Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Great Paradoxes in The Bible - The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-11 NIV

The Sermon on the Mount

1Now when JESUS Saw the crowds, HE Went Up on a mountainside and Sat Down. HIS disciples came to HIM, 2and HE Began To Teach them.

The Beatitudes

HE Said:

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is The KINGDOM of Heaven.

4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see GOD.

9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of GOD.

10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is The KINGDOM of Heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of ME. 

12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Chapter 5

This chapter, and the two that follow it, are a sermon; a famous sermon; the sermon upon the mount. It is the longest and fullest continued discourse of our SAVIOR that we have on record in all the Gospels. It is a practical discourse; there are not much of the doctrines of Christianity, the things to be believed, but it is wholly taken up with the things to be done.

These CHRIST Began with in HIS Preaching; for if any man will do HIS Will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of GOD. The circumstances of the sermon being accounted for (v. 1, 2), the sermon itself follows, the scope of which is, not to fill our heads with notions, but to guide and regulate our practice.

HE Proposes blessedness as the end, and Gives us the character of those who are entitled to blessedness which is very different from the sentiments and philosophy of a vain world, in eight beatitudes, which may be called paradoxes (v. 3-12).

JESUS Teaches, Proclaims And Heals Us By The HOLY SPIRIT

Matthew 4:23-25 NIV

JESUS Heals the Sick

23JESUS Went throughout Galilee, Teaching in their synagogues, 

Proclaiming the Good News of The KINGDOM

and Healing every disease and sickness among the 


24News about HIM spread all over Syria, and people brought to HIM all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and HE Healed them. 

25Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed HIM.


The Nazareth Village is a unique place where visitors experience life in the first century. Pictured above is a synagogue as it would have looked at the time when Jesus read the prophetic words of Isaiah in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-20).

Synagogueσυναγωγη(synagoge), from συν(syn), together, and αγω(ago), I bringa public assembly of persons, or the place where such persons publicly assembled. Synagogues, among the Jews, were not probably older than the return from the Babylonian captivity. The synagogue was governed by a council or assembly, over whom was a president, called in The Gospels, the ruler of the synagogue. These are sometimes called chiefs of the Jews, the rulers, the priests or elders, the governors, the overseers, the fathers of the synagogue. Service was performed in them three times a day - morning, afternoon, and night. Synagogue, among the Jews, had often the same meaning as congregation among the Christians.

The synagogues were built in imitation of The Temple, with a center building, supported by pillars, and a court surrounding it. See the notes at Matthew 21:12. In the center building, or chapel, was a place prepared for the reading of the Law. The Law was kept in a chest, or ark, near to the pulpit. The uppermost seats Matthew 23:6 were those nearest to the pulpit. The people sat around, facing the pulpit. When the Law was read, the officiating person rose; when it was expounded, he was seated. Our Savior imitated their example, and was commonly seated in addressing the people, Matthew 5:1; Matthew 13:1.

The Gospel of The KINGDOM - The good news respecting The KINGDOM HE Was About To Set Up; or the good news respecting the Coming of The MESSIAH and the nature of HIS KINGDOM.

The subject matter of CHRIST’S Ministry Was, Proclaiming "The Gospel of The KINGDOM": that is, the good news of The KINGDOM of The MESSIAH being come, and which now took place.  HE Exhorted them to repent of, and Relinquish their former principles in order to receive the doctrines, of The Gospel of The KINGDOM and submit to it.

HE Also Preached to them the things concerning The KINGDOM of Heaven; as that except a man be born again, he cannot see it; and unless he has a better righteousness than his own, he cannot enter into it.

What A Powerful Physician CHRIST Was! HE Went About not only Teaching, but Healing, and both with HIS WORD. GOD Sent HIS WORD, and Healed them. HE Healed all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease without exception.

JESUS Still Calls Us Today "Follow ME"

Matthew 4:18-22 NIV

JESUS Calls HIS First Disciples

18As JESUS Was Walking beside the Sea of Galilee, HE Saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 

19“Come, Follow ME,” 

JESUS Said, 

“And I Will Send you out to fish for people.” 

20 At once they left their nets and followed HIM.

21Going on from there, HE Saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. JESUS called them, 

22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed HIM.

Who are the 12 Disciples of JESUS CHRIST?

By Mary Fairchild, Guide

We find the names of the 12 apostles in Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:14-19, and Luke 6:13-16:

And when day came, HE Called HIS disciples and Chose from them twelve, whom HE Named apostles: Simon, whom HE Named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (ESV)

JESUS CHRIST Selected 12 men from among HIS early followers to become HIS closest disciples. After an intensive discipleship course and following HIS Resurrection from the dead, The LORD fully Commissioned the apostles (Matthew 28:16-2, Mark 16:15) to advance GOD'S KINGDOM and carry The Gospel message to the world.

These men became the pioneering leaders of the New Testament church, but they were not without faults and shortcomings. Interestingly, not one of the chosen 12 disciples was a scholar or rabbi. They had no extraordinary skills. Neither religious, nor refined, they were ordinary people, just like you and me. But GOD Chose them for a purpose—to fan the flames of the Gospel that would spread across the face of the earth and continue to burn down through the centuries. HE Selected and Used each of these regular guys to carry out HIS Exceptional Plan.

Take a few moments now to learn a lesson or two from the 12 apostles—men who helped ignite the light of truth that still dwells within our hearts today and calls us to come and follow JESUS CHRIST.

1. Peter

Without question, the Apostle Peter was a "duh"-ciple most of us can identify with. One minute he was walking on water by faith, and the next he was sinking in doubts. Impulsive and emotional, Peter is best known for denying JESUS when the pressure was on. Even so, as a disciple he was dearly loved by CHRIST, holding a special place among the twelve.

Peter, often a spokesman for the twelve, stands out in the Gospels. Whenever the men are listed, Peter's name is first. He, James, and John formed the inner circle of JESUS' closest companions. These three alone were given the unique privilege of experiencing the transfiguration, along with a few other extraordinary revelations of JESUS.

After the Resurrection of CHRIST, Peter became a bold evangelist and missionary, and one of the greatest leaders of the early church. Passionate until the end, historians record that when Peter was sentenced to death by crucifixion, he requested that his head be turned toward the ground because he did not feel worthy to die in the same manner as his SAVIOR. Discover why the life of Peter conveys great hope for us today.

2. Andrew

The Apostle Andrew abandoned John the Baptist to become the first follower of JESUS of Nazareth, but John didn't mind. He knew his mission was to point people to The MESSIAH.
Like many of us, Andrew lived in the shadow of his more famous sibling, Simon Peter. Andrew led Peter to CHRIST, then stepped into the background as his boisterous brother became a leader among the apostles and in the early church.
The Gospels don't tell us a great deal about Andrew, but we can read between the lines and find a person who thirsted for truth and found it in the living water of JESUS CHRIST. Discover how a simple fisherman dropped his nets on the shore and went on to become a remarkable fisher of men.

3. James

James the son of Zebedee, often called James the Greater to distinguish him from the other apostle named James, was a member of JESUS CHRIST'S inner circle, which included his brother, the Apostle John, and Peter. Not only did James and John earn a special nickname from The LORD—"sons of thunder"—they were privileged to be at the front and center of three supernatural events in the life of CHRIST.

In addition to these honors, James was the first of the twelve to be martyred for his faith in A.D. 44.

4. John

The Apostle John, brother to James, was nicknamed by JESUS one of the "sons of thunder," but he liked to call himself  "the disciple whom JESUS Loved." With his fiery temperament and special devotion to The SAVIOR, he gained a favored place in CHRIST'S inner circle.

John's enormous impact on the early Christian church and his larger-than-life personality, make him a fascinating character study. His writings reveal contrasting traits. For instance, on the first Easter morning, with his typical zeal and enthusiasm, John raced Peter to the tomb after Mary Magdalene reported that it was now empty. Although John won the race and bragged about this achievement in his Gospel (John 20:1-9), he humbly allowed Peter to enter the tomb first.

According to tradition, John outlived all of the disciples, dying of old age in Ephesus, where he preached a gospel of love and taught against heresy.

5. Philip

Philip was one of the first followers of JESUS CHRIST, and he wasted no time calling others, like Nathanael, to do the same. Although little is known about him after the Ascension of CHRIST, Bible historians believe Philip preached the gospel in Phrygia, in Asia Minor, and died a martyr there at Hierapolis. Learn how Philip’s search for the truth led him directly to The Promised MESSIAH.

Nathanael, believed to be the disciple Bartholomew, experienced a jarring first encounter with JESUS. When the Apostle Philip called him to come and meet The MESSIAH, Nathanael was skeptical, but he followed along anyway. As Philip introduced him to JESUS, The LORD Declared, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." Immediately Nathanael wanted to know, "How Do You Know me?"

JESUS Got his attention when HE Answered, "I Saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." Well, that stopped Nathanael in his tracks. Shocked and surprised he declared, "Rabbi, YOU Are The SON of GOD; YOU Are The KING of Israel."

Nathanael garnered only a few lines in the Gospels, nevertheless, in that instant he became a loyal follower of JESUS CHRIST.

7. Matthew

Levi, who became the Apostle Matthew, was a customs official in Capernaum who taxed imports and exports based on his own judgment. The Jews hated him because he worked for Rome and betrayed his countrymen.

But when Matthew the dishonest tax collector heard two words from JESUS, "Follow ME," he left everything and obeyed. Like us, he longed to be accepted and loved. Matthew recognized JESUS as someone worth sacrificing for. Find out why, 2,000 years later, Matthew's eyewitness Gospel still sounds an irresistible call.

8. Thomas

The Apostle Thomas is often referred to as "Doubting Thomas" because he refused to believe that JESUS Had Risen from the dead until he saw and touched CHRIST'S physical wounds. As far as disciples go, however, history has dealt Thomas a bum rap. After all, each of the 12 apostles, except John, abandoned JESUS during HIS Trial and Death at Calvary.

Thomas, like us, was prone to extremes. Earlier he had demonstrated courageous faith, willing to risk his own life to follow JESUS into Judea. There is an important lesson to be gained from studying Thomas: If we're truly seeking to know the truth, and we're honest with ourselves and others about our struggles and doubts, GOD Will faithfully Meet us and Reveal HIMSELF to us, Just As HE Did for Thomas.

James the Less is one of the most obscure apostles in the Bible. The only things we know for certain are his name and that he was present in the upper room of Jerusalem after CHRIST Ascended to heaven.
In Twelve Ordinary Men, John MacArthur suggests that his obscurity may have been the distinguishing mark of his life. Discover why James the Less' complete anonymity may reveal something profound about his character.

Who doesn't like a good mystery? Well, the Scriptures introduce us to quite a few riddles that scholars have yet to solve. One of those puzzling questions is the exact identity of Simon the Zealot, the Bible's own mystery apostle.

Scripture tells us almost nothing about Simon. In the Gospels, he is mentioned in three places, but only to list his name. In Acts 1:13 we learn that he was present with the apostles in the upper room of Jerusalem after CHRIST Had Ascended to heaven. Beyond those few details, we can only speculate about Simon and his designation as a Zealot.

Listed together with Simon the Zealot and James the Less, the Apostle Thaddeus completes a grouping of the least known disciples. In Twelve Ordinary Men, John MacArthur's book about the apostles, Thaddeus, also known as Jude, is characterized as a tender-hearted, gentle man who displayed childlike humility.

Scholars believe Thaddeus wrote the book of Jude. It's a short epistle, but the closing two verses contain a beautiful doxology, one of the finest expressions of praise to GOD in the entire New Testament.

Judas Iscariot is the apostle who betrayed his Master with a kiss. For this supreme act of treachery, some would say Judas Iscariot made the greatest error in history.

Down through time, people have had strong or mixed feelings about Judas. Some experience a sense of hatred toward him, others feel pity, and some have even considered him a hero. No matter how you react to him, one thing is certain, believers can benefit greatly by taking a serious look at his life.

JESUS Won The Victory Over satan By The WORD Of GOD

Matthew 4:1-11 NIV

JESUS Is Tested in the Wilderness

1Then JESUS Was Led By The SPIRIT into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 

2After fasting forty days and forty nights, HE Was Hungry.

3The tempter came to HIM and said,

“If YOU Are The SON of GOD, tell these stones to 

become bread.”

4JESUS Answered,

“It Is Written: 

‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but 

on Every WORD That Comes From The 


5Then the devil took HIM to the holy city and had HIM stand on the highest point of the Temple. 

6 If YOU Are The SON of GOD,” he said, “throw YOURSELF down.

For it is written:

“ ‘HE Will Command HIS angels concerning YOU,

and they will lift YOU up in their hands,

so that YOU Will Not Strike YOUR Foot against a 


7JESUS Answered him, 

“It Is Also Written: 

‘Do Not Put The LORD your GOD to the test.’ 

8Again, the devil took HIM to a very high mountain and showed HIM all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 

9 “All this I will give YOU,” 

he said, 

“if YOU Will Bow Down and Worship me.”

10JESUS Said to him, 

“Away From ME, satan! 

For It Is Written: 

‘Worship The LORD your GOD, And 

Serve HIM Only.’ 

11Then the devil left HIM, and angels came and attended HIM.


Then was JESUS led up of The SPIRIT - Led up by The SPIRIT.  By “The SPIRIT” is meant the same SPIRIT of GOD, WHO Had Descended and Lighted On HIM in a bodily shape, with the gifts and graces of which HE Was Anointed, in an extraordinary manner, for public service.  

Mark 1:12 says, The SPIRIT immediately Drove HIM out into the wilderness. though not against HIS Will; to which was added an external impulse, or outward rapture, somewhat like that action of The SPIRIT on Philip. Acts 8:39. 

Luke says Luke 4:1 that JESUS Was full of The HOLY SPIRIT;” and it was by HIS Influence, therefore, that HE Went into the desert to be tempted. It was not done by presumption on the part of JESUS, nor was it for a mere display of HIS Power in resisting temptation; but it was evidently that it might be seen that HIS Holiness was such that HE could not be seduced from allegiance to GOD.

When the first Adam was created he was subjected to the temptation of the devil, and he fell and involved the race in ruin: it was not improper that the second Adam - The REDEEMER of the race - should be subjected to temptation, in order that it might be seen that there was no power that could alienate HIM from GOD; that there was a kind and a degree of holiness which no power could estrange from HIS allegiance to The FATHER.

Mark 1:12 says that this occurred “immediately” after his baptism; that is, in HIS Case, the great temptation followed immediately the remarkable manifestation of the FATHER’S Favor To HIM.

In the clearest manifestations of the DIVINE Favor to us we may not be far from most powerful temptations, and then may be the time when it is necessary to be most carefully on our guard against the temptation of the devil.