Kingdom of Heaven —Matthew 19 Children of God #3

The Little Children and Jesus

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

Matthew 19:13-14

references & reflections

[1] https://achristianpilgrim.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/todays-gospel-matthew-1913-15/
[2] http://fralfonse.blogspot.com/2012/08/mt-1913-15-why-kids.html
[3] https://goodnewsshared.wordpress.com/2019/08/17/let-the-little-children-come-to-me-and-do-not-hinder-them-for-the-kingdom-of-heaven-belongs-to-such-as-these/

Mysterious Riches of Christ —Ephesians 3 #1

Ephesians 3 New Living Translation (NLT)

God’s Mysterious Plan Revealed

When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles[a] . . . assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.[b] By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone[c] this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Because of Christ and our faith in him,[d] we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

REFERENCES & REFLECTIONS

  1. 3:1 Paul resumes this thought in verse 14: “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father.”
  2. 3:6 Or because they are united with Christ Jesus.
  3. 3:9 Some manuscripts do not include to everyone.
  4. 3:12 Or Because of Christ’s faithfulness.

Saving the Lost & Littlest: Son of Man — Matthew 18 Children of God #2

The Parable of the Wandering Sheep

10“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

[11] a For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

12“What do you think?

If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.
14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:12b-14

References & Reflections

[1] https://chongsoonkim.blogspot.com/2015/08/become-like-little-children-if-you-want.html
[2] https://themillennialbridge.com/matthew-181-6greatest-in-the-kingdom-of-heaven1-at-that-time-the-disciples-ca/
[3] https://www.catholicteacherresources.com/webquest-parable-of-the-lost-sheep/

Who’s the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? — Matthew 18 Children of God #2

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
3And he said:

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 

Matthew 17:3b

4Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Saving the Lost & the Littlest

For the Son of Man has come to save that which has been lost.

Matthew 18:11

References & Reflections

[1] https://chongsoonkim.blogspot.com/2015/08/become-like-little-children-if-you-want.html
[2] https://themillennialbridge.com/matthew-181-6greatest-in-the-kingdom-of-heaven1-at-that-time-the-disciples-ca/

Gifts of the Magi #4: Baby Boy Born in a Manger — Nativity & Humility

The Birth of Jesus — Immanuel, Immaculate Conception

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

The Shepherds and Angels

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.

References & Reflections

[1] https://biblehub.com/matthew/2-11.htm
[2] https://aleteia.org/2018/01/07/what-do-the-3-gifts-of-the-magi-symbolize/
[3] https://aleteia.org/2018/01/07/why-did-the-magi-bring-gifts-of-gold-frankincense-and-myrrh/
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi
[5] https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/significance-of-the-three-kings-gifts/
[6] https://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html
[7] https://www.gotquestions.org/three-wise-men.html
[8] John 19:39 https://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/19-39.htm
[9]  Psalm 72:11
[10] https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Gifts-Meaning-Frankincense-Myrrh/dp/1462116442
[11] https://www.guidedspace.com/single-post/2017/10/07/The-Miracle-Prayer
[12] http://dustoffthebible.com/Blog-archive/2016/12/19/daily-bible-reading-devotional-isaiah-92-7-december-19-2106/
[13] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_We_Have_Heard_on_High
[14] https://www.reformedworship.org/article/september-1992/canticles-christmas-singing-songs-zechariah-mary-angels-and-simeon
[15] https://shop.spreadshirt.com/274423/baby+jesus+manger+scene-A5d89cf186bbdbb2e6a4883bb?productType=992

Isaiah 9:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[a] Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Gifts of the Magi #2: Chosen Child Christ Jesus

Matthew 2:1-12

The Pilgrimage of the Magi

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the easta and have come to worship Him.”

3 When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired where the Christ was to be born.

5“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah,
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of My people Israel.’b 

Micah 5:2; see also 2 Samuel 5:2

7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and learned from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8And sending them to Bethlehem, he said: “Go and search carefully for the Child, and when you find Him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship Him.”

9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the Child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great delight. 11On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh[8].

12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they withdrew to their country by another route.

References & Reflections

[1] https://biblehub.com/matthew/2-11.htm
[2] https://aleteia.org/2018/01/07/what-do-the-3-gifts-of-the-magi-symbolize/
[3] https://aleteia.org/2018/01/07/why-did-the-magi-bring-gifts-of-gold-frankincense-and-myrrh/
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi
[5] https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/significance-of-the-three-kings-gifts/
[6] https://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html
[7] https://www.gotquestions.org/three-wise-men.html
[8] John 19:39 https://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/19-39.htm
[9]  Psalm 72:11
[10] https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Gifts-Meaning-Frankincense-Myrrh/dp/1462116442
[11] https://www.guidedspace.com/single-post/2017/10/07/The-Miracle-Prayer
[12] https://www.reformedworship.org/article/september-1992/canticles-christmas-singing-songs-zechariah-mary-angels-and-simeon

Isaiah 9:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[a] Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6
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