Defiled

Defiled

Mark 7: 14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:  15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.  16 [“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]       17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable.  18 And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.  21 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.  23 “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Observation) In verses 14-16 Jesus answers the charge of the Pharisees and scribes that the disciples were violating the traditions of the elders by eating without washing.  The explanation of the parable decries the wickedness of those who keep their traditions while sinning against their fellows. (Interpretation) A man is not defiled by what goes into his belly, but by what comes out of his heart.  The words and actions of a man reveal what is in his heart; whether good or evil. (Cross-reference) Matthew 12: 33 “Either...
An Eternal Mindset

An Eternal Mindset

AN ETERNAL MINDSET Colossians 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Observation) The hope of the believer is in the promise of eternal life with Christ who has risen from the dead and returned to heaven to be “seated at the right hand of God.”  The believer is instructed to set his mind on heaven where he is going, rather than on earth where he is. (Interpretation) “The things that are on earth” can be seen, but are temporary and by their nature cannot provide eternal life. God, who cannot be seen is eternal and has made provision for men to share in eternity with Him through His Son Jesus Christ, if they will believe.  So, by faith, the believer is to set his mind on what he has been promised, but cannot see.  This purposeful setting of ones mind on an eternity which is promised but cannot be seen is faith. Faith is given by God to anyone who will accept it.  Paul’s advice to the believer in possession of this faith is to “set your mind on the things above.” (Cross-reference) Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Ephesians...
The Knot

The Knot

Matthew 19: 3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” OBSERVATION The “certificate of divorce” that Moses permitted was not intended for the benefit of the man so that he could remarry, but for the benefit of the wife he sent away, so that she could remarry.  Marriage, being created by God is Holy and the man or woman who defiles it by adultery sins.  So, the one who runs off their husband or wife, finding after marriage a dislike for him or her, frees him or her to remarry, but it does not free the one who runs the other off.  Likewise the one who commits adultery frees the other to remarry.  Marriage is a bond from which one may not be released except for adultery or the will...
Obedience

Obedience

Mark 5: 38  When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.   Observation  Jesus heals the child of the synagogue ruler even though she is dead or at least thought to be dead by the time He arrives.  Those present are astonished, but Jesus gives orders “not to let anyone know about this.”   Interpretation  I suggest to you that Jesus tells the witnesses of this healing (as He also did after some other miracles recorded in the gospels) because His time had “not yet fully come.”  Jesus would become the savior of His people, even all people, not by popular demand to “make Him king,” but by dying on the cross in payment for their sins.  That crucifixion would soon come to pass, but His time had “not yet fully come.”   Cross-reference  John 6:14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they...
Now and Then

Now and Then

John 6:  26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” 28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”30 So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? (Observation) The passage follows Jesus’ feeding 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.  When Jesus  left by boat, the crowd followed him Capernaum where He tells them to work not for “food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life.” Ready to do the “works of God” they ask what it is.  Jesus answers that it is to believe in Him. They respond by asking for a sign. (Interpretation) I suggest to you that the reasoning of the crowd following Jesus for food is little different from the reasoning of those who have not yet believed in Jesus today. They accept the idea of attaining to “eternal life” by working for it, but when Jesus says that they only have to believe in Him, they ask (as if feeding 5000 wasn’t enough) for proof. So, then...
It Is Well

It Is Well

IT IS WELL 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (Observation) The passage begins and ends with comfort as it’s stated purpose. Those who have died as believers in Jesus Christ will be raised from the dead to meet Jesus, “in the air” when He returns. Believers alive at the time will follow those arisen from the dead, to likewise, “meet the Lord in the air.” (Interpretation) I suggest to you that we are to take comfort from the passage in at least two ways: First, because of our eternal “hope” in Jesus Christ we do not grieve the death of our loved ones without hope, for our saved fellows who...