Monday, 26 February 2018

I Reading: Exodus 20:1-17: The Law was given through Moses.
The ten commandments were given to the Israelites as part of their preparation from a wandering to a settled life.
II Reading: 1Corinthians 1:22-25: Here we are preaching a crucified Christ, an obstacle to men, but those who are called, the wisdom of God.
Corinth was a Greek world in a nutshell. There were party divisions in the church; the community at large saw the Crucifixion in widely differing lights, ranging from scandal to madness. Paul casts his own conviction that the death of Jesus was nothing less than the power and wisdom of God.
Gospel: John 2:13-25: Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.

Revelation 2: Jesus is Supreme over God’s House, Jn 2:12-22
The selling of live stock and changing Roman money into Jewish coinage was legitimate business. It is the abuse of the system, the turning of the Temple into a brigand’s cave, that aroused our Lord Jesus’ anger.
Jesus Christ has supremacy over God’s house, that is, over the temple or church. He alone has the right to rule and reign over God’s house.
1.    Jesus left Cana (v.12-13)
a.    He went to Capernaum for a short time
b.    He then went to Jerusalem to attend the Passover
2.    His discovery of evil in the temple (v.14)
a.    He entered the temple
b.    He found the temple desecrated
3.    His right to cleanse the temple (v.15-17)
a.    The whip: a symbol
i.                The whip of cords was a symbol of his righteous anger, of his right to enforce obedience within the temple and the power and cleansing judgement of God that causes people to tremble before God (Ph 2:9-11).
ii.              Jesus’ unique relationship to God. He called God, “My Father” and called the temple, “My Father’s House.” A house for worship for all people not only for Jews but for Gentiles too.
iii.            Jesus’ consuming zeal. His zeal fulfilled Scripture and demonstrated that he was the Messiah. The Messiah was bound to be zealous for God’s house and to react in anger at such corruption within the temple. Scripture had predicted the Lord’s zeal (Ps 69:9); therefore, Jesus had the right to show zeal and anger against such desecration of the temple. He was the Messiah, and his act stirred the memory of the disciples. (Lev 19:30; Hab 2:20; Ps 89:7).
4.    His power to erect a new temple (v.18-21)
a.    His authority questioned
b.    His sign: A new meeting place for God and people
c.     His symbolic meaning: His body-His death and resurrection
5.    His objective achieved: the disciples believed the Scripture and the Word of the Lord (v.22)

Revelation 3: Jesus knows All Men, Jn 2:23-25
This is a brief passage packed full of powerful truths. Jesus revealed that he knew all men.
1.    Fact 1: many believed in Jesus (v.23)
a.    Believed in His name
b.    Believed because of the miraculous signs
2.    Fact 2: Jesus did not commit nor entrust Himself to men (v.24-25)
a.    He knew all men
b.    He knew what was in a man
Thought: The temple is not to be used as a commercial centre. It is not to be a place for buying and selling, marketing and retailing, stealing and cheating. It is not to be profaned. The temple is the House of God, God’s House of worship. It is to be a place of sanctity, refined and purified by God himself. It is to be a place of prayer, quietness and meditation, a place aside for worship, not for buying and selling where people get gain.

I Reading: Micah 7:14-15.18-20: Tread down our faults to the bottom of the sea.
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3.11-32: Your brother here was dead and has come to life.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son: The Lost Son, Lk 15:11-24
The parable of the prodigal son is the greatest and most beloved story ever told in human language. God loves and reaches out to the most prodigal of men and He runs to embrace any prodigal son who repents and returns home. God forgives his prodigal son and restores him, no matter how terrible the sin and failure of the prodigal.
1.    He said, “Give me” (v.11-13)
a.    My inheritance
b.    My independence
c.     The result: he wasted his life in wild living
2.    He met the day when he suffered and was in need (v.14-16)
a.    He suffered being destitute
b.    He suffered natural disaster
c.     He suffered humiliation
d.    He suffered hunger
e.     He suffered the loss of friends
3.    He came to his senses and snapped out of his insanity, back to reality (v.17-19)
a.    Thought of his father and his enormous provision
b.    Thought of his plight
c.     Thought of humbling himself:
i.                Of repenting
ii.              Of confessing his sin and unworthiness
4.    He got up and returned to his father (v.20-21)
a.    He repented-turned from his sinful life
b.    He was accepted even before he confessed
c.     He confessed
5.    He was accepted when he returned to the father (v.22-24)
a.    The father restored him
b.    The father fed the son and celebrated his son’s return
c.     The father proclaimed his son’s new life

The Parable of the Older Son: The Self-Righteous Religionist, Lk 15:25-32
The second son or the older son represents the self righteous religionist-the mortal, the just, the good-the man who has never committed gross and visible sin. He is religious and does religious works; therefore he feels and believes he is accepted to God. In this parable Jesus pointed out five faults with the self-righteous religionist (Lk 11: 37-54; 18:9-12; Rom 2:17-29).
1.    Fault 1: he was in the field away from home (v.25-27)
2.    Fault 2: he shut himself out (v.28)
3.    Fault 3: he was self-righteous (v. 29)
a.    He claimed to be religious
b.    He claimed to be moral and just
c.     He felt he deserved more, that he was not recognized enough
4.    Fault 4: he lacked compassion and understanding of sinners (v.30)
5.    Fault 5: he failed to see two critical facts (v. 31-32)
a.    He had the same blessings available
b.    His brother was truly saved

Thought: The father restored the prodigal son:
a.    The “robe” restored him to a position of sonship and honour. It symbolized being clothed with the righteousness of Christ.
b.    The “ring” restored him to a position of authority. The son was now to represent the father and his kingdom.
c.     The “sandals” immediately restored and elevated him above servant hood, which means he became a free man. The son was now fitted with sandals to carry the Gospel of Peace wherever he went (Eph 6: 15).
d.    The “celebration” pictures reconciliation, full acceptance, and the great joy of the occasion.
e.     The father proclaimed his son’s new life.
i.                He was dead and is alive again.
ii.               He was lost and is found.

I Reading: Genesis 37:3-4.12-13.17-28: Here comes the man of dreams. Come on, let us kill him.
Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43.45-46: This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him.

The Parable of the Wicket Tenants:
Israel’s Rejection of Jesus’ Messiahship, Mt 21:33-46
This is one of the interesting parables ever told by Jesus Christ. It is interesting because it is both historical and predictive. Christ covered the history of Israel from God’s perspective, just as God sees it. Then he predicted or revealed exactly what was going to happen to Israel: they were going reject God’s own Son and because of their rejection and cruelty, God was going to reject them by giving the kingdom of God to another people.
What is said throughout this passage is applicable to all nations as well as to Israel. God has entrusted the vineyard of the church and of the world to us, the new nation, the new creation of God. Every point covered in Israel’s history should, therefore, be a dynamic message speaking loudly and clearly to our hearts.
There are three major points in this passage.
1.    The parable: Israel’s history as God sees it (v.33-41)
a.    God planted a vineyard (the nation of Israel)
b.    God entrusted his vineyard to the cultivators
c.     God sent messengers to gather the fruits
i.                Fruit was expected
ii.              The tenants rebelled and rejected God’s messengers
d.    God showed patience- He continued to send messengers
e.     God finally sent his Son
i.                Christ claimed to be God’s Son
ii.              They saw God’s Son
iii.            They plotted his death
iv.            They planned to seized his inheritance
v.              They murdered the Son
vi.            God is to judge the tenants
i.                God is coming
ii.              God will miserably destroy the wicked
iii.            God will trust his vineyard to others (to the Gentiles)
2.    The three claims of Jesus (v.42-44)
a.    He is the head cornerstone
i.                At first, he is rejected
ii.              But he becomes the head cornerstone
b.    God shall take his kingdom away from Israel and give to another people
c.     Some are doomed
i.                Those who stumble over the stone
ii.              Those who oppose the stone
3.    The result of the Parable
a.    The religionists saw that Christ spoke to them
b.    The religionists reacted instead of repenting
c.     The people saw Christ as a prophet (a great teacher), not as the Messiah

Thought: The family and household of God (Eph 2:19; 5:1, 8; Rom 8:16-17; 1Pet 2:5-10)

I Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-10: A curse on the man who puts his trust in man, a blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord.
Gospel: Luke 16:19-31: Good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.

The Rich Man and Lazarus: The Self-Indulgent vs. the Man of Faith
Jesus identified Lazarus was named Lazarus where as the rich man was not identified and named in this passage. The eternal truth is much more blessed and much more terrifying than any mere human description. The rich man misused two opportunities i.e. wealth and religion. The name Lazarus means God is help. He is an allegorical representation either of his poor disciples (Lk 6:20).
1.    A difference in life (v.19-21)
a.    Rich man nameless, Lazarus named
b.    Rich man wealthy, Lazarus poor
c.     Rich man healthy, Lazarus disabled
d.    Rich man lived in luxury and extravagance; Lazarus begged, helpless
2.    A difference in death: Lazarus died and was escorted to Paradise; rich man died and was buried (22)
3.    A difference in eternity (23-31)
a.    Rich man in hell, Lazarus in Paradise
b.    Rich man saw glory, Lazarus was in glory
c.     Rich man was alone, Lazarus had fellowship
d.    Rich man had burning sensation, Lazarus had water
e.     Rich man tormented, Lazarus comforted
f.      Rich man remembered his former life, Lazarus was silent
g.    Rich man was fixed in hell, Lazarus was fixed in Paradise
h.    Rich man agonized for loved ones, Lazarus was settle in eternity
i.      Rich man begged for other chance, Lazarus was silently at peace
j.      Rich man was unable to intercede for his family, Lazarus was at rest in God’s promises.
Thought: What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8: 36).

I Reading: Jeremiah 18:18-20: Come on, let us hit at him. 
Gospel: Matthew 20:17-28: They will condemn him to death.       
The Messiah Foretells His Death and Resurrection (3rd Time), 20:17-19
Jesus Christ foretells his death and resurrection in the third time. Jesus had to get three facts across to his disciples.
1. Jesus took the disciples aside (v.17)
a. While on the way
b. To prepare for death
2. He was to be betrayed and delivered for prosecution (18)
a. The betrayer or deliverer was not named
b. The prosecutors: The Jews or religionists
3. He was to be delivered for execution (19)
a. To be Gentiles
b. By crucifixion
4. He was to be raised from the dead (19)
The Price and Meaning of Greatness, Mt 20:20-28
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus was about to free Israel and set up his kingdom on earth. The disciples did not understand the true meaning of his suffering and death. The disciples thought that Jesus is going to establish the kingdom of God over throwing the Romans’ rule in Israel.
So James and John the sons of Zebedee were assuring themselves of key position in Christ’s kingdom. We who live today know what Christ meant by his death and resurrection. In this passage Jesus Christ is teaching the price and meaning of greatness in the kingdom of God.
1. The sin of false ambition-seeking personal greatness (v.20-21)
a. Is self-seeking
b. Is deceptive and uses people
c. Misuses influence, position and power
d. Arises from pride and contempt
e. Misunderstand true greatness

2. What greatness requires: is a person willing to pay the price? (22-23)
a. The price of contemplation: understanding greatness
b. The price of suffering: the cup
c. The price of determination: “we want” (22)
d. The price of unshakable loyalty: to Christ

3. What greatness is (23-28)
a. Eternal greatness is of God
b. Greatness is not dominion over people
i. The disciples’ misconception
ii. The world’s characteristics
c. Greatness is saving others
i. The great: are servants
ii. The greatest: are slaves
d. True greatness is demonstrated by Christ
Thought: There is good and healthy ambition and there is bad and unhealthy ambition. Good ambition gives purpose, meaning and significance to live; it builds drive, initiative, self-esteem and much more. Bad ambition is deceptive in every conceivable way and corrupts and destroys truth and justice. There is nothing wrong with high positions of responsibility and authority with a good ambition. James and John left all for Christ (Mt 19:27-29).