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JESUS TALKS ABOUT BEING WITH US

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:15-20 – NINETEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Today’s Gospel reading is about fraternal correction. Jesus describes a rudimentary form of due process. If someone appears to be doing wrong, speak to him or her. If that fails, bring a witness. If that does not work, refer the matter to the local Church. The Lord is showing us that there is a Christian way of settling problems. If discussion does not help, there are alternatives. Private resolution should always be the first step before we initiate a public process process or litigation. Fraternal correction is never easy to give or to receive. Some spiritual directors suggest that each of us have a “truth speaker” in our lives – an individual we trust who can speak directly, freely and candidly to us about any personal shortcoming in our life.

Whenever Christians gather to pray, discuss, disagree or to correct one another, the Lord Jesus is still among us.

No area of our life, not even our disagreements, should be cut off from the healing presence of Christ.

Jakarta, 15 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

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Posted by on August 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

2 CORINTHIANS 1:2 [KJV]

Jakarta, 15 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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WE NEED TO RE-LEARN CHILD-LIKE QUALITIES

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14 – NINETEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Tuesday, 14 August 2018

We are fortunate that the disciples asked Jesus the question, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus’ answer is delightfully refreshing, so spontaneous and so revealing of His heart of love. Jesus indicates to us qualities which are endearing to Him.

He begins by telling His disciples that they must ‘change’ and become like ‘little children’. This is a call to us who may be too preoccupied with the pursuit of personal gain to alter (change) the direction of our life. We need to re-learn child-like qualities. The humility of the child enables him to be content with the simple things of life, not to complete or compare himself with others and not to take offence. The child has no malice and is open and trusting. Such should be our trust in our heavenly Father. Another characteristic is the ability to marvel and be surprised by the little wonders of life.

To Jesus, every individua is important. Jesus thinks in terms of each person. Such should be the attitude of His disciples. No one is unimportant … the child, the lonely, the helpless, the marginalized. May we learn from them even as we try to minister to them.

Let us ask Lord Jesus to create a child-like heart as well as to put a humble and trusting spirit within each and every one of us.

Jakarta, 14 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2018 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2018

 

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2 THESSALONIANS 3:5 [KJV]

Jakarta, 14 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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2 CORINTHIANS 1:4

Jakarta, 13 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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JESUS AND THE HALF-SHEKEL TEMPLE TAX – THE BACKGROUND OF THE STORY

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 17:22-27 – NINETEENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Monday, 13 August 2018 

We may well ask why is it that this story of the half-shekel tax (the Temple tax) was ever transmitted at all? For reasons of space the gospel writers had to select their material. Why select this story? The Gospel of Matthew was written between A.D. 80 and 90. Now just a little before that time Jews and Jewish Christians had been faced with a very real and a very disturbing problem. We saw that every male Jew over twenty had to pay the Temple tax; but the Temple was totally destroyed in A.D. 70, never to be rebuilt. After destruction of the Temple, Vespasian, the Roman emperor, enacted that the half-shekel Temple tax should now be paid to the treasury of the Temple-of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome.

Here indeed was a problem. Many of the Jews and of the Jewish Christians were violently inclined to rebel against this enactment. Any such widespread rebellion would have had disastrous consequences, for it would have been utterly crushed at once, and would have gained the Jews and the Christians the reputation of being bad and disloyal and disaffected citizens.

The story was put into the gospels to tell the Christians, especially the Jewish Christians, that, however unpleasant they might be, the duties of a citizen must be shouldered. It tells us that Christianity and good citizenship go hand in hand. The Christian who exempts himself from the duties of good citizenship is not only failing in citizenship, he is also failing in Christianity.

Source: William Barclay, THE DAILY STUDY BIBLE – The Gospel of Matthew Volume 2 – Chapters 11-23 (pages 170-171)

Jakarta, 13 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2018 in TODAY'S THOUGHT 2018

 

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ROMANS 5:8 [KJV]

Jakarta, 13 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

 

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