On Following Jesus

“When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever; he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. This was the fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.’

Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. A scribe then approached him and said, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have their nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ Another of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.'”

Matthew 8:14-22

HOLY COW! Peter was married! Okay, back up. Peter must have been super special for Jesus to visit his house, and since they’ve been traveling for some time it may have been out of the way. But Peter was married! Just think, when he left his entire life behind that included a wife. I mean, I kind of thought these guys had nothing to lose. But Peter must have had a lot more faith than we give him credit for, trusting God to take care of his wife and family while he was traveling with Jesus.

It was a regular party of illness at Peter’s house, and Jesus cured all of them. Matthew points to Isaiah, saying that He is fulfilling yet another prophecy. But I also notice the prophecy in verse 17 also foreshadows Jesus’s suffering on the cross, where He would literally bear our torment for us.

The second passage shows how difficult it is to follow Jesus. It may mean having no roof over your head for a long time. It may mean giving up your inheritance. (I learned once that verse 21 doesn’t mean to literally bury his father, but rather wait for his father to die so he could receive his inheritance.) It might mean leaving your family behind, even your old, sickly parents. It’s going to be HARD. But Jesus commands us to follow Him. Now.

I also notice for the first time the significance of the statement “let the dead bury their own dead.” I think by “the dead” Jesus means non-believers, those who don’t have eternal life in Heaven. So this passage could be read to say: “Come live the the believers and leave your non-believing family behind.” The church is our new family, and while we should still love our blood families, we can not let them keep us from following Jesus.

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35 Responses to On Following Jesus

  1. BOSS PAUL THE PHARISEE
    [sing it to the tune of “Rapture” by Blondie]

    I’m Boss Paul, the Pharisee
    My hypocrisy’s plain for the world to see
    I travel the land and travel the sea
    to make a convert who is just like ME

    “All have sinned” – we know that’s true
    but it never means ME – it only means YOU
    My sins are all theoretical
    “I’m the worst of sinners”- but don’t ask where

    To be more like Jesus is what some strive
    except for me – I’ve already arrived
    I’m the perfect model since the road to Damascus
    What were Paul’s sins? Don’t ask us!

    I justify everything I do
    If I testify about myself it MUST be true
    I’m the only man in all history
    whose testimony doesn’t need two or three

    If I did something it MUST be right
    Don’t use the Scripture to shed any light
    Don’t do as I say, do as I do
    and then you can be a Pharisee too.

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  2. Which is the most important?
    Jesus was asked twice, by two different men, the same basic question about which is the most important or greatest commandment in the Law. Here is how Jesus answered that question:

    #1
    “One of the teachers of the law… asked him [Jesus],
    ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, of Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than THESE.” [Mark 12:28-31, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]

    #2
    …an expert in the law, tested him [Jesus] with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’”

    Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.” [Matthew 22:36-40, Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18]

    But in contrast with Jesus, Paul the Pharisee didn’t know the greatest, most important, first commandment according to Jesus. Paul made up his own rule. Paul wrote:
    “The entire law is summed up in a SINGLE command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Galatians 5:14, Leviticus 19:18]

    And again, Paul wrote:
    “He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not covet, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this ONE RULE: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” [Romans 13:8-10, Leviticus 19:18]

    Jesus said it’s TWO commandments, with the greatest, most important, first command to
    .1) first, love God with everything you’ve got, and
    .2) second, love people.
    Paul said no, it ONE commandment- to love people.

    This is very similar to The Beatles- “All you need is love. Love is all you need. Love, Love, Love.” (In other words, the second commandment, the love of man, without the love of God. Love as me, myself and I define love to be, and continuously redefined by sinful men.)

    In essence, it is also the same principle as what Eve did in the Garden of Eden, forgetting about the Tree of Life, which is the first tree in the middle of the Garden, and instead referring to the second tree as “the tree that is in the middle of the garden.” [Genesis 3:3 & 2:9 2:17, 3:24]

    Kind of like the Pharisees with Jesus, who were pushing the false idea that we can consider ONE commandment in the Law, alone in isolation, to be “the greatest commandment in the Law.”

    Or like today, false teachers in the Chrislam – Purpose Driven – Seeker Sensitive – Emergent – Liberal – Ecumenical – New Age – world church movement pushing the false idea that the ONE RULE is “Loving God and Neighbor together.”

    The Lord God Jesus the Jewish Messiah, Son of Yahweh the Most High God of Israel, said:
    “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.”
    Not one. TWO.

    Sometimes, Paul was wrong. Jesus is always right. I’m following Jesus.

    Here are answers to 2 common objections:
    .a) What about the so-called “Golden Rule”?
    Jesus spoke the 3 chapters of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, including 7:12. Jesus didn’t make PART of this one verse out of context into “The Golden Rule” or “one rule.” Jesus did not use the term “Golden Rule,” it’s simply a tradition of men. The sentence begins with “So” in the NIV and Amplified Bibles, and “Therefore’ in the NASB and King James Bibles, which ties 7:12 to the previous sentences. So 7:12 cannot stand alone as One Commandment.

    .b) What about the so-called “Great Commission”?
    Jesus spoke the words recorded in Matthew 28:18-20, including “make disciples of all nations.” Jesus never used the term “Great Commission,” it’s simply a tradition of men. Yes I agree it’s a commandment given by Jesus, it’s not optional, and it applies to us today. We need to carry this out, with our own God-given abilities and talents, using the skills, and circumstances we have. But we don’t need to put words in the mouth of Jesus, we can let Jesus speak for himself, and we can listen to Him – and obey Him.

    Evangelism is part of the Second Commandment given by Jesus, to Love people. Evangelism is not the most important commandment, and it isn’t the entire Second Commandment. So if our priorities are “The Great Commission and the Great Commandment,” we have our priorities upside down and confused, and we are not listening to the voice of Jesus. Never mind what Paul said. Let’s listen to the voice of Jesus first, and get our priorities straight.

    The people who will protest most loudly against this truth are the modern “Pauls:” traveling evangelists, speakers, writers, abusive absentee mega-church pastors, Crusaders, and self-appointed “apostles” like Paul, who find it “profitable” to “be like Paul” rather than follow Jesus the Jewish Messiah.

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  3. The Evangelical “Mexican Hat Dance”

    Sin is always specific, not general.
    The “Hat” is, “What were Paul’s sins?”

    The music starts, with a cheery blast of trumpets in a melody that is familiar to most North Americans- the “Mexican Hat Dance.” (The national dance of Mexico, taught in Mexican public schools since 1921, and officially named “El Jarabe Tapatio.”)

    A couple in rather elaborate traditional costumes begins the dance. The man throws his huge sombrero hat on the floor, and the couple dances around it, but never steps on the hat. (The “Hat” is, “what were Paul’s sins?”) Here are the basic steps- (there may be one or two other basic steps, but they are very similar to these.)

    What were Paul’s sins?

    STEP 1) Paul said; “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man.” [1 Timothy 1:13]
    (Response- Those were Saul’s sins, before Jesus called him. What were Paul’s sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 2) Paul said; “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.” [1 Timothy 1:15]
    (Response- Sin is alwasy specific. What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 3) Paul said; “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:23]
    (Response- Again the same question; What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 4) Paul said; “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.” [Philippians 3:12-13]
    (Response- They say third time’s a charm. Same question; What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? )

    STEP 5) Paul said; “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing.” [Romans 7:15-19]
    (Response- One more time! This is getting boring. Same question; Specifically, what were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian based on specific verses of the Bible? )

    STEP 6) LOOP- REPEAT steps 1 through 5, until your dance partner gives up, the audience gets bored, or the music stops. The rule is- never step on the “Hat,” just keep dancing around it.

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  4. Parable of the 12 heavenly chalkboards

    What is a common analogy for a permanent decision?
    “Written in stone.”
    What could be more permanent than that?
    How about written in stone in heaven (in other words, for eternity.)
    And what kind of a stone is the most solid, permanent, and unchangeable?
    Perhaps a foundation stone?

    The Book of Revelation written by the Apostle John, chapter 21 verse 14 says… “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostle of the Lamb.”
    Nothing about a “13th Apostle” or an “Apostle of the Gentiles”…. Hmmmm…..

    Parable of the 12 heavenly chalkboards

    Imagine “Wackyjesus” in “Wackyheaven”, built on the foundations of 12 chalkboards:

    “Matthias, you should have developed your skills in writing and public speaking. Your name never appears in the Bible after your appointment as the 12th Apostle in Acts 1. [erase erase erase]

    Actually, the same is true for you Thaddaeus, after you were appointed. You should have hired a PR firm to promote your name and make if famous. [erase erase erase]

    Of course, you both are specifically mentioned in Acts 6:2. “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together.” And this is before Saul/Paul is even mentioned. But let us not confuse the issue with facts. Paul did a much better job of marketing himself, and he wrote about himself hundreds of times. Share of voice equals share of mind. And most Evangelical pastors who read the Bible spend most of their time listening to the voice of Paul, so they become “like Paul.” But I digress…

    James, we had a good run. I didn’t think King Herod would knock you off so quickly. [erase erase erase]

    Oh well. Wow, they’re dropping like flies. Now I’ve got 3 slots open. I’d better buy a case of chalk and some more erasers. I’ll have to change the names on these 12 chalkboards hundreds of times in the next couple of millennia.

    I guess I had better plan ahead, and save a slot for the last Pope, Francis. And the head Mormon Apostle. And I need to save a throne for my mom, or she’ll be mad. And one for Muhammad too. Who needs truth in relationship, when I can quickly get market share, and totally dominate the market, through mergers and acquisitions?

    And one throne for that other guy named Peter. When he was younger, he used to have the great theological insight about territorial spirits and wrestling with dark angels. What was his last name? Begins with a consonant. Sounds almost like he was in the personal transportation industry back in “sword and sandal epic” days… “Peter Charioteer?” Maybe not. This isn’t the “fullest” description of him, but it’s full enough. Anyway, I should save a throne for him too.”

    So what is the application of this parable?
    Beware of the NAR whale – it’s really a killer whale with a man-made horn strapped on top. The only place in the New Testament that mentions anything like “Seven Mountains” is Revelation 17, “seven hills on which the woman sits.” (The Great Prostitute, that is.) Rome is the city that sits on seven hills, the perfect place for Peter the Roman, the New World Pope for the New World Order, to replace the original Apostle Peter in the apostate church of the Antichrist.

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  5. Jesus is our pattern – not Paul. Here is a parable in the form of a “Letter” to illustrate what happens if you follow the wrong pattern.

    Letter to the Angelenos
    Setting and context: Los Angeles California, Summer 2009. Due to lack of rain, there is a water shortage.

    The Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, preached that homeowners should only water their lawns 2 days a week, not every day, in order to save water. But after that, a TV news crew camped out 24/7 at the mayor’s house, and found that the mayor’s own lawn was being watered every day. Now, it has come to the mayor’s attention that some other homeowners are also watering their lawns every day again.

    The mayor could write a letter to the homeowners of Los Angeles about the need for water rationing. If he decided to use the life of the Paul the Pharisee as his example, and he wanted to “be like Paul,” he could write the letter below, using Paul’s letter to the Galatians as his pattern.

    TEXT OF LETTER TO THE ANGELENOS

    Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles,
    To the homeowners of Los Angeles:

    I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the 2-day-a-week plan for watering your lawns. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion. But even if we or an angel from heaven should tell you to stop the 2-day-a-week water-rationing plan, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody should tell you a different message, let him be eternally condemned! Not even my personal staff members at City Hall are watering their own lawns every day.

    You foolish Angelenos! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes I clearly explained the need for water rationing. I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. What has happened to all your joy? Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? How I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

    Mark my words! I, Antonio Villaraigosa, tell you that if you water your lawn every day, your life in Los Angeles will be of no value at all. You have fallen away from grace. For in Los Angeles, neither a green lawn nor a brown lawn has any value. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the 2-day-a-week water-rationing plan? A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty whoever he may be. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and turn their lawns into swamps!

    Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to water your lawn every day. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for having a brown lawn. In Los Angeles, neither a green lawn nor a brown lawn means anything.

    Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I’ve suffered a lot for the City of Los Angeles. Do as I say, not as I did. How dare you ask me why I was watering my own lawn every day?
    Regards,
    The Mayor of Los Angeles – Antonio Villaraigosa

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  6. 1973 – Inside the mind of a “Jesus Person”

    Wow, that “Love Song” concert was groovy, man. They are Right On! The Holy Trinity isn’t “Jesus, Paul, and Chuck”. Besides Jesus, all the characters in the Bible had frailties- like Jonah and Paul. God told them to go one way, and they disobeyed God and did the opposite- but God still worked through them eventually, after they repented. It’s encouraging that God can use imperfect messengers like them, because it proves He can also use an imperfect man like me to advance His kingdom, when I humble myself, repent, and obey His commands. Cool !

    But what do I do with this truth? I don’t know of a single church that simply teaches the Bible simply and preaches the whole counsel of God, including Paul’s sins and mistakes. They all teach “we should be like Paul” and “we should listen to Paul” without examining Paul’s life and Paul’s teachings in the light of the teachings of Jesus in Scripture. They all make Paul and his teachings the one absolute standard of right and wrong, rather than God’s commandments and the testimony of Jesus. They make Paul the center, not Jesus. I want to bring my hippie friends to church- but how to I explain to them that it’s taboo to mention Paul’s sins and doctrinal errors in church?

    How can I make them understand that they should deal with “Paul Worship” the same way that I deal with smoking weed? When I’m at the beach with the hip crowd, I won’t take a stand in public. I won’t say “I’m high on Jesus, and so using a mind-altering drug for recreational purposes is wrong, because Jesus is better.” I don’t want to be rejected by my peers. So I’ll smoke with them, but I won’t let the weed alter my own mind, because “I didn’t inhale!” In order to be accepted in the Establishment church fellowship, you have to smoke the weed of “Paul Worship”- just be true to yourself and “don’t inhale.”

    Maybe I could speak in code, like they did in the New Testament church with the fish symbol. I could just say “Jesus is our model.” But never discuss the Scriptures that show why Paul is NOT our model. Then the Paulist Establishment church won’t persecute me, but the other Jesus People will know that I’m still keeping the faith and “not inhaling.”

    What I really need is a short catchy slogan to let my fellow hippies know what is expected of them in the Establishment Church now in 1973, regarding the issue of Paul the Pharisee’s sins. Lets see……. “If you don’t ask about Paul’s sins, I won’t tell about them”…. hmmm. Kind of long and wordy. I need to refine that. Maybe there is someone I could bounce this off, to get some ideas. I know! My buddy has a new friend from a Baptist background that seems really smart and good with words. I don’t think he’s involved in church much, but I could talk with that guy. Clinton. What was his first name? One syllable, beginning with a consonant…. George Clinton?… maybe not. Anyway, I’ll talk with Clinton and see if he has an idea for a short catchy slogan- maybe boiled down to four words or so…

    It’s not easy for me now in 1973, as a young man just trying to start out in ministry. We’re in a recession, the economy is terrible, jobs are scarce, immorality is rampant, and in many ways the country is falling apart. For years now America has been stuck in a seemingly endless, unwinnable guerilla war in an Asian nation that borders China. The Middle East is very unstable. Based on what’s happening in Israel, it looks like Jesus could be returning soon.

    I don’t have any position or influence in the Christian world. I know from the Scriptures that “Paul Worship” is wrong, but the entire Church Establishment says it’s right. Who am I to challenge hundreds years of false man-made tradition, like Jesus, Martin Luther, Columbus, Copernicus and Galileo? I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me (and my family).

    I really will “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, and wave his banner high”- just not right now in 1973. Later, when I’m at the height of my career, and I’m financially secure and I don’t have to worry about finding a job or keeping my job, and I have some real influence- maybe 40 years from now, when I’m, like, in my sixties, say in around 2013- that’s when I’ll really be able to stand up for Jesus. Things will be different then. I’ll do it then.

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  7. Hi again,
    The header on this page is,
    “Understanding the New Testament – my journey in to God’s word.”

    Assuming you have read my 6 posts above,
    What specifically do you believe is “God’s word” as it pertains to the texts of the New Testament?

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    • kmcr097 says:

      “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” -2 Timothy 3:16-17

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  8. Yes, Paul wrote that, once, in the middle of his personal letter of Timothy which is part of the 66 Books of the Bible.

    No one agreed with Paul on this point. No other New Testament author ever wrote anything like that, and Jesus never said anything like that. Are you saying that this one short passage, in the middle of one of Paul’s personal letters, is the one lens we should use to view and define every other verse in all 66 Books of the Bible?

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  9. all scripture IS God ???
    How are you coming up with that conclusion based on John 1:1 ?
    The word “scripture” does not appear in this verse by the way, and it doesn’t say anything about being God-inspired either.
    (I think the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe something like this, that the Bible is a god.)

    Also what we call the New Testament was not compiled together until hundreds of years after the Apostle John wrote John 1:1

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    • kmcr097 says:

      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God.” (emphasis mine)

      You might be interested to know that every single one of Paul’s letters were written before any of the Gospels. In fact, the writers of the Gospels probably read Paul’s letters and were influenced by them, especially Luke who was a friend of Paul’s, according to church tradition.

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  10. John 1:1 is talking about Jesus, who was the Word (the Torah) made flesh. There is no reason to believe it’s talking about the 66 Books of the Bible.

    How in the world could you, or anyone, know that all Paul’s letters were written before any of the Gospels? No offense, but this is nonsense. You are making Paul out to be God here, practically speaking. Where are you getting these kind of ideas? It certainly isn’t from the testimony of Jesus.

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    • kmcr097 says:

      Because Scripture is God-inspired. It all comes from God, and He is the ultimate authority. Even if God Himself didn’t personally write it down, even if you don’t believe He was inspiring the authors to write what they were writing, He MUST have been inspired the people who compiled the Bible to include them. Otherwise they wouldn’t be there! Therefore they come from God and they are words that God wanted us to read and listen to.

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  11. You are “begging the question,” saying All Scripture is inspired by God “Because Scripture is God-inspired. It all comes from God.”

    You believe “All Scripture is God-breathed”, because Paul alone said so, once. There is no other Biblical reason to believe that. (And you interpret Scripture to be the 66 Books of the Bible based on Tradition, which I go along with for the sake of not getting sidetracked on theological issues of less importance.)
    https://understandingthenewtestament.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/on-following-jesus/comment-page-1/#comment-34

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    • kmcr097 says:

      Yeah, clearly you didn’t really listen to (or maybe didn’t understand?) my explanation about why ALL scripture must be valid, or NO scripture must be valid. I would suggest if you want to understand you go back and read my previous comment regarding how scripture was selected.

      You can’t go around saying SOME scripture is valid, and others aren’t. There is not any Biblical reason to believe that, nor is there a logical reason. Nothing in the Bible says “What Jesus said matters and NOTHING ELSE.” Anyway, that doesn’t even make sense because the same person that wrote Luke wrote Acts, which is all about Paul. Why would you call one of those Scripture and not the other? That doesn’t make any sense at all. If God didn’t want Paul’s letters to be in the Bible, they wouldn’t be.

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  12. You are begging the question about what “Scripture” means, and assuming that all Scripture is EQUAL , equally important, equally authoritative, equally accurate. No one in the pages of Scripture ever said this. Not even Paul, even though Paul alone wrote “All Scripture is God-breathed.” No one agreed with Paul on this. And you are not quoting any Scripture to refute my point here, because you can’t. There isn’t any. You were trained the way I was trained, to simply believe everything Paul said without any second witness, without thinking, without comparing.

    Jesus said “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” [Matthew 22:40]
    The “Law” and the “Prophets” are the two most important sections of the Old Testament, above the “Writings” section, which starts with the Psalms. All Scripture is not equal.

    Later Jesus spoke of “the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” [Luke 24:44]
    Jesus never referred to all Scripture as one book that is all equal or all the Word of God.

    Please open the Gospels and listen to the words of Jesus for yourself.
    Blessings

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    • kmcr097 says:

      Jesus never said that His words were scripture either. Please don’t criticize people for not quoting scripture to back up their arguments when there is NOTHING in scripture to back up your argument that Paul’s words are invalid. Jesus never said that we shouldn’t listen to anything anyone but He said. In fact, He teaches us that we will know good or bad teachers by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-20) I believe that Paul clearly had good fruits, as evidenced in the growth of the young church under his wing, as well as by the good results his teachings continue to bring in believers these days. Did he have sin and problems in his life? YES. But so does everybody. That’s why he needed to accept Jesus in order to achieve salvation, and that’s why he encouraged us to do the same.

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      • Hi, You wrote, QUOTE:
        “I believe that Paul clearly had good fruits, as evidenced in the growth of the young church under his wing…”

        What specifically are you talking about here?

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  13. What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? Here are 5 to get the discussion started:

    .1) Paul’s boastful conflicting false testimonies, exaggerating and making things up about his conversion experience in Acts 22 & 26, compared to what actually happened (recorded by Luke in Acts 9).

    .2) Paul lying to the Ephesian elders saying he was “compelled by the Spirit” going to Jerusalem, when in truth he was clearly disobeying God. [Acts 19:21 – 22:21]
    .
    3) Paul exaggerating his ministry in Ephesus claiming it was “3 years night and day with tears” when really it was 3 months in the synagogue and 2 years daily in a lecture hall.
    [Acts 20:31 vs Acts 19:8-10]

    .4) Paul abandoning the Church in Corinth after a year and a half for no obvious reason, and going off on another long trip, mostly on his own, without appointing anyone else in Corinth as overseer, or giving anyone else any specific authority in the Church in Corinth.
    [Acts 18}

    .5) Paul acting as an abusive absentee overseer / pastor to the Church in Corinth years after he abandoned them, and clinging to all power and claim to control of money and all aspects of the church ministry, while he was hundreds of miles away teaching full-time in his own school in Ephesus. [1 & 2 Corinthians.}

    Paul is the “model pastor” for many modern “Pauls” like;

    a) Bob Coy, who still owns all the assets and controls all the money at his cult known as Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, in spite of his recent resignation as “Senior Pastor” there due to adultery with multiple woman and other major sins that he still has never specifically admitted to personally.

    b)
    Greg Laurie, the Boss of a wide-ranging personal cult empire that generally goes by the name of “Harvest.” Greg lives in Newport Beach, commutes by helicopter, and exploits the very large church he founded in Riverside from a distance, while he does his own thing in Orange County and travels around wherever he feels like, building a personal business empire with himself as the center, not Jesus.

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    • kmcr097 says:

      As I said, you are not going to change my mind. Please do not continue to leave copy/pasted comments on my blog. From here on out I will be removing anything like this that I see. If you would like to discuss something with your own words, I will be happy to talk to you in that way.

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  14. These posts are all my own words.

    And the words of Jesus are these::
    “Heaven and earth will pass away, but MY WORDS will never pass away.”
    Matthew 24:35

    Jesus saying MY WORDS means exactly what He said – the words of Jesus. Not the words of men like Paul. “Invalid” is a rather loaded word, which implies either all or nothing, with nothing in between. Jesus didn’t see the Scriptures that way, and neither do I. You have nothing in Scripture to back up that Paul’s words are the words of God, or equal to the words of Jesus. I realize we have been trained that way. But sometimes human traditions are wrong.
    Blessings,

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    • kmcr097 says:

      It may be that these posts are your own words, but you copy and paste them from blog to blog. I know because you’ve posted the same thing, word for word, on two of my posts before. And I’ve seen your comments on other blogs, exactly word for word as they are on mine. That is not how conversations work.

      You’re right, I have nothing in scripture that says Paul’s words are the words of God. (Although I bet if I talked to my pastor he could help me find some. I’m still learning, he has at least three degrees in such matters.) That is a logical and theological leap of faith, that is, incidentally, rooted in the writings of Acts when Paul is visited by Jesus. However, you also have nothing in scripture that says Paul’s words AREN’T the words of God. We can keep going back and forth here all day, or you can just keep repeating yourself. (Because I’ve now made that specific point at least 5 times without you addressing it.) Up to you.

      Finally, Paul’s influence on the early church is well documented, both in the book of Acts and in outside historical documents from Roman and early church officials. I can only assume you find the book of Acts to be scripture as you quoted it in an above comment. (Although why you would consider Acts scripture and not Paul’s letters is beyond me.) He was clearly doing good works IN THE NAME OF JESUS that led thousands to Christ. Those are good fruits.

      Like

  15. Yes, you are not the only person in the world that I’m having a conversation with. I post my ideas on blogs to see if anyone responds. I am aware that many people are reading, but very few respond. One reason is that on many points I’ve been making, they have no way to open their Bible and refute what I’ve written.

    I don’t know everything. And I appreciate your honesty likewise in admitting “I have nothing in scripture that says Paul’s words are the words of God. ”

    The title of your blog is “Understanding the New Testament.”
    I have the Orthodox view that the Testimony of Jesus is ABOVE all other parts of the New Testament. You, and me, and other Evangelicals have been trained to think that Paul is equal to Jesus. I’m saying no, he isn’t.

    If you are a follower of Jesus, why would you not hold the words of Jesus, and the example of Jesus ABOVE everyone else (including Paul)?

    Jesus said “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.” Which of the two is the first and most important? Paul disagreed with Jesus.
    Would you care to respond to this previous post that I made over a month ago?
    https://understandingthenewtestament.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/on-following-jesus/comment-page-1/#comment-16

    Blessings in the name above all names, Jesus
    Sincerely,
    Matthew

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    • kmcr097 says:

      Okay, I guess you’re going to choose to ignore my question for you. That’s fine, just understand now why I am choosing to ignore your questions for me.

      I do not think Paul is equal to Jesus. I DO think his teachings are worthwhile to read and can help me grow closer to Christ.

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  16. I agree that many Christian “teachings are worthwhile to read and can help me grow closer to Christ.” including the writings of Paul.
    I’m not choosing to ignore your question to me.. You said, QUOTE:
    ” you also have nothing in scripture that says Paul’s words AREN’T the words of God.”

    Yes I do.
    Paul disagreed with Jesus on many points, which clearly shows that .”Paul’s words AREN’T the words of God.”
    Where he disagreed, Paul was wrong. Paul didn’t know what the first and greatest most important commandment was. I posted a careful comparison on the link over a month ago.

    So now that I’ve specifically answered your question, will your read that link and tell me,
    Of the TWO commandments that the Law and the Prophets, hang on, which one is the First and most important commandment?

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    • kmcr097 says:

      Dude, you are getting all bent out of shape about semantics. Clearly Jesus’s words and Paul’s words were in the same spirit. I think that Paul left out loving God because he assumed that if you are bothering to be a Christian you KNOW you’re supposed to love God. Also, please keep in mind as I pointed out before, that Paul’s letter was written FIRST and was probably read by Matthew before he wrote his gospel.

      Like

    • kmcr097 says:

      Also, that doesn’t say to me “Paul’s words CLEARLY are not scripture.” All it says to me is, “Jesus and Paul said basically the same thing in a slightly different way.”

      As I said, Jesus (nor anyone else) ever said the words, “Nothing but MY words are scripture. Everything else is not scripture.” Those are YOUR words. And clearly, no, I am not going to take your words over the words of Jesus or Paul or anyone else.

      Like

  17. But I wasn’t asking what you think Paul assumed.
    Of the TWO commandments that the Law and the Prophets, hang on, which one is the First and most important commandment according to Jesus?
    It’s a simple question, with a simple answer, in the words of Jesus in Matthew 22 & Mark 12.

    Like

    • kmcr097 says:

      Wouldn’t your time be better spent ministering to the lost souls who don’t believe in Jesus as their Savior than arguing with a believer about Paul?

      Again, what Paul said is SO CLOSE to what Jesus said that, if anything, it gives MORE authority to Paul’s writing. Paul was chosen by Jesus to teach His children, according to Luke, and I think that includes me. If you don’t agree that’s your business. But please stop wasting your time arguing with me about what essentially boils down to nothing and go help some people who actually need help.

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  18. I choose to listen to Jesus directly for myself, and try to obey Him. I don’t need Paul to “improve on the teachings of Jesus”, and I don’t give Paul authority equal to Jesus – and certainly not MORE authority than Jesus.

    I “Understand the New Testament” with the Orthodox view that the testimony of Jesus is above everything else. I guess we disagree. I wish you the best. Jesus loves you.

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  19. Pingback: One More Time | Understanding the New Testament

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