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Monday, March 14 2016
Matthew 15: The Commandments Of Men
"But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men"
The LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) brought about the defeat and exile of the people of the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BC because they had abandoned and perverted His Law - and arrogantly refused to repent of it by rejecting and abusing His prophets (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon?). The people of the Kingdom of Judah repeated the corruption of the people of the Kingdom of Israel over a century earlier, from which the LORD made them into the "lost ten tribes" of Israel in 721 BC (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes; also How Did Israel Separate Itself From The Messianic King?).
For the sake of the coming Messiah (see How The Messianic Line Survived In Babylon) , the LORD had descendants of the exiles of Judah, seventy years later, return to rebuild Jerusalem, the Temple and the territory (see Zerubbabel's Return and Ezra's Journey From Babylon and The Arrival Of Nehemiah's Cavalry).
It was during the centuries after that return that "Judaism" originated (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism and Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism), along with the religious sects within Judaism - including the Essenes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The people's original pledge to obey God's Law, so as to not bring the LORD's wrath upon them again, was very good, but in their zeal to obey God's Law, over time they added many of their own "laws" and traditions that eventually overshadowed and contradicted the pure Law of God. They lost the Way again - just as most of the Christian-professing world has done with their man-made religions that they call "Christian" (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).
By the time that the Messiah came, they blasphemously accused Him of being a sinner because He obeyed God's pure Law, rather than their inward-looking parochial traditions. It was those religious "authorities" that had the Messiah assassinated for their own purposes, but ironically and paradoxically, in doing so they brought about the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God for all of humanity - including themselves.
"15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Lebanon is located immediately to the north of Galilee. It has had a long history with the Israelites, including providing the fine Lebanese cedar for the original Temple in Jerusalem (see King Hiram of Tyre and The Temple That Solomon Built). As was often the case, people of other nations were able to recognize the Messiah of all nations (as the LORD had prophesied to Abraham; see The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq) better than many of the people of His own nation were willing or able, yet, to do (see the Fact Finder question below).
"15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Even while in Israel, the Messiah often resorted to lonely places - sometimes to avoid being killed before the appointed time, while at other times to get a break from the large numbers of "common folks" who weren't suffering from the blinding arrogance of the religious "authorities." It was during one such time that, when the multitude had followed Him three days into the wilderness without sufficient food supplies, that He miraculously fed the "four thousand men, beside women and children."
"15:29 And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them: 15:31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Fact Finder: Why did the Messiah use parables in His teaching?
This Day In History, March 14
44 BC: On the night before the assassination of Julius Caesar, Casca, Cicero and Cassius declared that Mark Antony should not be killed (see The Cleopatra Connection, The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
1369: During the Castilian Civil War, Henry of Trastamare defeated Pedro I of Castile at the battle of Montiel.
1489: Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus and last of the Lusignan dynasty, sold her kingdom to Venice.
1590: During the French Religious Wars, Henry IV, with a force of 13,000, defeated the 25,000-strong army of the Duc de Mayenne at the battle of Ivry.
1647: During the Thirty Years War, a Treaty of Neutrality was signed at Ulm between Sweden, France, Bavaria and Cologne.
1757: British admiral John Byng was executed by firing squad for his failed attempt to relieve the island of Minorca when threatened by the French fleet.
1883: Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto along with Frederich Engels, died. Marx and Engels were both wealthy liberals who sought political power for themselves through the support of the workers that they claimed to represent. It was a political experiment that by the late twentieth century had been proven as a dismal failure that actually enslaved the workers that it promised to "liberate."
1891: The submarine Monarch laid telephone cable along the English Channel bed to prepare for the first telephone links to Europe.
1915: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German cruiser Dresden was sunk by the Royal Navy in the Pacific.
1936: Adolf Hitler told a crowd of 300,000 that "Germany's only judge is God and itself" (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1937: Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Mit brennender Sorge ("with burning anxiety") against Nazi Germany; it charged that Germany had violated their 1933 concordat whereby Roman Catholicism was not to be hindered under the Nazis.
1938: After his anschluss of Austria, Adolf Hitler made his triumphal entry into Vienna, where he had spent his hobo years.
1945: The heaviest explosive of the Second World War, the 22,000-pound (9,980 kilogram) "Grand Slam," was dropped by the RAF's Dambuster Squadron on the Bielefeld railway viaduct in Germany.
1964: Jack Ruby (actual name Jacob Rubenstein; the son of Polish-immigrant Jewish parents, he grew up in Chicago where, as a boy, he ran errands for the gangster Al Capone) was found guilty of the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of John Kennedy. Ruby reportedly had expected to be regarded as a "hero" for shooting Oswald and not face murder charges.
1965: Israel agreed to West Germany's request to establish diplomatic relations.
1978: An Israeli force of 22,000 invaded south Lebanon, hitting the PLO terrorists based there (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).
1995: Norman Thagard became the first U.S. astronaut to ride to space on board a Russian launch vehicle. By 2012, with the termination of the Space Shuttle program and no other launch vehicles in existence or in immediate development, all U.S. astronauts now depend on riding along on Russian space launches.