Bible Reading and Commentary January 5-10, 2015

Bible Reading and Commentary
January 5-10, 2015

Monday, January 5, Matthew 13
Vv. 18-23 — What kind of a hearer are you? In chapter 13, Jesus teaches what life is like in His kingdom using 5 parables. A parable is where Jesus took an example from our earthly life and taught us a spiritual truth. In the parable of the sower, 4 types of hearers are described in the Christian congregation. To be saved, we need to be like the 4th hearer. Are you that hearer? Read verse 23 carefully.
Vv. 47-51 — The good fish in the parable of the net are the believers. The bad fish are those called hypocrites. In a Christian congregation we are not to sort them out. That’s because outwardly hypocrites look good, but in their hearts they don’t believe. Because we can’t tell them from those who are weak in faith, Jesus will do that sorting on Judgment Day.

Tuesday, January 6, Matthew 14
v.v. 13-33 — There are some awesome miracles in this chapter! Jesus’ feeding over 5,000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, and His walking on the water reveal to us His almighty, supernatural power. It proves to us that the child born to Mary was the Son of God with power to restore our lost relationship with God. That Jesus did at Calvary’s cross and on that first Easter Sunday. (Eph. 1:7; 2:4,5 and I Peter 1:3-5)

Wednesday, January 7, Matthew 15
Vv. 21-28 — God’s Word is more valuable than earthly bread. It gives us eternal life. While bread crumbs are thrown away, we dare not do that with God’s Word! The power of God unto salvation is found even in the smallest part of God’s Word, such as John 3:16. The Gentile woman realized that. Do we prize it as she did? Her great faith is that she would take even the crumbs of God’s Word. We today have the cream of God’s Word and many refuse it!

Thursday, January 8, Matthew 16
v. 4 — What was the sign of Jonah? Jesus explained it in chapter 12:39, 40. He thereby proved He accepted Old Testament Scriptures and Jonah being swallowed by the whale. In this sign, Jesus also foretells his burial and resurrection.
v. 12 — The yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees was their false teaching. As yeast permeates dough, so false teaching spreads and will undermine faith. There are many pastors and teachers today in Christian church bodies whose false teaching is like that of the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day. We need to guard against it and reject it.
v. 18 — Underline this verse. Jesus is not building His church on Peter, who, as the Roman Catholic Church would like to have us believe, was supposed to be the first Pope. Jesus is building His church on Peter’s rock-like confession in verse 16.
v. 19 — The keys of the kingdom of heaven refer to the Gospel and Sacraments. They open heaven to us.

Friday, January 9, Matthew 17
Vv. 2-3 — At Jesus’ transfiguration, Peter, James and John got a momentary glimpse of heaven. In heaven someday we, too, will see God in His magnificent glory. Because Peter, James and John saw and knew Moses and Elijah, whom they had never met personally, this would indicate that in heaven we also will see and know each other in our fleshly bodies. Other proof of that is in Job 19:25-27 and I Cor. 15:20-23, 42-44.
Vv. 24-27 — This situation was unique to the disciples. They were free from all the Old Testament Laws. These Laws, many of them, pointed to Christ, but now Christ was with them. Therefore, the Law had served its purpose. Cf. Col. 2:14-17. Yet, not to offend the Jews and take away the opportunity to preach to them the Gospel, they paid the temple tax. The closest application of this would be doing business with someone of a false religion. Not to do so would offend them and take away our chance to speak to them of the great truths in Scripture, both Law and Gospel.

Saturday, January 10, Matthew 18
Vv. 8-9 — Jesus is not encouraging us to literally get rid of an eye or hand. He rather urges us to get at the heart of our sin problem and cut it out of our lives. We do that through daily contrition, repentance and through the use of the Means of Grace, the Gospel in Word and Sacrament. Read also Matt. 15:19-20
v. 15 — We Christians are not to talk about people living in sin. We are to talk to them about their sin.
Vv. 21-22 — How do we deal with someone who is living in sin? The steps in dealing with such a person are in vv. 15-20. Those who offend us and want our forgiveness we are to forgive without limit. As the heavenly Father treats each one of us who is sorry for his sins with forgiveness (v. 27), so we are to do the same (Eph. 4:32).

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