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Reflections on the New Testament: The Gospel of John
“Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world,’” John 4:42, NKJV.
We are as the Samaritan woman, who testified of the Lord Jesus and led others to Him, saying, “Come and see….” But salvation is of the Lord. We can be certain of the true salvation of those to whom we have ministered when they say unto us, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” In this we may greatly rejoice, that “we have decreased, but He has increased.”
“Then many came to Him and said, ‘John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.’ And many believed in Him there,” John 10:41-42, NKJV.
What is the sign we now have? The truth. It was sufficient for these men—it is sufficient also for us. Jesus p…
Reflections on the New Testament: The Gospel of Luke
“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him,” Luke 17:3, NKJV.
This commandment of the Lord is simple enough, yet we are often frustrated when we attempt to reconcile to that other admonition of “turning the other cheek.” But to understand the meaning of each and their reconciliation, we have only to examine the context. Here the Lord, in speaking to His disciples, admonishes them regarding the treatment of a brother who has sinned: He does not say, merely, “if anyone sins against you….” Similar admonitions are delivered by Paul numerous times throughout the New Testament—that a brother who transgresses ought to be rebuked in love and “the spirit of gentleness.” In the verse at hand, Jesus particularly emphasizes that if a brother sins against you personally, you ought not simply to “turn the other cheek” but to rebuke him. Furthermore, He says: “if he repents, forgive him.” I…
Reflections on the New Testament: The Gospel of Luke
“And this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger,” Luke 2:12, NKJV.
“Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against,” Luke 2:34, NKJV.
“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven,” Luke 10:20, NKJV.
“For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation,” Luke 11:30, NKJV.

The performance of signs and wonders was a help to the Lord’s ministry, but it was not the His ministry itself. More vital was His teaching, and the integral purpose—His death, burial, and resurrection. We see the irrelevance of “signs” expressed, even vehemently, throughout scripture, and are led time and time again to the only necessary sign: Jesus Christ Hims…
Reflections on the New Testament: Mark
“And He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?’” Mark 4:13, NKJV.
It is essential that we, as Christians, understand the Word of the Lord in its entirety—it is essential that we continually learn. We are not to feed solely on the milk of the Word, for then we are but moderately strengthened; we are not familiar with the full context and implications and are therefore incapable of accurate application. Rather, we must proceed to the meat of the Word, and pursue a full and accurate understanding of “all the parables.” The Lord has fully equipped us for this task—He has sent us the Helper and opened the avenue of prayer. We are without excuse. Jesus’ question to His disciples in Mark 4:13 has the tone of a reprimand, as though He genuinely expected His disciples to have understood the parable and was rather disappointed that they did not. It is as though He said to them: “Children, you ought t…
Reflections on the New Testament: Matthew
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from you Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let you left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly,” Matt. 6:1-4, NKJV.
Why does the Lord urge us to such secrecy in this regard? In essence, because the righteousness of the children of God is not attained by works, but by the grace of God. The children of God must understand this and be humbled before God and man as mere servants—from this understanding shall inevitably come the good works the Lord desires. Not a vain attempt to prove to G…
Reflections on the New Testament: Matthew
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven,” Matt. 5:17-20, NKJV.
Herein Jesus identifies Himself as the fulfillment of the law. He also presents something of a riddle: He declares that whoever breaks even one small portion of the law shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. In saying this, He implies that such a person may be within the kingdom of heaven despite his/her c…
Reflections on the New Testament: Matthew
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Matt. 5:3, NKJV.
What is meant by the phrase, “poor in spirit,” that it should here be particularly applied to the children of God? Firstly, is not “poor in spirit” an accurate description of humanity in general? Nevertheless, only those who acknowledge this poverty and submit to God shall enter the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” Matt. 5:4.
Those who suffer at present shall have the greater joy in the end. Recall a similar passage in Ecclesiastes, which states: “Better to go to the house of mourning that to go the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart,” (Ecc.7:2). Mourning is a sign of humility, and is a word often used in the Old Testament to indicate the brokenness of a righteous person upon recognizing his or her sin. Feasting, on the other hand, is a Biblical term commonly ass…