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Jesus Anointed at Bethany September 23, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 26:6-13.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus is at the house of Simon – a former leper – in Bethany. Mary approaches Him with a vessel made of alabaster containing perfume that is worth a year’s wages; she then pours it all over Him.

This angers the disciples, as they believe that she has wasted her perfume. In particular, Judas had wanted to enrich himself by selling it.

Jesus responds by:

  • asking them why they are furnishing Mary a burden – as she has shown her love for Him by lavishly preparing His body for burial
  • asserting that while they should still meet the needs of the poor, they should show their love for Him at this time
  • asserting that all who read the Gospels will encounter a memorial of Mary’s act of love.

Thoughts: Here, Mary worships Jesus by preparing His body for burial. Ryle offers some thoughts on this point:

Third, we see in this incident a blessed foretaste of things that will take place in the day of judgment. On that great day no honor done to Christ on earth will be found to have been forgotten. The speeches of parliamentary orators, the exploits of warriors, the works of poets and painters, will not be mentioned on that day; but the least work that the weakest Christian woman has done for Christ, or his members, will be found written in a book of everlasting remembrance.

The main point of this passage is to celebrate Mary’s beautiful act of worship of Her Savior. Now if one attempts to apply this passage to the process of drawing up a church budget, difficult questions arise. For example, a deacon could ask, “should we use these miscellaneous funds to start a literacy program for neighborhood youths, or should we transfer them to our building fund?” Such questions often lack simple answers. Thus, I believe that when reading this passage, we should not attempt to complicate matters by pondering its modern-day applications; instead, we should be thankful that God worked through Mary to help her grasp the reality of Jesus’ impending death – a fact that the disciples failed to grasp.

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The Birth of Jesus Christ October 8, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 1:18-25.

Summary: In this passage, Joseph discovers that his fiancee, Mary, is pregnant. He resolves to divorce her – yet an angel informs him that Mary has actually been impregnated by the Holy Spirit; moreover, his unborn child is the Messiah. The angel commands him to give his son the name Jesus.

In response, Joseph marries his fiancee; later, she gives birth to a son named Jesus. This sequence of events fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14.

Thoughts: In verse 19, we see that Joseph planned to divorce Mary as he “did not want to expose her to public disgrace.” That being said, I am curious as to how his relatives and neighbors responded to Mary’s pregnancy. Did Joseph and Mary attempt to conceal her pregnancy? Did anyone accuse Mary of having illicit relations during her betrothal? Did anyone criticize Joseph for failing to divorce Mary and call him a cuckold? Was Jesus taunted by his peers as he grew up in Nazareth? I certainly anticipate meeting Mary and Joseph in the next life and probing them on these points.