FEBRUARY 26 THE JESUS QUESTIONS JQ#06 “Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16)
LIVING FOR JESUS Daily Prayer
JESUS, I praise You each day for the simple fact that You have given me another day! Lord, my prayer is for others for I am finally learning that You have provided for all my needs in abundance, an abundance that You have given to me that I share with others in Your Name! Lord Jesus my second prayer is that I will be found faithful in giving of myself to serve You by serving others. Lord Jesus, it is a Mystery why You would come down from Your Glory in heaven to dwell among us for there is nothing that we can do for You because You need nothing from us and You exist without us, but Lord there is no way we can exist without You! So the Mystery remains as to “why” You do anything at all for us (?) but Lord let my Praise rise to You daily for the simple fact that “YOU DID” and it is not important “why” — but it of Supreme Importance that we acknowledge the “Gift of God” and thank You Lord for the glimpse into “why God would send His Only Begotten Son into a world of sinners”? When we study Your Word it will reveal that the Truth of God is simply because of God’s Great Love for us that He sent His Only Begotten Son JESUS to come to Share that LOVE with us that we may in turn Share God’s Love with His Creation!!! AMEN
THE JESUS QUESTIONS
JESUS concluded His JQ#06 Lesson with a declaration which is actually a summation of His first 6 Lessons “JQ#01 - JQ#06 so let us look at that declaration and consider the Truth of God found in the Lessons as well the Truth of God revealed by the content and the order of these first 6 JESUS Question/Lessons. Jesus ends JQ#06 by warning us not to “say” that He is “Lord” but that we will prove that He IS the “Lord” of our lives if we DO “the will of [our] Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) Jesus then Teaches a parable of two builders which is the summation of how we can determine if we are a tree that will produce “good fruit” or “bad fruit” and is also a summation of the first 6 lessons: “Therefore whoever hears theses sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; an it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25) Matthew then documents the effect of all that Jesus had Taught so far in His earthly Ministry, starting first with the Sermon on the Mount. So far Matthew has documented these first 6 Question/Lessons as Matthew records: “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these saying, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matthew 7:28-29) So let us look at “His Teachings” and the Truth of God contained in “What” Jesus has Taught so far, as well as the “Order” in which He Taught them. The first Question/Lesson JQ#01 followed immediately after Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount (also called the Beatitudes) which was an announcement that the kingdom of heaven was at hand and what we should consider for ourselves if we desire to be subjects of that kingdom. With JQ#01 Jesus makes a statement of fact about our “spiritual heritage” when He EMPHATICALLY declares that we “ARE the salt of the earth” and that we “ARE the light of the world” and He then asks us to consider the state of the world if we do not use our “salt” and “light” to benefit others? Jesus continues with JQ#02 and again Jesus tells us that we are to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Matthew 5:44)— Jesus instructs us to “Love” others not just because they love us but we are to greet others that don’t necessarily greet us which is another way of saying that if we are going to be kingdom subjects then we should treat others as God treats us and not be like the world and the world’s idea of who is worthy of our love or our greetings. Jesus then Teaches in JQ#03 that our life from a kingdom perspective takes on more value if we consider where our “life” comes from and we discover that “we are made in the image of God” and that “life IS more than food” and that our “body”, since it is created in the “image of God” is more important “than clothing”. Jesus then starts working on our “attitudes toward others” in more detail as He commands us with JQ#04 to “judge not” and makes it clear that our responsibility is to “love others” and let God do the “Judging” and in doing so Jesus introduces the “Final Judgement” that every individual will have to face at the end of our earthly existence and stand before God ——— God at the “Final Judgement” lets the way we lived our life take the witness stand before The Great White Throne to be our only witness before the “TRUE Judge” as to our true guilt or innocence! Jesus does not leave us hanging but Teaches us with JQ#05 that as “heirs of the kingdom of God” that we are not just “subjects” but we are “heirs” and Jesus Teaches us that as “heirs to God’s Kingdom” we have the privilege of declaring the KING of heaven as “our Father” and are encouraged to ask of “our Father in heaven” and TRUST HIM to provide good things for His heirs. Jesus wraps up these first six Lessons by introducing what could be called “Divine Common Logic” with the “simple but obvious” JQ#06 “Do men gather grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles” and our God-given logic tells us “of course not” and we glimpse one of our fleshly problems with living in this world and that is that even though we “know” that grapes only come from grapevines that we seek God in some unholy places or we buy the lie of the enemy and try to find nourishment among the thornbushes and thistles. The enemy tells us that grapes from thornbushes will give us “satisfaction” and when we swallow the “lie” we end up malnourished at best. Jesus Teaches us the Truth of God and He does so with “Ultimate Authority” and if we listen and learn from Jesus then we also will be “astonished” and our lives will be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” from the simple to the Sublime!