I Cor. 16:9  “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

July 31, 2007

Homiletics  part  3 A lesson From the Palm Tree One can readily recall the words of Exodus `15:27 which reads, “And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.”  Think what a wonderful sight a grove of palms must be to the wary and thirsty traveler on the desert!  These trees not only mean shelter from the blistering sun, but water to slake the thirst.  Palms grow where there is water, and they send down their tap roots to water.  Thus this tree is never without its testimony.    Those familiar with this most famous of all bible trees know that it Bears Fruit in Old Age. The palm never stops bearing fruit, even though it grows to a very old age.  The 14th verse of Psalm 92 states, “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age.”  The tree is never on the retired list.  Too many of us are retired Christians.  We get to the place where we imagine we have done our share, so someone else can take over and carry on the work.  Recall the spirit of the old pioneers of Tombstone, who were willing to die with their boots on, working and toiling to the very last.  Just as the palm grows for the ages, so should it be with all the children of God.  We are not shrubs, but trees.  “He shall be like a tree” — that which abides.    Who among us is not familiar with the fact that the Branches Are Symbols of Victory. In Revation 7:9, the Apostle John caught the vision of the mighty multitude which no man could number, standing “before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.”  There were they who had come out of great tribulation, and victory was theirs in the presence of their Lord.  It was a time of rejoicing.  Are we symbols of victory?  Do men look at us and see some blessed evidence of the power of God operative in our lives?  Or must they behold evidences of defeat?  God forbid!    I exhort you,  be a palm-tree Christian, the praise and glory of His grace.  What a blessing we can be to others by living the upright palm tree life!


What Was the Wording on the Cross?
John gives us the clue to the different wording when he tells us that it was written in three languages. It was in Latin which was the language of Pilate, and in Greek which was the common language of Palestine, and in Hebrew or Aramaic which the Jews spoke. The three versions then could have varied slightly. The simple versions recorded in Mark and Luke may have been written in Latin, which would be understandable to the Romans in the area. Mk. 15:26, Lk. 23:38 Pilate could have added the name “Jesus” to the Aramaic version since it may have been more appropriate to the locals who followed Jesus. And Pilate could have decided to have Nazareth added also. Mt. 27:37, Jn.19:19

How Long Was Jesus in the Tomb? In Mt. 12:40 the Lord says, “as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish” so He would be in the tomb. Here we find that Jewish use of idioms include part days as full days. Therefore, Friday, Saturday(Sabbath), and Sunday would constitute ‘ three days and three nights’ idiomatically.
The Fig Tree
Following Palm Sunday, Mt. makes it clear that Jesus went straight to the Temple to expel the “money changers” 21:10-12. He does not speak of “cursing the fig tree” until verse 18. Mk., on the other hand, seems to indicate that the “Temple incident” occurred after the cursing of the fig tree Mk. 11:12-16. We have to understand the typical writing style of the two men. Matthew tended to write in a topical sense, placing importance on topics at the expense of strict chronology. Mk. tended to write a strict chronology of events. Both Mt. and Mk. agree that Jesus went immediately to the Temple upon His arrival on Palm Sunday, Mt. 21:12, Mk. 11:11. Mark says that Jesus “looked around in indignation,” and then returned to Bethany. They also agree that the cursing of the fig tree occurred the day after Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, when He was on His way back to the Temple.
What about the Two Genealogies of Jesus?
Lk. 3 – This genealogy was based on Mary, the human side of Jesus. Matthew was the more common genealogy given through the line of males to Joseph, husband of Mary. This is not surprising since Lk. was a physician who dealt with human problems and Mt. was a tax collector who dealt with legal issues(transferred through males). Jesus was the legal heir. There is evidence of this in the Greek. In the case of Lk. 3:23 the clue is given in the words, “He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph.” This calls attention to the only human parent-Mary. Mt. 1 deals strictly with the legal line down through Joseph. The Greek word for begot is used in the entire genealogy from Abraham to Joseph. However Joseph is not said to have begotten Jesus. Instead the Greek calls Joseph the “husband of Mary” through whom Jesus was born.   Pastor Koenig