- Salt was used for seasoning and preserving food.
- Salt was found in a great abundance on the shore of the dead sea.
- Salt was also used with many different kind of offerings and sacrifices.
Lev 2:13 – Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.
- Every sacrifice was offered with salt as a symbol of preservation. Salt in this context symbolizes eternal preservation.
Numbers 18:19 – …It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring. [Read more…]
Bible Study Lesson:
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” [Read more…]
Bible Study Lesson:
- Mark 11:27-33
- Matthew 21:23-27
- Luke 20:1-8
- Mark 11:27 starts with ‘they arrived in Jerusalem again.” If we check the background of this event, there had been significant drama already played in Jerusalem in last few days. Let us look at last three days of Jesus.
- Day 1:
- Jesus arrived in Jerusalem from Bethany. (Mark 11:1-10) This was his last week before crucification. He entered Jerusalem and was greeted by people as a ‘great messiah’, it was a triumphant entry.
- On that day, he observed all that was going on in the temple, and went back with his disciples to Bethany. (Mark 11:11)
- Day 2:
- Next day (Mark 11:12), Jesus on his way to Jerusalem, he passed by fig tree, when he did not find any fruit on fig tree, he cursed the tree. It was a visual parable for the disciples regarding the ‘barrenness of Israel’. (Also check, bible study on Parable of Wedding Feast)
- He then went to the temple in Jerusalem and drove out all the merchants and money changers. (Mk 11:15-18)
- Day 3:
- Next day, disciples, on their way to Jerusalem, noticed that the fig tree was withered to its root (Mk 11:20)
- Finally they arrived again in Jerusalem (v. 27). And were confronted by the chief priests and scribes in the temple courts.
- By this time, the chief priests and scribes were already indignant by Jesus’ lack of respect of their ‘authority’, and were plotting to somehow trap him and kill him! [Read more…]
Bible Study Lesson:
2 Cor 12:7-10
1. What was St. Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?
Paul did not mention about his ‘thorn in the flesh’. However, one thing is sure, that he was really concerned about this issue.
- It continually distracted him. He was distressed by it.
- He prayed twice that it may depart from him.
- Some scholars say, it was a disease, sickness, which kept him from serving God, some say, it was some area of life, which he was struggling with. (gotquestions.org)
- Whatever it may be, we really don’t know what it was.
- It was holding Paul back from complete devotion/commitment.
- It was his ‘weakness’, he may have found himself struggling over this issue so many times.
- There were so many things (reproaches, necessities, persecutions, distresses), which distracted him, as he mentioned in verse 10. But this particular one concerned Paul the most. [Read more…]
Bible Study Lesson:
- Mark 12:18-27
- Mat 22:23-33
- Luke 20:27-40
Q. Who were Sadducees? What did they believe?
- One of the religious parties / sects among the Jews during the time of Jesus Christ and the early church
- They only held to the ‘Law of Moses’.
- They rejected the traditions of the Pharisees and did not agree with them. (check out Jesus, Pharisees and Parable of Great Feast)
- They did not believe in the ‘resurrection of the dead’.
- They believed that “Souls die with the bodies”. (According the Jewish historian – Josephus)
- They denied the resurrection of the body in Mat 22:23, Luke 20:27, Acts 4:1-2, 23:8.
- They did not believe in the existence of Angels or Spirits. (Acts 23:8)
- There are about 12 incidences of Sadducees in the bible (NT).
- Other incident of ‘Jesus and Sadducees’ is found in Mat 16:1, when they ask Jesus to show a sign from Heaven. [Read more…]
The Beatitudes: An Overview
Matthew 5: 3 -12 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Beatitudes are referred to, as the account of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ preached by Jesus Christ, recorded in Matthew 5: 3-12 in the Bible.
It is one of the most quoted passages of the Bible.
A similar list of beatitudes is also given in Luke 6:20-23.
This bible study guide is an eight part series on the Beatitudes. [Read more…]
Bible Study Lesson
1 John 1: 5 – 10
Fellowship, Sin, Light & Darkness.
Fellowship with God and walking in the darkness:
- God is light. Think of an example of carrying a candle or lamp with you. Can you be hidden? Can you be in the darkness? If you are walking with God, if you have fellowship with him, you will not continue to walk in the darkness.
- The idea is not to strive harder for sinless perfection on your own, but to have continuous, living, daily, active fellowship with him. Many of us loose hope, energy and zeal in their walk with God, and when they fail they feel even more miserable. But if we are to be honest, we must confess that we are not without sin. (1 John 1:8 – “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”) [Read more…]