Tag Archives: servant

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 20 – Eyes Blinded & Opened

This parable about the vineyard seems to bug me.  So early in the day this man goes out and hires a bunch of people.  They start working and keep working all day.  As the day goes on, he goes out and hires more and more people.  As the day goes on he continues hiring people until, an hour before finishing time he hires the last group of people.  So then at the end of the day he pays the workers their wages… starting with the last first.  So now he’s paying the last, those that have only worked an hour, not only the same as those who have worked all day long, but also he pays them all the same.  Those who have worked all day long are kind of ticked off, they have families and lives that they need to get home to.  They are tired from working so hard, and these other guys not only get paid as much as they do, they have to wait to get paid until these others do.  I mean come on!  Give these guys a break!  But the owner doesn’t.  He responds to their frustration by saying, “This is what we agreed to, so why are you so upset about how I paid these others?”‘

I’m pretty sure that i understand the meaning behind the parable.  The workers are people.  Some have been serving God all their lives, others reject Him until not long before they die.  Yet they both get paid the same.  Why?  Because God wants to do it that way.  Being one that has served Him since i was young, i struggle with this one quite a bit.  I think that part of it is a pride thing, and part of it is an envy thing, and part of it is a blind thing.  I feel like I DESERVE more because I have worked SO HARD for SO LONG (pride).  I feel like as i see others doing the wrong things (what they want) for so long, yet they seem to have all that they want / need, and they will get the same payment at the end it just doesn’t seem fair (envy).  It’s also a blind thing.  I don’t know what i’ve been missing out on.  I can’t see 5 dimensionally.  I can’t see what could have happened if i had made a different choice, but i wonder.

In the parable, the owner of the vineyard says, “Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’”  I have to be careful of how i react to these kinds of things.  Matthew 18:8-9 says, “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.”  I have to be careful.  If my envious eye is not brought under conviction and dealt with (removed), it can lead to my own downfall.

There is so much more to this topic that i don’t have time to go into, but i did want to touch on one more thing in this chapter.  At the end of the chapter, there are two blind men sitting.  They heard that Jesus was passing by and they cried out for mercy!  What had they done wrong to deserve blindness that they needed mercy for?  Christ asked them what they wanted Him to do (significant).  He had compassion and healed them.  When we are physically blind, or blinded by by pride and envy.  Only one can have mercy on us and bring healing to our eyes.  He is the one we serve, and who has served us.

Rev. John J. Camiolo

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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 11 – Reactions

When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.”  When i read this, I take it as Jesus instructing and sending out the disciples and while they are sent out to do the work of ministry, He is going to their home cities to teach and preach.  It seems almost like a mentality of, “You go take care of these places and meanwhile I have your back.  I am going to make sure your families and friends are taken care of. ”  It’s like His reaction to their stepping out is to take care of those they care about.

Meanwhile, John the Baptist, the one who recognized Jesus conception from the womb and leapt in his mother’s womb at His presence, the one who prepared the way for Jesus, the one who told Jesus that he couldn’t baptize Him because he was not even worthy to untie His sandals, the one who heard the voice of God (YHWH) speaking and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Jesus, the one who said, “He must increase, and I must decrease”, that John; He has set for too long and has come to the point of wondering and doubting that which He had previously known beyond a shadow of a doubt.  So he sends his disciples, the ones that are left, to Jesus to ask if He is the one.  Jesus reaction is not one of disgust that John is even asking such a thing and reacting in such a way, but His reaction is to tell them to observe and report.  That that is the answer for John’s doubt.  There is no criticism of John, only comfort.

Meanwhile, Jesus begins to respond to the reaction of the cities He has already been to.  He had preached, and taught, and healed, and done miracles, and called them to repentance, yet they had not.  They had continued doing what they knew was wrong and treating Jesus teaching like a passing fad.  So Jesus pronounces “Woe” on them.  They rejected the message, so that reaction is going to affect their standing on the judgment day.

Finally, Jesus calls for a reaction from the people.  The conclusion to the chapter is, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

So what is your and my reaction to His message?


John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 5 – Discipleship 101

Jesus and His disciples were being surrounded and pursued by crowds of people.  They all wanted to be around Jesus because of His teachings and miraculous works.  So He took His disciples aside, away from the crowds and took them up a mount to meet with and teach them specifically.  As a result, we now have a discipleship primer… Discipleship 101 if you will.

He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying“.  It’s interesting because, the word “saying” here is a word that refers to continually repeating.  These ideas and thoughts were not just things that Jesus said to the disciples one time.  They were thoughts that were repeated over and over and over and over.  These are basic lessons on what it means to understand the kingdom of heaven and how to be a disciple of Christ.  These are the foundational responsibilities of discipleship.  Without understanding and living out these foundational principles, a man cannot move on to the more complex aspects of ministry.  Without these foundations, the reality of discipleship is nothing more than listening to some sermons, watching some miracles and going about your daily life.  It is these principles and actions that separate a “crowd follower” from a disciple.

Have we made these discipleship basics the foundation to our walk in Christ, or are we just hanging around to get the free food, hear some good preaching, and see some amazing things happen?  Are we here for a show, or are we here to be disciples?


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Matthew 3 – John the Baptist

John the Baptist had a purpose for his life.  He was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.  His purpose was to point people to THE Christ.  His primary message was, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”  Once the Christ came, he was to decrease so that Christ could increase.

How often do young people, and even older people, seek purpose for their lives?  How often do they pursue understanding for who they are, and what they are to do and become?  But, what if we did know?  What if we did know that we were to prepare the way for something great… and then, that’s it.  What if we knew that we would spend years and years of our lives dedicated to the work of preaching, teaching, calling, etc.  Then it would lead up to ONE day!  …one minute!  …one moment!  And then… what?

You’ve just spent your entire life getting ready and it’s over.  Now “He must increase, and I must decrease.”  None of the rest of it matters all that much.  Your purpose is done, and the rest of your life is mostly meaningless.  Not only for that to happen, but to know that that was going to happen.  Wow, that’s tough.

I really wonder if in today’s world we could handle knowing the truth?  I really wonder if we aren’t so caught up in ourselves that if God / YHWH actually told us what we wanted to know, how many of us would simply run away.  There are those that would say that in those times people were made of sterner stuff.  I don’t know to what extent i would agree with that.  People are people.  Someone may be taught to be stronger, better, wiser… whatever, but we are still made of the same stuff.

Would you or I be able to simply let go, knowing that our purpose has been served and we have nothing left but to push people away and tell them to follow something else… not because we had done something wrong, but because we had done it all right?  John the Baptist was an amazing man.  He lived the life  that YHWH had made him f or, then when that moment was over, he decreased so that Christ could increase.  I don’t know if i could do that.


Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Leviticus 27 – Belonging to God

I was not expecting the last chapter of Leviticus (the book of the law) to be what it is.  I don’t quite know what i was expecting.  For some reason i figured it would be about some parting words the LORD had for Moses before leaving Mount Sinai, or that Moses and the sons of Israel packed up what they had and began to head out to Canaan.

Instead this last chapter is about value, ownership, dedication to the LORD, and tithe.  It starts out placing a monetary value on people of different ages.  Each has a different value depending on their age, sex, and the amount of time until the year of jubilee.  What i think is interesting about this is that it pushes this concept that ownership of people, animals, homes, and land only truly belongs to the LORD / YHWH.

When most things of true value are sold or redeemed, they are done so with reference to the year of Jubilee.  If a field is dedicated to the LORD, the priest places the value of that field at a certain price, related to how many years until the year of jubilee.  After which the LORD reverts that land back to the family that He initially gave it to.

Thus it is not slavery, but servanthood.  When a person is “sold”, they are done so in reference to the amount of labor that person would do between then and the year of jubilee.  It is understood that the “Master” is not “buying” a person.  They are simply paying for service from a person for a certain time period.  This would be similar to a person signing a contract to work for a company for a certain number of years.

The other major theme is that of tithe.  Of all of the animals that the people of Israel own, one out of every 10 must be returned to God.  As they go through the gate, every 10th, whether male or female, the pick of the flock or a little sickly one, the 10th gets dedicated to Him.  Also, the first that opens the womb is holy to YHWH.  Thus the first lamb, the first goat, the first bull, etc. that are born; they must be dedicated to YHWH and returned to Him.

The emphasis here is ownership.  Everything; the land, the people, the flocks, the fruit of the harvest, they all belong to YHWH.  We are simply caretakers receiving back a part of the profits from our hard work.  Do we view life and our work  that way?  Do we recognize that all that we “own” belongs not to us but to YHWH?  Do we treat people and our things as if this is the case?  Should we?

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