Friday, July 13, 2018


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 15, 2018

Over 166,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

THE WIDOW AND THE UNJUST JUDGE
(Persist in prayer and confidence in GOD’s justice)
(Luke 18:1-8)

   In Luke chapter 18, verses 1-8, JESUS relates the, now famous, story of “the persistent widow”, as HE needed to illustrate the importance of “constant prayer to GOD”, to HIS disciples. Here HE gives us a vivid depiction of a pagan judge who is residing in a secular courtroom setting, perhaps, in Jerusalem. We can surmise this because, in the Jewish community, all ordinary disputes between the Israelites, such as this one, were always settled privately before a panel of Jewish elders, and not in a public forum.
    Under Jewish law, even those disputes that were taken to arbitration had to be heard by a three-member panel, as one man could not constitute “a Court”. Three elders had to be chosen, one by the plaintiff, one by the defendant, and one would be appointed independently by a neutral, uninvolved source.
    The judge in this particular parable, was one who would have been a “paid magistrate”, that was appointed, either by Herod, or, by some other Roman government official. These particular judges often had very unsavory reputations, and were often referred to as “Dayyaneh Gezeloths” in the Hebrew language, which translates to “Robber Judges” in the English.
    The widow who is depicted in this parable is symbolic of all those people who were very poor and lacking in financial means or skills, to mount a decent courtroom defense. She represented those who had very little hope of getting justice from judges of this character. In the Roman courts, the more riches you had access to, the better your chances were of being successful in your litigations in a public forum.
    This story serves to teach us “perseverance” and “patience” in our prayer life with GOD. GOD is not the “human judge” in this parable, who can be totally indifferent to the needs of the people. GOD cares very deeply about providing justice and provisions for HIS followers, and therefore, we can keep on praying, with confidence, whenever there is a “waiting period”. And we can be sure that GOD will deliver to us, justice and provisions, in the timeliest manner possible.
    However, this does not mean that GOD will grant us everything that we “want” or ask for. The things that we pray for must also be within HIS Will. Oftentimes, GOD has to refuse our requests, because HE knows that, by granting it, it would do us more harm than good. That is why, when we say that “we want GOD’s Will to be done in our lives”, HE will test us with “a waiting period” so that we can gather our thoughts, which can help us to see, whether or not our requests, or petitions, are even GODly. Oftentimes we pray only in “an emergency situation”, and just as often, those prayers may not even be something GOD, in HIS holiness, will grant, because the prayer itself isn’t GODly.
    Only GOD is able to see the whole of our lives in an instant, and only HE is able to know what’s good for us in the short run, and, in the long run. That is also why JESUS says that we must never be discouraged in our waiting for our prayers to be answered. We must first grow within our faith before we can be able to withstand the waiting, and understand whether or not our prayers are something that a holy GOD can grant to us, and still be holy. And, it would be good if we always remember that, the end to a perfect prayer has always been, “LORD, THY Will be done”.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website




     
   
  




Friday, July 6, 2018


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 8, 2018

Over 166,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

JESUS CRITICIZES UNJUST LEADERS
(Practicing justice, mercy, and faithfulness)
(Matthew 23:1-4 and 23-26)

      From the time the written Word of GOD was first handed down to man through Moses until now, man, through his own human ingenuity, has always tried to twist it to fit his own chosen denominational lifestyle. Man has constantly sought a way that we can make a god in our own “distorted spiritual image”, instead of humbling ourselves in obedience, under the GOD, WHO made us in HIS.
    And as we continue to offer up to GOD our own various versions of what we think Christianity should be like in our minds, GOD will continue to sit back and let us spank our own selves with mortal doctrines that cannot possibly govern us into anything near righteousness, or eternal life with HIM.
    Throughout JESUS’ three-year ministry here on earth, HE was constantly challenged by Church leaders who had incorporated their own private doctrines ahead of the principles and concepts of “the GOD” in Heaven, WHOM they say they desire to follow, worship, and adore. These Church leaders lived in the most blessed generation of all time, because many of them got to actually see and hear JESUS’ teachings, and see HIS lifestyle examples, first hand, up-close, live, and in person.
    JESUS already understood what most religious leaders fail to understand, even in this day and age, and that is the fact that no human being is capable of compiling a list of rules and regulations that every human being can totally and perfectly benefit from by observing. Man, because of his own mortalities and imperfections, will never be able to spiritually rule over another man. In fact, it is because we are human that it is impossible for us to concoct such a system of rules and laws that will perfectly avoid all the pitfalls in a church, or, in a secular society.
    In short, man, who is, in every sense, created by GOD, and for GOD, needs the CREATOR in order to exist and survive in continued peace, joy, and prosperity. GOD, in HIS advance wisdom, has already made it impossible for man to unite in perfect harmony under himself. For we, who were created by GOD, can only unite under HIM by being in perfect agreement and obedience to HIS Word. GOD has never needed, nor been interested in incorporating our “human ingenuity” in HIS plans, especially for “The Church”. He only requires “our obedience”.
    Taking up at verse 1 of Matthew chapter 23, JESUS cautions both, HIS disciples, and the crowd who had gathered before HIM that; “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the Scriptures. So practice and obey whatever they say to you, but don’t follow their example. For, they don’t practice what they teach. They crush you with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden”.
    The Scribes and the Pharisees were big on “ceremonial law”, those denominational decrees which they manufactured themselves, through their “human ingenuity” and cleaver thinking. They laid upon Israel, literally hundreds of laws, called “customs of the elders”, that weren’t even written down until hundreds of years after the crucifixion of JESUS (circa A.D. 400).
    These rules and regulations often had nothing to do with the Word of GOD, but rather were only presented to people as if they were “bible”. That is why JESUS HIMSELF did not observe, nor respect them. These regulations were “humanly impossible to obey” anyway, because they found their origins in satan, and satan always wants us to think that “it is impossible to obey GOD”.
    These religious leaders would simply take one of GOD’s laws, and through their human ingenuity, they would exaggerate it many times over, to make it sound completely impossible to achieve unless, of course, you were “one of them” (a Pharisee or Scribe).
    In verse 23 of this chapter, JESUS shines the spotlight on another one of the Pharisees many flaws in the way that they operate under GOD, disregarding “justice”, “mercy”, and ”faith”. Here HE points out the distorted way in which they regarded tithing and giving. Even though they were teachers of the law of GOD, they did not completely comprehend the true reason as to why GOD institutes and emphasizes the importance of “giving”.
    Giving trains us how to address and practice applying justice, mercy, and faith in our lifestyle. We are to be just and merciful toward our fellowman, just as GOD is just and merciful to each of us, and, by doing this, we show our faith in GOD to take care of all of our needs, because we care for the needs of others.
    When sin entered into the world, one of GOD’s judgments on man was that HE “cursed the ground” (Genesis 3:17). Everything that we see existing in the world originates from that “now cursed” ground, and therefore, everything man makes or raises from the ground also contains that curse.
    However, GOD, through HIS boundless mercy and grace, instituted “giving” (tithing, sharing, and reacting positively to the human need all around us), as the only method by which we can overcome the curse of the earth. Giving, which is the sharing of one’s possessions and one’s self (unselfishness), is “the only way to counteract the curse on the produce and products of the earth that was brought on by the “selfishness” of Adam and Eve, which brought sin into humanity.
    When we give at least 10% of our earnings, and we are willing to share our time, talents, and prosperity with those who are in need, we take the curse off of that which we give, and, off of all that which we retain for ourselves and our family’s need. In addition, JESUS says in effect that, “through our generosity here on earth, we store up treasures for ourselves in Heaven!” (Luke 16:9). It is a formula that, if used, would, quite literally, mean death to “greed”, selfishness, and “poverty” in the world.
    In verse 25-26, JESUS warns the religious leaders of how terrible it will be for hypocrites who are so careful to “clean the exterior of the body” or, maintain a good outward appearance for others to see, but the inside is filthy and full of greed and self-indulgence. HE then suggests that they clean the inside (the heart, soul, and mind) first, and then, the outside will become clean also.
    What JESUS is saying here to the religious leaders is that, “what came first to us as human beings” is the inside, not the outside, and that, the part of us that is the most important to our existence once we are born into this world, is the inside, the “eternal parts”.
    GOD actually constructed our “innermost being” first, our core layers, which are, “our heart” (the center of our thoughts, where GOD must be kept), “our soul” (the human spirit, where GOD placed HIS “nature” and the “compassion” to regulate it with), and, “our mind”, (our self conscience, which was made to be dictated to by our heart and soul). The mind is the center for our self-conscience, pattern of thought, moral compass, and decision making.
    The final part of our being is the “human flesh” (the only part that is not “eternal”), the outer part, the only part which can be seen, or “sensed” (seen, heard, felt, smelled, or even tasted) by others. What’s inside of us, the unseen spiritual part, actually determines what we do in the physical. In other words, our innermost spiritual make-up is actually manifested outwardly through our behavior, which can be seen and felt by others.
    And so, since man always, 100% of the time, does that which is in his heart, GOD uses our heart (the center of our thoughts) as “the barometer” by which HE judges us. It is an absolute “fool proof” system. That is also why JESUS teaches that we attack sin in “the thinking stages” where it can be brought under control without consequences. That is also why JESUS says here that, if we clean the inside first, placing our thoughts on the things of GOD, our actions, the things that we do in the physical with our bodies, will also be GODly.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander  
   




                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website





Friday, June 29, 2018


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 1, 2018

Over 164,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

THE PARABLE OF THE UNFORGIVING SERVANT
(Forgive others as GOD forgives us)
(Matthew 18:21-35)

   In the first century it was Rabbinic teaching that a person should grant “forgiveness” up to “three times”, for offenses that have been perpetrated upon them by others. Here in Matthew 18:21, Peter thought himself to be very generous when he suggests to JESUS, “seven times”, as an answer to his own question of, “LORD, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me?
    One can imagine how shocked Peter was when JESUS, a Rabbi HIMSELF, suggests the unheard number of, “70 times 7”, as being the proper amount of times to forgive a person for a single offense, if necessary. He felt for sure that, in his answer to his own question, he was extending grace plenty enough by “doubling” the suggested Rabbinic amount of “three times”, and then “adding one more for good measure”.
    However, in this passage, JESUS buttresses HIS own answer with an astounding parable that I will now attempt to put into perspective. Here JESUS relates the story of a servant who owes his king, by today’s American equivalency, “12 million dollars”. The king calls his servant in and demands immediate full payment of his debt. Naturally the servant couldn’t pay back such a large amount of debt, and so the master suggested that he sell off all of his assets, including his wife and children, in order to satisfy the debt.
    The servant pleaded and begged with his king to give him more time and he will eventually get him paid in full. Incredibly, the king felt such deep pity for his servant, that he actually forgave his debt in full, leaving him owing nothing but “a debt of gratitude”. Now, for any person, rich or poor, this would be considered as the ultimate blessing, and should have inspired any normal person, Christian or not, to want to extend that same kind of grace to someone else.
    However, in perhaps one of the most astounding turnabouts in the pages of biblical literature, the servant who had just been forgiven millions of dollars in debt, leaves the presence of his merciful king, and tracks down a fellow-servant who owes him the equivalence of less than 3000 dollars by today’s American standard. He, quite literally, grabs his fellow-servant by the throat, and demands instant payment of what he owed him. The fellow-servant fell to his knees begging for more time to pay off his debt, but the once “forgiven servant” would not grant it. Instead, he had his fellow-servant arrested and thrown in jail until his debt was fully paid.
    Some of the several servants, who witnessed the man’s actions, and who knew of the king’s mercy towards him, immediately went to the king and reported to him what had happened. The king, who became very irate after hearing the report, called the forgiven servant back into his presence, and revoked the previous mercy that he had shown him. The king then threw the servant into jail, pending payment of his entire debt of 12 million of dollars to him.
    JESUS states that this kind of action will be exacted upon anyone who denies mercy and forgiveness to their fellowman. GOD renders mercy and forgiveness to all of us, and HE expects us to emulate HIS behavior toward our fellowman, while we are here on earth.
    Just like the debt that had been amassed by the poor unforgiving servant in this passage, the debt that we owe to GOD the FATHER, JESUS CHRIST, and the HOLY SPIRIT, is indeed, “an unpayable one”. However, when make the decision to follow CHRIST JESUS and get on, and stay on “the lighted path to salvation” that HE has already blazed through this dark world for us, we, like JESUS, and through the power, teaching, and guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT, can overcome this world, just as HE did.
    The “SPIRIT”, and the “Bride” (the true Christian Church members), say come. However, satan, through the lure of his “sin nature” says the same. The HOLY of GOD will always try to lead us toward CHRIST JESUS. However, the acquired sin nature in us will always try to tug us back towards the world. The battle that goes inside of each of us, between “the reason to do right” (the HOLY SPIRIT), and “the passion to want to do wrong” (sin nature), stays with us, long after we accept the “free gift” of salvation. However, through our new found strength in CHRIST JESUS, we can eventually overcome the “gravitational pull” of this world, and find ourselves in “the ultimate happy ending”, that has been prepared for us by GOD, since the foundation of this world.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website

Friday, June 22, 2018


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday June 24, 2018

Over 164,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
(Reaping GOD’s justice)
(Luke 16:19-31)

   In Luke chapter 16, verses 19-31, JESUS relates the parable of an unnamed rich man, and a poor man named Lazarus. Because JESUS does not normally use personal names in HIS parables, many scholars tend to believe that this story relates to an actual event. The New Testament tells us of many people who were forced to result to begging due to indigence caused mostly by a debilitating sickness or physical condition.
    Most Christians wholeheartedly agree that giving of their time, money, and skills to those who are destitute and in need, is a good and meritorious thing to do, in the eyes of GOD, and man. However, the rich man in this parable refuses to render any help whatsoever to the needy Lazarus, and as a result of his mistreatment of those in need, he died and woke up, and found himself on the wrong side of the “great chasm” (in Hell) (v.26).
    Here in this passage we see that the rich man is portrayed as being fully conscious and aware of his surroundings while he sat suffering in the fires of Hell. We see that he is able to “see”, “hear”, “feel”, and “remember” very clearly, and besides, there is no biblical basis to support the notion that death is an unconscious state anyway. In fact, this parable clearly suggests that human personally, fully conscious and aware, does persist, even after physical death has occurred.
    JESUS tells us that the rich man, who was in much torment, could see Lazarus, the man he denied help to in the physical life, at a distance in Heaven, in the company of Abraham, the great Jewish patriarch. The rich man, who was now anguishing in the flames of Hell, shouted to Abraham, begging him for mercy. He asks Abraham to send Lazarus over with just a drop of water so that he could cool his tongue.
    Abraham said to the man, “Son, remember that during your lifetime, you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. Anyone who wanted to cross over to you from here is stopped at its edge, and no one there can cross over to us” (Vs.25-26 - NLT).
    Then the man asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s home to warn his five brothers about Hell, so that they won’t have to go there when they die. However, Abraham responded, “Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read their writings anytime they want to” (v.29). The man then said, “No father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins” (v.30). Abraham replied, “If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead” (v.31).
    Perhaps JESUS relates this parable to us to help show us that “being rich” has nothing to do with “being righteous”, and in fact, “riches” and “righteousness”, much more often than not, manifests themselves as being polar opposites in the real world. One, like the rich man in this story, lives in complete luxury, perhaps desiring to interact only with his peers, while the other man, Lazarus, lives with abject poverty, hunger, and poor health as his daily challenge. Such a person is much more likely to turn to help from GOD, by way of the mercy and grace of their fellowman.
    None of us were put here, as “a man alone on an island”, who, can depend only on himself for survival. GOD put us here to survive by depending on each other, and interacting with other, and from the enlightment that we receive from closely associating with each other, we can readily react to each other’s needs in a positive way, sometimes without being asked, or told. When we show that we care for each other, we show that we love GOD, WHO made us in HIS OWN “spiritual image” (Genesis 1:26).
    In the biblical Greek, the name “Lazarus” means “GOD the Helper” and so maybe JESUS chose this name, not because of one of HIS best friends (Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, whom JESUS would later raise from the dead), but rather, because the character HE was trying to depict (who very well may have been a real person whom JESUS had met) was a poor man who had decided to depend on GOD for his daily provisions, even unto his death.
    Ultimately, and, ironically, the rich man’s “walls of his house” became the “great chasm” that helped prevent Lazarus from receiving “physical salvation”, and he himself, from receiving “spiritual salvation”. I say this because, here, Scripture says that Lazarus lay, quite literally, at the rich man’s front door (v.20), perhaps on his front porch even, and the rich man never tried shooing him away, asking him in, or sending him something out to eat. Instead, he just simply must have stepped over, or walked around him day by day, either just ignoring what his eyes had seen, or taking enjoyment, or mocking, at “Lazarus’ inferior position in life”, all the way up until the time he died and was carried away by angels of GOD.
    After the rich man met his physical demise, he found himself in a place called “Hell” (“Sheol” in the Hebrew, “Hades” in the Greek”), in “total conscience torment”, in “his spiritual life” after death. He was residing directly across “a great chasm” that “separated” himself from Lazarus, the man whom he had daily refused to give alms to on his own front porch.
    Lazarus, on the other hand, was now residing in the comforts of Heaven at Abraham’s side. He was enjoying a “spiritual life” after death that is prepared by GOD, only for those who are obedient to, and dependant on HIM, in their “physical” lifetimes. Just think of how many people, who could have gone to Heaven, who have actually “read” or “heard” the “Word of GOD” since JESUS was raised from the dead, but have chosen instead, to go to Hell.
    In the Gospels of Matthew (7:24-29) and Luke (6:46-49) JESUS concludes HIS, now famous, “Sermon on the Mount” with this warning for us to build our foundations on the “Most High Faith” (Christianity). There we see JESUS demanding two things. First HE demands that we “hear” (receive the Word of GOD into our heart spiritually), and then HE demands that we “do” (live the Word of GOD with our physical bodies). Knowledge does not become relevant until it is, first, “put into action”. In GOD, “knowledge must become action”, “theory must become practice”, and then “theology can become life”.
    In Matthew 25, verses 31-46, JESUS gives us the answers to how, we “as human beings” can be “successful” under GOD. There we see that it is very different from the world’s view of what “success” is. There, JESUS tells us that when HE returns to judge us, HE will base HIS decision upon “how we reacted to human need in our lifetime”.
    So remember, while we do need to be “shrewd managers” of what GOD has blessed us with, we must also strive to balance that “shrewdness”, with the “compassion” that HE has also blessed us with. In addition, that compassion, which governs GOD’s OWN nature that is embodied in each of us, was demonstrated to us, quite vividly, and, quite thoroughly, by CHRIST JESUS in HIS lifetime, here on earth. And so, here in the so-called “Church Age”, all we need to do is, “follow HIM”.

A Sunday school by,
Larry D. Alexander   





                                 
                                           LARRY DALEXANDER- Official Website



Friday, June 15, 2018


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday June 17, 2018

Over 164,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

JESUS TEACHES ABOUT THE LAW AND INNER PURITY
(Don’t let human traditions be a substitute for honoring GOD)
(Matthew 15:1-20)

   In our Christian Churches today, just like in biblical times, man tends to put his laws and traditions ahead of the Word of GOD through their various so-called Christian denominations. Instead of training people to be Christians, we spend all of our time trying to teach our members how to be Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, etc.
    We all tend to look into Scripture and draw our own personal theology from them, instead of letting the bible interpret itself to us through long and careful study and assistance from the HOLY SPIRIT, WHOM JESUS says, will teach us all things and remind us of all things that JESUS taught about the Word of GOD HIMSELF (John 14:26 and 16:13-15).
    GOD did not leave it to “sinful man” to interpret HIS Word to the world or to the Church. Why would HE do such a stupid thing? HE’s an all wise GOD WHO can’t help but show wisdom, and to do such a thing obviously would not be in keeping with HIS superior wisdom. “Christianity” is the only “true religion” because it is the only religion that is a product of GOD’s mind. All of the other denominations of the world, including the so-called Christian ones, are just mere products of a men’s mind, and are only instruments of the devil that he uses to separate or block people from gaining complete knowledge of GOD.  
    In Matthew 15:1-11, a group of Pharisees and teachers of religious law came to Jerusalem to interview JESUS and question HIM about HIS teachings in general, and the first thing they wanted to know is why HE and HIS disciples were disobeying, or ignoring their laws and traditions (i.e., ceremonial hand-washing) which they obviously placed above GOD’s law.
    In verse 3, in response to their ludicrous question, JESUS poses a question and lecture of HIS OWN. Here HE asks them, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of GOD?” For instance, GOD says, “Honor your father and mother”, and anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death”. But you say, “You don’t need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to GOD instead” (NLT) (They called it Corban for GOD). This is just one example JESUS says, for there are many, many more (Mark 7:13 - NLT).
    And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of GOD. You hypocrites! Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said, “These people honor ME with their lips, but their hearts are far from ME. Their worship is a farce, for they replace GOD’s commands with their own man-made teachings”. And even today we continue to “make stuff up” about GOD, because our Christian denominations are in many ways, a farce also.
    In verse 10 JESUS continues HIS teachings as HE turns to the crowd and says, “Listen to what I say and try to understand. You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do”. These statements by JESUS began to concern HIS disciples who were also among the brainwashed parishioners of the Church of Israel in those days. They too had become victims of the “false teachings” (yeast) of the religious hierarchy in the Church.
    In verse 12 we see how the disciples’ concerns are very much misplaced, as they seem to be more worried about “offending the Church leaders” with the Word of GOD, than they are about the Church leaders accepting the truth of GOD’s words.
    In verse 13 JESUS admonishes HIS wayward students that “Every plant that is not planted by GOD the FATHER will be rooted up”. HE then advises HIS followers to “Ignore them. They are like blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into the ditch”.  Here JESUS is saying that all Church leaders who are not called by GOD will be eventually eliminated from HIS Church. A person who does not himself know the Word of GOD cannot possibly teach anyone else the Word of GOD. In such cases both individuals will fall down into the pits of hell (Vs. 13-14).
    In the biblical Greek, the word used for “heart” is “kardia”, and it is “one’s thoughts”, motives, or “way of thinking”. And so, in the biblical sense, “heart” is not just an organ in one’s chest. As Christians, we must come to understand that “sin begins in “the thinking stages”, and therefore, so must “repent”. This holy idealism goes to the heart of all of JESUS’ teaching.
    In verse 15, the Apostle Peter asks JESUS to expound on one of the statements HE had made earlier, when HE said, “People are not defiled by what they eat, but rather, by what they say and do”. In verses 16-20 JESUS explains it to Peter this way, “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes out of the body”. On the other hand, “evil thoughts” that produce such sins as murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander are what defiles a person spiritually, morally, and physically in the sight of GOD. What one eats, or, whether or not one washes his or her hands before or after eating, can never make a person unacceptable to GOD.
    If we are, in any sense, to become true followers of CHRIST, we must learn to, first, hear the Word physically and spiritually, and then, do the Word physically. We also have to lay down our “human ingenuity” when it comes to doing the work of GOD. GOD does not need us to re-think HIS plan and try to improve upon it. HIS plan is already perfect, and written out in HIS Word for all to see. HE just needs us to carry out that, “already perfect plan” sacrificially, in, and with, our own bodies that HE gave us.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website




Friday, June 8, 2018


WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday June 10, 2018

Over 163,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

PARABLES OF GOD’S KINGDOM
(GOD’s Kingdom grows despite earthly obstacles)
(Matthew 13:24-43)

   One of the main differences between the “Church” and the “Kingdom of Heaven” is that the Church includes both “saved” and “unsaved” people alike, whereas the Kingdom of Heaven will only be populated with those who are saved, and so too will the earthly “Millennial Kingdom” of CHRIST be. Here in Matthew 13, JESUS provides us with several parables that witness of that fact, as now we see a very distinct turning point in HIS ministry here on earth.
    Up until this point JESUS had done much of HIS teaching in the synagogue, but now because of open opposition from the Pharisees, Sadduces, and Scribes, the doors to the Church were slowly being closed to HIM. And even though HE was still being welcomed by the common folks of the congregation, the hierarchy of Judaism was beginning to search for ways to discredit HIM, and were, more and more, dead set on trying to trap HIM in HIS words.
    Taking up at verse 24, JESUS relates the parable of the farmer who planted good seeds of wheat in his field. That night, however, while everyone slept, his enemy came and planted weeds all among the wheat that he had sowed.
    As the crop began to grow, the farmer came to the realization that he had a “weed problem” to contend with in his field, however, instead of disturbing and running the risk of destroying his wheat crop, he decided to let the wheat grow to maturity among the weeds, and then, just prior to the harvest, remove the weeds without doing any damage to the valuable wheat that was needed for food and nourishment.
    After the crop ripened and became ready for harvesting, the harvesters first removed the weeds from the wheat field and burned them. Then, they harvested all of the wheat from the field and stored it safely within a barn.
     This parable by JESUS paints a vivid picture to those who were familiar with Palestinian farm life. The weeds, or “tares” depicted in this story were one of the most hated problems that a farmer had to contend with in his labors. These particular weeds, called “bearded darnel”, in their early stages, very much resembled wheat, and in fact, it was extremely difficult to distinguish between the two at that point in their growth. However, once they matured, the task of distinguishing became very easy, and so a farmer would be wise to wait until then to separate the two.
    Sandwiched in between “the parable of the wheat and tares” and its explanation, we find two other short parables, one of the “Mustard seed”, not the smallest seed, but rather, it was the smallest of all the seeds for gardening in Palestine in those days, and was often used in the proverbial sense to describe something very tiny. And, there is also “the Illustration of the Yeast”, which explains how a very trace amount of something can become a very large influence in life, or have a huge affect on life as a whole.
    In the parable of the Mustard seed, JESUS imparts to us a fact that has been historically proven over all of time, and that is, “great things always begin small”. The Mustard seeds of Palestine were likened unto that, as they often grew into 10 to 12 feet plants. And so we can see here that this parable is not an exaggeration by JESUS, by any stretch of the imagination.
    The Kingdom of GOD had come into the world through the presence of JESUS. Christianity would start with one MAN, but would catapult into a major religion before the end of the first century. This was one of the most personal parables that JESUS ever spoke, however, HE wanted HIS small group of young men to realize the challenge they were up against, and HE also wanted them to know that with GOD, all things were possible.
    There would be no room for discouragement. Each man had to first serve as one witness in every place that they went. And from all those small beginnings in each place, the influence of CHRIST would grow, until all the kingdoms on earth, have become Kingdoms of GOD.
    The parable of the yeast can be likened to the illustration of the mustard seed, as only a very small amount of leaven is needed to make bread rise. The amount applied may be small, but its influence on the way things turn out is tremendous. Christianity had small beginnings, but in the end its influence, the transforming power of CHRIST, will overcome the world, just as HE did.
    In the end, man will not be judged by any “single act”, or even “stage”, of his life, but rather, we will be judged by the whole of our lives. For, that is why GOD reserves judgment until the end, and not at the beginning. The parable of the wheat and tares serves to teach us that lesson. The world is full of both good and bad people, and sometimes, because of hypocrisy (play acting) it is difficult to tell which is which. However, if we wait and observe for long enough, eventually they will both, through their actions, help us to identify, just who they really are.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander