Without Honour #10

Friday, March 27, 2020

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4 KJV).

What valuable lesson can we learn from Nazareth—a moral the Nazarenes deliberately failed to learn?

Firstly, it is infinitesimally important that we positively respond to the Scriptures rightly divided as soon as possible. If we do not immediately react in faith, it becomes less and less likely that we will ever believe it. The Nazarenes were exposed to God’s Son, Jesus Christ, for almost three decades. He grew up among them, so they knew Him better than any other group in Israel or the world. Unfortunately, the Nazarenes started off with ungratefulness. As the years passed, they grew increasingly opposed to Him. Their animosity toward Him became so great they finally attempted to throw Him headfirst off a hillside. If only they had believed on Him the very moment He arrived in their town. Alas, they did not! If only they had believed their own Hebrew Bible as soon as they read it. Alas, they did not!

Secondly, it is unfathomably critical that we believe the Bible in the heart. This is more than knowing, reading, or hearing Scripture—the Nazarenes did that for centuries, and still wound up in unbelief. It is more than a mental assent or agreement—the Nazarenes did that for centuries too, and were still unbelieving. This is more than “playing church,” attending services out of “obligation” or “duty”—the Nazarenes did that for centuries as well, and still wound up in unbelief. Having the Bible is not enough—the Nazarenes did that for centuries as well, and were still unbelieving.

Dear readers, as soon as we learn the Gospel of Grace—“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—we need to exercise heart faith in it. Immediately after we discover the Apostle Paul is God’s spokesman to us—“the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13)—we should exercise heart faith in it. If there is any delay, and anything other than heart faith, we will treat Jesus Christ and His Word with more dishonour than Nazareth did long ago!

Without Honour #9

Thursday, March 26, 2020

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4 KJV).

What valuable lesson can we learn from Nazareth—a moral the Nazarenes deliberately failed to learn?

Read Matthew 8:20: “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” The Lord said it another way in John 5:43: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” He was “without honour” among His own family, “friends,” and neighbors (today’s Scripture; cf. Matthew 13:57). This Greek term is rendered “despised” in 1 Corinthians 4:10. In other words, His acquaintances, contemporaries, and peers spent so much time not appreciating Him that they now began to hate Him with an unparalleled passion. It was now impossible for them to hide their unbelief. Animosity was seething in their souls—and they responded most violently in Nazareth by trying to take His life (Luke 4:28,29)!

Really, when we consider their detestable attitude, it would have been far better had they never known the truth. It would have been far better had they never lived with Jesus Christ for 30 years. Having so much opportunity to know the truth—and yet squandering that time by vehemently rejecting it—their accountability before God is increased considerably. Recall those somber warnings of Christ spoken in John 12:48: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

Second Thessalonians chapter 2 says of these very people: “[10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” They fervently rejected Christ, but they will gleefully receive Antichrist!

Let us summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….

Bible Q&A #705: “Who was ‘Herod?’

Without Honour #8

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4 KJV).

What valuable lesson can we learn from Nazareth—a moral the Nazarenes deliberately failed to learn?

Romans 1:18-32 explains how the world declined in its morals and ethics to result in the worldwide problems we see today. All people once had opportunity to be the LORD God’s instruments in the Earth, but they willfully refused His revelation. Therefore, human civilization deteriorated in the centuries following Adam’s creation. In Genesis chapters 6–8, God finally sent the Great Deluge of Noah’s day to cleanse the world of evil (violence, murder). During chapters 9–11, the nations gather around the Tower of Babel. Such paganism summarizes man’s attitude during his first 2,000 years. The Creator God gave the nations over to their preferred spiritual darkness!

In chapter 12, the LORD God sets aside one man to begin a new nation—Abraham, the father of Israel. Through Abraham and his descendants, God will reach the entire world. Romans 3:1,2: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles [Word, revelation] of God.” God gave Israel His Word, so Israel can teach it to the Gentiles. “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 147:19,20).

Moses told Israel in Deuteronomy 4:6-8: “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

Israel had that Word of God for 16 centuries, but she did not appreciate it. By the time her Messiah arrived, fulfilling that Word, she dishonoured Him too….

Without Honour #7

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4 KJV).

What valuable lesson can we learn from Nazareth—a moral the Nazarenes deliberately failed to learn?

Christianity’s bitterest enemies, the Bible’s most outspoken critics, are often people who grew up in “church.” Why? Although they were “close to the truth,” they did not walk in the light they had or have heart faith in that information. It was just mental gymnastics, merely “playing church.” They did not “honour” the sound doctrine they had opportunity to learn.

Look at it another way. Some Protestants endlessly ridicule their own Protestant Bible—the King James text and its underlying manuscript witnesses. For over 400 years, the Authorized Version has protected Bible-believing Christians from the doctrinal errors of Roman Catholicism (the manuscripts underlying the modern English versions). However, the Church the Body of Christ has overall demonstrated it has not received God’s Word with a grateful heart (just like the Nazarenes!).

Romans chapter 1: “[18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; [19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. [20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

“[22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. [24] Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

The Nazarenes are just a small sample of this worldwide problem….

A Sickness to Guard Against!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:12,13 KJV).

The world’s deadliest illness—and we have all contracted it!

Friend, as you have heard, the coronavirus has been circulating worldwide for several weeks now. Unfortunately, much of the mainstream media and many politicians seem to be generating hysteria. It is better to listen directly to medical officials. We should certainly take such health threats seriously—especially if elderly and suffering preexisting health conditions (such as respiratory issues). To minimize risk, we should sneeze into our sleeves or disposable tissues, and wash our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If feeling ill, we should seek medical treatment.

Scripture speaks of something far worse than coronavirus or any other such physical illness. Jesus Christ came to the nation Israel on a “medical mission.” As a “physician,” He diagnosed sinners as “sick.” Healthy people do not need the doctor; sick individuals require medical attention. Yet, many Jewish religious leaders assumed they had no sin problem. They were self-righteous, as found in 1 John chapter 1: “[8] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Like most today, national Israel refused to see their sin problem. Content with their “goodness,” they were oblivious to their fatal illness. Let us not be foolish in rejecting the Saviour! The Gospel of Grace is, “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Damnable, Despicable Dishonesty

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

“And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King (Luke 23:1,2 KJV).

Dishonesty! Despicable! Damnable!

As Jesus’ trial got underway, His complainants hurled toward Him all sorts of wild and false charges. In fact, they accused Him of “perverting” the nation Israel, corrupting it. At first, this seems to be a rather vague allegation, but the context makes it clear that they are attempting to get Him into trouble with the Roman government. After all, Judaean Governor Pontius Pilate is a Roman official, someone quite interested in learning anything about possible political rivals. As for their accusation that Jesus discouraged the Jews from paying taxes to Rome, this is an outright lie.

Matthew chapter 22 speaks of Jesus’ final week before His crucifixion: “[15] Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. [16] And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. [17] Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? [18] But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? [19] Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. [20] And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? [21] They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. [22] When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.”

Unsuccessful in “trapping” Jesus, they did not mind lying about this account days later at His trial. Christ, although King, certainly understood Daniel chapter 2, how sinful Israel would be under Gentile dominion and oppression until He sat on David’s throne (still future). He thus answered in the affirmative, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How can I most effectually deal with cultists who knock on my front door?

Loathsome, Ludicrous Lies

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days (Matthew 26:59-61 KJV).

Lies! Ludicrous! Loathsome!

Perjurers were recruited to testify against Jesus to bring incriminating evidence against Him so He would be worthy of the death penalty. While many wanted to fib, none could agree on a specific lie. Finally, two false witnesses came and settled on one falsehood that would be serious enough. They twisted Jesus’ words from three years earlier (when His ministry began).

Here is what Christ originally said, John chapter 2: “[13] And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. [14] And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: [15] And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; [16] And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. [17] And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. [18] Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? [19] Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. [20] Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? [21] But he spake of the temple of his body.”

The Lord argued that His authority would be proven when He would rise again after they executed Him. His physical body was a “temple,” filled with the very life of Father God (as the Jerusalem Temple was to be, but the Jews corrupted it with apostasy, materialism, and greed). Brethren, let us not be surprised when the lost world distorts our words and lies about us, too!