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A Harmony of the Gospels




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For a general introduction to the four Gospels and their correlation, see the Introduction in Book 2 of this study.

Life of Christ Book 2 consists of events that took place at approximately A.D. 33-35,  when the Man,  Jesus,  was in His 33rd year of age.

We will examine:

1. The Footprints of Jesus in the Year of Opposition
2. The Footprints of Jesus in His Last Months
3. The Footprints of Jesus during His Last Days
4. The Hours of Jesus upon the Cross
5. The Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus

There are many opinions as to the Chronology of the four Gospels.
In this study we will follow,  in most parts,  the chronological listings by  F. C. Thompson in his Chain-Reference Bible,  in the Comprehensive Bible Helps.


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Matthew 13:54-58
(54)  When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said,
"Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?  (55)  Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?  (56)  And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?"  (57)  So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." 
(58)  Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Mark 6:1-6
(1)  Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him.  (2)  And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying,
"Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!  (3)  Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?"  So they were offended at Him.
(4)  But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house." 
(5 ) Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.  (6)  And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

And He went out from there

We are not exactly sure just how long Jesus had been ministering without a chance to stop and rest, but we do know that He had been going for some time, almost to the point of exhaustion.
Scripture references and discussion on this portion is found in Lessons 10-13 of  Life of Christ Book 1.
For example:

1. While ministering to the multitudes, He was accused of doing His mighty works by the power of Satan
2. While this was going on,  His mother and brothers came to get Him,  apparently because they were afraid either for His safety or His sanity
3. He left the crowded house in which He had been ministering,  to go to the seaside,  to better accommodate the multitudes
4. Having ministered to the multitudes for some time,  He returned to the house (probably Peter's),  the multitudes following
5. With the people thronging the house,  He went once again to the seaside, the multitudes still following
6. He and His disciples launched into the Sea of Galilee in a boat,  where Jesus finally was able to fall asleep
7. But not for long, because a great storm came upon them, and the disciples woke Him,  whereupon Jesus commanded the waves and the storm to cease
8. They landed on the far shore of Galilee (in the country of the Gadarenes),  where they were met by two demon-possessed men
9. After releasing the men from the demons,  the people of the town ran Him out,  probably because their swine had been destroyed
10. They returned by boat to their side of Galilee, only to be met by the multitudes waiting for Jesus
11. Part of that multitude was a man named Jairus,  who wanted Jesus to come to his house to heal his daughter,  who was at the point of death
12. On the way,  as the ever-present masses crowded around Him,  He stopped to speak with the woman with the issue of blood
13. As He tarried with the woman, the crowds still pushing and pulling all around Him, word came that Jairus' daughter had already died
14. Jesus came to the house where the girl lay,  met by the customary wailing and screeching of the mourners,  and when He said that the girl was only asleep,  they would not believe Him
15 Jesus had everyone leave the house,  except the girl's mother,  her father,  Peter,  James,  and John,  and He proceeded to raise the girl from the dead
16. As they left the house of Jairus to return to the house in which Jesus was staying,  two blind men followed Him right into the house,  crying out for Jesus to heal them,  which He did
17. Leaving the house once again,  there was brought to Him a man possessed with a devil
18. After delivering the man from the demon,  as the people marveled,  Jesus was once again accused,  by the Pharisees,  of casting out devils by the Prince of devils

It is at this point that Mark picks up the story, and says,  "And He went out from thence."
Considering the facts that Jesus was already exhausted at the beginning of these above proceedings,  and that they had happened one right after the other with little or no time for Him to rest,  it can be supposed that Jesus was going home to Nazareth to be with His family,  and possibly a few days of relaxation.

Is this not the carpenter's son?

Among the ancient Jews,  every father was bound to do four things for his son:

1. To circumcise him (on the 8th day)
2. To redeem him (on the 40th day-for the price of 5 shekels of the sanctuary, about $2.50)
3. To teach him the law (by the time he was 12)
..4 To teach him a trade (by the time he was 20)
This was founded on the following just maxim:
"He who teaches not his son to do some work,  is as if he taught him robbery!"

Therefore,  Mark records them saying,  not only is Jesus the Carpenter's son  (as in Matthew),  but

"is not this the carpenter?"

Showing that Jesus was,

 in His own right,  as an adult Jewish male, a carpenter - not only as Joseph's assistant.

Also,  as custom had it,  Jesus (being the first-born)  would not only have been taught the trade,

but would have been trained to be head of the business,  which would also make Mark's report qualify Jesus as  "the carpenter."

Jesus was known at first in Nazareth, as the son of Joseph the carpenter,
and after the Joseph's death, as the carpenter of Nazareth.

Justin Martyr speaks of the ploughs and yokes that Jesus made.  He worked in the carpenter shop until He was thirty years old.  There He developed the strong physique that stood Him in good stead during those strenuous years of His ministry.

They were offended at Him

The contrast between a peasant of Galilee,  who had earned His daily bread by the sweat of His brow for the first 30 years of His life,  with the Person who delivered those wonderful discourses and performed those miracles,  was too much for His townspeople.  They were offended in Him.

The Greek word is 'skandalizo'-  "scandalize"

To put a stumbling block or impediment in the way upon which another may trip or fall.
To cause a person to begin to distrust one whom he ought to trust and obey.

In a passive sense, it is:

To find occasion of stumbling in a person.
To be offended in a person.
To see in another what one disapproves of and what hinders one from acknowledging his authority.

They could not explain Him,  so they rejected Him

They could not understand,  so they would not believe

A Prophet

The Greek word  "prophet"  (prophetes)  means primarily  "a forth-teller, one who speaks out God's message."
The act of predicting future events is only incidental to his chief work.

Except a few sick people

The word  "sick"  is  'arrostos' - "without  strength,  weak. .."
This is sickness regarded as constitutional weakness.
Expositors remarks that the people of Nazareth were so consistently unbelieving that they would not even bring their sick to Him to be healed.
Jesus healed all that came to Him in faith - He met the need - but He never put on an exhibition to satisfy someone's curiosity.

He marveled because of their unbelief

Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion -
Nazareth supplied the opposite ground of astonishment.
There Jesus found such an amount of unreceptive response that He was completely astounded.


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Matthew  9:36-10:1-15
(36)  But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.  (37)  Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  (38)  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
(1)  And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
(2)  Now the names of the twelve apostles are these:  first,  Simon,  who is called Peter,  and Andrew his brother;  James the son of Zebedee,  and John his brother;  (3)  Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;  (4)  Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
(5)  These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying:  "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.  (6)  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  (7)  And as you go, preach, saying,  'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  (8)  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.   
(9) Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,  (10)  nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
(11)   "Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.  (12)  And when you go into a household, greet it.  (13)  If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.  (14)  And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.  (15)  Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!"
Mark 6:7-13
(7)  And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.
 (8)  He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff -- no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts -- (9)  but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.
(10)  Also He said to them, "In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place.  (11)  And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!"
(12)  So they went out and preached that people should repent.  (13)  And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
Luke 9:1-6
(1)  Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.  (2)  He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 
(3)  And He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.
(4)  "Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.  (5)  And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them."
(6)  So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

He was moved with compassion

This is characteristic of Jesus,  and should be of believers.
Compassion is that drawing and agitation of  the innermost parts at the sight of any distressed or miserable object.
It causes revolting action in the innermost being  (according to the Greek word, 'esplagchnisthe',  it involves the intestines,  or bowels)  to bring deliverance from such unlawful and inhuman misery and suffering.
Mintert says,  "to be moved with pity from the very inmost bowels.  It is an emphatic by which the bowels and especially the heart is moved."
Whereas pity and sympathy alone can be passive

Compassion cannot be passive

6 examples of the compassion of Jesus:

1. For the Multitude Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32
2. For the Unfortunate Matthew 20:34
3. For Jerusalem Matthew 23:37
4. For the Leper Mark 1:41
5. For the Bereaved Luke 7:13; John 11:35
6. For His Enemies Luke 23:34

Compassion  =  Love In Action

The Apostles

This is the first place where the word is used.

Apostolos one sent forth as a messenger or agent,  the bearer of a commission,  a messenger

The verb used in Mark 6:7  "send them forth"  is  'apostellein'  from  'apostello' -
I send forth:  A messenger, A message, An agent, or a command.

In Mark 6:7 it is in the present tense (in Mark 6:7) -  "He began to be sending them forth."
They were merely learners (disciples) until Christ gave them authority.

Apostle in the Old Testament

1. Many scholars believe that the rabbinic office of the shaliach -- attested by 150 A.D. -- constitutes the proper background for understanding the New Testament term "apostle."
2. The shaliach was established as a legal institution in rabbinic Judaism to insure that an appointed   "messenger"  was given due regard as the legal representative of his sender.
3. The shaliach functioned with the full authority of the one who commissioned him.
4. According to Jewish tradition,  "A man's agent (shaliach) is like to himself"
(Mishna Berakoth 5:5; Rosh ha-Shanah 4:9;  compare 1 Sam 25:40-41;  2 Sam 10:1).
5.  The  "sending"  and commissioning of  the great prophetic figures Moses and Isaiah (Ex 3:10; Isa 6:8) where the Hebrew verb for sending,  shalach, is translated by apostello in the Septuagint as divine spokesmen surely influenced the New Testament word, "apostle."
6. We may also note that the same  "sending"  terminology is applied to other noteworthy characters such as Elijah (2 Kings 2:2,4,6), Jeremiah (Jer 1:7), and Ezekiel (Ezek 2:3,4).

Apostle in the New Testament

1. Jesus originally gave the title to His closest circle of friends,  the twelve (Luke 6:13).
2. He especially indicated their status as emissaries He had set apart to announce the good news of the kingdom (Matt 10:1-23; Luke 8:1; 9:1-6).
3. After the resurrection, the term was expanded by the early church to refer not only to the twelve,  but to a wider circle of authoritative preachers and witnesses of the resurrected Lord (Acts 14:4,14; Rom 16:7; 1 Cor 4:9; 15:5-9; 2 Cor 11:13; Gal 1:19; 2:7-9).
4. The term "apostle" did not,  however,  have limitless application in the New Testament period.  It extended to gospel witnesses other than the twelve but not to all proclaimers of the gospel.  It was never so broad in New Testament use as to be an ancient equivalent to the modern term "missionary."  The term  "apostle," most immediately brought to mind its central function: to preach the gospel; but all those who preached the gospel were not designated  "apostles."  There is,  for example,  a striking absence of the term with reference to Timothy (2 Cor 1:1; Phil 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1),  Sosthenes (1 Cor 1:1),  and Silas (1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1),  who were certainly not only Paul's fellow workers but also preachers of the gospel (compare 2 Cor 1:19).  Thus,  others in the Pauline missionary party were called,  for example,  "brother," "fellow worker,"  or  "bond servant"  (Rom 16:3; Phil 2:25; Col 4:7-14; 1 Thess 3:1);  but the term  "apostle" had a more exclusive,  and thus more restricted, meaning.
5. James the brother of Jesus (Matt 13:55) was certainly no follower of his Brother during His ministry (Mark 3:21,31-35;  John 7:3-5).  He still became an  "apostle"  and leader of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:1-21; Gal 1:18,19)  following his encounter with the resurrected Lord (1 Cor 15:7).
6. In a similar way,  Paul's vision of,  and calling by,  the resurrected Lord won for him the designation "apostle" (1 Cor 9:1; 15:8-11; Gal 1:11-2:10).
(from Holman Bible Dictionary. (c) Copyright 1991 by Holman Bible Publishers. All rights reserved.)

Gave them power

The word  "power" used here is 'exousia'  -delegated authority -

"...and gave them authority and power. ..."  (Amplified)

The verb,  "gave"  is in the imperfect tense,  and means that He not only gave them one lump sum of power,

but He was continuously giving.

It could be translated  "And He kept on giving them authority over..."
He was continuously giving them power and authority over:

ALL kinds of  Disease
ALL kinds of  Weakness and Infirmity
ALL demons  (Devils,  or any and all power of Satan)

Began to send them out two by two

Mark tells us that Jesus sent them out by two's.
Matthew does not explicitly say it as does Mark,  however this list of the twelve in Matthew 10:2-4 is the only one that lists them by twos:

Simon Peter and Andrew
James and John.
Philip and Bartholomew
Thomas and Matthew.
James of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus
Simon Zelotes and  Judas Iscariot

(There are three other lists - Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13  See Lesson 7  of Life of Christ Book 1).

He commanded them

In Matthew 10:5-42  Jesus instructs the twelve on their mission.
This directory divides itself into three distinct parts:

1. Matt 10:5-15 Contains directions for the brief and temporary mission on which they were now going
forth, with respect to:
The Places they were to go to
The Works they were to do
The Message they were to bear
The Manner in which they were to conduct themselves
2. Matt 10:16-23 Contains directions of no such limited and temporary nature, but opens out into the permanent exercise of the Gospel ministry until the close of the Gospel dispensation.
3. Matt 10:24-42 Is of wider application still, reaching not only to the work of the ministry in every age, but to the service of Christ in the widest sense.

It is a strong confirmation of this threefold division,  that each part closes with the words,  "Assuredly (or verily)  I say unto you "   (Vs. 15, 23, 42).

Matthew 10:5-15 Instruction for the immediate mission Go ... to ... the House of Israel
Exodus 19:6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.
Isaiah 61:6 But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, they shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast.
Acts 13:46 ... It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first;
but since you reject it ... behold,  we turn to the Gentiles.
Acts 18:6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed ... he said to them,  "Your blood be upon your own heads;  I am clean.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
Acts 28:27, 28 For the hearts of this people have grown dull ... the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!
Romans 1:16 ...the gospel of Christ...to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil,
of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.
Romans 2:10 But glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good,
to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

God is true to His promises.  He gave Israel every chance and opportunity to be what He promised they could be. Israel was to receive the Gospel first out of  PRECEDENCE,  not  PREFERENCE.

And as you go

They were to:

1. Preach the kingdom of heaven (it is  "at hand",  or already here)
2. Heal the sick
3. Raise the dead
4. Cleanse the lepers
5. Cast out devils

Although they were not to charge any fees for the above services,  they were not to take with them:

1. Any money of any kind (gold, silver, brass)
2. Anything extra for the journey (neither 2 coats- actually, these were under-garments -, extra shoes, or staff- other than what they were wearing or using at the moment)
3. Any food ("scrip" is translated sometimes as "wallet" -this was called 'tormil' by the rabbins; it was a leathern pouch hung about their necks, in which they put their victuals. ...This was properly called the "shepherd's bag.")

When they came to a town, they were to:

1. Inquire who is worthy (of a good character)
2. Stay at the first house that will accept them (They were not to make a "trial run" to see where they would rather stay)
3. Bless those who accept them  

When they left a town or house, they were to:

1. Leave their peace and blessings from those who accept them
2. Retract their peace and blessings from those who reject them
3. Renounce completely those who reject them (to shake the dust of any city of Israel from off one's clothes or feet was an emblematical action, signifying a renunciation of all farther connection with them, and placing them on a level with the cities of the heathen).

From the description of this first mission of the twelve, we learn these important facts about the Gospel:

1. PURPOSE (the kingdom of heaven)
2. POWER (the total release from the power of Satan)
3. PRIORITY (must come first the urgency)
4. PREEMINENCE (more important than any other interest or activity)
5. PROVISION (refer to Luke 22:35)
6. PERMANENCE (they were not to gad about, but to continue until done)
7. PRACTICABLENESS (its acceptance results both physical, spiritual blessings)
Matthew 10:16-23 Directions for Future Ministry I send you forth
Matthew 10:16-23
(16)  Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.  (17)  But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.  (18)  You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.  (19)  But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;  (20)  for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
(21)   Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.  (22)  And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.  (23)  When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.


I send you out

1. As sheep (Helpless unless guarded by the shepherd)
2. Among wolves (carnivorous - their main activity is finding something to eat)
Matthew 7:15 Jesus referred to the false prophets as wolves
John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice. ..and they follow me."
John 10:5 "...a stranger will they not follow."
Galatians 1:8 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel...let him be accursed."


3. Be wise as serpents (they never unduly expose themselves to attack)
4. Be harmless as doves (they never provoke enmity , and they do not fight back when attacked)
In the Amplified " be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent -harmless, guileless and without falsity -as doves.".
Genesis 3:1 " the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field..."
To be  "harmless as doves"  implies a meaning of gentleness.

In other words

5. Beware of men
A. Deliver you up to the councils
 In addition to the Great Sanhedrin or Council there were councils of an inferior degree. There is some obscurity in connection with their history and construction:
(1) They are supposed to have been originated by Moses (Deuteronomy 16:18)
(2) In later times there were two of them in Jerusalem, and one in Palestine.
(3) The rabbins say there was twenty-three judges to each of these councils every place where the population was a hundred and twenty , and three judges where the population was less.
(4) Josephus, however, says that there were seven judges to each council, and that each judge had two Levites to assist him.
(5) These councils had power not only to judge civil cases, but also such criminal cases as did not come within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, or Sanhedrin.
(6) In the provinces they at first met in the market place, but afterward in a room adjoining the synagogue.
(7) Some writers suppose that these local provincial councils are identical with the  "elders"  and  "rulers of the synagogue,"  so often mentioned in the New Testament.
B. Scourge you in their synagogues
The discipline of the synagogue was severe.  Besides excommunication, scourging was sometimes practiced:
(1) The number of the stripes was limited by law to forty save one
(Deuteronomy 25:3)
This is not to be confused with the Roman scourging, who had no such law
(2) To prevent the possibility of excess, by mistake in counting, the legal number was reduced by one, or a total of 39
(3) It is said,  however,  that in aggravated cases the stripes were laid on with greater severity than usual
(4) The rabbins reckon 168 faults to be punished by scourging;  in fact,  all punishable faults to which the law has not annexed the penalty of death
(5) Burder says: "The offender was stripped from his shoulders to his middle,  and tied by his arms to a pretty low pillar,  that he might lean forward,  and the executioner might more easily come at his back.  It is said that,  after the stripping of the criminal,  the executioner mounted upon a stone,  to have more power over him,  and then scourged him both on the back and chest with thongs made of an ox's hide,  in open court,  before the face of the judges."


6. DO  NOT  WORRY (The King James says  "take no thought")
Exodus 4:12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth
Isaiah 51: 16 And I have put my words in thy mouth
Jeremiah 5:14 I will make my words in thy mouth fire
Luke 21: 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not Be able to gainsay nor resist
1 Corinthians 2:13 ...not in words which man teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches

NOTE:  In Matthew 9:5  Jesus specifically told them not to go to the Gentiles.
However, in this situation,  in Matthew 10:18,  He tells them that one of the reasons for their persecution is to be a witness to the Gentiles.

Matthew 10:24-42 Service in Every Age It is enough for the Disciple to be as his Master
Matthew 10:24-42
(24)  "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  (25)  It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!  (26)  Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
(27) "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.  (28)  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  (29)  Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.  (30)  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  (31)  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
(32) "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.  (33)  But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
(34)  "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.  (35)  For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law';  (36)  and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'  (37)  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of  Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  (38)  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  (39)  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
(40)  "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.  (41)  He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.  (42)  And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.

It is enough IT  IS  ENOUGH  
1. Fear them not Jesus says of  them who persecute, for all things will be brought to justice
(Nahum 1:2;   Romans 12:19)
2. Be not afraid Jesus says of them who kill the body, for they are not able to touch the soul
3. Fear not Jesus says,  promising that those who confess Him before men,  He will confess before His Father in heaven

Jesus told the disciples that they were to BEWARE of men,
but not to FEAR them.

In these three  "fear not's" we find:

      From God  
1. (vs 26,27) Divine Proclamation Nothing that shall not be known
2. (vs 28) Divine Protection The soul is safe with Him
3. (vs 29-31) Divine Provision You are of more value than many sparrows
      From Man  
1. (vs 26,27) Fearless Confession Proclaim upon the housetops
2. (vs 28) Fearless Consecration To Him who has all power
3. (vs 29-31) Fearless Confidence You are of more value

I did not come to bring peace

Verses 21-22 Verses 35-39
Brother shall deliver up Brother to death A man at variance against his father
Father shall deliver up the Child to death The daughter at variance against her mother
Children shall deliver up Parents to death The daughter in law against her mother in law
Ye shall be hated of all men Foes shall be of his own household
He that endures to the end shall be saved He that loses his life for My sake shall find it

Excerpts from Farrar
He at once warned and comforted them by reminding them of what He Himself had suffered,  and how He had been opposed.  Let them not fear.  The God who cared even for the little birds when they fell to the ground - the God by whom the very hairs of their head were numbered - the God who held in His hand the issues,  not of life and death only,  but of  ETERNAL life and of  ETERNAL death,  and who was therefore more to be feared than the wolves of earth - He was with them.  They were being sent forth into a world of strife,  which would seem even the more deadly because of the peace that it rejected.  Even their nearest and dearest might side with the world against them.  But they who would be His true followers must for His sake give up ALL;  must even take up their cross and follow Him.  But then,  for their comfort,  He told them that they should be as He was in the world;  that they who receive them should receive Him;  that to lose their lives for His sake would be to more than find them.
(Life of Christ by Dr. Frederic W. Farrar Copyright: 1949)


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Matthew 14:1-12
(14)  At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus  (2)   and said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him." 
(3)  For Herod had laid hold of  John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of  Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.  (4)  Because John had said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."  (5)  And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
(6)  But when Herod's birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod.  (7)  Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
(8)  So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, "Give me John the Baptist's head here on a platter."
(9)  And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her.  (10)  So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.  (11)  And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 
(12)  Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
Mark 6:14-29
(14)  Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, "John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him."
(15)  Others said, "It is Elijah."
And others said, "It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets."
(16)  But when Herod heard, he said, "This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!" 
(17)  For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of  Herodias, his brother Philip's wife; for he had married her. (18)  Because John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
(19)  Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not;  (20)  for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
(21)  Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee.  (22)  And when Herodias' daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, "Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you."  (23)  He also swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom."
(24)  So she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?"
And she said, "The head of John the Baptist!"
(25)  Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
(26)  And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her.  (27)  Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, (28)  brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 
(29)  When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.
Luke 9:7-9
(7)  Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead,  (8)  and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. 
(9)  Herod said, "John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?" So he sought to see Him.

For the sake of Herodias

Herod Antipas,  to whom,  on the death of  Herod the Great,  had fallen the tetrarchy of Galilee,  was about as weak and miserable a prince as ever disgraced the throne of  an afflicted country . Cruel,  crafty,  and voluptuous like his father,  he was also,  unlike his father,  weak in war and vacillating in peace.  In him,  as in so many characters that stand conspicuous on the stage of history,  infidelity and superstition went hand in hand.  But the morbid terrors of a guilty conscience did not save him from the criminal extravagances of a violent will.  He was a man in whom were mingled the worst features of the Roman, the Oriental, and the Greek.

It was the policy of the numerous princes that owed their very existence to Roman intervention,  to pay frequent visits of ceremony to the Emperor at Rome.  During one of these visits  (possibly to condole with Tiberius on the death of his son Drusus,  or his mother Livia)  Antipas had been the guest of his brother Herod Philip (not the tetrarch of that name,  but a son of  Herod the Great and Mariamne, daughter of Simon the Boethusian,  who having been disinherited by his father,  was living at Rome as a private person).  Here the snares of  Herodias,  his brother Philip's wife;  entangled Antipas and he repaid the hospitality he had received by carrying her off.

Everything combined to make the act as detestable as it was ungrateful and treacherous.   The Herod' s carried intermarriage to an extent that only prevailed in the worst and most dissolute of the Oriental and post Macedonian dynasties.

Herodias being the daughter of  Aristobulus was not only the sister- in-law, but also the niece of Antipas; she had already borne to her husband (Philip) a daughter, who was now grown up.
Antipas had himself  long been married to the daughter of Aretas, or Hareth,  Emir of Arabia.
Neither he nor Herodias were young enough to plead even the poor excuse of youthful passion.
Antipas promised on his return from Rome to make her his wife, and she exacted from him a pledge that he would divorce his innocent wife, the daughter of the Arabian prince.
The sole temptation on his side was an impotent sensuality; on hers an extravagant ambition.  She preferred a marriage doubly adulterous and doubly incestuous to a life spent with the only Herod who could not boast even the fraction of a vice-regal throne.

From this moment began for Herod Antipas a series of annoyances and misfortunes,  which only culminated in his death years afterwards in discrowned royalty and unpitied exile.  Herodias became from the first the evil genius of his house.  The Arabian princes,  without waiting to be divorced,  indignantly fled,  first to the border castle of Machaerus,  and then to the rocky fortresses of her father . He,  in his just indignation,  broke off  all amicable relations with his quondam son-in-law,  and subsequently declared war against him,  in which he avenged himself by the infliction of a severe and ruinous defeat.  The people were scandalized and outraged.  Family dissensions were embittered.  Nor was this all.  Sin,  and the adulterous union had to be cemented with a prophet's blood.

And Herod ... heard him

In the bright and gilded halls of anyone of  those sumptuous palaces that the Herods delighted to build,  the dissolute tyrant may have succeeded perhaps in shutting out the deep murmur of  his subject's indignation;  but there was one voice that reached him,  and agitated his conscience,  and would not be silenced.   It was the voice of the great Baptist.

He summoned John to his presence.  Like anew Elijah before another Ahab.  His words - the simple words of truth and justice - the calm reasonings about righteousness,  temperance,  and the judgment to come - fell like flakes of  fire on that hard and icy conscience.  Herod,  alarmed perhaps by the fulfillment of the old curse of  the Mosaic Law in the childlessness of  his union, listened with some dim and feeble hope of future amendment.  He even did many things gladly because of John.  But there was ONE thing that he would not do - and that was,  give up the guilty love that mastered him,  or dismiss the haughty imperious woman who ruled his life after ruining his peace.  "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife,"  was the blunt declaration of the dauntless Prophet.

Hitherto,  indeed,  the timidity or the scruples of Herod Antipas had afforded John - so far as his mere life was concerned - a precarious protection from the concentrated venom of  an adulteress's hate.  But at last what she had failed to gain by passionate influence she succeeded in gaining by subtle fraud.  She knew well that even from his prison the voice of  John might be more powerful than all the influences of  her fading beauty,  and might succeed at last in tearing from her forehead that guilty crown.  But she watched her opportunity,  and was not long in gaining her end.

When Herod's birthday was celebrated

The Herodian princes,  imitating the luxurious example of their great prototypes,  the Roman emperors,  were fond of  magnificent banquets and splendid anniversaries.  Among others they had adopted the heathen fashion of birthday celebrations,  and Antipas on his birthday - apparently at Machaerus - prepared a banquet for his courtiers,  and generals,  and Galilean nobles.

When Herodias' daughter danced

Dancers and dancing - women were at that time in great request.  The Passion for witnessing these too often indecent and degrading representations had naturally made its way into the Sadducean and semi-pagan court of these usurping Edomites.  A luxurious feast of the period was not regarded as complete unless it closed with some gross pantomimic dance.

But he had not anticipated for his guests the rare luxury of seeing a princess - his own niece,  a granddaughter of Herod the Great,  and of Mariamne,  a descendant,  therefore,  of Simon the High Priest,  and the great line of Maccabaean princes - honoring them by degrading herself into a scenic dancer.  Such dancing was almost an unprecedented thing for women of rank,  or even respectability.  It was mimetic and licentious,  and performed only by professionals with loose morals.

Give me here ... on a platter

The girl flew to her mother,  and said,  "What shall I ask?"
It was exactly what Herodias expected.
In darkness and in secrecy the scene was enacted,  and if any saw it their lips were sealed;  but the executioner emerged into the light carrying by the hair that noble head,  and then and there,  in all the ghostliness of recent death,  it was placed upon a dish from the royal table.  Salome received it and carried the hideous burden to her mother.  It was a bitter termination of  his birthday feast.

Herod heard about Jesus

When Herod heard of the works of Jesus,  he gave a most emphatic pronouncement.
He could not forget that sight of  John's head dripping with blood as the gold platter was brought:

1. The emphatic words in a Greek sentence are at the beginning - "Whom I beheaded."
2. The "I" is emphatic,  since it appears as a personal pronoun in the Greek text,  and also in the verb form.
3. The demonstrative pronoun  "this one"  is also emphatic.
It could be literally translated:  "Whom I,  I beheaded,  John,  he it is,  he is risen from among the dead."

In the lives of  Antipas and Herodias we find a long history of:

Ungodly Ambitions
Ungodly Affections
Ungodly Affluence
Ungodly Attitudes
Ungodly Actions

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Matthew 14:13-21
(13)  When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself.
 But when the multitudes heard it,  they followed Him on foot from the cities. 
(14)  And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude;
 and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 
(15)  When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food."
(16)  But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
(17)  And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish."
(18)  He said, "Bring them here to Me." 
(19)  Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,  He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
 (20)  So they all ate and were filled,
and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.  (21)  Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Mark 6:30-44
(30)  Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.  (31)  And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."
For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.   (32)  So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
(33)  But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 
(34)  And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude
and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
 (35)  When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, "This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late.  (36)  Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat."
(37)  But He answered and said to them, "You give them something to eat."
And they said to Him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?"
(38)  But He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see."
And when they found out they said, "five, and two fish."
(39)  Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass.  (40)  So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties.  (41)  And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 
(42)  So they all ate and were filled. 
(43)  And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish.  (44)  Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.
Luke 9:10-17
(10)  And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then
He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
 (11)  But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him;
and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 
(12)  When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, "Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here."
(13)  But He said to them, "You give them something to eat."
And they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people."  (14)  For there were about five thousand men.
Then He said to His disciples, "Make them sit down in groups of fifty."  (15)  And they did so, and made them all sit down.
(16)  Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 
(17)  So they all ate and were filled,
and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.
John 6:1-15
(1) After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 
(2)  Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.  (3)  And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
(4)  Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.  (5)  Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?"  (6)  But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.  (7)  Philip answered Him, "two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little."
(8)  One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him,  (9)  "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"
(10)  Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.  (11)  And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down;  and likewise of the fish,
as much as they wanted.  (12)  So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.
(13)  Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.  (14)  Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."

The feeding of the five thousand is the first major incident in the life of  Jesus before His last visit to Jerusalem,  which is recorded by all four Evangelists.
Generally it may be said that the Synoptic narratives are given in broad outline, as part of a prolonged ministry. John's narrative is part of an isolated episode, but at the same time individual in detail:

In the synoptics
(the 3 Gospels)
Those actively involved were  "the disciples," or   "the twelve"  and Jesus
In John It is more specifically Jesus, and Philip, and Andrew

Departed to a deserted place

1. Jesus had just heard that John the Baptist had been beheaded
2. Herod was seeking to see Him
3. His own disciples were back from their tour, and were in need of  rest

A city called Bethsaida

This is another Bethsaida, north-east of the Sea of Tiberias.
This Bethsaida was a village in Gaulonitis  (now Jaulan)  and enlarged to be the capital by Philip the tetrarch
(half brother of Antipas, and future husband of  Salome) who called it Julias,  after Julia,  the daughter of  Emperor Augustus.

They ran ... from all the cities

They ran together,  excited and exciting,  each town on the way contributing its rill to the growing stream of eager human beings - what a picture!  The ultimate result - a congregation of over 5,000!

Where shall we buy bread?

This Jesus said aside to Philip as He saw the multitudes coming.
Jesus evidently left Philip with this question unanswered as He ministered to the multitude.

To test him

Literally,  "trying"  him,  to see whether he could meet the difficulty.
It was an exercise of faith.

Philip overlooked the obvious as he had just returned from their first mission:

1. Where was their power to heal the sick?
2. Where was their power to raise the dead?
3. Where was their power to cleanse the leper?
4. Where was their power to cast out the demons?
5. Where was their power to provide food, clothes, and lodging?

These five things Philip himself  had experienced first-hand, and had returned to Jesus with a glowing report -
yet he was at a loss to answer,  "Where shall we buy bread?"

Two hundred denarii

The Greek text has  "denarion,"  a silver coin.  Approximately $35.00.
This was possibly the sum total they had in their possession,  and Philip,  limiting God to what he could see in the natural, said:  "It isn't enough.  It is totally impossible!"

The day was now far spent

They had two evenings:

The first began at 3:00
The second was at sunset

At this time it was between the two,  as Matthew 14:23  refers to the second evening.

YOU give them something to eat
The  "you"  in the Greek text is intensive.
The disciples had just suggested that the crowd be sent away to buy food.
They saw the need for the people to get something to eat,  and Jesus replied,  "You, EVEN YOU,  give them to eat."

Expositors notes that as far as the disciples were concerned, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and nothing could be done!

How many loaves do you have?

Jesus did not ask the disciples to give anything they did not already have.
He only asked that they give to Him what they did have.

He would only ask of  us that we give ourselves to Him

He will bless it
He may need to break it
But he WILL use it
And it will be enough

Five Loaves

The largest loaf  was about 5 or 6 inches in diameter,  about 1 inch thick or the size of three slices of
our bread,  and more solid.  It was not light bread.  One man could easily eat one loaf;  some could eat several loaves.

Barley loaves - Barley bread was the food of the poor.

Sit down in groups

The word for  "sit down"  is the word used of a person reclining on a couch at a banquet.
It means,  "to lean up."
The raised head of  the couch would be at the table side and the person dining would lean up on the couch.
Here,  the command was merely to recline on the green grass and wait to be served.

The words  "in groups"  originally meant  "a drinking party ,"  then  "the party of guests of any kind, without the notion of drinking."
They were seated like companies at tables open at the end.
The Jewish dining room was arranged like the Roman:

Three tables forming three sides of a square
With divans or couches following the outside line of the tables
The open end of the square admitted the servants who waited at table

This explains the arrangement of the multitude here described by Mark.

The people reclined,  literally,  "in table-companies"
Arranged like guests at a table
Some companies of a hundred and some of fifty
In squares or oblongs open at one end
So that the disciples could pass along the inside and distribute the loaves

He broke and gave

The verb form for  "broke"  is in the aorist tense in the Greek,  which is an instantaneous act that took place and was completed.

The verb form for  "gave"  is in the imperfect tense,  which is a continuous act that began to take place, with no reference to the end.

Jesus,  as the bread of life,  the true bread from heaven,  was broken once and for all,  but He began to give out,  and there is no end to Him.  This phrase can be translated  "He broke, and kept giving out."

They were all filled

This is an expression of  COMPLETE  SATISFACTION

Elisha by the gift of miracles multiplied bread from 20 loaves to feed 100 men (2 Kings 4:42-44).
Christ must have multiplied bread equal to 5,000 to 20,000 such loaves.
He also multiplied the fish to as much as the 5,000  men could eat and had 12 baskets over (Mark 6:43).

Gather up the fragments (broken pieces)

Not only was there plenty for complete satisfaction of the present,  but also there is ample provision for the

The  "lost"  in this phrase is  "destroyed, wasted."
This speaks of the ABUNDANCE  in Christ:

Isaiah 55:1
"Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.    (NKJV)

Psalm 36:8
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house.    (NKJV)

Psalm 132:15
I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.    (NKJV)

Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you,  that you,  always having all sufficiency in all things,  may have an abundance for every good work.    (NKJV)

Ephesians 3 :20
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,  according to the power that works in us.    (NKJV)

Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.    (NKJV)


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Matthew 14:22-36
(22)  Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.  (23)  And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
 (24)  But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 
(25)  Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.  (26)  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.  (27)  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
(28)  And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
(29)  So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  (30)  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
(31)  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
(32)  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
(33)  Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."
(34)  When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.  (35)  And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick,  (36)  and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
Mark 6:45-56
(45)  Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.  (46)  And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.
 (47)  Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.  (48)  Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them.
Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.  (49)  And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out;  (50)  for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.
(51)  Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.  (52)  For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
(53) When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there.  (54)  And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,  (55)  ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was.  (56)  Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.
John 6:15-21
(15) Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
(16)  Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,  (17)  got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum.
And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them.  (18)  Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 
(19)  So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.  (20)  But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid.
(21)  Then they willingly received Him into the boat,
and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

When evening came

This was the second evening, at about 6:00 PM, or when the sun was setting.

In the middle of the sea

John 6:19  says they had rowed about  3 or 4 miles (25 furlongs).
The Sea of Galilee at  its broadest point was about 40 furlongs, or 6 miles.
Therefore, they were in the middle,  almost 3 miles from shore.

Fourth Watch of the night

The day was divided into 12 hours, from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
The night was divided into 4 watches:

1st Watch 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
2nd Watch 9:00 PM to 12 midnight
3rd Watch 12 midnight to 3:00 AM
4th Watch 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM

Consider the disciples' predicament:

1. The rest they went across to get, they still have not had
2. They had been rowing in the boat for at least 9 hours,  possibly as long as 10 or 11 hours
3. They were tossed by the waves because of a great and violent wind that was blowing
4. It was the darkest hour of the night
5. And they were alone - Jesus was not with them physically

He would have passed them by

The word for  "would have"  is 'thelo' - I desire.
The word for  "passed by"  is  'parelthein'  which could mean several things, depending on the context:

1. Passed beside
2. Came to the side of
3. To pass by
4. Disappeared
5. And various other renderings, according to the context

Matthew,  Mark,  and John all record:

Matthew Jesus went to them
Mark He came to them
John Jesus ... drawing near the boat
Jesus had no intention of walking right on past them. His purpose was to COME TO THEM.

However, when they saw Him through the storm Mark says, "they supposed it was a ghost",

(This is a different word than that used of our  "spirit",  or the  "Spirit" of God. This is actually "phantom" or "apparition".  To sailors it was a sign of ship wreck)

Jesus assured them that there was nothing to fear.
In view of the context,  this phrase would best be translated  "He was desiring to go to their side."

Be of good cheer, it is I

Literally this is  "be of good cheer, I Am."
This is the same structure as when Jesus said  (John 8:58)  "before Abraham was I Am."

Exodus 3:14
And He said,  "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel,  'I AM  has sent me to you.'   (NKJV)

The fact that He IS is all the assurance we need

It may be dark
It may seem that all is lost
It may seem that there is no way out
It may seem that we are alone
It may seem that the problems of  life are too great
It may seem that He has abandoned us

But we have this assurance

Isaiah 43:1-3
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God.    (NKJV)

Hebrews 13:5
For He Himself has said,  "I will never leave you nor forsake you."    (NKJV)

Deuteronomy 33:27
The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms.    (NKJV)

No matter how "low" we feel, we can look down and see ... the everlasting arms holding us up!

In fact, Jesus said they should not only not fear, but they should be of  good cheer - or get real happy!

When he saw the wind ... he was afraid

The importance of what we  "see"  cannot be over stated:

Genesis 3:6 Eve SAW that the tree was:
Human reasoning would say, "Have some!" -
Genesis 13:10 Lot SAW the plain of Jordan,
that it was well watered
Human reasoning would say, "That is the best place to take your flocks and herds." -
Joshua 7:21 Achan SAW,  then COVETED,  then TOOK
Human reasoning would say, "You worked for it, take it."  -
Psalms 119:37 Turn away my EYES from LOOKING at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.


Gen. 19:26 Lot's wife Looking Backward Destroys
Acts 7:55 Stephen Looking Heavenward Glorifies
Matt. 14:30 Peter Looking at Difficulties Depresses
Matt. 14:30,31 Peter Looking at Jesus Inspires
Matt. 14:30 Peter sinks Looking at Circumstances makes Possibilities Impossible
Matt. 14:30,31 Peter walks Looking at Jesus makes Impossibilities Possible


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Previous Section

The discourse on the bread of  life can be separated into 3 parts:

John 6:22-40 Jesus answers The Questions of the Multitude
John 6:41-59 Jesus answers The Murmuring of The Jews
John 6:60-71 Jesus answers The Question of the Disciples

Jesus Answers the Questions of the Multitude

John 6:22-40
(22)  On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone -- (23)  however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks -- (24)  when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.  (25)  And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?"
(26)  Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.  (27)  Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
(28)  Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"
(29)  Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
(30)  Therefore they said to Him," What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?  (31)  Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
(32)  Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  (33)  For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
(34)  Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."
(35)  And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.  (36)  But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.  (37)  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  (38)  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.  (39)  This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.  (40)  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

A city built by Herod Antipas between A.D. 16 and 22,  on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee,  or the Sea of
, as John, writing for non-Jewish readers, calls the lake.

It was named,  of course,  after the reigning emperor,  Tiberius,  reflecting the pro-Roman policy consistently followed by the Herod's.

The city is said to have occupied the site of Rakkath,  an old town of Naphtali,  and also to have included the site of the graveyard of Rakkath.

According to Josephus,  since it was built over a graveyard is was dubbed unclean.

Herod built ambitiously - the ruins indicate a wall three miles long. There were a palace,  a forum,  and a great synagogue.  Jewish boycott,  however,  compelled Herod to populate his new town with the lowest elements of the land.  Tiberias still exists today.

You ate of the loaves

From this He proceeds at once to that OTHER BREAD
just as with the woman of Samaria, to that OTHER WATER
and those on the Mount, to that OTHER TREASURE

The work - that you believe

Faith is put as a MORAL ACT OF WORK.
The work of God is to BELIEVE.
Faith includes all the works that God requires.

The Jews' question contemplates NUMEROUS works
Jesus' answer directs them to ONE WORK

This simple formula contains the complete solution of the relation of faith and works.

FAITH is the LIFE of works
WORKS are the NECESSITY of faith
See the "Mathematics of  Galatians"

Our fathers ate the manna

1. A possible insinuation that Moses' miracle was superior
-instead of feeding thousands once, this fed millions daily for years.
2. There was a tradition that ''as the first Redeemer (Moses) caused the manna to fall from heaven
-even so should the second Redeemer causes the manna to fall."

Moses did not give you the bread

Jesus refutes the argument of the Jews, by proving that:

1. It was not Moses, but God, who gave the manna in the wilderness.
2. This bread was not the TRUE bread, but was merely a type of it.
3. God had given them now a bread infinitely more excellent.
4. He Himself is that heavenly nourishment of which He spoke, and who was typified by the manna in the desert.

To show that He Himself was the true bread from heaven, He proves two things:

1. That His doctrine was the true nourishment of the soul,
and that those who were to be put in possession of the blessings promised in it must come to God by faith.
2. That He would give His body for the life of the world:
that as bread is the staff that supports the natural life of man,
so the salvation procured by His death should be that by which the bodies and souls of believers should be preserved unto life eternal.

Jesus Answers the Murmuring of the Jews

John 6:41-59
(41)  The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."  (42)  And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?"
(43)  Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.  (44)  No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.  (45)  It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.  (46)  Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.  (47)  Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.  (48)  I am the bread of life.   (49)  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  (50)  This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.  (51)  I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
(52)  The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
(53)  Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.  (54)  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  (55)  For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.  (56)  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.  (57)  As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.  (58)  This is the bread which came down from heaven -- not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
(59)  These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Complained (Murmured)

The same word is constantly used in the Septuagint (LXX) of the murmuring of  Israel in the wilderness.
How little they had changed over the centuries!

He who believes

1. (v. 44) Is drawn by the Father
2. (v. 45) Hears His instructions
3. (v. 45 & 37) Accepts the salvation offered
4. (v. 37) Is given to Jesus
5. (v. 50) Is nourished by the bread of life
6. (v. 39) Is not lost, but is raised up at the last day
7. (v. 51) Is made a partaker of eternal life

Your fathers ate manna ... and are dead

It was an opinion of the Jews that their fathers who perished in the wilderness, should never have a

Jesus takes them on their own ground:
You acknowledge that your fathers who fell in the wilderness shall never have a resurrection;
therefore that manna is not the bread that preserves to everlasting life, according even to your own concession.
That bread neither preserved their bodies alive,
nor entitled them to eternal life
But those who receive the salvation of Jesus shall not only be raised again in the last day,
but shall inherit life forever.

He Reveals His Person
The Bread of Life
John 6: 32-40

(v. 33) The Bread of God is a Person from heaven,  and He gives life,  not just to the Jews (as Moses did) but to the whole world!   The way to receive this Bread is to come and take it;  and this Bread will give life not only today, but also life in the future at the resurrection.
(vv. 41-42) Note the reaction of the Jews who denied His deity.
(v. 32) Jesus said that God was His Father,
(v. 42) but they said Joseph was His father.

It is interesting to compare the manna to Jesus Christ:

  The Manna Jesus Christ
1. It came from heaven at night Christ came from heaven when men were in darkness.
2. It fell on the dew; Christ came He was born of the Spirit of God
3. It was not defiled by the earth Christ was sinless, separate from sinners
4. It was small, round, and white Suggesting His humility, eternality, and purity
5. It was sweet to the taste Christ is sweet to those who trust Him
6. It had to be taken and eaten Christ. must be received and appropriated by faith
7. It came as a free gift Christ is the free gift of God to the world
8. There was sufficient for all Christ is sufficient for all
9. If you did not pick it up, you walked on it If you do not receive Christ, you reject Him and walk on Him (see Heb 10:26-31)
10. It was wilderness food Christ is our food in this pilgrim journey to heaven
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)

He reveals the Process of Salvation
John 6:43-52

The lost sinner does not seek God (Rom 3:11)
so salvation must begin with God.  (Luke 19:10)
Rom 3:11
There is none who understands;  there is none who seeks after God.
Luke 19:10
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
How does God draw people to Christ?
He uses the Word   (v. 45)
To eat earthly bread sustains life for a time,
but the person will ultimately die
To receive the spiritual Bread (Christ)
gives one eternal life.
Christ clearly states (v. 51)  that He will give His flesh for the life of the world.
The Jews revolted at this (v. 52) because eating human flesh was contrary to Jewish law.

Like Nicodemus,
they confused the physical with the spiritual.

(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)

He reveals the Power of Salvation
John 6:53-65

Jesus is the Living Word  (John 1:1-4) He was "made flesh" for us (1:14)
The Bible is the Written Word. Whatever the Bible says about Jesus, it also says about itself.
(Luke 1:35 and 2 Tim 3:15) Both are holy
(John 14:6; 17:17) Both are Truth
(John 8:12; Ps 119:105) Both are Light
(John 5:21; Ps 119:93) Both give life
(1 John 5:18; 1 Peter 1:23) Both produce the new birth
(Rev 4:10; 1 Peter 1:23) Both are eternal
(1 Cor 1:24; Rom 1:16) Both are the power of God
The conclusion is obvious:
When you receive the Word into your heart, you receive Jesus Christ.
We  "eat His flesh"  by partaking of the Word of God.
"I am the living Bread," said Jesus in v. 51
In Matt 4:4 He said,  "Man shall not live by bread alone,  but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Peter grasped the meaning of the sermon, for in John 6:68 he said,  "To whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life."

Jesus Answers the Question of the Disciples

John 6:60-71
(60)  Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"
(61)  When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?  (62)  What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?  (63)  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.  (64)  But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.  (65)  And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
(66)  From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.  (67)  Then Jesus said to the twelve,  "Do you also want to go away?"
(68)  But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  (69)  Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
(70)  Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"  (71)  He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

This is the key to understanding everything Jesus has said in verses 32-65.
Just as in the parables and with the Samaritan woman, here Jesus speaks of

Spiritual Truths
Spiritual Sustenance
Spiritual Realities
and  from the platform of natural examples.
But no less TANGIBLE

According to Hebrews 11:1,  Faith is the SUBSTANCE.
Heb 11:1-2
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.     (NKJV)


Previous Section

Matthew 15:1-20
(1)  Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,  (2)  "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."
(3)  He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?  (4)  For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'  (5)  But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God" --  (6)  then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.  (7)  Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
(8)  "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.  (9)  And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
(10)  When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand:  (11)  Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
(12)  Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"
(13)  But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.  (14)  Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
(15)  Then Peter answered and said to Him, "Explain this parable to us."
16 So Jesus said, "Are you also still without understanding?  (17)  Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?  (18)  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.  (19)  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.  (20)  These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."
Mark 7:1-23
(1)  Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem.  (2)  Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.  (3)  For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.  (4)  When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
(5)  Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?"
(6)  He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
'This people honors Me with their lips,  But their heart is far from Me.  (7)  And in vain they worship Me,  Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
(8)  For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men -- the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.
(9)  He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. (10)  For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'  (11)  But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban" -- ' (that is, a gift to God),  (12)  then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother,  (13)  making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."
(14)  When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand:  (15)  There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.  (16)  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"
(17)  When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable.  (18)  So He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, (19)  because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?"   (20)  And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.  (21)  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  (22)  thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.  (23)  All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

Unwashed hands

Actually  "defiled"
The washing of the hands here was not for purposes of cleanliness, but for ceremonial reasons.

These religious leaders were constantly looking for some charge to bring against Christ.  This apparently was an official committee from the Council at Jerusalem.  They accused Christ's disciples of violating the traditions of the Jewish elders by not going through the ceremonial washings when they ate.

Keep in mind that the Pharisees honored their traditions above the written Word of God.

The Mishna has:
"It is a greater offense to teach anything contrary to the voice of the Rabbis, than to contradict Scripture itself."
Rabbi Eleazer said,
"He who expounds the Scriptures in opposition to the tradition has no share in the world to come."
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?

The Pharisees had just accused the disciples of  "transgressing the tradition of the elders."
Jesus answers that instead,  the Pharisees transgress the commandment of God  BECAUSE of their tradition.

Here are some curious illustrations from the old Talmudical writers, showing the value that they set on traditions:

1. "The words of the scribes are lovely, above the words of the law' for the words of the law are weighty and light, but the words of the scribes are all weighty."
2. "The words of the elders are weightier than the words of the prophets."
3. "A prophet and an elder,   to what are they likened?  To a king sending two of his servants into a province. Of one he writes thus: Unless he shows you my seal, believe him not; of the other thus: Although he shows you not my seal, yet believe him. Thus it is written of the prophet: He shall show thee a sign or a miracle; but the elders thus: According to the law which they shall teach thee."


The "Corban"  (a Hebrew word which has been transliterated through the Greek and into the English)  refers to a
gift of offering to God.
 It was right to make such offerings because God had commanded them; but Jesus charges the Pharisees with placing their traditions above the Divine commands.
For instance, God ordained honor and obedience to parents;  but the Pharisees, by their explanation and abuse of the law of  "Corban,"  completely nullified the law of parental honor.

Their traditions taught that whatever was Corban, that is, a gift consecrated to God, could not be alienated for any other purpose.
But in the application of this principle, which in itself is correct enough, they manifested a wonderful ingenuity of perversion.
If, for instance, parents desired help, and the son should say, "My property is Corban," it released him from all obligations to sustain his parents.
Nevertheless, strange to say, it did not bind him to consecrate his substance to sacred uses.
He could use it for his own purpose, or give it to whom he pleased, except to those to whom he had said, "It is Corban."
No wonder the Savior charged the Pharisees with  "Making the word of God of none effect"  through their tradition!

Out of the heart

Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts ...  Or  "evil reasoning's"
Here more immediately referring to those corrupt reasoning's which had stealthily introduced and gradually reared up that hideous fabric of tradition that at length practically nullified the unchangeable principles of the moral law of God.
But the statement is far broader than this - that the first shape that the evil that is in the heart takes, when it begins actively to stir,  is that of  "considerations"  or  "reasoning's", or "rationalizations"  on certain suggested actions.
In the heart of an unregenerate man, the principles and seeds of all sin are found.
And iniquity is always conceived in the heart before it is spoken or acted.
There is no hope that a man can abstain from outward sin with a degenerated heart.|
This is why God wants to give us  "a new heart."

If out Attitudes and Motives are right - our Actions will be right.

It has been said:
"We are like a tube of toothpaste - when we are squeezed - what is inside - comes out!"

(End of Lesson Fourteen)



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