“Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” Mark 12:38-40 NKJV
I am still thinking about ministering to God. I am still seeking ways in which I can serve and minister to Him. So as I read today’s passage – what stands out is obedience and serving (both stated as well as referred to when you think back to Mary and Martha and the complaint of serving and then in today’s reading where Mary ministers).
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapter 22 and the book of Mark, chapter 12 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). My thoughts today may feel a little disjointed – but who said the points to a sermon have to connect? Today is not a sermon, though. It is just a few thoughts and a fun study.
A couple days ago I had first pastor’s wife I ever knew (I was a small child back then) contact me and we chatted. She is now on the other side of the country. She ministered to me in ways she doesn’t know. Just the fact that she would reach out.
This morning a women from that same church who joined when I was still a child and stayed into my teen years – she is now in Texas – called me and ministered to me.
God could have rocks speak what He wants said – but he always finds people who are willing to speak and minister.
Jesus says when you do unto the least of these you do unto me – so we can minister to God and Jesus by ministering to each other. But let us not neglect direct ministry to God. But these women spoke as God had them to confirm things for me and speak life into me. What the Lord says to speak – they spoke.
“For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” Matthew 22:49-50
Jesus, was our example of being obedient in letting God speak through us. As we also see in today’s reading. Now, let’s go for a little ride – are you ready?
Matthew 22 is where that verse is found – and let us look over at 1 Kings 22. Hold onto that 22.
“And Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” 1 Kings 22:14 NKJV
“So I speak” “That will I speak” Lets have some fun! The name Micaiah (I named my son that) means “Who is like God?” God is one – the one and only. The name poses the question so you seek God more and get to know the truth of Him – that you know what He speaks.
The answer of who?
“Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?” Proverbs 30:4 NKJV
Psalm 113:5 when the psalmist asks Who is like God – Literally Micaiah. And then Isaiah 53:1 and 8 Who has believed – Who has the revelation – Who will declare <- back to the speaking!
Now back to Proverbs 30:4, starting with the Yod (י) in the last “who” and counting every 22 letters a phrase appears: Yeshua Shai. Yes back to the 22.
Micaiah the prophet is also found in 2 Chronicles 18. And in verse 13: “And Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak.”
(I might have told you before my son was due to be born on February 18th or 2 – 18. But He was delayed and arrived on February 22nd or 2 – 22. What a beautiful confirmation of His name!)
So in 2 ….. 18…. We can add it up to get 20.
In Psalms 113:5, starting with the last letter in who, and counting every 20 letters another phrase appears, Yeshu Met.
In Isaiah 53:8, starting with the last who and counting every 20 letters, yet, another phrase appears: Yeshua Shemi.
Yeshua is a gift, Yeshu dies, and finally, Yeshua is my name. Who is like God – Jesus.
Micaiah is the first known variation and the origin of the name Michael. M’s numerical value is 91 – Mal’ak (the beginning of Michael) shares this value – and means messenger of angel. (Michael the messenger angel in the Bible literally is the messenger angel named Messenger Angel.)
Anyway 91 is made by multiplying 7 and 13 (the prime numbers). 7 x 2 is 14, which is the verse in 1 Kings 22 above and 13 is the verse in 2 Chronicles, above.
7 is the number for Divinity. 13 is the number for Unity (thinking 12 tribes plus God or 12 disciples plus Jesus). And only Jesus, the messiah could be divine unity – fully God and fully man. Then go ahead and check out, in today’s reading Matthew 22:7 and 22:13.
Psalm 22 – is considered a messianic Psalm. Again – with the 22!
It is fun to occasionally study the Bible in numbers as God has said he set these things in order numerically, numbering even the hairs on our head. These were things I did not know when I named my son Micaiah. But I have since been studying and today I drew the connection back to Matthew 22.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!
NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Matthew 22 & Mark 12 NKJV
The Anointing at Bethany
12 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was [a]who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for [b]three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; [c]she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
The Plot to Kill Lazarus
9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
The Triumphal Entry
12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”
14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”
The Fruitful Grain of Wheat
20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much [d]grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Jesus Predicts His Death on the Cross
27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”
29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”
30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am [e]lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
34 The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
35 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
Who Has Believed Our Report?
37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:
“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”
41 These things Isaiah said [f]when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
Walk in the Light
42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not [g]believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
- John 12:1 NU omits who had been dead
- John 12:5 About one year’s wages for a worker
- John 12:7 NU that she may keep
- John 12:24 Lit. fruit
- John 12:32 Crucified
- John 12:41 NU because
- John 12:47 NU keep them
The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers
12 Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to [a]vinedressers and went into a far country. 2 Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another servant, [b]and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. 5 And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some. 6 Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those [c]vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.
9 “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
11 This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.
The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. 14 When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and [d]care about no one; for You do not [e]regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?”
But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” 16 So they brought it.
And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
17 And Jesus answered and said to them, [f]“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
And they marveled at Him.
The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?
18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. 23 Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.”
24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore [g]mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly [h]mistaken.”
The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?
29 Jesus answered him, “The [k]first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ [l]This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, [m]with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
But after that no one dared question Him.
Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?
35 Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’
37 Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”
And the common people heard Him gladly.
Beware of the Scribes
38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and [n]for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
The Widow’s Two Mites
41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two [o]mites, which make a [p]quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
- Mark 12:1 tenant farmers
- Mark 12:4 NU omits and at him they threw stones
- Mark 12:7 tenant farmers
- Mark 12:14 Court no man’s favor
- Mark 12:14 Lit. look at the face of men
- Mark 12:17 Pay
- Mark 12:24 Or deceived
- Mark 12:27 Or deceived
- Mark 12:28 NU seeing
- Mark 12:28 foremost
- Mark 12:29 foremost
- Mark 12:30 NU omits the rest of v. 30.
- Mark 12:33 NU omits with all the soul
- Mark 12:40 for appearance’ sake
- Mark 12:42 Gr. lepta, very small copper coins
- Mark 12:42 A Roman coin