Monday, April 28, 2008

Jesus visits Martha & Mary Bible Study

The Great Commission

Part 16 – Jesus visits Mary & Martha Bible Study

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


Jesus is Transfigured on the mountain

The Disciples fail to heal a boy because they lacked Faith

Jesus heals boy and rebukes the Disciples for their lack of Faith

Jesus Pays the Temple Tax


Luke 10:38 – 42

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."


In examining the scripture here, we see that the theme is distinguishing the difference between WORKS and being a DOER OF THE WORD.

They can sometimes become confused and even appear the same to us.

We are warned in;

Proverbs 14:12

“There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.”

We MUST know the difference between being a DOER of the Word, and WORKS.

James 1:21 & 22

21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

We are told to be DOERS of the Word…not just hearers.


  1. Lay aside ALL filthiness and overflow of wickedness…
    1. Filthiness: Moral Impurity
    2. Overflow of Wickedness: increased evil which moral impurity leads to. These things fill our hearts, and unless they are laid aside, we can not be doers of the Word. These things CAN be laid aside, or it would not be commanded, but it can only come from the power of the Holy Spirit within us, which we receive upon Salvation in Christ alone. All things can be achieved through Christ in us!
  2. Receive the Word of God with Meekness…
    1. God seeks out the humble…but resists the proud.
    2. We are given a measure to begin with, a seed of faith in our hearts, (Jesus parable of the sower of the seed), we choose what we do with that which has been given to us.
  3. Which is able to save your souls…
    1. Only the Word can save a soul.

Be doers, not just hearers and deceive yourselves.

Some people think because they read the Bible, or listen to sermons that they are being doers of the Word…

But there is more to it than that.

If you believe that all you have to do to be a doer is listen or read the Word, you are deceiving yourself.

So how can we BE DOERS of the Word?

First off, what is the Word?

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus is the Word…

So in essence, we must DO what Jesus commands us to do.

49 General Commands of Christ

What are 49 Ways to Love God and Others?

The theme of all Scripture is to love God with all of our hearts and to love one another. (See Matthew 22:40 and John 13:34.)

This is the greatest command. But there are many commands Christ has given us. To be “DOERS” of the Word, we must “DO” what Christ commands.

  1. Repent — Matthew 4:17 Humility
  2. Follow Me — Matthew 4:19 Meekness
  3. Rejoice — Matthew 5:12 Joyfulness
  4. Let Your Light Shine — Matthew 5:16 Generosity
  5. Honor God’s Law — Matthew 5:17–18 Love
  6. Be Reconciled — Matthew 5:24–25 Responsibility
  7. Do Not Commit Adultery — Matthew 5:29–30 Self-Control
  8. Keep Your Word — Matthew 5:37 Truthfulness
  9. Go the Second Mile — Matthew 5:38–42 — Regard for others
  10. Love Your Enemies — Matthew 5:44 Meet hate with Love
  11. Be Perfect — Matthew 5:48 Sincerity in practice
  12. Practice Secret Disciplines — Matthew 6:1–18 Faith
  13. Lay Up Treasures — Matthew 6:19–21 Thriftiness
  14. Seek God’s Kingdom — Matthew 6:33 Initiative
  15. Judge Not — Matthew 7:1 Discernment
  16. Do Not Cast Pearls — Matthew 7:6 Discretion
  17. Ask, Seek, and Knock — Matthew 7:7–8 Resourcefulness
  18. Do Unto Others — Matthew 7:12 Sensitivity
  19. Choose the Narrow WayMatthew 7:13–14 Decisiveness
  20. Beware of False Prophets — Matthew 7:15 Alertness
  21. Pray For Laborers — Matthew 9:38 Compassion
  22. Be Wise as Serpents — Matthew 10:16 Wisdom
  23. Fear God, Not Man — Matthew 10:26 Boldness
  24. Hear God’s Voice — Matthew 11:15 Attentiveness
  25. Take My Yoke — Matthew 11:29 Obedience
  26. Honor Your Parents — Matthew 15:4 Honor/Reverence
  27. Beware of Leaven (sin) — Matthew 16:6 Virtue
  28. Deny Yourself — Luke 9:23 Determination
  29. Despise Not Little Ones — Matthew 18:10 Tolerance
  30. Go to Offenders — Matthew 18:15 Justice
  31. Beware of Covetousness — Luke 12:15 Contentment
  32. Forgive Offenders — Matthew 18:21–22 Forgiveness
  33. Honor Marriage — Matthew 19:6 Loyalty
  34. Be a Servant — Matthew 20:26–28 Availability
  35. Be a House of Prayer — Matthew 21:13 Persuasiveness
  36. Ask in Faith — Matthew 21:21–22 Patience
  37. Bring in the Poor — Luke 14:12–14 Hospitality
  38. Render to Caesar — Matthew 22:19–21 Gratefulness
  39. Love the Lord — Matthew 22:37–38 Enthusiasm
  40. Love Your Neighbor — Matthew 22:39 Gentleness
  41. Await My Return — Matthew 24:42–44 Punctuality
  42. Take, Eat, and Drink — Matthew 26:26–27 Thoroughness
  43. Be Born Again — John 3:7 Security
  44. Keep My Commandments — John 14:15 Diligence
  45. Watch and Pray — Matthew 26:41 Endurance
  46. Feed My Sheep — John 21:15–16 Dependability
  47. Baptize My Disciples — Matthew 28:19
  48. Receive God’s Power — Luke 24:49
  49. Make Disciples — Matthew 28:20

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jesus visits Martha & Mary

The Great Commission

Part 16 – Jesus visits Mary & Martha

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

April 27th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

May 4th – Grace Steadman

May 11th – Lori Ulman

May 18th – Lynnette Higgins

May 25th – Walker Spriggs


Jesus is Transfigured on the mountain

Peter wants to build tabernacles to saints

God speaks of Jesus, He is the ONLY ONE to listen to!

Christ will not share the praise, or the prayer, or the worship with even the greatest of saints. He alone is worthy.

The Disciples fail to heal a boy because they lacked Faith

Jesus heals boy and rebukes the Disciples for their lack of Faith

Jesus Pays the Temple Tax


Luke 10:38 – 42

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

41 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."


We see here that Jesus upon entering the little village of Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem, He was invited to stay at the house of Martha.

Martha’s sister also lived there, and both were excited to receive this great teacher!

When one received Jesus, you also received the Apostles, and sometimes His Disciples as well. It would usually take a few houses in a village to take in all of Jesus’ followers.

Here we see Jesus and a few of His Disciples coming to the house of Martha.


a. Bethany

i. John 11:1; 12:1-3

b. Martha Invited Jesus

i. It was apparently Martha’s house, so she is the one who had to invite Jesus into her home.

The Bible teaches that the spiritual head of the house is responsible for what goes on in that house.

Only to what you allow, not to what happens.

Here are some of the words or phrases the Bible used to describe the sons of Eli:

  • "Worthless men" (1st Samuel 2:12)
  • "They would not listen to the voice of their father" (1st Samuel 2:25)
  • "The sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD" (1st Samuel 2:17)
  • "The men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt" (1st Samuel 2:17)
  • "They did not know the Lord" (1st Samuel 2:12)

In 1 Samuel 3:11-14, in a vision to Samuel, the Lord tells Samuel that Eli's house will be punished:

"Then the LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."

To me one of the saddest parts of this passage is that Eli knew his sons were disobeying the Lord, yet he did not stop them from their sin. Parents have a very important responsibility to discipline their children. Children must be taught to obey their parents as well as the Lord. As Ephesians 6:4 states: "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." It is vital that children are taught to obey the Lord, for if they are not, they could depart from the Lord like Eli's sons.

ii. Who is the head of your house?

1. The man is the spiritual head…

2. Unless there is no man, then it’s God…

3. “Your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name" Is. 54:5

iii. Have you invited Jesus into your home?

1. Exodus and the Passover

a. Through obedience the fathers brought protection

2. Roman Centurion and his household

a. Through faith in Jesus the father brought salvation

3. Spiritual Head

a. Through commitment to Christ, you will bring all the benefits, protection, and the many blessings of the Lord into your household!

c. Martha was full of ‘Works’

She more than likely was preparing for Jesus’ visit ‘before’ she actually invited Him.

And we see she was still working while He was there.

i. Works are sometimes confused with being ‘doers’ of the Word

1. Young rich man listed his works to Jesus…

2. Pharisee listed his works to God after seeing the tax collector pray…

3. In Matthew, there will be those who list their works to Jesus at the Great White throne during judgment, to no avail…

ii. There are “works (as being doers of the Word)”

James 1:21 & 22

21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The good works we do, the ones that count…are the ones God prepared for us to do in advance…

God prepared in advance opportunities for us in this life to do Good Works in His name.

Whether or not we do them is our free will.

Never the less God created these opportunities for us, and when we do them, THAT is Good Works that counts toward us!

Not what we choose to do as a Good Work, but the fulfilling of opportunities that God set aside for us to do in His Name.

His Will, not ours.

iii. And there are works…as in trying to ‘earn’ favor.

1 Corinthians 5:6

Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?

What is yeast in the scriptures? SIN.

What is he saying is sin here? Boasting, bragging, about what you’ve done.

1 Corinthians 3:10 - 15

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

Everything we do, our “works” must be built upon the foundation of Christ.

Anything we do in the name of Christ is like building with gold, silver and costly stones.

Anything we do for any other reason, to please others, to look good, to earn favor with God or man, is like building with wood, hay or straw.

On judgment day, our works in life will be tested by fire, this means judgment of Christ.

He knows the “why” in why you did something on earth.

Was it truly for His name or for you?

The truth will be revealed. If it was for Him it will survive the judgment, and you will receive a reward!

If it was not for Him, you will suffer loss…why, because you had an opportunity that God had set aside for you to do a good work in His name, and you did it for another reason, thus building with wood, hay & straw.

What God meant for an opportunity for you to serve Him in His name and receive a reward in heaven, you ruined for selfishness here on earth.

So you suffer loss, because you will not receive your reward for those works.

You, yourself will still be saved and go to heaven, but you will not receive reward for those deeds.

So there are ‘works’ we are supposed to do as in being doers of the Word…

And there are ‘works’ that we sometimes do to try and earn favor with the Lord or other people, and these are the worthless chaff that get burned away on judgment day.


a. Distracted with her preparations

i. Why was she still preparing? Jesus was THERE!

b. Distracted with her serving

i. Jesus would rather us be in communion with Him than running around trying to make everything perfect in His presence.

c. Distracted with her ‘Works’

i. Because these ‘works’ of Martha’s wasn’t a result from being a ‘doer’ of the word, but rather, trying to make everything perfect in the presence of Jesus, they were causing her to miss the fact that Jesus was in her presence!

ii. Sometimes we’re so busy trying to “BE” Christians, we actually stop following Christ.


a. Mary is not doing what ‘I AM’!

i. So she must not be truly serving…

ii. This is how it’s done…everyone else must be wrong…

iii. Why isn’t everyone doing what I think they should be doing?

b. Lord, Don’t you care?

i. Don’t you care that they aren’t following my lead?

ii. Don’t you care they are not doing what I think they should be doing?

c. Lord, Make her do what I am doing!

i. Now it’s your turn to do what I say Lord…

ii. I know what is best for me and everyone around me…

iii. Now make them obey me Lord!


a. Martha, Martha…

i. Anytime Jesus starts out with saying your name a couple times, you should prepare yourself for the rebuke…

b. You are worried and upset about many things

i. By many things, Jesus is saying ‘they are just things…”


iii. Are you concerned with things of no spiritual consequence?

c. Mary has “CHOSEN” what is better

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Jesus Pays the Temple Tax

The Great Commission

Part 15 – Jesus Pays Temple Tax

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


Jesus is Transfigured on the mountain

Peter wants to build tabernacles to saints

God speaks of Jesus, He is the ONLY ONE to listen to!

Christ will not share the praise, or the prayer, or the worship with even the greatest of saints. He alone is worthy.

The Disciples fail to heal a boy because they lacked Faith

Jesus heals boy and rebukes the Disciples for their lack of Faith


It is from this point where Jesus and the Disciples leave for Capernaum, where Jesus spent most of His time and used as a central base for His ministries.


Matthew 17:24 – 27

24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

25 "Yes, he does," he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?"

26 "From others," Peter answered.

"Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. 27 "But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."


I. What was the Temple Tax?

a. The Temple Tax, which was about ½ a Shekel per person ($50), was required by every Jew (age of 20+) yearly. This is Atonement money.

Exodus 30:11 – 16

11 Then the LORD said to Moses, 12 "When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. 13 Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the LORD. 14 All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the LORD. 15 The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the LORD to atone for your lives. 16 Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD, making atonement for your lives."

b. We are told that this Temple Tax was for all those 20 years and older to pay to the Lord, and it was to be used for the service of the Tent Meeting (Church or place of worship).

Now this atonement money did not PAY for their atonement anymore than animal sacrifices removed their sins.

This was symbolic, and meant as a teaching tool and constant reminder of the atonement to come, the real cost of it, and how each, whether rich or poor is going to owe the same debt to God.

This Temple Tax was known as Ransom Money, and was a reminder to the Jews of God’s provision of Redemption, and of their obligation under the terms of the Mosaic Covenant.

Christ died on the Cross; “He gave Himself a ransom for all” 1 Timothy 2:6

The amount equals approximately $50.00 by today’s money, and all were to give the same, whether rich or poor.

This places every man on an equal footing in relation to God. So no man could boast of what he gave, thinking himself better or higher than another. For in God’s eyes, we are equal. There is no Jew or Greek, no male or female, only those in relationship with the Father, and those in opposition to the Father.

The second you think yourself better than another, you have stepped out of relationship and placed yourself in opposition to the Father.

But the yearly Temple tax was not the regular offering to the Temple, or Tithe.

Tithe in the Old Testament was 1/10th of what you earned, given back to the Lord as a reminder of where it really comes from.

All that we have comes from God.

Again, this money is used to support the ministers and the Temple upkeep.

We see again 1/10th was the command, because it puts everyone on the same level again.

If you have $100 and I have $10, and we both tithe 10%, you give $10 and I give $1, then we have both tithed 10%.

But man, always looking to make himself out to be better than the guy next to him…

Do not think highly of yourself because of what you give, because if there’s one thing the Old Testament has shown us, is that “there is no man who can pay what he truly owes to God!”

Mark 12:41 -43

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

Why? Because it’s not about the amount…it’s about your heart, and what you sacrifice in your life for the Lord.

The rich gave from their wealth.

But this widow, gave all that she had, she gave everything.

God does not judge the monetary value of our tithe or gift to the ministry, but our heart, and how we’ve surrendered.

This woman had totally surrendered and trusted in the Lord for her provision.

She gave everything, with the Faith that God would continue to provide.

You see, in the Old Testament tithes were 10%, but in the New Testament we are taught total submission and surrender to the Lord.

Just as the widow did, she surrendered all, and an outward sign of that surrender to the Lord was how much she gave to the Lord’s work.


Are you surrendering everything in your life to the Lord?

Not just money, remember tithe and gifts and offerings are just an outward symbol of what is going on inside your heart. what about time?

What about time in prayer?

What about time in reading His Word?

What about time in talking with Him?

What about time for those in need?

Jesus said, what you do for the least of these people, you do to me.

How do you treat those who have nothing?

Those who are hungry, can’t pay their bills, or are in jail?

Jesus said, what you do to them, you are doing to me!

We look down on those in jail so often. Have you ever thought that maybe they are there is because they have never had the opportunity to meet our Lord and savior?

Did you think for a moment that maybe the reason they are there is because no one has ever truly loved them? They felt they had nothing to lose when they did what they did that ended them up in prison.

Jesus said, I did not come to judge the lost, but to save them.

News flash, many in prison are lost.

Yet we sit back in judgment, as we often do.

Judging peoples lives instead of reaching out and showing them the love of God.

I pray that you have the compassion of Christ for the Lost!

We will do a series on tithing as soon as we are done with the life of Jesus because there is so much to talk about.

Paul had gone to preach, and they weren’t paying him.

Some complained because he was working outside the ministry.

He says in the scripture, You know what is due me, and I could demand it, but until you do what is right, I will work.

I know of a few Pastors in this town and Oscoda who are not paid well, sometimes not at all for their work.

I often wonder how long people in the congregation would work at a job where they were not being paid?

But Paul gave them time to come around, and they eventually did.

When the people do not obey, the body of Christ suffers.

When people do not give to the Temple, the Temple suffers.

People say “God will supply…”

And He does! He has given each person here a way and means.

And it is the responsibility of the Body of Christ to take care of the Tabernacle (our church) and the minister through Tithes, Gifts and Love Offerings.

Which are three different things, but as I said we will talk more about that in another series.

The collectors of the tax asked Peter if Jesus paid the tax.

I guess they either respected or feared to ask Jesus for themselves.

When Peter went to ask Jesus about the Temple Tax, Jesus asked Peter a question.

Jesus asked:

Who do the Kings of the Earth collect tax from? Their own children, or from others?

Peter answered “others”

This was correct.

Jesus then says, “…the sons are exempt.”

Think about that for a moment.

Would a king give money to his children to survive, only to collect it back in tax?

That makes no sense.

They collect it from others to run the kingdom.

Jesus’ point was this.

Jesus is the Lord of the Temple, therefore He did not owe tax, and neither did the Apostles because they too served the Kingdom as priests.

Paying back what was DUE to them would make no sense.

But many would say, “But Pastor…we see that you tithe.”

True, and it’s because of the next verse.

In 27 Jesus continues:

“But so we may not offend them”

Jesus just said that He and the other preachers of the Word (Apostles) were exempt from the Temple Tax because they are the ones the Temple Tax was designed to take care of by God.

It was for the upkeep of the meeting place and the ministers.

Many do not understand the Word of God, and may again ‘judge’ if they see that during collection the Pastor doesn’t give, using that for excuse to relieve themselves from the responsibility that God has placed on the people to support the Church and the ministers.

So as not to offend…

So how does Jesus give the Temple Tax for Himself and for Peter?

Not from the tithes, offerings and love gifts that were given to them and their ministry.

He could have just said to the treasurer, “Judas, write this man a check…”

They did have a treasury.

But instead, Jesus always looking for an opportunity to teach said the following.

“Peter, throw your line in the water and the first fish you pull out will have a coin in his mouth, give it to them for our Tax.”

Why did Jesus do it this way?

Because He wanted to show that God is a Miraculous Provider to them who serve Him.

He wanted to show that God was paying the way for Jesus and Peter as ministers, preachers and teachers of the Word of God.

No man, save another who has given their lives to serve the Word of God can understand what it entails.

No man, but one who lives it, can understand the burden and responsibility that has been placed on them when they stand before this podium.

To be constantly judged by others for every word, movement, action, step.

To be responsible for the teaching and leading of each individual in the Body.

To feel joy at others breakthroughs, but pain when they fail.

To know that I am held to a HIGHER standard and accountability by the Word of God as a teacher of His Holy Word.

To sacrifice my life, my families lives, to devote my time to the learning, study, teaching, preaching, putting in all for others and sacrificing myself at the drop of a hat for others needs.

Yet, these same ones, give so little of their hearts to the Lord.

So little of their time.

So little of their efforts.

So little.

And expect so much from the Lord.

Mark 7:6

He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Our outward actions are called fruits.

It is what we produce in our lives.

Our fruits show what is going on inside our hearts.

Jesus said good fruit can not come from a bad tree, and bad fruit can not come from a good tree.

What we say, think and do in our lives is a reflection of our hearts.

This is where judgment lies.

Is your heart right with the Lord today?

Have you submitted your life to the Lord today?

The scripture says, “Anyone who wants to follow me must lose his life, then he will find it.”

We must surrender our lives completely to the Lord, or we will not find eternal life.

The scriptures say so.

If you have not felt the power of God in your life lately, you may be in need of surrendering.

If you are feeling powerless, helpless, strained, wore down, weak, you need the power of God in your life, come forward for prayer.

As we close with our last song, reflect on your standing with he Lord, and ask if you are in relationship with Him, or opposition.

Are you standing firm, or have you truly surrendered all to him?