Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 40; The Owner's actions.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The vine-dressers kill the master's son) Part 3. 

What would you do?  If this was a tale about your property what would you do?  You hire and pay someone to build and make repairs to your house while you are away.  After the repairs are completed the house is vacant for a while and the repairman thinks that you are dead and wants to claim the house for himself.  He wants to take what is yours.  What would you do?

This is the central theme of this parable.  They were offered many opportunities to change to return what was not theirs but they refused.  So Christ is speaking to the chief priest and the elders asking them what would the owner do.  "When, therefore, the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-dressers?" 

Will he beat them, will he hang them, will he kill them, what will he do?  For they beat and stoned, and killed his servants.  And they led away his son and killed him, the heir to the vineyard.  They wanted to take everything of value from the owner.  His wrath will be forthcoming.

He was away for a long time, many years.  And they assumed that he was not returning, so they made themselves owners, they made themselves lords of the vineyard.  And when messengers were sent asking for the fruit of the vineyard they refused to send that which belonged to the owner.  Again he sent servants and they were turned away or killed.  Finally he sent his only son that maybe they would respect his rights to the wine but the vine-dressers refused again and killed him also.  And then comes the owner with his might and wonder to put asunder the wrong that has taken place.

We live in this place where we believe and assume that we are the owners.  It was given to us as a gift but we have taken the belief that we are the owners and that our place here evolved over many millions of evolution.  We are the evolved and this is our world.  We search beyond this world in the belief that there is other life in the universe comparable to ours that will justify our own existence and support our reasoning.  Yet the truth and the knowledge that we seek is before us, given to us from eye witnesses, written for us to see and believe. 

Some believe because it is written, not knowing the truth beyond the words.  Some have faith because they have seen in their own lives the results of their prayers.  Then there are those who know because they have found the light of life within themselves and can see the truth of who they are.  What joy and peace that truth brings.  What happiness comes in knowing that you are blessed and loved.  What sorrowful tears are shed in the knowledge of our sins and the merciful relief that comes from forgiveness. 

We are children of light and not of darkness.  The light of Christ Jesus exist within those who know and can see.  And that knowledge can belong to anyone who seeks to see, anyone who wants to know.  It is written for us to see.  It is written for us to know.  It is written for us to walk in the trust that comes from the knowledge of who we are.  It is written, seek and you shall find.  Knock and it shall be opened to you.  Ask and it shall be given you by the Lord our God who created us. 

Read the sign of the times! Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ. Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself. Do not study it in parts reading one passage nd then skipping to another, but read it for understanding. Read it for knowledge. Read it for faith. Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ .   The Holy Spirit awaits you. Christ seeks to know you. Open the door and let him in. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 39; They killed the Son.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The vine-dressers kill the master's son) Part 2. 

This is a special time of year when Christians come together to celebrate the three days of the passion of Christ.  He came to Jerusalem knowing full well the outcome.  Yet he completed the Father's will, not his own, even to the point of death.  He died on the cross sacrificing his life for the life of many throughout the world and throughout all time.  He conquered death and gave life anew to all who would believe.

This parable is about that death.  It is about the opportunity that Christ Jesus extends to all.  The vine-dressers were given that opportunity to change from their greed, to change from their passion, to turn away from temptation.  Yet they could not see.  They could not understand what was being offered.  They did not accept it.  They could only see the greed and passion of their wants and desires.  "So they seized him, cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him."

They were vine-dressers.  They were workers in the vineyard.  They did not own it, but they laid claim to it.  The owner sent messengers.  He sent servants to them.  He sent his own son thinking that they would respect him as the official representative of the owner.  They did not.  They cast him out and killed him, thinking that his death would end the claim on the vineyard.  The opportunity was theirs to take.  The reward was theirs to receive.  But greed had consumed them and they could not see beyond their false claim.

Christ came into this world to bring the word to all who would listen.  He came so that we could know and believe in the Father.  He cast out demons.  He healed the sick, cured the lame, opened the eyes of the blind, made the lepers whole, even raised the dead to give signs of the power given him from the Father.  Yet even this was not enough to convince that he was the Messiah, the chosen one.  Evil had taken hold of Israel.  Power and influence were challenged.  He came to break those bonds to set the people free and give them new life.

We celebrate Easter on this day, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We celebrate with joy and gladness the gift that he has given to all, the gift of life.  Though he paid a horrific price for our freedom, he accomplished the will of God our Father through the passion of love.  His love is fulfilling.  His love is all encompassing.  His love is for all peoples throughout the entire
world.  His love is eternal throughout all time.  We are his people, his creation; he is our Father.  Let us be glad this day that it is finished. 

Read the sign of the times! Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ. Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself. Do not study it in parts reading one passage nd then skipping to another, but read it for understanding. Read it for knowledge. Read it for faith. Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ .   The Holy Spirit awaits you. Christ seeks to know you. Open the door and let him in. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

St. Matthew, Chapter 21, verses: 38; The Inheritance.

Our paragraph topic is:  (The vine-dressers kill the master's son) Part 1. 

They were greedy and full of themselves.  They had beaten the messengers, killed several of the servants, and injured several more.  They were serious about keeping that which did not belong to them.  They were joyous in thinking that the householder would not come and claim his property.  They believed that they had taken what was not theirs and made it there own.

The householder knew that something was wrong.  He offered an opportunity for the vine-dressers to change.  He sent them several messengers to warn them of what they were doing.  He finally sent his son, his heir to be, to claim his rights.  But the vine-dressers had a different plan.  They figured that they could take the vineyard from both the householder and the heir apparent.    "But the vine-dressers, on seeing the son, said among themselves, ' This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance.' " 

So here they were, vine-dressers, filled with greed, thinking that what was not theirs was theirs and willing to go to any means to enforce their claim.  They had killed others before, the servants sent to claim the fruit.  Why not kill the heir since the householder had not come himself?  Maybe he was dead.  Maybe he was ill.  Maybe he was in prison and could not claim his rights.  Or maybe his son was the only other person to have a viable claim to the vineyard.  With him gone there would be no other challenge. 

Greed had taken over.  Lost were they to their passions.  Dead they were to the opportunity to turn around.  Yet they were too far down the road to destruction to turn back.  They were lost.  They were dead.

Today we can think about those who take the same road as the vine-dressers.  Take what is not theirs and die with the consequences.  This is the society that we live in.  Murder, theft, deception, lies, beatings, mutilations, all in the name of greed.  Some may even justify their actions in the name of need.  But what it all boils down to is a turning away from the boundaries given to us by our Father to keep us from harm.

We could say that those laws, those rules favor the privileged people and not the poor.  And yet it is not the laws that we live by in whatever locale we live.  It is the commandments given to us by our God and Father that protect us.  For beyond those commandments lie the influence of the world and the world would turn us away from our Father and toward evil.  The world would have us loose that which was freely given and replace it with eternal damnation.

The Father is patient.  The Father is loving.  The Father is forgiving.  The Father is merciful.  For we do not know what is hidden from us that will influence us to evil.  But the day will come when what is hidden in the darkness will come to light and all will see.  The time is now.  The time is here to know that you are saved, that you are blessed, that you are rich beyond all that earthly desires can fulfill.  For what thing of value could a man give that is more valuable to save his own soul?

Read the sign of the times! Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ. Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself. Do not study it in parts reading one passage nd then skipping to another, but read it for understanding. Read it for knowledge. Read it for faith. Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ .   The Holy Spirit awaits you. Christ seeks to know you. Open the door and let him in.