Gospel of Matthew 11
After Jesus had finished giving directions to his twelve disciples, he left that place in order to teach and preach in their towns. 2 Now John had heard in prison what the Christ was doing, and he sent a message by his disciples, 3 And asked: “Are you ‘The Coming One,’ or are we to look for someone else?” 4 The answer of Jesus to the question was: “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind recover their sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are made clean and the deaf hear; the dead, too, are raised to life, and the gospel is told to the poor. 6 And blessed is the one who finds no hindrance in me.”
7 While these men were going back, Jesus began to say to the crowds with reference to John: 8 “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed waving in the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man richly dressed? Why, those who wear rich things are to be found in the courts of kings! 9 What, then, did you go for? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet.”
10 “This is the man of whom scripture says: ‘Behold, I am myself sending my messenger before thy face, And he shall prepare thy way before thee.’11 I tell you, no one born of a woman has yet appeared who is greater than John the Baptist; and yet the lowliest in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the time of John the Baptist to this very hour, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For the teaching of all the prophets and of the law continued until the time of John; 14 And, if you are ready to accept it, John is himself the Elijah who was destined to come. 15 Let those who have ears hear.
16 But to what shall I compare the present generation? It is like little children sitting in the market–places and calling out to their playmates: 17 ‘We have played the flute for you, but you have not danced; We have wailed, but you have not mourned.’18 For, when John came, neither eating nor drinking, men said ‘He has a devil in him’; 19 And now that the Son of Man has come, eating and drinking, they are saying: ‘Here is a glutton and a wino, a friend of tax–gatherers and sinners!’ And yet wisdom is vindicated by her actions.”
20 Then Jesus began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been done, because they had not repented: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For, if the miracles which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 Yet, I tell you, the doom of Tyre and Sidon will be more bearable in the day of judgment than yours.”
23 “And you, Capernaum! Will you ‘exalt yourself to heaven’? ‘You shall go down to the place of death.’ For, if the miracles which have been done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing to this day. 24 Yet, I tell you, the doom of Sodom will be more bearable in the day of judgment than yours.”
25 At that same time Jesus uttered the words: “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that, though thou has hidden these things from the wise and learned, thou has revealed them unto babes. 26 Yes, Father, I thank thee that this has seemed good to thee. 27 Everything has been committed to me by my Father; nor does anyone fully know the Son, except the Father, nor fully know the Father, except the Son, and those to whom the Son may choose to reveal him.
28 Come to me, all you who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest! 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly at heart, and ‘you shall find rest for your souls’; 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
To read Chapter 12 of the Gospel of Matthew, please go to: The Wisdom of Solomon
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On earth as it is in heaven…
(Understanding God’s Divide)
In the last two chapters on the Lord’s Prayer, we’ve established that our entrance into the kingdom of heaven depends on our sense of wonder; our ability to think and love; our patience; and our acceptance of will as a matter of choice—a choice shared equally with God, the Father. We’ve also learned that the kingdom is filled with potential, and with treasures that can be experienced today and every day. Unfortunately, we often lose sight of this. Even those who have dedicated their lives to preaching the Word of God often remain just outside the kingdom’s doorway.
Take for example the story of Jesus and the scribe in the Book of Mark. In this story a teacher of Mosaic law asks Jesus which commandment supersedes all others. Jesus replies that it is the first of the ten: “The Lord our God is the one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” He then adds that the second most important commandment is: “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thou dost love thyself.” The scribe heartily agrees and congratulates Jesus on being so wise. Jesus, in turn, acknowledges the scribe’s own wisdom, telling him that he is “not far from the kingdom of God.”1
This story shows once again that Jesus did not view heaven as a celestial mansion in the sky or a Garden of Eden revisited. Instead, he saw God’s kingdom as a hidden reality waiting to be brought into the light.2 Much more than a state of mind, it is a state of being wherein the heart, soul, and mind work as one—and which find their perfect stride in Christ. Hitting that stride takes more than having one’s heart in the right place or possessing wisdom (such as the scribe had), it means tapping the latent power of the Holy Spirit to bring harmony to our divided house, and likewise to God’s.
When Jesus says that with the coming of the kingdom of heaven and the Son of Man two shall be found and then one taken and the other left,3 he is talking about our divided selves. He is not saying, as we discussed before, that there is going to be a rapture, where the faithful are whisked up into the sky while the sinners are left to stew in their juices.
As the story of Jesus got passed down, the term Son of Man4 became interchangeable with Son of God.6 But for Jesus, these appellations were not the same. The Son of Man refers to our ego’s currently limited perception of our selves. And while this perception is necessary because (as symbolized by John the Baptist) it bears witness to Christ and the Word of God,5 it also ultimately must be beheaded6 (i.e., crucified)7 to make way for the Son of God and our expanding Christ consciousness—wherein which we treat our neighbors as ourselves because we recognize them as true reflections of ourselves.
Each one of us is born into a kingdom divided. And in this kingdom, we find both Christ and Satan competing for our attention—one using the Holy Spirit as his emissary and the other using the Ego. Yet it is a kingdom which cannot stand,8 for it causes us to love one master and hate the other.9 Or rather we go through life flipping allegiances between the two. When praying The Lord’s Prayer, we therefore must think deeply on the ways we are divided against our better selves, divided against our consciences, divided against Christ—for these divisions prevent us from manifesting the kingdom of heaven within and recognizing its fruits around us.
Consider Martha’s behavior in the…
The Lord’s Prayer. To continue reading, click on page 2 at the bottom.
- Then came up one of the teachers of the law who had heard their discussions. Knowing that Jesus had answered them wisely, he asked him this question: “What is the first of all the commandments?” 29 “The first,” answered Jesus, “is: ‘Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is the one Lord; 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thou dost love thyself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 32 “Wisely answered, teacher!” exclaimed the teacher of the law. “It is true, as you say, that ‘there is one God,’ and that ‘there is no other besides him’; 33 And to ‘love him with all one’s heart, and with all one’s understanding, and with all one’s strength,’ and to ‘love one’s neighbor as one loves oneself’ is far beyond all ‘burnt-offerings and sacrifices.’” 34 Seeing that he had answered with discernment, Jesus said to him: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one ventured to question him further. – Mark 12:28–34 [↩]
- Nothing is hidden unless some day it comes to light, nor was anything ever kept hidden but that it should some day come into the light of day. – Mark 4:22 [↩]
- Whoever is eager to get the most out of his life will lose it; but whoever will lose it shall preserve it. 34 On that night, I tell you, there shall be two in one bed, the one will be taken and the other left; 35 Two shall be grinding together, one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two shall be in the field, the one taken and the other left. – Luke 17:33-36 [↩]
- “Foxes have holes,” answered Jesus, “and wild birds their roosting-places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” – Matthew 8:20 [↩]
- There appeared a man sent from God, whose name was John; 7 He came as a witness: to bear witness to the light that through him all men might believe. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to bear witness to the Light. – John 1:6 [↩]
- He immediately dispatched one of his bodyguards, with orders to bring John’s head. The man went and beheaded John in the prison. – Mark 6:27 [↩]
- The Son of Man is to be given up to be crucified. – Matthew 26:2 [↩]
- When a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot last. 25 And when a household is divided against itself, it will not be able to last. – Mark 3:24-25 [↩]
- No servant can serve two masters, for, either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will attach himself to one and despise the other. – Luke 16:13 [↩]
Gospel of Mark 13
As Jesus was walking out of the temple courts, one of his disciples said to him: “Teacher, look what fine stones and buildings these are!” 2 “Do you see these great buildings?” asked Jesus. “Not a single stone will be left here upon another, which shall not be thrown down.” 3 When Jesus had sat down on the Mount of Olives, facing the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew questioned him privately: 4 “Tell us when this will be, and what will be the sign when all this is drawing to its close.”
5 Then Jesus began: “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will take my name, and come saying ‘I am He’, and will lead many astray. 7 And, when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; such things must occur; but the end is not yet. 8 For ‘nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;’ there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This will be but the beginning of the birth-pangs.”
9 “See to yourselves! They will betray you to courts of law; and you will be taken to synagogues and beaten; and you will be brought up before governors and kings for my sake, that you may bear witness before them. 10 But the gospel must first be proclaimed to every nation. 11 Whenever they betray you and hand you over for trial, do not be anxious beforehand as to what you shall say, but say whatever is given you at the moment; for it will not be you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”
12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; and children will turn against their parents, and cause them to be put to death; 13 And you will be hated by everyone on account of my name. Yet the man that endures to the end shall be saved.”
14 “As soon, however, as you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where he ought not” (let those who read understand) “then those of you who are in Judea must take refuge in the mountains; 15 And those on the house-tops must not go down, or go in to get anything out of their houses; 16 Nor must anyone who are on their farms turn back to get their cloaks. 17 And woe to the women that are with child, and for those that are nursing infants in those days!”
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To continue reading Chapter 13 of the Gospel of Mark and the False Christs text, please click on page 2 below.
Gospel of Matthew 28
After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary had gone to look at the grave, 2 When suddenly a great earthquake occurred. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and seated himself upon it. 3 His appearance was as dazzling as lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow; 4 And, in their terror of him, the men on guard trembled violently and became like dead men.
5 But the angel, addressing the women, said: “You need not be afraid. I now that it is Jesus, who was crucified, for whom you are looking. 6 He is not here; for he has risen, as he said he would. Come, and see the place where he was lying; 7 And then go quickly and say to his disciples: ‘Jesus is risen from the dead, and is going before you into Galilee; there you will see him.’ Remember, I have told you.”
8 On this they left the tomb quickly, in awe and great joy, and ran to tell the news to the disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Welcome!” he said. The women went up to him, and clasped his feet, bowing to the ground before him. Then Jesus said to them: 10 “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee, and they shall see me there.”
11 While they were still on their way, some of the guard came into the city, and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 So they and the elders met and, after holding a consultation, gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 And told them to say that his disciples came in the night, and stole him while they were asleep; 14 “And should this matter come before the governor,” they added, “we will satisfy him, and see that you have nothing to fear. 15 So the soldiers took the money, and did as they were instructed. And this story has been current among the Jews from that day to this.
16 The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to meet him; 17 And, when they saw him, they bowed to the ground before him; although some felt doubtful. 18 Then Jesus came up, and spoke to them: “All authority in heaven and on the earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the faith of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 And teaching them to lay to heart all the commands that I have given you; and remember I myself am with you every day until the close of the age.”
To read the previous chapter (27) of the Gospel of Matthew, please click on the following link: Forsaken Me.
Gain fresh insight into the Lord’s Prayer. Read our free online book The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life. The prayer’s hidden teachings will enrich and inspire you. Click the following link to begin reading the Living Hour book now: The Lord’s Prayer.
Browse the entire Gospel of Matthew here: Gospel of Matthew