
There seems to be an observable transformation in Peter having the Spirit now. We have not heard Him quote and reason Old Testament scripture before let alone so boldly with such confidence. Just days ago he was part of a group that was over extending itself beyond the direction of the Spirit, but now he seems fully in step and infused by It. The Spirit is bringing Jesus' words and teachings to effect and Peter and the group are an observable example.
The spectacle of the manifestation of the Spirit is providing the opportunity, the revelations (past/present/future) by the Spirit is providing the conviction, the unity in the Spirit is providing the furtherance and continuance. The very presence of the Spirit in this manner is the absolute proof.
In the midst of such other foreign and exotic beauty it is hard to find one that unanimously stands apart. There must have been something more than beauty that set Esther so far apart so as to obtain such grace and favor. Thinking ahead through what will soon transpire I would say that it was a work of God.
A good start is made by the youngest man. He has respectfully kept his silence, he has attempted to keep matters of personality and titles out of the way, he heard all of the matter until the others had said all that they could think of to be said, seeing no resolution he begins to confess his objective thoughts. Though it was described as coming out of his wrath, it seems quiet calmly presented. It will be interesting to see if he is wise enough as a youth to keep these issues separated out.
Paul identifies three "pillars" of the early church James (Jesus' brother), John, Peter kjv@Galatians:2:9. Modern Catholics identify only one: Peter. It is James here that delivers the group's verdict. John is either silent or absent. Paul is portrayed once again as serving the church under their authority (even when he has disagreement). I have no doubt that the Spirit was sought for this momentous decision but is not quoted. There is plenty of OT text regarding the inclusion of gentiles, but not mandatory circumcision of them. The decision is based then upon the consistency of the doctrine of saving grace.
That God can do everything and no thought can be hidden from Him is truly transformative. We have gone this long journey with Job to find that God is much to be feared, there is so much that we just don't understand. The image we have of Him is an image built to our own advantage. The pedestal we put our intellect and self image on needs to be abhorred and repented of. Before, Job had only heard of these things, now, he has seen. Everything that he has been through has led him to this.
Another of the mysterious ways of God. That He could speak to one man in the group and not the others, that this would be His will as if challenging the one man to prove it to the rest/himself. This is not always the case but, seems to happen more times than not. Notice that He doesn't even tell that one man what all he must do, instead stringing together a sequence of other single men and revelations again as if challenging them/him. These wonders are often tests of faith/obedience rather than rewards of such.
Paul's ordained mission was quiet simple as is ours: to witness all that we have seen and heard. Not to be great thinkers or tremendous leaders. Not to attend and have considerable impact in the weekly planning committee meetings. Perhaps these things come as a result. However, no matter what our position or prowess or gifting the mission/intent is exactly the same.
Again it doesn't say that he wont see trouble, it says that he will come out of. Trouble here is associated with transgression. It could be that he will come out of his own transgressions by willingly repenting or it could be that the wicked man's transgression will cause him trouble that he will emerge from safely.
This is not to say that it shouldn't be this way. The majority of the poor are poor for the reasons explained here in the proverbs. They do not rule themselves so how should it be expected to rule well over others. The borrower rightfully owes the lender all that he has agreed to return else he would be a thief. It could be said that much of our nation's problem is not that we are overly compassionate but, that we are ruled by the poor and by debt that we have no intention of paying back. Debt and severe covetness have become our vision of entitlement and we blame the rich and the lender for our deepening woes.
A government driven false economy develops around the service of the poor. Money that should be flowing to the truly needy is sucked up by the service providers and delivery mechanisms installed. It is not so much the rich who desires to increase his riches that oppresses, but the workers and providers who see the service of poor as their employment career and retirement. The government sees the system as a means of inflating their employment numbers. Where are the poor left? Better off? Oppressed?
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).
There is the eternal salvation direct from our confession and repentance acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord, the salvation that because of His sacrifice was purchased and imputed to us. There is also the salvation having the knowledge of Jesus Christ that we are fruitful with as applied toward our daily circumstances and situations; this is the type of salvation that we work out. One can be saved in the one sense but yet be a poor worker of the salvation that effects daily life, even by the things in this same chapter Paul speaks to, contention and strife and isolation from the broader body etc..
I see two possible explanations as to why the language very similar to kjv@Genesis:1 would be used here. 1a: This coming judgment will so severe as to symbolically set Israel/Judah back to the beginning as if none of this covenant had ever been. 1b: It will be so devastating as to appear as dark and chaotic as earths infancy. 2: Gap theory suggests a gap between kjv@Genesis:1:1 and kjv@Genesis:1:2 where this type of judgment actually occurred to a pre-Adamic human or angelic race on earth; that what we read is not an account of creation but of a earth's first restoration. Both explanations may not be exclusive as well.
Even a man of God as Jeremiah was had to wait on the answer of the Lord. One would think the Lord would be eager to get the remnant up and running, after all they seem sincere and honest in their desire. The Lord's timing is perfectly right however, even if it is not what we would expect.
tsk@Lamentations:2:14 Here are numerous reminders that the Lord had exposed the false prophets to them on several occasions and yet they still listened to the others. False prophets did not end during this captivity nor did they end in the time of the early church. They remain and flourish today. They are exposed over and over and yet do we listen to them. It is in part because the true prophet discovers our inequity, in part because we are self justified and vain, in part because our image of God does not allow for Him to do this.
God had His prophets at this time. He had also we find out searched for a leader to make up a hedge but found none. Later He would find Ezra and Nehemiah but, this may illustrate to us a important difference in temperance or skill set or anointing between a prophet and a leader, that it is rare for one man to be both. Moses and David both prophesied (mostly Messianic) though not in the sense of a Elijah or Issiah, Ezekiel or Jeremiah. I can not think of a prophet that was made to rule.
Healing in the larger passage context more likely refers to the soul's restoration back to God, the removing of enmity. Healing of the broken hearted for instance is not so much a healing of the physical heart/arteries. Healing of the nations is not so much a physical healing of diseased people within those nations. Restoration (healing in this case) surely has more to do with proximity or position or good standing; the returning to the Bishop of our souls.
Many have interpreted Michael as being the protecting angel over Israel. Michael was commander of the angelic forces that cast out the dragon from heaven kjv@Revelation:12:7 . We believe Michael to be present in the end times defeating the terrible invasion from the north. Michael is firmly holding with the Lord.
The symbolism of husband and wife has been used to depict our spiritual nature by several authors in many places in the bible. Here, if I read this right is an interesting insight of a wife that sees her God as Baali or master when she should see him as Ishi husband. His love then is the key difference. A master can master with or without love, impose his rule over her. A husband loves and gives himself for her, he builds her up and protects her. Her perception and response is much different given the two.
The all important first love. The church of Ephesus is doing a whole lot right. They contend for the faith as Jude would exhort, resist evil and suffer for Christ's name sake as Peter. Their first love no doubt was for Him as a person and for each other as His friends. For as much as they are doing right, they still need to obey the great commandment kjv@Mark:12:30-31.
In Pergamos we see a likeness to the two previous churches, faithfulness under severe persecution and having to deal with apostates amongst the brethren. This church however had not been as successful holding out the apostates and is in need of repentance in this same regard. We could say in effect that they need to return to their first love as their first love would not have mixed and commingled these blots and dead relics.
The church of Thyatira is battling a particular prophetess with much satanic influence. Effectually, they are consenting to her crafts by suffering her a place in their community/congregation. The Lord is dealing with her in His own way. He is asking them to beware and resist her and those that are bedding with her (consenting/allowing to her doctrine) by holding fast to the faith.
It must be the Angel of the Lord that the Lord of Hosts has sent and that will dwell with the daughters of Zion in the final gathering. This is a future prophecy, it did not occur previously as many of the daughters have not yet separated nor returned yet.
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.
This is the first of three times that the Lord appears to Abraham (kjv@Genesis:17:1kjv@Genesis:18:1). If no one can look upon the Father and live the Lord must be the Son or else this is figurative. Jacob also has an appearance but, specifically states that he saw the Lord face to face kjv@Genesis:32:30 .
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.