Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage above and the Bible passages listed under the title, “Scripture Reading.”
1. Here are three separate statements by Jesus, and it is likely that He said these, and others, any number of times.
2. The brief account titled here in the ESV “True blessedness,” comes following a nameless woman praises Jesus by alluding to the mother who bore Him, and this from a very feminine perspective.
3. This is followed by an account when Jesus was ‘enjoying’ considerable and favorable attention. He relies upon His audience’s understanding of the Book of Jonah, especially about Jonah being inside a great fish for three days. Jonah is one of the Twelve Minor Prophets, and Jonah 4:1–10 is especially relevant.
4. Jonah was sent to the Gentile city, Nineveh, which was reigned over by a woman titled “Queen of the South,” and who had travelled to Jerusalem to hear King Solomon. And the people of Nineveh repented upon hearing the words of Jonah.
5. Jesus said the people of that city Nineveh, at the end time judgment, will fare far better than the current Jewish generation because “something greater than Jonah is here.”
6. Now a parable about a lamp that is lit, it is not covered over but put where the light will shine.
7. Jesus warns His followers that the light in them must shine out into the darkness.