Chazon, Ouai, and Oy 

If chazon, ouai, and oy are strange words to you, don’t feel bad. They were to me. Their English translations are frequently used in the church. Chazon (Hebrew) or vision is the one that set this study into motion. “Without a vision”, Proverbs 29:18 in the KJV has been the key verse in many sermons. Well, this weekend I looked into seeing a vision. Doing a New Testament word search left me empty. So, I changed to the word dream and found no help from the biblical context. To be fair, vision and dream often get run together in the same sermon, but in the New Testament, those words and our English ideas hit a rough spot. Vision and dreams are supernatural acts that instruct people on a topic. They do not support the idea of your desires and goals and where YOU want to be in life.

The words purpose and calling, which are God-ordained concepts, should be used instead. The way ministers preach most sermons, the concepts of purpose and calling, get mixed with visions and dreams. 

Okay, let’s look at chazon. It is true we need a vision or things will fall apart. In the early part of Matthew, John the Baptist and Jesus are preaching the good news of the kingdom. What they taught was repent, for the kingdom of God is near. The kingdom being near is the chazon they gave the people. They preached that to give the masses hope. Jesus did miracles to prove just how near the kingdom had come to them. The mindset of the disciples and the crowds seemed to be that the Messiah would lead an army and conquer Rome. Psalm 110 and 45 are just a few places where that idea came from. Israel had battle-fighting messiahs, but they did not heal the sick and feed thousands or preach repentance. When these messiahs died, their movements faded away and stopped (Acts 5:35).

A chazon from God leads you to your purpose in life and opens the door to your calling. A dream from God may lead your thinking in this process.
Now to add in the words ouai, and oyouai is Greek for woe and oy/hoy is Hebrew for woe. How does woe connect with vision? The Father and Son are protective of their kingdom. Because the Father has a purpose for His kingdom, I believe He will defend the people He has called to fulfill that purpose. The post –God’s Love and Let God Arise talk about this topic. While studying for a new series called The Sermons on the Mounts, I read Matthew 23. That passage contains the seven woes for the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees. The way we translate woe and the context people use for that word seemed strange to me. Oy and hoy in Isaiah and the other prophets and ouai in the Book of Revelation do not fit what many try to put in Jesus’ warnings. In these warnings, the weight of woe is not a statement of you may be sorry, or too bad you did your actions. They imply a judgment is going to fall on you. For some reason, a large part of Christianity has grown away from the idea that Jesus is a king that leads an army. The world definitely does not like a strong, in command, conquering Jesus. To answer my question -you will receive woe (in this life) if you come against God’s vision or plan for His Church.

On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus made these pronouncements-He cursed the fig tree (man’s works to be acceptable before God), the seven woes of Matthew 23, and prophesied that the Temple would come down. While in the Temple, He also told (through parable) the leaders of the nation they had to change or they would get thrown out of the Kingdom of God. Matthew 11 has the message of woe to several cities in Galilee and Luke 11 has a similar list of woes to Matthew 23. These woes added to the leaders’ anger at Jesus.

Did Jesus speak these woes twice, maybe? I feel Luke put together the stories he heard into something that Theophilus needed to read. Luke 11 to 18 has many of the same teachings as Matthew 21 to 26. That is not a statement against the book from Luke, rather, it shows his ability to communicate to his audience. Matthew and Mark had been eyewitnesses, so I tend to follow their timeline.  

Chazonouai, and oy are powerful words. Please use the reference websites I listed below for more details. I have no associations with any of those sites; they are references. So, reader beware.

Chazon-https://www.hebrewversity.com/what-is-shabbat-chazon/

https://biblehub.com/hebrew/2377.htm

ouai-https://franknelte.net/article.php?article_id=363

Thorns and Thistles and the Tree of Knowledge

I will get to the point right away with thorns, thistles, and the Tree of Knowledge. Thorns by themselves are a sticky subject, but I will include thistles and the Tree. The three big references to thorns are where we get stuck in our thinking: Genesis 3:17, the original curse, the crown the Romans put on Jesus after beating Him, and Paul’s messenger of Satan in 2 Corinthians 12. But there are fifty-four verses with thorns in the Bible. (That number stays consistent in the various versions.) When we add in briers, nettles, thistles, tares, and weeds, the picture of problem plants in the Eastern Mediterranean expands and covers our field of study quite well.

The Tree of Knowledge had a good and evil component to it. The plants that are part of the curse of man’s greed in wanting knowledge and not life also have a good and evil/painful component. Some useful flora with thorns are roses, citrus fruit, and blackberries. In the Holy Land and in the Bible, they used thorn plants for whipping people, burning to cook food, and making barriers you did not want to go through. They use up a lot of water and seem to grow quickly, so they will damage the crops.

Thistles can have magnificent flowers, medicinal properties, and are eaten by humans and animals. The spines are painful if you disrespect the plant and get careless around it. (Israel put them on postage stamps.)

Off-topic, slightly.

Genesis 3 was a real eye-opener for Eve and Adam. Death entered the Garden, and they started dying. They found out serpents could move with no legs. Eve would discover pain and child-bearing. Desire and authority rushed into her life. Thorns and thistles were to be a complication in food production. Adam received pain because of them. That death entailed decomposition. How many of these concepts did they know about before greed and lust won their thinking?

Metaphors 

Exodus 22:6 is the initial statement of an issue with thorns-they dry out and become a fire hazard. (The things that get into your skin will burn you up.) Numbers 33:55 is the first usage of thorns as a metaphor for someone causing you pain. Gideon in Judges 8:7 promises to apply them and briers for torture and inflicting pain. Okay, to employ them for that is difficult because they must be gathered, and holding them requires serious precautions.

These plant protectors certainly are a proven problem (evil) and a teaching tool (good). If you have been a Christian for very long, you have heard many sermons about them. Some people spend a lot of time trying to figure out what type of thorn you are, and why you cause them so much pain. There is also a lot of moaning about the thorn poking them, and how they have to endure it in life.

Jesus 

Metaphorically, Judas Iscariot was a thorn in Jesus. Peter may have been a thistle at times (LOL). The thorny crown is possibly the only thing Jesus wore on the cross. So, with the nails, the Roman scourge, and spear, they released the blood that covers our sin (s) before the Father. 

Paul 

Steven Furtick has used Paul’s thorn in several sermons (September/October 2012), these in part, spurred this study. He did a great job with the topic.

It seems right, yet wrong, to always assume that Paul’s thorn was a bodily ailment. (A mental or spiritual issue can easily lead to physical pains.) Many try to make it an eye problem caused by the blindness from his conversion as the source of Satan’s angel against him. (Please note that the thorn was not from God.) Many try to claim a thorn as great as his. Paul got that thorn so he would not be conceited. Do you really want one like that? You probably never got an amazing revelation while in Heaven. I will also bet that writing a good part of the New Testament and supervising many churches are also not in your resume. Get the point, we deal with things and they cause troubles for us, but why compare them with his thorn. Paul’s message from this-stop complaining and ask for a deeper understanding of grace.

My Take

Thorns and briers are painful. Thorns and briers cause issues. If you elect to mess with one of those bushes, you will most likely be in pain. Their fruit or flowers may tempt and possibly be worth the discomfort you judge. The suffering is the same if someone else sticks you with one, or you find it by accident. Shoes and lawn tractor tires that found them in the grass had to be fixed. Cutting them down and burning them are the best ways of getting rid of them.

Thistles can come with beautiful flowers, and the plant has a strange type of attractiveness if all you do is look at it. If you allow a thistle to stay in your yard, it will create many more of them once they mature. Get them out of your ground early in their life. Let them grow and digging them out later can still cause pain, don’t leave the root or a stub. 

Isaiah 55:13 does offer hope that the curse of thorns and thistles will be reversed. 

Knowledge is good and can be bad. Thorns and thistles are bad even if the plant produces something useful.   

Third Hour of the Day

Time 

The third hour of the day in the New Testament refers to the modern 9 a.m. Time keeping was different. They used sunrise and sunset to determine the start and stop of the day. They divided the light part of the day into twelve parts. Yes, that means an hour may vary in length according to the season. Passover is in spring so there was more daylight. Passover begins the religious calendar year for Jews. 

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/526872/jewish/Hours.htm

Tour de force-Jordan to Jerusalem

Third Hour of the Day is a term only used three times in the Bible. (Three and third appear hundreds of times from Genesis to Revelations.) They occurred when Jesus was by the Jordan and continued to Pentecost. Personally, I find the grouping and timing of these interesting. 

Verse/Stories with the Third Hour of the Day

Matthew 20:3-This is a kingdom of heaven parable about the landowner hiring workers at various times during the day. The end of this story is the first will last and the last will be first. 20:16 has taken on new layers of meaning. I also realize how I have used that saying out of context.  

A story with a setting like this would be familiar to his listeners, but the tale is out of season. Several sources put grape harvest in the late summer to fall of the year. (More questions.) The time of the third hour makes them the second group picked, and they worked about eight hours (number of a new beginning). 

Mark 15:25-Mark is the only Gospel writer to mention the time for the start of Jesus’ crucifixion. Does this refer to the story in Matthew? I believe Peter helped his nephew with details, but Mark just lost his fancy Passover robe a few hours before. Running home without all of your clothes makes some moments in time stick in your thoughts better than others.

The timeline for the day is a new revelation for me. The Jewish trial took place during the dark of the day (remember sunset starts the new day). So, the trials with Pilate and Herod, the beating by the Romans, and the walk out of the city took three hours-sunrise to the third hour. Jesus hung on the cross for six hours, three in darkness. Joseph of Arimathea got less than three hours to get the body, prepare it, and bury Jesus. Someone else at his house must have been tending to the Passover lamb and the other preparations. Jerusalem feasted as Jesus raided hell to take back the keys.    

Six hours (the number of man) may not be long, but it was enough for Jesus to pay the price for our sins. This short period shook and surprised the centurion, soldiers, and Pilate, who knew it should take longer. Wine and myrrh numbed the pain to extend the victims’ suffering on the cross, Jesus refused it.

Please note- the third to the ninth hour is when the Passover lambs were killed at the Temple. Makes you wonder how that was going without electric lights to turn on. Temple lambs came from Bethlehem, more layers to ponder. 

Acts 2:15-Pentecost is fifty days after Passover. Forty more days to be with Jesus and learn about His kingdom. The hundred-twenty labored for ten days in pray and picking Judas’ replacement. The Holy Spirit comes in just like at Mount Sinai-wind, noise, and fire. Then as now, the gift of speaking in tongues is marginalized and ridiculed. The Disciples, all 120 of them, are drunk three hours after sunrise. Because people in the crowd understood the languages, and Peter preached a rational sermon, silenced the drunk theory. Were the 3000 another set of workers, like in Matthew 20? I credit Joseph Prince with this statement-3000 died at the giving of the Law, 3000 are born again at the giving of the Spirit.

Things found and more questions 

  1. How prophetic is Matthew 20:1-16? Does it show periods of Church workers/witnesses?
  2. Could Zacchaeus, Bartimaeus, and Lazarus be a wave of early laborers? (See Triumphal Entry)
  3. Matthew refers to the holy city when people came to life and walked into the city (27:53). The phrase holy city started a search which led to Hebrews 13:11-14 and 2 Chronicles 8:11. Jesus died outside of the city. First, his death mirrors what happened to sacrificed animals, but speaks to the matter of clean/unclean or Law vs. Grace. The Ark, or presence of God, had been in Jerusalem. God forsook Jesus during those six hours. This is the reason Solomon built his Egyptian bride’s palace outside of the city. The city was holy; she was not.
  4. Jesus predicted His death three times.  Luke 9:2-27, Mark9:30-32, and Matthew 20:17-19. (I am still looking into these.) Matthew 26:1-2 is also one and several times in John. All I know is the Disciples did not go to Galilee like Jesus had instructed them. Jesus showed up in a locked room (twice) to get them to leave. The Law did not require their staying in Jerusalem for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
  5. 3000 souls baptized from the sermon. All the baptizing would have been a lot of work and Pentecost is Shabbat (no work). There is some wiggle room here. Those water baptisms may not have occurred on Pentecost. The biggest and nearest pond was where Jesus healed the lame man. He laid there for thirty-eight years (see the post please). Another possibility is 3000 people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

https://www.conformingtojesus.com/charts-maps/en/jerusalem_in_jesus_time_map.htm

https://www.google.com/amp/s/terminalsalvation.com/2015/07/09/into-what-did-the-3000-get-baptized-on-the-day-of-pentecost/amp/

Miracles, People, and Teachings Before Palm Sunday

The miracles, people, and teachings of Jesus’ trip before Palm Sunday need to be combined with Holy Week’s activities and His work from Passover to Pentecost to have a solid look at what the Church needs to be doing in the world today.  Lately when I have focused on a small block of time I have a lot of questions as to the content of the teachings and the miracles.  But I come back to the fact that the Gospels were written by the Holy Spirit and just put on paper by men.  So, try and look at these not as individual stories and events but as a unified collection of activities that are to show us more of how we should be living.

The hashtags and numbers refer to my attempt at a chronology order in The Triumphal Entry.  (As a study this may not be super detailed as you would like so you make it your own, then let me know and the post may be edited.)  

Miracles

  1. Matthew 19:2 healed them (the crowd). Matthew list no other miracles other than the prediction of his death. #1,7. Matthew wrote for the Jewish reader.  Since they usually demanded “signs” you would think he would have included more miracles.
  2. Ten Lepers #1. Luke was writing as a witness to a Gentile.  One of the ten was a Samaritan.
  3. Lazarus #3,5,10,11 This is one of the miracles John uses to prove Jesus is the Messiah, He could defeat death.
  4. Bartimaeus #8 I do wonder if he became important to the Church in Jerusalem.
  5. Zacchaeus – knowing he was there and stopping #9 Jesus’ ministry was to Israel, no matter how hard they had become.
  6. Predicts His own death #7 This prediction was to prepare the disciples for Easter Sunday.

People

  1. #1,11,12,13,15 Large crowds with healings- Matthew 19:1, 20:29. John 11:41+42 miracles believing. Mark 10:1 taught them.
  2. #1,3,4,5 Pharisees, Caiaphas, and his prophecy 
  3. #1,6 Little Children
  4. #6 Rich Young Man
  5. #6 Peter – “we have left everything”
  6. #7 The Twelve Disciples – predication of death 
  7. Mother of Zebedee’s sons – James and John, the Ten (with Judas)
  8. #3,5,10,11 Lazarus, Mary (anointed Jesus with Nard), and Martha 
  9. #8 Blind Men (Bartimaeus)
  10. #9 Zacchaeus
  11. #12 Two Disciples for the donkey (Peter and John?) We do not know which two disciples Jesus sent but these two as part of the inner circle would be a good guess.

Teachings 

  1. Divorce
  2. Receive the Kingdom like a little child 
  3. End times/leaving and getting/Workers in the Vineyard.  Luke 17:20 – 38 more in-depth
  4. Pray and the widow, Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Three Servants and Money (only Luke)  
  5. Teaching about His death
  6. Who is great among you

Places 

Across the Jordan #2

Ephraim (only in John) #4, This is the name of Jospeh’s second son who was “made first son” by Israel.

Mark 10:10 has them in a house.

Jericho #8,9

Bethphage and Bethany #3,5,10,11

Mount of Olives #12,13 The Mount is first called this in 2 Samuel 15:30 and Zechariah 14:4 connects it to Jesus’ Second Coming. 

The Triumphal Entry Ending in a Palm Sunday Ride

The prophecy below heralds Jesus’ Palm Sunday triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (KJV)

But this is just the last leg of His tour de force procession that leads to His Kingship.  I see His journey starting in Luke 17:11 (healing ten lepers) because in Luke 19:37 the people are praising Jesus because of the miracles they had seen. The verses below chronicle the miracles that were done as Jesus traveled to His sacrifice as the Lamb of God.  His location is important as well as the teachings and other events that are written in the Gospels.     

Jesus is following a path (from the Jordan to Jerusalem) that was first marched by Joshua when he crossed the Jordan River and started the conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 3).  Elisha in 2 Kings 2:13 walked roughly the same route after his anointing from Elijah.  

Note #1 – Because of the length I have a separate post on just the miracles, people, and teachings.

Note #2 – Some locations and timings are hard to place, especially John 12:1+2.  The distance from the Jordan to Bethany/Jerusalem is not great.  So, I can see Jesus walking to and from it several times.  That is however for you to decide.

Matthew 19:1-21:12, Mark 10:1-11:11, Luke 17:11-19:44 (18:31), John 10:40-12:19

All references are from the King James Version of the Bible. The bold and italics are added.

  • #1 Luke 17:11+12 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers
  • #2 Matthew 19:1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan

                        Mark 10:1 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

John 10:40+41 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

  • #3 John 11:18 (The story of Lazarus) Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off
  • #4 John 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
  • #5 John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
  • #6 Mark 10:17 And when he (Jesus) was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? (The Rich Young Man) Added explanation. Matthew and Luke also have a version of this story.
  • #7 Mark 10:32+33 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death

Matthew 20:17+18 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death

Luke 18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go    up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.

  • #8 Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

Luke 18:35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging

  • #9 Luke 19:1+2 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

                        Luke 19:11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

  • #10 John 12:1+2 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  There they made him a supper
  • #11 John 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus
  • #12 Matthew 21:1+2 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her

                        Mark 11:1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples

Luke 19:28+29 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.  And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives

  • #13 Luke 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen
  • #14 Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it
  • #15 John 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem