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The Disciples, the Enemy, Sin, How to Pray the Lord’s
Prayer, Faith and Words to Live By
Because of the great crowd Jesus went up on the mountain nearby to pray. He prayed all night and in the morning He called those He wanted to be with Him. He wanted them also to preach and to have the power to heal the sick and cast out demons. These were the twelve that He chose:
First, Simon the fisherman who was nicknamed Keepa (Peter), "The Rock",
Second, Andrew, Peter's brother who went and got Peter when he first saw Jesus,
Third, James, the son of Zebedee,
Fourth, John, James' brother, whose nickname was B'nai Rakhshi, which means sons of thunder,
Fifth, Philip, who went and got Nathaniel to follow Jesus,
Sixth, Nathaniel, who was also called Bartholomew, from Cana of Galilee,
Seventh, Matthew the tax collector,
Eighth, Thomas, called Didymus, who went to India as a missionary after Jesus' death,
Ninth, James, the son of Alphaeus
Tenth, Lebbaeus (Judas), son of James, whose nickname was Thaddaeus,
Eleventh, Simon who was called the Zealot, and
Twelfth, Judas of Iscariot, who would become the traitor.170
Note that Nathaniel (Bartholomew) is only mentioned again with the disciples after Jesus came back to life and appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberius and after Jesus ascended to heaven.171
6:12–16; Mark 3:13–19; Matthew 10:2–4.
171. John 21:1–2, Acts 1:13.
How to Utterly Destroy the Enemy, or Have Fun Trying
Would you really like to be happy? How would you like to be really happy? Would you really like to utterly defeat your enemy, or have fun trying? God could have talked to anyone like He did to Abraham or Moses, and He could have told us how to really be happy. His instructions would have been extremely difficult to follow. We could say, "Oh, Abraham and Moses just made that up. God didn't really talk to them." Instead, God came to earth as a human to look us directly in the eye and tell thousands of us all at once, so we would know that it really is true. If we change our ways and follow this way of life regardless of what others may think of us, regardless of how much it hurts, it will really work to our benefit.
People from all over Judea, Jerusalem and the Mediterranean Sea coast of Tyre and Sidon had followed Jesus to the mountain. Again, they all wanted to touch Him because they could feel power come out of Him; and they wanted to hear His word and to be healed of their diseases. He healed those suffering from demon possession and various diseases. The crowd wanted to be near Him because power emanated from Him and He healed them all.
He went to an open plain area on the mountain and sat down and drew His disciples near Him. As He sat, He looked up at His disciples and taught them.
He told them that if they hunger now, they will be filled in heaven; if you are poor now, you will be blessed in heaven, for the kingdom of God belongs to you. If you are humble, unassuming and poor in pride you will be blessed in heaven because heaven is yours; if you hunger and thirst for righteousness now, you will be filled and satisfied; if you mourn and weep, you will not only be comforted, you will laugh at your former sorrows; if you are meek and gentle, you will inherit the earth; if you hunger and thirst for righteous justice, you are going to be well satisfied; if you are merciful, you will be given mercy; if you are pure in heart, you are going to see God; if you are peacemakers, you are going to be called sons of God.
When men persecute you, hate you, reject you, discriminate against you, publish your names as bad and falsely speak every kind of evil against you for Jesus' sake, thinking they are doing the world a favor for the sake of justice; then be glad and rejoice in that day, you will be greatly recompensed in heaven.. This is exactly how their fathers persecuted the prophets who were before you, and you will be blessed.172
Then He turned to the crowd and it was here that He gave His famous Sermon on the Mount, more properly called the Sermon on the Plain because He was on a level place near the base of the mountain. This is probably the most important advice ever given to mankind that changed the world from then on, and can change your life, if you only let it.
Addressing the crowd, He said, "Woe to you rich people, for you have already received your reward!
"Blessed are you poor that yours is the Kingdom of God. Woe to you whose stomachs are full, for you will hunger! Blessed are those who hunger now who will be satisfied. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will cry, wail and mourn! Anguish, despair and affliction shall come to you when men speak well of you, for that is what their fathers did for the false prophets.
"You have heard that those who were before you were told to never lie when they made a promise but entrust their promises to the LORD. I am saying to you, never make a promise, neither by heaven, because that is God's throne, nor by the earth, for the earth is a stool under God's feet; nor in Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king, and you are under his authority.
"Do not even make a promise by your own head, because you cannot create a single black hair or white hair on your head. Just say 'yes, yes' or 'no, no'; for anything you add to these is a deception.
"You have heard it said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' I say to you, do not resist evil; but whenever someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn your other cheek and do not start a quarrel or a fight.
"If anyone wants to take you to court and sue you and take away your shirt, give him your shirt and your coat also.
"Whoever makes you carry his load for a mile, go two miles with him. Whoever asks for something, give it to him. Do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow something from you; give it to him. If he takes it away from you, don't demand it back. If you lend only to them whom you expect to be repaid, what kind of a blessing is that? Sinners also lend to sinners so that they will be paid back accordingly.*
"Just as you want people to do to you, do likewise to them. If you only love those who love you, what is your reward? Even sinners love those who love them. You have heard that you should be kind to your friend and hate your enemy. I am telling you to bless anyone that curses you and do good deeds for anyone who hates you. Pray for those who carry you away forcefully and persecute you. Those of you who can hear, I am telling you to love your enemies! Do good things to them. Lend and do not cut off any man's hope. This way your reward will increase and you will become children of your Father in heaven who causes the sun to shine upon both the good and the bad, and He pours down His rain upon the just and the unjust alike. Your Father is gracious to the wicked and the cruel. So be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
On Christmas day, 2004, a tsunami began killing over 170,000 people, mostly Muslims who had danced and rejoiced in the streets when Muslim terrorists hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Missionaries have made great sacrifices and have done great works distributing Bibles, food, medicine and clothing and bringing many Muslims to the Lord. After the tsunami, however, was not the proper time to distribute Bibles to those tsunami victims that needed food, clothing and medicine. That would only anger them. Their immediate needs must be taken care of first, and then they will be eager to be led to the Lord. Then our enemies will become our most steadfast friends.
"If you only love those who love you," Jesus continued, "what will be your reward? Don't the tax collectors do the same thing? If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than the tax collectors do?
"Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father in heaven is merciful. Become perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.173
"You are indeed the salt of the earth! But if the salt loses its savor, what good is the salt? With what could you salt the salt? It would not be worth a thing except to be thrown outside and walked on.
"You are indeed the light of the world! A city that is built on a mountain cannot be hidden. So don't put your light under a basket, but put it on a lamp stand so that it will give light to everyone in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they will see your works and glorify your Father in heaven.
"Do not think that I have come to change or weaken the law. I have not come to weaken it, but to fulfill the law. I am telling you truthfully that until heaven and earth pass away, not one smallest letter or a dash in the law shall pass away until all of it is fulfilled.”
Jesus did not come to change the law, but to fulfill the law. The law requires a sacrifice to pay for our sins. Everyone who ever lived other than our Lord Jesus has sinned and has come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In order to fulfill the law, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. (Acts 4:12);
"Therefore whoever tries to weaken even one of the very least of these commandments, and teaches men to do so, he will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but anyone who observes and teaches these laws shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Thus Jesus summarized all the commandments of God in such a way that they are clearly understood: All the commandments are based on love for one another. If a person loves everyone, he or she cannot possibly break a commandment that God has given us. If there is hatred in our hearts, we break the commandments with our hearts, if not with our bodies. If you hate a single person or a single creature, whether it is a terrorist, a scorpion, spider or snake, you hate something that your Creator God created. Thus, you hate God! When you get to heaven you will learn why God, in His infinite love created these things for you.
Jesus went on to say, "I am telling you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven."174 There is no bickering or fighting or unrighteousness in heaven.
* I decided to try this teaching one time. I went to the state Department of Natural Resources to ask them to approve my natural process for restoring public lakes, and let me be in business. I had affidavits from several private pond owners telling the good results I had attained. These people looked at me like was an alien from outer space with leprosy. I was interfering with their modus operandi. They had a routine for poisoning weeds and algae, and I was interfering with it. At first, they refused, saying they did not have the time or the budget, and the process would not work anyway.
I asked them if they would monitor a pond that a potential customer wanted me to treat by this all-natural method. I would have tests made for the three most important water quality parameters. They asked me to leave the room for a moment while they discussed it. When they asked me back in, they said in addition to the three tests I wanted made, I would have to test for three other parameters. These were very expensive tests, and would cost about ten times what I was to receive for doing the work. Also, the new tests had very little to do with whether the process worked or not. My funds were extremely limited, and I knew that these requirements made it impossible to continue. The extra tests would put me out of business.
I prayed to myself for a moment, as though I was thinking, asking the Lord what I should do. The answer was if they wanted me to go a mile, go two miles with them. I looked enthused and said, "That's great! That will give us a lot of extra information that will help us. In addition, would you mind if I also test for (this and that and the other thing, naming several other tests)?" Their mouths dropped open. Then I added two more unnecessary tests.
They agreed, and I left, not knowing how I could afford to do the work. In my mind, I was out of business. Before I started the project I got a phone call from an official at the DNR. He said, they had thought about it, and all those tests were really unnecessary; just do two of the tests that I first suggested. I had utterly defeated the "enemy", and while it was miserably impossible at first, it turned out that I had fun trying. My “enemies” turned out to be friends for several years.
Around that same time I hired a world-renown college professor, a PhD Limnologist to study and write a report on a lake a was restoring. When we were sitting in a boat on that lake and he saw the fantastic results, he exclaimed, "Fame! Fortune! World esteem!" I said, "Praise the Lord!" He exclaimed, "Fame! Fortune! World esteem!" I said, "Praise the Lord!" Then he said, "I want five percent of your company!" I told him we had agreed on $2500 as as his payment. He repeated, "I want that plus five percent of your your company!" I assumed that he was bribing me, and as a Christian, I could not indulge in illegal activity. So I I refused. Without thinking, I had totally ignored what Jesus had taught me: If a man asks for your coat, give him your cloak also. If a man asks you to go a mile with him. go with him two. In fact it was not even bribery. It was the professor asking to be a part of my company. What I had just done was the exact opposite of Jesus' commandment. I turned a friend into a lifetime enemy. From then on he told all the experts in the field of water pollution control all over the world that I was a charlatan and that my process did not work. Years later this professor bragged to the state legislature that he stopped an average of one water pollution control project for my company every week. I was never able to get my company off the ground. I estimated that that over a thirty year period this friend that I turned into an enemy had stopped three billion dollars in sales. This the danger of not doing what Jesus tells you to do, which often does not even make sense. Don't even think -- just do it! For another example of my obeying Jesus without knowing why, see Chapter 80.
In 2016 when Donald Trump won the election for President, the first thing he did was meet with all his enemies that tried everything they could scheme to keep him from winning. Mr. Trump offered them all fantastic jobs. This exactly what Jesus told us to do. I believe that in response to the prayers of millions of Christians, Donald Trump was selected by God to save the most Christian nation in all history from the planned annihilation of all Christians that was all but fully implemented by the New World Order, the United Nations, George Soros, Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. On November 8, 2016 God passed over America and saved all the Christians that were under the blood of Jesus just as the angel of God passed over Egypt during the Jewish Passover and saved the Jews that were under the blood of the sacrificial lambs that was over their doorposts. Donald Trump is either knowingly or unknowingly following God's instructions, and America has been saved.
6:17–23; Matthew 5:1–12.
173. Luke 6:24–35; Matthew 5:33–48.
174. Matthew 5:13-20
Jesus Condemns All Humans
In the seventeenth century Robert Burton wrote what is so appropriate today and throughout all history, "If Democritus were alive now, and should see the superstition of our age, our religious madness, so many self-professed Christians, yet so few imitators of Christ, so much talk and so little conscience, so many preachers and such little practice, such variety of sects - - how do you think he might have been affected? What would he have to see, hear and read -- so many bloody battles, such streams of blood able to turn mills, to make sport for princes, without any just cause?
" . . . How would our Democritus have been affected to see so many lawyers, advocates, so many tribunals, so little justice; so many laws, yet never more disorders; the tribunal a labyrinth; to see a lamb executed, a wolf pronounce sentence?
" . . . Our goddess is Queen Money, to whom we daily offer sacrifice. It's not worth, virtue, wisdom, valor, learning, honesty, religion, for which we are respected, but money, greatness, office, honor.
" . . . The impulsive cause of these miseries in man was the sin of our first parent, Adam; and this belike, is that which our poets have shown unto us in the tale of Pandora's Box, which, being opened through her curiosity, filled the world full of all manner of diseases. But as our sins are the principle cause, so the instrumental causes of our infirmities are as diverse as the infirmities themselves. Stars, heavens, elements, and all those creatures which God has made, are armed against sinners. But the greatest enemy to man is man, his own executioner, a wolf, a devil to himself and others."175
The Apostle Paul wrote, "That which I would do, I do not do; but that which I would not do, that is what I do . . . Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"176
Thus Jesus in His infinite knowledge and wisdom of the sins of humans since the creation of Adam and Eve, continued with His Sermon on the Mount,
"You have heard that it was said to those before you, 'You shall not kill. Whoever kills is condemned to trial', but I say to you that whoever even becomes angry with his brother without reason is guilty before the court. And whoever says to his brother 'I spit on you' is guilty before the congregation; and whoever says to his brother 'You are an abnormal lunatic' is condemned to hell fire."177 [This condemns us all, for we have all said bad things about others.]
Continuing His sermon on the mount, Jesus went on to say, "If it should happen that you are making an offering at the alter and suddenly you remember that someone has a grievance against you, leave your offering on the alter and first go to your brother or sister and make peace; then come back and present your offering.
"Try to be reconciled with your accuser immediately while you are walking on the road with him; because your accuser might take you to court, and the judge might have you cast into prison; then I promise you, you will not get out until you have paid your last cent.
"You have heard that you should not commit adultery, but I am telling you that whoever looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart. If your right eye should cause lust or envy so that you stumble, pluck it out and cast it away from you. It is better for you to lose one of your body parts than to have your entire body fall into hell."
This shows the absolute impossibility of following the Laws given in the Old testament. Humanity is so exceedingly dim-witted concerning God's perfect plan for our lives that on hearing this and Jesus' later end-times teaching, the Qumran community formed out in the wilderness to prepare for the end time. (Eisenman, Robert H. and Michael Wise, 1992. The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, Element Books Limited). They misinterpreted the commandment, Exodus 20:14, you shall not commit adultery, to mean that we should not even marry. Anyone having anything to do with a woman was excommunicated from the community. This completely ignores Genesis 2:18 where God said 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helpmate" and Genesis 2: 24: 'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.' The commandment that Jesus was referring to was that we should not lust after or have sex with another person's spouse.
Does the Bible teach that women are inferior to men? No, women are equal and opposite of men. God made women to complement men. Men are the strong hunters and providers, while women are the gentle homemakers who raise, nourish and comfort the children. Only women can bear children, and only men can impregnate women. The two are equally important, and one could not exist without the other.
Are the Dead Sea Scrolls a contradiction of the Bible as men with their own objectives wrote it? The Qumran community also misinterpreted the prophecy concerning John the Baptist in Isaiah 40:3, "The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God' ", and so they set up a "sinless" society in the wilderness.
After the Qumran community, we have priests and monks take oaths of celibacy and then give in to the sexual urge that God gave us for the purpose of perpetuating the human race. As a result, we have babies murdered and orphans walking the streets (e.g. in The Philippines) begging for food.
Jesus continued, "If your right hand should cause you to steal or sin, cut it off and cast it away. It is better to lose one body part and not have your entire body cast into hell."
If many of us obeyed this, we would have been one-eyed and left-handed long ago. Does this mean that the entire human race is going to burn in hell? Jesus answered that question in Chapter 39 (John 3:16). We have a choice: live a spotless life or believe in Jesus and try our best to follow Him. Does this mean we are free to sin if we believe in Jesus? Surely we suffer for every sin. If we could obey the Law, we would be happy and healthy and prosperous. If only a few of us were perfect, there would be no need for Jesus.
Jesus went on, "You have heard that whoever divorces his wife must present her with a Letter of Cause. But I say that whoever divorces his wife, except for ] fornication, causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a separated woman who is not divorced commits adultery.
This is the Peshita translation; while the Syriac version says whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Because of this confusion, I suggest that when you marry, if you vow that it is to be for life, for better or worse, then till death do you part.
"Again you heard that it was told to the first people, 'Do not lie in your oaths, as your oaths before the LORD will be nullified.' This is because if you cannot swear by heaven, because that is God's throne; nor by earth because it is a stool under His feet; nor by your own head because you cannot create a single black hair or white hair. But let your words be yes, yes or no, no, for anything you add to these is a deception from the evil one.
"You have heard it said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say do not rise up against the evil one. If someone strikes you on the right side, turn to him your left. Whoever wished to put you on trial and takes your shirt from you, give him your cape too. Whoever compels you to carry a burden for a mile with him, go with him two. Whoever asks you for something, give it to him. Whoever wishes to benefit or borrow from you, do not refuse.
"You have heard that you should love your best friend and hate your enemy. But I am telling you to like your enemy and bless those who curse you; do good to those who hate you and pray for those who carry you away by force and persecute you so that you may become the children of your heavenly Father who causes the sun to shine upon the good and the bad. He pours down the rain on both the righteous and the abominable. If you only love those who love you, what reward are you to receive? Do not even the tax collectors do the same thing? If you only greet your friends, what good is that? Don't the tax collectors do the same thing? Be perfect like your Father in heaven is perfect.
"When you give tithes, be careful that you do not do it in the presence of other people merely so show off; otherwise you will not be rewarded by your Father in heaven. When you do charity, do not blow your own horn like the hypocrites in the synagogues and marketplaces do, so as to be glorified before humans. I tell you truthfully that they already have received their reward. Don't even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your tithes are given secretly and your charity is unseen. Then your father who sees everything in secret will openly reward you Himself."178
As Robert Burton wrote, "You are not the first offender, and you will not be the last. If the only one that accuses you is faultless, how many executioners, how many accusers would you have? If every man received his desert, you would be a saint by comparison. So be not dismayed; to err is human. Be penitent, ask forgiveness, and displease and trouble yourself no more."179
It is extremely difficult to follow the instructions that Jesus gave us, but if we truly love everyone with our whole heart, we automatically follow all the rules without thinking about it.
Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, 'Democritus to the Reader' first
published in 1621
176. Romans 7:15, 24.
177. Matthew 5:21–22.
178. Matthew 5: 23 - Matthew 6:6.
179. Burton, ibid.
Jesus rested for a minute and prayed, and one of His disciples asked Him, "Our Lord, teach us to pray, just like John also taught his disciples."
Jesus answered, "When you pray, don't chant like the hypocrites who like to pray standing in the churches and on the street corners and babble so that they will be heard by the public. I tell you truthfully that they have already received their reward . . . the attention of others. But as for you when you pray, go into your private room and lock your door. Pray to your Father who is in secret and your Father who sees secretly will reward you openly. When you pray, don't repeat your prayers like the pagans do. They think that by much talking, they will be heard. Don't be like them. You Father knows what you need before you even ask for it!"
"Instead, pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your very name is sacred. Let Your kingdom come to the earth; and let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us bread for our needs from day to day. Forgive us our offenses, even as we have forgiven those who offend us. [If you forgive people for their faults, your Father in heaven will forgive you also. But Matthew 6:15 tells us that if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your faults.] Do not let us enter into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
Note that Jesus did not say "lead us not into temptation", as the King James and other Versions of the Greek Bible say. God does not tempt; neither is He tempted.180
"The kingdom and power and glory for all eternity belongs to You. Amen.
“If you forgive others for their faults, you Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your father forgive you.
“Which one of you have a friend whom you can go to at midnight and ask of him, ‘my friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend has come to me from a trip and I have nothing to set before him?’ Would this friend inside say don’t trouble me; the door is already locked and my children are asleep with me and I cannot get up and give you bread?
“I say to you that if because of friendship he will not give bread to you, even so, if you are persistent, he will rise up and give you as much as he wants.
“I say to you, ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened up to you. Everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and for those who knock, it is opened to them.
Who is a father among you, and if your son should ask for bread, you would hand him a stone? If he should ask you to give him a fish, would you give him a snake instead of a fish? What if he would ask for an egg; would give him a scorpion?
“If you who make mistakes know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father give the Holy Spirit from heaven to those who ask?”181
180. This is
the Aramaic meaning in the Peshitta and Syriac manuscripts. James 1:13–14.
181. Luke 11:1–4; Matthew 6:5–15.
More Words to Live By
After Jesus taught us the manner in which we should pray, He gave the people a little time to think about it. All was quiet. Their heads were bowed and they did not look at one another.
Then Jesus advised them, "When you fast, be in a loving, reverent mood toward God. Don't do like the hypocrites who disfigure their faces so that it would appear to others that they are fasting. I tell you truthfully that they have already received their reward with the admiration of humans. But when you fast, wash your face and anoint your head with oil. That way, you will not appear to others that you are fasting. But your Father who is in secret sees you in secret, and He will reward you.
"And do not store treasures for yourself that you bury underground, or where rust and moths destroy and thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where neither rust nor moths destroy, and where thieves cannot break in and steal. Where your treasure is, there is your heart also.
"Your eye is your lamp for your body. If your eyes are bright, it lights your whole body. If your eyes are wicked, your whole body is dark. If the light that is within you is dark, how much greater will your entire darkness be?
"Now, no man can serve two masters. He will either hate one and like the other, or honor one and despise the other. In the same manner, you cannot serve God and also the establishment, the social structure, government, security or money. I say to you, don't worry for your life, what you should eat and drink, and don't worry about your body or what you should wear. Isn't life much more important than food? And isn't your soul much more precious than food, and your body more than your clothes? Observe the birds of the sky. They never harvest or gather food onto barns, yet your Father in heaven fills them as food is needed. Aren't you much more important to God than they are?
"Who among you can grow eighteen inches by worrying? Why worry about your clothing? Observe the wild flowers, how they grow. They do not spin fabric and get tired. Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of them. If God clothes the grass of the field in such a fashion, and they are here today and tomorrow they are thrown into the fireplace, is He not much more mindful of you, oh you of little faith? Don't worry or say, 'What are we going to eat, or what will we drink, or with what will we be clothed?' Worldly people seek after these things, but your Father in heaven knows that all these things are necessary for you. So first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. Therefore don't worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will look after itself. The troubles of today are sufficient for all your needs.182
"Don't criticize, condemn or judge others, so that you will not be judged. For with the same judgment that you criticize, condemn and judge others, you will be judged; and with the same measure that you measure, it will be measured to you. Give, and it will be given unto you in good measure, shaken down, heaped up and running over, so they will pour it into the pockets in your robes. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. But if you do not forgive, how can you expect to be forgiven?
"Can a blind man lead another blind man? Won’t they both fall into a pit? There is no student who is more important than his teacher; for every person who is well developed will be just like the teacher.
"Why do you see a splinter in your friend's eye, and do not even feel the plank that is in your own eye? How can say to your friend, 'Let me take the splinter out of your eye,' when behold there is a plank in your own eye? Oh you hypocrites first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will clearly see how to remove the splinter from your friend's eye.
"Do not give holy things to dogs; and do not speak words of wisdom to fools, casting pearls before swine, for they might tread them under their feet and then turn and tear you apart."183
He continued, “Who among you has a friend, and if you go to him at midnight and say, 'My friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend has come to us from a journey and I have nothing to feed him.' Would his friend say 'don’t trouble me; the door is locked and my children are in bed; I cannot get up and give you bread?’ No, because of friendship he will not give it to him, but because of your persistence, he will get up and give you as much as you want.
"I say to you also, 'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it will be opened up to you.' Everyone who asks receives and everyone who knocks, it is opened for him. For what father among you, if your son should ask for some bread, you would give him a stone? If he would ask for a fish, would you give him a snake instead? If he would ask for an egg, would you give him a scorpion? If you then, who make mistakes know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? Whatever you wish that others would do for you, do likewise for them, for this is what the law and prophets are all about.184
"Enter in through the door that is narrow, for the door is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many people who travel on it. Oh, how narrow the door is, and how difficult is the road that leads to eternal life, and how few those are who are found on it!
"Watch out for false prophets who come to you in lambs clothing but are really predatory wolves inside. You will know them by their fruits. Can you gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles? A good tree bears good fruit; but a bad tree bears bad fruit. There is no good tree that bears bad fruit, nor a bad tree that bears good fruit. Every tree is known by the fruit it produces, and you cannot pick figs from thistles or grapes from a bramble bush. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and used for firewood. A good person brings out good things from the treasure of his or her heart; and bad people bring out bad things from the treasure of their hearts; for it is from the abundance of the heart that the lips speak. Thus it is by their fruits that you will know them.
"Not everyone who says to me 'My Lord, My Lord' is going to enter into the kingdom of heaven. No, only those who do the will of my Father in heaven will get there. There are going to be a great many who will say to me "My Lord, My Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name, and do many wonders in your name?' And I am going to say to them, 'Get away from me, you workers of wickedness, I have never known you.'
"Whoever comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what that person is like. That person is like a wise man that built his house and dug deep and laid its foundations on rock. When the rains fell and the rivers overflowed and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house, it could not shake it and it did not fall, because its foundation was laid upon a rock.
“Whoever hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand without a foundation. When the rains fell and the rivers overflowed and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house, it immediately fell, and the fall of that house was great."
When Jesus finished saying all these things, the crowd of people was stunned by His knowledge, for they had never heard teaching like this, spoken with such power, and not like their own scribes and Pharisees spoke. When He came down from the mountain and set off for Capernaum, large crowds followed Him.185
God created us. Therefore, we are children of God; God is without sin. If we are to act as children of God, we must live a life without sin, for this is what our Father expects of us, just as you expect of your children. When Jesus spoke these great truths, it was before He sacrificed Himself to pay for all of our sins. No one could simply call on the name of the Lord Jesus and be saved (Romans 10:13), not even Jesus" disciples. Everyone at that time was under the Old Testament Law, and narrow indeed was the door to get into heaven. Very few, such as Enoch and Elijah, had succeeded. After Jesus sacrificed Himself for our sins, even the thief on the cross was instantly saved (Luke 23:43), and he did not even have to go back and repay everything he had stolen.
183. Matthew 7:1–6; Luke 6:37-42.
184. Matthew 7:7–12; Luke 11:5-13.
185. Matthew 7:13–8:1; Luke 6:43-7:1.
The crowds followed Jesus all the way from the mountain near Jerusalem to Capernaum, a distance of about eighty miles. When He got there, a centurion, a captain of a hundred Roman soldiers, sent Jewish elders to Him and demonstrated more faith than any who had seen the hundreds of healings and miracles that Jesus had done as they watched Him day after day. The centurion had so much faith that he did not even go to Jesus himself, but sent some Jewish elders to appeal to Jesus to come and heal his servant, who was very dear to him.
The elders earnestly begged Jesus saying, "This centurion is worthy to have this done for him; for he loves our people and has even built a synagogue for us. He told us that he is not good enough to meet you in person, but his servant is paralyzed and suffering greatly."
Jesus said, "I will come and heal him." Jesus went, but as He approached the house, the centurion sent some of his friends, and they told Jesus, "Our friend, the centurion told us to tell you not to trouble yourself, for he said he is not worthy that you should even enter under the shadow of his roof, and that is why he felt that he is not even worthy to come to you in person. He said that if you would just say a word, his servant will be healed. 'I am a man under authority, and there are soldiers under my command; and I say to this one, Go, and he goes; and I say to another, Come, and he comes; and I say to my servant, Do this, and he does it.' He knows that if you just say a word, his servant will be healed."
When Jesus heard this, He was amazed, and He turned around and said to the people who were following Him, "Truly, I say to you, that not even in Israel have I found such faith as this! I tell you that a great many will come from the East and the West, and sit down and dine with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but their sons will be put out into outer darkness and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Then He turned back to the elders and said, "Go, let it be done according to the centurion's belief." And the servant was healed in that very hour. When the elders returned to the centurion's house, they found that the servant who was sick was healed.186
Faith can move mountains. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said," If you have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'move over to that yonder place'; and it and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you." And in Matthew 21:21 and Mark 11:23, He said that with faith, you could cast a mountain into the sea.186. Luke 7:1–10; Matthew 8:5–13.
Paperback by Robert Laing:
Theory - - Squeezing Common Sense Out of Science, Creation, Noah's Ark and Jesus
Another Web Site by Robert Laing: www.intelligentdesigntheory.info
Paperback by author available: Little Thinkers -- Squeezing Common Sense Out of Life's Toughest Questions
This book in paperback: History of Jesus Christ the Human God