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Author Topic: Red Letter comments - Matt 3  (Read 1581 times)
Alan
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piggysiggy
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« on: December 04, 2013, 03:23:14 PM »

Our pastor challenged us to all get a "red letter" version of the Bible, and just read all the words in red letters.  Some may not know that a "red letter" Bible has the words Jesus spoke in red, so you can easily skim a page and see which parts He spoke and which were narration or others.

He said we don't have to read anything else except the red letters, unless we want to, and that will save a lot of reading because there really aren't that many.  He said it would change our lives.

I decided to go through the Catholic Bible and find all His quotes, and write some comments about them.  I'm using the USCCB website which doesn't have the letters in red, but oh well I just find where He is quoted.  The other day I started with Matt 3, the first place I see Jesus speak in the Gospels, and wrote the following.  Others are welcome to chime in on the reading, or any other readings or ideas that come to mind.

I'll start another post for the beginning, where Jesus approaches John in Matt 3.

Alan
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 07:00:14 PM by Alan » Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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piggysiggy
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 03:25:43 PM »

The first quote:

Matt 3:13-17
13  Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
14  John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?"
15  Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.
16  After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him.
17  And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

***************************
My comments:

Jesus does not exalt himself over other men; He didn't come here to prove He was God and give us a Big Show, except to the extent He needed to so they’d know He had authority.  In John 14:11-12 we have Him saying 11 ”Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. 12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.”

Others will carry His work forward, building upon what He’s established.  That makes sense because we cannot say that others will do better work because they are greater than Jesus – so I like to think that means He’s training us to take the battle into the future for Him.  And He is the Living Word, so He is not just teaching us a bunch of rules that work once; He is teaching us to listen to the Spirit groaning within us, affording a constant prayer for those sensitive to it – accompanied by peace and other fruit of the spirit.

 Mark 10:42 Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 43 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; 44 whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

So here Jesus is showing what kind of leader He will be.  Not a mighty king in the traditional sense, but as a servant to all.

Alan
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 03:27:37 PM by Alan » Logged

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piggysiggy
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 01:17:52 PM »

I just looked at what was next in Matt 4, it's the temptations in the desert.

Somehow I just don't feel like writing on this one, at least not right now.  

Good thing I don't have a boss for this, I guess. Wink

I think the temptations have been discussed a great deal and I do have opinions on Jesus's comments to satan but not really as interesting to me at this time, compared to other things He talked about.  Maybe I'll come back to Matt 4.  I think there's a lot in Matt 5 to write about, and I'm eager to get to it.

Alan
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 01:22:02 PM by Alan » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 01:58:46 PM »

Matt 5:1-12

The Sermon on the Mount.
1  When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
2  He began to teach them, saying:

THE BEATITUDES
3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4  Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

6  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

7  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8  Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

9  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

10  Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11  Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.  12  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you."


***************

My comments:

TBD -- will get back to this...

« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 04:21:03 PM by Alan » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 07:26:41 PM »

I can divide the Beatitudes into roughly two types.  One is about the heavenly blessings you receive directly from God, and the other is a call to action, as well as a promised blessing that can come through other people.

They can all be calls to action and blessings from God, so it's not like you can cut them clean into A and B.  I'm just describing a way I see that it can be separated out to talk about and think about.  Plus, it's not only OK but good that we think different things, so that's why I don't advise taking what I say to be "how things are" but "here's one way to look at it."

It's like more than one of us looking at a beautiful picture.  We get totally different thoughts and feelings, although we can usually agree on at least some aspects that we know how to talk about, like "beautiful sunset" or "looks like he got a haircut," or, "the picture is blurry."

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

I'd call this one a direct gift from heaven.  When a person is poor in spirit, they enter the kingdom.  In other passages, Jesus teaches frequently about ways to be poor in spirit.  You must deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him.  You must lose your life in order to gain it.  The first shall be last, and the greatest shall be the one who serves.  True humility.

On the other hand, it's a clue for someone who isn't in the kingdom, where they're going to find it.  They won't find it in the world, and they won't even find it directly in their works.  They will find it in their spirit when their ego and will get out of the way and let the spirit speak and we listen.

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Call to action.  Sure, there are heavenly blessings one can access through prayer, but other people can give comfort.  And the call to action is to Make Jesus Right.  Become the arms and legs of His Body, and through His word, offer comforting to those who need it.  This is an act of mercy.  It's like me saying, "if you join this group they will care for you," with the idea that if you join that group you will care for each other.  So if you are part of the kingdom, you will do the Word of Jesus, and become the beatitude.  So we can all be the beatitude, the ones whom Jesus was thinking about when He said, "someone will give you comfort."

Comments on these first two are invited.

Alan




« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 04:21:14 PM by Alan » Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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piggysiggy
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 04:28:14 PM »

I told my pastor my ideas about the Beatitudes this morning after Mass, and he liked them a lot. Smiley

THE BEATITUDES

5  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.


I don't really know if this means that if we learn "meekness" that can get us stuff, or maybe not to underestimate the meek because ultimately they can be threats to powers.  To me, this one says that I don't have to become aggressive; I've been passive-aggressive in the past, and now I just want to be free of behavioral quirks and labels that want to change the way people act toward me.

Edit: Strange I hardly remember writing this.  So I guess this means I'd say this is call to action.  Also, heavenly blessing, because I'm feeling this "land" we're talking about it the kingdom, right here and now on earth. Smiley



6  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.


Heavenly blessing, those who seek righteousness will find it in their hearts?  I have to go pick up my son from school so I'll get back later.  I don't have anything else on this one.

Edit:  My own way of becoming satisfied was to quit judging.  Actually trained myself not to automatically react with repulsion to disgusting and terrible things.  This took some effort, and some creative thinking to do.  Now, stuff doesn't jerk me around anymore.  I can open up my heart and mind a bit more, without fear of that getting me hurt.

Alan
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 01:30:42 PM by Alan » Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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