God’s Steadfast Love

Isaiah 55:3. incline your ear and come unto me, hear and your soul shall live and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the steadfast love I promised unto David.     

This promise is found in 2 Samuel:

2 Samuel 7:12-15.  When your days are fulfilled and you sleep with the fathers, I will set up your seed after you and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever, and I will be his Father and he will be my son. If he commits iniquity I will chasten him with the rod of men and stripes of the children of men. But my mercy will not depart from him as I took from Saul who I removed before you.                       

This was presented to the church:  

Acts 13:32-34.  And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God has fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus again, as it is written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you, (Psalms 2:7.) And as concerning that He raised him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He said: “I will give you the sure mercies of David.” 

The covenant of the sure mercies of David is a covenant of parental correction unto the perfection of obedience. What you have done is not what is  as important as how you respond to God’s correction. 

This doctrine is discussed in Hebrews 12 and is based on 2 Samuel 7.  

Hebrews 12:6.  For whom the Lord loves he chastens and scourges every son whom he receives.                                                                                               

Consider this house of David known as Ephrathites. Ephrathah was a Hebrew woman who became the wife of Caleb, the faithful servant to Moses. Caleb was not a Hebrew, but is identified as a Kenizzite. Caleb was granted the region of Hebron by Moses for his faithful witness with Joshua after the scouting expedition. David’s grandmother was Ruth the Moabite. The city of Bethlehem Ephrathah was the city of Joseph and the birthplace of the Messiah. David ruled from Hebron for seven years until the elders of Israel came and acknowledged him as their king.

The line of Caleb is listed in the Chronicle genealogies with the tribe of Judah by a process known as grafting in, the same terminology Paul uses in Romans 11 to describe the gentile relationship to natural Israel. Through the house of David the wall of partition between Jew and gentile is broken down and finds fulfillment in Christ Jesus. 

Luke 1:31-33.  Behold, you shall conceive and bring forth a son and shall call him Jesus. He shall be exalted and called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end.                   

Isaiah 9:6&7.    For unto us a child is born unto a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder…. Of the increase of his government and peace no end upon the throne of David…the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. 

The one true church is the house of David and the Lord Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the throne of majesty to fulfill all righteousness. 

Peter informs us:

Acts 3:21.  heaven has received Him until the restoration of all things spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began.

The restoration of all things refers to the throne of David in Israel. This process will not be complete until the end of the final day (1000 years).

Ezekiel 34:23-31.  And I will set up one shepherd over them and he shall feed them, my servant David, he shall feed them and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord shall be their God and David a prince among them. I the Lord have spoken it and I will make with them a covenant of peace.   

Ezekiel 37:24-28.  And David my servant shall be king over them and they shall all have one shepherd over them…and they shall dwell in the land I have given to Jacob my servant… and David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant…and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.   

The covenant of peace (berit shalom, also translated covenant of friendship), was originally bestowed on the house of Phineas, the son of Eleazar, in Numbers 25:10-13; and will be granted to all Israel, in Israel, at the end of the age.

Now consider the most referenced Old Testament passage in the New Testament to bring all this to a fine point. In the gospels Jesus proposes this question concerning the Christ: Whose son is he? The teachers responded that he is the son of David. Jesus then silences them with this statement.

Matthew 22:41-46.  How is it that David in spirit calls him Lord saying The Lord said unto my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool (Psalm 110), if David calls him Lord, how is he his son? 

This Psalm is also referenced by Peter in Acts 2:33-35. In the letter to the Hebrews we find another reference:

Hebrews 10:12-14. But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sin forever sat down at the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  

Most importantly, follow Paul’s explanation of the final restitution of all things:

1 Corinthians 15:24-28.  Then comes the end when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He has put all things under his feet. But when he says all things are under him it is clear that the exception is He that put all things under him. And when all things are subdued under him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put everything under him, that God may be all, in all.                                

Note that the Son is subject to God the Father. The perceived equality between the Son and Father is based on the equality of granted authority. This is foreshadowed in Genesis 41 pertaining to the relationship between Joseph and Pharaoh.

Genesis 41:40-44.  You shall be over my house and according unto your word shall all my people be ruled, only in the throne will I be greater than you.

To serve Joseph was to serve Pharaoh, to dishonor Joseph was to dishonor Pharaoh. Compare this to the self-testimony of Jesus in John 5.

John 5:22&23.  For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son; that all should honor the Son as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son honors not the Father who sent him. (Doctrine of Christ). 

This is the final restitution of all things spoken of by the prophets by the Spirit of Christ that was in them. The time of the gentiles will soon be fulfilled as the fullness of the gentiles is a finite point in time. The end of the age and the new heaven and new earth and the everlasting righteousness of the kingdom of God and Christ comes after all his enemies come under his feet; and the final enemy is death.

In the millennial kingdom of the house of David, people live long prosperous lives, but not eternal lives. 

Isaiah 65:20.  One who dies at 100 will be as if a child, but a sinner of 100 years will know they are cursed. 

During the 1000 year reign the law of God will be enforced from Jerusalem and the word of God will come forth from mount Zion. (Isaiah 2.)

And after these 1000 years there will be one final rebellion. Sin will continue during the millennium and will be dealt with by the law. Satan will be bound and man will know that there is a sin nature in him that cannot be blamed on “the devil made me do it”. Sinners will chafe under the law of God for 1000 years. This is foreshadowed in the Old Testament, for after the glorious 40 year reign of Solomon, a kingdom like no other on earth, the people rebelled, complaining of the severity of his reign.

Isaiah 33:14.  The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”  

These everlasting covenants are without respect of persons. The terms are final.

Hebrews 6:16.  For men in truth swear by one greater, and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.   

This refers to the role of Jesus Christ as the mediator between God and man. When the terms of the mediation are accepted, there is no more negotiations. Any other gospel is cursed.
Hebrews 13:20&21. Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you perfect in every good work to do His Will, working in you which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  

The Beginning of Creation

2 Peter 3:4.  Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.

The carnal mind tends toward understanding the beginning of creation as a point in time. Understanding the Spirit of Truth begins with knowing that the beginning of creation is in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Revelation 3:14. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things say the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.

The Logos Theos

The Son of God pre-existed creation. He was in the beginning with God, and for all creation, He is God.

The Holy Spirit hovered over the virgin Mary even as in creation hovering over the face of the waters, and she conceived the child Jesus. 

The Son of God became the son of man, and as a young boy of 12, showed Himself to be the Dayspring, the source of divine wisdom, in the temple of Jerusalem before many witnesses, experts of the Law.

At the age of 30, Jesus, the son of man, was baptized by John to ‘fulfill all righteousness’, and the spirit descended on Him and remained, taking on the seed of Abraham, The Christ.

Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on him the seed of Abraham.

The Perfection of Beauty

Hebrews 2:10.  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Hebrews 5:8, 9. Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.

Did the Son of God learn obedience, or the seed of Abraham? 

The Christ is the spirit of just men made perfect.

Hebrews 12:22, 23. But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,  to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.

The saints access their perfection of spirit by sanctification from the world.

Hebrews 10:14.  For by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified.

And so Jesus prayed for all who would serve Him.

John 17:17-19.  Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Perfected in the Love of the Father.

John 17:23.   I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

1 John 4:17, 18.  Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears is not perfected in love. We love Him because He first loved us.

The Times and the Seasons

After His resurrection and as the time for His ascension approached, the disciples asked Jesus:  Acts 1:6.  “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  

In answer to the teachings of eschatology, wisely and carefully consider the reply Jesus provided them.

Acts 1:7. He said to them, It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  

The eternal word of the eternal Lord to us all is that knowing the times or the seasons of restitution are strictly under the authority of the Father. And yet we have so many teachers and preachers telling us that such and such happened in this or that year, and by the Law, count for so many years to determine such and such event. 

Let those who love the Lord and desire to live by His given revelation know that these things are not for us to consider. All these matters were dealt with by the Holy Spirit and presented to the church in the apostolic doctrine.

Romans 7:1.  Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?  

Do the saints live by the law, or by the Spirit? Paul is dealing with this question often in his writings. Wisely and carefully consider his insight.

Romans 7:4.  Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.  

This teaching is preceded by this word of knowledge:

Romans 6:3, 4.  Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

The Fullness of Time

The saints who walk by the Spirit are not instructed by the Law, or by those who would use the Law to bind by jealous intentions the liberty of the children of God in Christ.

1 Timothy 1:7.  Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.  

Galatians 3:2, 3.  This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?   

Galatians 4:9, 10.  But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?  You observe days and months and seasons and years.  

Colossians 2:16, 17.  Let no man judge you in meat or drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but (by your function within) the body of Christ. 

Galatians 4:4.  But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  

1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2.  But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 

Matthew 24:36.  But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

Be Steadfast

2 Peter 3:14-18. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;  and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

The Messenger of the Lord

Malachi 2:6, 7.  The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity.   For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

The apostolic message of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; is played out as a living parable through the narrative of Israel, the covenant people of God.

Jesus taught that many are called, but few are chosen. In Israel, a nation of priests became a tribe chosen to the service of the sanctuary. A particular family  within that tribe, beginning with Aaron, the brother of Moses,  would minister in the Holy Place. This is further refined by a chosen son of Aaron receiving a covenant of friendship with God for his faithfulness.

Numbers 25:10-13.  Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.

Zealous for the zeal of God is echoed in the teaching of the apostle Paul, along with the injunction from Malachi 2, that the “priest’s lips should keep knowledge”.

1 Corinthians 14:12.  Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. And ‘it is good to be zealous in good things always’ (Ga. 4:18).

When we are encouraged to ‘come boldly before the throne of Grace’, it is on behalf of the church that should be our primary purpose. This is where we obtain words of ‘edification, exhortation and comfort’ that we may ‘receive from the Lord that which we present unto others’ for the building up of the body of Christ.

To recognize and receive from the messengers of God is the basis for an active faith working in the body of Christ.

John 6:29. Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

The Holy Spirit, sent by the full authority of Jesus Christ, enables mature men and women of the church to do the work of God as His ‘dwelling place’.

Ephesians 2:20-22.  Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

You will know them by their fruit.

 

 

 

Crowns of Memorial

Zechariah 6:14.  And the crowns shall be to Helem and Tobijah and Jedaiah and to Hen the son of Zephaniah for a memorial in the temple of the Lord.        

Zechariah and Haggai were both prophets to the Jews who returned from captivity to Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord God spoke by them to the governor Zerubbabel (sown or born in Babylon) and to the High Priest Joshua (Yeshua) for whom the crowns were made and worn. They were responsible with overseeing the rebuilding the Temple of God.

The High Priest represents Christ and the temple is the church and body of Christ. What do each of these four witnesses represent, for whom the crowns for Joshua are made to serve as a memorial?

Zechariah 4:7.  Who are you great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace! Grace to it! 

The name Hen the son of Zephaniah is in the Hebrew Chen and means Grace or Favor. Zerubbabel is instructed to move mountains shouting Chen or Grace. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 21 if you have faith and doubt not you shall say unto this mountain be removed and cast into the sea and it shall be done. Why does He say THIS Mountain? They are standing outside the Temple!

John 4:21-24.  Truly I tell you, the hour is coming when you shall not worship the Father on the mountain of Samaria or Jerusalem. The true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth for the Father seeks such to worship Him.            

The mountain of religion must become a plain before the Spirit of Truth. The house of God as well as the kingdom of God must be built by Grace through Faith from first to last. Grace has become for many simply the unmerited favor of God. To complete the task of building up the House of God the church needs to get beyond the banality of such definitions. Consider these words of witness.

 

2 Corinthians 9:8.  God is able to make all Grace abound that you always have all sufficiency in all things that you may abound in every good work.                                      

Grace is the abounding sufficiency of God to complete the Work by Faith. To demonstrate your Faith by the Good Work that can only be accomplished with the Grace of God. This Grace must be foremost apparent in the words we speak concerning Christ and for His church.

Psalms 45:2.  You are fairer than the children of men, Grace is poured into your lips and God therefore has blessed you forever.                                                   

Proverbs 22:11.  He that loves pureness of heart for the grace of his lips the King shall be his friend.                                                                                               

Paul wrote:                                                                                           

Ephesians 4:29.  Let no corrupting words come from your mouths, but only what is good for building up others (the House of God) to impart Grace to the hearers. 

And; 

Colossians 4:6.  let your speech be always with Grace. 

The Acts of the Apostles by the power of the Holy Spirit is a consistent testimony to what believers can accomplish by the Grace of God. 

Acts 11:23.  And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all.                                                                

Unmerited favor in word and indeed!

Acts 20:32.  So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  

The second witness to the crowns of memorial for Joshua is Jedaiah whose name means known by the Lord. 

To know as we are known is the mark for the prize of the high calling of God we press towards in Christ.   (Philippians 3:14.)    To walk in the Spirit of Grace and Truth the follower of Jesus Christ must come to know Him.

In His Good Shepherd discourse in the Gospel of John, Jesus said: 

John 10:14.  I am the Good Shepherd and know mine and am known of them.                 

In the pursuit of knowledge we are warned to always keep ourselves from idols which corrupt the Truth because of covetousness.

Galatians 4:9.  But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

1 Corinthians 8:2, 3.  And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.  But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

1 Corinthians 13:12.   For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

The third witness is Tobijah, meaning the goodness of God. Again, the banality of the modern church with its cliche’-like God is good catchphrase greatly diminishes the power of the word tob. The New Testament writers did no such thing.

We first find tob in Genesis chapter 1 as a description of God’s perspective of His own creation, which was a work of perfection!  If someone asks you how you are doing and you want to answer “I’m good”, from God’s definition you are perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12).

Perhaps you have followed James’ directive and have let patience do a perfect work so that you are perfect and entirely in want of nothing.  (James 1:4.)

This third witness to the crowns of memorial is the work of the Holy Spirit in all of us for the edification of the church. At first it was the goodness of God that led you to repentance. (Romans 2:4.)

Goodness is included in the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5.)

The continued work within the church is that God would count you worthy of your calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power. (2 Th 1:11.)

When Jesus said to be perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect, He expressed his desire to see us, the body of Christ come to full maturity in all the Will of God. Then God can look at our days of church building and see that everything made in the image of Christ is very good.

The fourth witness to the Crowns of Memorial had to experience a name change to properly serve God’s purpose. The man named Helem is first identified in Zechariah 4:10 as Heldai which means worldly. The Spirit of Christ changes his name in verse 14 to Helem meaning vision.

For the work of building up the body of Christ to be fruitful, the members must have the full vision of the doctrine of Christ. Every denomination, church, and ministry must reject worldly wisdom and respond to the call of Christ with childlike simplicity and sincerity.

Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no vision the people perish. The church struggles are in large part due to an obsession with the wrong vision.

Daniel was a man of visions who is studied and commented on to excess. Daniel’s name means God is Judge, and naturally the visions pertain to the final judgment. His vision also brings some reference for consideration towards the visions of John. These visions of judgment should serve to drive the church to carry out the charge and true vision for the church and of Christ.

Peter wrote in his second letter in response to the question: where is the promise of His Coming? That He is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. He then places the proper concern with the manner of persons we should be in holy conversation and godliness, or else we will hasten the coming day of the Lord. Our vision pertains to a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:9-13.

We neglect our memorials and just recompense of reward if we obsess over the horrible visions of judgment rather than making our hearts pure now, before the refining fires are ignited.

1 Corinthians 3:13–15.  Everyone’s work will become evident for the day will show it because it is revealed by fire and the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work which was built on the foundation survives it will earn a reward. If anyone’s work is burned they will suffer loss but they will be saved only as through the fire. 

And the Lord said write the vision on a tablet (as a memorial) and make it plain that they who read may run, for the vision is for an appointed time. (Habakkuk 2.)

This vision is the apostolic teaching of the New Testament. The appointed time may be nearer than we know, for the time of the gentiles to be fulfilled.

The crowns of memorial earns treasure in heaven as do the memorials of prayer, almsgiving and righteous conversation. Peter encourages the elders to be faithful so as to be a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed at the coming of the Lord.

1 Peter 5:4.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear you shall receive a crown of glory that never fades.                                                                                           

James 1:12.  James encourages us to endure temptations, for when we are tried we will receive the crown of life the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 

2 Timothy 4:8.  Paul encourages Timothy telling him that there is laid up a crown of righteousness the Lord shall give at that day to all who love His appearing.  

Revelation 3:11.  Finally Jesus warns us to hold fast that which we have that no man take our crown.                                                                                                         

So much treasure kept in heaven for us!

                                                   

Memorial of Mary

Mark 14:9; Matthew 26:13.  Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, wherever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she has done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 

Ironically, in these two accounts, the words are spoken on behalf of an unnamed woman who came in during a dinner with Jesus at the table. “There came a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment and poured it on His head.”  The gospel of John fills in the missing pieces. Chapter 12 of his gospel identifies the woman as Mary, the sister of Martha, and Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead. Martha is serving the dinner.

This set the stage for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, for word of Lazarus having been raised from the dead had ignited the large crowds on hand for the Passover. The chief priests consulted to also see Lazarus put to death, because by reason of him many of the Jews believed in Jesus.

We are also informed by John 11:2 it was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. This account is found in           Luke 7:37-50. The Lord uses this opportunity to make a very important point: “to whom little is forgiven, loves little.

This is not to say that some people are less of a sinner and need less forgiveness, but some fail to acknowledge their condition and need for reconciliation with God. The Pharisee saw himself as having a relationship with God, while looking down on Mary as a sinner. Thus she is told; “your sins are forgiven”, and “your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

In Luke 10:38-42, we find another narrative involving Mary and Martha, with Jesus a guest in their home. Martha was busy with much serving while her sister sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. Martha exclaimed, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Bid her to come help me.” To which Jesus replied unto her, “Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things but one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

We cannot imagine wrong in someone with a heart to serve, but can see where there is a time for everyone to be still and know the Lord. However, Jesus is not just speaking to a willingness to serve.

We can see a greater concern for someone who is careful and troubled and should fully consider what the Lord is addressing.

The word translated careful here is used by Jesus repeatedly in His sermons, but the more typical translation in the KJV is “take no thought”, and means to be anxious.

 Matthew 6:25,34.  Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than clothing? Take therefore no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.                                                                              

Matthew 10:19.  Jesus also uses the same word to tell us not to worry about what we should say if our faith is put on trial, saying if we are delivered up, “take no thought how or what you shall speak, for it shall be given you in that same moment what you should speak.”                                                                   

Luke 8:14.  In His parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus describes the seed among thorns as someone who hears His word, but are choked with “cares” of riches and pleasures in life, and brings no fruit to maturity.                   

Paul tells us:

Philippians 4:6 & 7.   “be careful” for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.                                             

1 Peter 5:7.  Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.     

Remembering The House of God

John 2:17.  Then His disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for Your house will consume Me.

The Gospel of John has a unique account of Jesus overturning tables of the money changers in the Temple. After all the animals had been driven away and the money poured out, Jesus says “Take these things away, do not make My Father’s House a place for merchants.”

The more knowledgeable you become in the Word of God, the more the Holy Spirit is able to speak to you in every situation. Jesus had created a very perilous environment for Himself and the disciples, and most people under these circumstances would be thinking “let’s get out of here, now!” The disciples must have been captivated to see the Word of God being played out before their eyes.

This was not the first time they were witnessing prophecy fulfilled, and their hearts would soon be broken to watch what they refused to accept. Even though Jesus warned them three times, their minds refused to accept that the Christ would soon be crucified. The remembrance of Jesus’s words would have a devastating effect. Put yourself in the shoes of Peter when he was confronted by the crowd and accused of being a follower of Christ. He began to curse and deny knowing the man, until the rooster crowed.

Matthew 26:75.  And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which said unto him “before the rooster crows you shall deny me three times”. And he went out and wept bitterly.

Oh that we could remember the Word of the Lord before we speak! This is why we must pray like David;

Psalms 19:14.  Keep your servant from presumptuous words, let them not have dominion over me. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.                                        

For even the meek Moses failed to enter the Promised Land, because he failed to sanctify the Lord before the people and spoke presumptuously at the waters of Meribah.

Psalm 106:32,33.  They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill for Moses for their sakes; because they provoked his spirit, so that he spoke unadvisedly with his lips.  (Numbers 20:10-13).

The Remembrance the disciples experience at this incident at the temple is found in Psalm 69, which is one of several Messianic visions of David.

Psalm 69:5. God you know my foolishness and my sins are not hid from you. Let not them that wait on you, O Lord, be ashamed for my sake; let not those that seek you be confounded for my sake God of Israel.                                        

The anointing of Christ must place a burden of responsibility on the stewards of the Gospel to not offend someone to the detriment of their soul. James wrote:

 James 3:2.  if a man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.                                                                            

We must discipline our tongue before we can ever discipline our flesh.

Psalm 69:9.  For the zeal of your house consumes me, and the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen upon me.                                                           

The second half of this verse is quoted by Paul:   

Romans 15:2,3.  Let every one of us please our neighbors for the good of edification. For even Christ did not please Himself but as it is written: the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen upon me.                                                  

This is his overriding theme that began in the previous chapter.

Romans 14 is devoted to the exhortation that concern for our brethren must direct our actions. A zeal for God’s House can now only be expressed through our concern for each other. 

Romans 14:13.  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore but judge this rather that no one put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in a brother’s way. 

The other three Gospels give a different rendering of this event.               

Matthew 21:13, Isaiah 56:7.  “It is written: My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”                                                                    

Then a significant event immediately follows the merchants being driven from the Temple.   

Matthew 21:14.  And the blind and the lame came to Him and he healed them. 

The blind and the lame entered the Temple for the first time because the Lord made the way for them. Their exclusion from the Temple was brought about by a curse spoken by David in anger, and is found in 2 Samuel 5. David and his men went to take Jerusalem from the Jebusites and are taunted by them saying “unless you can defeat the blind and the lame you will not come up here.” They considered the stronghold of Zion to be impregnable, but Joab led the men up the sewer and defeated the Jebusites and slew “the blind and the lame whom David’s soul hates.”

Therefore it became a statute at the words of David that the blind and the lame shall not come into The House. Again, words spoken in contempt by an anointed man of God became a curse that Jesus removed with His compassion.

Zeal for the house of God can now only be expressed through compassion and loving kindness.