A Parallel Gospel Reading: The Triumphal Entry

Here is a parallel gospel reading of the Triumphal Entry. I have prepared this as a side by side PDF document that you can download by clicking here or going to my resource page. I also suggest that you check out Pastor Mark Wheeler’s Sermon on these text titled All Hail King Jesus. It can be found on his blog: On Target. All scriptures used here are in the ESV were accessed on the Blueletterbible.com webpage.

Matthew 21:1-11 ESV

 1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Mark 11:1-11 ESV

1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” 11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Luke 19:28-40 ESV

28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near–already on the way down the Mount of Olives–the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

John 12:12-19 ESV

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

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What Does the World Think About the Gospel?

What Does the World Think About the Gospel?

This is how some seem to view the Gospel. The Bible can not be abridged. The whole truth must be received, not just what we like. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. [John 3:36 ESV] This cartoon was originally drawn and posted by the owner of Adam4.com. Check out some of his creative work and see the original post here: http://adam4d.com/john-316-18-american-popular-version/

A Prayer– Titus 2:11-14 and Psalm 23

The following is a prayer that is a combination of Titus 2:11-14 and the 23rd Psalm. I have been meditating on these text this week and combined the two into a sort of prayer or liturgy (Actually, I used it in my small group for this purpose).

After you read it, close your eyes and picture the the images of the 23rd Psalm. Can you see it? My favorite image was that of the Lord setting a banquet before me in the presence of my enemies. I can see all these people surrounding me, harassing me, sneering, and yet they fade out of sight and sound as the Lord leans over me and whispers to me, Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.(Isa.55:2b)”


A Prayer
Titus 2:11-14 & Psalm 23

For the Grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to those who believe.

I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, He is my shepherd. I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake and trains me to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live a self-controlled, upright, and godly life in this present age.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my heads with oil; my cup overflows as I
wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Amen.

Obey Your Leaders

7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. … 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Heb 13:7, 17 ESV

Here is a question to consider:

Do our church leaders groan over their leadership of us, or is it a source of joy for them?

Self inventory:

  • Do I willingly submit to those above me, or do I do it with grumbling and complaining (or flat out reject them)?
  • Am I grateful for my leaders, who are watching over my soul, teaching right doctrine?
  • Do I pray for my pastor, and other elders, asking God to help them to live lives that are worthy to imitate so that we might follow them and that they might give a good account to the Lord?

Our leaders need our support and appreciation, and GOD tells us that we are to give it. To neglect this “would be of no advantage to [us].”

New Testament Outlines: Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1 John

In a previous post I explained that I am outlining the New Testament. I begin by typing out the heading in each chapter and then I condense this to make my own outline. I have uploaded the ESV headings in PDF form here and on my resource download page.

In this update I have added Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1 John.

Click on these links to download the PDF outlines:

The Hour that Changes the World: How to Pray for an Hour (A Summary)

The Hour that Changes the World

Dick Eastman wrote a book in 1978 called The Hour That Changes The World.  It has been reprinted since that time. It’s focus is on prayer. In particular Eastman wants to convey the importance of Prayer and believes that Christians should devote more time to it.  In his book he makes a case for having a plan or an outline that would act as a guide for prayer. He gives several categories that could be used to split up an hour into twelve five-minute sections of prayer.

I have used this particular method with a great deal of success. I can say with all honestly that having a prayer guide like this helps one to have focus and will enable you to pray for at least an hour without repeating thing over and over. I am not saying that longer prayers equal better prayers, but if you do set aside and hour for prayer and make the effort to meet God in a sincere heart of worship, then this helps you to do so without rambling. And the great thing about it is that you are not locked into praying one set prayer; it’s just a guide. This is a great crossroads between spontaneous prayer and praying with a plan.

Today I adapted this method for use in the small group that I lead at my home.  It was a great time of worship.  This is not to say that it would not have been a worshipful time without the guide, but the guide was definitely helpful.

The following is Dick Eastman’s grouping.

1. Praise and Worship

2. Waiting on the Lord

3. Confession

4. Pray the Word

5. Watching

6. Intercession

7. Petitions

8. Thanksgiving

9. Song

10. Meditation

11. Listening

12. Praise

You can download a 10 page summary PDF of this technique by clicking here. You can also find it on my Resource Downloads page. This is a summary that I found somewhere on the internet about a year ago. If you would like tot read Eastman’s book, you can find it on Amazon by clicking here, or on Christianbook.com by clicking here. I have not been paid to endorse the book or been given anything to do so. I just thought people might like to see the information first hand.

 

ESV New Testament Outlines: John and Acts

In a previous post I explained that I am outlining the New Testament. I begin by typing out the heading in each chapter and then I condense this to make my own outline. I have uploaded the ESV headings in PDF form here and on my resource download page.

In this update I have added John and Acts.

Click on these links to download the PDF outlines:

Gently Restoring People

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jesus_writing

The Woman Caught In Adultery

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” [John 8:1-11 ESV]

One of the interesting parts about this event in the gospel is what happens here at the end. When people tell this story it often seems to be in an attempt to say that we should never call attention to sin. The Pharisees and the scribes were wrong to do what they did. I think these people cared less about her sin or her as a person (did they even see her as a person?) and more about trying to trap Jesus. They were right that she was in sin, BUT their motive was horrible. They had not considered this an occasion to lift a person up, but an opportunity to stone a sinner and bring this Jesus to ruin. There was no love in their motive. They were using their hands to hit, not to lift up and restore.

Now here is Jesus. He rescues her. That’s what Jesus does. He confronted the hypocritical religious establishment and they felt it hard. They left. (more on this below.) That is not were the story ends, although people tend to leave it at this point. Jesus, after saving her from and angry mob, and after releasing her from condemnation, tells her to stop sinning.

My point is this: it is not judgmental to point out sin if the motive is to help restore that person to their relationship with the Lord.  This should be done out of love, not self-righteous piety.

The Pharisees and scribes were judgmental, Jesus was not, even though he called what she was doing sin. Jesus wants to forgive us, he also wants our obedience. The obedience can’t save us or make us like GOD in it’s own right, but when he saves us we are to become obedient, we are to become more like him. (1 John 5:3-5; John 14:21)

So, correct: do not judge. However, know this: coming to a person in love and seeking to help restore them to rightful relationship with the Lord is a good thing, and it pleases God. What did Paul say to the Galatians?

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1

So if we care for people then let us do this: To the lost, those who do not know the Lord, let us share the gospel. This includes letting them know that we, they, everyone in the world, has been stained by sin. The good news is that while were sinners Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8) That is good news! This woman needed good news. She was afraid for her life, and–I am convinced–of her sinfulness. Christ gave her both a new life and a new beginning.

To the backslidden Christian, Let us in love take their hand, pray for them, and help them to come back to the simple truth of the Gospel: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

In either case, before we go to a person, let us examine ourselves, making sure we do not carry the same sin. The Pharisees and scribes would have done well to have first done some real self-examination. Even this however, comes from God. May he help us see our selves in truth and help us to help those around us. Amen.

P.S., Belief and unbelief– The un-condemned and condemned

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. [John 3:18 ESV]

As I read this text about the woman caught in adultery, I noticed something that I had not in past readings.  Jesus is not only gracious to this woman, but to the Pharisees and the scribes as well.  Jesus, on more than one occasion, was very harsh with the Pharisees and scribes but he was not in this case. He was gracious.

He would have been in the right to say as he had in the past, “You hypocrites!” and from there to tear apart their selfish arguments with truth. Instead, he extends to them an opportunity to see themselves as they really are: sinful. What a gift! This is right where we have to be in order to know and understand that we need to be saved. (Romans 6:23) But the saddest thing happens– they walk away.

Jesus stood before a huge crowd of people and one broken woman. Every one of them recipients of grace, and all but one walked away. Yes, they dropped their stones, but instead of falling at the feet of the only one that could bring them life they turned their backs on him looking for another way out. But the woman stayed.

Which one are you? Do you know the love of Christ? Do you have forgiveness? The point is not to be a follower of rules but a follower of GOD. Ask yourself, “Do I know this Jesus?” If you want to know more you can visit this link: http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/ or send me your questions in the form below.

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Mat 11:28-30 ESV]

 

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