Betrayed

And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said unto His disciples,
“Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified.”
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him. But they said, “Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.”                                                                    Matthew 26:1-5

Some of us; maybe even all of us have experienced betrayal by a friend, family member, or a neighbor. None of us have experienced the betrayal like Jesus did; and He knew it was going to happen. How many of us knew that it was going to happen?

One of His disciples was the one who would betray Him; and he did it with a kiss, a sign of friendship.

Jesus was betrayed because He is the Son of Man, the Son of God and it was in His Father’s plan that Jesus die for the sins of the world, so that all who would come to Him, believing, they might have everlasting life.

The plans of the religious leaders was to be rid of a “Blasphemer”, a “Deceiver”, a fraud; but they, in fact, were rejecting their Messiah, their Redeemer and Savior. They were more afraid of losing their power, popularity and prestige among the people whom they were making the children of hell (Matthew 23:15).

There are still those who would crucify Jesus all over again, because they do not approve of Him, His life, His followers, or His word. Where do you stand today?

Will you, or are you in your heart crying out, “Crucify Him”?  Will you instead cry out to Him, “Lord, have mercy of me; a sinner, condemned and unclean. Save me.” Your choice.

Know That It Is Near

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
Matthew 24:32-35

“There is only one thing that is constant, and that is change”. “There are only two things that are certain, death and taxes”. These statements have been heard by many of us. They are both in grave error in that the word of God is not considered.

The words God has spoken in His word are a constant; they are also a certainty. The word of God never changes, and it will not fail to come to pass just as He has spoken it.

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is certain; and His coming again is certain. Have you made yourself ready for His coming again? Do you know Him as your personal Lord and Savior? If not you can call out to Him in repentance and faith and He will hear you, and you will be ready.

The Lord has Need of Them

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them,
“Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, ‘The Lord hath need of them;’ and straightway he will send them.”
All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”                           Matthew 21:1-5

When it comes to serving the Lord are we as willing as the owners of those donkeys to just let them go at the word of His followers?

Do I, do you believe what God is saying when He brings us a message of the fulfilling of God’s word, and for His will in our lives?

The owners of the donkeys freely believed and freely gave of their resources to fulfill God’s will and word.

I will commit to doing the same. May the word and will of God always move me toward Him, not away from Him.

The Ninety Nine and the One

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.
How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 18:10-14

I am grateful that I was that one. He came seeking me and found me, and put me on His shoulder and carried me back to the fold.

You may be that one He has come seeking. Believe Him, and He will deliver you.

Shall Gather Out of His Kingdom

The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
                                           Matthew 13:41-43

Within the kingdom of heaven is both good and evil. The children of evil, and the redeemed children of God.

The redeemed children of God were once evil (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but who have come to faith by the gift of grace through the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The kingdom of heaven, also known as the kingdom of God in Mark, Luke, and John will one day be eradicated of all evil; evil and those who do evil will be cast into eternal fire; and then the righteous shall shine forth in the kingdom of our Father (Malachi 4:1-2).

Where do you stand with Him today? Have you been redeemed? Believing, you can call on His name, and He will hear your cry, and He will save you.

Of Trees and Men

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
                 Matthew 12:33-37

Good trees produce good fruit. Bad trees or evil trees produce bad fruit. Men evil, and good produce fruit as well.

If a person’s heart is evil, out of that heart comes evil fruit. If a person’s heart is good they will produce good fruit.

The words we speak are coming as produce from the heart. What kind of words do we use? If we are always tearing down someone else, trying to make ourselves appear better to others then that is a fruit of evil. When we build others up over ourselves that is good fruit.

That good fruit comes from a heart that has been changed by the grace of God. That grace was put on display as Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross suffering for the sins of the world and He died there, was buried and He rose again justifying those who come to Him and changing our hearts to produce good fruit in life and words spoken.

If any be in Christ Jesus they are a new creation, old things have passed away, behold, all things have been made new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Recognized Faith

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.” And Jesus saith unto him,
“I will come and heal him.”
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, ‘Go,’ and he goeth; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he cometh; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he doeth it.” When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed,
“Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:5-10

The Roman centurion in the text had a recognized faith. He had came seeking Jesus for the healing of his ailing, suffering servant. His faith was a very evident faith and a working faith.

How would my faith in Jesus Christ be recognized? How about yours? Genuine faith searches for Jesus, then genuine faith believes what Jesus says and goes believing He has done what He said.

Could Jesus or will Jesus be able to say of us, “I have not found so great faith…”?

Falsely Accused for Christ’s Sake

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.                                 Matthew 5:11-12

These words, spoken by Jesus, while teaching of His kingdom are more than reminders to us that in this world there are people who hate and despise Jesus, those who believe and follow Him, and even His word.

Let those of us who love Him keep in mind that we have His blessings on us no matter what form of persecution we face.

It is not persecution if we are in a trial for some wrong we have done. That is a matter of justice. Persecution is when we live for Christ Jesus and His word, and we are hated and despised for that.

Let us always be faithful to Jesus Christ, His word and to the work of His kingdom.

Religion and Repentance

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father:’ for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”                                    Matthew 3:7-10

John the Baptist was not called to promote a religious system. That is all that the Pharisees and Sadducees had in their hearts and minds.

The Baptist came, was anointed by God, and came calling people to the repentance of sin that their hearts might be prepared for the appearance of the Messiah, that they might believe Him.

That is the calling, from a heart of love for Christ, to call people to believe Jesus Christ, call on His name in repentance and faith. Showing forth fruit of repentance comes from a heart that has been born again, changed to the point of hating sin, first in one’s own life.

Has your heart and life been changed by the power of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Tell the Whole World

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
“All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”  Amen.   Matthew 28:16-20

They Came Out of Their Graves, After His Resurrection

Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.”  Matthew 27:50-54

These are the “First fruits” of His resurrection. So shall the rest of those be who die in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Inside to Outside

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.   Matthew 23:25-26

Working to keep the outside of your life clean without the inside cleaned by the power of the Spirit of Christ in us, is nothing but hypocrisy; and will always lead to condemning and judging others unjustly.

Faith and a Fig Tree

Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it,
“Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.”
And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, “How soon is the fig tree withered away!” Jesus answered and said unto them,
“Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;’ it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”   Matthew 21:18-22

The faith that moves mountains into the sea, is the faith of Jesus Christ.

An Offense to Jesus Christ

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee.” But He turned, and said unto Peter, “Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  Matthew 16:21-23

If your opinion or view of who Jesus Christ is and His work He came to do does not agree with Scripture then you are an offense to Him.

Losing One’s Life

Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:13-14

He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.
  Matthew 10:37-39

The Mute and The Mouth

As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a devil.  And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, “It was never so seen in Israel.”  But the Pharisees said, “He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.”  And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  Matthew 9:32-35

The fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  Psalm 14:1

There was a man who could not speak because of demon possession. There were some mouths which needed to do some serious thinking before they spoke, but they did not.

Just a thought for these verses. May we remain silent when it would be right to do so, like when we see something that we do not understand.  There are some, like the Pharisees above who are mute in their understanding of who Jesus is. May it not be those who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Arise, O LORD

Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in Thy sight.
Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah. Psalm 9:19-20

Not every one that saith unto Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?”  And then will I profess unto them, “I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”
  Matthew 7:21-23

Trusting the LORD and His Word

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,  “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”   Matthew 2:16-18

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.   Psalm 4:8

It is wonderful to me. It is also comforting and reassuring to me how that the word of the LORD is fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, the first time. Knowing that He keeps His promises and warnings is assurance that He will fulfill all things He has spoken.

For the child of God born again through the faith of Christ Jesus and His crucifixion, burial and resurrection we are given the assurance of eternal life; and we can lie down safely at night, and sleep like a new born baby resting in the mother’s arms.

Call on the name of Jesus Christ. He will hear you and He will save.

Put Away Your Sword

And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him,
“Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”
In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes,
“Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take Me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on Me. But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. Matthew 26:51-56

Who Is A Faithful and Wise Servant?

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
  Matthew 24:42-47

Perfected Praise

And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple; and He healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David;” they were sore displeased, and said unto Him, “Hearest Thou what these say?” And Jesus saith unto them,
“Yea; have ye never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?’ “   Matthew 21:14-16

The Revelation

He saith unto them,
“But whom say ye that I am?”
And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered and said unto him,
“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”   Matthew 16:15-19

From the Heart

Then answered Peter and said unto Him, “Declare unto us this parable.” And Jesus said,
“Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:15-20