יְבָרֶכְךָ ה’ וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ.
יָאֵר ה’ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ.
יִשָּׂא ה’ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם.
The Lord Bless You and Keep You
The Lord Shine His Face Upon You and be Gracious Unto You
The Lord Lift His Countenance Upon You and Give You Peace.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy church of the believers, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
What is the Bible all about? How do you read the Bible? Who wrote it? The Bible is made up of some 67 books by many writers who were inspired by and directed to write down God’s revelation to them. One can read consecutively and get an idea of the sequence of History and circumstances under which it was written over a period of around 1500 years. Every scripture is divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; 2Tim 3:16 Paul encourages us to study The Word to show ourselves approved unto God. A teacher of mine compared it to a fish in water. If one were to ask a fish, “What is water?” it would be hard put to describe it. So we need to be also when we study and live by the God’s Word.
The bible consists of, among other styles of writing, Prophecy, Law, Teaching and History. The Bible is commonly divided into two testaments or covenants: The Old Testament also known as the Hebrew Scriptures – which is the foundation and revelation of God to man through Abraham and to the whole world, the important historical events, poetry, prophecy and teaching- and The New Testament – the account of the culmination of the plan revealed in the Old Testament of God’s salvation of man from his sin, and the spreading of the message of the Jewish Scriptures to the world.
Apart from the historical, prophetic and poetic styles in the scriptures, a main aspect is teaching on how to live. The scriptures provide instructions for humankind whom God created. It falls to reason that God created man in His image and therefore knows his nature intricately so can best instruct on principles and how to live harmoniously with and in the universe He made.
Below are some of the scriptures relating to various subjects concerning our lives before God. The scriptures provide specific instructions and principles as well as examples from real life. So we have a standard to which we needs aspire and also a revelation showing how we cannot maintain this standard, hence the plan of salvation. I have dealt with common issues in order to provide the reader with some tools. As a part of these tools I will provide a small outline of the books and authors so as to help the beginner get into The Word. The scriptures are like an orchard one can enter and wander about in. The fruit on the trees are revelations and are there for the picking for those who desire to seek God and His fellowship.66
Books of the Bible
|Old Testament||New Testament|
|Deuteronomy||Acts of the Apostles|
|1 Chronicles||1 Thessalonians|
|2 Chronicles||2 Thessalonians|
|Song of Solomon||2 Peter|
Another thing of importance is that we have to remember always that this is God’s plan for His own creation. We are created in His image and therefore need to remember that as we feel concerning our own creations , likewise we toosense sadness at failure. When God created man it was beautiy in perfection. Sin destroyed that and so God in His timelessness is fixing it. It is His plan, style and method. We are therefore wise to recall that He loves us as his creation, as a parent his child. Nevertheless we are in a sense incidentals and need to understand this aspect of grace and mercy.
When we see Jesus looking at his disciples we need to recall that the God of the universe emptied Himself of everything in order to fix this issue of evil and sin. (Phil. 2) This is the face looking at us. The face of The King not a king, not a transient president but the author and finisher of His plan. This is the essence of the blessing.
This plan is important and starts with God creating, man sinning and God fixing it. God is using His people – Israel and all who believe in Him – to tell the world there is a plan and there is hope and there is a way and all we need to do is acknowledge God and His plan and accept His solution, which we call salvation. The rest we do out of gratitude and because we love Him who did everything for us.
The rest is just details about how should we then live and sign-posts reminding us that we are not just drifting along.
Marriage is a covenant and a reflection of God’s covenant with His people. This must be kept in mind when reading God’s directives for this relationship between wife and husband, the roles of father and mother and children. The story of the patirarchs and their children are ideal examples to start with seeing the roles of each part of this God created entity called the family. With the destruction of the family follows social destruction and ultimately national ruin.
Genesis 2:24; Genesis 2:20-24; Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 21:9; Proverbs 19:14;
Malachi 2:13-16; Leviticus 21:13-15; Proverbs 21:19; Isaiah 62:5; Exodus 22:16
Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:39;
Mark 10:8-12; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Peter 3:1-5; 1 Corinthians 7:12-15; Hebrews 13:1-25; Matthew 19:4-8;
The Bible has much to say about finances. some basic fundamentals are that if we have comitted our lives to God then everything we have is his and we are just stewards of what we have. This we see amongst other places, in the parable of the Talents. From the very beginning, the first fruits including the first-born are The Lord’s. This we see initially in Genesis but also it is commanded when we received the law from God about how we should live. ANother common aspect is that of tithing. This is also a God given commandment and the first well known incident is when Abraham 500 years before the giving of the Torah already then knew to give to Melchizedek, king of Jerusalem, a tithe of everything.
What folows is a summary of some thoughts to consider and then some scriptures that need to be considered and thought about concerning our economy and finances, both private and public. Honesty is the first issue but also what is fair according to God’s view apart from tradition and culture.
The picture we have of the church in the New Testament is founded on the structure given to us in the Old Testament. From Genesis we see the structure of the family from which is drawn in Leviticus the structure of the spiritual leadership of Israel and ultimately all of God’s people. God laid out the role of the leaders and their responsibilities before God. The priest of the family is the father and likewise the leader of the fellowship under whatever title, is responsible for the guiding and interceeding for his flock. The only major change is that now the role of making sacrifices has been completed – a role made obsolete by the ultimate sacrifice of God’s son Jesus Christ. God has not changed and therefore the role of kings and priests has been extended from just the Hebrews to those who have put their faith in God’s son those who have been grafted in.
The church is one body and we need to support each other. God forgives us and we need to forgive and understand each other rather than create conflicts. If we are faithful God will show us our faults and thus we can grow.
The first thing we need to do is look at the examples God has given us in His word. Both good and bad as well as how they reacted. Moses, David, the prophets, other kings and spiritual leaders, judges.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 ;Hebrews 13:17 ; Acts 20:28
Baptism is one of the fundamental sacraments of the Scriptures. Baptism is first a sign of association and identification with the death and resurection of Jesus Christ. We are baptised into his body – the church of all believers. The background of baptism can be traced to Old Testament times – prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and David likewise used water as an external symbol for internal cleansing (Isa. 1:l6: Ezek. 36:25ff; Ps. 51:2). Even the story of Noah and the flood was a form of baptism in that the world was ‘washed’ and a new beginning ensued
John the Baptist was the final prophet of the Old Covenant. As John baptized Jesus in the Jordan, he was ushering in the messianic fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Behind the symbol of baptism is the substance of baptism, which is the blood of Jesus Christ removing our sinfulness. As water cleanses the outer man from soil and sweat, so the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses the inner man from the stain of sin. It is not through the ritual Baptism that one is saved. Salvation is by faith and the testimony or outward sign of this commitment is baptism. In the old testament we have the ritual washing and dipping in the water not only was this hygenic and but also this was a picture of the spiritual purification required of those who would enter into God’s house and service. The priests who profaned the temple and defiled the sacrifices were excomunicated from the congregation. Peter notes that we are a Kingdom of priests and Kings which places us in the presence of God so it is essential to be clean of sin and thus Baptism is a sign of the spiritual cleanliness attained by the washing in the blood of Jesus. As kings and priest we are expected and command to be holy even as God is holy and as such we can be a light to the world but only if we ourselves are pure in heart and can be an example to those who look to us for direction.
Isaiah 1:l6: Ezekiel 36:25ff; Psalms 51:2; Leviticus 13-15;2 Kings 5: 1-14;
Acts 2:38; Ephesians 2:8; John 3:5; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:36; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Corinthians 1:13-17; 1 Corinthians 10:2; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 2:11-12; Galatians 3:27; Titus 3:5; Acts 18:8;Acts 19:5; Acts 11:16; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:1-23; Romans 6:3-4; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 19:1-6; John 3:23 ; John 3:22; Luke 3:3; Ephesians 4:5; Matthew 28:19-20;Mark 1:4; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 16:33; 1 Peter 3:20-22; Colossians 3:2;
Communion is also another commandment and sacrament instituted by Jesus. During the feast of Passover part of the meal includes the breaking of bread and sharing a cup of wine. Jesus says to his disciples to continue celebrating the passover because the sacrificial lamb is a symbol of himself and his body is represented in the bread and his blood is represented in the wine.Keeping this in mind we need to study the passover feast and then the life, death and ressurection of Jesus.
God is very clear regarding sorcery and witchcraft – there will be none of it and as Jesus said no man can serve two masters. Dealing with Satan is breaking covenant with God. It is a breach of trust and furthermore more dangerous than any man can stand. In other words it is a giving over of the person to the devil. Therefore there is no place for anything that has to do with cult, evil, sorcery and the like. As we already know God is the same as always and in times past anyone who had anything to do with mediums, diviners was to be destroyed from the congregation of God. The Old testamnet is full of examples and it is clear that the new Testament continues to keep far from anything to do with superstition, sorcery, or witchcraft. The following are scriptures dealing with this issue in some form or other, whether as God’s commandment or an example and its consequence.
Leviticus 19:31;Isaiah 8:19;Leviticus 20:27;
Leviticus 20:6; 1 Chronicles 10:13 ; Ezekiel 13:6-9; 1 Samuel 15:23;
Daniel 2:27 ; Isaiah 19:3; Deuteronomy 18; Jeremiah 10:2; Zechariah 10:2;
Jeremiah 29:8; 2 Kings 23:24 ; Psalm 55:15; Exodus 8:18;Hosea 4:12 ; Daniel 4:7 ; Jeremiah 29:9; Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Nahum 3:5;
Galatians 5:19-21;Acts 8; 2 Thessalonians 2:9;
Acts 16:16-18; Acts 19:13-19 ; Revelation 21:8; Ephesians 5:11 ;
Matthew 2:1; Hebrews 1:14; Acts 13:5-12; Matthew 24:24 ; Colossians 2:8-10 ; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Peter 5:7-10; Philippians 4:6 ;
One of the most important aspects of what God has done for us is in the covenent that He has made and the importance of a serious reflection of the promises He has made and the plan that He is following according to His word cannot be overstated. He foreknew the destiny of man, the consequennces of sin and what was required to repair the breach. Therfore we see the covenants with Noah, Abraham and Israel as most important mostly because of two things : That He made them alone and that as often as the partner (mankind) agreed, at each critical point we failed and broke our promises. God showed us His love in that while we were yet sinners and could not save ourselves, Christ died for us. For God so loved the world
By way of introduction.
In our study of Jesus through the eyes of Luke, the writer of the Gospel of Luke, we need to note a few things. Luke is the only non-Jewish author in the Scriptures. He has taken upon himself to write a systematic study of who Jesus is and why we should believe in him.
Luke starts his letter to Theophilus. Whether this is a general term referring to all who love God or a specific person is not known. Whatever the motive we can see from his style that he is utilizing a very ‘modern’ and systematic method. This form of logic was developed by the Greeks and is still the common form of study used in nearly all disciplines. This is human reasoning and therefore by default is fallible. However, it provides us with a means to proceed and a framework wherein we can grow and develop.
Luke is a doctor (Paul refers to Luke as my Beloved Physician Col. 4:14) so he adopts the method for medical studies which is the observation and interviewing of the patient, thereby understanding the problem from which we can make a diagnosis and then a treatment. Luke develops his image of the Messiah using this same method to make the account palatable to the Greek as well as the Hellenised Jew of his time.
This uniqueness and meticulousness is reflected in several ways. For example:
This last point is worth dwelling on as we need to envisage the world into which Luke is writing and then reflect on where we today are headed in the 21st century. The world of Rome was founded on a polytheistic religious belief. Man was in constant fear of displeasing the gods and spirits so there was no real understanding of right and wrong, purity and justice. Might was the defining element.
Therefore, when God reveals Himself to mankind as one God and the only God, it is extremely significant and the most important difference between the Roman/Greek world and The Jews. So Luke takes it upon himself to tell the story into this pagan world. This is why it is much easier for the non-Jew to understand the Gospel of salvation through Luke. What is important is that there is a wholeness in his account. Luke explains that God is supreme and has a plan of salvation for His creation. There is a complete logical elucidation and solution for evil, and sin in this world. Both temporal and spiritual.
This is why, for example the stories of the gentile centurion, the Samaritan woman, the Greeks who seek out Jesus and the mother of the sick child in Tyre are important because Jesus came to save the whole world. Often Luke explains significant Jewish tradition which would have otherwise been strange for one not familiar with a monotheistic faith based on the Hebrew scriptures.
Chapt. 2 second lesson
Read Luke 2: 22-24
Read Luke 2:25-35
We can note here two things – Joseph would not be present at Jesus death – he had fulfilled his role and that Jesus was the firstborn of the family. (Jesus brothers: Joseph, James Judas Simon – ref: Mark:6-3, 3:31-32; Matt 13:55-56; Gal1:19; 1Cor 9:5)Read V37-38 – He was the one sought after – the Messiah!
Read Luke 2:39-42
V 39 It is at Passover – what we have today Passover! What is Passover the lamb is brought to the temple. The lamb must be the first born, must be pure without blemish and here Jesus is dedicated to be the lamb of God at His coming of age – Bar mitzvah.
Mary hid this in her heart- .v19 and in v 51
Today is the first day of Passover – a time of reflection – a time of celebration – a time of meditation on who and what God has done and that it is not all just an accident and that God will accomplish his plan and it is a time to put things into perspective.
When Luke asked Mary about the story she could give an answer and we should at all times be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us.
In Luke Chapter 6 we discussed:
Now in this chapter, after we have all the background and history and preparation, Jesus starts his ministry. This is Luke’s meticulousness coming out. At this point Jesus has grown up in the manner according to the scriptures and has been baptised, been filled with the Holy Spirit, tempted and tried and chosen his disciples and finally laid out his message of how to live. There is much more however this is the general overview as from here on out we see the life in practice and in a correct eternal perspective.
The concept of being separate and ‘underdogs’ is a common element of all Jewish religious, cultural and formal tradition. Therefore, it is of significance that a Roman centurion had chosen to ‘adopt’ monotheism and had been accepted by the local community to the extent that they were interceding for the gentile ‘oppressor’. Clearly the ramifications are understood by Luke, a Greek, which is why he also includes the detail that the centurion had built them a synagogue, the remains of which are still standing in Kfar Nahum.
The Centurion understood the place where he was and built the synagogue that we can see today in Kfar Nahum – The centurion had an advantage in that he understood authority and also had a ‘universal perspective’. He was sent from Rome and as a servant of the Roman empire.
A reflection of what he has taught – practice what you preach
Did they get the message? What is and was the message of this act
Understanding authority – purity – righteousness and that gives the right to lead. Today it is acceptable to find excuses under the banner of ‘forgiveness and accommodating’.
Leaders need to be clean, perfect, pure and an example
Fathers need to be clean perfect pure and an example – no room for half examples
Holiness /purity is recognizable and does not assuage authority in any manner.
Luke 7 cont.
Some things to consider:
This chapter has four main subjects and each reveal a different side of Jesus but with special insight into his authority – έζουσιαν – authority and power but also as originator and author (as of a book for example)
Read: Psalm 89:11-18
Let us recall John 17. Jesus is interceding and taking responsibility and showing his love and his right to do so because he has the authority
The concept in authority entails power. The boss might have authority but no power or means to do what his authority requires.
Among other things Authority entails:
Matt 28: 18 – 20 All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
In Hebrew the word has a burden concept as something one must carry:
סמכות – לסם to put on, to bear, to place trust = authority = power
The authority of the knights of the king – by placing the sword on the shoulders of the person symbolising the burden of authority.
Hebrews 11:3 the worlds are made by Him
Col. 1:16 for by him all things are created
So we slowly get a better picture of what it means when Jesus is declared as The Word because According to John 1, in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and was God and became flesh and dwelt among us. We see that by the word God created and thereby has authority and power but also care and Love for his creation. (John 3:16)
In Hebrews 6 when God swears an oath to Abraham he did so by his own name because there is no greater. So this is Jesus and the centurion. And then this is Jesus over death
But in each situation we see God’s mercy, pity and grace and love.
The Pharisees had it right. several times ask Jesus, “ by what authority do you do these things?”
Jesus replied Mark3:24, and Matt 12:22
How does this show in relation to how we behave today? Do we adopt/adapt to the world
They knew that evil also has power and that it was important the source of power and miracles.
Matt 21:23-32 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
Jesus is living the life we ought to be – why can we not? See Philippians 2 Christ emptied himself Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
John the Baptist
Who is John? Luke 3 Is. 40:3ff
Jesus identifies fully with the voice crying in the wilderness. John is his forerunner. Is. 40:3ff
At this point John is still a controversial figure (Matt. 21) He is in Herod’s prison but still preaching and following what is going on. John too had his followers/disciples.
We do not know how Jesus is related to John. Elizabeth is a relative of Mary how? Probably she was Mary’s aunt. Zacharias was a Levite which means that John was a Levite which meant that they have no land or inheritance but are charged with the religious ritual and worship. This is not so with the Pharisees. We need to remember this in light of the rebuke they receive from John – brood of vipers?!
For one to have authority one must be pure, holy and upright, otherwise the judgment, wisdom etc will be tarnished. We have to therefore be holy as He is holy!
That is why it is so important that the judicial system is neutral which it isn’t so it must fail.
When Herod (who was an Edomite of the family of Esau) killed John, he killed a Levite who were protected and respected by the people
John – and Matthew were without inheritance Levites –exclusive
That is why John as a prophet is accepted and therefore It was John who could authenticate Jesus
The ministry of John the Baptist is necessary to authenticate Jesus Ministry – as John was prophecy fulfilled so is Jesus.
It is the simple, the poor and sinners who accepted Christ – Jesus preached simple truths and the spirit of the Torah – the lower class sought Jesus the religious sought to justify themselves and found wrong both with John and with God!
When Herod Antipas executed john the Baptist, The Antiquities of the Jews (Book 18:116-19), and Mark 6). What happened to his followers?
The issues here are about the truth and reality. The religious leaders were more concerned about their own tradition and framework than the evidence before them.
This arrangement is set up by God (Read Leviticus and Deuteronomy)– the reason the apostles could understand the concept of a call was because of this God given setup – the people – the priest in the breach – God in His holiness. Therefore, John was an important figure.
How does that relate to us today?
The last story in this chapter is concerning a woman who is regarded as a sinner. We do not know what she is accused of.
Nevertheless, Simon the Pharisee questions Jesus prophet status/title.
What is a prophet? Anointed of God, Sam 10, Moses, Samuel, Elijah
Sinner in a small community- law reputation
Note that Jesus is eating with Simon the Pharisee – see verse 34
So where are we in this story when we look in Jesus face and have to turn our eyes down because of the excuses we make for ourselves and our sins.
Jesus does not accuse Simon the Pharisee. Simon has to make his own judgment upon himself.
What do we learn of Jesus from this chapt?