Matthew 26

Vs. 15, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.”  It has begun.  Mary seems to know the ramifications of what is going to happen and anoints Jesus with her perfume (vs. 6-13).  Sadly, the one who rebuked her would be the one who would sell out Jesus (vs. 14-16).  What a contrast between these two!  We move on to the Last Supper as Jesus would spend his last night with those whom He loved (vs. 17-30).  I will expound upon Peter in the application section.  The garden scene always touches my heart as Jesus would prepare himself for us (vs. 36-46).  The sadness would begin as Jesus stands before the Sanhedrin (vs. 57-67).  I want to go in and defend Jesus as he is beaten and spit upon (vs. 67), yet…we would have scattered like the rest of Jesus’ disciples.

 

Regarding application…Who Me?  Vs. 33, “Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”  Question: What would you have done?  Peter reminds us that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  But this denial of Peter isn’t really about Peter is it?  It’s about Jesus’ forgiveness.  Sometimes we have a higher estimation of ourselves, but compared to Jesus we are all sinners.  Question: Who me?  Yes you…Jesus loves you anyway.  Even when you fall, even when you fail him, even when you want to give up…Jesus still loves you.  That’s grace.  That’s forgiveness.  This weekend, the Youth Group was really challenged about these two topics.  What good is it if we don’t apply God’s word.  Jesus extended forgiveness to Peter and to all that fateful night.  And yes…also to you.  Pray that this week you can do something to show grace, mercy and forgivness this week!

Matthew 19

Vs. 30, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”  Jesus would address some pretty tough issues in this chapter.  One of the more controversial topics in Jesus’ day and in ours today is the topic of divorce (vs. 1-12).  Some were finding excuses to get out of their broken marriages.  However, Jesus would point out something more authoritative than the Mosaic (Moses) law…it’s God original intention.  Divorce was never and is never part of God’s plan for us.  Sadly, because of our harden hearts has God has permitted, but not endorsed divorce.  We also see another example of how important children are to Jesus (vs. 13-15).  And lastly, we come to our good old rich young ruler who wanted it all…riches and salvation (vs. 16-30).  It wasn’t that money is inherently evil, but it was this man’s love of the money.  Jesus knew exactly what was the one thing that was holding him back.

 

Regarding application...Who Can Be Saved?  Vs. 25, “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”  The disciples were astonished because the belief back then was the richer you were, it showed how much more you were blessed by God.  But, Jesus blew this whole concept out of the water.  We still have this thing called the “Heath & Wealth” gospel today.  Brothers & sisters…salvation comes no other way than Jesus.  We cannot buy our salvation or do all the right things.  It seemed impossible for the disiciples to grasp this, but Jesus would tell them all things are possible (vs. 26).  This coming week, have a unselfish heart and remember how blessed we are that God was our witness for His son at the Mount of Transfiguration (message that was shared today)  God bless!

 

Matthew 16

Vs. 12, “Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  The Pharisees and Sadducees were normally in opposition with each other, but here they united to challenge Jesus (vs. 1-12).  Question: How could they demand a sign?  Jesus had just recently fed 5000 and 4000 miraculously and in addition to all his other healings….yet they refused to see what was so evident.  They were blind spiritually and were now trying to lead others blind.  That is why Jesus would warn the disciples to not fall into their false teachings.  We also see Peter’s confession about who Jesus is (I’ll expound on this in the application section) (vs 13-20).  And sadly, we see Jesus letting the disciples know what the future would look like as they traveled to Jerusalem (vs. 21-28).  I don’t think any of us would have responsded any differently than Peter did.  Who wants to see someone we love talk about their death?  But Jesus would use this response as a reminder to all of us that we too must bear our cross and die to ourselves!

 

Regarding application…Who is Jesus? Vs. 13, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  A few times prior to this…when Jesus did mind-boggling miracles, the disciples would blurt out that Jesus must be the son of man.  Understandable.  But, Jesus now approaches them with a very honest and introspective question. Question: Who am I?  Notice the intial response…some say John the Baptist, Elijah, even Jeremiah!  It’s almost like they are not sure if this is a loaded question.  But good old Peter would blurt out, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”  Question: How did Peter know this?  Because the Father in heaven revealed it to his heart (vs. 17).  And ever since, Jesus has fulfilled his prophecy of the church that Peter would lead from the book of Acts.  When we believe in Jesus, nothing can overcome us (vs. 18).  I believe there is great value in asking ourselves who Jesus is more often.  If He is the Son of God…what is our appropriate response to him?  Turn to Jesus today and find rest in Him!

Revelation 22

Vs. 7, “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”  Jesus makes sure to remind us three times in the final chapter of the final book in the whole Bible that He is coming soon!  Question: Are you ready for Jesus to return?   For most of us…we probably are not completely ready.  It’s safe to say there is still much to do when it comes to preparing the way of the Lord.  I love the promise that we are given if we follow His word…we will be blessed.  Being blessed by God isn’t always what we see as being blessed…just remember the life of Paul and all of his hardships.  But, we are reminded about how glorious it will be when He brings the final chapter to fruition!.”  Jesus makes sure to remind us three times in the final chapter of the final book in the whole Bible that He is coming soon!  Vs. 7, ”

Regarding application…All Who Are Thirsty.  Vs. 17, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”  What a wonderful way to end the whole bible with the reminder that we are invited to drink from the Living Water (Jesus)!  By the time you are 70, you will have required 1 ½ million gallons of water.  If you lose 2% of your body’s water supply, your energy decreases by 20%. If you lose 10%, you’re unable to walk.  If you lose 20% of your body’s water supply, you’re dead. You can only survive about 72 hours without water.  Everyday we wake up and drink water or something to quench our thirst.  How much more than should we be drinking from God’s word & prayer?!?!  Dearest brothers and sisters…it is no coincidence that God would end his final chapter of His Word with the reminder of being thristy and quenching our thirst!