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Blasphemy of the Spirit? And more...
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 2017
Posted by: Hackberry House of Chosun | more..
  1. Matthew 12:40. Three days and three nights?

So many theories accompany this question! Wanting to be literal, as I normally do, men have surmised that in fact “Good Friday” should be “Good Thursday.” That is, the crucifixion happened on Thursday afternoon. Thus, He was in the grave Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night. He was also in the grave Thursday “day”, Friday “day”, Saturday “day” and… wait a minute. Sunday would make it [part of] four days. So that can’t be right.

And no use counting 72 hours. That won’t work, and the text nowhere mentions hours, only days.

I am forced into the explanation I have read in book after book: the Jewish rendering of time allows for any part of a day – however small – to be reckoned as a full day. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, will have to stand.

One confirmation of this principle is found in the exchange of “three days” with the “third day” in several passages. See Matthew 27:63-64. “After three days” to us is 72 hours plus one minute. To the writer of Matthew it could mean any time after 48 hours.

Understand?

I may have confused you more. But it is a question that you will confront again. Be ready…

  1. Luke 11:51. Who was “Zacharias”?

This one is a puzzler.

Let’s go first to 2 Chronicles 24:20-22. There is told the story of one Zechariah (Hebrew spelling), the son of Jehoiada the priest. He lets the people know of their disobedience, and is soon stoned to death in the court of the Temple. The murder was accomplished by Joash, who had been raised and trained in the things of God by Zechariah’s father. Sad, awful tale.

This man, whose story is told at the end of the history of Israel, coupled with the mention of Abel, from the beginning of the creation, illustrated the all-inclusive evil of the people calling themselves God’s people.

Simple enough?

Not so fast. Turn to Zechariah (the prophet), 1:1. Here was another man of God. Of his death we know nothing. His life was lived 40 years after the Zechariah of 2 Chronicles. And, says the prophet’s first verse, his father was Berechiah…

So?

So, Matthew, who tells this same incident in Jesus’ life, has Jesus calling the Zechariah of 2 Chronicles (presumably), the son of Berechiah.

What was such a perfect fit in Luke now becomes a real problem in Matthew.

Options:

  • Zechariah the prophet is murdered later, and we simply do not have a record of it. Neither does any Jewish tradition.
  • There is a copyist error in Matthew. It always troubles me when I run across such things, but we must accept the fact that we do not have the originals, and there were some errors that crept in this way. Nothing that is essential to our salvation or growth in Christ is affected this way, but please learn to live with the imperfections, not of the Word of God, but of our translations.
  1. Matthew 10:28. How does Jesus imply the resurrection of evil men here?

John mentions the resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation. Though Matthew’s account of Jesus does not go that far, this warning of Jesus makes it clear. After death, a man’s soul still lives. His original body is destroyed, but he is given a resurrected body with which to come forth and be publicly judged and punished.

  1. Mark 3:29-30. Who blasphemes the Spirit?

Mark tells us that the reason Jesus started this discussion was that people were saying He had an unclean spirit. Though He could and will forgive insults to His person, He cannot forgive those who do not properly identify the voice of God coming to them by the Spirit of God. Reason? God calls men to Himself by that Spirit. A person who is so dead as not to hear the Voice of God shall not live. If every time a person hears God, he thinks it is the devil, how can he ever be saved?

Jesus is identifying their hardness of heart here. Let us be sure that we know and obey His Voice.

  1. Matthew 12:37. How is it we are justified by words?

Scripture speaks of justification by faith. And by works. And now, by words.

Evangelical Christians understand that it is the grace of God that stirs within us, causing us to believe to the saving of our souls. Proof of that salvation is a life of good works put in order by the eternal plan of God.

So where do words come into this picture?

Jesus makes it easy for us earlier in the passage: Verse 33 talks of good trees being a prerequisite for good works. Then there is the man who has good treasure and from that good treasure brings forth good things.

Part of the good fruit and good treasure is the flow of words that come from our mouth. He is not saying that we should memorize and recite certain magic words to save us, He is saying that words that flow from our mouth are the evidence to all around us of what is on the inside.

Our words will be held against us, or brought to bear for us, as witnesses of the reality of our treasure.

  1. Luke 13:3, 5. Is it not true that “good” men perish in these ways, also?

The Jews were convinced that some people who had just died must be more wicked than they, since they were still alive.

Here is my question. All men perish. Physically, I mean. Some men in this story have just perished by horrible occasions of persecution and suffering. But good people are persecuted, as well as bad. Good people suffer, as well as evil ones. How could Jesus use death, even violent death, as a motivation to repent, when even the repentant must die, and some of them violently?

I’ll let you struggle with this one, except to add that the nation of Israel was about to be judged horrifically for its straying from God, its hardness of heart, and its rejection of God Himself in the person of His Son. Israel did not repent as they are here warned to do. The rest is history.

  1. Luke 13:23. Did Jesus answer the question? How?

I believe He answered in the affirmative: Few will be saved. But we see innumerable people entering in to the Kingdom in the Book of Revelation. Our conclusion is that there shall be few, but only when compared to the “many” mentioned here. Think of the billions who have lived. Most have rejected God’s way of salvation, or not even sought it. But even so, a number as the sand of the sea will get it. That’s a promise that goes back to Abraham.

  1. Luke 14:2. What is dropsy?

From MedicineNet:

“An old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water. In years gone by, a person might have been said to have dropsy. Today one would be more descriptive and specify the cause. Thus, the person might have edema due to congestive heart failure.

“Edema is often more prominent in the lower legs and feet toward the end of the day as a result of pooling of fluid from the upright position…”

  1. Luke 14:26. We must hate?

It’s still there, this troublesome word. God even used it of Esau. “Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.” He shows us here that hatred, a pure hatred of evil, is a must for every child of God. How else shall we bear eternity, knowing that so many of our acquaintances have been [justly] condemned by our Father?

Hatred need not turn into meanness or desire to hurt. But it must mean separation from the thing hated. It must mean clinging to the one loved.

Category:  Bible Study

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