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Category Archives: Transformations

Defying Defiling Human Traditions

Joan Winifred spiritual food Transformations True v. False Religion

Nope, i am NOT into flawed-human traditions and false-ritualistic religions.

Some reading for consideration…(my highlights)

MATTHEW 15:1-20 MARK 7:1-23 JOHN 7:1

Pharisees and scribes come to him from Jerusalem. Why do they make this trip? They are looking for grounds on which to accuse Jesus of a religious offense. They ask: “Why do your disciples overstep the tradition of the men of former times? For example, they do not wash their hands when about to eat a meal.” (Matthew 15:2) God never told his people to observe this ritual of ‘washing their hands up to the elbow.’ (Mark 7:3) Yet the Pharisees consider not doing so to be a serious offense.

Rather than answer their accusation directly, Jesus points to how they willfully break God’s Law. “Why do you overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition?” he asks them. “For example, God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Let the one who speaks abusively of his father or mother be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother: “Whatever I have that could benefit you is a gift dedicated to God,” he need not honor his father at all.’”​—Matthew 15:3-6; Exodus 20:12; 21:17.

The Pharisees claim that money, property, or anything dedicated as a gift to God belongs to the temple, so it cannot be used for a different purpose. In reality, though, the person is still in possession of the dedicated gift. For example, a son might say that his money or property is “corban,” a gift dedicated to God or to the temple, as if the temple now has prior claim to the gift. The money or property is still the son’s to use, yet he claims that it cannot be used to help his aged and needy parents. He thereby evades his responsibility toward them.​—Mark 7:11.

Jesus is rightly indignant at this twisting of God’s Law and says: “You have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition. You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you when he said: ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’” The Pharisees have no response to Jesus’ strong criticism. So he calls the crowd to come near. “Listen and get the sense of it,” he says. “It is not what enters into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but it is what comes out of his mouth that defiles him.”​—Matthew 15:6-11; Isaiah 29:13.

Careful about what comes out of my mouth;)

Later when in a house, the disciples ask Jesus: “Do you know that the Pharisees were stumbled at hearing what you said?” He replies: “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Let them be. Blind guides is what they are. If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”​—Matthew 15:12-14.

Jesus seems surprised when, on behalf of the disciples, Peter asks for clarification about what defiles a man. Jesus responds: “Are you not aware that whatever enters into the mouth passes through the stomach and is discharged into the sewer? However, whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and those things defile a man. For example, out of the heart come wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man; but to take a meal with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”​—Matthew 15:17-20.

Jesus is not discouraging normal hygiene, nor is he arguing that a person need not wash his hands before preparing food or eating a meal. Rather, he is condemning the hypocrisy of religious leaders who try to bypass God’s righteous laws by resorting to human traditions. The fact is, wicked deeds originating in the heart are what defile a man.

[excerpted reading: What Really Defiles a Person? 

Question for Reflection:
Good-Healthy Heart–Good-Healthy Words?! 🙂

2/26/19 @ 3:47 p.m.

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A Common Comma Mi-“STAKE”

appreciation healing hope Hope insights Joan Winifred logic peace spiritual food study Transformations trust Truth

A mistake? Some of us have been taught or have learned the vital importance of commas in some places like: legal documents and money equations say regarding inheritance. Wrong comma placement can quash value. Commas can dramatically alter things for better, for worse.

Leave out. Insert one. Change income. Change outcome.

On purpose? or by mi…”stake”…a lot “hanging” on this comma: (my colorful highlights)

Paradise means different things to different people. Some say that paradise is a fantasy. Others say that paradise is wherever they find joy and satisfaction. A starving man sitting at a banquet might feel that he is in paradise. On seeing a glen full of wildflowers, a 19th-century visitor cried out, “Oh, what a paradise!” That site is still named Paradise, though it receives over 50 feet (15 m) of snow yearly. What does Paradise mean to you? Do you hope for it?

3. How does the Bible get us thinking about a paradise?

The Bible speaks of both a paradise that once existed and a paradise still ahead. The idea of Paradise arises early in the Bible. In the Catholic Douay Version, which was translated from Latin, Genesis 2:8 reads: “The Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein he placed [Adam] whom he had formed.” (Italics ours.) The Hebrew text speaks of the garden of Eden. Eden means “Pleasure,” and that garden was indeed pleasant. There was ample food, beautiful scenery, and delightful interaction with many animals.​—Gen. 1:29-31.

4. Why can we refer to the garden of Eden as a paradise?

Pa·raʹdei·sos is the Greek term that translates the Hebrew word for “garden.” The Cyclopaedia by M’Clintock and Strong says about pa·raʹdei·sos: A wide, open park, enclosed against injury, yet with its natural beauty unspoiled, with stately forest-trees, many of them bearing fruit, watered by clear streams, on whose banks roved large herds of antelopes or sheep​—this was the scenery which connected itself in the mind of the Greek traveller.”​—Compare Genesis 2:15, 16.

5, 6. How was Paradise lost, leading to what question?

God put Adam and Eve in such a paradise, but they did not remain in it. Why? They disqualified themselves by disobeying God. Thus, Paradise was lost for them and their offspring. (Gen. 3:23, 24) Though without human occupants, that garden apparently remained until the Deluge of Noah’s day.

Some may wonder, ‘Will any man, woman, or child ever be able to enjoy Paradise on earth?’ What do the facts show? If you hope to live with your loved ones in Paradise, do you have a valid basis for your hope? Could you explain why Paradise is sure to come?

7, 8. (a) God made what promise to Abraham? (b) God’s promise might have led Abraham to think of what?

The logical place to find answers is in the book inspired by the Creator of the original Paradise. Consider what God told his friend Abraham. God said that he would multiply Abraham’s offspring “like the grains of sand on the seashore.” And Jehovah made this meaningful promise: “By means of your offspring all nations of the earth will obtain a blessing for themselves because you have listened to my voice.” (Gen. 22:17, 18) God repeated that basic promise to Abraham’s son and grandson.​—Read Genesis 26:4;28:14.

There is no indication in the Bible that Abraham thought that humans would get a final reward in a heavenly paradise. So when God spoke of “all nations of the earth” as being blessed, Abraham would reasonably think of blessings on earth. The promise was from God, so it suggested better conditions for “all nations of the earth.” Did further developments among God’s people support such thinking?

9, 10. What later promises provided a basis for expecting coming blessings?

David, one of Abraham’s descendants, pointed to a future time when “evil men” and “wrongdoers” would pass away. The result? “The wicked will be no more.” (Ps. 37:1, 2, 10) Instead, “the meek will possess the earth, and they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” David was also inspired to predict: “The righteous will possess the earth, and they will live forever on it.” (Ps. 37:11, 29; 2 Sam. 23:2) What effect do you think those assurances had on people who wanted to do God’s will? They would have a basis for expecting that if only righteous people were living on earth, in time a paradise like the garden of Eden would be restored.

What we can learn from “criminals”…paradise, hope…”stakes

People of the whole earth will be blessed by God. No one will face danger from animals or beastlike humans. The blind, deaf, and lame will be cured. People will be able to build their own homes and enjoy growing wholesome food. They will live longer than trees. Yes, we find indications in the Bible that such a future is ahead. Still, some might claim that we are reading more into those prophecies than is justified. How would you answer? What solid reason do you have to look forward to a real paradise on earth? The greatest man who ever lived provided a solid reason.

YOU WILL BE IN PARADISE!

16, 17. In what situation did Jesus speak about Paradise?

16 Though he was innocent, Jesus was condemned and hung on a stake to die, with a Jewish criminal on each side of him. Before dying, one of them acknowledged that Jesus was a king and made the request: “Jesus, remember me when you get into your Kingdom.” (Luke 23:39-42) Your future is involved in Jesus’ reply, found at Luke 23:43. Some modern scholars give this word-for-word rendering: “Truly I say to you, today with me you will be in Paradise.” Note the word “today.” What was Jesus indicating? There are different views.

17 In many modern languages, commas are used to convey or clarify the meaning of a sentence. But in the earliest available Greek manuscripts, punctuation was not consistently used. Thus, the question arises: Was Jesus saying, “I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise”? Or was he saying, “I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise”? Translators may insert a comma according to what they think that Jesus meant, and you can find either rendering in common Bible versions.

18, 19. How can we reason on what Jesus must have meant?

18 However, recall that Jesus had earlier told his followers: “The Son of man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.” He also said: “The Son of man is going to be betrayed into men’s hands, and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up.” (Matt. 12:40; 16:21; 17:22, 23; Mark 10:34) The apostle Peter reports that this happened. (Acts 10:39, 40) So Jesus did not go to any Paradise on the day he and that criminal died. Jesus was “in the Grave [or “Hades”]” for days, until God resurrected him.​—Acts 2:31, 32; ftn.

19 We can thus see that Jesus’ promise to the criminal was introduced with the words: “Truly I say to you today.” That manner of expression was common even in Moses’ time. He said: “These words that I am commanding you today must be on your heart.”​—Deut. 6:6; 7:11; 8:1, 19; 30:15.

20. What supports our understanding of what Jesus said?

20 A Bible translator from the Middle East said of Jesus’ reply: “The emphasis in this text is on the word ‘today’ and should read, ‘Truly I say to you today, you will be with me in Paradise.’ The promise was made on that day and it was to be fulfilled later. This is a characteristic of Oriental speech implying that the promise was made on a certain day and would surely be kept.” Accordingly, a fifth-century Syriac version renders Jesus’ reply: “Amen, I say to thee to-day that with me thou shalt be in the Garden of Eden.” We should all be encouraged by that promise.

21. What did not happen to the criminal, and why?

21 That dying criminal did not know that Jesus had made a covenant with his faithful apostles to be with him in the heavenly Kingdom. (Luke 22:29) Furthermore, that criminal had not even been baptized. (John 3:3-6, 12) We can thus understand that what Jesus promised must be an earthly paradise. Years later, the apostle Paul related a vision of a man “caught away into paradise.” (2 Cor. 12:1-4) Unlike the dying criminal, Paul and the other faithful apostles were selected to go to heaven to share with Jesus in the Kingdom. Still, Paul was pointing to something to come in the future​—a future “paradise.” Would that involve the earth? And can you be there?

What is my hope??

22, 23. What can you hope for?

22 Bear in mind that David foresaw the time when “the righteous will possess the earth.” (Ps. 37:29; 2 Pet. 3:13) David was referring to a time when people on earth would live according to God’s righteous ways. The prophecy at Isaiah 65:22 says: “The days of my people will be like the days of a tree.” This implies that people will live for thousands of years. Can you expect that? Yes, for according to Revelation 21:1-4, God will turn his attention to mankind, and one of the promised blessings is that “death will be no more” for people serving God in his righteous new world.

23 The picture is thus clear. Adam and Eve lost Paradise back in Eden, but it was not lost forever. As God promised, people on earth are yet to be blessed. Under inspiration, David said that the meek and righteous will inherit the earth and live on it forever. The prophecies in the book of Isaiah should whet our appetite for the delightful conditions that will prevail. When? When Jesus’ promise to the Jewish criminal comes to pass. You can be in that Paradise.

[excerpted: “See You in Paradise!” w 18 December pp. 3-7]

Peace, Paradise to You:) Reader.

2/16/19 @ 6:56 p.m. (FL, USA)

p.s. unit of time measurement: understanding “time” zones correctly…

Professor C. Marvin Pate wrote: “Traditionally, the word ‘today’ has been understood to be a chronological reference to a twenty-four-hour period. The difficulty with this view is its apparent conflict with biblical teaching elsewhere which suggests that Jesus first ‘descended’ to hades after His death (Matt. 12:40; Acts 2:31; Rom. 10:7) and then afterward ascended to heaven.”

To “Truthfully” grasp/fully understand: when/where, intent/value, content/context,…terms of proper/appropriate use, etc. (actual tangible values) accurate comma placement a valid consideration/study including time unit/time zone a “definite” necessary (period).
A “simple” comma—seemingly small detail–greatly impinges.
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pimples

Joan Winifred spiritual food study Transformations trust Truth

some of us have acne issues lol 🙂 and some of us don’t…;)

“and no deceit was found in their mouths; they are without blemish.”

(Revelation 14:5)

a favorite book “Revelation”…read.

 

and, (humbly/willingly), some of us “treat” our acne, eh?! 🙂

(aka practical application of Biblical wisdom, etc. self-discipline through daily study, meditation, prayer, progressive personal application.)

an imperfect observation by me: some teens/adults have acne issues…(growing pains par for the course) what about our individual “spiritual” growth?…cannot give up in the process…reaching onward progressing toward maturity. 🙂

worthy goal: “pimple” free??;)

(aka without “blemish”)

 

2/12/19 @ 3:02 p.m.

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