My Morning Do . . . “Love”

~~ by tkbrown

21 September 2020 — Do you know the meaning of the word ‘love’?

I have decided to look at the meaning of the word ‘love’ this week. I already knew the Greek language embraces several different words in the expression of ‘love.’ I had thought I would first give the definition of ‘love’ from the Meriam-Webster dictionary and then cover the Greek definitions. However, when I opened Merriam-Webster to the word ‘love,’ I found more definitions for the word than are found in the Ancient Greek language. Ergo, since the New Testament of the Holy Bible was originally written in Aramaic Greek, I decided to cover those definitions first. Then, I will cover the English language definitions of ‘love’ later.

The Ancient Greeks identified six words which defined various definitional approaches of the word ‘love.’ Those words are:

  • Eros, or sexual passion . . .
  • Philia, or deep friendship . . .
  • Ludus, or playful love . . .
  • Agape, or love for everyone . . .
  • Pragma, or longstanding love . . .
  • Philautia, or love of self . . .
    • (Krznaric, 2013).

Throughout my lifetime, I have frequently listened as ministers of God’s Word and various speakers referenced the definitions of ‘love’ as applied by the Ancient Greek civilization. Those definitions have aided me many times over the years, not only in studying the New Testament, but also regarding life issues in general.

The reason I decided to look at the word ‘love’ is the same as the topic of today’s “My Morning Do . . . “Love”. More specifically, love as it describes God. I want to focus on four verses which just barely scrape the tip of the iceberg when describing ‘love’ as it relates to God. The first of these is Ephesians 5:1, which I present below.

Ephesians 5:1 — “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children, (NKJV).

Ephesians was written to the Christians at Ephesus by the apostle Paul around 62 A.D. while imprisoned at Rome, (Wikipedia, Eds., 2020). The verse says we are to be imitators of God ‘as dear children.’ How often do we see young children imitating ‘Daddy’? As children of God, we are to do the same. Thus, it is necessary to know God pretty well. Searching the scriptures on ‘God’, we find multitudes of descriptors. So, I decided to narrow it down and start with three verses in 1 John 4:7-9:

  • 7 — “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
  • 8 — “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
  • 9 — “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

The authorship of First, Second, and Third John is disputed among Bible Scholars. Therefore, I will not discuss this today. We can look at that later. Suffice it to say, the author saw a need to pen letters admonishing Christians regarding their love for each other. In this light, the verses presented above testify to the love of God. He states, “God is love.” Thus, to be the kind of Christian God wants us to be, it is necessary to understand the various definitions of ‘love’ and how they applied–or did not apply–to Christians to whom the letters were written.

When combined with all the other topics I am addressing in “My Morning Do . . . ” it will take a few weeks to cover all aspects to which I wish to relate my discussion, because I do not want to take away from my other topics. So, I look forward to meeting with you (in blogosphere) regularly to discuss these various topics related to ‘love’ in “My Morning Do. . . . ” With that, I bid you Adieu until the morrow!

Blessings to all!

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Sources:

Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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Photo Above: from pexels.com.

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Jesus Talks with Nicodemus

John 3:2 — “This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.'”

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Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

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Lesson Scripture — John 3:1-36

  • 1 — “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.”
  • 2 — “This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.'”
  • 3 — “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'”
  • 4 — “Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?'”
  • 5 — “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'”
  • 6 — “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.'”
  • 7 — “‘Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again‘.'”
  • 8 — “‘The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.'”
  • 9 — “Nicodemus answered and said to Him, ‘How can these things be?'”
  • 10 — “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?'”
  • 11 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.'”
  • 12 — “‘If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?'”
  • 13 — “‘No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.'”
  • 14 — “‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,'”
  • 15 — “‘that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.'”
  • 16 — “‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'”
  • 17 — “‘For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.'”
  • 18 — “‘He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.'”
  • 19 — “‘And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.'”
  • 20 — “‘For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.'”
  • 21 — “‘But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.'”
  • 22 — “After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.”
  • 23 — “Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized.”
  • 24 — “For John had not yet been thrown into prison.”
  • 25 — “Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.”
  • 26 — “And they came to John and said to him, Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified–behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”
  • 27 — “John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.'”
  • 28 — “‘You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him‘.'”
  • 29 — “‘He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled.'”
  • 30 — “‘He must increase, but I must decrease.'”
  • 31 — “‘He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.'”
  • 32 — “‘And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.'”
  • 33 — “‘He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.'”
  • 34 — “For He who God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.'”
  • 35 — “‘The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.'”
  • 36 — “‘He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.'”

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Old Testament Prophecy Related to John 3:1-36

v 8Ecclesiastes 11:5 — “As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.”

v14Numbers 21:9 — “So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole, and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”

v16Isaiah 9:6 — “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

v231 Samuel 9:4 — “So he passed through the mountains of Ephraim and through the land of Shalisha, but they did not find them. “Then they passed through the land of Shaelin, and they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.”

v28Malachi 3:1 — “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts.’

v29Song of Solomon 5:1 — The Beloved: “I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk (To His Friends) Eat, O friends! Drink, yes, drink deeply, O beloved ones!”

v30Isaiah 9:7 — “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

v34Deuteronomy 18:18 — “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.”

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New Testament Scripture Related to John 3:1-36

v 2John 7:50, 51

  • 50 — “Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them,”
  • 51 — “‘Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?'”

v 2John 19:39 — “And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.”

v 2John 9:16 — “Therefore some of the Pharisees said, ‘This Man is not from God because He does not keep the Sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?’ And there was a division among them.”

v 9John 9:33 — “‘If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.'”

v 2Acts 10:36-38

  • 36 — “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–“
  • 37 — “that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached;:
  • 38 — “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

v 31 Peter 1:22-25

  • 22 — “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,”
  • 23 — “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,”
  • 24 — “because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,'”
  • 25 — “‘but the word of the Lord endures forever,'”

v 5Acts 10:36-38

  • 36 — “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–“
  • 37 — “that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached;”
  • 38 — “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

v 61 Corinthians 15:50 — “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.”

v 9John 6:52 — “The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?'”

v 9John 6:60 — “Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?'”

v11Matthew 11:27 — “‘All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.'”

v11John 3:32 — “‘And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.'”

v11John 8:14 — “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I came from and where I am going.'”

v13Ephesians 4:8-10

  • 8 — “Therefore He says; ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.'”
  • 9 — “(Now this, ‘He ascended’–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?”
  • 10 — “He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)”

v14John 8:28 — “Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.'”

v14John 12:34 — “The people answered Him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?'”

v14John 19:17, 18

  • 17 — “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Galgotha,”
  • 18 — “where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”

v15John 6:47 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.'”

v15John 3:36 — “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he wo does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

v16Romans 5:8 — “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

v17Luke 9:56 — “‘For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went to another village.”

v18John 5:24 — “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.'”

v18John 6:40 — “‘And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up in that last day.'”

v18John 6:47 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.'”

v18John 20:30, 31

  • 30 — “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;”
  • 31 — “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

v19John 1:4 — “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

v19John 1:9-11

  • 9 — “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”
  • 10 — “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”
  • 11 — “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”

v20Ephesians 5:11-13

  • 11 — “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”
  • 12 — “For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”
  • 13 — “But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.”

v211 Corinthians 15:10 — “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

v22John 4:1-3

  • 1 — “Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John”
  • 2 — “(though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples),”
  • 3 — “He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.”

v23Matthew 3:5, 6

  • 5 — “Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him”
  • 6 — “and were baptized by Him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

v24Matthew 4:12 — “Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.”

v26John 1:7 — “This man came for a witness to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.”

v26John 1:15 — “John bore witness of Him and cried out saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.‘”

v26John 1:27 — “‘It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.'”

v26John 1:34 — “‘And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.'”

v26Mark 2:2 — “Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door, and He preached the word to him.”

v26Mark 3:10 — “For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.”

v26Mark 5:24 — “So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.”

v271 Corinthians 3:5, 6

  • 5 — “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?'”
  • 6 — “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”

v271 Corinthians 4:7 — “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

v28John 1:19-27

  • 19 — “Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?'”
  • 20 — “He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.'”
  • 21 — “And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ “Are you the Prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No,'”
  • 22 — “Then they said to him, ‘Who are you, that we many give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?'”
  • 23 — “He said: ‘I am The voice of one crying in the wilderness; make a straight the way of the Lord.’ As the prophet Isaiah said.'”
  • 24 — “Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.”
  • 25 — “And they asked him, saying, ‘Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'”
  • 26 — “John answered them, saying, ‘I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know.'”
  • 27 — “It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.'”

v292 Corinthians 11:2 — “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

v31John 3:13 — “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.'”

v31John 8:23 — “And He said to them, ‘You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.'”

v311 Corinthians 15:47 — “The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.”

v31John 6:33 — “‘For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'”

v32John 3:11 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, ‘We speak what we know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.””

v32John 15:15 — “‘No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.'”

v331 John 5:10 — “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself, he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His son.”

v34John 7:16 — “Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.'”

v34John 1:16 — “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.”

v35Hebrews 2:6-8

  • 6 — “But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, or the Son of Man that you take care of Him?'”
  • 7 — “‘You have made Him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor and set Him over the works of Your hands.'”
  • 8 — “‘You have put all things in subjection under His feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under Him; He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him.”

v36 John 3:16, 17

  • 16 — “‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'”
  • 17 — “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.'”

v36John 6:47 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.'”

v36Romans 1:18 — “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to discuss differences of opinion he had been hearing and to get some clarification on some specific points. Nicodemus is a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. He told Jesus they knew He was from God because, if He were not, He would be unable to do the many signs and wonders. He also wanted to find out how he might become a part of the kingdom of God about which Jesus taught. Jesus told him,, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This confused Nicodemus and he asked, “How can one who is old enter his/her mother’s womb and be born again.”

Jesus explained, one must be born of both water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom. He differentiated the fleshly birth from the Spiritual birth. He and John had been baptizing with water; so, this indicates one must be baptized of water and the Spirit. Nicodemus struggled to understand.

Using the example of wind blowing and the inability to “know” from whence it comes or where it goes, Jesus told Nicodemus it is not something one can fully understand. “It just is.” Still confused, Nicodemus said, “How can these things be?” Jesus referenced Nicodemus’ position in the Jewish community–teacher of Israel,”–and pointed out that he should know these things. He said, “I have told you earthly things which you do not understand; so, how are you going to understand heavenly things.”

Jesus proceeded to discuss His coming down from heaven as the same Son of Man who was then in heaven–meaning He was both places. He discussed the need to be ‘lifted up’–crucified–because God is not willing that any should perish but that all might have everlasting life. He explained, “God loves the world so much He sent Jesus to earth to die for every man/woman so their sins did not have to keep them from heaven. Everyone who believes He is the Son of God might, thus, enter the kingdom. Anyone who does not believe He is the Son of God has already condemned himself, or herself.” Then He repeated, “God’s desire is that every person be saved, so His coming to earth was never to condemn anyone– that condemnation is fully completed by every man or woman who does not go to heaven. The love of darkness and evil keeps the sinful from the light. Those who believe and adhere to truth live in the light. Their deeds are clearly seen–not hidden as those of persons preferring darkness.

After His meeting with Nicodemus, Jesus and His disciples went to Judea and remained there teaching and baptizing. Jesus taught; His disciples baptized. John was also teaching and baptizing not far away. He had not yet been imprisoned. The Pharisees were confused by the need for both John and Jesus to be teaching and baptizing. A dispute arose among them and some of John’s disciples who then took the matter to John for answers. John reminded them he had always told them there was One who came after him who was before him– whose sandal strap he was unworthy to loose. Finally, they specifically asked him if he was the Christ. John replied he was not. They asked if he was a prophet, or Elijah. Each time, John responded in the negative. They ultimately asked him, “Then just who are you that we might tell the true answer to those who sent us?”

John, using the example of the bride and the bridegroom, stated it is the bridegroom who has the bride, and the one who stands with the bridegroom is his friend. The friend is happy for the bridegroom, but once the bride belongs to the bridegroom, his friend must discreetly disappear. They mentioned that Jesus was now baptizing more than John. This, John explained as being God’s plan in that Jesus, having the testimony of God via direct contact, had certified that God is real and true. Thus, He would continue to increase in followers and John would steadily decrease and fade from the picture.

John then reiterated what Jesus had told Nicodemus. God sent His Son into the world to save everyone from their sins. God desired that every man and woman be saved and have an eternal home in heaven. Therefore, everyone who believes Jesus Christ is God’s Son has the opportunity to be saved. Those who do not believe He is the Son of God have already condemned themselves.

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  • Lesson One: Zacharias to Have Son
  • Lesson Two: Jesus Birth Foretold
  • Lesson Three: Zacharias’ Son, John, is Born
  • Lesson Four: Jesus is Born
  • Lesson Five: And Jesus Grew . . .
  • Lesson Six: John Begins His Ministry
  • Lesson Seven: Jesus is Introduced to the World
  • Lesson Eight: Jesus’ Ancestral Lineage
  • Lesson Nine: Jesus is Tempted by Satan
  • Lesson Ten: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 1)
  • Lesson Eleven: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 1)
  • Lesson Twelve: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 3) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 2)
  • Lesson Thirteen: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 4) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 3)
  • Lesson Fourteen: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 5) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 4 — Conclusion)
  • Lesson Fifteen: Jesus Turns Water to Wine — The Wedding at Cana
  • Lesson Sixteen: Jesus Heals the Sick, Casts Out Demons
  • Lesson Seventeen: Jesus Talks With Nicodemus

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Photo Above: by en.wikipedia.org.

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My Morning Do . . . “Blessings”

~~ by tkbrown

20 September 2020 — This morning, I decided to do a search for scriptures related to blessings we are to give others. This is the flip side of receiving blessings from God through Jesus Christ. The scriptures abound regarding blessings from God–a topic of which I needed no convincing. God Blesses me daily in some way–at least once a day! I am ever thankful to Him for that! The convincing I needed was regarding my certainty I had seen scriptures depicting ‘our blessings granted to other people.’

Thus, my reasoning for searching out scriptures related to blessings from us to others is based on the topic of us receiving Blessings from God. When Jesus came to earth, through His life, He left an example of how we are to live. Since He regularly proffered blessings upon others, it seemed to me we must proffer blessings upon others. After all, to be a “Christian” means to be “like Christ,” “Christ like,” etc. Christ was always in prayer to God, thus I try to “pray without ceasing” as the apostle Paul taught us. So, I began my search . . . .

I found three New Testament scriptures related to us offering blessings to others. What intrigues me, is: We are to bless “those who curse us, those who render us evil, and those who revile us.” This is so very intriguing to me. I would have thought we should bless those needing encouragement. Then, when I thought on it, these would be precisely the ones needing encouragement in order to learn to live like Christ lived. This says, I am to bless those who practice witchcraft. I am to bless those who practice all manner of evil–which is Satanic, and I am to bless those who revile me. In other words, whatever the form of persecution directed toward me, I am to deflect it with a blessing in return. This would say, too, when someone does or does not agree with me, I should bless them. So, I believe my tendency to end my comments and responses with “Blessings!” is not a put-down or telling you I am being persecuted. I believe it is to be received in the Spirit intended–which is: “I care about you and any sufferings you may be going through, thus, I am blessing you in hopes of minimizing any suffering you may be receiving. When I do this, God Blesses me! Amazing! Simply Amazing!

Thank You, Jesus, for such a simple message in a world of such complexity!

Below, I leave you with the three New Testament Passages I found related to us giving blessings to others. If you know of any I missed, please comment and let me know their location. Also, please comment below and let me know what you thing of “Blessings” extended as a Sign-off Salutation.

Blessings to all!

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Romans 12:14 — “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

Luke 6:27, 28

  • 27 — “But I say to you who hear, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,'”
  • 28 — “‘bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.'”

1 Peter 3:8, 9

  • 8 — “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous,”
  • 9 — “not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”

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Photo Above: by sachbearbeitung at pixabay.com.

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Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 1)

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Disciple Selection Begins

Lesson Scripture — Matthew 4:12-25

12 — “Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.”

13 — “And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,”

14 — “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying:”

15 — “‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.'”

16 — “‘The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.'”

17 — “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”

18 — “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.”

19 — “Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'”

20 — “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

21 — “Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them,”

22 — “and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him.”

23 — “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”

24 — “Then His fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics, and He healed them.”

25 — “Great multitudes followed Him–from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.”

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Prophecy

v15 — Isaiah 9:1, 2

1 — “Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon who is distressed, as when at first He lightly esteemed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles.”

2 — “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v12 — John 4:43 — “Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.”

v16 — Luke 2:32 — “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

v17 — Mark 1:14, 15 — (See below.)

v17 — Matthew 3:2 — “and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!'”

v18 — Mark 1:16-20 — (See below.)

v18 — John 1:40-42 — (See below.)

v23 — Matthew 24:14 — “‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.'”

v23 — Mark 1:34 — (See below.)

v24 — Luke 4:40 — “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.”

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Lesson Scripture — Mark 1:14-20

14 — “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,”

15 — “and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.'”

16 — “And as He walked by t he Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.”

17 — “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.'”

18 — “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

19 — “When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.”

20 — “And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and went after Him.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v14 — Matthew 4:12 — (See above.)

v14 — Matthew 4:23 — (See above.”

v15 — Galatians 4:4 — “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,”

v15 — Matthew 3:2 — “and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!'”

v15 — Matthew 4:14 — (See above.)

v16 -- Luke 5:2-11
2 -- "and saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets."
3 -- "Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's and asked him to put out a little from the land, And He sat down and taught the multitude from the boat."
4 -- "When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.'"
5 -- "But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing, nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.'"
6 -- "And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking."
7 -- "So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink."
8 -- "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!'"
9 -- "For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken."
10 -- "and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men."
11 -- "So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him."

v17 — Matthew 13:47, 48

47 — “‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,'”

48 — “‘which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels but threw the bad away.'”

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Lesson Scripture — John 1:35-51

35 — “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.”

36 — “And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!'”

37 — “The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.”

38 — “Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, ‘What do you seek?’ They said to Him, ‘Rabbi’ (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), ‘where are you staying?'”

39 — “He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where He was staying and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).”

40 — “One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.”

41 — “He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated, the Christ).”

42 — “And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon the Son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).”

43 — “The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow Me.'”

44 — “Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.”

45 — “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'”

46 — “And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.'”

47 — “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, ‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!'”

48 — “Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.‘”

49 — “Nathanael answered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!'”

50 — “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.'”

51 — “And He said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Sun of Man.'”

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Prophecy

v47 — Psalm 32:2 — “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

v47 — Psalm 73:1 — “Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.”

v51 — Genesis 28:12 — “Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven, and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v36 — John 1:29 — “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'”

v37 — Matthew 4:20, 22 — (See above.)

v40 — Matthew 4:18 — (See above.)

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Here in these four sets of Lesson Scriptures–from Matthew, Mark, (Luke as it is connected to Mark’s depiction via the Related New Testament Scriptures), and John–we are shown how Jesus began selecting his disciples as he set about preaching, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” These four presentations vary slightly as one might expect the testimony of four witnesses in a court of law to vary. Human nature is such that each of the four saw slightly different things taking place. Luke presents his in slightly more detail as an adjunct to Mark’s. In these four presentations, Jesus selects the brothers Andrew and Simon Peter, the brothers James and John — sons of Zebedee and partners with Simon Peter in the fishing industry, Philip, and Nathanael–both of Bethsaida.

Simon Peter doubted the likelihood of a successful cast after toiling all night and catching nothing but agreed to cast anyway at Jesus’ request, only to bring up nets so full of fish the nets were breaking. They summoned partners to assist in saving the catch. Then Simon Peter, ashamed at his lack of faith, tells Jesus to depart from his sinful self. Jesus assured Simon Peter that he would need only catch men in the future. In the Related New Testament Scriptures, we see Matthew13:47 and 48 connected to Mark 1:17 as an example of Jesus–in later sermons–reminding Simon of this catch.

Almost instantaneously, as Jesus begins to preach, people are drawn to Him. His command of the Word, the authority with which He casts out demons who readily obey Him, and the compassion evidenced in His ready willingness to heal the sick spoke to their hearts, and the multitudes flocked to Him wherever He went.

The beginning of Jesus’ ministry will be divided into several lessons due to the extensive and varied aspects of His interactions. Next week, we will look at the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus lays the groundwork for all His teachings while living here on earth.

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Lesson One -- Scripture: Zacharias to Have Son . . . 
Lesson Two -- Scripture: Jesus' Birth Foretold . . . 
Lesson Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' Son, John, is Born . . . 
Lesson Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . . 
Lesson Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . .
Lesson Six -- Scripture: John Begins His Ministry . . . 
Lesson Seven -- Scripture: Jesus is Introduced to the World . . . 
Lesson Eight -- Scripture: Jesus' Ancestral Lineage
Lesson Nine -- Scripture: Jesus is Tempted By Satan
Lesson Ten -- Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part I)

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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Jesus is Tempted by Satan

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Matthew 4:1-11

1 — “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

2 — “And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”

3 — “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.'”

4 — “But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”

5 — “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple.”

6 — “and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you.’ and ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”

7 — “Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

8 — “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.”

9 — “And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.'”

10 — “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve.'”

11 — “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

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Prophecy

v4 — Deuteronomy 8:3 — “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

v6 — Psalm 91:11, 12

11 — “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

12 — “In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

v7 — Deuteronomy 6:16 — “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v11 — James 4:7 — “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

v11 — Hebrews 1:14 — “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will inherit salvation?”

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Mark 1:11-13

11 — “Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

12 — “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.”

13 — “And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with wild beasts, and the angels ministered to Him.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v11 — Matthew 3:17 — “And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, ‘This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”

v11 — Matthew 12:17, 18

17 — “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying;”

18 — “‘Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.'”

v12 — Matthew 4:1-11 (See above.)

v12 — Matthew 4:10, 11 (See above.)

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Luke 4:1-14

1 — “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.”

2 — “being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterword, when they had ended, He was hungry.”

3 — “And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.'”

4 — “But Jesus answered him saying, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'”

5 — “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment in time.”

6 — “And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.'”

7 — “‘Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.'”

8 — “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”

9 — “Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.'”

10 — “‘For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you.'”

11 — “‘and, ‘in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”

12 — “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

13 — “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.”

14 — “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.”

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Prophecy

v4 — Deuteronomy 8:3 — “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

v8 — Deuteronomy 6:13 — “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him and shall take oaths in His name.”

Deuteronomy 10:20 — “You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name.”

v9 — Matthew 4:5-7 (See above.)

v10 — Psalm 91:11 — “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

v11 — Psalm 91:12 — “In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

v12 — Deuteronomy 6:16 — “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.”

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Related New Testament Scriptures

v1 — Matthew 4:1-11 (See above.)

v13 — Hebrews 4:15 — “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

v14 — John 4:43 — “Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.”

v14 — Acts 10:37 — “. . . that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached.”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Here, I have presented the Scriptures which portray Jesus’ forty days and forty nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness when Satan tempted Him. These Scriptures are found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. While there may be slight differences in the wording of each account of the event, these are no more than would be found if three witnesses in a court of law presented accounts of a specific incident. This is important in the fact that all three testimonials also coordinate with Old Testament prophecy related to these Scriptures and with related Scriptures in the New Testament. Thus, we have ‘rightly divided the Word of Truth’ with regard to this event in Jesus’ life.

Forty days and forty nights is a long time to be without food, but this was done to show that Jesus’ Spirit form and the angels ministering to Jesus was sufficient to satisfy His human needs. This is another example of how God takes care of those who do His will. Jesus was tempted of Satan so we can know He understands the temptations we endure at Satan’s hand.

As our High Priest, Jesus’ understanding of our weaknesses regarding temptation is important. Had He never come to Earth in human form, He could never have truly understood our weakness or the desire to give in when Satan tempts us. God realized this was a faltering point in His righteous understanding of these weaknesses in man. Thus, Jesus understanding of the tendency to give in to temptations gives Him the ability to ‘argue our case’ with God and mediate with Him on our behalf. Hebrews 4:15 tells us this was God’s plan. We can look at the Scripture presented in Romans 3:21-26 to see how this all fits together.

Romans 3:21-26

21 — “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,”

22 — “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;”

23 — “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

24 — “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

25 — “whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,”

26 — “to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

This well-known passage from Romans chapter 3 ties in to Satan’s temptation of Jesus and of man in his struggles to overcome temptation. God’s righteousness puts Him in a position of not fully understanding these trials. Through the centuries, the Jewish Law as given to Moses on Mount Sinai allowed Jesus’ forbearance and atonement (propitiation) of their sins to go back and cover all those sins that God had passed over before Christ was born. Now, God is shown to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

Jesus is now ready to begin His ministry on Earth. In our next lesson, we will see Jesus begin to select His disciples as he begins to preach and to teach the multitudes. Join us as we look closely at each account of this process as presented in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

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Lesson One -- Scripture: Zacharias to Have Son . . . 
Lesson Two -- Scripture: Jesus' Birth Foretold . . . 
Lesson Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' Son, John, is Born . . . 
Lesson Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . . 
Lesson Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . .
Lesson Six -- Scripture: John Begins His Ministry . . . 
Lesson Seven -- Scripture: Jesus is Introduced to the World . . . 
Lesson Eight -- Scripture: Jesus' Ancestral Lineage
Lesson Nine -- Scripture: Jesus is Tempted By Satan

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Photo above by: kieutruongphoto @pixabay.com.

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