Day 12: NT Matthew C12-13; Jesus’ Parables turn the Law and Me Upside Down…

Jesus’ Parables turn the Law and Me Upside Down…

Wow, there is so much inspiration packed into two chapters of Matthew’s gospel that I could write a book about how my thoughts and life experiences have been impacted by these spiritual principles!

The big picture I think is that there was the law “by the letter” in the Old Testament that was transformed by Jesus to the law “by the heart” in the New Testament.

So the disciples plucked grain on the Sabbath.

The law enforcers (both government and religion combined), the Pharisees judged that—thy disciples are doing what it is not lawful for them to do on the Sabbath.

“But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. But if you knew what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,” you would never have condemned the innocent; for the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath,” says Jesus.

Does that mean God doesn’t want our sacrifices but instead wants us to be merciful to others and maybe even ourselves?

Those first 66 words of Matthew Chapter 12 and their Satanic opposite tell the story of my life.

Being open-minded and willing to pray and follow God’s intuition versus doing what is expected, what is habitual in my life in an automatic manner directly correlates to the successes and failures in my thoughts, words and actions of my life.

I remember one life experience where I realized maybe I should question the law for my own safety and well-being. My first job was in an oil refinery where safety is paramount and the law by good design. I was the hydrocracker and hydrogen plant process engineer. The two go together as the hydrocracker consumes hydrogen cracking larger hydrocarbons into smaller gasoline-sized hydrocarbons. Got it?

So one day I am doing my normal quality checks where I open a small valve off the main 250-pound hydrogen product line with my right hand. The hydrogen bleeds into a glass bottle I am holding in my left hand so that I can test for impurities with a drageur tube that I pump with my right hand after adjusting the valve to get the right flow. Pretty typical procedure that I had done a hundred times.

Except this morning was different for no apparent reason. The hydrogen bleed ignited which means there was fire in an oil refinery which is not a good thing. Lots of combustible material around even if it is mainly in pipes, towers and tanks. Since I had not yet let go of the valve I instinctively turned off the valve extinguishing the fire.


I immediately went into the control room and reported the incident to Fire & Safety. My golfing buddy friend was the guy on duty and asked me to go back out into the unit and show him what happened. I did as he directed and explained what had happened. He said “show me” so I showed him, respecting his red uniform. After all he was the Safety Sheriff and the law in those parts. Shaking a little bit with a big sense of trepidation I slowly opened the valve and was relieved that there was no fire. Once I had increased the flow and moved my right hand from the valve to pick up the drageur tube for testing the hydrogen, the hydrogen ignited again. This time though it was a blow torch and engulfed my left leg.

All I remember after that was the sound of gravel hitting the ground as I raced across the lot to the safety of the control room. Fortunately my Nomex clothing protected me from injury. My friend, who stayed behind and closed the valve and extinguished the fire, came in laughing at me but it was no laughing matter. I learned something important that day. Respect the uniform, the badge and the person but don’t forget to think and reason things out with your own mind, heart and spirit. I should have said “hey pal, I know what happened and don’t need to demonstrate it for you.” The cause of the fires was a small burr on the valve pipe that created friction and just enough heat to auto-ignite the hydrogen.

Lesson learned and translated to spiritual matters: Develop a personal relationship with God and don’t just automatically follow the herd when the shepherd says to go this way or that way. Rely on your own good intuition which though prayer and meditation is God speaking directly to you.

Fight like heck to be present, clear and open-spirited; open to God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit to work through my being.

The parable of the sower had seed falling every which way; some fell by the wayside; some fell upon rocky ground; some fell among thorns; and some fell upon good ground.

Jesus explained the parable of the sower in terms of us not seed. Some is us do not understand the word and remain on the wayside. Others have no root in himself like the rocky ground. Still others are of and care more about this world and allow its deceitfulness of riches to choke the Word and make it fruitless. He who hears the Word and understands it, he bears fruit on the good ground.

The new covenant, to think, talk and behave in a way that is led by your heart, not your mind or the world.

Food for thought. Stay safe in life and in heart!






Day 12: Reading The Bible with a TROML Perspective; Jesus’ Parables turn the Law and Me Upside Down…

Read and inspired by the New Testament, The Gospel of Saint Matthew Chapters 12-13

Bible Notes:

The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew

Saint Matthew, also known as Levi, was a Galilean by birth.

Tax Collector at Capharnaum

Christ called him to become a disciple, and later an Apostle

After the Holy Ghost came down on the Apostles on Pentecost, Matthew preached the Gospel in Judea.

He wrote his Gospel to prove to his readers that Christ was the Messiah foretold by God in the Old Testament


Matthew Chapter 12: The disciples pluck grain on the Sabbath; A man with a withered hand; The mercy of Jesus; Pharisees ascribe a miracle to the devil; Christ refutes them; Blasphemy against the Spirit not forgiven; The sign of Jonas; Jesus and His brethren.

Thy disciples are doing what it is not lawful for them to do on the Sabbath.

“But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. But if you knew what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,” you would never have condemned the innocent; for the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

“Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Stretch forth thy hand.” Retired the withered hand of a man.

Then, knowing this (Pharisees taking counsel against him). Jesus withdrew from the place…

I (God) will put my Spirit upon him… and in his name will the Gentiles hope.

Can this man be the Son of David?

“This man does not cast out devils except by Beelzebub, the prince of devils” said the Pharisees.

“But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

“… blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”

“… whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit it will not be forgiven him, either in this world or in the world to come.”

“…for by the fruit, the tree is known.”

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

“For by thy words thou wilt be justified, and by thy words thou will be condemned.”

“For even as Jonas (the prophet) was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

“behold my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Brethren— archaic plural form of brother; fellow Christians or members of a male religious order.

Matthew Chapter 13: Jesus speaks from a boat; Parable of the sower; The disciples ask why He speaks in parables; Parable of the sower explained; Parable of the weeds; Parable of the mustard seed; Parable of the leaven; Parable of the weeds explained; Parable of the treasure; Parable of the great pearl; Parable of the net; Conclusion of the parables; Jesus of Nazareth.

Parable of the sower: fell by the wayside; fell upon rocky ground; fell among thorns; fell upon good ground.

“This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, neither do they understand.”

“Lest at any time they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their mind, and be converted, and I heal them.”

Parable of the sower explained: but does not understand the word; yet he has no root in himself; the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it is made fruitless; he who hears the word and understands it, he bears fruit.

Parable of the weeds—an enemy has done this; Let both grow together until the harvest; gather and burn the weeds; gather the wheat into the barn.

“This (mustard seed) is indeed the smallest of all seeds; but when it grows up it is larger than any herb and becomes a tree.”

“I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field; he who finds it hides it, and in his joy goes and sells all he has and buys that field.”

“A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, and in his own house.” And because of their unbelief, he did not work many miracles there.

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