Category Archives: New Testament

The angel of the Lord kills Herod

Acts 12:21-23 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY

This sounds very “Old Testament.”


God kills a couple for lying

Acts 5:1-11 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY

So far, most of the killings attributed to God have all been from the Old Testament under the Old Covenant. This is the first one listed in the New Covenant era.


Jesus intentionally confuses?

Matthew 13:10-15 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’

PERSONAL COMMENTARY

In public speaking, one may share a story to bring home a point. In most cases, it is in order to make the point easier to understand. Preceding the above passage, Jesus told the parable of the sower. When asked why he spoke in parables, his response leads you to conclude that he does not want certain hearers to understand what he’s saying. In other words those with dull hearts, whose ears are hard of hearing, and whose eyes have been closed, are intentionally confused. Otherwise, they may see, hear, understand, have a change of heart and be healed.

This does not make sense since preaching should yield the result of a changed heart. Jesus also said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Why would he now state that those who are healthy should understand but the sick should not lest they be healed? Why would he now more or less say that those who are healthy will become healthier but those who are sick will become sicker? There’s obviously something I’m missing from this passage.

[Read Today’s Reading in The Brick Testament – An Illustrated Bible]


Jesus calls a Canaanite woman a dog

Matthew 15:22-28 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY

Many people think that it was offensive for Jesus to call this Canaanite woman a dog. However, I looked up the explanation for this on the Christian Apologist site christian-thinktank.com.

Here is one of their explanations:

The image Jesus has chosen is an image of endearment, not insult. The picture of supper-time, with little kids at the table, and their pet “puppies” (the Greek word for ‘dog’ here is not the standard, ‘outside’ dog–which MIGHT BE an insult–, but is the diminutive word, meaning ‘household pets, little dogs’…) at their feet, maybe tugging on their robes for food or play. The puppies, dear to the children and probably so too to the master (cf. 2 Sam 12.3f: but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.), were to be fed AFTER the children (notice: not DENIED food–there was no “NO” in Jesus image–only “WAIT”). But the temporal order is clear–Jesus must take care of His disciples FIRST, and if meeting her need involved interrupting their rest and GOING SOMEWHERE, then it was going to have to wait.

I guess the woman’s reaction was unmerited when she responded “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” She must have misunderstood Jesus’ “image of endearment.”

[Read today’s reading in The Brick Testament – An Illustrated Bible]


Women are to keep silent in church!

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Let women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY

1. Women are to keep silent in church
2. Women are not permitted to speak [in church]
3. Women should instead be submissive
4. If a woman wants to learn something [in church], they should not ask the question there but wait until they get home and ask their husband
5. It is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

When it comes to following verses from the Old Testament, the argument can be made that we are now under the “New Covenant” (even though that would then also make the 10 Commandments null and void). However, this is a scripture located in the New Testament that we totally ignore every Sunday.