Bible Reading and Commentary December 29 – January 3, 2015

Bible Reading and Commentary
December 29 – January 3, 2015

Monday, December 29, Matthew 7
v. 5 — The word “hypocrite” was also used in chapter 6:2. A hypocrite does not really believe in his heart that Jesus is his Savior. A hypocrite sees the sins of others but not the “plank” or the huge sins in his own life. To help other sinners, and we should, we need first to get our own lives straightened out spiritually before God.
Vv. 13-14 — While there are many roads that lead to hell, only one way takes you to heaven and that’s through Jesus (Acts 4:12). One of the roads that takes us to hell is listening to false prophets. They use the name of the Lord, but reject Jesus as the only way to heaven. Read vv. 15-23.

Tuesday, December 30, Matthew 8
v. 8 — Our faith in Jesus must be like the centurion’s. It doesn’t say to Jesus, “Prove it to me that I should trust You.” It rather confidently takes Jesus at His Word.
v. 34 — Why did these people of the Gadarenes want Jesus to leave? They thought more of themselves and their earthly needs than of those two men’s spiritual and physical plights. How about you? Do you love your neighbor as yourself, or do you just love yourself, as those Gadarene citizens did?

Wednesday, December 31, Matthew 9
v. 13 — Many Jews in Jesus’ day were self-righteous. They thought they were good enough for God. In fact, they felt their good would move God to overlook their sin. They were wrong! We are all sinners (Rom. 3:23). Our good is never good enough for God (Is. 64:6). By nature, we are all spiritually sick in sin. Jesus is that doctor who heals us of all our sins and opens heaven to us. (John 3:16; I John 1:7)
v. 17 — Jesus compares the Gospel to new wine. The Jews were to let go of the false teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees who taught heaven was gained through keeping the Law. To mix the false teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees with the Gospel would also destroy them spiritually, just as putting new wine into an old wineskin would break it. The Law and Gospel are not companions to eternal salvation. It’s only through the Gospel that we are saved. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me! (John 14:6)

Thursday, January 1, Matthew 10
v. 28 — Who is responsible for those who end up in hell? It’s not the devil, but God.
Vv. 34-36 — How does Jesus bring a sword into our families? It happens when some in our families become unbelievers. Others may join a church which teaches God’s Word falsely. When we defend the truth of God’s Word, confess Jesus before them, that may bring anger and verbal abuse. It cuts like a sword. Is it worth confessing our faith in Jesus? It is! Read Rom. 10:17, John 14:6.

Friday, January 2, Matthew 11
v. 11 — Why are the least in God’s kingdom greater than John the Baptist? We have the privilege of seeing what Jesus completed. John, like the Old Testament believers, put his trust in what God, through Christ, promised to do.
Vv. 21-24 — These verses indicate there are degrees of suffering in hell for the unbeliever. The Jews who saw and heard Christ and rejected Him will be much worse off in hell than those who didn’t have those opportunities in this life.
Vv. 28-30 — Underline these verses. The “rest” is rest from sin. The “yoke” is cross-bearing (Matt. 16:24) and bearing our responsibilities as Christians. As oxen were yoked and couldn’t pull apart, so we are not to pull apart from Jesus’ yoke. Jesus promises it will be light. As we bear it, trusting in Jesus, think of these uplifting words in Is. 40:31.

Saturday, January 3, Matthew 12
v. 20 — How merciful and compassionate Jesus is to us! He takes us even when we are bruised spiritually and our faith smolders, and assures us, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
Vv. 31-32 — What is the sin against the Holy Spirit? It’s when we completely refuse to hear the Word of God and no longer build on it. The Holy Spirit then is no longer able to do anything with us spiritually because He works in us through the Gospel and Sacraments.
v. 40 — Some theologians today deny the Old and New Testament miracles. One such miracle is Jonah being swallowed by a whale. Not to accept this is to doubt and reject Jesus, because He accepted it. Doubt is unbelief

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