Chapter 7 The Principles of the Kingdom Part 3

As we continue our study of the instruction given by Jesus Christ to His disciples on the Mount, let us remind ourselves again that we have to do here, not with the gospel for the unregenerate, but with the holy principles that should control the lives of those who profess allegiance to the Lord Jesus and who recognize Him as earth’s rightful King, even though a false usurper, Satan, is acknowledged by unsaved men as the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30). Loyalty to the true King ne...

Chapter 8 The Works of the King

Having listened to the instruction of the King as He proclaimed the laws of His kingdom, we are now called upon to consider His works. We may think of these as His royal credentials, proving Him to be in very truth the promised Messiah who was to bring healing and plenty to Israel, reigning in righteousness and peace (Ps. 72:7). It is written of the first miracle performed by the Lord Jesus Christ that in doing it He “manifested forth his glory” (John 2:11). This was true of all the marv...

Chapter 9 The King Continues to Manifest His Power and Grace

We have the credentials of the King set forth throughout both this and the preceding chapter, as noticed already. His works of power attested His messianic claims. All His miracles were wrought, not for self-glorification, however, nor to have men hail Him as “some great one” (Acts 8:9), but to alleviate the ills of suffering humanity. It had been predicted long before that God’s anointed King would open the eyes of the blind, unstop the ears of the deaf, and cause the lame to leap as ...

Chapter 10 The King's Couriers

In order to understand rightly the calling and mission of the Twelve prior to our Lord’s crucifixion, we need to bear in mind that the Lord Jesus Christ was presenting Himself to Israel as their promised King. God was dealing with them as a nation, giving them full opportunity to acknowledge the claims of His Son. The Twelve were chosen as His messengers to the nation as such, and their ministry, like His own, was primarily to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (vv. 5-6).

The Twelve were disciples before they became apostles. That is, they were learners in the school of Christ before they were commissioned as apostles and sent forth as couriers of the King, to proclaim that the long-looked-for kingdom of the heavens had drawn nigh. Their commission is given in this tenth chapter. It differs considerably from that given at the close of this gospel, after the King had been rejected, and when He was about to return to the Father. This earlier commission had to do with their ministry to Israel only. The later one embraced all nations.

Chapter 11 The Grace of the King

As our Lord continued His gracious ministry, it became increasingly evident that by far the great majority of Israel, the leaders and the people generally, were in no mood to receive His message and to acknowledge Him as the Anointed One sent by God to deliver them from their bondage, not only to the Roman authority but to sin and Satan. In this chapter we hear Jesus pronouncing woes upon the very cities wherein most of His mighty works were done. It would seem incredible, if we did not k...

Chapter 12 The King's Authority Denied

The events recorded in this chapter bring us to the close of the first great division of this gospel, in which the King and the kingdom were offered or presented to Israel. Here we find the leaders of the nation deliberately rejecting Jesus and definitely ascribing all His works of power to Beelzebub. Only in this way could they account for the great miracles Jesus wrought and yet refuse to see in them His credentials as the promised King.

In the first eight verses we have a most interesting and instructive incident recorded. Here Jesus declares Himself to be Lord of the Sabbath, by which He again attested His consciousness of Deity, for the Sabbath was Jehovah’s witness to His creatorial power (Exod. 20:10-11) and to the redemption of Israel from Egyptian bondage (Deut. 5:14-15). It was distinctively “the Sabbath of Jehovah.” The Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New, and He is Lord of the Sabbath, as of all else.

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and His disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto Him, Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But He said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you. That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. (vv. 1-8)

Chapter 13 The Mysteries of the Kingdom

This chapter brings to us a new revelation in connection with the presentation of kingdom truth. We have seen in the preceding chapter how the leaders of the people of Israel crossed the deadline and refused the proffered kingdom by deliberately discrediting all the credentials of the King. They attributed His power (which they could not deny) to Beelzebub, and so committed the sin against the Holy Spirit for which there could be no forgiveness, either in that age or in the age to come. This...

Chapter 14 The King's Authority over All Nature

The first part of the present section is devoted to the pathetic account of the martyrdom of John the Baptist, but the balance of the chapter tells us of two miracles, both of which demonstrate the power of the Lord Jesus over nature: His multiplication of the loaves, and His walking on the water and controlling the elements.

Herod, who was somewhat interested at first in John the Baptist and his proclamation of the nearness of the kingdom of heaven, became indignant when his own vices were denounced by the fearless desert preacher, and so sought to silence him by shutting him up in prison and eventually by an act of judicial murder. When he heard of the fame of Jesus, his uneasy conscience suggested that He must be John risen from the dead, but there was no sign of self-judgment or confession of his horrid iniquity. Jesus continued His wondrous ministry, and everywhere His messiahship was attested by marvelous signs, which must have convinced any honest seeker after the truth that He was all He professed to be. But the religious leaders stood coldly aloof or came out in positive opposition because of their unwillingness to humble themselves before God. It was the “poor of the flock” (Zech. 11:11) who heard Jesus with gladness and were blessed by His gracious ministrations. These glorified the God of Israel for sending His Anointed One into their midst.

Chapter 15 The King Denounces Hypocrisy

We read next of the King’s rebuke of many who were opposed to His claims as Lord and the kingdom He announced. There was a remnant whose hearts were opened to the truth and who gladly received our Lord as the promised Messiah. But it was difficult for many to see in this quiet, lowly Man of Nazareth that which answered to their expectations of a great world ruler who would deliver the Jewish nation from the Roman yoke and make them again a great people, such as they were in the days of Dav...

Chapter 5 The Principles of the Kingdom Part 1

In the so-called “Sermon on the Mount” our Lord was not preaching the gospel, but He was setting forth the principles of His kingdom, which should guide the lives of all who profess to be His disciples. In other words, this is the law of the kingdom; the observance of which must characterize its loyal subjects as they wait for the day when the King Himself shall be revealed. Throughout, it recognizes the existence of definite opposition to His rule, but those who own His authority are ca...
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