Showing posts from February, 2019

Notes on Matthew 6-7, CFM lesson for Feb 25-March3

This week's lessons finishes out the account of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. 
Quiet Works, Quiet WorshipIn Matthew 6:1-8, we are instructed about how we should serve.  The word translated "alms" can also be translated "good acts," and it is in my Wayment translation.  We should do our acts quietly, to be seen of God not so that others will think how great we are.We should also pray to God in our secret places and not to be seen of others.  vs. 5-8.  We shouldn't use "vain repetitions."  This seems like an injunction about using empty platitudes and words with no feeling behind them than it is about repeating the same pleas or the same petitions.After the Lord's prayer (see below), verses 16-18 echo similar wording about fasting.  Instead of broadcasting to the world how sad and pained we are because we are fasting, we should fast "that thou appear not unto men to fast but unto thy Father."In all three of these instructions, ab…

Notes on Matthew 5 and Luke 6; Come Follow Me Lesson, Feb. 18-24

I feel a bit intimidated by posting about the Sermon the Mount, often called the greatest sermon ever given.  I watched one impressive video where Jack Welch spoke about the temple themes and contexts that permeate the Sermon and I'm still working to grasp some of what he presented.  He memorized the Sermon in German as a young missionary and has been studying it in depth for forty years, culminating in many articles and books.  There is a lot of depth, breadth, and meaning in every verse in these chapters.

Sermon on the Mount, Sermon on the Plains, and the Sermon at the TempleThe more I have studied these chapters and the three different accounts we have of similar sermons, as well as the many other echoes of the Sermon recorded in later scriptures, the more I am convinced of Jack Welch's main theme, that this was no ordinary Sermon.  It was likely given in different places as part of the preparation for further covenants, as happens in 3 Nephi.  Some have pointed out differe…

Notes on John 2-4, Come Follow Me lesson for February 11-17

Notes on the Gospel of John's Chronology I love how John teaches using a series of vignettes from the life of Christ, illustrating seven miracles and seven signs.  For a great overview of how John writes, see the videos below.  While we modern audiences expect a story to be told in a linear fashion, it wasn't really the practice back then.  None of the gospels seems to be organized exactly chronologically.  As Lynn Wilson puts it, "John’s Gospel mentions three Passovers during Jesus’ adult ministry—thus providing evidence for a three-year mortal ministry. On the other hand, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) are organized geographically rather than chronologically. After Jesus’ baptism, the setting moves to Galilee and everything happening in Galilee is placed together. At the end of Jesus’ life, the setting moves to Jerusalem and telescopes everything together into Jesus’ last week. This is helpful as we look at Jesus cleansing the temple. No Gospel mentions it …

Notes on Matthew 4 and Luke 4-5: CFM lesson for Feb 4-10

We were in California last week with our six youngest kids.  I was able to still study the week's lesson but I didn't have a chance to write down any thoughts.  So even though the week is over, I hope you all don't mind my belated musings.

* Christ was tempted and resisted, just as we have to.  But unlike us, Christ never yeilded.  I love this quote by C. S. Lewis:
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a …

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