1/29/15

From Jim McGuiggan... The Devil his origin and character

The Devil his origin and character

I'm one of those who think that Satan (or the Devil or the Serpent) is a name for an actual being who has set himself against God. Still, I recognize that there are fervent believers who think the term “Satan” simply stands for the power or force of evil. I can't share that view. I can see that realities like sin and wisdom can be and are at times personified but the personification of wisdom in poetic and proverbial settings isn't what I hear when the scriptures speak of Satan. Christ speaks of him as a liar and a murderer (John 8) who was a liar and a murderer “from the beginning”. That section carries the tone of personality and the temptation narratives, despite some difficulties that need worked out in detail, it gives the strong impression that Satan is a person.
There is the view that the Satan of the Old Testament should be treated differently than the Satan (or Devil) of the New Testament. There are those who think the Satan of the New Testament is an actual evil being but that the Old Testament “Satan,” at worst, is a defender of God's honor. Because there's so little in the Old Testament about Satan I can understand the need for caution in drawing our conclusions. However, I think the New Testament makes a purposeful connection between the Old Testament Satan, serpent and what it calls the Devil.
Perhaps it's not surprising that the Old Testament doesn't have a developed doctrine of Satan when it doesn't have a developed doctrine of the resurrection or the Holy Spirit. There are textual reasons to believe that the truth of the resurrection was held in the centuries before Christ but it was the Master himself who brought to light the truth of immortality and life (2 Timothy 1:10). And while the Holy Spirit is mentioned all over the Old Testament it isn't until we get to the New Testament that we learn of his own “personhood” and other related truths.
I'm one of the many who infer from a few texts in scripture that the one we know as Satan was created by God (see John 1:3, Colossians 1:16-17 and Revelation 4:11, as examples). This presumes that Satan is not eternal. And since nothing could come directly from the heart of God that is unholy he must have been created and judged as “good”. If all this is correct then he must have been involved in some sinful rebellion and now lives to oppose God.
Genesis 3:1-4, 13-15 mentions the serpent deceiving Eve and leading the humans into sinful rebellion against God. Genesis nowhere links the serpent with the Old Testament Satan but the understanding that the serpent was Satan is very old and certainly predates the New Testament. So when John in Revelation 20:2 says, “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan and bound him for a thousand years,” perhaps we aren't being unreasonable if we link the Genesis 3 text with the New Testament development. See also Revelation 12:9.
Then there's Paul's word of assurance to the Roman Christians in 16:20 . “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” James Dunn, commenting on that text, calls this a grand slogan and an “echo of Genesis 3:15 .” And there's 2 Corinthians 11:3 where Paul connects the Genesis 3 text with the work of sly Satan (see 11:3, 13-15).
It seems to me that John and Paul are content to let us make such a link between the serpent and Satan (and the devil) in light of their own allusions to the serpent texts. So in light of these indicators I'll be accepting the identification.
The three names and their biblical contexts help us establish a profile for Satan. Being “Satan” and the “Devil” he is an accuser, and adversary and being the Serpent he is connected with sly deception. We're expressly told he is an accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) but it seems to me that in Job 1:9-10 he accuses God of buying Job's faithfulness. If that's true then his slander isn't just against Job (and humans in general—Job 2:4) it's leveled against God as a giver of bribes. Be that as it may, in Revelation 12:9 we hear, “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” Eight times in Revelation deception is said to be his business and the present participial phrase in 12:9 is clearly being used as an adjective to describe and identify him. And it seems noteworthy that the dragon is identified as the ancient serpent that has two names (Satan and Devil) so that it's the serpent mode that is to the forefront in the text.
It's this deceptive aspect of Satan (in his serpent mode) that I will be mentioning frequently. Here John has him characterized as a deceiver. Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:3 speaks of the serpent deceiving Eve and in Romans 7:11, where he has the Garden of Eden seduction as his background, he says sin “deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.” In this text he replaces the serpent with personified Sin but the tone and drift of Genesis 3 is retained and deception is central.
This slyness and deception doesn't endear Satan to us but there's a truth implicit in it that's worth underlining. He deceives because he can't coerce! In the battle against God for human souls Satan must depend on confusion and lies, on bluff and bluster, on slinking and hiding. He can't bear the light because he's doomed as soon as people see him for what he is. But—and this is an important but—it is only through Christ and the scriptures that we know of his malignant nature. It is only through the cross and the Christ of the cross that we are able to judge Satan and “the world” of which he is the prince (see John 12:31 ). Guesses, speculations and anecdotes take us nowhere—it's the Christ who has exposed and defeated him.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

“The First Day of the Week” by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2022

“The First Day of the Week”

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

All four gospel accounts reveal how Jesus rose (and His tomb was found empty) “on the first day of the week” (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; cf. 20:19). Years later, Paul wrote to the Corinthian church commanding them to make regular contributions “on the first day of the week” (1 Corinthians 16:2; or “on the first day of every week”—NASBNIVRSV). Luke recorded in the book of Acts how Paul, while on his third missionary journey, assembled with the Christians in Troas “on the first day of the week” (20:7). The phrase “the first day of the week” appears eight times in the most widely used English translations of the New Testament. Based on this reading of the text, along with various supplemental passages (e.g., Revelation 1:10), Christians assemble to worship God on Sunday. Upon looking at the Greek text, however, some have questioned the integrity of the translation “the first day of the week,” wondering if a better wording would be “the Sabbath day.”
Admittedly, a form of the Greek word for sabbath (sabbaton or sabbatou) does appear in each of the eight passages translated “first day of the week.” For example, in Acts 20:7 this phrase is translated from the Greek mia ton sabbaton. However, sabbaton (or sabbatou) is never translated as “the Sabbath day” in these passages. Why? Because the word is used in these contexts (as Greek scholars overwhelmingly agree) to denote a “week” (Perschbacher, 1990, p. 364), “a period of seven days” (Danker, et al., 2000, p. 910; cf. Thayer, 1962, p. 566). Jesus once used the term “Sabbath” in this sense while teaching about the sinfulness of self-righteousness (Luke 18:9). He told a parable of the sanctimonious Pharisee who prayed: “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess” (18:11-12, emp. added). The phrase “twice a week” comes from the Greek dis tou sabbatou. Obviously Jesus was not saying that the Pharisee boasted of fasting twice on the Sabbath day, but twice (disa week (tou sabbatou).
According to R.C.H. Lenski, since “[t]he Jews had no names for the weekdays,” they “designated them with reference to their Sabbath” (1943, p. 1148). Thus, mia ton sabbaton means “the first (day) with reference to the Sabbath,” i.e., the first (day) following the Sabbath (Lenski, p. 1148), or, as we would say in 21st century English, “the first day of the week.”
After spending years examining Jewish writings in the Babylonian Talmud, Hebraist John Lightfoot wrote A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, in which he expounded upon the Hebrew method of counting the days of the week. He noted: “The Jews reckon the days of the week thus; One day (or the first dayof the sabbathtwo (or the second dayof the sabbath;” etc. (1859, 2:375, emp. in orig.). Lightfoot then quoted from two different Talmud tractates. Maccothalludes to those who testify on “the first of the sabbath” about an individual who stole an ox. Judgment was then passed the following day—“on the second day of the sabbath” (Lightfoot, 2:375, emp. in orig.; Maccoth, Chapter 1). Bava Kama describes ten enactments ordained by a man named Ezra, including the public reading of the law “on the second and fifth days of the sabbath,” and the washing of clothes “on the fifth day of the sabbath” (Lightfoot, 2:375; Bava Kama, Chapter 7). In Michael Rodkinson’s 1918 translation of Maccoth and Bava Kama, he accurately translated “the second day of the sabbath” as Monday, “the fifth day of the sabbath” as Thursday, and “the first of the sabbath” as Sunday.
If the word sabbaton in passages such as Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, and Acts 20:7 actually denoted “the Sabbath day,” rather than “a period of seven days,” one would expect some of the foremost Bible translations to translate it thusly. Every major English translation of the Bible, however, translates mia ton sabbaton as “the first day of the week.” Why? Because scholars are aware of the Jewish method of counting the days of the week by using the Sabbath as a reference point.
Finally, consider the difficulty that would arise with Jesus’ resurrection story if sabbaton was translated Sabbath. “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first Sabbath (sabbaton), they came to the tomb when the sun had risen” (emp. added). Such a rending of sabbaton in Mark 16:2 would be nonsensical. The Sabbath was over, and the mia ton sabbaton (“first day of the week”) had begun. The passage is understood properly only when one recognizes the Jewish method of reckoning weekdays.
Just as second century apologists Justin Martyr (ca. A.D. 150) spoke of Jesus as rising from the dead “on the first day after the Sabbath” (Dialogue..., 41), and equated this day with “Sunday” (“First Apology,” 67), so should 21st century Christians. That Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week” (Mark 16:9), and that Christians gathered to worship on this day (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; cf. Justin Martyr, “First Apology,” 67), is an established fact. Sunday is the first day after the Jewish Sabbath—the “first day of the week.”

REFERENCES

Danker, Frederick William, William Arndt, and F.W. Gingrich, (2000), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Justin Martyr, (1973 reprint), Dialogue with Trypho, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Justin Martyr (1973 reprint), First Apology, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Lenski, R.C.H. (1943), The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).
Lightfoot, John (1979 reprint), A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Perschbacher, Wesley J., ed. (1990), The New Analytical Greek Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Rodkinson, Michael, trans. (1918), The Babylonian Talmud, [On-line], URL: http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm#t06.
Thayer, Joseph (1962 reprint), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

From Mark Copeland... Peter’s Denial Of Jesus (Mark 14:66-72)


                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   Peter’s Denial Of Jesus (14:66-72)

INTRODUCTION

1. Among the things Jesus suffered was the indignity of Peter’s
   denial...
   a. Three times, with increasing intensity, Peter denied knowing 
      Jesus  - Mk 14:66-72
   b. Peter denied knowing Jesus, despite being with Jesus:
      1) From the beginning of His earthly ministry - Mk 1:16-18
      2) At the healing of his own mother-in-law - Mk 1:29-31
      3) On the Sea of Galilee, walking on the water - Mt 14:22-33
      4) On the mount, seeing Jesus with Moses and Elijah - Mk 9:2-6

2. How did Peter come to deny his Lord and Savior...?
   a. What forces were at work, that led to his cowardly deed?
   b. Might they be forces we face today, encouraging us to do the same?

[From "Peter’s Denial Of Jesus", there are important lessons to be
gleaned.  Indeed, Peter himself can help us to avoid making the mistakes
he made when he writes as one who knows the dangers before us.  For
example, we note first of all that...]

I. PETER WAS BETRAYED BY PRIDE

   A. HE BOASTED HE WOULD NEVER DENY JESUS...
      1. Proudly proclaiming that even if all left Jesus, not him! - Mk 14:27-29
      2. In so doing, Peter took the first step in falling away - Pr 16:18
      3. We can also be overconfident in our service to God - cf. 1Co 10:12
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   B. PETER LATER COMMANDED HUMILITY...
      1. To be clothed with humility - 1Pe 5:5
      2. To humble ourselves before God - 1Pe 5:6

[Peter learned the hard way about the danger of pride.  Will we learn
from the mistake of Peter, and value the importance of humility?  Next,
notice that...]

II. PETER WAS BESIEGED BY LAZINESS

   A. HE KEPT FALLING ASLEEP...
      1. At a time when he needed to be watchful - Mk 14:37-42
      2. His laziness therefore led to lack of preparation
      3. The same thing can happen to us!
         a. Without diligent preparation, we too can be unprepared - cf. Lk 21:34-36
         b. More often than not, we gradually "drift away" because we
            are too lazy to "give the more earnest heed" - cf. He 2:1-3

   B. PETER LATER ENJOINED DILIGENCE...
      1. Commanding vigilant resistance against the devil - 1Pe 5:8-9
      2. Calling for diligence that we might:
         a. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus - 2Pe 1:5,10
         b. Be found in peace, without spot and blameless - 2Pe 3:14

[Do we allow simple laziness to keep us from careful preparation?  Do we
fail to attend services, study God’s Word, or even pray, because of
laziness?  If so, how can we hope to stand up for Jesus when put to the
test?  As we continue, we observe that...]

III. PETER WAS BESET BY COWARDICE

   A. HE FOLLOWED JESUS AT A DISTANCE...
      1. Peter still followed Jesus - Mk 14:54
      2. But now that Jesus was unpopular...
         a. He stays far enough away so not to be identified with Him
         b. He was unprepared to face the challenge of ridicule and
            persecution
      3. Might we be guilty trying to follow Jesus, but with cowardice?
         a. Ashamed to be seen carrying a Bible?
         b. Ashamed to be seen giving thanks?
         c. Ashamed to be seen with other Christians?

   B. PETER LATER EXHORTED GLORIFYING GOD...
      1. Charging us not to be ashamed, but to glorify God - 1Pe 4:16
      2. Thinking not of what things mean to us, but what they mean to
         God! - cf. Mt 5:16

[With cowardice keeping him at a distance from his Lord, Peter was a
prime candidate for succumbing to what came next...]

IV. PETER WAS BELEAGUERED BY WORLDLINESS

   A. HE WAS INFLUENCED BY THE WORLD...
      1. By sitting with the servants of the High Priest, and warming
         himself by their fire - Mk 14:54
      2. Ashamed to be seen with Christ, it was easy to mingle with
         those of the world and enjoy their comforts
      3. But one cannot be "comforted by the fire" of the world, and not
         be "burned"!
         a. E.g., close contact with things that can harm has an effect - cf. Pr 6:27-29
         b. So we cannot flirt with the world and walk away untouched - 1Co 15:33

   B. PETER LATER CALLED FOR US TO BE OTHERWORLDLY...
      1. To live as sojourners and pilgrims, abstaining from fleshly
         lusts and with honorable conduct among the nations - 1Pe 2:11-12
      2. To look for that new heavens and new earth, being diligent to
         be found by Christ in peace, without spot and blameless - 2Pe 3:13-14

CONCLUSION

1. When Peter concluded his second epistle, he did so with a warning...
   a. To beware lest you fall from your own steadfastness - 2Pe 3:17
   b. To grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ - 2Pe 3:18

2. These admonitions come from one who was well qualified to speak...
   a. For he knew how easy it was to fall through such things as:
      1) Pride
      2) Laziness
      3) Cowardice
      4) Worldliness
   b. But he also knew how one could grow in grace through such things
      as:
      1) Humility
      2) Diligence
      3) Glorifying God
      4) Living as strangers and sojourners

Yes, we know that Peter, though he denied Jesus three times and wept
bitterly, received grace when forgiven by Jesus and permitted to fulfill
his role as an apostle.  If we have been guilty of letting our Lord
down, look to Him for the grace to repent and growth that only He can
bestow...!


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading January 29



Bible Reading 

January 29

The World English Bible
Jan. 29
Genesis 29
Gen 29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east.
Gen 29:2 He looked, and behold, a well in the field, and, behold, three flocks of sheep lying there by it. For out of that well they watered the flocks. The stone on the well's mouth was large.
Gen 29:3 There all the flocks were gathered. They rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again on the well's mouth in its place.
Gen 29:4 Jacob said to them, "My relatives, where are you from?" They said, "We are from Haran."
Gen 29:5 He said to them, "Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?" They said, "We know him."
Gen 29:6 He said to them, "Is it well with him?" They said, "It is well. See, Rachel, his daughter, is coming with the sheep."
Gen 29:7 He said, "Behold, it is still the middle of the day, not time to gather the livestock together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them."
Gen 29:8 They said, "We can't, until all the flocks are gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well's mouth. Then we water the sheep."
Gen 29:9 While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she kept them.
Gen 29:10 It happened, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
Gen 29:11 Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
Gen 29:12 Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son. She ran and told her father.
Gen 29:13 It happened, when Laban heard the news of Jacob, his sister's son, that he ran to meet Jacob, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things.
Gen 29:14 Laban said to him, Surely you are my bone and my flesh. He lived with him for a month.
Gen 29:15 Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what will your wages be?"
Gen 29:16 Laban had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Gen 29:17 Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and attractive.
Gen 29:18 Jacob loved Rachel. He said, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter."
Gen 29:19 Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me."
Gen 29:20 Jacob served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.
Gen 29:21 Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her."
Gen 29:22 Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
Gen 29:23 It happened in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him. He went in to her.
Gen 29:24 Laban gave Zilpah his handmaid to his daughter Leah for a handmaid.
Gen 29:25 It happened in the morning that, behold, it was Leah. He said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Didn't I serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?"
Gen 29:26 Laban said, "It is not done so in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn.
Gen 29:27 Fulfill the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you will serve with me yet seven other years."
Gen 29:28 Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week. He gave him Rachel his daughter as wife.
Gen 29:29 Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah, his handmaid, to be her handmaid.
Gen 29:30 He went in also to Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
Gen 29:31 Yahweh saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.
Gen 29:32 Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she named him Reuben. For she said, "Because Yahweh has looked at my affliction. For now my husband will love me."
Gen 29:33 She conceived again, and bore a son, and said, "Because Yahweh has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this son also." She named him Simeon.
Gen 29:34 She conceived again, and bore a son. Said, "Now this time will my husband be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons." Therefore was his name called Levi.
Gen 29:35 She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, "This time will I praise Yahweh." Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Jan. 29, 30
Matthew 15

Mat 15:1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 15:2 "Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat bread."
Mat 15:3 He answered them, "Why do you also disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Mat 15:5 But you say, 'Whoever may tell his father or his mother, "Whatever help you might otherwise have gotten from me is a gift devoted to God,"
Mat 15:6 he shall not honor his father or mother.' You have made the commandment of God void because of your tradition.
Mat 15:7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8 'These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men.' "
Mat 15:10 He summoned the multitude, and said to them, "Hear, and understand.
Mat 15:11 That which enters into the mouth doesn't defile the man; but that which proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."
Mat 15:12 Then the disciples came, and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended, when they heard this saying?"
Mat 15:13 But he answered, "Every plant which my heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted.
Mat 15:14 Leave them alone. They are blind guides of the blind. If the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit."
Mat 15:15 Peter answered him, "Explain the parable to us."
Mat 15:16 So Jesus said, "Do you also still not understand?
Mat 15:17 Don't you understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the belly, and then out of the body?
Mat 15:18 But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies.
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands doesn't defile the man."
Mat 15:21 Jesus went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Mat 15:22 Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely demonized!"
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. His disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away; for she cries after us."
Mat 15:24 But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Mat 15:25 But she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me."
Mat 15:26 But he answered, "It is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
Mat 15:27 But she said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Mat 15:29 Jesus departed there, and came near to the sea of Galilee; and he went up into the mountain, and sat there.
Mat 15:30 Great multitudes came to him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others, and they put them down at his feet. He healed them,
Mat 15:31 so that the multitude wondered when they saw the mute speaking, injured whole, lame walking, and blind seeing-and they glorified the God of Israel.
Mat 15:32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away fasting, or they might faint on the way."
Mat 15:33 The disciples said to him, "Where should we get so many loaves in a deserted place as to satisfy so great a multitude?"
Mat 15:34 Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish."
Mat 15:35 He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground;
Mat 15:36 and he took the seven loaves and the fish. He gave thanks and broke them, and gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes.
Mat 15:37 They all ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over.
Mat 15:38 Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.
Mat 15:39 Then he sent away the multitudes, got into the boat, and came into the borders of Magdala.



From Gary... A sign that matters


Sin, for many of us, it is an uncomfortable word. What will others think or do if admit that we have sinned? Well, you really can't control what others think, but as far as Jesus is concerned, I think you can count on consideration. Here is why I say this...

John, Chapter 8 (WEB)

 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  2 Now very early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him. He sat down, and taught them.  3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the midst, 4 they told him, “Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act.  5 Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What then do you say about her?”  6 They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of. 

But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger. 7 But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them,“He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her.”   8 Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. 

  9  They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle. 10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?” 

  11  She said, “No one, Lord.” 
Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.” 


Jesus' adversaries (the scribes and Pharisees) tried to trick him into an "incorrect" judgment concerning a woman caught in the act of adultery. He, however, did not respond as they expected- he simply bent down and wrote on the ground and then challenged them with their own sin. Of course, no one was able to stone her and soon only the two remained.  He did not condemn her, but simply told her to go her way and to sin no more. Why didn't Jesus condemn her? Frankly, I do not know- the text doesn't say.  But, maybe it had something to do with that unknown something that Jesus wrote on the ground? What I do like about this whole situation is that he is not vindictive or unnecessarily harsh with her- he just tells her to sin no more.  Now, that is the sort of friend that I want!!! How about you?