(1:1) The beginning of the gospel of Messiah Joshua, the Son of God. (2) As it is written in Isaiah the prophet (a person who spoke God’s truths): "Behold, I Send My Messenger Ahead Of You, Who Will Prepare Your Way; (3) The Voice Of One Crying In The Wilderness, 'Make Ready The Way Of The Lord, Make his Paths Straight.'" (4) John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (5) And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. (6) John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. (7) And he was preaching, and saying, "After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the strings of his sandals. (8) "I baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
(9) In those days Joshua came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan river. (10) Immediately coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him; (11) and a voice came out of the heavens: "You are My beloved Son, in you I am well-pleased."
(12) Immediately the Spirit led Joshua to go out into the wilderness. (13) And he was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan (a powerful spiritual being who is against Joshua and his Father); and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to him.
(14) Now after John had been taken into custody, Joshua came into Galilee, preaching the gospel (good news) of God, (15) and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (feel truly sorry about your bad behavior and words, and change) and believe in the good news." *1 (16) As Joshua was going along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. (17) And Joshua said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." *2 (18) Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (19) Going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. (20) Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow him. (21) They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath (a day the Jew’s kept religious rituals on) he entered the religious building and began to teach. (22) They were amazed at his teaching; for he was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the bible experts.
*1 Contrary to many people’s view of Joshua, his message does include the need for “repentance”, which means to understand the cost of our sin – primarily the sin of unbelief or un-faith and its associated behavior - and be filled remorse and seek to change. He asks us to “believe in the good news”, which good news is summed up in John 3:16-18 and is centered on Joshua.
*2 Did Joshua say he would make them ‘christians’? No, Joshua focused on the primary work of a disciple and used an illustration they could well understand. All disciples (including simple fishermen) are to be fishers of men, that is we try to bring people to our Father, which Father we love with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – for if we do love Him that way, how could we behave any differently?
(23) Just then there was a man in their religious building with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, (24) saying, "What business do we have with each other, Joshua of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" (25) And Joshua rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" (26) Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. (27) They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." (28) Immediately the news about him spread everywhere into all the surrounding area of Galilee.
(29) And immediately after they came out of the religious building, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. (30) Now Simon's mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Joshua about her. (31) And he came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. (32) When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. (33) And it seemed the whole city had gathered at the door. (34) And he healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons (bad angels); and he was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.
(35) In the early morning, while it was still dark, Joshua got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. (36) Simon and his companions searched for him; (37) they found him, and said to him, "Everyone is looking for you." (38) He said to them, "Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for." *3 (39) And he went into their religious buildings throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons (bad angels). (40) And a leper (a person with a bad skin disease) came to Joshua, beseeching him and falling on his knees before him, and saying, "If you are willing, you can heal me." (41) Moved with compassion, Joshua stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be healed." (42) Immediately the leprosy left him and he was healed (or cleansed). (43) And Joshua sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, (44) and he said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." (45) But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Joshua could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to him from everywhere.
*3 What did Joshua come to do? He tells us plainly right here – to bring the message he received from his Father. He did not come to die as a sacrifice, as christianity would have you believe. Joshua nowhere says he will be a “sacrifice” for anyone. Rather, he said he would pay a ransom to set people free – see Matt. 20:28. His core message was, ‘believe me and what I say for I do represent the Creator’.
(2:1) When he had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that he was at home. (2) And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and he was speaking the word to them. (3) And they came, bringing to him a paralytic (someone who could not move his legs), carried by four men. (4) Being unable to get to him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Joshua; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. (5) And Joshua seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." *4 (6) But some of the bible experts were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, (7) "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming (saying bad things about God); for who can forgive sins but God alone?" (8) Immediately Joshua, aware in his spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? (9) "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Get up, and pick up your mat and walk'? (10) "But so that you may know that the Son of Man (Joshua’s favorite title for himself) has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he said to the paralytic, (11) "I say to you, get up, pick up your mat and go home." (12) And he got up and immediately picked up the mat and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."
*4 As humans, I would suggest this is our greatest need. We fail, we hurt others through our insensitive, prideful or selfish words and behavior. We need forgiveness from our Father who created us and loves us. Don’t let the sad and lost psychologists tell you differently. Ask for forgiveness from those we sin against, and ask for forgiveness from the One who loves them.
(13) And he went out again by the seashore; and all the people were coming to him, and he was teaching them. (14) As he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me!" *5 And he got up and followed him. (15) And it happened that he was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners (people considered morally bad) were dining with Joshua and his disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following him. (16) When the bible experts and the religious leaders saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, "Why is he eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?" (17) And hearing this, Joshua said to them, "It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous (those with faith who are listening to God and trying to do what he says), but sinners (those without faith and who live to please primarily themselves)."
*5 Did Joshua go to the graduates of some theological seminary? Did he go to the graduation of some religious sect’s training program? No, he did not. Joshua is looking at people’s heart only, not the things of the flesh that men value.
(18) John's disciples and the religious leaders were fasting; and they came and said to him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the religious leaders fast, but your disciples do not fast?" (19) And Joshua said to them, "While the bridegroom (the man getting married) is with them, the friends of the bridegroom cannot fast (not eating, often an act of sadness), can they? So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. (20) "But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. (21) "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. (22) "No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins." *6
*6 The context is a contrast between the old religious ways of John and the religious establishment at that time, versus the new spiritual Way of Joshua. Joshua is saying the old way of Moses-based religion (religious law) is incompatible with the new Way of following Joshua (love & truth). See Luke 5:36 & Luke 16:16.
(23) And it happened that he was passing through the grainfields on the sabbath, and his disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. (24) The religious leaders were saying to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" (25) And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; (26) how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?" (27) Joshua said to them, "The sabbath was made for man (as a time to rest), and not man for the sabbath (to be ruled by a day). (28) "So the Son of Man (Joshua’s favorite title for himself) is Lord even of the sabbath." *7
*7 The many bible/christian sects that observe sabbath do so against this teaching of Joshua. Joshua plainly states that the sabbath was given by Moses so that people could rest, NOT for people to have to obey religious law. The context the sabbath rose out of was the Egyptian’s harsh treatment of the Jews in forcing them to build their temples. If you need rest one day out of seven, then take the rest so your body can heal/rest – if you don’t need it, God doesn’t care if you don’t take it, the Lord of the sabbath says so!
(3:1) He entered again into a religious building; and a man was there whose hand was withered (deformed). (2) The religious leaders were watching him to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. (3) He said to the man with the withered hand, "Get up and come forward!" (4) And Joshua said to the religious leaders, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save a life or to kill?" But they kept silent. (5) After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (6) The religious leaders went out and immediately began conspiring with a political group against him, as to how they might destroy Him.*8
*8 Probably more than anything else, Joshua’s rebuking the religious people’s main ritual of ‘keeping the sabbath’ was what angered them the most. It is the same today for disciples who rebuke the christians for ‘going to church’ instead of doing what Joshua says which is to love (selfless behavior motivated by compassion; to care for, take care of, want to be with) one another.
(7) Joshua withdrew to the sea with his disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, (8) and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that he was doing and came to him. (9) And he told his disciples that a boat should stand ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd him; (10) for he had healed many, with the result that all those who had sickness and injuries pressed around him in order to touch him. (11) Whenever those people with unclean spirits saw him, they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God!" (12) And he earnestly warned them not to tell who he was.
(13) And he went up on the mountain and summoned those whom he himself wanted, and they came to him. (14) And he appointed twelve, so that they would be with him and that he could send them (‘apostle’ is the Greek word meaning “one who is sent away”) out to preach, (15) and to have authority to cast out the demons (bad angels). (16) And he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), (17) and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means, "Sons of Thunder"); (18) and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; (19) and Judas Iscariot, who would later betray him. (20) And he came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. (21) When his natural family (his mom and natural brothers, see verse 31 below) heard of this, they went out to take custody of him; for they were saying, "He has lost his mind."
(22) The bible experts who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Satan," and "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons." (23) And he called them to himself and began speaking to them in parables (stories with hidden meanings), "How can Satan cast out Satan? (24) "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (25) "If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. (26) "If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! (27) "But no one can enter the strong man's house and take his property unless he first ties up the strong man, and then he will take the stuff in his house. (28) "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies (speaking evil of someone, especially regarding God) they speak; (29) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"-- (30) because they were saying, "Joshua had an unclean spirit." *9
*9 The religious people attributed an evil spirit to what was actually the Father’s Spirit in Joshua. Thus, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to speak evil of the Holy Spirit [or the Father’s Spirit] as he enables someone to speak the Truths of Joshua. The sin is eternal because it can prevent people from having faith in – and loving back – their Father.
(31) Then his mother and his brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to him and called him. (32) A crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers are outside looking for you." (33) Answering them, Joshua said, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" (34) Looking about at those who were sitting around him, he said, "Behold my mother and my brothers! (35) "For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother." *10
*10 Joshua here defines what his family is. It is not the natural family of blood or law (see verse 31), but rather a group of people bound by faith in Joshua’s Father doing what Joshua says starting with the new command – see John 13:34-35. Sadly, manifestations of this family are extremely rare in the US at this time and instead religious social clubs or organizations that are called “the church” are substituted for Joshua’s family.
(4:1) He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to him that he got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land. (2) And he was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in his teaching, (3) "Listen to this! Behold, the sower (planter or farmer) went out to sow (plant seed); (4) as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. (5) "Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and it sprang up quickly because it had no depth of soil. (6) "And after the sun had risen, it was burned; and because it had no root, it withered away. (7) "Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. (8) "Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundred times more." (9) And he was saying, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
(10) As soon as he was alone, his followers, along with the twelve, began asking him about the parables. (11) And he was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, (12) so that While Seeing, They May See And Not Perceive, And While Hearing, They May Hear And Not Understand, If They Did They Might Return And Be Forgiven." (13) And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables? (14) "The sower sows the word (of God, God’s truths through Joshua). (15) "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. (16) "In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; (17) and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when hard times occur or people reject or are mean to them because of the word, immediately they fall away. (18) "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, (19) but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things (of this world) enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (20) "And there are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundred times."
(21) And he was saying to them, "A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the table? (22) "For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. (23) "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." (24) And he was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. (25) "For whoever has (spiritual life), to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has (things of the world) shall be taken away from him." (26) And he was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; (27) and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows--how, he himself does not know. (28) "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. (29) "But when the crop permits, he immediately cuts it, because the harvest has come." *11
*11 As a farmer may not understand the all processes of a plant’s growth, yet he farms and gains from his efforts - so shall the man who works for the King. He may not understand all of the workings of spiritual life, but if he perseveres in his efforts and sows the seed of Joshua’s words (NOT the scripture or the bible), he will enjoy a harvest someday.
(30) And he said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? (31) "It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, (32) yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that The Birds Of The Air Can Nest Under Its Shade." (33) With many such parables he was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; (34) and he did not speak to them without a parable; but he was explaining everything privately to his own disciples.
(35) On that day, when evening came, he said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." (36) Leaving the crowd, they took him along with them in the boat, just as he was; and other boats were with him. (37) And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. (38) Joshua himself was in the stern (back of the boat), asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are about to drown?" (39) And he got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. (40) And he said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" *12 (41) They became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
*12 Fear and faith are each other’s ‘enemies’…they fight for predominance in a person. If we have faith in a particular area, we will not be afraid. We want to reach the place where our faith overcomes all our fears and then we will be like the Master, and death itself will hold no fear over us for our faith assures us we will be going to be with our wonderful Father!
(5:1) They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. (2) When he got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean (evil) spirit met him, (3) and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind (tie) him anymore, even with a chain; (4) because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. (5) Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones. (6) Seeing Joshua from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before him; (7) and shouting with a loud voice, he said, "What business do we have with each other, Joshua, Son of the Most High God? I implore you by God, do not torment me!" (8) For Joshua had been saying to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" (9) And Joshua was asking him, "What is your name?" And he said to him, "My name is Legion; for we are many." (10) And Legion began to implore Joshua earnestly not to send them out of the country. (11) Now there was a large herd of swine (pigs) feeding nearby on the mountain. (12) The demons implored him, saying, "Send us into the swine so that we may enter them." (13) Joshua gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea.
(14) Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And the people came to see what it was that had happened. (15) They came to Joshua and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the "legion"; and they became frightened. (16) Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the pigs. (17) And they began to implore (ask strongly) Joshua to leave their region. (18) As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring him that he might accompany him. (19) And he did not let him, but he said to him, "Go back to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how he had mercy on you." (20) And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Joshua had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
(21) When Joshua had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him; and so he stayed by the seashore. (22) One of the religious officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing him, fell at his feet (23) and implored him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay your hands on her, so that she will get well and live." (24) And he went off with him; and a large crowd was following him and pressing in on him.
(25) A woman who had had a blood hemorrhage (bleeding) for twelve years, (26) and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse-- (27) after hearing about Joshua, she came up in the crowd behind him and touched his cloak. (28) For she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will get well." (29) Immediately her blood hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. (30) Immediately Joshua, perceiving in himself that the power proceeding from him had gone out, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes" (31) And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you, and you ask, 'Who touched me?'" (32) And he looked around to see the woman who had done this. (33) But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. (34) And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your illness." *13
*13 Most bible people want a formula of “if you have faith, you will be physically healed” from this event and saying of Joshua. If their belief is correct, then any person who has some physical problem will be healed if they have faith in Joshua. Does this happen in reality? No, it does not. Therefore, perhaps the saying should be understood in a different way? Perhaps Joshua’s miracles had one primary purpose – to validate who Joshua is? And perhaps this purpose was accomplished during Joshua’s first visit? That should seem to be a reasonable explanation since all disciples of Joshua are not healed!
(35) While he was still speaking, they came from the house of the religious official, saying, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?" (36) But Joshua, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the religious official, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe." (37) And he allowed no one to accompany him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. (38) They came to the house of the religious official; and he saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. (39) And entering in, he said to them, "Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep." *14 (40) So they began laughing at him. But putting them all out, he took along the child's father and mother and his own companions, and entered the room where the child was. (41) Taking the child by the hand, he said to her, " Little girl, I say to you, get up!" (42) Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. (43) And he gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and he said that something should be given her to eat.
*14 Joshua here teaches that physical death is merely like sleep, in that the child’s soul has not perished, but rather her body is merely in a state of sleep-like inactivity. He might have said this to try and prevent people from treating the girl badly once he raised her since many had the belief that a dead body was ‘unclean’.
(6:1) Joshua went out from there and came into his hometown; and his disciples followed him. (2) When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the religious building; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to him, and such miracles as these performed by his hands? (3) "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. (4) Joshua said to them, "A prophet (a person who speaks God’s truths) is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household." (5) And he could do no miracle there except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. (6) And he marveled at their unbelief.*15
*15 Verse 3 is more proof that Joshua’s mom had more children after Joshua was born. Also, many use accounts like this to justify ‘going to church’ since ‘Joshua went to the synagogue’. Well, what happened to him most of the time when he went to their religious buildings and spoke the truth? What happened here was typical. He went to their buildings and meetings to enlighten them – not to participate in, or validate, their religion – and as happened here, he was regularly cast out.
And he was going around the villages teaching. (7) And he summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits; (8) and he instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff--no bread, no bag, no money in their belt-- (9) but to wear sandals; and he added, "Do not put on two coats." (10) And he said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. (11) "Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them." (12) They went out and preached that men should repent (feel truly sorry about your bad behavior and words, and change). (13) And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.*16
*16 Joshua granted his first twelve disciples the power to work these miracles to validate his own person and message. The physical healings were a one-time granting of the privilege of affirming who Joshua was and who he represented. When Joshua went back to the Father, the miracles ceased – see John 9. Please also note that there is a cost implied when someone rejects the message of Joshua – the rejection will be recounted at the final judgment where “He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” (John 12:48)
(14) And King Herod heard of it, for Joshua’s name had become well known; and people were saying, "John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him." (15) But others were saying, "He is Elijah." And others were saying, "He is a prophet (a person who speaks God’s truths), like one of the prophets of old." (16) But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, "John, whom I beheaded, has risen!" (17) For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her. (18) For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." (19) Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so; (20) for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.
(21) A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his managers and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee; (22) and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you." (23) And he swore to her, "Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom." (24) And she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptist." (25) Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." (26) And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her. (27) Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, (28) and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. (29) When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.
(30) The twelve gathered together with Joshua; and they reported to him all that they had done and taught.
(31) And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a private place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) (32) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. (33) The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. (34) When Joshua went ashore, he saw a large crowd, and he felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. (35) When it was already quite late, his disciples came to him and said, "This place is desolate (has no place to get food or shelter) and it is already quite late; (36) send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." (37) But he answered them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said to him, "Shall we go and spend hundreds of dollars on bread and give them something to eat?" (38) And he said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." (39) And he commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass. (40) They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. (41) And he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, he blessed the food and broke the loaves and he kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and he divided up the two fish among them all. (42) They all ate and were satisfied, (43) and they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. (44) There were five thousand men who ate the loaves.
(45) Immediately Joshua made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side to Bethsaida, while he himself was sending the crowd away. (46) After bidding them farewell, he left for the mountain to pray. (47) When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land. (48) Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea; and he intended to pass by them. (49) But when they saw him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; (50) for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke with them and said to them, "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid." (51) Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, (52) for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, for their hearts were hard. (53) When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. (54) When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him, (55) and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their mats those who were sick, to the place they heard he was. (56) Wherever he entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring him that they might just touch the fringe of his coat; and as many as touched it were being cured.
(7:1) The religious leaders and some of the bible experts gathered around him when they had come from Jerusalem, (2) and had seen that some of his disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (3) [For the religious leaders and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands a certain way, thus observing the religious traditions of the elders; (4) and when they come back from shopping, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves a certain way; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.] (5) The religious leaders and the bible experts asked him, "Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?" (6) And he said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites (a person who says what others ought to do or not do, but does not do so themselves), as it is written: 'This People Honors Me With Their Lips, But Their Heart Is Far Away From Me. (7) 'But In Vain Do They Worship Me, Teaching As Doctrines (teachings or beliefs they say are from God) The Precepts (commandments) Of Men.' (8) "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." (9) He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition (the teachings and practices of their religion). (10) "For Moses said, 'Honor Your Father And Your Mother'; and, 'He Who Speaks Evil Of Father Or Mother, Is To Be Put To Death'; (11) but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that could have been used to help you, I am giving to God (really to their religious organization),' (12) you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; (13) thus invalidating (canceling or making of no effect) the word of God (honor your dad and mom) by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that." *17
*17 The basic teaching of Joshua here is this - beware substituting something that God does not want for something he does. In other words, be very careful not to invalidate what God wants with one’s religion. While this example was given 2,000 year ago, it is evident little has changed. The religious systems of men specialize in invalidating Joshua’s teachings with their traditions. Perhaps the greatest tradition which invalidates his commands is to substitute a book (the bible) for the person of Joshua, and men as leaders (pastors, ministers, priests, etc.) in the place of Joshua. Perhaps the other tradition which nullifies his teachings is the tradition of ‘going to church’ in place of actually caring for one another as Family – which would actually be loving one another.
(14) After he called the crowd to him again, he began saying to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand: (15) there is nothing outside the man which can defile him (make him spiritually dirty, or unacceptable to God) if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man (make him spiritually dirty, or unacceptable to God). (16) "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." (17) When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples questioned him about the parable. (18) And he said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside (food or drink) cannot defile him, (19) because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus Joshua declared that no food that is eaten can make a person dirty or unacceptable to God.) (20) And he was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.*18
*18 Joshua’s point in versus 14 through 23 could not be clearer – that eating certain types of food is not what makes a person unclean before God, but rather what comes out of a person heart (words and behavior) is what makes a person unclean. And yet, many hundreds of bible sects and perhaps millions of individuals reject this plain teaching of the Light in favor of listening to Moses. So they falsely believe that God is concerned (pleased or displeased) about what people eat – what a sad and petty god people create. It is no coincidence that this rebuke of Moses was spoken right after the ‘tradition of men’ warning.
(21) "For from within, out of the heart (“heart”, meaning the center of men’s will and soul) of men, proceed…
evil thoughts (thinking about the things below (see Matt. 5), or anything that is not morally pure or good but especially harming others for your own gain, pleasure or vengeance),
fornications (touching another person in a sexual way before being married),
adulteries (once you are married, touching another person in a sexual way who is not your spouse),
as well as deceit (being less than perfectly honest and truthful in order to selfishly gain things),
sensuality (speaking, dressing or behaving in such a way to encourage or promote yourself sexually),
envy (to be wrongfully jealous of another person, or to want to be like another person for the wrong reasons)
slander (to speak falsehoods or twist facts about another person with the intent to harm them or their reputation),
pride (to think you are more valuable than others)
and foolishness (senseless, reckless, careless, un-thinking, joking-insincerity).
(23) "All these evil things proceed from within (start from the heart) and defile the man (make him spiritually dirty, or unacceptable to God)." *19
*19 Here Joshua lists a number of things which are wrong for people to commit or engage in. It is a good list for understanding Joshua’s moral teachings and what we should avoid to be clean before God. As we look at our lives, how are we doing with staying clean before our heavenly Father? We should examine ourselves regularly without self-deceit or self-denial or self-deception.
(24) Joshua got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when he had entered a house, he wanted no one to know of it; yet he could not escape notice. (25) But after hearing of him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at his feet. (26) Now the woman was a Gentile (non-Jew or person with no knowledge of Joshua’s Father), of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking him to cast the demon out of her daughter. (27) And he was saying to her, "Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." (28) But she answered and said to him, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children's crumbs." (29) And he said to her, "Because of this answer go; the demon (bad angel) has gone out of your daughter." (30) And going back to her home, she found the child healed, lying on the bed, the demon having left.*20
*20 Joshua gave the woman a simple test of humility, which the woman passed and thus had her faith rewarded. Note she was not of Israel. God doesn’t care what nationality or race or ethnic group a person was born into – physical attributes we cannot control. Rather, he cares about the things we can control, our choices, words and actions.
(31) Again he went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis. (32) They brought to him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored him to lay his hand on him. (33) Joshua took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting, he touched his tongue with the saliva; (34) and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, he said to him, "Be opened!" (35) And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly. (36) And he gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more he ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it. (37) They were utterly astonished, saying, "He has done all things well; he makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."
(8:1) In those days, when there was again a large crowd and they had nothing to eat, Joshua called his disciples and said to them, (2) "I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with me now three days and have nothing to eat. (3) "If I send them away hungry to their houses, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come from a great distance." (4) And his disciples answered him, "Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this desolate place to satisfy these people?" (5) And he was asking them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven." (6) And he directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, he gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to his disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people. (7) They also had a few small fish; and after he had blessed them, he ordered these to be served as well. (8) And they ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of what was left over of the broken pieces. (9) About four thousand men were there; and he sent them away.
(10) And immediately he entered the boat with his disciples and came to the district of Dalmanutha. (11) The religious leaders came out and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. (12) Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, "Why does this generation*21 seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
*21 Joshua defines three basic ages or generations in his teachings. The first generation is all those living on the earth prior to his first coming. The second is those living on the earth during and after his first coming, prior to his second coming. The third is all those living during and after his second coming. This saying would apply to the second generation.
(13) Leaving them, he again embarked and went away to the other side. (14) And they had forgotten to take bread, and did not have more than one loaf in the boat with them. (15) And he was giving orders to them, saying, "Watch out! Beware of the leaven (or yeast) of the religious leaders and the leaven of Herod." (16) They began to discuss with one another the fact that they had no bread. (17) And Joshua, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? (18) "Having Eyes, Do You Not See? And Having Ears, Do You Not Hear? And do you not remember, (19) when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?" They said to him, "Twelve." (20) "When I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?" And they said to him, "Seven." (21) And he was saying to them, "Do you not yet understand?" (see Matt. 16:5-12, esp. 12)
(22) And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Joshua and implored him to touch him. (23) Taking the blind man by the hand, he brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?" (24) And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around." (25) Then again he laid his hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. (26) And he sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village."
(27) Joshua went out, along with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he questioned his disciples, saying to them, "Who do people say that I am?" (28) They told him, saying, "John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets (a person who spoke God’s truths)." (29) And he continued by questioning them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to him, "You are the Messiah." (30) And he warned them to tell no one about him. (31) And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the politicians and religious leaders and the bible experts, and be killed, and after three days rise again. (32) And he was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. (33) But turning around and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." *22
*22 This commentator does not take this saying of Joshua to mean that Peter was possessed by Satan for a brief moment, but rather that Peter spoke Satan’s desire that Joshua not complete his work to pay the ransom – see Luke 10:45 & Matt. 20:28.
(34) And he summoned the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. (35) "For whoever wishes to save his life (in this world) will lose it (Life Everlasting), but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. (36) "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit (give away) his soul? (37) "For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (38) "For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous (un-faithful) and sinful generation, the Son of Man (Joshua’s favorite title for himself) will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." *23
*23 Joshua in these words says what is required to come after him or follow him. It requires a person to stop trying to be successful in this world and instead seek to turn away from what the people of the earth consider valuable and successful. If we don’t, we will lose our soul, meaning our soul will be bankrupt in this life, and destroyed at some point after the death of our body. Finally, to ignore him – to seldom tell others who my Master is and what he wants – means we are ashamed of him and the cost will be great. Please, dear reader, consider these words carefully for they are eternally important for each of us.
(9:1) And Joshua was saying to them, "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." (2) Six days later, Joshua took with him Peter and James and John, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured (his appearance changed) before them; (3) and his garments (clothes) became radiant (glowed, gave off light) and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them. (4) Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Joshua. (5) Peter said to Joshua, "Teacher, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (6) For he did not know what to answer; for they (Peter, James and John) became terrified. (7) Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son, listen to him!" (8) All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Joshua alone.*24
*24 The saying in the first verse regarding seeing the kingdom of God come, was fulfilled in the following verses when they saw the Son, the King, in his future state of power. The Father’s voice from heaven confirmed who Joshua was and the Designer gave what He desires of mankind – to listen to his beloved Son. Not the bible or the scripture or apostle so-and-so or all the past or current religious leaders, pastors or popes, monsignors or ministers, scholars or popular authors, etc. – but rather, His “beloved Son”. Will his voice be the only voice you base your life on?
(9) As they were coming down from the mountain, he gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead. (10) They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant. (11) They asked him, saying, "Why is it that the bible experts say that Elijah must come first?" (12) And he said to them, "Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that he will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? (13) "But I say to you that Elijah has indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished (speaking of John the baptist), just as it is written of him."
(14) When they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some bible experts arguing with them. (15) Immediately, when the entire crowd saw him, they were amazed and began running up to greet him. (16) And he asked them, "What are you discussing with them?" (17) And one of the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought you my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; (18) and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it." (19) And he answered them and said, "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to me!" (20) They brought the boy to him. When he saw him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. (21) And he asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. (22) "It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" (23) And Joshua said to him, "'If you can?' All things are possible to him who has faith." (24) Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do have faith; help my unbelief." (25) When Joshua saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again." (26) After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, "He is dead!" (27) But Joshua took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. (28) When he came into the house, his disciples began questioning him privately, "Why could we not drive it out?" (29) And he said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer." *25
*25 Many take the last saying in this section as another formula. What he was saying to his disciples was in essence, ‘For you who have less faith than I, you need to pray more to help you gain the faith necessary to help me more effectively during this first visit of mine’.
(30) From there they went out and began to go through Galilee, and he did not want anyone to know about it. (31) For he was teaching his disciples and telling them, "The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he has been killed, he will rise three days later." (32) But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask him.
(33) They came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house, he began to question them, "What were you discussing on the way?" (34) But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. (35) Sitting down, he called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."*26 (36) Taking a child, he set him before them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, (37) "Whoever receives one child like this in my name receives me; and whoever receives me does not receive me, but him who sent me." *27
*26 A basic teaching of Joshua repeated several times, and lived out all the time. The disciple of Joshua will want to serve others in all times, places and circumstances. While we do have different talents, we should all have servant attitudes as we practice those talents and thus help others.
*27 To receive a disciple of Joshua is to receive the heavenly Father - to reject a disciple is to reject the heavenly Father.
(38) John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us." (39) But Joshua said, "Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in my name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. (40) "For he who is not against us is for us.*28 (41) "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of me, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
*28 This saying is meant to keep peace between various Families of disciples. Just because another Family might have some minor differences of understandings of how to live out Joshua’s teachings does not make them “against ” another Family. If a person or persons know that we are followers of the Light and they understand what that means and they are not against us, we need to consider them for us. Unfortunately, people no longer know what a Family of disciples is so this saying has little application today as Families of disciples will generally be hated by those who say they are part of his church. In other words, a Family of disciples will be considered “against” the church since we speak against its teachings & practices.
(42) "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble (sin), it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone (huge donut shaped rock) hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. (43) "If your hand causes you to stumble (sin), cut it off; it is better for you to enter Life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, (45) "If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter Life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, (47) "If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell,*29 (48) where Their Worm Does Not Die, And The Fire Is Not Quenched. (49) "For everyone will be salted with fire. (50) "Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."
*29 Joshua teaches we must be very serious about our sin, especially sins that cause or encourage others to sin, especially causing or encouraging children to sin. The concept of “sin” (failing a moral standard) is going away in a US culture that is teaching that anything goes as long as it does not directly harm another person – a God-less and low standard that will destroy people’s lives. It might work if humans were basically good and selfless, but we are not, thus it is doomed to failure.
(10:1) Getting up, he went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; crowds gathered around him again, and, according to his custom, he once more began to teach them. (2) Some religious leaders came up to Joshua, testing him, and began to question him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. (3) And he answered and said to them, "What did Moses (Not God!) command you?" (4) They said, "Moses permitted a man To Write A Certificate Of Divorce And Send her Away." (5) But Joshua said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he (Moses, not God!) wrote you this commandment. (6) "But from the beginning of creation, God Made Them Male And Female. (7) "For This Reason A Man Shall Leave His Father And Mother, (8) And The Two Shall Become One Flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. (9) "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (10) In the house the disciples began questioning him about this again. (11) And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery (“adultery” is a married person having sex with someone other than their spouse) against her; (12) and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery." *30
*30 Joshua makes clear a teaching of man (Moses) versus the intent of God. Moses, not God, allowed divorce. Therefore, this teaching of Moses was not inspired by God, as Paul would have your believe. Marriage – the joining of one man and one woman - was created by God and God did not allow for divorce. Joshua defines the concept of committed love (marriage) as between one man and one woman – male and female - for life. All other joining together types (more than one wife, a man and a man, etc.) are thus illegitimate in God’s eyes – see Matt. 19. To wrongfully break that commitment against your spouse is to commit adultery against them.
(13) And they were bringing children to him so that he might touch them; but the disciples told them to stop. (14) But when Joshua saw this, he was upset and said to them, "Permit the children to come to me; do not hinder (prevent) them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (15) "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all." *31 (16) And Joshua took the children in his arms and began blessing them, laying his hands on them.
*31 Do children want to do bible studies to understand God? Do children want to understand the Greek and Hebrew to understand God? Do children want to go to seminary to understand God? Does having child-like faith include all of the intellectual works that men say are required to ‘know God’ or ‘know Him better’? No, it does not. “Those things which are highly valued among men are as garbage to God.” – see Luke 16:15. The best way to know God is to know Joshua, and that merely requires reading his words with a simple and sincere heart – and for adults, mixed with faith.
(17) As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to him and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (18) And Joshua said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. (19) "You know the commandments, 'Do Not Murder, Do Not Commit Adultery, Do Not Steal, Do Not Bear False Witness, Do not defraud, Honor Your Father And Mother.'" (20) And he said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." (21) Looking at him, Joshua felt compassion for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." (22) But at these words the man was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. (23) And Joshua, looking around, said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!" (24) The disciples were amazed at his words. But Joshua answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! (25) "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (26) They were even more astonished and said to him, "Then who can be saved?" (27) Looking at them, Joshua said, "With people it is impossible (to save themselves), but not with God; for all things are possible with God." (28) Peter began to say to him, "Behold, we have left everything (forsaken all) and followed you." (29) Joshua said, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children (see Matt. 10:34-39; Luke 14:26-33) or farms, for my sake and for the gospel's sake, (30) but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children (see Matt. 12:46-50) and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. (31) "But many who are first will be last, and the last, first." *32
*32 What a key and amazing teaching of the Light! Materially wealthy people will not enter the kingdom of God – that is people who build up material things for themselves and don’t share and/or give away what they have. Peter’s reaction in verse 28 leaves no doubt that Joshua meant what he said – to be his follower we must turn away from the material life. The life of following the Life is described clearly in verses 29-31 – a radical change away from a former way of living – away from the material way and blood relatives – to a new non-material way and a new family. While having to leave houses or farms might be more common during certain times and places, the changing of who is our family will never change in any time or place – it is a normal part of following Joshua.
(32) They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Joshua was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful. And again he took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to him, (33) saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man (Joshua’s favorite title for himself) will be delivered to the religious leaders and the bible experts; and they will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles (non-Jew or people with no knowledge of Joshua’s Father). (34) "They will mock him and spit on him, and whip him and kill him, and three days later he will rise again."
(35) James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Joshua, saying, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." (36) And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" (37) They said to him, "Grant that we may sit, one on your right and one on your left, in your glory." (38) But Joshua said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup (of suffering) that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism (pain) with which I am baptized?" (39) They said to him, "We are able." And Joshua said to them, "The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. (40) "But to sit on my right or on my left, this is not mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." *33 (41) Hearing this, the other ten began to feel angry with James and John. (42) Calling them to himself, Joshua said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers (leaders) of the Gentiles (non-Jew or people with no knowledge of Joshua’s Father) lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. (43) "But it is not to be this way among you, for whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; (44) and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be servant of all. (45) "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom (not a sacrifice!) for many." *34
*33 A saying contrary to the trinity doctrine. If Joshua and His Father are the same being, how could he make such a clear distinction between his Father’s will and his own? Such clear statements should win over unclear statements.
*34 Joshua never once refers to the purpose of his death as a “sacrifice”, and he does speak to the ‘why’ of his death several times, as he does here. A ransom is not at all the same as a sacrifice. A ransom is a payment of some kind by one person to an evil person who is holding yet another person captive – the payment of the ransom has the intent of gaining the freedom of the person held captive. A sacrifice, on the other hand and in the context of the bible, is a person offering the life of an animal in order to gain forgiveness for their guilt by appeasing a god who requires the death of that sacrificial animal – the spilling of its blood - in order to forgive the guilty person. Again, Joshua never – not once – describes his death as a sacrifice.
(46) Then they came to Jericho. And as Joshua was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. (47) When he heard that it was Joshua the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, "Joshua, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (48) Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" (49) And Joshua stopped and said, "Call him here." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you." (50) Throwing aside his coat, he jumped up and came to Joshua. (51) And answering him, Joshua said, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Rabbi, I want to regain my sight!" (52) And Joshua said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and began following him on the road.
(11:1) As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Joshua sent two of his disciples, (2) and said to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt (young horse) tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. (3) "If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' you say, 'The Lord has need of it'; and immediately he will send it back here." (4) They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. (5) Some of the bystanders were saying to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" (6) They spoke to them just as Joshua had told them, and they gave them permission. (7) They brought the colt to Joshua and put their coats on it; and he sat on it. (8) And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. (9) Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: "Hosanna! Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord; (10) Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!"
(11) Joshua entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, he left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late. (12) On the next day, when they had left Bethany, he became hungry. (13) Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if perhaps he would find anything on it; and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. (14) He said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" And his disciples were listening.*35
*35 The disciples may have been listening, but not carefully. It is highly unlikely that Joshua cursed a fig tree. This behavior is very inconsistent with both his teachings and his normal behavior as portrayed elsewhere in the four gospels.
(15) Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; (16) and he would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. (17) And he began to teach and say to them, "Is it not written, 'My House Shall Be Called A House Of Prayer For All The Nations'? But you have made it a Robbers' Den."*36 (18) The religious leaders and the bible experts heard this, and began seeking how to destroy him; for they were afraid of him, for the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
*36 Please note that Joshua did not say, ‘Does not my Father say, ‘My house ….’. Rather he points to their scripture, which they say represents God’s thoughts. Joshua points out their hypocrisy based on their own professed standard of their scripture. This does not mean he validated that a building was his Father’s house. Rather he was rebuking a hypocritical religious practice.
(19) When evening came, they would go out of the city. (20) As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. (21) Being reminded, Peter said to him, "Master, look, the fig tree which you cursed has withered." (22) And Joshua answered saying to them, "Have faith in God. (23) "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. (24) "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. (25) "Whenever you pray, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. (26) "But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."*37
*37 A clear teaching repeated in several places in the gospels. If I have a heart of bitterness or un-forgiveness or wishing harm against another person, then my Father will not forgive my sins. This does not mean we trust people who have consistently sought our harm. But it does mean that we do not think badly of them and wish them well when the opportunity arises – love those who make themselves your enemies means act kindly towards them and do not desire harm upon them.
(27) They came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the religious leaders and the bible experts and the elders came to him, (28) and began saying to him, "By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do these things?" (29) And Joshua said to them, "I will ask you one question, and you answer me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. (30) "Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer me." (31) They began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Then why did you not believe him?' (32) "But shall we say, 'From men'?"--they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet (a person who spoke God’s truths). (33) Answering Joshua, they said, "We do not know." And Joshua said to them, "Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
(12:1) And he began to speak to them in parables: "A man Planted A Vineyard And Put A Wall Around It, And Dug A Container Under The Wine Press And Built A Tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. (2) "At the harvest time he sent a servant to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. (3) "They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. (4) "Again he sent them another servant, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. (5) "And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. (6) "He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' (7) "But those vine-growers said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!' (8) "They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. (9) "What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. (10) "Have you not even read this scripture: 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; (11) THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES'?" (12) And they were seeking to seize him, and yet they feared the people, for they understood that he spoke the parable against them. And so they left him and went away.
(13) Then they sent some of the religious leaders and those of a certain political sect to him in order to trap him in a statement. (14) They came and said to him, "Teacher, we know that you are truthful and defer to no one; for you are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? (15) "Shall we pay or shall we not pay?" But he, knowing their hypocrisy (two-facedness), said to them, "Why are you testing me? Bring me a coin to look at." (16) They brought one. And he said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" And they said to him, "Caesar's." (17) And Joshua said to them, "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at him.*38
*38 Religious people who say, ‘don’t pay taxes to the government or IRS for it is wrong for these reasons…’, go against Joshua’s plain teaching here. Just pay your taxes – give some money to those who depend upon money, but give your heart and life to your Father.
(18) Another scripture based sect (who say that there is no resurrection) came to Joshua, and began questioning him, saying, (19) "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that If A Man's Brother Dies and leaves behind a wife And Leaves No Child, His Brother Should Marry The Wife And Raise Up Children To His Brother. (20) "There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no children. (21) "The second one married her, and died leaving behind no children; and the third likewise; (22) and so all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died also. (23) "In the resurrection, when they rise again, which one's wife will she be? For all seven had married her." (24) Joshua said to them, "Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the scriptures or the power of God? (25) "For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (26) "But regarding the fact that the dead rise again (continue to exist after death), have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I AM (present, not past tense) THE GOD OF ABRAHAM (who died long ago), AND THE GOD OF ISAAC (who died long ago), and the God of Jacob (who died long ago)'? (27) "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken."
(28) One of the bible experts came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that Joshua had answered them well, asked him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" (29) Joshua answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord Our God Is One Lord; (30) And You Shall Love The Lord Your God With All Your Heart, And With All Your Soul, And With All Your Mind, And With All Your Strength.' (31) "The second is this, 'You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (32) The bible expert said to him, "Right, teacher; you have truly stated that He Is One, And There Is No One Else Besides Him; (33) And To Love Him With All The Heart And With All The Understanding And With All The Strength, And To Love One's Neighbor As Himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." *39 (34) When Joshua saw that he had answered rightly, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that, no one would venture to ask him any more questions.
*39 Joshua validates the man’s answer. Please note that to love our heavenly Father and our neighbor is what God wants – He does not want offerings and sacrifices – a clear rebuke to the old testament or Hebrew sacrificial religious system which system was created by men, not God. See also Matt. 12:7.
(35) And Joshua began to say, as he taught in the temple, "How is it that the bible experts say that the Messiah is the son of David? (36) "David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'The Lord Said To My Lord, "Sit At My Right Hand, Until I Put Your Enemies Beneath Your Feet."' (37) "David himself calls him 'Lord'; so in what sense is he his son?" And the large crowd enjoyed listening to him. (38) In his teaching he was saying: "Beware of the religious leaders and bible experts who like to walk around in fancy or religious clothing, and like respectful greetings in the market places, (39) and the best seats in the religious buildings and places of honor at weddings, (40) who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation." *40
*40 Sadly, many will condemn themselves with their words and behavior. But the greater condemnation is reserved for those people who say they represent God – religious leaders and their followers - but who do not do what Joshua says e.g. practice love, humility, righteousness, compassion, etc.
(41) And he sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. (42) A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. (43) Calling his disciples to him, he said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the rich people; (44) for they all put in out of their surplus (‘disposable income’, that which they did not need for food, clothing or shelter), but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on." *41
*41 Faith, love and a little material giving is far greater than little or no faith, little love and much material giving.
(13:1) As he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!" (2) And Joshua said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another, all will not be torn down." (3) As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning him privately, (4) "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?" (5) And Joshua began to say to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. (6) "Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am He!' and will mislead (or deceive) many. (7) "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. (8) "For nation will rise up against nation (political entities), and kingdom against kingdom (religious entities, like Islam against Christianity; or private corporations); there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines (large areas where food is not available). These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.*42
*42 So, the things mentioned by Joshua are just the beginning of birth pangs, and as any mother knows, those pangs can go on for some time – a mother can be in labor for many hours compared to the first birth pangs.
(9) "But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be whipped in the religious buildings, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, as a testimony to them. (10) "The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. (11) "When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. (12) "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. (13) "You will be hated by all because of my name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.*43
*43 Verses 12-13: What a strange picture for the average American christian or biblian, who simply cannot understand being hated by anyone, let alone their blood relatives, for their faith in Joshua as evidenced by living out and repeating HIS teachings. These saying of Joshua are typically brushed aside as ‘not applying to us at this time and place’. That is false, as Joshua teaches the same thing in several places (see Matt. 10 for example) where the context cannot be forced into some time frame or special circumstance. Being rejected by those who reject Joshua is the natural or normal occurrence in all times and cultures for the disciple of Joshua (see John 18).
(In this commentator’s opinion, the following is specifically for the people and nation of Israel and could well have happened in 70AD when the Roman general Titus destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the Jewish people, effectively destroying their nation; or he could just be speaking to Jewish disciples in this context of the end of the age.)
(14) "But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. (15) "The one who is on the housetop must not go down, or go in to get anything out of his house; (16) and the one who is in the field must not turn back to get his coat. (17) "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! (18) "But pray that it may not happen in the winter.
(Joshua resumes with a global view.)
(19) "For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. (20) "Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. (21) "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Messiah'; or, 'Behold, he is there'; do not believe him; (22) for false Messiahs and false prophets (people who claim to speak for God but don’t) will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. (23) "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.*44
*44 His warning was clear and timeless, for he has told us “everything” in advance. No new prophesies are needed to understand the basics about the future, and yet religious leaders claiming some association with Joshua exist by the tens of thousands profiting off their predictions and subsequent book sales, prophesy conferences, memberships, TV and radio broadcasts, etc.
(24) "But in those days, after that tribulation, The Sun Will Be Darkened And The Moon Will Not Give Its Light, (25) And The Stars Will Be Falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens (celestial bodies like planets or asteroids) will be shaken. (26) "Then they will see The Son Of Man Coming In Clouds with great power and glory. (27) "And then he will send forth the angels, and will gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.*45
*45 Please note during both events (vs 19-22 & 24-25), those who chose to follow Joshua will be present – “no life would have been saved but for the sake of the elect”; and, “and will gather together his elect from the…farthest end of the earth”. God does not cause these events but He foresaw them and such events motivate people to acknowledge their need of their heavenly Father.
(28) "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. (29) "Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near, right at the door. (30) "Truly I say to you, this generation*46 will not pass away until all these things take place. (31) "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words*47 will not pass away. (32) "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.*48 (33) "Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. (34) "It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his servants in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. (35) "Therefore, be on the alert--for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning-- (36) in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. (37) "What I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'"
*46 Joshua indirectly speaks of three ages or generations in his teachings. The first generation was all those alive on the earth prior to his first coming. The second generation was/is all those alive on the earth during and after his first coming, prior to his second coming. The third generation will be all those alive during and after his second coming. He speaks to the middle or second generation in this saying.
*47 Sadly, many who are deceived will say “my words” mean Paul’s words and Jude’s words and Moses words, etc. No, “my words” mean “my words”, and no one else’s. Only Joshua’s words will not pass away. Thus, his words or concepts alone perfectly reflect the realities of the eternal realm and the mind of the Father - not all the other author’s in the bible or anyone one else living or dead. While others can write true things, only Joshua and his words deserve our faith.
*48 A clear proof against the trinity doctrine. None of the few ‘pro-trinity’ sayings cited by those who accept the contradictory doctrine, even come close to the tight, ‘no other understanding possible’ nature of this saying - two beings, a Father and Son.
(14:1) Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread (religious observance days for the Jews) were two days away; and the religious leaders and the bible experts were seeking how to seize Joshua secretly and kill him; (2) for they were saying, "Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people." (3) While he was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume; and she broke the vial and poured it over his head. (4) But some were indignantly remarking to one another, "Why has this perfume been wasted? (5) "For this perfume might have been sold for over two thousand dollars, and the money given to the poor." And they were scolding her. (6) But Joshua said, "Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to me. (7) "For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have me.*49 (8) "She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for the burial. (9) "Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."
*49 Helping the poor is good, but not as the primary task as a disciple of Joshua. The primary task for Joshua’s followers is to acknowledge him for who he says he is, and do what he says…and the primary thing he says to do is love others and live and speak his words of truth and light to the people who make up the dark world - thus bringing his Father’s message of Love, Life and Hope.
(10) Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the religious leaders in order to betray Joshua to them. (11) They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray him at an opportune time. (12) On the first day of the Jewish feast of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, his disciples said to him, "Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?" (13) And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; (14) and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest room in which I may eat the passover with my disciples?"' *50 (15) "And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there." (16) The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the holiday meal.
*50 Many who love things Hebrew will seek to use this saying to say that Joshua was advocating keeping the Jewish religious rituals. That is like saying a christian coach - who coaches Jewish boys and who agrees to attend a player’s bar mitzvah (a Jewish ritual of coming of age) - is advocating that all people ought to partake in the bar mitzvah ritual. No, rather the coach understands how important the ritual is to the players and he graciously attends so as not unnecessarily offend. Joshua is the Son of Man-kind, the Son of the Creator of the human race - not the Son of a Jewish God. If he came to another people other than the Jews, he would not unnecessarily offend people who would otherwise listen to him, and he would have respected religious practices that would not contradict or substitute his teachings in order to have the opportunity to guide them to the greater truths. Joshua’s important teachings offend so there is no need to offend on relatively unimportant matters.
(17) When it was evening he came with the twelve. (18) As they were reclining at the table and eating, Joshua said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray me--one who is eating with me." (19) They began to be grieved and to say to him one by one, "Surely not I?" (20) And he said to them, "It is one of the twelve, one who dips with me in the bowl. (21) "For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."
(22) While they were eating, he took some bread, and after a blessing he broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is as my body." (23) And when he had taken a cup and given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. (24) And he said to them, "This is as my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. (25) "Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." *51 (26) After singing a song, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
*51 This saying in Mark might be the best and clearest recording of this saying of Joshua. Joshua simply says that the wine metaphorically represents his blood which blood will literally be used to seal the new covenant the Father made with mankind. What covenant? “This is my beloved Son – listen to him” and if you do so you can be assured you will be welcomed Home.
(27) And Joshua said to them, "You will all fall away, because it is written, 'I Will Strike Down The Shepherd, And The Sheep Shall Be Scattered.' (28) "But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." (29) But Peter said to him, "Even though all may fall away, yet I will not." (30) And Joshua said to him, "Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny me three times." (31) But Peter kept saying insistently, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny you!" And they all were saying the same thing also.
(32) They came to a place named Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here until I have prayed." (33) And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. (34) And he said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch." (35) And he went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass him by. (36) And he was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will." (37) And he came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? (38) "Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (39) Again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. (40) And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer him. (41) And he came the third time, and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. (42) "Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays me is at hand!" (43) Immediately while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the religious leaders and the bible experts and the elders. (44) Now he who was betraying him (Judas) had given them a signal, saying, "Whomever I kiss, he is the one; seize him and lead him away under guard." (45) After coming, Judas immediately went to him, saying, "Rabbi!" and kissed him. (46) They laid hands on him and seized him. (47) But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. (48) And Joshua said to them, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me, as you would against a robber? (49) "Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me; but this has taken place to fulfill the scriptures." *52 (50) And they all (Joshua’s disciples) left him and fled. (51) A young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. (52) But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked (perhaps this is a reference to the author, Mark?).
*52 Joshua used all he could to point the people to his Father. In this case, he is appealing to his Jewish listener’s reverence of their scriptures in order to validate who he was – the promised Messiah. The Jewish scripture did contain some prophetic truths about Messiah – as well as a good bit of human wisdom - even while most of the Jewish scripture presents a clouded or wrong view of the heavenly Father through sinful men’s eyes and thoughts. Just because, for example, 2 percent of the Jewish scriptures contain accurate prophesy about Messiah or thoughts that match the Father’s Way, does not mean the other 98 percent is from God.
(53) They led Joshua away to the high priest; and all the religious leaders and the elders and the bible experts gathered together. (54) Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the highest religious leader; and he was sitting with the officers and warming himself at the fire. (55) Now the religious leaders and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Joshua to put him to death, and they were not finding any. (56) For many were giving false testimony against him, but their testimony was not consistent. (57) Some stood up and began to give false testimony against him, saying, (58) "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'" (59) Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent. (60) The chief religious leader stood up and came forward and questioned Joshua, saying, "Do you not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against you?" (61) But he kept silent and did not answer. Again the chief religious leader was questioning him, and saying to him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of God?" (62) And Joshua said, "I am *53; and you shall see The Son of Man Sitting At The Right Hand Of Power, And Coming With The Clouds Of Heaven." (63) Tearing his clothes, the chief religious leader said, "What further need do we have of witnesses? (64) "You have heard the blasphemy (speaking bad things against God); how does it seem to you?" And they all condemned him to be deserving of death. (65) Some began to spit at him, and to blindfold him, and to beat him with their fists, and to say to him, "Prophesy!" And the officers received him with slaps in the face.
*53 A clear profession of who Joshua of Nazareth claimed to be. Not merely a great moral teacher. Not merely a great man. Not God Himself, but rather the unique Son and messenger – and most accurate representation - of the living Creator of the human race.
(66) As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the chief religious leader came, (67) and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, "You also were with Joshua the Nazarene." (68) But he denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you are talking about." And he went out onto the porch. (69) The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, "This is one of them!" (70) But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too." (71) But he began to curse and swear, "I do not know this man you are talking about!" (72) Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Joshua had made the remark to him, "Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he began to weep.
(15:1) Early in the morning the religious leaders with the politicians and bible experts and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Joshua, they led him away and delivered him to the Roman governor, Pilate. (2) Pilate questioned him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "It is as you say." (3) The religious leaders began to accuse him harshly. (4) Then Pilate questioned him again, saying, "Do you not answer? See how many charges they bring against you!" (5) But Joshua made no further answer; so Pilate was amazed.
(6) Now at the feast Pilate used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested. (7) The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection (an “insurrection” was an event where a group of people were fighting against Roman rule). (8) The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. (9) Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?" (10) For he was aware that the religious leaders had handed him over because of envy. (11) But the religious leaders stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. (12) Answering again, Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with him whom you call the King of the Jews?" (13) They shouted back, "Crucify Him!" (14) But Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify Him!" (15) Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Joshua whipped, he handed him over to be crucified.
(16) The soldiers took him away into the Roman palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. (17) They dressed Joshua up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on him; (18) and they began to mock him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" (19) They kept beating his head with a reed, and spitting on him, and kneeling and bowing before him. (20) After they had mocked him, they took the purple robe off him and put his own garments on him. And they led him out to crucify him. (21) They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear his cross. (22) Then they brought him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. (23) They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. (24) And they crucified him, and divided up his garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take. (25) It was the third hour when they crucified him. (26) The writing above his head of the charge against him read, "THE KING OF THE JEWS." (27) They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.
(29) Those passing by were hurling abuse at him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, (30) save yourself, and come down from the cross!" (31) In the same way the religious leaders also, along with the bible experts, were mocking him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. (32) "Let this Messiah, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!" Those who were crucified with him were also insulting him.
(33) When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. (34) At the ninth hour Joshua cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?" *54 (35) When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, "Behold, he is calling for Elijah." (36) Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave him a drink, saying, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down." (37) And Joshua uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. (38) And the veil (large curtain) of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (39) When the centurion, who was standing right in front of him, saw the way he breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
*54 Another saying that clearly contradicts the trinity doctrine – how could ‘the Most High God’ have a God?
(40) There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome. (41) When he was in Galilee, they used to follow him and serve him; and there were many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem. (42) When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, (43) Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Joshua. (44) Pilate wondered if he was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether he was already dead. (45) And getting this information from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. (46) Joseph bought a linen cloth, took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. (47) Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where he was laid.
(16:1) When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint him. (2) Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. (3) They were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" (4) Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. (5) Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. (6) And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Joshua the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; he is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid him. (7) "But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.'" (8) They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
*55 (9) Now after he had risen early on the first day of the week, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. (10) She went and reported to those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. (11) When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it. (12) After that, he appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. (13) They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either. (14) Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and he reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen him after he had risen. (15) And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”.
*55 Most bible translators agree that the material after verse 8 was added at some point after the original book that Mark wrote. Verses 9 through 15 contain things which are repeated in the other three gospels, and thus this author has printed them. This author has chosen to omit altogether verses 16 through 20, as those verses contain alleged sayings of Joshua, most of which – in context - run contrary to some other of his teachings. The reader is free to read them elsewhere.