GOOD AFTERNOON SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Matthew 24-25
Read today’s Bible readings at BibleGateway by clicking here.
My trails are brief today but hopefully there will be something useful in them for you.
Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
The Greek word used for “nation” in this is ethos and refers to ethnic groups or races rather than actual countries as we tend to think of nations being. It is safe to assume that the word kingdom is referencing countries as we think of them today.
Matthew 24:12 “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”
The Greek word used for “lawlessness” here is formed from anomos. We discussed this earlier (Matthew 7-8 notes I believe) that this is a person who knows about the law but has decided it does not apply to them. In this case it is referencing people who know about YHWH’s law but have decided they do not have to abide by it. Keep in mind this is a prophecy of the end times and it is being spoken by Messiah so He is not only reinforcing YHWH’s law but is also recognizing and declaring that rebellion against it will increase in the last days. Now take a moment to realize how much of the body of Believers today fits this description.
Matthew 24:15 Notice that Messiah quotes Daniel. Just put this in your back pocket because we discussed that some scholars do not consider the book of Daniel to be valid. If Messiah quotes it, consider it validated!
We see another one of countless points where Messiah reinforces the Ten Commandments in Matthew 24:20 – “Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.” If YHWH’s Sabbath is done away with, why is Messiah expecting His followers to be observing it in the future when He returns?
For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24
We see that many of us will be led astray. He goes on to tell of many situations in which someone may tell you He has returned but we are not to believe them. How, then, will we know?
“For as the lighting comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:27
Oh y’all, we’ll know. It will be impossible not to know.
Matthew 24:35 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
There is some dispute about the translation of one of these words. The word for “generation” is genea, which is Greek for race such as in a race of people. A lesser used meaning is family or generation but the most common is race.
Therefore, it is possible that Messiah is referring to the Jews when He says that they will not pass away, promising to preserve them as a people until the end. We can certainly look back over history and see many times in which the Jewish people have been preserved, against all odds, by the clear hand of YHWH. There has always been speculation over predicting the end with this verse and that is kicking up a dust cloud in our time, especially given the supernatural chain of events we have experienced so far in 2020 as I write this.
But I make it a point not to spend much time thinking on the end times, speculating over prophecy, or wondering when it will happen because I am too busy reading, studying, and applying His Word to my life. Book Open, Eyes On Him. He takes care of the rest.
In Matthew 25:35-40 We see a list of behaviors that Messiah cherishes
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Matthew 25:35-40
He goes on to explain that anytime we do these things towards others it is counted as if we did it towards Him. It is important to note that each of these positions are ones of vulnerability, in which we are in a position of power.
This morning I was thinking about a friend of mine. This dear friend reads her Bible, believes what it says, obeys YHWH with all her ability, and follows the Messiah as her example.
But the thing is, she has taken a good bit of heat for these things from very unlikely sources, especially when she posts encouraging Scripture about any of these behaviors (believing the Bible, obeying YHWH, following Messiah’s example) on Facebook.
Now, let me tell you that some people eat it up like it was manna from Heaven – and I’m one of those. Years ago, I barely knew her but saw all of the Scripture she was posting on Facebook and realized that she was reading the Bible for herself, firsthand, just like we were. I reached out to her and asked if we could talk on the phone. An hour later, I’d made a new best friend and added a sister to my family. We are knit together by the Father now.
Many respond to her posts the same way I did, but many more still fight her tooth and nail at every turn of her walk. After I read this passage this morning I called her and explained what I saw here to her.
You see, people are spiritually starving today. They’ve accepted ankle deep faith in place of true relationship with the Father and it’s the equivalent of hoping for a ribeye and getting a side salad. They’re starving.
We feed them when we share the Word in love, when we live the Word, when we set an example of following our Messiah as He instructs us to do, and when we encourage them to go deeper into the Word, to focus more on their relationship with the Father. We all have opportunities in our circles to feed people – and we all have opportunities in our circles to remain silent.
I was hungry and you fed me.
Just something to think about.
Regarding “I was a stranger and you welcomed me”. The Greek word used here means foreigner. Having studied the foundational Scriptures, that changes the text considerably for me.
We were all strangers once, and the Father has shown us boundless grace and compassion by allowing us to enter into His kingdom.
Addendum from my notes:
Explanation for clarity: Most think this text means false people will pretend to be the Messiah. However, what the text is conveying is that people will come and say that Jesus is the Messiah as a way of getting us to trust and follow them. In other words, they won’t pretend to be Him, they will pretend to follow Him.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!
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