By V.Rev.Thomas P.Mundukuzhy Cor Episcopa
(A Renowned Writer And Publisher. Author of many Christian Devotional Books. Sunday School Director of American Diocese, Malankara Orthodox Church.)

MATTHEW 17:22-27

1. Jesus told the disciples the second time about His forth-coming death: Talk openly; share with others our problems and situations.

2. They were sorrowful to hear the disturbing news:

3. Caperneum was Jesus' headquarters in Galilee. Which is ours?

4. The tribute money miraculously paid: only in St. Mathew's Gospel.

5. All Jewish males 20 and over have to pay an annual half-shekel taxes (about two day's wages) to support the temple: Exodus 30:11-16; Nehemiah 10:32-33: Our responsibility to support the Church and its activities ... Model to pay in the maintenance of the church.

6. Giving is better than receiving: Acts 20:35. The fish opened its mouth to give to the Church and to God; How about us?

7. This tax was collected about a month before passover (an indication about the closing events of Jesus' ministry).

8. The questioning attitude of the critics.

9. Peter did not argue about paying taxes.

10. Jesus was born under the Law (Galatians 4:4). So no objection; Disciplinarian ... followed the rules and commandments.

11. Jesus, the eternal son of God, is free from the taxes of the temple system. Only "strangers" to pay taxes (Isaiah 60:10-17).

12. In order not to offend, Jesus told Peter to pay the taxes. Woe to those who create division: Matthew 18:7; 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

13. Our conversation: Proverbs 12:18: Creates pain and enmity ... heart feelings: James 1:9; 3:5.

14. Jesus is penniless.

15. Wealth and other things entrusted us: Luke 19:11-27; Rich people's activities: James 5:1-6; Truth, faith, justice: 2 Corinthians 10:4; Away from immoralities; Ezekiel 18:21.

16. Even with loss of wealth, avoid division: Abraham to Loth: Genesis 13:8-9; Blanket also: Matthew 5:40; St. Paul: 1 Corinthians 6:7; Make settlement before offer sacrifice: Matthew 5:22-23; Anger: Ephesians 4:26.

17. Jesus' power to solve the problem: Money from the mouth of the fish caught from the sea to pay tax.

18. Fish in the sea: Man in the sea of sins: To catch them with preaching and converting.

19. Worked and paid the tax: Work hard

20. Peter worked for Jesus and paid tax

21. Jesus paid tax for Him as well as for Peter: Assurance that He takes care of those who share with Him.

MATTHEW 19:1-12
1. v.1: Jesus went to Judea, on the east side of Jordan.
2. v.2: There was a big following: Matthew 12:15
3. v.3: Two schools of interprtation: (1) Divorce for anything that displeased the husband (2) Only for infidelity by the wife.
4. vv.4-6: Jesus opposed all divorces: Genesis 1:27; 2:24; 5:2; Malachi 2:15; Mark 10:5-9; Ephesians 5:31; 1 Corinthians 6:16; 7:2. Marriage is for creation purposes. cf. Matthew 5:31-32.
5. v.7: The Old Testament command: Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 5:31
6. v.8: Moses gave the command as a concession to human sinfulness. A notification is better than sending her away. When God established marriage at creation, it was not like that: Hebrews 3:15; Malachi 2:16.
7. v.9: The first marriage shall be truly dissolved: Matthew 5:31-32; Mark 10:11; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:10.
8. v.10: Disciples thought it is inadvisable to marry: Proverbs 21:19
9. v.11: All are obliged to marry, except those who are gifted not to: 1 Corinthians 7:2, 7, 9, 17. Sexual relations are a normal and holy part of marriage: 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; 25-28.
10. v.12: Those who choose celibacy are free of family responsibilities so that they can give themselves completely to the work of God: 1 Corinthians 7:32.

LUKE 19:11-27
v.11: Jusus' disciples and the Jews expected an earthly kingdom soon to be established in Jerusalem. So with a parable, Jesus presented the nature of His kingdom: Acts 1:6

v.12: Jesus will ascend to heaven and receive the kingdom from God, the Father and will return later to establish His kingdom: Matthew 25:14-30; Mark 13:34.
v. 13: His servants shall be diligent in kingdom business until His return.
v.14: Many of the Jews refused to accept Him: v.27; John 1:11
v.15: Upon His return, each one has to account the assignments and answer.
vv.16-19: Commendation and reward from the Master: Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 16:10
vv.20-23: The unfaithful servant blame the Master for the negligence (Matthew 25:24) like most of us blame our disobedience on others or our God: From own mouth: 2 Samuel 1:16; Job 15:6; Matthew 12:37; 25:36.
vv.24-26: He who is diligent finds wider opportunities and he who fails finds less advancement. Be faithful for greater spiritual benefits at His coming: Matthew 13:12; 25:29; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18.
v.27: This may happen during the final judgment: 19:14; 13:27. JAMES 5:1-6
Wealth is good; but the attitude toward using it makes us good or bad. How do we make money? How do we spend it? Just for us! Do we help the needy? Do we dig it? parable of the Talents!.
v.1: The fate of the ungodly rich: Proverbs 11:28; Luke 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:9
v.2: Riches (grain, wine, oil) subject to spoilage: Jermiah 17:11; Matthew 6:19; Expensive garments (Acts 20:33); Job 13:28. Earthly wealth is temporary and futile to hoard it.
v.3: Corosion due to selfish hoarding which leads to judgment and destruction: Romans 2:5. Second coming: vv. 7-9; Amos 5:18
v.4: Old Testament Law for the laborer: Deuteronomy 24:14-15; Leveticus 19:13; Job 24:10; Jeremiah 22:13; Malachi 3:5; Exodus 2:23; Job 31:38. :Lord of Hosts": 1 samuel 17:45: God's awesome power.
vv.506: The ungodly rich live in self-indulgent luxury amid others' poverty and took the lives of the innocent and helpless who have no legal defense.

1. In our spiritual warfare, we have to face truth, faith and righteousness (v. 4).
2. Complete commitment to the will of God.
3. Love God with all our mind.

EXODUS 24:12-18
God offered a covenant to Israel (chapter 19) with certain requirements (chapters 20-23) and was accepted by a sacred ceremony.
v.12: God asks Moses to go up to the Mountain to receive the covenant (12). Only Moses alone can go (24:2, 15) and he did and received the tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18; 32:15; Deuteronomy 5:22). v.13: Moses obeyed God, arose with his helper Joshua (32:17) and went up to the hill.
v.14: Moses entrusted the people with Aaron and Hur, his trusted assistants (14:10, 12), during his absence.
v.16: The glory of the Lord rested in Mount Sinai (Exodus 16:10; 33:18; Numbers 14:10). Moses had to wait six days to hear from God who was hidden in the cloud.
v.17: God is far beyond human senses, though He is accessible: Exodus 3:2; Deuteronomy 4:26; 9:3; Hebrews 12:18, 29.
v.18: Moses spent there 40 days and 40 nights: Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9; 10:10.

1 SAMUEL 3:16-21
Eli's failure to control the wickedness of his sons prompted God to announce their destruction through Samuel, only 12 years old.
v.16: Eli called Samuel to find out the vision. Eli's words "My son" and Samuel's answer "Here I am" are noteworthy.
v.17: Eli warns to speak the truth without cover up or else face the consequences: Ruth 1:17.
v. 18: Samuel told everything the Lord told him (vv.11-14). Eli's submission to God's will.
v.19: Samuel grew up with the blessings of the Lord: 1 Samuel 2:21; Genesis 21:22; 28:15; 39:2, 21, 23, 1
Samuel 9:6.
vv.20-21: Samuel became a prophet for the whole land of Israel (Acts 3:24) as revealed by God: 1 Samuel 3:14.

EZEKIL 18:21-24
Turn away from unethical activities.
vv.21-22: If a person chooses to repent, God forgives him: Ezekiel 18:24, 27; 33:12-19; Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 50:20; Micha 7:19; Psalm 18:20-24.
v.23: God is love whose nature is mercy so that He does not like the wicked to die: Lamentations 3:33; Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9.
v.24: If a righteous person turns away from God, he could easily lose salvation: 1 Samuel 15:11; 2 Chronicles 24:2, 17-22; Ezekiel 3:20; 18:26; 33:18; 2 Peter 2:20.

MATTHEW 5:38-48

Highly praised moral exhortations: ideal characteristics of a Christian in Sermon on the Mount.

1. According to the Old Testament Law, retaliation would fit the crime: "Eye for an eye": Deuteronomy 13:10; 19:21; Exodus 21:24; Leveticus 24:20: Tit for Tat. Cain murdered his brother Abel; Abraham with 318 soldiers subdued the rulers who conquerred the weak before the time of the Law. As of Moses, situations changed; The time of the Law: as against the strong man rules. Tit for Tat: Inborn nature ... love those love; hate those hate ... like animals.

2. New Testament time: Christ's rule: No tit for tat: Show left cheek because slapping to the right cheek is very soft unless you are a left hander. Love and perseverence since Christ. Overcome evil with forgiveness and goodness. Forgive instead of revenge and retaliation: Proverbs 20:22; Luke 6:29; Romans 12:17; 1 Corinthians 6:7; 1 Peter 3:9; Isaiah 50:6; Lamentations 3:30. Forgive others to be forgiven: Matthew 6:15: Humble ourselves and pray to be forgiven and healed: 2 Chronicles 7:14. Christ died for us (Romans 5:10). Apostles and martyrs did the same. To grow into fulness as Christ showed us. God loves us even if we are not qualified.

3. A. Wealth is power; B. Idea is power; C. Media is power: Medium is message is now changing to MEDIUM IS MASSAGE.

4. Love enemies too. Jesus taught this: Leveticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 23:3-6; Psalm 41:10 (pray for them); Luke 6:27; 23:34; Romans 12:14; 12:20; Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Peter 2:23; One who loves his enemies is like God (Psalm 65:9-13; Luke 12:16-17; Acts 14:7). Love, kindness, patience x Enmity, hatred, revenge; Divine, spiritual, Godly, eaverlasting x Human and worldly. No evil for evil (Romans 12:17); Win evil with goodness (Romans 12:21); Jesus called Judas who betrayed, "Friend"; Jesus made friends on the cross. Like moon when not increases, decreases. Alexander, Napoleon, Chalimegne... all built their empires through power; Jesus built through love. So even today millions there to die for Him. We can win everything by love. Tax collectors were regarded as traitors as they contracted with Rome to collect taxes. Even they were nice to persons who were nice to them (Luke 6:320).

5. We have to show our Christian love by going beyond we are asked for: Romans 12:21; Matthew 27:32. (Tunic is undergarment; cloak is outer garment). Give not only tunic, but also cloak; if compels to go one mile, go two; do not turn away from those who seek help or want to borrow.

6. Help the poor and do not put material gain over human need: Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Luke 6:30-34; 1 Timothy 6:18. Do good over evil. Concern for the last, lost and least.

7. Friction among humans: Jesus came to His paternal city ( Mark 6:1-6). They watched and listened His works and preachings. Instead of belief and honor, disbelief. To them, Jesus is just the son of Mary and Joseph, the carpenter. They knew His kins. They failed to understand Jesus and became an onstacle. Their judgment failed them; their jealousy failed them. Eradicate jealousy, treachery, etc: 1 Peter 21:2f; pray for each other for good relationship: Job 1:1-5; Repent and confess: Isaiah 1:18.

8. We have to be perfect by loving each other like God loves all of us. We have to love our neighbors with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength as we love ourselves (Genesis 17:1; Leveticus 11:44; 19:2; Luke 6:36; Colossians 1:28; 4:12; James 1:4; 1 Peter 1:15; Ephesians 5:1). Moses' instruction to love the neighbor (Leveticus 19:18), nothing about to love enemies. Jesus wants us to love our enemies and pray for them too: showed in His life on the cross and taught through the parable of the Good Samaritan.

MATTHEW 18:1-11
vv.1-2: The greatest in God's kingdom is the one who humbles himself: Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:14-17.
vv.3-4: We have to turn from our proud attitude and humble ourselves: Psalm 131:2; Matthew 19:14; 20:27; 23:11; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16.
v.5: Whoever is like the little children are dear to Jesus: Matthew 10:42; Luke 9:48.
v.6: We must be careful not to sin or not to lead another one to sin: Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2; 1 Corinthians 8:12.
v.7: Shame and destruction to those who cause others to sin: Luke 17:1; 1 Corinthians 11:9; 1 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 26:4; 27:4-5.
vv.8-9: Gaining eternal life is important than anything else. We should not lose our souls in hell fire: Matthew 5:29-30; Mark 8:36; 9:43, 45.
v.10: The Father is always in the awareness of His humble believers to take care of them. There are angels to guard us: Psalm 34:7; Zechariah 13:7; Hebrews 1:14.
v.11: All who wish to be saved will be secured under God's mighty hands: Luke 9:56; John 3:17.

MATTHEW 18:12-22
vv.12-14: We should try our level best to bring back those who fell in to sin. God doesn't want any one of us perish: 1 Timothy 2:4.
v.15: Try for a one-to-one reconciliation if there is a differnce of opinion: Leveticus 19:17; Luke 17:3--4; Galatians 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:15; James 5:19-20; 1 Peter 3:1.

v.16: If that fails, try with two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28.
v.17: Still he doesn't listen, refer the matter to the Church: the Christian community. If he refuses to be reconciled, consider him as an unsaved person, like a heathen or a tax collector: Romans 16:l7; 1 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 2 John 10.
v.18: God ratifies the reconciliation of an erring believer. If he doesn't come to terms through the efforts of the Church --confession, reconciliation, absolution .. he reaps the consequences: Matthew 16:19; John 20:22-23; 1 Corinthians 5:4.
v.19: If we reconcile, God accepts our reconciliation and our prayers: 1 John 3:22; 5:14; 1 Corinthians 1:10.
v.20: According to Jewish tradition, at least ten people are needed to establish a synagogue. Two or three are enough to establish a Christian fellowship because Christ is in their midst: Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 14:26.
v.21: One should forgive a repented offender four times, according to Jewish tradition. Peter is generous here by asking "seven times?": Luke 17:4.
v.22: God forgives anyone who repents without any time: Romans 13:8; Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25; Colossians 3:13.

1 PETER 2:1-5
v.1: We have to grow in the Lord without ill toward others (12:1): hypocrasy, envy, etc., and live in love with pure hearts: 1:22.
v.2: We have to grow spiritually by feeding on the word of God: 1:23; Matthew 18:3; 19:14; Mark 10:5; Luke 18:17; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 3:2.
v.3: When we experience God's grace in Christ, we want to grow in it: Psalm 34:8; Titus 3:4; Hebrews 6:3.
v.4: Christ is the foundation stone, though rejected (at the crucifixion) by man (Psalm 118:22), He has been raised from the deadand gives life to us.
v.5:We are the living stones. Church is the spiritual house or temple being erected in praise of God. We have to offer sacrifices of praise and obedience that are acceptable to God because of Christ's sacrifice for sin. Church is a divine institution. We are all living stones to build the Church. Church will be built on that rock: Matthew 16:18 cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5. Christ is the corner stone. St. Johnsaw the holy city: Revelation 21:9-27. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches: John 15:1ff. Like the stem distributes sap to the branches, Jesus distributes spirituality through the Holy Eucharist - body and blood. If we don't live in Him, will dry: John 15:6. Holy communion for unity.

V.16: We are God's temple. God's spirit dwells in us: Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21.
V.17: The body of true believers make the Church. It is God's temple. It is holy and God owns it. He who defiles the Church with divisiveness and contention (v.3) will be punished.
VV.18-20: We should not boast in the foolishness of our wisdom (Proverbs 3:7). We have to know God through trusting in the message about Jesus Christ crucified: Proverbs 3:7; Job 5:13; Psalm 94:11.
VV.21-22: Christ is the source of all things (2 Corinthians 4:5). We should not limit ourselves by boasting in others. Earthly teachers are only God's servants representing God. We should live and die victoriously by the power of Christ (15:55-57). In Him we have nothing to fear for now or in the future.
V.23: We belong to Christ and Christ is God's. He has full equality with God. In Him we are safe and secure: Romans 14:8; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 2 Corinthians 10:7; Galatians 3:29.

EXODUS 3:1-6; 11-14
Moses was called, like great prophets after him, in a vision of God. Horeb is another name for Sinai. Flame of fire (v.2) is a symbol of God's presence, either for judgment or for cleansing.
V.4: Moses, Moses: Repetitions to call attention: Abraham, Abraham (Genesis 22:1; Samuel, Samuel: 1 samuel 3:10; Saul, Saul: Acts 9:4.
V.5: The dirty sands profane the holy ground as God's presence is there: Joshua 5:15; Acts 7:33.
V.6: The glory of God (Isaiah 6:5) made Moses to hide his face.
VV.11-12: Moses doubted that those in Egypt for more than 400 years might have forgotten God.
V.14: God revealed to Moses as Yahweh (YHWH) who is present then and now: Exodus 6:3; John 8:24, 28, 58; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:8; 4:8.

JOB 1:1-5
VV.1-3: Job's moral integrity and devotion to God: Genesis 6:9; 17:1; Deuteronomy 18:13; Proverbs 16:6.
VV.4-5: His family (sevn sons, three daughters and very rich) was very close. Job offered sacrifices regularly for his children to be cleansed from sins and for blessings: Genesis 8:20 (Job 42:8); 1 Kings 21:10, 13.

ISAIAH 1:15-20
V.15: God does not delight just in sacrifice, unless there is genuine repentance: Amos 5:21-24; Proverbs 1:28; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1-3; Micha 3:4. BLOOD: May be child sacrifice: Ezekiel 23:36-39).
V.16-17: Good behavior is that God counts: Do good, seek justice, defend the fatherless, and plead for the widow.
V.18: God wants to free us from sin and promises to turn the scarlet sins into white as snow: isaiah 43:25-26; Micha 6:2; Psalm 51:7; Revelation 7:14.
V.20: If we oppose, destruction is the result: isaiah 40:5; 58:14; Micha 4:4; Titus 1:2.


1. Father: Euyakim of Judah tribe, David's family in Nazareth; Mother: Anna of the same family; One sister: Mary, wife of Clopas (John 19:25); like Samuel and Jeremiah, God has chosen her in the womb; spent her first 12 years at the temple.

2. The first Christian - the Christ bearer, the first to hear the coming of Christ through her and the first who involved in the joy, love, the pain, and sorrows of being a Christian.

3. The first and chief among the saints.

4. Mother of God (Luke 1:43): Nicean Creed decreed this. God is eternal. God was born through Mary to save the sinners. The divinity was there before. The humanity is from Mother Mary. Children inherit some of the attributes of parents. No immaculate conception. She has original sin. She was different. She was a selected Mother. Her seed will bruise the head of the serpent: Genesis 3:15.

5. Word became flesh (Christ): John 1:14 .. through virgin Mary. Through woman, Jesus in our homes and society.

6. Mother of all humanity. Even on the cross, Jesus had concern for His Mother (John 19:25-29). She reminices her early experiences --- bearing and rearing the child, running away to Egypt, taking to the temple, etc. Now she is unable to do anything, but just stand and watch His crucifixion. Two stages: From the manger to Cana and from Cana to Calvary.

7. A model for women, men, young people, boys and girls. She was devoted in prayer and personal commitment to God and lived in communion with God. She was morally pure. She inquired the meaning of the annunciation (Luke 1:31-35) and accepted it wholeheartedly: "May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38). She followed the laws of the land and went up to Bethlehem to be recorded for the tax thus showed herself as a good citizen, even at a difficult and burdensome time (Luke 2:4-6). After the days of her purification (Leveticus 12:2-8), she went to the temple (Exodus 13:12) and presented Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:22-24) thus fulfilled her responsibilities and obligations as a mother. She cared for her child in the proper way (Luke 2:12) and trained Jesus in Church life (Luke 2:27-32). Her parental love (2:48) and her reflective and meditative approach (Luke 2:51); her courage and devotion and loyalty and commitment in difficult and unpopular moments at the foot of the cross (John 19:25); her courage, faith, and dedication are all noteworthy. She knew the Scripture and the message of the prophets. Her dilema with Joseph and the angel's intervention. She visited Elizabeth and stayed with her three months - one well past child bearing age and the other still a virgin - shared a unique moment in history. Greetings (1:42) and the Magnificat (vv.46-55); presentation of the child at the temple and the presence of Simon and Hanna (2:35)...tests after tests... "lost" for three days (2:41-52)...Among the believers (Acts 1:14-15).

8. "Behold the maid-servant of the Lord" (Luke 1:38): Her complete commitment. We have to inflow the qualities of Christ into us and to outflaw the Christian qualities to others: God pleasing qualities (Romans 12:1); "Be ye holy, as I am holy" (Leveticus 11:45); God dwells in us, be holy (1 Corinthians 3:17).

9. She is ever Virgin: Just as the bush where God revealed Himself to Moses (Exodus 3:13-15) remained unaffected by the flame, she remained a virgin, even though she gave birth to Jesus Christ. She is an eternal virgin; no other children. If any, should not have been asked John to take care of her (John 19:26). That door was closed for ever (Ezekiel 44:2). Jesus' brothers were Joseph's children of first marriage.

10. She accepted the awesome calling to be the Mother of Jesus. She simply accepted the call of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:30): Unlike Samson's father Manoah (Judges 13:22) who panicked, John the Baptist's father Zachariah doubted (Luke 1:18), Abraham's wife Sarah laughed (Genesis 18:10-13).

11. No miracle at her birth; For the burrial, all Apostles, prophets, angels, Jesus... to take her to paradise: Assumption. Now queen of angels, interceding for the whole world. First miracle through her request at Cana continuing on.

12. She was "full of grace": Luke 1:28

13. The "Lord was with her": Luke 1:28.

14. All generations will call her blessed: Luke 1:48

15. The scene of the BABE lying in the manger with the Mother.

16. Luke 2:34-35: On the 40th day, infant baby was taken to the Jerusalem temple. Coming back, after 12 years in the temple, and for her purification after the 40th day (80 days if a girl) and to dedicate her son. She carried the baby and Joseph carried the two doves. Simon was there and experienced the presence of Jesus, the Lord. He sang: Luke 2:29032. She bowed before and he said that "a sword will pierce through her own soul" (Luke 2:35) foretelling the passion. Her worries and passions: Psalm 22:12-21; Isaiah 63.

17. The Nativity Scenes, Christmas Cards, numerous portrits - all declare her sanctity and holiness.


1. God and man and man and man unite in the cross.

2. We sign the cross with three fingers: Trinity. From head to chest: Jesus came down from heaven to earth; From left shoulder to right: From the state of evil to blessedness. Genesis 28:10-12: Jacob's ladder in Bethel: Heaven and earth join together in the cross; humans and angels came together; we become spiritual, Godly and heavenly. Eliminate differences and join together. When we reverence the cross, we reverence ourselves. The world is a wilderness; the Church is the camp; we are all sinners; Look at the cross and revere it (Good Fridays).

3. Cross is the sign of victory, blessings and salvation: The vision of the cross converted Constantine into Christianity in A.D. 313: Saw a sign of cross in the air and heard: "You will win by this." Cross on the flags and the military uniforms and fought and he won the war.

4. Miracle: From A.D. 64 - A.D. 303, the Church weathered nine major Roman persecutions. The tentth was under emperor Diocletian that lasted for ten years. His successor emperor Constantine had a vision: "By this sign (of the CROSS) you will conquer" and he did and became Christian in 312. Constantine's mother queen Helena went to Jerusalem to discover the cross on which Christ was crucified; Found three; put each one on a dead body brought that way with prayers to show the cross of the Lord with a miracle. When Jesus' cross touched the dead, the dead rose up and thus recognised the right one. With procession, taken the cross from Jerusalem to Constantinople. In remembrance of this, the festival of the exaltation of the Cross every year on September 14th.

5. I: Pride / Ego: Luke 12:17-19: Six "I"s and four "my"s. The vertical piece, i. e, "I" means "myself" and "myself" only ("Aham" in Sanskrit).
+ : When crosses, selfishness gone: If we draw a knife through where our heart is, that kills us and "Aham" or "myself" is gone. This is Cross. + : Sign the cross; wear the cross; carry (hold) the cross, and bear the cross. To deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Him.

6. Cross in various forms: Even Jesus' birth in the manger through a poor girl itself was a cross; Jesus' whole life was a cross (Philippians 2:6-8); the lamb that carried the sins of the world (John 1:29) was sacrificed on the cross; like the blood of the passover lamb redeemed the Israelites from the bondage (Exodus 12), Jesus' blood on the cross redeemed us from sins; the tree at the center of the garden of Eden is that cross Jesus died... Jesus is the fruit of the tree; the lamb was replaced; Isaac is that Jesus. The fiery brazen serpent: Numbers 21:9. Joseph laid his hands in the form of a cross on Ephraim and Manassah and blessed them (Genesis 48:13-14). "TAV" (X), the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet on the foreheads of men to be saved from the coming destruction; Cross at various places: in the church; on the altar; on the top of the church; on way sides; seal with cross in sacraments; chalice and paten are held in the form of a cross when the Mysteries are brought through the isle; twelve crosses in the communion bread. Human beings are created in the form of a cross: (stand up and stretch out both hands).

7. To be worthy: Carry the cross and follow after Him: Matthew 10:38; Luke 9:23; The cross of Christ should be made effect: 1 Corinthians 1:17; Boast only in the cross of Jesus Christ: galatians 6:14; Reconcile through the cross: Ephesians 2:14-16; Destruction to the enemies of the cross: Philippians 3:18-19; Christ died on the cross for our sins: 2 Corinthians 5:21; Give comfort by bearing the suffering of others - people in sickness, ignorance, poverty and sin: Matthew 16:24-25; Crucify with Him: Galatians 2:20 (St. Paul)

8. Bear the cross and follow Jesus: Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 4:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 2:21. Christian life is a life of sacrifice: 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 (St. Paul).
A. Self-sacrifice: Deny oneself; accept God and deny ourselves. self-centered vs. God centered. Luke 12:16-21: "I" six times and "my" four times.
B. Bear the cross: Like Apostles, prophets, martyrs.
C. Follow Him: The Game called, "Follow the Leader." Jesus washed the disciples' feet; sacrificed Himself on the cross for the sinners; prayed for those who crucified Him; worked hard - cured, healed, fed, prayed. His obedience.
D. Crucify with Christ: Galatians 2:20.

9. To St. Paul, the most glorious thing in his life was the fact of the cross of Christ. It was the power of his life. "I am crucified with Christ", St. paul declared. Earlier he persecuted Christians. What a change? Boast only in the cross of the Lord: Galatians 6:14.
A. Cross conquers the heart. Emperor Constantine became Christian. His successor Julian did not and persecuted Christians. He was wounded in a war, down in a pool of blood, and cried aloud with his own blood throwing in the air uttering: "You have conquered, O Man of Galilee." He introduced the Julian calendar vs Gregorian Calendar.

B. Climax on the cross: Our pilgrimage to the cross during the Lent reach on Good Friday.
C. Gives courage: Jesus prayed for the courage for the cross in Gethsamanae: Matthew 26:36-46.
D. Wins enemies: Prayed for the enemies: Luke 23:14 cf. Matthew 5:44. We see forebearing, forgetting and forgiving on the cross. He pardoned His enemies.
E. Concerns for others: Told disciples to sleep; told the women to "cry for their children"; gave Mother to John and asked John to take care of His Mother.
F. Humility and Obedience: Humbled Himself and obeyed to be crucified.
G. Complete Victory: No more grief: Ephesians 2:14-16
H. Propitiation: 1 Corinthians 15:3: Christ died on the cross for our sins.
I. No cross, no crown: No victory without cross. He carried our sins and won.
J. Symbol of Sufferings: Christ suffered. We have to identify with this experience. Like we salute the national flag, we adore the cross, especially on Good Friday's service. We use the cross for all blessings. Cross has the power to give life.
K. Tradition: Adam took a branch from the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden and placed on Mount Moriah and it became the place of worship. So Abraham took Isaac over there for sacrifice. Melchizedek sacrificed on this Mount. This branch became a tree and Solomon gathered it during the building of the Jerusalem temple. Part of it in the Bethseda pool and sick were cured out of it. Part of it was used for the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
L. The cross reveals the depths of man's sin and the price paid for that sin. Adam and Eve committed sin. Killing, stealing adultery still continues. Calvary is the climax of the sin. Jesus died on the cross there.
M. The cross reveals the character of God's justice: The Law is broken and so the punishment. Therefore Jesus was sent to die for our sins.
N. The cross reveals the height of God's love: His love is paramount: Asked Peter whether he loves "more than these".
O. The cross draws us to Christ: Like a magnet, Jesus draws sinners to Him: Mary Magdaline, Samaritan woman, Zaacheus.
P. It molds character: It sends people into service.
Q. The promise of the cross is glorious: Jesus came to prepare a place for us. He promised that where Christ is, there we may be also - in heaven.
R. Cross, a confrontation: God's great love and human's deep sin. The created crucified the creator (John 3:16). God's love is depicted here.
S. Symbol of reconciliation: The vertical (I) line signif-ies reconciliation between God and man and the horizontal (--) line symbolizes reconciliation between man and man. Cross was needed to bring together God and man who went astray due to the sin of Adam and Eve. The both extended hands on the cross invite the whole humanity to Almighty God through Christ Jesus. We are reconciled to God through Christ's death on the cross (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Colossians 1:19-20; Ephesians 2:4-6).
T. Ladder to Heaven: The ladder Jacob saw in Bethel (Genesis 28:12) is completed on the cross. There angels went up and down, here God himself did. So cross is our way to ascend into heaven. So it is the sign of salvation. Here is the accepted time and the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2; 5:14-15; Ephesians 1:13; Hebrews 5:9).
U. Cross signifies sacrifice: Ephesians 5:2; 1 Corinthians 10:16; Romans 3:25-30; 8:3. Also see the parable as the sacrificial lamb in John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6 and in John 19:36 and 1 Coprinthians 5:8 as passover lamb. Jesus shed His blood on the cross for all human beings: Romans 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 5:9.
V. The meaning of CROSS:
C: Christ (1 Corinthians 2:2); Christianity (Hebrews 12:2); Centrality of the Cross :Galatians 6:14 cf. 1 Cori. 1:18)
R: Reconciliation: Ephesians 2:18-19; Colossians 1:20-22; Redemption (Ephesians 1:7); Rstitution ; Ransom: Mark 10:45; John 10:11, 15.
O: Obedient unto cross (Philippians 2:5-11)
First Adam X Second Adam
Disobeyed X Obeyed
Tempted in garden X Tempted in the desert
Ate X Fasted
Closed paradise X Opened
Head of the FallX Head of the Redeemed
(Matthew 26:39; John 10:18; Acts 5:8f; Romans 5:19) Offensive against will; Ointment to the wounded.
S: 1 Corinthians 5:7f: Sacrifice of the Lamb (Exodus 1:2): No shedding of blood, no redemption. Destroyed alienated; set apart for Christ. Like Jonah's readiness to die, we should also sacrifice ourselves for Christ.
S: Should not perish (John 3:16); Salvation (Hebrews 2:3); Shepherd (gives his life for the sheep): John 10:11.
Escape the Cross? We can't Seek the Cross? We may Glory in the Cross? We may (Galatians 6:14) Bear the Cross? We should.


1. Big multitude, believers and unbelievers, crowded around Jesus to hear Him. News of Jesus spread all over. All kinds of people came to heal: Matthew 4:24-25.

2. Jesus went up on a mountain; the disciples followed. This is a very usual scene: Matthew 14:23; 15:29; 17:1; Mark 3:13; Luke 6:17; 9:28; John 6:3, 15. Sermon on the Mountain through them for the people.

3. Jesus taught them: Matthew 7:29; Mark 10:1; 12:35; John 8:2.

4. The beatitudes are the blessings and responsibilities of discipleship.

5. God blesses those who acknowledge their spiritual need: Proverbs 16:19; Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 11:28-30.

6. God strengthens those who are sorrowful of their spiritual poverty through forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Comforter: Isaiah 61:2; John 14:16-17; 25-27; 16:7-15, 20; Acts 16:34; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Revelation 7:17; 21:4.

7. The gentle, humble, submissive to God (Matthew 11:29; Psalm 37:11; Isaiah 29:19; Romans 4:13) will receive all the blessings God promised: Isaiah 57:13; Mark 10:29-30.

8. God will satisfy (Isaiah 55:1; 65:13; John 4:14; 6:48; 7:37) those who earnestly desire all that God offers (Luke 1:53; Acts 2:4).

9. Those who show kindness and forgiveness to the undervi-ng as God has shown them (Matthew 25:31-46; Micha 6:8) will be rewarded with mercy from God as well as from others: psalm 41:1; Mark 11:25.

10. Those who have integrity and genuiness of purity (Psalm 15:2; 24:4; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:8) shall see God (Matthew 5:48; 6:10; Acts 7:55-56; 1 Corinthians 13:12).

11. Those who actively work to reconcile alienated persons (Colossians 3:12-15; Hebrews 12:14) are like God in nature and character: Matthew 5:44-48; 1 John 3:1-5.

12. The kingdom of heaven is destined for those who are wrongly made to suffer for doing right: 1 Peter 4:12-19; 3:14; 2 Corinthians 4:17.

13. Suffering for righteousness (2 Chronicles 36:16; Nehemiah 9:26; Matthew 23:37; Acts 7:52; 1 Thessalonians 2:15; Hebrews 11:35-37; James 5:10) enriches our lives here and rewards us in heaven (Luke 6:23; Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 4:13-14). All Prophets and righteous people, including Jesus had to go through persecutions: Hebrews 12:3.

MARK 13:28-37
1. There would be signs indicating the destruction of Jerusalem as well as Christ's second coming: Mark 5:13-23; 21:32. Jesus will return: Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 22:20.
2. Jesus' assurance that everything will happen as foretold (Isaiah 40:8; 2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12). This world will end.
3. Jesus' words are equal to those of God's.
4. Jesus will come again. Those who are in His grace will be saved.
5. There will be signs (Matthew 24:45; 25:14). Warning signs tell us that His comming is imminent.
6. No one knows the exact time (Matthew 25:13) except the Father: Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32-33; Acts 1:7.
7. We must be ready: Watch and pray: Matthew 24:42; 25:13; Luke 12:40; 21:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 4:7.
Blessings to those who are prepared and punishment for the unprepared. Watch and prepare. We have to abide in Him: 1 John 2:28 1 Samuel 3:9: "Speak for your servant hears" John 14:10: Complete submission 1 Corinthians 10:31: Do for His glorification. John 15:5 cf. Galatians 5:22: Bear good fruits Submission for all the time: Now, always, and for ever and ever; then death can come any time; Jesus can come any time. As we don't know the time of our end in this world, so also we don't know the time of His return.
8. Watch and be vigilent: He is coming (Acts 1:11)
A. The fact of His coming: In all New Testament books (1/30 verses), it is mentioned.
B. The time of His coming: As we don't know the time of our death, so also we don't know the time of His second coming: evening, midnight, morning? Nobody knows. WATCH: Wisdom, Ability, Trust, Character, Health.
C. Our responsibility: Lamp with oil: (Matthew 25:7-10) To bring back the king (2 Samuel 19:10: David and Absalom). We should be prepared.
D. For do not lead us into temptation: Matthew 26:41; 1 Peter 5:8 Spirit is prepared; body is weak: Robbers and thieves do not sleep in the night? When sleeps, enemies saw tares: Matthew 13:25.
LUKE 17:20-36
1. The kingdom of heaven is in our midst: Luke 17:23; Romans 14:17.
2. We must patiently await God's time for His return: Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:20; Luke 5:35; John 17:12.
3. Do not believe those who may claim to be Christ or those who set dates of His return: Matthew 24:23; Mark 13:21; Luke 2:18.
4. His coming will be as evident as a flash of lightening: Matthew 24:27.
5. Jesus suffers (Matthew 26:67; 27:29-31; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33) and people reject Him first: Luke 9:22.
6. People will be concerned only with the affairs of this world as in the times of Noah and Lot.
7. We should be ready to go with Him at His return, without looking back like Lot's wife did.
8. We have to give away everything to Christ in this preparation.

MATTHEW 24:36-51
1. Only the father knows the time of Jesus' second coming.
2. Be alert at all times and be ready as judgment will come unexpectedly.
3. At that time righteous will be separated from the unrighteous: 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
4. This coming is like the coming of a thief: 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; Revelation 3:3.
5. We should be faithful and wise like the servant in the parable.
6. The fate of the unfaithful be weeping and gnashing of teeth: Matthew 8:11-12; 25:30.
7. The second coming is a blessed hope: Titus 2:13. The word coming (parousia) occurs 24 times; Appearing (epiphancia) occurs six times; Revelation (apocalypsis) is another word for second coming: 2 Thessalonians 1:7. Come is used 50 times referring His return. Descend is another term: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 The word Return is used in parables. Send is used both of Christ's first and second coming. Appear, Be revealed, Be magnified: These words are also used in reference to Christ's return.

ACTS 3:21-26
1. God calls for repentance.
2. Peter announces the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15 cf. John 1:21-22 in Jesus Christ.
3. The Jews first, and then we all are the receipients of His blessings.

1. Holy Spirit reveals God's activities and Scriptural truth: John 16:13.
2. The person who trusts in his or her own wisdom doesn't care to know the wisdom from God.
3. The spiritual person understands spiritual truth through Holy Spirit.

GENESIS 42:1-28
The brothers threw Joseph into the pit, but later came back to him for food. Those who forsake Jesus will realize His glory during the second coming.
vv.1-2: Famine all over, except in Egypt. Joseph opened all the storehouses for the Egyptians When Jacob heard that grain was plentiful in Egypt, he told his sons to get busy and do something and asked them to go to Egypt to buy so that they could live: Genesis 43:8; Psalm 33:18-19; Isaiah 38:1.
v. 3: Ten brothers: Sons through Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah: 29:32-30:20.
v. 4: Benjamin: Joseph's brother: 42:38.
v. 5: Famine was all over, even for the God's people: 12:10; 26:1; 41:57; Acts 7:11.
v.6: Joseph, the governor, sold grains to all and his brothers came and bowed down before him: 37:7-10; 41:43; Isaiah 60:14.
vv.7-8: Even though Joseph recognized his brothers, he pretended not to understand or speak their language (v. 23; Genesis 45:1-2). His brothers did not recognize him.
v.9: Joseph remembered the dream (37:5-9). He told them that they are spies looking for the defensible part of the land.
vv. 10-15: His brothers telling th family story: 37:30; 42:32; 44:20; Lamentations 5:7; 1 Samuel 1:26; 17:55 (oath in the name Pharoah).
vv.16-20: He wanted to test his brothers and put them in prison for three days (Genesis 22:12; 39:9; Exodus 1:17; Leveticus 25:43; Nehemiah 5:15; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). Asked to bring their younger brother: Genesis 42:34; 43:5; 44:23.
vv. 21-22: Even after 22 years, a guilty feeling in their mind: Genesis 37:26-28; 44:16; 45:3; Job 36:8-9; Hosea 5:15; Proverbs 21:13; Matthew 7:2; 1 Kings 2:32; 2 Chronicles 24:22; Psalm 9:12; Luke 11:50-51.
v. 23: Joseph knew Canaanite and Egyptian, but used only Egyptian and used an interpreter.
v.24: Jospeh wept (43:30; 45:14-15). He bound Simon: 34:25, 30; 43:14, 23.
vv.25-26: Joseph restores their money (44:1; 43:12; Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:17, 20-21; 1 Peter 3;9) and sent them back.
vv. 27-28: They saw the money in their sacks and were afraid: 43:21-22.

PSALM 34: DAVID'S SONG AFTER ESCAPING FROM ABIMELECK Psalm of David when he pretended madness ( 1 Samuel 21:10-15) before Ahimelech (Achish: Ahimelech may be a title for king of the Philistine regions: Genesis 20:2; 26:1 --- as Pharaoh was for Egypt).
vv. 1-3: David invites all to join him in the praise of God. The righteous shall praise the Lord at all times: Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
v. 4: If we fear the Lord (v.9), we need nothing else: 2 Chronicles: 15:2; Psalm 9:10; Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9.
vv.5-6: Those who trust in the Lord are blessed like David.
v.7: They experience the personal and imminent presence of God: Judges 6:12; Psalm 91:11; Daniel 6:22; 2 Kings 6:17.
vv. 8-9: Have trust and fear of the Lord.
v. 10: Those who seek God is blessed with everything.
v. 11: Those who learn from Him is blessed.
v. 13: Watch our mouth: Job 5:21; Psalm 120:2; Isaiah 6:6; James 3:5.
v. 14: Do good and seek peace.
vv. 15-17: The Lord listens to the righteous and bless
v. 18: We have to have a contrite heart to be blessed: Psalm 51: 17.
vv. 19-22: God delivers the righteous from afflictions, but no deliverence for those who continue in sinful ways.

ISAIAH 1:10-20
1. We should be different in heart unlike the people of Sodom and Gomorrah: Genesis 13:13; 18:20-21.
2. Do not substitute religion for godly lives: 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
3. God expects right behavior from us: Jeremiah 4:14; Romans 12:9.
4. God wants to free us from sin.
5. Salvation through cleansing of the sin: scarlet sins to become white as snow: Isaiah 43:20; Micha: 6:2.

MATTHEW 16:5-12

1. Listen Jesus, not Pharisees or Sadducees: Obey God: Acts 5:17-32; 1 Corinthians 2:14-39. The disciples forgot to take bread with them when they crossed the Galilee to go to the otherside which is the land of the Gentiles whose food Jews didn't eat. Normally they take food along with them. So they were confused about what to do. They did not have bread or the leaven to make the bread. Understanding their feelings, Jesus told them to watch the leaven of Pharisees and Sadducees. They forgot that Jesus fed 5000 with 5 loaves; they forgot the presence of Jesus. Gradually they understood that the leaven was their teachings. Pharisees: 365 laws for 365 days; 248 laws for 248 days; 38 do's and 38 don'ts; strict to follow oral traditions. Only external observations; their hypocrisy. Luke 12:1 cf. Matthew 6:2, 5, 16; 23:28 vs. Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 24:51. They give importance to external observances, not for spiritual revival; showy. Do not follow them. Sadducees: The reformers in the Jewish religion rejecting resurrection and most teachings of Pharisees. They seek physical gain. Scribes: Copying the Scriptures, close to Pharisees, external, not internal: Matthew 22:23; 23. No repentance; their pride and no trust in anybody.

2. Don't be alarmed of food and wealth. Use our intelligence to understand His will. If God is with us, we have nothing to be afraid of. Joseph became great because God was with him. He interpreted the dreams (Genesis 42:9-17); even brothers were ruled by him. Measure our lives based upon God's commandments. Keep our faith and oblige to moral responsibilities (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 4:1). God provides everything. Look for the spiritual side: Matthew 14:34-15:11.

3. Many give importance to get respect among people and afraid of criticism. Those who demand respect and are ignored are hurt in their feelings. People's respect and praises are their gods. God knows our hearts: Luke 16:15. David was a man of God's heart. Man "looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 samuel 15:7).

4. Watch those who pretend they are spiritual and faithful. Leaven changes the taste and smell of food. This happens to spirituality also. Then no action, just words. Like the slow process of the leaven to change the status of the flour, the foul teachings could change the gravity of one's character. Leaven is referrred as "malice and wicked" ( 1 Corinthians 5:8). No pretendence or falsehood in our life! False teachings and ultra reforms are detrimental to the progress of the Church.

5. Test to find out what is good and bad.

6. Lead the good way: Psalm 1:1-2; King Solomon's prayer: 1 Kings 3:8-9 cf. Proverbs 6:1-9: Prudence to know His will.

LUKE 18:1-8
1. Maintain faith through prayer during the invisible kingdom period, i.e., the coming of the kingdom of God. Just as the widow never gave up, we must never become discouraged as we wait for His return. Christ will return at just the right time. We should never lose faith.
2. vv.1, 5, 7-8: Luke 11:5-10; Romans 12:12 (Ephesians 6:18); Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Luke 11:8; Revelation 6:10; Hebrews 10:37 ( 2 Peter 3:8-9).

MATTHEW 14:34-15:11
1. Do we recognize our Lord and SAvior? People of Gennesaret did.
2. Those who touched Him were cured: Matthew 5:24-34; 9:20; Mark 3:10; Luke 6:19; Acts 19:12.
3. Be concerned about inward conduct rather than outward.
4. Local Scribes and Pharisees questioned earlier; nor from Jerusalem: Mark 7:1; John 1:19; Acts 25:7.
5. Ceremonial hand washing (Leveticus 22:4-6): Just following the tradition is not enough: Mark 7:2-5.
6. Do not exploit the rules and regulations; do not change the rules by taking the wealth assigned to others and using for one's own benefits.

7. Do not be hypocrites; Mark 7:6.
8. Salvation is for those who profess as well as do the will of God: Matthew 7:21; Isaiah 29:13.
9. What comes out of the mouth defiles us: Acts 10:15; Romans 14:14, 17, 20; 1 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:15.

MATTHEW 15:12-20
1. Those who heard the words of wisdom were offended.
2. Those who refuse Jesus will be uprooted: Isaiah 9:16; 60:2; 61:3; Malachi 2:8; Matthew 23:16; Luke 6:39; John 15:2; Romans 2:19; 1 Corinthians 3:12-13.
3. Even Peter didn't understand what Jesus was talking about: v. 11.
4. Evil attitudes must be cleansed: 1 Corinthians 6:13.
5. The inner qualities are important: Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Proverbs 6:14; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21; Romans 1:29-32; Galatians 5:19-21.

MATTHEW 16: 1-4
1. Pharisees and Sadduccees wanted to see signs and miracles.
2. "Jonah" is the only sign. His preachings converted the people and escaped from destruction.
3. Those who go after signs and miracles mislead the crowd. They do not recognize God's will.
4. Submission before Almighty God helps to get His blessings.
5. Do not forsake faith because of minor disruptions and reasons.

ACTS 5:17-32
1. The Apostles were put in prison.
2. An angel opened the door, let them free, and instructed to speak in the temple.
3. When the Council met to deal with them, they were back teaching.
4. They brought the Apostles and warned again not to preach Christ.
5. The Apostles obeyed the Lord rather than men and preached the "Prince and Savior" and the Holy Spirit.

1 CORINTHIANS 2:14-3:9 1. The person who taught his/her own wisdom has no will or power to know the wisdom of God.
2. The spiritual person understands spiritual truth and human wisdom from Christ's point of view.
3. True Christians have the mind of Christ.
4. Corinthians were neither spiritual nor natural, but carnal - lived in envy and divisions. They were babes ( 1 Corinthians 2:6; Ephesians 4:14; Hebrews 5:13). They needed full understanding of the Gospel: Hebrews 5:14.
5. Paul started the Gospel to new areas and Apollos encouraged new converts (Acts 18:24-28). No competitions, but coooperative ministers of God: To serve according to the gift one received.
6. The Church is like a cultivated field, a building and a temple.
7. Each one receives reward according to His labor.
8. God's gracious activity should be exalted.

GENESIS 42:9-17
1. Joseph recognized his brothers.
2. He tested them.
3. They were put in prison for three days.

1 KINGS 3:5-14 1 Solomon loved God and offered sacrifices to Him.
2. Solomon asked for wisdom: "an understanding heart to judge" ...." to discern between good and evil."
3. God gave him wisdom, riches and long days to live.
WISDOM 6:1-9: Exhortation to seek wisdom.

ISAIAH 48:12-16 1. God is first and last: Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 22:13.
2. God created everything: Exodus 20:11; Psalm 102:25; Isaiah 42:5; 45:12, 18; Hebrews 1:10-12.
3. Listen Him.

MARK 2:23-28

1. Fasting and Sabbath observation are the topics: Sabbath observance is for spirituality and holiness. In the Gospels, five times about breaking the observance of Sabbath, four times by the Lord and one time by the disciples. A service for a holy life, not lifeless or immaterial. Spirituality should overtake physical needs. Should go to the church with spiritual hunger; Our fathers fasted till noon. Works six days and then needs some rejuvenation to start the new week for spiritual growth.

2. Disciples plucked the heads of grain; it is legal according to Deuteronomy 23:25. Ruth gleaned....

3. Pharisees blamed the disciples. Plucking the grain was interpreted as harvesting and thus breaking the Sabbath.

4. They went to the temple fasting; so they were hungry.

5. Poor Master and penniless disciples... It was their lunch. Mother offered turtle doves, not lamb; no money to pay taxes so that got Peter's help to catch a fish.

6. Walk through the mission fields with hunger in spirit and for the soul; may find some. Harvest is plenty; laborers are scarce.

7. Complained to the Master, not to them so they could fight ... Gossip.

8. Jesus quoted from the Old Testament: 1 Samuel 21:1-6 referring David's deeds: Importance of learning Scriptures.

9. Meet the needs of the people rather than stick to strict rules and regulations. The Law should teach to love God and His creation: Mark 12:33. Rules and regulations are for the betterment of people; people are important than rules: The "economy" of the Church.

10. David and friends were clean: Clean ourselves before receive holy communion.

MATTHEW 5:13-16
1. The importance of salt: If looses flavor, cannot be seasoned.
A. For taste: For flavor B. To heal: Elisha's first miracle: Put salt in the water: 2 Kings 2:19ff.
C. To melt: on the Ice
D. purify E. Preserve
2. Lighted lamp: If we lose our Christ-like life, we fail.
A. If no light, will be in dark
B. "God is light" (1 John 1:5): Fire and light to Moses (Exodus 3:2); fiery cloud guided the Israelites (Exodus 13:2); No darkness in Him (1 John 1:5); True light (John 1:9); Flying in the light (1 Timothy 6:19). Shows light in our way to avoid danger, destroys contageous atoms, illuminates the world, exemplifies love ( John 9:5; Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 5:10; John 8:12; Matthew 6:22-23.
C. "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12); "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14). Moses' face lighted (Exodus 34:29-30); Jesus' at Transfiguration (Luke 9:29); Also Moses' and Elijah's (Luke 9:30-31); Righteous (Matthew 13:43); Like stars: Daniel 12:3. Light came from God. God separated light from darkness: Genesis 1:3 God dwells in the light: Exodus 13:21; Psalm 104:2; Daniel 2:22 Righteous person walks in the light: Isaiah 2:5 Son, moon and stars have "created light" The light surrounding God, the Seraph's shield, seen at Mount Tabor is "uncreated light" Jesus is the light of the world: John 8:12 The Apostles are the light of the world: Matthew 5:13 Christians are children of the light: 1 Thessalonians 5:5 Revelations talk about eternal light: 22:5 One who walks in His revelation gets light ( Psalm 119:105) as God's word is a lamp to our feet and light to our path. Those who walk in darkness do not recognize Jesus: John3:16 Light shines in darkness: John 1:5 Put our trust in the light to become children of light: Jn 12:36 God lights up the darkness: Psalm 18:28 "By Thy light we see the light Jesus full of light":Holy Qurbana God calls us out of darkness into His marvellous light: 1 Peter 2:9. The Lord is light and salvation: Psalm 27:1. Sick needs doctor; darkness needs light. If green doesn't get light, color changes into white and eventually dies. If we don't get enough light we will be in utter destruction. Robbery, murder, all happen in the dark. New York city was in the dark for sometime due to the failure of electricity. So much loss; rich man exploits poor, employer, employees, mighty one, weak ones. and so on. God saw men walking in the dark, in sin. So He sent the LIGHT, Jesus Christ, to bring them to light. Jesus touched the blind man and opened his eyes to see the light. Judas betrayed the light for 30 coins. Saul saw the light at the door of Damascus. Thereafter he started spreading the light. Moon lights in the dark; if we receive this light of Jesus, we can also shine.
D. Light is needed for growth: If no light, no use; will be in the dark. God is light ( 1 John 1:5); Jesus is the light of the world. Light is needed for growth: Five stages in growth:
a. Forming stage
b. Norming stage: Rules and regulations
c. Storming stage: "Individualism" crept in.
d. Performing stage: Day after the hurricane:
creative endeavors or destructive impasse.
e. Reforming stage.
Also there are six kinds of negative growth:
1. Visionless growth: No goal or aim or dreams (Dharshanam)
2. Missionless growth (Suvishesham): No evangalization, no expansion.
3. Ruthless growth (Karunayillatha): No sharing; no concern
4. Rootless (Verukalillatha) growth: No cultural affinity
5. Voiceless (Navillatha) growth: No public involvement
6. Futureless (Bhaviyillatha) growth: For eternity. What we need is Christian growth, i.e., growth with Christ.
a. Lord God made every tree to grow: Genesis 2:9

b. Grow like Cedar in Lebanon: Psalm 92:12
c. Grow up like tender plant: Isaiah 53:2
d. Consider the lilies how they grow: Matthew 6:28
e. Grow unto Him in all things: Ephesians 4:13-15
f. Grow in grace and knowledge: 2 Peter 3:18
g. Grow into Holy Temple: Ephesians 2:21.
Grain requires four major ingredients to grow: seeds, soil, sunlight and water. We also need four ingredients to grow:
a. God's calling: Seeds to plant: God plants the seeds of truth in our minds: John 6:44. Ours is a special calling: 1 Peter 2:9.
b. God's Law: Seeds must be planted in soil to grow. That is an obedient mind: Matthew 19:17; 1 John 2:4.
c. Jesus Christ: Grain needs light to grow. We need Jesus Christ, the true light. We cannot grow without Him: John 8:12.
d. The Holy Spirit: Water is needed for grain to grow. Holy Spirit, the living water, is needed for our growth (John 7:37-39; Romans 8:4,6,11.
WE ARE HIS LIGHT TO THE WORLD: Philippians 2:14-16. Like lamps give light, we should shine by letting people see the good works we rejoice through God's grace. Arise and shine (Isaiah 60:1). Let our light shine (Matthew 5:16).

MATTHEW 18:23-35
1. God's kingdom is like a king who freely forgave the helpless debtor, and also required us to forgive others.
2. When the debtor pleaded, the Master forgave him the debt. The Master here is God. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion: Psalm 145:8
3. The same debtor did not forgive a fellow man who owes him a much less amount; not only that he laid his hands on him and put him in prison.
4. The fellow servants reported this to the Master.
5. The Master delivered him to the torturers because he had violated God's commandment (19:19): Love your neighbor as yourself.
6. We should have wholehearted forgiveness without reservation: Proverbs 21:13; Matthew 6:12; Mark 11:26; James 2:13.

LUKE 16:1-13
1. The wise use of money
2. We must invest our wealth for eternity
3. The steward (household/ estate manager) has to give his accounts to the Master: Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 4:5-6.
4. If we don't have a good report, we will lose our stewardship.
5. The steward acted wisely by reducing the debts of his creditors.
6. The Master was pleased with the steward's action of using an opportunity.
7. Use our wealth to secure an everlasting home: Give it to those who are in need and support God's works.
8. If we use our wealth faithfully for God's kingdom, we will be blessed with true riches of being with God now and for ever.
9. Do not serve money as our master. If we serve both money and God, we will fail to obtain either worldly security or eternity: Matthew 6:24; Galatians 1:10. ACTS 7:2-5: STEPHEN'S DEFENSE
1. Jewish authorities rejected God's leaders that climaxed in Jesus.
2. God is not limited to the promised land or temple.
3. God appeared to Abraham and promised him inheritance even when he had no child: Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:3, 18; 17:8; 26:3.

ROMANS 8:1-11:
1. A. The source of freedom (vv.2,9): The Law (Romans 6:18, 22) of the spirit of life (1 Corinthians 15:45) in Christ Jesus.
B. The scope of freedom (vv.5-8). Those who live according to the spirit, as those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
C. The sequel to freedom (vv.2-4): The coming of Jesus, theSon of God, who condemned sin in the flesh.
2. We have been justified by Christ so that the indwelling Spirit assures us of eternal life.
3. At resurrection, God will raise our mortal bodies to a glorious new life.

GENESIS 42:18-22 1. Prove honesty: Here to leave one brother and to go and bring the youngest one for verification.
2. The guilty conscience pricks: Job 36:8-9; Hosea 5:15; Proverbs 21:13; Matthew 7:2.
3. They think that their brother Joseph's blood testified against them: Genesis 4:9-10; 9:5-6; 37:21-22, 29; 1 Kings 2:32; 2 Chronicles 24:22; Psalm 9:12; Luke 11:50-51.

NOTE: A. The great wisdom in Proverbs were to make deep impression on the visiting queen of ShebaL 2 Chronicles 9:1-12.
B. The Proverb is a short statement of truth concerning some aspect of human life. The enigma and riddles present a principle of truth through a puzzle or problem to be solved.
1. The Book of Proverbs provides (1 Kings 4:32):
a. Wisdom and instruction
b. Judgment and equity
c. Prudence, knowledge, and discretion
d. Learning and wise counsel.
2. Reverence and obedience to God (Psalm 111:10; Genesis 20:11) make one wise and knowledgable.
3. Obey the instructions of one's parents.

ISAIAH 54:1-8 1. Israel is like a barren woman: Galatians 4:27
2. If she trusts God (55:3-7; 56:4-7), she will be fruitful.
3. If we are captives of our sins, like a childless woman (in that days it was disgraceful), we are disgraced. But God can deliver us.
4. God's mercy exceeds His judgment.

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