The First Passover

A lamb was chosen for the Passover

After the nine plagues, the first Passover protected the Hebrew slaves (Israelites) from the tenth plague and enabled them to leave Egypt.

At this time of year it is good to look back and see what it meant.

“Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.’” Enduring Word Commentary. (Highlighting mine.)

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, the ‘day’ began after the sunset on what we would call the day before. (Calendar and Confusion) So, the fourteenth day began after sunset on the thirteenth. Twilight is that period between the end of one day and start of another when the sun has gone down but light continues. (Hebrew term ‘ben ha arbayim’ and this is different from ‘erev’ meaning evening.)

The Israelites were in their homes scattered throughout Goshen and they followed the instructions relayed to them by Moses.

Goshen where the first Passover was kept

Goshen was a pastoral region in Lower Egypt, occupied by the Israelites before the Exodus.

Passover Instructions

‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire; its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.’ Enduring Word (Highlighting mine.)

I have seen this word ‘haste’ in Exodus 12: 11 translated as ‘trepidation.’ This made more sense to me, so I looked up a Hebrew concordance. Trepidation is indeed one of the possible words from this Hebrew word.

Transliterated Word

TDNT Entry

Chippazown

TWOT – 708a

Phonetic Spelling

Parts of Speech

khip-paw-zone’ 

Noun Masculine

  1. hurriedly, in haste, trepidation, hurried flight

I favour ‘trepidation’ because God’s command was not to leave their homes until daybreak.

“And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.”
Exodus 12:22 NKJV
(bolding mine.)

If they had gone out, they would have left the protection of the blood on the doors of their homes. As they were eating, or clearing up according to the instructions to burn all that had not been eaten, they would have heard the cries of the Egyptians.
It must have been a frightening time, not knowing what was happening outside their homes.

Dictionary.com defines trepidation as … ‘tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation.”

‘Morning’ in Hebrew is ‘boqer’, which is translated     day/early/morning/morrow. The Hebrew day did not start at midnight as came in with the calendar changes. Covered in Calendar and Confusion

Why have I written about the first Passover?

Because we are on the lead-up to the annual commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the true Passover Lamb.

It is good to look back to the root, or beginning, in order to understand the present more fully.

Passover, blood on doorposts and lintel

Sharing my musings,

Susan

But I am a worm…

Tree used by Tola worm to lay eggs

Why choose a worm for a topic? I have to turn back the clock many years to the first time I heard the explanation of – “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people,” (Psalm 22: 6).  I was at a Bible College. The lecturer explained the word used here was for a special worm, one from which crimson dye was made. Crimson was a color so expensive only kings (and high priests) wore it. I remembered it, but never heard anyone else mention this fact… till recently.

Psalm 22 is generally seen as a crucifixion psalm and as we approach this time of year, twice recently I have heard my almost forgotten fact mentioned. A friend, who calls regularly every weekend, told me excitedly of a sermon she had heard in church. It was about the tola worm. I smiled, my memory was not faulty, I had remembered correctly.

Then I logged in to an online Bible Study, and what was the topic? You have probably guessed.

“But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.” Psalm 22: 6

Once again, after many years, I was fascinated.

Most of us know what a worm looks like… some of us might squirm. Others might use the earthworm as bait for fishing, However, a closer look at the original language shows that this is not the word that is used here.

Usually in the Bible, the Hebrew word for a worm is “rimmah” which means a maggot – but the Hebrew word used here for worm, is TOLA’ATH, (Tola: latin name coccus ilicis]) which means “Crimson worm” or “Scarlet worm”. It looks more like a grub than a worm.

The Tola (crimson) worm

There is more to this worm than meets the eye

When it is time for the Tola worm to lay eggs (which she does only one time in her life), she finds the trunk of the Quercus coccifera, the kermes oak and attaches her body to it and makes a hard crimson shell.  She is so strongly and permanently stuck to the wood that the shell she has formed can never be removed without tearing her body completely apart.

The Tola worm then lays her eggs under her body in the protective shell. When the larvae hatch, they stay under the shell. The mother’s body gives protection for her babies, and also provides them with food – the babies feed on the LIVING body of the mother!

After a few days, when the young worms grow to the point that they are able to take care of themselves, the mother dies. As the Tola worm dies, she oozes a crimson or scarlet red dye which not only stains the wood she is attached to, but also her young children. They are colored scarlet red for the rest of their lives.

After three days, the dead mother Crimson worm’s body loses its crimson color and turns into a white wax which falls to the ground like snow. This was collected and used as shellac to protect wood.

Jesus as a Tola worm

Just like the Crimson worm, Jesus sacrificed or gave up his life on a tree so that his children might be washed with his crimson blood and their sins cleaned white as snow. He died for us, that we might live through him!

The minister leading the Bible study gave many cross-references to scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments.

This is not my purpose – to repeat a Bible Study, merely to share an interesting fact… one that might give you a different understanding of that scripture. Or, as it did for me, confirm something I was taught a long time ago.

Sharing some thoughts,

Susan

Is Christ Divided?

Divided

Is Christ divided is a question the Apostle Paul asked in a letter to the Corinthians.

Addressing problems among them, he says…

What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
1 Corinthians 1: 12, 13. Berean Study Bible

This lack of unity flourished throughout the 1st century AD and was addressed by other church leaders.

Anyone who has read my Apostle John series of books, or even the blogs, will know I have a great interest in the Gospel of John and his letters. One of the statements/instructions he made was…

By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13: 35

To many observers this would seem to prove that there are NO disciples.

Why? They were divided.

There are so many ‘varieties’ of beliefs. Sadly, many of these varieties are still at ‘war’ with each other, sometimes even within one group.

There is another scripture… Jude verse 3

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.”

Could it be that already the white horse of Revelation 6 had started its ride?

Mistaken Identity

An article by Chuck Missler says

“What is surprising is how many Bible expositors find themselves misled on one of the most dangerous “mistaken identities” of all. The first world dictator was Nimrod, “a mighty hunter,” whose Hebrew name means “let us rebel,” given by his contemporaries to one who ever had in his mouth such words to stir up his band to rebellion. The final world dictator seeking global domination will also be an “Assyrian” who is here characterized by holding a bow and riding a white horse. It is interesting how many confuse this counterfeit with the rider of the white horse in Revelation 19.

The Apostle John wrote…

White horse of Revelation 6

Here is the first: “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Rev. 6:1-2).

Christ previously had revealed the meaning of the white horse. His disciples once asked Him, “…when shall these things [the destruction of the Temple] be? and what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3).

Christ is the One speaking in both Matthew 24 and Revelation 6. He is addressing the very same questions in both chapters. He answers by listing, in time sequence and order, the events and trends that precede the end of the age—and thus His Coming.

Some have thought that the rider of the white horse is Christ Himself, however, in context consider, that the white horse that John described here in Revelation 6 represents false ‘christs.’

The one on this horse is a counterfeit of the true Christ and a counterfeit of His Second Coming, described in Revelation 19:11-16. There the real Christ wields a sharp two-edged sword, while the false christ is represented as carrying a bow with no mention of any arrows. This is an important difference.

Divided and conquered?

Does this rider explain the differences, the dislike, the accusations between Christians? Perhaps.

So how do we find this ‘faith once delivered’?

Perhaps we will not, not until Christ returns. However, in the meantime should we not be striving to be known for our love for one another?  John 13: 35

Way back in the Apostle Paul’s time, people were choosing who they preferred. “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”

 Judging by the continuing divisions down through the centuries, we might as well face it. We will never feel close with some people. There are others we may not even like, but we can love them, from a distance, and pray for them. 

Many different plants grow together.

Growing together

Thank you for reading my musing,

Susan

Trials Have a Purpose?

Trials have a purpose

Do trials have a purpose? Well, that is what I believe. But, being honest,  I wonder how many of us have at times thought of the following scripture and said, “God thinks I can bear more than I think I can.”

There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.
 Corinthians 10:13 (ASV)

How many of us seek, but cannot see, the way of escape promised in that scripture.

Trials fascinate many writers and musicians

I watched a video clip of an interesting song. ‘Before the morning’ – I will link to the clip at the end.

It begins with questions about why ‘you’ are suffering if there is a loving God Who cares. Questions like this are quite common.

Remember the old song “I never promised you a rose garden’? Well God does not promise us a life without pain and trials if we accept the sacrifice His Son made for us.

In book three of the Apostle John series, I wrote about the trials of a background character who moved to the foreground. Then someone who left in book two, Grow in Grace, makes a re-entry. In the third book, The Light of Truth, things are moving toward another arrest of the Apostle John. (There are another two books in the series, making five in all and trials abound in them, because they abound in life.)

So why am I talking about these books? Why mention the song ‘Before the Morning?’ Because, although my book series is fiction, my primary resource book has been the Bible, and in writing this series I learnt a great deal about why things happen. Sometimes we just have to wait and trust.

Take for example Jesus’ words...

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Many people are told that because Jesus said ’,“Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world, that He has done it all for us. Not so.

Look at the lives of those first disciples… only John survived into old age. The others, according to legend, all martyred. Also, according to legend, John was put in boiling oil. That does not sound like ‘Jesus did it all’ to me.

And what about these encouragements about trials

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
James 1:2

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials
1Peter 1:6

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

These writers, who were Apostles, make it clear that we will have trials, and as we plod through them, our faith and trust in Him grows.

Have you read this one?

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
James 1: 3, 4

The trust in His Father that Jesus had to exercise in every stage of his walk on earth must have been enormous, and another scripture says

He learned obedience through the things He suffered. Heb 5: 8

Our trials are horrendous to us.

Sometimes all we can do is ask God for help. Standing still sometimes is trusting God for relief.

You might enjoy this song if you are going through a painful trial…

Thinking

Susan

Did Jesus Break the Sabbath

Hedge around the Sabbath

If Jesus broke the Sabbath then He sinned and there is no Savior. Yet some scriptures are quoted to back up the assumption that He broke the Sabbath.

One of them is a story from the Bible that most people who have been to church, or Sunday School, would have heard…

John 5:5-18 “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. … 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. … 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. 17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

Verse 18 says that Jesus ‘broke the Sabbath’ – is this true?  The Greek is different.

Does it say Jesus broke the Sabbath?

No. According to an online Greek/English Interlinear translation ‘broke’ is translated as ‘loosed.’

Jesus loosed the Sabbath, Greek

Another Greek Interlinear says that Jesus ‘untied’ the Sabbath.

Jesus untied the Sabbath, Greek

Loosed? Untied? From what. Perhaps the answer is in another place.

Mark 7:9
“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” KJV

There are 613 Sabbath commandments. Whether all of these were in effect in Jesus’ day is not clear but He confronted them on the subject of washing pots, and handwashing before eating.

Mark 7:3
Now in holding to the tradition of the elders, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat until they wash their hands ceremonially.
Berean Study Bible

You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.”
Mark 7:8

Some examples of the Sabbath commandments can be found here…

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/95907/jewish/The-Shabbat-Laws.htm

There are more in the Code of Jewish Law.

Could it be that Jesus ‘loosed the Sabbath’ from the traditions of Judaism?

What is Judaism?

The history of the Jews and Judaism can be divided into five periods: (1) ancient Israel before Judaism, from the beginnings to 586 BCE; (2) the beginning of Judaism in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE.

Later periods are not relevant to the time of Christ.

A common belief is that Judaism is the Law of Moses. (The written law was the Law of God, not Moses.)

Back to Judaism.

American rabbinical scholar Stephen S Wise has said, “The Jews’ return form Babylon marked the end of Hebrew-ism and the beginning of Judaism.”

In their defence I need to add that the beginning of Pharisaism was to prevent the breaking of the law which had led Judah into captivity. However, the rules designed to prevent people breaking the law became a hedge around the law.

In Jesus’ time these traditions are more  than likely what he meant about rejecting the commands of God for the traditions of men.

Some of the rabbis admit that Judaism is not based on Scriptures but on the so-called Oral Law.

It is a huge subject, and one which I had to research thoroughly to accurately portray the background of the Apostle John Series, and the companion novellas.

As far as I can see, Jesus loosed or untied the Sabbath from the traditions of men.

Just thinking,

Susan

Get Behind Me Satan

Get behind me Satan

Why did Jesus say to Peter ‘Get Behind Me Satan?’ Could it not have been that Peter was simply being protective of Jesus?

Yes and no.

At that stage, although the disciples had travelled with Jesus throughout His ministry, up until this point, they did not understand His purpose. The disciples were Jewish and had the Jewish expectation of the Messiah. You can read various views on this subject here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_in_Judaism

However, bear in mind the Talmud was not begun to be written until the 2nd century, AD and completed in the 5th century, AD.

The expected Messiah

At the time of Christ, the Jewish people expected the Messiah to be born of the line of David and drive the Romans out of Israel.

Basically, they expected a warrior king.

Jesus served.

Jesus knew the reason He had been born. So, at the time He said this to Peter, He was beginning to prepare them for what lay ahead. His capture, suffering and crucifixion. Perhaps they only saw all His good works… the healings, the deliverances from demon possession and the miracles He performed.

This was not Jesus’ purpose. These were signs of Who He was.

The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then He rolled up the scroll, returned it to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
Luke 4: 18-20 Berean Study Bible.

This was when His ministry commenced. Since then He had been training His disciples and now He needed to warn them. 

disappointment (text)

He disappointed that He had to say it?
Perhaps.

“And having turned, He said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For your thoughts are not of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Matt 16:23 Berean Literal Bible

Why Did Jesus say get behind me Satan?

The clue is in “For your thoughts are not of the things of God, but the things of men.

Yes, Jesus was a servant-King, but His purpose was not simply for that generation. He had come to die for the sin of mankind.

Was Jesus beginning to be apprehensive? Possibly. Therefore, He needed His mind fixed on His main purpose, and to look ahead. He did not need one of the leading disciples to try to distract Him from that purpose.

Crucifixion of Jesus, the Christ

There is a lot more to the story, most people know that, but this morning that phrase ‘jumped out’ at me.

God bless,

Susan

Straight to heaven or wait for a resurrection?

resurrection

Is my husband in heaven? I don’t think so. I studied many scriptures and decided ‘resurrection.’ You must make your own choice. My choice is firm, I had inscribed on his niche marker, “Awaiting his resurrection.” You see, as a result of my extensive studies, for my faith and for my novels, I had – still have – a question.

If people go to heaven what purpose a resurrection?

I know many people who believe one or the other, and some who are confused about what happens after death.

A friend who is unsure of what to believe quoted,
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8)

She took it to mean when a person dies he or she is immediately with ‘the Lord.’

It is a popular interpretation, but it is seemingly contradicted by the following scriptures…

1 Corinthians 15:23
But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruits; then at His coming, those who belong to Him.

Revelation 20:5
The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years were complete. This is the first resurrection.

resurrection angel

And this from the Contemporary English Version…
With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life.
1 Thess 4: 16

These are only some of the scriptures, but they fulfill the ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter shall be established.’ You can look up more here
https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Resurrection,-Of-The-Dead

So, heaven or resurrection?

I came across this
https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/death/absent-from-the-body.php#.XEPSbGlS-po

“Absent From The Body”
Pastor Stephen Bohr explains that 2 Cor. 5:8 is speaking of the resurrection not death

It is interesting, if a little long, so in summarizing, one of the things stated is “Paul knew that if he did die, the next conscious moment would be his resurrection at which time he would then be with Christ.”

Quoted are excerpts from “Thou Shalt Surely Die”

By G. Marsh Hilbourne & Michael T. Wark

~~~~~

Death is the end of our human lives. Grieving is part of coping with death. I guess I will go to my grave grieving over the people I have ‘lost.’ But on the other hand, being grateful to have had such love in my life. I look forward to seeing them all again. Perhaps you are too.

It might be a long wait

If you are grieving, accept what is happening. There is no specified order like it says in the books about death and loss.
Sometimes you might flip from one to another in a matter of hours.
It’s a roller coaster, it will eventually slow down and become acceptance.

There is no ‘getting over’ losing a child, or a spouse, and generally we only have one set of parents. We become used to being without them in our lives, but in losing that person, we have lost part of us… The person who created us, or the person we created, or the love of your life and best friend.

There is no right or wrong… there is ‘your way.’

Tread softly, vulnerable people are easily crushed.

Susan

 

Better to Marry than to Burn

Better to Marry than to Burn

Who said that it is better to marry than to burn?
The Bible.

However, if you cannot control your desires, you should get married. It is better for you to marry than to burn [with sexual desire].
1 Cor 7: 9 God’s Word Translation

‘With sexual desire’ as it is above is in brackets, or ‘with lust’ as in some other translation,s is in italics – which indicates those words are not in the original Greek, but have been added by the translator to clarify.

But what if the translator is wrong?  I am not saying this is true, just sharing some thoughts because there is another scripture that might apply.

But first…

If not burning with lust (as one translation puts it) I have a question.

Why is it better to marry than to burn?

Could it be that suppressed sexual desire will cause problems?

Celibacy of Roman Catholic Priesthood.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) in Salt of the Earth saw this practice [celibacy of priests] as based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:12: “Some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” He linked this celibacy “because of the kingdom of heaven” with God’s choice to confer the Old Testament priesthood on a specific tribe, that of Levi, which unlike the other tribes received no land from God, but which had “God himself as its inheritance” (Numbers 1:48–53).

 

Something is out of focus. Levitical priests COULD marry. In fact, how could the priestly line have continued it they had not?

Levitical priest


“They must not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced from their husbands, because priests are holy to their God. Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the Lord am holy—I who make you holy.

Lev 21: 7, 8

Sexual abstinence

Sexual abstinence such as those of the Encratites sect of Christians was only one aspect of ascetic renunciation, and both natural and unnatural asceticism have been part of Christian asceticism.

Those second century AD Christians were not the only ones who practiced abstinence. Some of the other branches of Gnostic believers also believed similarly.

Sexual Sin

Better to marry than burn in the lake of fire
There is a Lake of Fire!

Sadly, there have been many reports about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, and many victims, both male and female.

Sexual abuse of a young person is not something they recover from. Many commit suicide later in life, some become abusers themselves, others learn to live with their damaged past.

Nothing can replace a lost childhood, or undo the memories they live with.

There is a long list of abused children in Western Australia. Below is a section of an article by ‘Broken Rites’ – you can find information on the organization here http://www.brokenrites.org.au/drupal/node/246

·        By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 11 June 2018

Broken Rites has researched the career of Catholic priest Father Adrian van Klooster. He started his priestly career in New South Wales but, after offending there, he was transferred across the continent to work in parishes in Western Australia. He was jailed in 2003 for sexual crimes against W.A. children. After van Klooster’s bad publicity, the Catholic Church chose not to appoint him to any more parishes. On 8 September 2017, Van Klooster was jailed again in W.A. for recent child pornography offences.

Celibacy is not ‘working’ for these men. It has led them to sexual sins. And here is where the other scripture I mentioned at the start comes in…

But to the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”
Revelation 21: 8

Many people, even those who study the Bible, miss the Book of Revelation out. ‘It’s too confusing’ or it’s ‘too scary’ are some of the comments I have heard.

Just because we choose not to read something does not make it go away. That’s like a child closing his or her eyes and declaring, “You can’t see me.”

Do you think it better to marry than to burn?

The evidence seems to suggest that some people have low sexual desire and would be able to handle celibacy…

“Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and sexual aversion disorder (SAD) are an under-diagnosed group of disorders that affect men and women.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695750/

Sadly, there is much evidence that celibacy is not a natural state for many who attempt it.

Somber musings,

Susan

What Did Jesus Write on the Ground

Judgment, death by stoning

Over the years I have heard many suggestions about what it could have been that Jesus wrote in the gravel on the stones of the temple. Some say that He listed all their sins. Recently, I heard in a sermon something that made a bit more sense. To me anyway.

The incident I am talking about is the one mentioned in the gospel of John, Chapter Eight.

He (Jesus) came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”
Jo 8: 2 -5

Question – how did they ‘catch her in adultery?’

Continuing…

But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
Jo 8: 6b

What did Jesus write?

Background:
In the time of Jesus, the Jews did not have the authority to execute sinners. If Jesus had said to stone her, the scribes and Pharisees could have taken Him to the Roman authorities. If Jesus had said not to stone her, before all the people following Him and listening to His teaching the scribes and Pharisees could have accused Him of not keeping the Law.

brought to Jesus for judgment
Sketch by Rembrandt - PD-1923}} – published anywhere before 1923 and public domain in the U.S.

Other than the fact the scribes and Pharisees were trying to find a cause to accuse Him, what was the law they were talking about?

It can be found in Leviticus 20, verse 10.

‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.”

Question: Where was the man? The law they were referring to, above, clearly says both shall be put to death.

There is another scripture involved here…

At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Deuteronomy 17: 6

Question: Where were the witnesses? The scribes and Pharisees did not ‘see’ the act of adultery. They had been on duty in the temple.

Herod's Temple as imagined in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem. By Berthold Werner [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Was what Jesus wrote something to do with these questions?

If so, it was, as the preacher I heard, say… a mistrial.

And when Jesus lifted Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are your accusers? Did anyone condemn you?’ And she said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you…
John 8: 10, 11

Note: Jesus said He did not condemn her, He did not say He forgave her.

The rest of verse 11 is “go and sin no more.”

Just thinking again,

Susan

Kingdom Thinking

Kingdom thinking, salt and light of the world

It was a tease… an interaction with a good friend. This friend is a fiercely loyal citizen of his city and said that it was the centre of the world. (It is not the city I live in by the way.) But I teased my friend saying that God probably considered Jerusalem as the centre of the world at least at one time, and it would be again. While my friend considered a reply, I said, “You need Kingdom thinking, not personal thinking.”

It set me thinking.

How many of us need to develop Kingdom thinking? Most of us. Remember, even the disciples did not understand much of what Jesus was talking about at first. They believed he was unique, different from anyone they had ever known. When Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” he did not understand how different his own life would become.

It isn’t enough to believe that Jesus is extraordinary, or even to believe that he is the divine Son of God

So, what is Kingdom thinking?

Dietrich_Bonhoeffer - Kingdom thinker

It is a process, well, that is my opinion. It is a process where we learn to live like Christ. For some that has already meant death. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s famous book, The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer comments that “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Although Bonhoeffer died in a Nazi concentration camp, not everyone is called to die physically. We have to learn to die to self. This is why I said it is a process.

Apostle John series, all 5 cover images

Review comments from some of the people who read the books in the Apostle John Series …

“We are so lucky to be able to worship as we wish or choose not to without being persecuted.”

“It really makes you think deeply about the level of Christian commitment in the tense and troubling times of the first century church and wonder if it would be matched should we ever face similar circumstances.”

“Life in the early years of the Christian Church, when believers lived under Roman rule and faced tests on every side? Really made me think of how I would act in similar circumstances.”

To be honest, when I researched them, I wondered the same thing.

Jesus preached the ‘Kingdom of God.’

Judaism-v-kingdom-thinking.

Matt 5 – When Jesus said ‘You have heard it said – He was talking about the teaching of Judaism.

v 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment

v 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.

v 27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.

v 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

v 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’v

v 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

To successfully develop ‘Kingdom thinking’ we have to be committed to living as if fully  in the Kingdom of God now, not discouraged by our failures, ready to repent when we have done something wrong, and to encourage others.

Remember we are called to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ (Matthew 5: 13, 14) That is why I chose the top image.

Plodding,

Susan