The Epistle to Philemon begins with just a plain address, so some consider it to be a personal, private letter. Then the question might be asked, Why was it included in the Sacred Canon? Not only did the Lord in His providence so overrule matters, but the epistle contains a lot of meaty thought.
Posts Tagged ‘ baptism of John ’
The lot had to fall on one of the two, and it fell upon Matthias. This incident shows that the collective judgment of the brotherhood is not necessarily correct. Later, brethren laid their hands on Paul as if he were their representative and as if they were involved in his selection, but Paul was God’s choice through Jesus. Some brethren thought Paul should have certain constraints, but he was an apostle of Jesus Christ and not of men.
Jesus saw a fig tree with leaves. Footnote 34 in The Keys of Revelation, chapter 6, provides some pertinent information. The fig tree begins to put forth tender leaf buds about the end of March. (1) At the same time, tiny figs begin to develop (with the leaves) to the size of a small cherry. Most fall off. Being immature and inferior, they are eaten only by the poor or a traveler. (These tiny figs are what Jesus was looking for.) (2) A few of these small figs continue to ripen on the tree and reach maturity in June as excellent figs. (3) In June, buds of the next crop appear higher up in the branches. These ripen and are the great crop of figs in August. Hence there are three stages of development. The second crop, the “time of [early] figs,” was the first nutritional harvest. The third crop was really the second, or general, harvest of figs. Thus Jesus cursed a fig tree that did not have even the first tiny figs, and this was prior to the two harvests.
Jesus was truly hungry. In other words, he did not premeditate the fig tree scene. When he saw leaves at Passover time, he assumed the tiny immature figs would be there too. Upon seeing no fruit, he realized there was a reason, a providence, for this situation. Of course he knew the fig tree pictured the Jewish nation.
Notice, the one who had so boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah—and who had been instructed by God that the one upon whom the dove alighted at the time of baptism was Messiah—now, in prison, questioned whether Jesus was truly the Messiah. What is the lesson? Even the most faithful of the Lord’s people can have moments of discouragement when they are tested to the core, but they receive a strengthening subsequently if they do not ive in to the testing and surrender their faith. Another lesson: When God puts something on our heart to do, we should do it—regardless of who the person is. John rebuked Herod and ended up in prison. We may have a similar experience.