Freedom In Christ

Week 34, Section 48

Summary: For the first time Jesus uses a parable, a classic manner of teaching to induce further reflection and dialog. In this parable Jesus speaks of something new and old. He’s referring to the New Covenant and the Old Covenant.  It was an apt moment for this lesson as John’s disciples and the Pharisees were still holding on to ‘the way things have always been done’.

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Matthew 9:14-17 Mark 2:18-22 Luke 5:33-39 John
14 Then John’s disciplesa  came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Phariseesb fast often, but your disciples don’t fast?” 15 Jesus said to themc, “Can the friends of the bridegroomd mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.e 16  No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch would tear away from the garment, and a worse hole is made. 17 fNeither do people put new wine into old wine skins, or else the skins would burst, and the wine be spilled, and the skins ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved.”g 14 Then John’s disciplesa came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Phariseesb fast often, but your disciples don’t fast?” 15 Jesus said to them,c “Can the friends of the bridegroomd mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will faste. 16  No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch would tear away from the garment, and a worse hole is made. 17  fNeither do people put new wine into old wine skins, or else the skins would burst, and the wine be spilled, and the skins ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved.”g 33 They said to him, “Why do John’s disciplesa often fast and pray, likewise also the disciples of the Pharisees,b but yours eat and drink?” 34 He said to them,c “Can you make the friends of the bridegroomd fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35  But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. Then they will faste in those days.” 36 He also told a parable to them. “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old garment, or else he will tear the new, and also the piece from the new will not match the old. 37  fNo one puts new wine into old wine skins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38  But new wine must be put into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved. 39  No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’ ”g No Record Provided

** Our online text is from the World English Bible, rights to use this format are granted by Michael Johnson. If you would like to obtain a copy of Thomas & Gundry’s Harmony of the Gospels (NIV) in our exclusive letter-size, loose-leaf PDF, then please contact us via email or phone.    

Study Notes:

John’s disciples – strong sense of allegiance to John., an emotional connection – even though John said “I am not the one” and “there’s the messiah”.
Pharisees – they too wanted to Law “protect and provide” but now the new covenant which gives us freedom via grace.
At the beginning of his public common sense wisdom,   then in his third year of ministry Jesus uses more prophetic wisdom from the Old Testament.
The bridegroom is Jesus – bride is the church, the body of Christ. Paul later speaks about the husband and wife…. See: Rev. Festive nature of enjoying time  with God because of Christ.  Celebration. in Mt 15 the time for fasting would be an indication of the crucifixion.
Fasting – John is currently imprisoned (see Mt 11) and so his disciples might even be grieving, and so they might be fasting to pray, and intercede, for John’s freedom (see: Matthew 17:21)
Transition from bridegroom to the second part of his teaching involving wine skins and the bridegroom. Ambrose makes the bridge via the fasting and the old man vs new man sanctified via Christ. (a transition – a man shall leave his mother an dfather and cleave to his wife. Genesis 2:24). 1 Corinthians 13 – love is. Paul I don’t do what I want … so Paul and we both rely on God’s grace.
The old cloth on new garment is a reference to the New Covenant creates riffs in our thinking given the Good News, our old nature, the law, and our old world view.

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Matthew Follows Jesus

Week 33, Section 47 a,b

Summary: This week our study challenges us to consider not only what we might need to leave behind in order to follow Jesus, but also the grace of God to every person no matter how proficient or profane a sinner we might be.  It also indicates that each individual also brings a certain value to God’s eternal purpose – for Matthew was most likely more wealthy and educated than the other 11 apostles.  To those discipling others the power of Jesus’ words to the pharisees at the close of our story should cause us reason to pause, examine our own lives in humility given the purity of God’s righteousness.

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Matthew 9:9-13 Mark 2:13-17 Luke 5:27-32 John
9 As Jesus passed by from there, he saw a man called Matthewa sitting at the tax collection office. He said to him, “Follow me.”b He got up and followed him. 10 As he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”c 12 When Jesus heard it, he said to them,“Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. 13  But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”d 13 He went out again by the seaside. All the multitude came to him, and he taught them. 14 As he passed by, he saw Levia, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office, and he said to him,“Follow me.”b And he arose and followed him. 15 He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him. 16 The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?c 17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them,“Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”d 27 After these things he went out, and saw a tax collector named Levia sitting at the tax office, and said to him, “Follow me!”b 28 He left everything, and rose up and followed him. 29 Levi made a great feast for him in his house. There was a great crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining with them. 30 Their scribes and the Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?”c 31 Jesus answered them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. 32  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”d No Record Provided

** Our online text is from the World English Bible, rights to use this format are granted by Michael Johnson. If you would like to obtain a copy of Thomas & Gundry’s Harmony of the Gospels (NIV) in our exclusive letter-size, loose-leaf PDF, then please contact us via email or phone.    

Study Notes:

Matthew was a Galilean Jew, working for the Roman government as a tax collector, so Matthew wasn’t liked very well by his countrymen. Since during this time the Romans ruled Israel politically, most people considered it treachery for a Jew to work in such a position. Matthews Jewish name was Levi (Mk 2:14,15; Lk. 5:27-29) and he was probably given the Greek name Matthew which means after he became a disciple. After perhaps fifteen years he went out as a missionary. History makes it clear that he went into Persia, and perhaps to the Ethiopia in Africa as taught in Catholic tradition. It is said that Matthew was martyred in Egypt upon his return from Ethiopia but this is not certain. Another tradition asserts that Matthew was martyred in Parthia.
“Follow me” its a foreign concept and difficult discipline for those who want to be in control of their life. IT literally means to follow, and also means to become a disciple, learning from the master, and ascribe allegiance.  View the BLB lexicon to read several more places in scripture that use the same term <follow>.
c The pharisees strictly followed the Levitical law and expected other to do so too – especially Jesus who had recently called himself the “son of man” a title that indicated his being the Messiah.
d Hosea 6:6 (BLB)

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Song:  “Things we leave behind” by Michael Card 

Forgiving & Healing of a Paralytic

Week 32, Section 46

Summary: This week we step into the room where a crowd had gathered around Jesus to hear him teach. Over the past few months Jesus has gained many followers and disciples so many that on this day some very determined friends chose to tear open the room in order to place their friend at the feet of Jesus.  This is the kind of story that challenges me, making me ask, ‘what extent am I going to bring those in need to Jesus?’

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Matthew Mark Luke John
1 He entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city. 2 Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you. 3 Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man blasphemes.” 4 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5  For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk?’ 6  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins-” (then he said to the paralytic), “Get up, and take up your mat, and go to your house.” 7 He arose and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. 1 When he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was heard that he was in the house. 2 Immediately many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even around the door; and he spoke the word to them. 3 Four people came, carrying a paralytic to him. 4 When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on. 5 Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” 6 But there were some of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you reason these things in your hearts? 9  Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?’ 10  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11  “I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house.” 12 He arose, and immediately took up the mat, and went out in front of them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” 17 On one of those days, he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was with him to heal them. 18 Behold, men brought a paralyzed man on a cot, and they sought to bring him in to lay before Jesus. 19 Not finding a way to bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his cot into the middle before Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, he said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” 22 But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, answered them, “Why are you reasoning so in your hearts? 23  Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you;’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?’ 24  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (he said to the paralyzed man), “I tell you, arise, and take up your cot, and go to your house.” 25 Immediately he rose up before them, and took up that which he was laying on, and departed to his house, glorifying God. 26 Amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God. They were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today.” No Record Provided

** Our online text is from the World English Bible, rights to use this format are granted by Michael Johnson. If you would like to obtain a copy of Thomas & Gundry’s Harmony of the Gospels (NIV) in our exclusive letter-size, loose-leaf PDF, then please contact us via email or phone.    

Study Notes:

Notes
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Song:  Healer, Hillsong 
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Week 31, Section 45

Summary: A year since Jesus was baptized his public ministry now includes more healing as he shows his compassion to others and the number of followers and disciples is increasing.  Our study today reveals something more about Jesus’ purpose, his manner of ministry, and his concern for our own physical condition.

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Matthew 8:1-4 Mark 1:40-45 Luke 5:12-16 John
1 When he came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 Behold, a leper came to him and worshiped him, saying, “Lord, if you want toa, you canb make me clean.” 3 Jesus stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be made clean.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansedc. 4 Jesus said to him, “See that you tell nobody, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.d 40 A leper came to him, begging him, kneeling down to him, and saying to him, “If you want to, you can make me clean.” 41 Being moved with compassion, he stretched out his hand, and touched him, and said to him, “I want to. Be made clean.” 42 When he had said this, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was made clean. 43 He strictly warned him, and immediately sent him out, 44 and said to him, “See you say nothing to anybody, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing the things which Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.d 45 But he went out, and began to proclaim it muche, and to spread about the matter, so that Jesus could no more openly enter into a city, but was outside in desert places: and they came to him from everywhere.f 12 While he was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man full of leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face, and begged him, saying, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.” 13 He stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, “I want to. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 He commanded him to tell no one, “But go your way, and show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing according to what Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.d 15 But the report concerning him spread much more, and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.e 16 But he withdrew himself into the desert, and prayed.g No account of this story

** Our online text is from the World English Bible, rights to use this format are granted by Michael Johnson. If you would like to obtain a copy of Thomas & Gundry’s Harmony of the Gospels (NIV) in our exclusive letter-size, loose-leaf PDF, then please contact us via email or phone.    

Study Notes:

“Lord if you want”- notice how the man came to Jesus, honored/regarded him with the title ‘Lord’. In his question he begins by recognizing the ‘will of God’. The will of God is an important aspect when asking for healing and other aid from God.  As in the Lord’s Prayer we are to subject ourselves to the will of God which may not be our wealth and happiness but most certainly includes the wholeness of spirit and
Notes The leper recognizes the ability of
Notes
Testimony to them – That is to the priests, so that 1) they would know that a healing took place and they had no part in making it happen, 2) to fulfill the due process of the Mosaic law, and 3) perhaps most importantly the fulfillment of prophecy about the Messiah who would come and heal.  This is important to understand as the subsequent footnote will show that his failure to follow Jesus instructions
Instead the healed man went out and told people of the miracle. Interestingly Jesus does not punish the man.
Notes
He went away and prayed –

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Week 29, Section 43

Summary: The week we read of Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law and learn about the nature of community, compassion, and care. In this passage we Compassion of Christ, the Consolation of Jerusalem, Jesus’ care of the Peter’s mother-in-law and the people gathered.

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Matthew 8:14-17 Mark 1:29-34 Luke 4:38-41 John
14 Whena Jesus came into Peter’s houseb, he saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her. She got up and served him.c 16 When evening came, they brought to him many possessed with demons.d He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick; 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, “He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.”f, 29 Immediately, when they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them.c 32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick, and those who were possessed by demons.d 33 All the city was gathered together at the door. 34 He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn’t allow the demons to speake, because they knew him. 38 He rose up from the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a great fever, and they begged him for her. 39 He stood over her, and rebuked the fever;c and it left her. Immediately she rose up and served them. 40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 Demons.d also came out of many, crying out, and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Rebuking them, he didn’t allow them to speake, because they knew that he was the Christ. No Record Provided

** Our online text is from the World English Bible, rights to use this format are granted by Michael Johnson. If you would like to obtain a copy of Thomas & Gundry’s Harmony of the Gospels (NIV) in our exclusive letter-size, loose-leaf PDF, then please contact us via email or phone.    

Study Notes:

Sequence of the Harmony of the Gospels – Notice that we’ve skipped over nearly four chapters of the Gospel. according to Matthew.  Mark’s Gospel sets the sequential chronology of the Harmony of the Gospels while Matthew shares the Gospel to a Jewish audience that would appreciate the rhythm of “teach then practice”.  Use our index to see the entire chronology side by side.
The setting is in Peter’s mother in laws home, not a public place. This passage then provides some insight as to how the early church would live life together. It might also be interesting to note that we have no prior mention of Peter being married. There is no mention of the father-in-law or Peter’s wife. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – about 100 years later) does present that Peter had children and a wife.  When Mark wrote his Gospel it was read by those who were contemporaries of Peter and the folks in Capernaum. We have the testimony of the two other Gospelers who also tell of this healing.  Note also that they waited until evening came (at the close of the Sabbath) so as not to break the conventional law.
Luke, the doctor, reports that Jesus rebuked the fever, laid his hand on her and she was healed. Jesus   Peter’s mother-in-law resumes her intention to serve immediately after begin healed. Serving with an attitude of gratitude. In a word they were healed.  In a Jewish sense the word is what brings life and Jesus is the Word. In the baptism of the Holy Spirit there are those who have been given this gift of healing and given the same authority. If we are in need today we can go to one of these folks or to Jesus himself and ask for healing and deliverance.
Word about Jesus has spread and people were moved to go see Jesus and invite others to join them. As a result of their faith and action many more were healed.  Now today we don’t hear much about healing throughout mainline churches – yet healing was not foreign or limited to Jesus time. Many had been healed before as seen in these passages: Numbers 12 a man is healed from leprosy;  1 Sam chapter 1 Hannah receives healing from barrenness; 2 Kings 13 and the bones of Elisha; 2 Kings 5 Naaman is told to wash seven times in the Jordan and be healed.
Notes /listen to last week’s broadcast to learn more about the Jesus’ ministry of deliverance.
Notes – Matthew uses the familiar passage of Isaiah 53, “the consolation of Israel” – read the entire passage to understand more of the messianic parallel to the life of Christ. In Jewish culture chapter 52 reveals that Israel is at a national low and then in chapter 54 the redemption of the nation of Israel is elaborated. So it is with us today, Those who are “laid low” will be “raised up” by grace through faith in Christ. The redemptive work is done and through our faith we experience the reality of the truth.

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Song:  The Final Word, Michael Card 
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Jesus heals and forgives a demoniac

Week 28, Section 42

Summary: Jesus has gone to the Synagogue on the Sabbath but there encounters a demoniac. Astounding those present, he sets the demoniac free and word of Jesus’ authority spread throughout the region. The Good News is not limited to our salvation but our daily experience of God’s grace and power in our lives as we live Christ (Ephesians 6: 10-15 and 1 Thessalonians 5).

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Matthew Mark 1:21-28 Luke 4:31-37 John
No account of this story 21 They went into Capernauma, and immediately on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught. 22 They were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as having authorityb, and not as the scribes. 23 Immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spiritc, and he cried out, 24 saying, “Ha! What do we have to do with you, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy usd? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!” 25 Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 The unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 They were all amazede, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him!” 28 The report of him went out immediately everywhere into all the region of Galilee and its surrounding area.f 31 He came down to Capernauma, a city of Galilee. He was teaching them on the Sabbath day, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authorityb33 In the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demonc, and he cried out with a loud voice,34 saying, “Ah! what have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy usd? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!” 35 Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be silent, and come out of him!When the demon had thrown him down in the middle of them, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 Amazement came on alle, and they spoke together, one with another, saying, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”37 News about him went out into every place of the surrounding region.f No account of this story

** Our online text is from the World English Bible, rights to use this format are granted by Michael Johnson. If you would like to obtain a copy of Thomas & Gundry’s Harmony of the Gospels (NIV) in our exclusive letter-size, loose-leaf PDF, then please contact us via email or phone.    

Study Notes:

Capernaum is Jesus base of ministry. A great majority of his ministry happens here and references Capernaum as in “he set out from ‘C'” or “Jesus returned to ‘C””.
Jesus’ goes to the Synagogue on the Sabbath as was customary of the observant Jew (Luke 4:6; 4:42-44). However “the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matt 12:8), still it gave Him opportunity to preach the good news of the kingdom of God to a group the chosen people and a people who were actively seeking God. Indeed, the people there recognizing his authority were in awe. Jesus’ very nature as being God has authority as demonstrated further as the story develops.
The An Unclean Spirit – The Gospels speak openly about the presence and activity Devil and demons.  The devil was once an angelic being, when he rebelled against God, aiming to usurp praise and power to himself he was cast out of heaven and 1/3 of the angels followed him.  If we accept angels then we must also accept the notion and activity of demons among us.  Please understand that demons and the devil are not the yin-yang of God. God is the creator, the author and authority of all creation.
Have you come to destroy us? –  These demons are well aware of Jesus’ identity. They wonder if today will be their last. But God seems to have four step process for dealing with Satan and his minions 1) cast from heaven; 2) cast out of the soul of human beings; 3) overcome by the power of the cross, resurrection and ascension, 4) final judgement.
The evil spirit came our and the people were amazed – Note that demons posses but angels lead us to God and we are filled with the Holy Spirit (not angels). Thus we are filled with God the Spirit – a higher authority than the one filled with a demon(s). Don’t even enter into deliverance (exorcism) unless you are saved, sure of the grace and authority of God,  and then begin with prayer.  Many denominations insist (with good reason) that you have a priest or even a bishop present.  We won’t go any further into this practice today as not even the disciples received this training in this day. Its a lesson for a later time in ministry.
Word spread – its only reasonable and we will in fact see the numbers of followers and disciples grow as a result of the stories of Jesus’ miracles and teachings that people began to share as they traveled from town to town.

relief map Galilee - Capernaum