From Pastor Perry

Matthew 18:1–6 (ESV)

Who Is the Greatest?

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

 

Jesus demonstrates that humility is the hallmark of greatness in the Kingdom of heaven. Humility means confessing our inability to do anything at all to become worthy before God and earn salvation. Humility depends entirely on God’s mercy for forgiveness. It looks to Jesus Christ as the Savior who became one with sinners to redeem them.

 

 

I pray:  Daily teach me, dear Jesus, to turn and become like a child. Amen.

 

 

Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1620.

Matthew 17:24–27 (ESV)

The Temple Tax

24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” 25 He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” 26 And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”

 

Nobody enjoys paying taxes… well, almost nobody.  I find it interesting that the government has often employed tax stamps to stop drug trade.  Their rationale is that you must buy tax stamps for the drugs, otherwise they can get you for tax evasion.  I find this humorous.  Well in today’s reading, the tax collectors go after Jesus for tax evasion.  Yet, Jesus pays the tax required.  He uses a miracle of pulling a sheckel out of the mouth of a fish.

 

I pray: O Lord, help me to be a good citizen and a follower of Christ.  Amen.

Matthew 17:22–23 (ESV)

Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection

22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.

 

This is the second time that Jesus predicts his death.  This is a simpler prediction in which he does not predict who will kill him.  He does say “they will kill him” and that “he will be raised on the third day.”  This is news that they still do not want to hear… because they don’t understand the plan of Salvation.

 

I pray: O Lord, I pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”  I cannot stop your plan, but use me to reach out to others and to share the Gospel.  Amen.

Matthew 17:14–20 (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon

14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy whom His disciples have been unable to help. Their faltering faith has let down a seriously afflicted person. Sometimes our weak faith may do the same. When we express our own doubts and fears, family members and friends may be led to question God’s promises. Yet the strength of our faith does not flow from us but is the work of the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament. Our prayer must ever be: “Lord, increase our faith.”

 

I pray: Lord Jesus, give me great faith, that I may receive the fullness of the gifts You promise. Amen.

 

 

Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1620.

Matthew 17:14–20 (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon

14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

The disciples try to heal the demon possessed boy, but they are not able to do so.  They want to know why?  Jesus says, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.”  It is their doubts, their weak faith that prevents them.  The Lutheran Study Bible states: Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy whom His disciples have been unable to help. Their faltering faith has let down a seriously afflicted person. Sometimes our weak faith may do the same. When we express our own doubts and fears, family members and friends may be led to question God’s promises. Yet the strength of our faith does not flow from us but is the work of the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament. Our prayer must ever be: “Lord, increase our faith.”

 

 

I pray: Lord Jesus, give me great faith, that I may receive the fullness of the gifts You promise. Amen.

 

 

Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1620.

Latest comments

27.05 | 16:27

Pastor: on my e mails, a note said that you were trying to contact me. Now,
I am having trouble reaching you. Was it important? In Christ, daisy

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10.02 | 08:33

Look at the Words say they "fell away". The had it, but lost it. Just like the Bible says your name can be blotted out of the Book of Life.

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10.02 | 08:25

Welcome, I know I wanted .com or .org, but both were in use at the time.I started this as an experiment and it took off. I hope your site will serve the Lord.

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10.02 | 03:32

I have just begun to start a blog called christTalk as well. Mine is a .com site. I was checking to see if my site was up and this is how i come to find yours.

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