“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?'” (Matthew 18:21 NKJV).

January 28, 2020

WHAT IS THE CALCULUS OF FORGIVENESS? Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother, maybe “seven times?”. Jesus answered, “Up to seventy times seven.” This was another way of saying that Peter should forgive as often as needed, without counting or calculus.   To further help Peter understand, Jesus told a parable.

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1 NKJV).

January 26, 2020

THE FORSAKEN MESSIAH This Davidic psalm begins with the question that Jesus cried out at the end. David surely wrote this psalm with his own feeling, yet I wonder how much awareness he had that he was describing the Messiah’s death. Did the Spirit awaken him at night to feel the agony of crucifixion: “I

“And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine” (Genesis 48:5 NKJV).

January 24, 2020

THE ORIGIN OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL Jacob, who was called Israel, spoke a word over each of his sons from his death bed. He bestowed a double portion to Joseph, giving his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, equal standing to his own sons. And so, when the twelve tribes of Israel move out

‘And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.”’ (Genesis 47:9 NKJV).

January 23, 2020

WE ARE PILGRIMS HERE When Pharaoh asked Jacob his age, he responded that the years of his “pilgrimage” was 130 years. A pilgrimage is a journey taken by a pilgrim, who is steadfastly and intentionally traveling towards a sacred destination. That’s how Jacob saw his life. He considered his life a brief and difficult journey

‘Then Judah stepped forward and said, “Please, my lord, let your servant say just one word to you.”‘ (Genesis 44:18 NKJV).

January 22, 2020

WHEN JUDAH STEPPED FORWARD When Judah, the fourth son of Jacob’s twelve, stepped forward to act as his brother’s representative, the future of his tribe began to unfold. For this is an early indication of Judah’s rise to leadership.   Reuben, the eldest, lost his birthright through sexual misconduct with Jacob’s concubine Bilhah (Gen. 35:22),

“Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matthew 13:52 NKJV).

January 21, 2020

THE TREASURE FOUND IN BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW After Jesus had finished using many parables describing the kingdom of heaven, he asked his disciples whether they understood. They replied that they had understood. Jesus then called them “scribes” who had been instructed in the kingdom. In Jewish life, a scribe was one who

“The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:33 NKJV).

January 20, 2020

HAVE YOU BECOME LIKE LEAVEN? Jesus often spoke in parables when describing the kingdom of heaven. In this parable, He compared it to leaven. Leaven is an ingredient added to dough to make it rise. It only takes a small amount to permeate and change the whole loaf. As the apostle Paul noted, “A little

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower” (Matthew 13:18 NKJV).

January 19, 2020

FOUR HEART CONDITIONS In Jesus’ parable of the sower, He described four heart conditions that determined their receptivity to the gospel. Jesus explained the meaning of the parable to His disciples. He explained that the “seed” is the gospel, the “sower” is the one who preaches the gospel, and the four types of “soil” are

“Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt” (Genesis 37:28 NKJV).

January 18, 2020

JOSEPH IS A CHRISTOLOGICAL TYPE Jacob’s sons were jealous of their brother, Joseph. He was the favored son of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, who had died giving birth to Benjamin, the youngest. Joseph had made things worse with his brothers by giving their father a bad report of their shepherding. He also had shared his

“A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory; And in His name Gentiles will trust.” (Matthew 12:20-21 NKJV).

January 17, 2020

THE GENTLE KING WHO WON A BETTER VICTORY The Spirit inspired Matthew to quote the Messianic prophecy from Isaiah 42:3 as being fulfilled in Jesus. For the type of justice and victory that Christ would bring was not as worldly kings would. For Christ’s kingdom did not come with violence and destruction. King Jesus was