The Self Righteous Person Is The Most Dangerous Person In The Room (Bible Study Matthew 7 Part 1)

Today I want to venture into Matthew 7.  Jesus is giving the sermon on the mount and this is the closing part of that sermon.  As I’ve mentioned several times it’s important to see this entire sermon (Matthew 5-7) as one line of thought, building on itself.  But we are pulling some truths out of it a piece at a time, which is also helpful.

In the opening of Matthew 7 Jesus is talking about the idea of judging others.  Here is what He says

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Now this might be one of the most misused scriptures in the bible.  People say this is Jesus saying that you should make no judgements.  But as we’ll see this is not the main idea here.

Continue reading

Some Thoughts On The Lord’s Prayer (Bible Study Mark 6 Part 3)

We’ve been looking at Mark 6.  This is all part of the sermon on the mount and as I mentioned before, it’s a good idea to read the whole thing for context of each part.  However the parts have value even pulled out of the sermon.  We’ve looked at two things that I think have a great deal for us to consider today.  We looked at acting to be seen by others and then looked at the idea that where we put our treasure (money, time, energy, thoughts and effort) will dictate where our heart ends up.

Today I want to look at what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father.  Now let me just say off the bat there that many people have way more and better things to say than I do and I’ll be leaning heavily on some of them.  However, I thought I would offer some thoughts.

Continue reading

Where Is Your Treasure? That Is Where Your Heart Will End Up (Mark 6 Bible Study Part 2)

We’ve been looking at Mark 6 which is part of the sermon on the mount.  Last time we looked at the idea of not doing or talking about righteousness to be seen by others.    Today I want to talk about verses 19-21.

Now Jesus has been talking about not doing acts of righteousness be it charitable giving, praying or fasting to be seen.  These are the examples He gives.  He says that if you do it to be seen, then you have received your reward – you’ve been seen.  But if you do it for the Kingdom – not to be seen – God sees it and will reward you.  He then begins to talk about rewards and treasures.  He says

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Now there is a lot of confusion over what the scriptures teach about money.  In a previous post we talked about two ways Christians get money wrong.  We also talked about the idea of living generously and talked about the question of ownership – do we own it or does God.

Continue reading

Stop Praying (Posting) To Be Seen By Others (Matthew 6 Bible Study Part 1)

Today I want to start to take a look at Matthew 6.  I want to look at what it meant in context, and to carry that truth in a direction that I think is really important today.

Matthew 6 is in the middle of what is known as the sermon on the mount.  I want to be clear to state that it is always a little risky to pull parts of a sermon out.  There is an actual rhythm and order to this sermon from Jesus.  And this is in the middle.  However, there are also truths that we can pull out from the parts.

Chapter 6 starts out with a main statement in verse 1 and then gives three examples to explain it in the following verses.  Here is the overall point:

Don’t perform righteous deeds for other people to see them, if you do you will have no reward from God.

That’s the opening line in my language.  Feel fee to check your version.

Continue reading

What Do You Really Want? And What Does That Say About You? (Bible Study Mark 10-Part 3)

This is the third part of a study looking at the story of Jesus and the healing of Bartimaeus the blind man in Mark 10.

Jesus has entered the town of Jericho and the crowd has gathered.  Bartimaeus a blind man and beggar is on the side of the road and hears that Jesus is going by.  He cries out to Jesus.  The crowd tells him to be quiet and stay out of the way.  But Jesus stops and tells the crowd to bring him forward.  They go and get him and Bartimaeus leaps at the chance and goes to Jesus.  Jesus asks him what he wants and when he says he wants to see, knowing that Jesus can give him his sight, Jesus heals him.  Bartimaeus is healed and follows Jesus along the road praising God.

In part one we looked at what this story tells us about Jesus.  In part two we looked at what the fact that Jesus loves everyone has to do with us.  Today I want to go a different direction.

Continue reading

We Are Called To Love Everyone (Bible Study Mark 10 – Part 2)

In part one of this study we began to look at the story of Jesus and the healing of Bartimaeus the blind man in Mark 10.

Jesus has entered the town of Jericho and the crowd has gathered.  Bartimaeus a blind man and beggar is on the side of the road and hears that Jesus is going by.  He cries out to Jesus.  The crowd tells him to be quiet and stay out of the way.  But Jesus stops and tells the crowd to bring him forward.  They go and get him and Bartimaeus leaps at the chance and goes to Jesus.  Jesus asks him what he wants and when he says he wants to see, knowing that Jesus can give him his sight, Jesus heals him.  Bartimaeus is healed and follows Jesus along the road praising God.

Last time we looked at what this story tells us about Jesus.  One of the things we mentioned was that it shows that Jesus loves and interacts with everyone.  He is interested in every person from every background.

Today I want to look at what this truth about Jesus has to do with us.

Continue reading

Jesus Wants To Meet With Everyone (Bible Study Mark 10 – Part 1)

Mark 10:46-52 tells the story of Jesus’ encounter with Bartimaeus the blind man.

Jesus and his followers are entering the city of Jericho.  As they are walking along what is probably the main road it seems there is a crowd of people gathering.  Bartimaeus was a blind man sitting and begging on the side of the road.  When he hears that it is Jesus who is coming by he begins to call out to Him, asking for Him to have mercy on Him.

Bartimaeus had obviously heard of Him.  He cries out to Him.  The crowd tries to quiet him.  They basically say, get back to your side of the street.  This is Jesus, He has important things to do or teach.  Stop crying out.  But this doesn’t stop Baritmaeus.  Instead he cries out all the louder.

Continue reading

Obedience Is Our Part (Bible Study John 5 Part 3)

We’ve been looking at the story of the healing of the paralyzed man in John 5.

Jesus is in Jerusalem and ends up by a pool near the sheep gate.  It was believed that when the waters were stirred (perhaps a spring occasionally bubbled up there) that the first person in the water would be healed.  Because of this there were many lame, blind, and otherwise ill people laying there.  One such man was paralyzed and had been in that condition for 38 years.

Jesus approaches the man and asks him, “Do you want to get well?”  The man answers that he does want to but that he can’t get to the water in time.  In a sense, as we said last time, he is saying that if Jesus would help him with his plan to get well then he could be ok.  He is failing to recognize that Jesus is offering something different, something more.  Jesus is better than the pool.

Jesus of course does not help the man into the pool.  He also doesn’t say, “Man that’s tough.  I hope that works out for you at some point” and move on.  Instead he does something very Jesus like.  He gives him a command.

Continue reading

Jesus Is Better Than Your Plan (Bible Study John 5 part 2)

Today we are diving into part two in a series on a story in John 5

Jesus is in Jerusalem and ends up by a pool near the sheep gate.  It was believed that when the waters were stirred (perhaps a spring occasionally bubbled up there) that the first person in the water would be healed.  Because of this there were many lame, blind, and otherwise ill people laying there.  One such man was paralyzed and had been in that condition for 38 years.

Jesus approaches the man and asks him, “Do you want to get well?”  Last time we looked at some probable reason why Jesus asks this question.  Today I want to look at this man’s response, and ours, to that question.

The man says this, “Sir, I have no one to put me in the pool when it is stirred up.  I start to go there but because of my condition someone gets there before me.”

Here is what is interesting about this answer.  This man has a plan to get well.  He is counting on this plan.  He might need a little help to get there but he doesn’t need a new or different plan.  His plan is the only one that can work.  He’s had 38 years to think about this obviously.  It’s not his first rodeo and I’m sure it’s not his first plan.

Continue reading

Do You Want To Get Well (Bible Study John 5 Part 1)

Today I want to begin to take a look at the story in John 5.  Here are the basics.

Jesus is in Jerusalem and ends up by a pool near the sheep gate.  It was believed that when the waters were stirred (perhaps a spring occasionally bubbled up there) that the first person in the water would be healed.  Because of this there were many lame, blind, and otherwise ill people laying there.  One such man was paralyzed and had been in that condition for 38 years.

Jesus approaches the man and asks him, “Do you want to get well?”  Wait!  What?!

I want to stop here and consider this moment.  First, let’s just get a few facts out of the way.  Jesus can for sure heal this guy.  He’s already done some healing previous to this.  He has the power to heal this man.  And this man has been in the condition for a long, long time.  Frankly it’s a minor miracle that he lived that long in those times while in that condition. He is also at the pool, hoping to get in at the right moment.  Why else be there but for the hope of being healed?

So why does Jesus ask him if he wants to get well?

Continue reading