Week of January 30,2011

Hear and Understand

Jesus has revealed everything God taught Him and yet many of us, Christians, hear what Jesus shares but do not understand. The way to understanding is simple. Jesus tells us, "I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you". Yes, Jesus did say "whatever I say is just what the Father has told Me to say". However, He may have told His friends some things that He would not share with others. When Jesus said, "Yahveh our God is the one and only God" or "Love your neighbor as yourself", most people would have been familiar with those scriptures in their Jewish bible or Old Testament1. When Jesus taught about sinning in your mind, like the sin of being "angry" or "lust", it may be more likely that the people He was addressing were His supporters. Some teachings do not seem to take place when people that are against Jesus are present. When Jesus says He has made known "everything" He learned from God, some details might only for His followers. Jesus said "This … is how you should pray" apparently only to those following Him. When Jesus predicted the destruction of the second Temple He said only to His immediate followers, "not a single stone here will be left in its place". One time after sharing a parable, Jesus told His close followers, "You have been given the secret of the Kingdom of God", contrasting that with "the others, who are on the outside, hear all things by means of parable".

We are tremendously blessed to have the privilege to have access to many of the things God shared with His Son in our bibles. Many people claim they love Jesus and then ignore what Jesus makes known to us. The details of what Jesus has shared are available to everyone who can read a bible, including those "who are on the outside". We have the opportunity to be blessed tremendously by reading the red letters in our bible, which are things Jesus learned from God. Usually, when we have a friend, we may not make everything known to them. We all have some private secrets. John shares that "Jesus did not trust Himself to" people because He knew what people are like. When Jesus made known everything He learned from God, He showed us His love. He had no risk as He shared, because as God told Isaiah, "people will listen and listen, but not understand". God is the source of everything, including our understanding2. It is interesting how people can learn everything Jesus teaches and still follow man made doctrines or religious teachings that are opposite to what Jesus teaches. If you desire to follow Jesus, the simple step to understanding Jesus is to include the request in your daily prayers that God will help you understand.

1. Jn 15:15; 12:49 (NI); Mk 12:29-31 (ET) {Dt 6:4; Lev 19:18}

2. Mt 5:22, 28; 6:9 (NI); Mt 24:2; Mk 4:10; Jn 2:24; Mt 13:14 {Is 6:9} (TE)

note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations

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A Psalm for reflection "May my friends sing and shout for joy. May they always say, 'Praise the greatness of the Lord. He loves to see His servants do well.'" Ps 35:27 (IC)

Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).


To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop

"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."

Protect your relationship by anticipating problems. It is unrealistic to not expect some problems. Onetime I had a man that just insisted that they never had any problems and never had any disagreements in their marriage. As they practiced the Speaker Listener Technique together (I insisted) they discovered the reason he thought they never had any problems or disagreements was that he never let his wife talkJ. Once she was enabled to talk by using the SLT, he was actually happier. You can also protect your relationship by taking responsibility for your own behavior. Edit out negative responses. Jesus teaches us in Lk 6:31 (TL) to "Treat others as you want them to treat you." This should definitely apply to your spouse. Because two become one, when you build up your spouse you are also building up your self and your marriage. In a cartoon a woman asked her husband, "what do you think about renewing our wedding vows?' He responded, "Let me think it over, when do they expire?" Your vows are for life. They never expire.

The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). Much of what is mention above can still be done. You can take responsibility for your own behavior, anticipative problems, edit out negative responses and treat your spouse, the same way you would want them to treat you.

Hi Followers of Jesus,

Recently, I talked to two Christian friends in the same day who are fathers of sons. One father shared with pride his son's running accomplishments in school. The other father, who has international running credentials, shared how he was going to encourage his young sons to consider other sports where they can make more money than just running. Jesus says, "You cannot serve both God and Money" Mt 6:24(NI). Many call themselves Christians but few act like it.

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