"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS" An Exhortation To Walk In Love (4:9-10) INTRODUCTION 1. In his prayer for the Thessalonians (1Th 3:11-13), Paul asked the Lord to... a. Make them increase and abound in love b. To one another and to all 2. As Paul continues with his "apostolic instructions", he proceeds to help answer his own prayer by exhorting the brethren regarding brotherly love... a. Though not really necessary in their case - 1Th 4:9-10a 1) For they have been taught by God to love one another 2) And they love the brethren throughout Macedonia b. Yet he urges them to increase more and more in their love - 1 Th 4:10b 1) Note yet again the emphasis on an ever increasing service - cf. 1Th 3:12; 4:1 2) So they were to increase in this grace as well [What is it about "brotherly love" that would prompt Paul to first pray for and then to urge the church at Thessalonica to increase in this virtue? As we consider Paul's "Exhortation To Walk In Love" let's first notice...] I. THE DEFINITION OF BROTHERLY LOVE A. THE GREEK WORD... 1. The Greek word is transliterated "philadelphia" 2. It is a compound involving two words: "phileo" (love) and "adelphos" (brother) 3. It literally means "the love of brothers" B. AS USED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT... 1. "philadelphia" describes the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren (Thayer) 2. Ro 12:10 reveals that it is through brotherly kindness we can have "kind affection" toward one another [Brotherly kindness is what provides a true sense of family in our association as members of the Lord's body. Now let's consider why this virtue is so necessary... II. THE DEMAND OF BROTHERLY LOVE A. IT IS EVIDENCE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE... 1. It is one way we know that we have truly passed from death to life - 1Jn 3:14 2. If we do not have brotherly love, we remain in a state of spiritual death - 1Jn 3:14-15 B. IT IS EVIDENCE OF A TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD... 1. It is one way that we demonstrate we have truly come to know God - 1Jn 4:7-8 2. Without brotherly love, any claim to know God or love Him is a lie - 1Jn 4:20-21 C. IT IS EVIDENCE OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP... 1. It is an identifying mark by which the world can know we are Jesus' disciples - Jn 13:34-35 2. Right doctrine is certainly important (2Jn 9), but the world pays little attention to what they may perceive as minor doctrinal differences a. What people do notice is love in a world filled with hate, especially when such love is observed among individuals who come from various social, economic, and racial backgrounds b. Any attempt to proclaim New Testament Christianity, therefore, will fail to appeal to those in the world unless it is accompanied by a visible demonstration of true brotherly kindness among Christians D. IT IS EVIDENCE OF CONCERN FOR UNITY... 1. Unity among brethren is very important to Jesus - Jn 17:20-23 2. Through His death on the cross, Jesus attained unity - Ep 2: 13-16 3. This unity is maintained through diligent endeavor - Ep 4:3 4. Crucial to this endeavor is "bearing with one another in love" - Ep 4:2 a. There will be times when brethren sin against one another b. Where brotherly love prevails... 1) There will be forbearance and forgiveness 2) There will time for repentance and opportunities for reconciliation c. Unless we develop brotherly love, churches will be prone to split at the earliest sign of conflict [Can we appreciate why Paul was concerned that the Thessalonians increase in brotherly love? Do we see why we ought to excel in this grace as well? Presuming that we do, here are some thoughts related to...] III. THE DEVELOPMENT OF BROTHERLY LOVE A. THE HELP GOD PROVIDES... 1. When we first obey the gospel, our souls are purified so that sincere and fervent love of the brethren is now possible - 1Pe 1:22-23 2. We are then "taught by God" how to love one another - cf. 1 Th 4:9 a. The Father teaches the meaning of love by the manner in which He offered His Son as the propitiation for our sins - 1Jn 4:9-10 b. The Son demonstrated true love by freely offering His life - 1Jn 3:16 B. THE THINGS WE CAN DO... 1. As Peter implied, brotherly love is a virtue that must be developed - cf. 2Pe 1:5-8 2. One thing we can do is reflect often upon the love and sacrifice of Jesus a. The more we do so, we come to understand the true meaning of brotherly kindness b. As Jesus said, "as I have loved you, that you also love one another" - Jn 13:34 3. I find two other things helpful in developing brotherly love a. Spend time with your brethren 1) The more I am around people, the more I come to know them personally, the more I share experiences (both good and bad), the easier I find it to "fall in love" with them 2) It is not much different than with one's own physical family a) I had no choice who my three physical brothers would be b) But as we experience life together our love and appreciation for one another deepens c) I find it to be the same with my brethren in Christ b. Pray fervently for your brethren, especially those whom you dislike 1) It is hard to remain angry or maintain a strong dislike for someone when you spend time praying for them 2) As you pray seeking God's love and forgiveness for yourself, it becomes so much easier to love and forgive others [Finally, a thought or two about our relationships as brethren in Christ, and...] IV. THE DISPLAY OF BROTHERLY LOVE A. WHEN BRETHREN DIFFER... 1. A brother who is strong in faith must be considerate of his brother who may be weak - Ro 15:1 2. A brother with liberty in Christ must be willing to limit that freedom if it is beneficial to the spiritual well-being of his weaker brother - 1Co 8:13; Ga 5:13 3. It is brotherly kindness that makes one cautious about judging a brother, or what they say about them - cf. Jm 4:11-12 B. WHEN BRETHREN ARE WEAK... 1. It is brotherly kindness that leads Christians to truly care for one another - 1Th 5:14 a. To warn the unruly b. To comfort the faint-hearted c. To uphold the weak d. To be patient with all 2. It is brotherly kindness that will prompt us to pursue the things that make for peace and the things by which we may build up one another - Ro 14:19 CONCLUSION 1. The importance of developing the spirit of brotherly love cannot be stressed too highly... a. It is evidence of spiritual life b. It is evidence of a true knowledge of God c. It is evidence of true discipleship d. It is evidence of concern for unity 2. Even if we excel in brotherly love like the Thessalonians... a. We need to pray that the Lord make us increase and abound in love - 1Th 3:11-13 b. We need to urge one another to increase more and more - 1Th 4: 9-10 It is evident the Thessalonians heeded Paul's exhortation to walk in love, for in his second epistle he wrote: "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other" (2Th 1:3) May the same be true of us as well!
Christ and the Gadarene Demoniac: A Criticism Answered
|by||Wayne Jackson, M.A.|
On the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus once encountered a man who was possessed of demons. When the Lord commanded the unclean spirits to leave the gentleman, they requested permission to enter a herd of swine feeding nearby. Christ granted that request. The demons entered the hogs, who, in turn, rushed down an embankment into the sea and drowned. Bible critics have charged Jesus with destroying the property of others. It is alleged that His conduct was reprehensible in connection with this event. There are several things that may be said in response to this baseless accusation.
First, no charge can be made against the Lord unless the event actually happened. Those who criticize Christ must concede, first, that this account represents a factual incident; otherwise, their allegation is baseless. Are they willing to admit that Jesus actually cast out demons? If so, exactly what did that circumstance prove?
Second, if Christ is a Divine Being, then He is sovereign over the entire creation and, in reality, everything belongs to Him (cf. Colossians 1:16). God said: “For every beast of the forest is mine, And the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). Hogs, too! Thus, in the interest of a higher good, the Lord had every right to allow this incident to occur.
Third, swine were unclean according to Old Testament regulations (Leviticus 11). It is entirely possible that the owners of these pigs were Jews, engaged in an unlawful enterprise. If such was the case, the Savior’s economic rebuke certainly would have been warranted.
Fourth, as the scholarly R.C. Foster once observed, Christ “permitted the destruction of the swine knowing that it would awaken the Gergesenes from their indifference and ultimately assist in the salvation of a multitude in the community.” There are things that transcend the material, and hardship can have a benevolent result in the final ordering of one’s affairs.
In view of these factors, no legitimate indictment can be leveled against the Son of God in connection with this episode.
Choose the God of Your Choice?
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
The Christian religion has fallen prey to the pluralistic, multi-cultural mindset of American culture. Religion is now fashioned according to the prevailing mentality that citizens have a right to make their own choices and “do their own thing.” “That’s the American way!” After all, “I have my rights!” “My view is just as good as the other guy’s.” Unfortunately, such self-centered arrogance does not prepare one for humble submission to God (James 4:10). It only encourages compliance with self-stylized religion, i.e., religion that is structured according to one’s own desires. Paul referred to this approach as “self-imposed” or “will worship,” i.e., worshipping according to one’s own will (Colossians 2:23).
Religious conditions in the first century were such that most people believed in a multiplicity of gods (e.g., Acts 17:16). But, in reality, there was only one God (Ephesians 4:6). The fact that men fabricated elaborate trappings like images, temples, etc., and took their religion seriously, did not alter the fact that they were involved in vain worship and false religion (cf. Matthew 15:9; 2 Peter 2:1). Telling them that there was only one God, or that one god was not just as good as another, would not have been a popular teaching. In fact, the doctrine of “one God” was perceived as a genuine threat to the polytheism of the day, and as a serious challenge to the Empire’s religious health. Polytheism had so permeated first-century society that acceptance of the doctrine of “one God” was virtually inconceivable for most people.
History repeats itself many times over. Our day is really no different from those first-century environmental factors. While Americans historically have rejected the notion of “many gods” (although even this foundational truth is changing), the concept of “many churches” has been embraced fully. The prevailing attitude is “attend the church of your choice,” and “one church is as good as another.” But the concept of multiple churches is as foreign to the New Testament as is the idea of multiple gods. The exact same passage that affirms only one God (Ephesians 4:6), affirms only one church (Ephesians 4:4; 1:22-23). Either out of ignorance, discontent, or pride, men have taken it upon themselves to fabricate their own churches, stylizing doctrine, organization, worship, and name according to their own desires. Some never seem to realize that Jesus did not leave anyone free to fashion his or her own church (Matthew 15:9; 16:18). All false doctrines, false teachers, and false churches will be rejected (Matthew 15:13).
Let us not encourage people to “join the church of your choice.” Rather, let us urge them to respond obediently to the Gospel of Christ—through faith, repentance, and water baptism (Acts 2:38)—so that they may be “added” (Acts 2:47) to the church of Christ’s choice (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:23).
Children and the Rod of Correction
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
American civilization has undergone tremendous social shifting in the last fifty years in virtually every facet of its culture. This transformation is evident, for example, in the area of the family and parental discipline. From the beginning of this nation, most Americans have believed in the value of corporal punishment. This discipline has included spanking the child using a variety of instruments, including a “switch,” paddle, razor strap, yardstick, belt, or hand. The last generation to have experienced this approach to parenting on a wide scale was the World War II generation. Due to the adverse influence of social liberals and alleged “specialists” in human behavior and child psychology, the thinking of many Americans has now been transformed to the extent that corporal punishment has come to be viewed as “child abuse”—even by the judiciary.
Make no mistake: genuine child abuse is taking place every day in America. Some parents are burning, torturing, and even killing their children. However, the abuse of a good thing is no argument against its legitimate and judicious use. Extreme behavior often elicits an extreme reaction. We must not “throw out the baby with the bathwater.” Regardless of the superficial appeal of the arguments that are marshaled against spanking, those who recognize that the Bible is the inspired Word of God are more concerned with biblical insight regarding the matter. Does the Bible advocate or sanction the spanking of children?
THE BIBLE’S VIEWPOINTSeveral verses refer explicitly to the use of corporal punishment in the rearing of children. The longstanding quip, “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” is undoubtedly a paraphrase of Solomon’s words: “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24). This motif is repeated throughout Proverbs. For example, Solomon asserted “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (22:15). This one statement is packed with meaning that merits deep and prolonged meditation and analysis. Most modern adolescent psychologists have not even begun to plumb its depths, let alone agree with it.
Lest someone get the idea that Solomon used the term “rod” figuratively, without intending to leave the impression that parents should actually strike their children with a rod, he clarified the target: “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell” (23:13-14). A proper balance is obviously needed between verbal reproof/encouragement on the one hand, and the application of corporal punishment on the other, as seen in the following words: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul” (29:15,17, emp. added). The immense importance of the interplay between positive instruction, encouragement, and nurturing, in conjunction with appropriate physical punishment, cannot be overestimated nor successfully discounted.
MEANING OF “ROD”But what did Solomon mean by “rod”? The Old Testament uses primarily three Hebrew words to refer to a wooden stick:
Maqqel refers to a tree branch that has been transformed into a riding crop (Numbers 22:27), a shepherd’s staff (1 Samuel 17:40—which Goliath called a “stave” or “stick”—vs. 43), or a weapon of war (Ezekiel 39:9—“javelin” in the NKJV). It is also used as a symbol of dominion (e.g., Jeremiah 48:17—where it occurs in synonymous parallelism with matteh), and in its natural state as a branch of a poplar, chestnut, or almond tree (Genesis 30:37; Jeremiah 1:11) [see Harris, et al., 1980, 1:524; Botterweck, et al., 1997, 8:548-550].
Matteh occurs 252 times and is used to refer to a branch, stick, stem, rod, shaft, staff, and most often a tribe (some 180 times). It can refer to a stick used to beat out cumin/grain (Isaiah 28:27), a soldier’s spear (1 Samuel 14:27), as well as the shaft of an arrow (Habakkuk 3:9,14) [Botterweck, et al., 8:241; Gesenius, 1847, pp. 466-467].
Shevet, the word used in Proverbs, refers to a staff, stick, rod, scepter, and tribe. Gesenius defined it as “a staff, stick, rod” and then showed how it is translated differently in accordance with the use to which it was put, whether for beating, striking, chastening (Isaiah 10:5,15), a shepherd’s crook (Leviticus 27:32; Psalm 34:4), a king’s scepter (Genesis 49:10; Amos 1:5,8), a tribe (Judges 20:2), a measuring rod, or a spear (2 Samuel 18:14) [p. 801; cf. Harris, et al., 2:897].
Matteh and shevet are used together in Ezekiel 19:10-14 to refer to fresh tree branches. They are used in synonymous parallelism in Isaiah 28:27 as a stick used to beat out cumin/grain: “But the black cumin is beaten out with a stick (matteh), and the cumin with a rod (shevet).” They are unquestionably synonyms. If any distinction can be made between them, it is that matteh is not used to refer to a scepter (see Harris, et al., 2:897; although Gesenius, pp. 466-467). However, both are used to refer to a stick or rod. In fact, shevet is specifically referred to as a rod used for beating a human being: “And if a man beats his servant or his maidservant with a rod…” (Exodus 21:20). As Isaacs noted: “The Heb[rew] shebhet is the ordinary word for rod or club” (1959, 4:2702; cf. McClintock and Strong, 1880, 9:57-58,401).
In addition to the verses in Proverbs that refer specifically to spanking a child, several additional verses verify that literal striking of the body with a wooden stick is envisioned. For example, “Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, but a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding” (Proverbs 10:13). “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the fool’s back” (Proverbs 26:3). Obviously, the “rod” is as literal as the “whip” and “bridle.” The Psalmist declared: “Then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes” (Psalm 89:32). Though speaking figuratively, the Psalmist aligned “rod” with “stripes.” In passages where the term “rod” is used figuratively, the figurative use presupposes the literal meaning (e.g., Job 9:34; 21:9; Isaiah 10:24; 11:4; 14:29; 30:31; Lamentations 3:1; Micah 5:1).
CONCLUSIONSIn light of the linguistic data, the following conclusions are warranted:
First, the three terms are essentially synonyms with no real distinction to be discerned between them. They are as generic, ambiguous, and flexible as their English counterparts. As Orr stated: “Little distinction can be drawn between the Heb[rew] words used for ‘rod’ and ‘staff ’ ” (1959, 4:2596; also Funderburk, 1976, 5:132). The commonality that exists between them is the fact that they all refer to a stick/limb, i.e., a branch from a tree. In antiquity, scepters, spears, arrows, rods, staffs/staves were all made out of wood, i.e., tree branches (cf. Ezekiel 19:11). Hence, the distinction between them was one of purpose/function—not source. It follows that size, i.e., thickness and length, would likewise have varied. The Hebrew words themselves possess no inherent indication regarding size.
Second, the principle of spanking is clearly taught in Proverbs. This is beyond dispute. Since God would not approve of child abuse (cf. Colossians 3:21), it follows that whatever instrument is used for spanking, whether switch, yardstick, paddle, belt, razor strap, etc., should get the job done without inflicting inappropriate or unnecessary damage to the child’s body. The “switch” has much to commend it, and certainly coincides with the biblical texts on the subject. But good sense and personal judgment must be exercised in determining its size.
In his comments on the Hebrew word for “rod,” Hebrew scholar and Professor of Old Testament at Regents College, Bruce Waltke noted: “The rod was also used as an instrument for either remedial or penal punishment. …In Prov[erbs] it is the symbol of discipline, and failure to use the preventive discipline of verbal rebuke and the corrective discipline of physical punishment will end in the child’s death” (Harris, et al., 1980, 2:897, emp. added). The author of the apocryphal book, Ecclesiasticus, observed: “He who loves his son will whip him often, in order that he may rejoice at the way he turns out” (May and Metzger, 1965, p. 166).
Writing over one hundred years ago, professor W.F. Adeney offered a surprisingly current observation that has much to commend it:
The primitive rigour of the Book of Proverbs is repudiated by modern manners. Not only in domestic training, but even in criminal law, people reject the old harsh methods, and endeavor to substitute milder means of correction. No doubt there was much that was more than rough, even brutal, in the discipline of our forefathers. The relation between father and child was too often lacking in sympathy through the undue exercise of parental authority, and society generally was hardened rather than purged by pitiless forms of punishment. But now the question is whether we are not erring towards the opposite extreme in showing more tenderness to the criminal than to his victim, and failing to let our children feel the need of some painful discipline. We idolize comfort, and we are in danger of thinking pain to be worse than sin. It may be well, therefore, to consider some of the disadvantages of neglecting the old-fashioned methods of chastisement (1950, 9:258-259).
REFERENCESAdeney, W.F. (1950 reprint), The Pulpit Commentary—Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, ed. Spence, H.D.M. and J.S. Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Botterweck, G. Johannes, Helmer Ringgren, and Heinz-Josef Fabry, eds. (1997), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Funderburk, G.B. (1976), “Rod,” The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill Tenney (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 5:132-133.
Gesenius, William (1847), Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), 1979 reprint.
Harris, R. Laird, Gleason Archer, Jr. and Bruce Waltke, eds. (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Isaacs, Nathan (1956), “Sceptre,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 4:2701-2702.
May, Herbert and Bruce Metzger (1965), The Oxford Annotated Bible With the Apocrypha (New York, NY: Oxford University Press).
McClintock, John and James Strong (1880), Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1970 reprint).
Orr, James (1959), “Rod,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 4:2596.
Cats and Dogs Reigning at Communion
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Animals can be a great addition to a person’s life. They can serve as an unpaid, ever-dependable, and quite invaluable work force as they help the farmer plow a rough field or the blind person cross a busy city street. They can provide joy and companionship for young and old alike. They can be a boon to mental health, especially for sick children and the infirm elderly. Surely none among us would doubt the many benefits that accrue as a result of the presence of animals in our midst.
Some religious groups within Christendom, however, have crossed the line in accommodating the love that people have for their pets. In an article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal on March 10, 2004, Elizabeth Bernstein documented how a growing number of denominations are beginning to include pets as participants in their worship. “Churches such as Manhattan’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine have long held annual services to bless everything from rabbits to elephants,” said Bernstein. “All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has doubled attendance at its Sunday evening service since it began last summer to invite pets once a month.” This past January, however, the St. Francis Episcopal Church in Stamford, Connecticut, went even farther to include animals in worship when it began a new monthly program called “Holy Communion for pets.” In this “service,” cats and dogs actually “receive the host” and have “a special benediction” performed for them.
Unbelievable! I have long believed that the services of various groups claiming to be New Testament Christians were more of a circus than a legitimate, Christian worship service. Now, what little doubt I (or others) may have had, has been completely removed. The “sacred” has indeed become a “circus.” Soon, little children will be bringing their pet frogs, mice, lizards, and snakes to “eat the bread and drink the cup.” Blasphemy! The sacred memorial feast has been demoted to a snack session for Tom and Jerry.
A first-century church once trivialized the Lord’s Supper and was sternly rebuked by the apostle Paul. He warned:
Whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).Jesus gave His life to save mankind, not animals. He saves the immortal souls of penitent sinners who have the capability to know Him and obey Him (cf. John 3:16; Acts 2:38; Hebrews 5:8-9). Animals have no souls (see Thompson and Estabrook), nor do they have the cognizance to know Who Jesus is. Why, then, have certain religious groups within Christendom deviated so far that they will now even offer animals the sacred communion instituted by our Lord the night before His crucifixion? Obviously, it is all about numbers. As Bernstein reported, they want to “attract people.” Instead of preaching the true Gospel of Christ, which has the power to change sinners into saints (Romans 1:16), they have chosen to manipulate God’s Word and His sacred service “to their own destruction” (cf. 2 Peter 3:16).
REFERENCESBernstein, Elizabeth (2004), “Houses of Worship Reach Out to a Flock of Pets,” The Wall Street Journal, [On-line], URL: http://www.dowjonesnews.com/sample/samplestory.asp?StoryID=2004031004010005&Take=1.
Thompson, Bert and Sam Estabrook (1999), “Do Animals Have Souls,” Reason & Revelation, 19:89-92, December.
Comments on Matthew 27:46,
"Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?"
- Sovereignty of God
- Total Inherited Depravity of Man
- Unconditional Election
- Limited Atonement
- Irresistible Grace
- Perseverance of the Saints
More Refuting Calvinism
IntroductionThe purpose of this article is to provide some thoughts addressing the teaching of some regarding Matthew 27:46 (see also, Mark 15:34):
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama, sabaachthani?" that is to say, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46As is already well known, many view and believe this passage to show that Jesus was "forsaken", because He took upon Himself, literally, all the sins of man and that the Supreme and Just God could not look upon Him; that is, that God, therefore, turned His back, so to speak, on Jesus and divine fellowship was broken. This was the prevalent teaching in the denominational church in which I grew up and is still believed and taught by my relatives in that denomination. Recently, this view of this passage was also expressed to me by one of my co-workers, a disciple in a latter day revelation based religious movement.
What I have to say below about the previously mentioned view of Matthew 27:46 is in response to this prevalent teaching on the passage. As one would expect with limitations of time and limitations of one's own abilities, providing a complete or fully satisfactory response on all aspects of this teaching on this passage is not likely. I pray, however, that these thoughts will be worthy of the reader's further reflection and consideration as one seeks to know the truth on this passage. I humbly offer these comments and pray that clarification and eternal good may develop from them.
To begin, I would point out that Matthew 27:46 is a quote of the first verse of Psalm 22. The familiar saying of Jesus on the cross as recorded in John 19:20, "It is finished", is actually a quote taken from the last verse (vs. 31) of Psalm 22. It seems reasonable that Jesus invoked and appropriated the entire chapter of Psalm 22 as being applicable to that scene of the final hours of the cross. Psalm 22 is, of course, a Messianic prophesy well known to the Jewish mind of Jesus' day and, therefore, known and recognizable to those Jews who were gathered around the cross at the final hours of this terrible crucifixion event.
In light of the above noted context, my comments for the reader's consideration are as follows:
What would be the setting and context for Jesus appropriating
to Himself and quoting this Psalm? Surely, it would include the
mistreatment and mockery and rejection expressed in Matthew 27: 19-44. The context (Matthew 27:19-44)
affliction and distress on this occasion for Jesus now on the
cross would correspond to the contextual setting of David's great
and David's powerful, heartfelt prayer for deliverance as
expressed to God in Psalm 22.
I believe a valid exegesis of Matthew 27: 46 would have to be one that is first consistent with a valid exegesis of Psalm 22:1. If not, then on what basis would one give the Matthew 27:46 passage context and begin to give it meaning if one has detached the Matthew passage from its original significance? The point of this question for us is to bring us to appreciate that David did not conclude in his prayer of Psalm 22 that God had in reality 'forsaken' him; though it would / might would appear that way to man (i.e., all his enemies and detractors and every spiritually shallow- minded, casually observing outsider) who did not know the God of Israel that David knew.
The student of this Psalm should first take note of David's recollection of the record of God's mighty works in Israel as expressed in Psalm 22:4-5 that:
- .."our fathers trusted thee".. "and you delivered them"..
- .. "They cried unto thee, and were delivered."..
- .."they trusted thee and were not confounded."
- (vs. 19) "O Lord , my strength"
- (vs. 19) " haste thou to help me"
- (vs. 20) " Deliver my soul, my darling from the...dog"
- (vs. 21) "Save me" ... "for thou hast heard me"
- (vs. 22) " I will declare thy name..." "in the... congregation will I praise thee." [Note: This passage was quoted in Hebrews 2:12. Clearly, the Psalmist expected to yet "declare" and "praise"! Does this sound like a being who knows he is 'forsaken'?]
- (vs. 24) "For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard." Reading this verse and rereading it, I think we find this verse on its face is a powerful refutation of the usual views of Matthew 27: 46 to even the thought that God would 'hide his face' from Jesus!!
- (vs. 31) "that God had done this" corresponds to the final utterance of Jesus on the cross (John 19:30) when He said, "It is finished." "That God had done this" and "it is finished" are translatable between Hebrew and Greek as the same phrase. Psalm 22:31c (i.e., "That God had done this"), therefore, tells us this entire activity of the crucifixion and its appearance to the world as a worldly triumph was in fact prophesied to be a 'finished' ( or 'done' or 'completed') work of God through Jesus (see also John 19: 28 .."accomplished"..KJV) and that His part in that work was to be "counted unto the Lord for His generations" (22:30).. "unto a people that shall be born" (22:31). [Question: Does this not seem to parallel many of the thoughts and words of I Corinthians 1:17-31?].
To arbitrarily constrain Matthew 27: 46 to mean 'a turning of the back type of forsaking', because the Father could not
look upon the Son as He supposedly became literally sin, would have to contradict Heb. 13:5-6. Which, by the way, is the
expression of a recurring theme of promise throughout the Old Testament, including Psalm 22 and Isaiah 49:15,
that God never forsook his faithful servants or His nation
when they were faithful to Him. That was His committed promise:
"For He ('He, Himself '- some translations) hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Hebrews 13:5-6)Please note the very character of God is tied up in this verse and His promise:
- Is He able? Will He perform?
- What has He promised? Does He keep His promises?
- Isn't the Bible phrase about God that "God is faithful" timeless?
The Bible has always taught that the consequences of one's
sins may have bearing on others, even innocent people. For example, the
'drunk's' children often
suffer because of a father that is a wastrel and profligate.
But, the Bible, clearly teaches per Ezekiel 18 that the children do not
bear the sins of the fathers - "the soul that sinneth, it shall die".
If this passage in Ezekiel teaches us anything, it teaches
us the eternal principle that 'Sin guilt is not transferable' -
nor by the same token, neither is righteousness transferable. Should
one conclude that 'sin guilt'
is transferable, then consistency of logic (and Calvinists seem to start at II Corinthians 5:21
to this very conclusion.) will call for righteousness to be
transferable. This is the very foundation teaching of Calvinism!
[Incidentally, my religious background before becoming a Christian was as a member of a conservative, southern denomination. This denomination was Calvinist in their beliefs and teachings. I perceive this prevalent teaching of the religious world that is under consideration here on Matthew 27:46 misconstrues the passage so as to teach Calvinism. It remains Calvinism even when a Christian teaches it. I would further say that it is still just as unscriptural / un-Biblical and, therefore, just as dangerous when a Christian teaches it as when a denominationalist teaches it!]
While unbelieving Jews and some of the apostles (e.g., Peter)
did forsake Jesus at the crucifixion, the scriptures would have us to
understand that John and many
women never forsook Jesus on the cross (John 19:25-27).
Question: On this occasion, were the unbelieving Jews and faithless apostles acting like God acted? Or were these women and John acting like God acted? Should we give credence to the Calvinist teaching of the Matthew 27:46 passage, then would we not have to say that John and these faithful women acted with greater character than God because they did not 'forsake / turn their back on' Jesus when God did?
To link the "cup of suffering" that Jesus prayed about (Matthew 26:37-44)
to a 'dread' of His being separated from intimate fellowship with
God when He took on the literal sins of all man, is providing a
link that the scriptures do not make and takes a lot of 'supposing.' To
be sure, the argument has
emotional appeal. However, in the absence of a knowledge of
any revelation on this subject, such a link when God has not given it,
is to, in effect, write scripture
where God has not written and that would be exalting man above
God - would it not? Christians, of all peoples, know (see also Revelation 22: 18-19,
for example) to not 'add or subtract' from God's word.
There is also a question of 'timeline' that must be laid out
and analyzed, if God did indeed 'forsake Jesus literally and turn His
back on Him because He literally
bore the sins of man'. The question would be: 'When / at just
what time did God turn His back on Jesus?
- Was it at the time before His death when His work was not complete and the acceptable offering had not yet been completed/'finished'?
- Or, was it at the very instant of time of death when He had commended His Spirit into the hands of God even as God was turning / had turned His back on Him?
- Or was it some time after His death when He was in Paradise to be joined there by the thief on the cross who had repented?
Recall (Matthew 27: 54) that the centurion and the soldiers with him
"watching Jesus, saw the earthquake,
and those things that were done, they feared greatly saying "Truly, this
was the son of God." "
Was not faith engendered and caused to develop here among
those around the cross that day as they beheld His manner of behavior on
the cross? Truly they did not
see Jesus questioning or doubting God or failing because flesh
was weak, but rather they beheld faith and trust at work in Jesus in an
infinitely loving, omnipotent
Father who never forsakes His own, though all the world
forsakes. In fact this sounds like the basis of some of the inspiration
for that great hymn,
'The Lily of The Valley' ("tho all the world forsake me and Satan tempt me sore, I shall still ..").
-- Charles Bowen - July 26, 2005
Praying Without Hypocrisy
This morning I will have the privilege of continuing our study of the Sermon on the Mount. We’ve been looking at the 6th Chapter. And this morning, we find ourselves in verses 5-8. (read) 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “
Now any time you get into any discussion of prayer, you get into a certain area of difficulty. It’s hard to completely comprehend how prayer works within the plan and the sovereignty of the mind of God.
And I’m not here this morning to unveil all the mysteries about prayer. But what we do know about prayer and what we must be committed to is that when the Bible teaches principles of prayer, God expects us to heed them. Whether or not we can fathom the mystery of how it works isn’t the issue. So we hear some teaching about prayer from the lips of our Lord Himself, concerning the dos and don’ts when we enter prayer .
Now let me give you some background. In the text, He is not only speaking to His disciples, He is also speaking to the Pharisees and the scribes who represented the phony religious leaders of the nation, and also to the people gathered with them on the side of that hill.
One of the main points in that sermon on the Mt. was to show the difference between the true spiritual life and the false standards of the Pharisaic, Judaistic system of that time. He has already told them that their theology is inadequate in Chapter 5. And we saw last week, their giving was hypocritical and now He deals with the hypocrisy in their pray life.
We will see that in every dimension of their religious experience seem to involved some kind of hypocrisy. They were phonies when they gave. They were phonies when they prayed and later we’ll see that they were phonies when they fasted. And Jesus lets his disciples know that God’s standards for His kingdom is more than what they were doing. And so He tackles them on this matter of prayer in verses 5-8.
Now, prayer was a major issue among the Jews. It was a tremendous factor in their religion. They were highly involved in praying. In fact, the rabbis said, “prayer greater than all good works.” The rabbis also said, “he who prays within his house surrounds it with a wall that is stronger than iron.” Some rabbis wrote that they regretted that they couldn’t pray all day long. Now no nation has ever viewed prayer higher than Israel. No religion ever set a greater standard of prayer than the Hebrew people.
But unfortunately as we have learned so far in this Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lets them know that what they are doing is wrong. As they’re giving deteriorated into a show, so too did their pray.
Now I want to share with you several of the faults that crept in to the prayer life of the Hebrew people.
#1. Their prayer became ritualized.
Ritualistic prayers replaced a pure outpouring of a heart to God. I think we all can identify with prayers that become routine, prayer that become a ritualistic, that become simply an exercise with little or no meaning or significance.
You see, every day, if you were a Jew, in the morning and at night, you had to repeat the Shimah. And the Shimah is basically Deuteronomy 6, “Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” And they recited from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and then Numbers 15:37-41. They recited all those verses together and they made this long prayer out of them, and the Jew had to pray this prayer every morning and every night.
So every morning and every night this was the routine. And by the way, if the Shimah was a little long for you, they had adapted a summary that you could pray if you were in a hurry. Secondly, they had what was known as the SHEM ON EH ‘ES REH. And the SHEMONEH ‘ESREH was another formulized kind of prayer. It was composed of 18 smaller prayers concerning different things. For example, I’ll give you prayer #12. “Let thy mercy oh Lord be showed upon the upright, the humble, the elders of thy people of Israel and the rest of its teachers. Be favorable to the pious strangers amongst us and to us all. Give thou a good reward to those who sincerely trust in thy name.”
And they had 18 of these individual prayers in the SHEMONEH ‘ESREH, that they had to recite each morning, afternoon, and evening in addition to the Shimah. They also had an abbreviated version of this if you were in a hurry. So it became pretty much the standard that there was prayer at the third, the sixth, and the ninth hours of each day no matter where you were or what you were doing.
This is still quite common for the followers of Muhammad. They’ll stop, roll out their prayer matt at the prescribed time and say their prayers. So it pretty much became a routine. Prayer became a ritualized function. Unfortunately it ceased to be a personally meaningful communion with God.
Now I’m sure for some it was a truly honest, a pure-hearted loving communion with God. But most of the people probably weren’t in that category. They probably fell into one of the two categories. They became like the Pharisees, prayed to demonstrate how religious they were.
And then I sure there was a group of people who didn’t honestly pray, they just mumbled their way through those prayers just to get it through them. Whatever it was, they just went, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, muttered along, just to get through them so they could get back to whatever they were doing beforehand. So in one we see pride involved in prayer and these others they were indifference to it.
#2 The second fault that crept into the Jewish prayer habit, was the development of special prayers for special occasions. They had prayers for everything. I mean, it didn’t matter what it was, they wrote a prayer for it and when that thing happened, you prayed that prayer.
They had prayers for light and prayers for darkness. Prayers for fire, prayers for lightening, prayers for seeing a new moon, prayers for a comet, prayers for rain and droughts, prayers for a tempest, prayer for the sea, prayers for the lakes, the rivers, they had prayers when you received good news, they had a prayer when you received bad news. They had a prayer when you got new furniture. They had prayer when you left the city. They had prayer when you were on the road. And they had a prayer when you entered the next city. And that’s just a few of the prayers they had.
They had a prayer for everything, and so the common habit was to find out what the prayer was and learn it and whenever something happened, you rattled off the prayer that was fitting for that particular event. Now, I’m sure the original intention of the rabbis was to bring everything into the presence of God to make every part of life, every act of nature and every event in the world something that drew them to God. But instead, the Jews became a more committed to reciting prescribed, predigested, predeveloped prayers.
Now I believe that prayer is like breathing. You don’t say it’s 12 o’clock, I’m going to breathe now. No, you breathe all the time. Prayer should be a constant inhale and exhale of communion with God that goes on in the life of a believer all the time. Not to pray as to hold your breath. But for them, prayer became a regiment of reciting a certain thing at a certain hours.
#3. A third fault that crept into the Jewish prayer pattern was that they seem to think it was more spiritual to pray long prayers.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with a long prayer as long as it’s really a heart felt communication with God. But you miss the mark if you think by saying a long prayers you are more spiritual than those who pray short prayers, or that God is going to be more impressed with you, or you do it trying to impress others.
The rabbis used to say whenever a prayer is long, that prayer is heard. And the implication is that you’ve got to spend the first few minutes just getting God’s attention. But is that true? Of course not.
#4. That lead to a forth fault in their prayers. They picked up vain repetition from the pagans. The pagan approach to prayer was you keep repeating yourself until the God gets so weary of hearing you that He does what you want. That’s basically it. Just keep doing it and doing it and saying it and saying it until He gets so sick of hearing it, that He finally reacts.
And so the Jews picked this up and we find some old Jewish prayers which ramble on.
#5. But the worst fault and the one mentioned in our text, is that they prayed to be seen by men. That’s a major fault.
Look at verse 5. It says that “they loved to pray.” Now at first glance that sounds wonderful, “for they love to pray.” But the question is why do they love to pray? Did they love to pray because they loved God? Did they love to pray because it ushered them into His blessed presence? Why did they love to pray?
Knowing the hearts of all men, Jesus said that they loved to pray to be seen by men. They wanted to be on the stage. The Word Hypocrite, or the original Greek work Hu po kri tase originally referred to an actor. They were actors in a theater, in their case on the street corner. They were putting on a show for everybody to see. Oh look how holy they are.
That was the wrong motive, that’s what Jesus wanted to deal with here; the motive of our prayers. We may never unscramble all the mysteries surrounding prayer, but we can certainly deal with the issue of the motive as the Lord does here. Our prayers are not an exercise to puff up our ego, or to impress other. But rather its a talk with God.
Do you ever pray and pray, and after you pray in some group you think to yourself in your mind, ‘Boy I bet they thought that was a good one?’ Or perhaps you thought, ‘Boy, I’ll bet the people enjoyed that.’
I just want you to understand something about prayer, and you need to learn this, prayer is not so sacred that Satan can’t invade it. Did you know that? Prayer is not so sacred that Satan can’t invade it.
If we never learn anything more out of this text, we need to learn that there’s no holy ground that Satan doesn’t try to get in on. You’d think that when you are in your deepest devotion and walk into the throne room of God to commune with Him in His holy presence that we cannot sin, but we can.
Sin and pride can follow us into the very presence of God. And it’s so sad when it does. In those quiet moments when we try enter His presence and worship Him in purity, we can find ourselves being tempted to worship ourselves, or judge others, or pray selfishly.
There’s no sacred ground for Satan. He invades it all. And I believe that the two greatest times of temptation Jesus ever experienced in His life was in the wilderness and then in the Garden of Gethsemane. And on both occasions He was by himself, and in communion with the Father. And it was there in that very private place of His communion with God in prayer that Satan invaded with temptations, probably stronger than any others in His life. If it happened to Jesus it can happen to us and unfortunately we give in and do selfish things.
Look at verse 5; and the whole passage will open to you now. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” These men gave in to their own selfish desires.
But when you pray, He says, don’t be like the hypocrites. Don’t be a phony.
Can we pray in public? Sure we can. Can I pray al long pray, and pray for the same things over and over. I truly believe we can. Want Jesus is addressing here again is our motive, our sincerity, the condition of our heart. Sometimes the only thing that will give us strength and courage in a time of need is to pray long and hard.
So do you really want men to hear your prayer or do you want God to hear? Do you want to be rewarded by God or by men?
As we pray I truly believe our prayers should not be pretentious, nor ritualistic but rather should always be a communication of words and emotion from our heart. I believe when we learn to commune and pray like this, we grow closer to the Father. We bond with Him. We find comfort in having someone to talk to that loves us more than any man.
The sample prayer that Jesus gave when He tells them what to pray Honors our Father in heaven, recognizing His Lordship in all creation, and then Jesus lets us know that it’s ok to ask our God to help us with our needs. But in it He again reminds us that that we have to have the right attitude, a humble forgiving attitude.
And so today I challenge you to do your best to develop this kind of prayer life. And remember not to let Satan tempt you to sin as you talk with your Heavenly Father (Based on a sermon by John MacArthur)
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
It’s not in the building. It’s not all about the name. It is not even in the zeal, and sincerity of it’s members. The Churches of Christ follow the strait and narrow way. We follow the same doctrine that Christ taught, the apostles wrote about, and the scriptures verify. The Church of Christ, it’s all about the doctrine.
Rom 16:16; Mt 7:13,14; Acts 2:42; Eph 2:20; 2 Jn 9; 1 Tim 4:6; 1 Tim 6:3
Sin alienates us from God!
That’s true, but the truth is bigger than that. Sin IS alienation.
It is not true that we sin and God punishes us with alienation. The truth is that in choosing sin we are choosing, have chosen alienation. To say alienation takes place as a result of our sinning is not true enough! (Yet see Isaiah 59:2.)
[We speak of sins being forgiven. This is good speech (Acts 2:38, Ephesians 1:7) even though we know that sins aren’t forgiven—sinners are.]
God doesn’t punish us with alienation—we choose it and He accepts the choice! Alienation is our doing not God’s!
Consequences follow our choosing alienation (which is the same as choosing Sin). He made us humans and as long as He maintains that decision and purpose we will make choices that (for good or ill) have consequences that include everlasting death or everlasting life. In choosing alienation we sever ourselves from God who is the source of all that is fine and lovely and righteous. In choosing alienation from God, the source of life, we choose death and all the consequences that go with that.
And God’s response to humanity’s choosing alienation; His response to our rejecting friendship with Him? What does He do?
He comes in and as Jesus Christ saying, “I’m utterly opposed to this alienation. I’m utterly opposed to Sin which is alienation. I find no joy in it! I want us to be friends, I want you to return to me and have fullness of life!.”
That is the meaning of the incarnation, life, death, resurrection and glorification of God in Jesus of Nazareth.
So, is He soft on Sin? Does He think it doesn’t matter? No that cannot be! You measure God’s hatred of Sin and sins by the depths of His love for humanity! For Him, to be soft on Sin and sins would be the same as His being casual about the alienation of His children (Acts 17:24-29) ; it would be the same as ignoring our death; the same as His caring nothing for us—the children He created! This He cannot do so He cannot be soft on Sin! On Sin!
And why is that?
It’s a God thing!
It’s the nature and heart of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He hates our sin; hates our alienation precisely because He loves us.
And why does the Holy One love us?
It’s a Holy God thing!
It’s the nature and heart of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And there is no other God!
(Holy One, help us who have had the privilege to hear of you to think noble thoughts of you. Help those you have called to teach us to so teach us that we will be believe and be shaped and energized by your glory, wonder and holy love.)
Make Your Calling and Election Sure
There are three men running in this constituency. I am told it is going to be a close race. All three candidates are working hard to make their election sure, but two of them will not succeed. However, in the election that Peter talks about in 2 Peter 1:10, all can be elected and all can retain their seat for time and for eternity. God, by Jesus Christ, is running the election and if we follow instructions we cannot fail.
No one deserves to be elected. This election makes us a child of God for time and for eternity. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Salvation is by grace (Titus 2:11). Grace brings us to the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2). His divine power has granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. So it is of grace, for we have not earned it. We have not found it by our human wisdom but God has granted it unto us. How does he grant these things? Through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3).
When a man seeks election to a human government, he tells people what he will do for them if he is elected. God tells us what He will do for us when we are elected and if we do not disqualify our position of trust: “Whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Peter 1:4). So if the great promises of God are to be ours, we must escape from the corruption that is in the world that comes by lust.
God tells us how we are to escape the corruption of the world. We are to add to our faith virtue. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). However, the devils believe and tremble (James 2:19). Faith, to be effective, must add virtue. It must enable us to escape from the corruption that is in the world by lust. Faith, in order to be effective, must cleanse the heart (Acts 15:9). Faith, to be effective, must cause us to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). If we are living an ungodly life, then our faith is not functioning properly. Our election is not sure.
To our virtue we are to add knowledge. In connection with this lesson, the word “knowledge” is used five times. So knowledge must be first. We are elected, and then we must make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). Jeremiah told us: “O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). What is faith? We learn what it is by divine knowledge. What is virtue? We learn what it is by divine knowledge. Too many people decide what is virtuous by the whims of modern society rather than by the Word of God.
Knowledge leads us to self control. By the grace of God we can escape the corruptions that are in the world by lust. We no longer are hot and cold. For we add to self control, patience. The marginal rendering says “steadfastness.” The promise of God is to Him who overcomes (Revelation 2:10).
We are no longer tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. We are no longer lured by the lusts of the flesh for now we are able to add to our steadfastness, godliness. Knowledge has led us to think like God, and then we act as God would have us act. The world will not understand our actions but God does.
We are drawing closer to the point at which we are making our calling and election sure. Now we add “love of the brethren.” Surely this is one of the great blessings that comes to us. It can only be ours when we give it. There is an axiom that says, “What I give I keep and what I keep I lose.” This is so true of brotherly love. Who is loved the most? The one who loves the most. Then we add to brotherly love, the highest form of love. This is the love that is exemplified in 'God is love” (1 John 4:16).
This is the love that so loved the world that God gave (John 3:16). This love may be hard to divine but we can only acquire it by the knowledge of God.
We are not only to have these eight things but in these we must abound. When we have them then we are not idle or unfruitful. Again the word knowledge is used. By these virtues we abound in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8).
“For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sin” (2 Peter 1:9). He has failed all the way down the line. His faith is not right for we have already learned that by faith we overcome the world (1 John 5:4). Unless our faith is right then none of the other virtues can follow.
Men will work long hours; they will do everything they can in order to be elected. That election is for a few years but our election is for eternity. But we can be disqualified. “Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10). The King James Version says that we will not fall.
“For thus (by zealously adding these eight virtues), shall be richly supplied unto you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11).
My wife and I were invited to the political rally. I was busy. We went late. We could not get a seat. We did not stay very long for we had to stand up. I could not but think that if we had the same zeal to be elected and to make sure we were not disqualified, how we would act.
Some months ago, I was invited to attend another political meeting. There were plenty of seats. There was little enthusiasm. You see they were not seeking election in that meeting. When I attended the meeting at the church last night, we acted more like the second group than the first one. Why?
J. C. Bailey, 1979, Weyburn, Saskatchewan
Bible Reading May 30, 31
World English Bible
Judges 17, 18
Jdg 17:1 There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
Jdg 17:2 He said to his mother, The eleven hundred pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you did utter a curse, and did also speak it in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. His mother said, Blessed be my son of Yahweh.
Jdg 17:3 He restored the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother; and his mother said, I most certainly dedicate the silver to Yahweh from my hand for my son, to make an engraved image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it to you.
Jdg 17:4 When he restored the money to his mother, his mother took two hundred pieces of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made of it an engraved image and a molten image: and it was in the house of Micah.
Jdg 17:5 The man Micah had a house of gods, and he made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.
Jdg 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
Jdg 17:7 There was a young man out of Bethlehem Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite; and he sojourned there.
Jdg 17:8 The man departed out of the city, out of Bethlehem Judah, to sojourn where he could find a place, and he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he traveled.
Jdg 17:9 Micah said to him, Where did you come from? He said to him, I am a Levite of Bethlehem Judah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.
Jdg 17:10 Micah said to him, Dwell with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver by the year, and a suit of clothing, and your food. So the Levite went in.
Jdg 17:11 The Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was to him as one of his sons.
Jdg 17:12 Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.
Jdg 17:13 Then said Micah, Now know I that Yahweh will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.
Jdg 18:1 In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for to that day their inheritance had not fallen to them among the tribes of Israel.
Jdg 18:2 The children of Dan sent of their family five men from their whole number, men of valor, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said to them, Go, search the land. They came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there.
Jdg 18:3 When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite; and they turned aside there, and said to him, Who brought you here? and what do you in this place? and what do you have here?
Jdg 18:4 He said to them, Thus and thus has Micah dealt with me, and he has hired me, and I am become his priest.
Jdg 18:5 They said to him, Ask counsel, please, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.
Jdg 18:6 The priest said to them, Go in peace: before Yahweh is your way wherein you go.
Jdg 18:7 Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people who were therein, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure; for there was none in the land, possessing authority, that might put them to shame in anything, and they were far from the Sidonians, and had no dealings with any man.
Jdg 18:8 They came to their brothers to Zorah and Eshtaol: and their brothers said to them, What do you say?
Jdg 18:9 They said, Arise, and let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good: and are you still? don't be slothful to go and to enter in to possess the land.
Jdg 18:10 When you go, you shall come to a people secure, and the land is large; for God has given it into your hand, a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth.
Jdg 18:11 There set forth from there of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men girt with weapons of war.
Jdg 18:12 They went up, and encamped in Kiriath Jearim, in Judah: therefore they called that place Mahaneh Dan, to this day; behold, it is behind Kiriath Jearim.
Jdg 18:13 They passed there to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.
Jdg 18:14 Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish answered, and said to their brothers, Do you know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and an engraved image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what you have to do.
Jdg 18:15 They turned aside there, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare.
Jdg 18:16 The six hundred men girt with their weapons of war, who were of the children of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate.
Jdg 18:17 The five men who went to spy out the land went up, and came in there, and took the engraved image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men girt with weapons of war.
Jdg 18:18 When these went into Micah's house, and fetched the engraved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image, the priest said to them, What do you?
Jdg 18:19 They said to him, Hold your peace, put your hand on your mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?
Jdg 18:20 The priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the engraved image, and went in the midst of the people.
Jdg 18:21 So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the livestock and the goods before them.
Jdg 18:22 When they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.
Jdg 18:23 They cried to the children of Dan. They turned their faces, and said to Micah, What ails you, that you come with such a company?
Jdg 18:24 He said, you have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away, and what have I more? and how then do you say to me, What ails you?
Jdg 18:25 The children of Dan said to him, "Don't let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall on you, and you lose your life, with the lives of your household."
Jdg 18:26 The children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.
Jdg 18:27 They took that which Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burnt the city with fire.
Jdg 18:28 There was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with any man; and it was in the valley that lies by Beth Rehob. They built the city, and lived therein.
Jdg 18:29 They called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel: however the name of the city was Laish at the first.
Jdg 18:30 The children of Dan set up for themselves the engraved image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.
Jdg 18:31 So they set them up Micah's engraved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.
Judges 19, 20
Jdg 19:1 It happened in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehem Judah.
Jdg 19:2 His concubine played the prostitute against him, and went away from him to her father's house to Bethlehem Judah, and was there the space of four months.
Jdg 19:3 Her husband arose, and went after her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of donkeys: and she brought him into her father's house; and when the father of the young lady saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.
Jdg 19:4 His father-in-law, the young lady's father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they ate and drink, and lodged there.
Jdg 19:5 It happened on the fourth day, that they arose early in the morning, and he rose up to depart: and the young lady's father said to his son-in-law, Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward you shall go your way.
Jdg 19:6 So they sat down, ate, and drank, both of them together: and the young lady's father said to the man, Please be pleased to stay all night, and let your heart be merry.
Jdg 19:7 The man rose up to depart; but his father-in-law urged him, and he lodged there again.
Jdg 19:8 He arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the young lady's father said, Please strengthen your heart and stay until the day declines; and they ate, both of them.
Jdg 19:9 When the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the young lady's father, said to him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening, please stay all night: behold, the day grows to an end, lodge here, that your heart may be merry; and tomorrow get you early on your way, that you may go home.
Jdg 19:10 But the man wouldn't stay that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus (the same is Jerusalem): and there were with him a couple of donkeys saddled; his concubine also was with him.
Jdg 19:11 When they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, Please come and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.
Jdg 19:12 His master said to him, We won't turn aside into the city of a foreigner, that is not of the children of Israel; but we will pass over to Gibeah.
Jdg 19:13 He said to his servant, Come and let us draw near to one of these places; and we will lodge in Gibeah, or in Ramah.
Jdg 19:14 So they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down on them near to Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin.
Jdg 19:15 They turned aside there, to go in to lodge in Gibeah: and he went in, and sat him down in the street of the city; for there was no man who took them into his house to lodge.
Jdg 19:16 Behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even: now the man was of the hill country of Ephraim, and he sojourned in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites.
Jdg 19:17 He lifted up his eyes, and saw the wayfaring man in the street of the city; and the old man said, Where are you going? Where did you come from?
Jdg 19:18 He said to him, We are passing from Bethlehem Judah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim; from there am I, and I went to Bethlehem Judah: and I am now going to the house of Yahweh; and there is no man who takes me into his house.
Jdg 19:19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our donkeys; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your handmaid, and for the young man who is with your servants: there is no want of anything.
Jdg 19:20 The old man said, Peace be to you; howsoever let all your wants lie on me; only don't lodge in the street.
Jdg 19:21 So he brought him into his house, and gave the donkeys fodder; and they washed their feet, and ate and drink.
Jdg 19:22 As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain base fellows, surrounded the house, beating at the door; and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man who came into your house, that we may know him.
Jdg 19:23 The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, No, my brothers, please don't act so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into my house, don't do this folly.
Jdg 19:24 Behold, here is my daughter a virgin, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble them, and do with them what seems good to you: but to this man don't do any such folly.
Jdg 19:25 But the men wouldn't listen to him: so the man laid hold on his concubine, and brought her forth to them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.
Jdg 19:26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, until it was light.
Jdg 19:27 Her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold.
Jdg 19:28 He said to her, Up, and let us be going; but none answered: then he took her up on the donkey; and the man rose up, and got him to his place.
Jdg 19:29 When he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the borders of Israel.
Jdg 19:30 It was so, that all who saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day: consider it, take counsel, and speak.
Jdg 20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was assembled as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, to Yahweh at Mizpah.
Jdg 20:2 The chiefs of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen who drew sword.
Jdg 20:3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) The children of Israel said, Tell us, how was this wickedness brought to pass?
Jdg 20:4 The Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered, I came into Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge.
Jdg 20:5 The men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house by night. They thought to have slain me, and they forced my concubine, and she is dead.
Jdg 20:6 I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel; for they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel.
Jdg 20:7 Behold, you children of Israel, all of you, give here your advice and counsel.
Jdg 20:8 All the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn to his house.
Jdg 20:9 But now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot;
Jdg 20:10 and we will take ten men of one hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and one hundred of one thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to get food for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have worked in Israel.
Jdg 20:11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.
Jdg 20:12 The tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is happen among you?
Jdg 20:13 Now therefore deliver up the men, the base fellows, who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers the children of Israel.
Jdg 20:14 The children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel.
Jdg 20:15 The children of Benjamin were numbered on that day out of the cities twenty-six thousand men who drew the sword, besides the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were numbered seven hundred chosen men.
Jdg 20:16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed; everyone could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss.
Jdg 20:17 The men of Israel, besides Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men who drew sword: all these were men of war.
Jdg 20:18 The children of Israel arose, and went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of God; and they said, Who shall go up for us first to battle against the children of Benjamin? Yahweh said, Judah shall go up first.
Jdg 20:19 The children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.
Jdg 20:20 The men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel set the battle in array against them at Gibeah.
Jdg 20:21 The children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites on that day Twenty-two thousand men.
Jdg 20:22 The people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and set the battle again in array in the place where they set themselves in array the first day.
Jdg 20:23 The children of Israel went up and wept before Yahweh until even; and they asked of Yahweh, saying, Shall I again draw near to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? Yahweh said, Go up against him.
Jdg 20:24 The children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.
Jdg 20:25 Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.
Jdg 20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came to Bethel, and wept, and sat there before Yahweh, and fasted that day until even; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh.
Jdg 20:27 The children of Israel asked of Yahweh (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
Jdg 20:28 and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? Yahweh said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver him into your hand.
Jdg 20:29 Israel set ambushes all around Gibeah.
Jdg 20:30 The children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and set themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.
Jdg 20:31 The children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to strike and kill of the people, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goes up to Bethel, and the other to Gibeah, in the field, about thirty men of Israel.
Jdg 20:32 The children of Benjamin said, They are struck down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them away from the city to the highways.
Jdg 20:33 All the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and set themselves in array at Baal Tamar: and the ambushers of Israel broke forth out of their place, even out of Maareh Geba.
Jdg 20:34 There came over against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was sore; but they didn't know that evil was close on them.
Jdg 20:35 Yahweh struck Benjamin before Israel; and the children of Israel destroyed of Benjamin that day twenty-five thousand one hundred men: all these drew the sword.
Jdg 20:36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were struck; for the men of Israel gave place to Benjamin, because they trusted the ambushers whom they had set against Gibeah.
Jdg 20:37 The ambushers hurried, and rushed on Gibeah; and the ambushers drew themselves along, and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.
Jdg 20:38 Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the ambushers was that they should make a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city.
Jdg 20:39 The men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons; for they said, Surely they are struck down before us, as in the first battle.
Jdg 20:40 But when the cloud began to arise up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them; and behold, the whole of the city went up in smoke to the sky.
Jdg 20:41 The men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were dismayed; for they saw that evil had come on them.
Jdg 20:42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness; but the battle followed hard after them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in its midst.
Jdg 20:43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them, and trod them down at their resting place, as far as over against Gibeah toward the sunrise.
Jdg 20:44 There fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valor.
Jdg 20:45 They turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men, and followed hard after them to Gidom, and struck of them two thousand men.
Jdg 20:46 So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were twenty-five thousand men who drew the sword; all these were men of valor.
Jdg 20:47 But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and abode in the rock of Rimmon four months.
Jdg 20:48 The men of Israel turned again on the children of Benjamin, and struck them with the edge of the sword, both the entire city, and the livestock, and all that they found: moreover all the cities which they found they set on fire.
Joh 8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Joh 8:2 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.
Joh 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the midst,
Joh 8:4 they told him, "Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act.
Joh 8:5 Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such. What then do you say about her?"
Joh 8:6 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.
Joh 8:7 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."
Joh 8:8 Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9 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.
Joh 8:10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, "Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?"
Joh 8:11 She said, "No one, Lord." Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more."
Joh 8:12 Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."
Joh 8:13 The Pharisees therefore said to him, "You testify about yourself. Your testimony is not valid."
Joh 8:14 Jesus answered them, "Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from, and where I am going; but you don't know where I came from, or where I am going.
Joh 8:15 You judge according to the flesh. I judge no one.
Joh 8:16 Even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent me.
Joh 8:17 It's also written in your law that the testimony of two people is valid.
Joh 8:18 I am one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me."
Joh 8:19 They said therefore to him, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me, nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also."
Joh 8:20 Jesus spoke these words in the treasury, as he taught in the temple. Yet no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
Joh 8:21 Jesus said therefore again to them, "I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sins. Where I go, you can't come."
Joh 8:22 The Jews therefore said, "Will he kill himself, that he says, 'Where I am going, you can't come?' "
Joh 8:23 He said to them, "You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world.
Joh 8:24 I said therefore to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins."
Joh 8:25 They said therefore to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.
Joh 8:26 I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you. However he who sent me is true; and the things which I heard from him, these I say to the world."
Joh 8:27 They didn't understand that he spoke to them about the Father.
Joh 8:28 Jesus therefore said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things.
Joh 8:29 He who sent me is with me. The Father hasn't left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him."
Joh 8:30 As he spoke these things, many believed in him.
Joh 8:31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, "If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples.
Joh 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
Joh 8:33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How do you say, 'You will be made free?' "
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin.
Joh 8:35 A bondservant doesn't live in the house forever. A son remains forever.
Joh 8:36 If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Joh 8:37 I know that you are Abraham's seed, yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you.
Joh 8:38 I say the things which I have seen with my Father; and you also do the things which you have seen with your father."
Joh 8:39 They answered him, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.
Joh 8:40 But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham didn't do this.
Joh 8:41 You do the works of your father." They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father, God."
Joh 8:42 Therefore Jesus said to them, "If God were your father, you would love me, for I came out and have come from God. For I haven't come of myself, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43 Why don't you understand my speech? Because you can't hear my word.
Joh 8:44 You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn't stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and its father.
Joh 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you don't believe me.
Joh 8:46 Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?
Joh 8:47 He who is of God hears the words of God. For this cause you don't hear, because you are not of God."
Joh 8:48 Then the Jews answered him, "Don't we say well that you are a Samaritan, and have a demon?"
Joh 8:49 Jesus answered, "I don't have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.
Joh 8:50 But I don't seek my own glory. There is one who seeks and judges.
Joh 8:51 Most certainly, I tell you, if a person keeps my word, he will never see death."
Joh 8:52 Then the Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and you say, 'If a man keeps my word, he will never taste of death.'
Joh 8:53 Are you greater than our father, Abraham, who died? The prophets died. Who do you make yourself out to be?"
Joh 8:54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is our God.
Joh 8:55 You have not known him, but I know him. If I said, 'I don't know him,' I would be like you, a liar. But I know him, and keep his word.
Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it, and was glad."
Joh 8:57 The Jews therefore said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"
Joh 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Most certainly, I tell you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM."
Joh 8:59 Therefore they took up stones to throw at him, but Jesus was hidden, and went out of the temple, having gone through the midst of them, and so passed by.