While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat, this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.
Because we are Gentile Christians, we would not understand these words the way Jesus’ Jewish followers would. “This is my blood of the covenant…” This is the central theme of the covenant between God and Israel. There can be no forgiveness of sin, without the shedding of blood, i.e. bulls, goats, lambs, etc.
In this upper room, He offered them the cup, the Holy Spirit recorded His words for eternity, and Jesus told them His blood is poured out upon mankind for the forgiveness of sin. They are celebrating the feast of Passover. In the time of Moses, the blood of the lamb on the doorpost of the Hebrew home would allow the angel of death to passover them. For those of us who are born again believers in Jesus, the Saviour, Jesus has provided His blood on the doorpost of our hearts. We will not perish, but have life in Him.
NOTE: I published this on Mon day, but according to my computer, it never actually published on the site. I apologize. Most likely I hit a wrong button and sent it into cyberspace.
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.
Here is something I had not noticed before. The owner gave talents to his servants according to their ability. So, the one who received five talents had the ability to gain five more. In the same way, the servant who was given one talent had the ability to increase it for his master. The talent did not belong to the servant. It was entrusted to him by the master so the servant could multiply it.
What is the gift or talent God has given us to multiply for His kingdom, His glory? It doesn’t matter if we have been given one talent or many talents. God gave them to us, and He knows we have the ability to use it/them, because He even blessed us with that ability!
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ’, and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
Reading these verses is like watching the evening news. Wars, rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, famines and earthquakes, wickedness increasing in our country and around the world – this is just the beginning.
vs. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.
Because of the grace and power of Christ, we can choose not to be the “most”. We can stand firm to the end, choosing righteousness over wickedness, love over hate, mercy over revenge, grace over grudges. Lord, keep us close to you.
Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi’.
All of us enjoy being honored once in a while. It feels good to have the place of honor, but if we are truly serving God with our lives, who are we missing that might be sitting at the end of the table, or the back of the church. Places of honor are all about us. Ordinary places at the table or the party are about others. If we look around, who will we see that needs a friend, an encouraging conversation, a bit of attention they might not otherwise receive.
Lets look for that person sitting by themselves that no one seems to have noticed and then ask God how we might bless them.
And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as (you do )yourself. These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.
So..it really is that simple – the Christian life. Its all about love. Not emotional love, love based on feelings, but love that comes from the heart of Christ through us to others. This kind of love can love the sinner and hate the sin; it can have compassion for those who don’t deserve it, and it can be generous ( time and money) to those in need. This kind of love pours out in praise, thankfulness, and joy to God our Creator and Redeemer. He is our Source of never-ending grace and unconditional love.
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.
Jesus tells them the kingdom of God will be taken away from them and given to people who will live by God’s will and not by the traditions of men. He looks like a carpenter from Nazareth; He talks like a rebel, but He is on a mission from God, and those who do not have the things of God in their hearts are being cast aside. These people were RELIGIOUS, yes, but God was far from them.
What is more important to us? – the trappings of religion or the ways of God – compassion, forgiveness, grace and love.
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, son of David, have mercy on us! “
Jesus stopped and called them, “What do you want me to do for you? he asked. “Lord, they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
First of all, why did the crowd rebuke them for crying out. This is what Jesus had been doing in His ministry – healing the sick, giving sight to the blind. Why would the crowd “shush” them? To their credit, the blind men persisted. They must have heard who it was passing by, and knew of his ministry. They even used the names Lord and Son of David. Jesus heard them crying out and had compassion on them and touched them. They received their sight. This is a beautiful picture of salvation – we were blind, in our sin and disbelief, but when we cried out to the Lord for healing, He had compassion on us and through the cross He healed us.
Jesus answered:, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Wealth and possessions are different for different people. This young man had great wealth and his desire to follow Jesus did not include giving up that wealth.
What is it that we would rather keep than follow Jesus? – a house?, a relationship?, a past hurt? Nothing can compare with following Jesus in life and godliness. No earthly possessions can hold a candle to our heavenly treasure. Come, follow Jesus!