Tag Archives: Apostle

Matthew 26 – 2 – Revenge of the Pharisees

Preparations have been made and the time has come.  There is only to wait, and rest, and meet the promised fate.  Jesus takes the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.  The disciples, having had a very busy week, having just completed a big meal, and being unaware of what is about to happen simply cannot keep their eyes open to pray.  Thus Jesus last moments alone with his disciples end up with Him being truly alone.  Just Him speaking with His Father, YHWH.

It’s rather sad that Jesus, the Son of God, is being betrayed by one of His own.  These 12 disciples have followed Him for three years now.  They have seen the miracles He has done.  They have seen Him walk on water, heal the blind, cast out demons, raise the dead, and more.  They have heard Him teach.  They have heard all the stories about the Kingdom of Heaven, that it is at hand, what it is like,  the need for repentance, and what role they will play there.  They have even gone out and done and taught the same things with people healed at their hands.  Yet, one of their own.  One from the big 12 is in the process of betraying Him…  of betraying them all.  Yet there it is.  Not only does he betray Jesus, he betray’s Him with a kiss… and they all go tumbling down.  His disciples, including His closest three, all scatter.

What happens next is absolutely amazing.  The Pharisees, high priests and elders have Him arrested.  That’s a great idea!  Only they don’t exactly have their act together.  They are fumbling around trying to figure out what to charge Jesus with, and even bringing forward people bear false witness against Him (the 10th commandment).  Yet even with all of this, they still can’t seem to get their act together.  There seems to be a bit of a spirit of confusion about the place.  It takes Jesus Himself giving them the ammunition that they need before they are able to clearly bring a case against Him.

Meanwhile, Peter is watching all of this from the sidelines, full of fear of what is going to happen and what could happen to Him if he is caught.  In the process, he is caught.  People recognize him, and call him out.  So while Judas, the least of the Apostles, betray’s Judas to the Pharisees; Peter, the greatest of the Apostles deny’s Him for fear of the Pharisees.  It looks like the Pharisees are getting their revenge.

Yet, there is always hope…

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Matthew 19 – Marriage & Money

Marriage:
How lightly do we esteem divorce?  How easily do we let it go?  In the time of Christ, divorce was an easier process than it is now.  You had just to get a certificate of divorce from the Scribes and/or Pharisees.  I have heard it said that it was easier than that.  I have heard it said that all a man needed to do was to tell his wife, “I divorce you.” three times together, and they were divorced.

Jesus makes it clear that once the marriage has been sealed, divorce is not in the design or the plan.  Yet so often, we don’t see it that way.  Men are looking for t he perfect wife, and women are looking for the perfect man.  They marry the person that they think is “the one” or their “soul mate” and when things don’t quite go as  expected, there is a running of the bulls.  The couple flees and the marriage dissolves.   Yet that is not how it is meant to happen.  Yet we, in our selfishness and pride, would rather destroy what God made and blessed than admit that we may be wrong, or that we need to change in ways that we don’t want / like to… especially when we feel hurt by someone who was supposed to protect / respect us.  There are so many things i could go into explaining and blaming for this mentality; the age of marriage, pre-marital emotional intimacy, a lack of marital support / mentoring, a lack of understanding of what marriage really is, but i need to move on.

Money:
I am very interested in this story of the rich young ruler.  In Bible college I had a professor that put a very interesting spin / perspective on this story.  The rich young ruler is a young man that clearly desires to be righteous and be a part of what God / Christ is doing.  However, he gets so caught up in his own wealth, that he can’t let it go to pursue Christ.  However, this story may not end here.  From what i’ve heard, this young man reappears in the Bible in the book of acts.  Apparently Josephus (the non-Christian Jewish historian) reports that the Apostle John taught his disciples that this rich young ruler was the same man that is named in Acts (4:36-37) “Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  Barnabas went on, partnered with Paul, and was one of the first missionaries.  He did great things with the kingdom, but ONLY after he let go of his riches.  I have not studied this in depth, but i believe this to be true because i have seen how God works.  To have a man consumed by his riches and reject Christ / his call at first because of these things finally turn, reject the wealth, and become the true man of God he was meant to be.  That kind of redemption can only be the work of God / YHWH!

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 14 – John, Jesus, & Peter

It’s quite the statement when someone who kills you, hears about the Son of God doing amazing things and preaching & teaching, and thinks it is you risen from the dead.  Not that John the Baptist would really appreciate the irony of the situation so much.  But it certainly does make a statement.

This chapter focuses the mental camera on Jesus, the Christ,  by panning through John, Jesus, and Peter.  Attention is brought to the fate of John the Baptist, who must decrease while He (Christ) must increase… decrease is right.  Herod, who had arrested him for speaking out against him, had been keeping John alive in prison because he was struck by what John said, and Herod would bring him out to listen to him from time to time.  However, Herodias, Herod’s wife who did not like John speaking against her, had wanted John dead, but Herod was unwilling to do it.  So on Herod’s birthday, Herodius’ daughter, Salome, danced for him.  He offers her whatever she wants, she asks for the head of John the Baptist on a platter, and as much as he doesn’t want to do it, he does it to fulfill his promise before his guests.

So Jesus, in mourning, goes to a secluded place to find rest / peace, but He finds none.  The crowds arrive there before He does.  Even in mourning, He still minister’s and leads.  Then He feeds the crowds… or at least He blesses the food and tells the disciples to feed the people.  As a result, 5,000 are fed from five small loaves and two fish.  Afterwards He sends the disciples away in a boat, and He sends the crowds home.

Finally, there is a storm on the sea, Jesus walks on water, and the disciples see him.  Jesus speaks to the disciples to calm them, and Peter responds with an amazing reaction of faith.  He says, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  He is finally getting it.  With Christ, and only through Christ (and the Holy Spirit), he will increase.

Who are we to become and at what cost?  John had to decrease for Christ to increase.  As Christ increased, Peter was able to increase as well.  Peter’s increase led to the increase of the church, but eventually he too decreased so that future generations could increase.  What is your role and your purpose in Christ?

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

 

P.S. This is my 150th post.

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Matthew 10 – Sent Ones

The word Apostle in Greek is Apostolos which means a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders.  The basic understanding is that it is one sent (with specific orders).  It is someone who has been directed to leave, go somewhere and do something specific.  In today’s church, our closest example would be a missionary.

Here in Matthew 10 we see Jesus sending out disciples, giving them specific instructions about where to go and what to do.  It is a primer for ministry.  Start with your own people, “go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as you go, 1)preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  2)Heal  the sick, 3)raise the dead, 4)cleanse the lepers, 5)cast out demons. Freely you received, 6)freely give.  Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts…

With these commands we begin to see that basic ministry is one part preaching and a whole lot more parts “ministering” to people.  Being a disciple / apostle of Christ means not only preaching, but going and doing.  It’s not 90% teaching / preaching and 10% doing, it’s preaching, with a whole lot more reaching than anything else.

Is this what we are doing?

 

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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