ST-John Ep 7 – John 3: Born Again part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 7 – John 3:  Born Again pt. 1

Before focusing on John 3, Sharon gives us a teaching on how Catholics approach scripture study.  We are encouraged to use a canonical approach when studying the Bible; that is, we should consider the entire canon of the Bible whenever trying to understand a particular passage.  The Bible is not meant to be a collection of isolated stories.

In addition, we learn about the senses of scripture: literal and spiritual, with the spiritual sense further divided into allegorical (a foreshadowing of future events and people), moral (virtues that can be learned) and anagogical (referencing eternity or the eschaton).

We then turn our attention back to John 3 and learn about Nicodemus, whose spiritual journey is a beautiful example of progressive growth in faith.  Nicodemus was a member of the Great Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court of first-century Israel.  At the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, the president of the Sanhedrin was Rabbi Gamaliel, the teacher of Paul.  Gamaliel also advised his fellow members of the Great Sanhedrin to reduce their scrutiny over Jesus’ followers lest they find themselves fighting against God himself.   Tradition holds that both Nicodemus and Gamaliel converted to Christianity.   Nicodemus and Deacon Stephen the martyr of Acts 7 were buried together at Gamaliel’s estate outside of Jerusalem.  Gamaliel and his son ultimately shared this same grave.  Turning back to John 3, Sharon then focuses on the interaction between Jesus and Nicodemus, who struggles with understanding the meaning of being born from above by water and spirit.  Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, would have understood the significance of his earthly lineage, yet he failed to recognize the divine lineage of Jesus Christ, who was born from above, by the Holy Spirit overshadowing a pure earthly creature named Mary of Nazareth.  Being in the form of God, Jesus did not think equality with God was something to be grasped so he lowered himself and took on human form (Phil 2).  By taking on human form he showed us the face of God the Father and by His humble obedience made a way for us to get back to the Father and partake once again in our divine nature in the heavenly beautiful vision.

John 3 concludes with nuptial imagery, as John the Baptist identifies himself as the best man to Jesus, the bridegroom.  Sharon teaches us about a traditional Jewish wedding, shedding light on the significance of John as the best man, whose role was to bear witness to the consummation of the marriage.  Jesus the bridegroom had come and the best man’s job was done.  John would decrease and allow Jesus to increase.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

ST-John Ep 6 – John 2: The Wedding At Cana part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 6 – John 2:  The Wedding Feast at Cana pt. 2

Picking up from where we left off last week, Sharon takes us to John 1, where we count the days as described by John.  Day 1:  the Jewish leaders come to visit John in the wilderness wondering if he is Elijah returned or the prophet or even the Messiah.  Day 2:  Upon seeing Jesus, John cries out, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”  The image of a lamb immediately makes us recall Genesis 22, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac.  As they climb Mt. Moriah, Isaac notices that they do not have a lamb to sacrifice.  Abraham reassures him, promising that God himself will provide the lamb.  Just as Abraham is about to kill his son, God stops him and provides a ram for sacrifice. Israel and the rest of the world will have to wait for God’s promise of a sacrificial lamb to be fulfilled by Jesus.  The image of a sacrificial lamb can be found elsewhere in scripture:  the Passover lamb of Exodus 12; the messianic silent lamb led to slaughter in Isaiah 53; the marriage feast of the lamb in Revelation 19.  Day 3:  the call of the first disciples, including Andrew and his brother Simon, whom Christ renames Peter.  Day 4:  the call of Phillip and Nathanael.  Sharon breaks open the symbolism behind Jesus’ home town of Nazareth, which means “branch town”, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 11 which predicts that a branch will spring forth from the root of Jesse, and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him.   Branch imagery is also found in Zechariah 3 which describes “my servant the Branch” who will the remove the guilt of the land in a single day.  Then, on the third day after the fourth day, we come to Day 7:  the wedding feast of Cana.  The verb form of Cana is translated “to create” and it is the same word spoken by Eve when she exclaims that with the Lord’s help, she has created a man, Cain (Gen 4).   The wedding feast at Cana is a symbol of a new creation, a new covenant and serves as the backdrop of the mystical marriage:  Jesus, the new Adam, enters into a spiritual marriage with Mary, the new Eve, and the fruit of this marriage is the Church.  The marriage is consummated at the cross and the church is birthed at Pentecost.  By calling his mother “woman”, Jesus brings us back to the woman of Genesis 3:15, whose offspring will crush the head of Satan.  Jesus later again calls Mary “woman” as he hangs on the cross, telling her and John the apostle: “Woman behold your son.”    John represents the Church and Mary, the woman, is our mother.  In this chapter, we are introduced to another of John’s themes:  the hour.  When Mary tells Jesus that the wine has run out, Jesus responds that his hour has not yet come.  Jesus, in his humanity, anticipates the hour of his passion, and knows that this first miracle of turning water to wine will mark the beginning of his road to Calvary.  Another theme that runs through John’s Gospel are the Jewish feast days.  In this the first of three Passovers found in John’s Gospel, Jesus clears the Temple of merchants and money changers.  The true presence of God had been missing from the Temple since the Ark of the Covenant was hidden away by Jeremiah (2 Mac 2).  The true presence of God has now returned to the temple and Jesus predicts his passion:   Jesus’ body, the new temple, will be raised in three days after his death.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

ST-John Ep 5 – John 2: The Wedding At Cana part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 5 – John 2:  The Wedding Feast at Cana pt. 1

Picking up from where we left off last week, Sharon takes us to John 1, where we count the days as described by John.  Day 1:  the Jewish leaders come to visit John in the wilderness wondering if he is Elijah returned or the prophet or even the Messiah.  Day 2:  Upon seeing Jesus, John cries out, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”  The image of a lamb immediately makes us recall Genesis 22, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac.  As they climb Mt. Moriah, Isaac notices that they do not have a lamb to sacrifice.  Abraham reassures him, promising that God himself will provide the lamb.  Just as Abraham is about to kill his son, God stops him and provides a ram for sacrifice. Israel and the rest of the world will have to wait for God’s promise of a sacrificial lamb to be fulfilled by Jesus.  The image of a sacrificial lamb can be found elsewhere in scripture:  the Passover lamb of Exodus 12; the messianic silent lamb led to slaughter in Isaiah 53; the marriage feast of the lamb in Revelation 19.  Day 3:  the call of the first disciples, including Andrew and his brother Simon, whom Christ renames Peter.  Day 4:  the call of Phillip and Nathanael.  Sharon breaks open the symbolism behind Jesus’ home town of Nazareth, which means “branch town”, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 11 which predicts that a branch will spring forth from the root of Jesse, and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him.   Branch imagery is also found in Zechariah 3 which describes “my servant the Branch” who will the remove the guilt of the land in a single day.  Then, on the third day after the fourth day, we come to Day 7:  the wedding feast of Cana.  The verb form of Cana is translated “to create” and it is the same word spoken by Eve when she exclaims that with the Lord’s help, she has created a man, Cain (Gen 4).   The wedding feast at Cana is a symbol of a new creation, a new covenant and serves as the backdrop of the mystical marriage:  Jesus, the new Adam, enters into a spiritual marriage with Mary, the new Eve, and the fruit of this marriage is the Church.  The marriage is consummated at the cross and the church is birthed at Pentecost.  By calling his mother “woman”, Jesus brings us back to the woman of Genesis 3:15, whose offspring will crush the head of Satan.  Jesus later again calls Mary “woman” as he hangs on the cross, telling her and John the apostle: “Woman behold your son.”    John represents the Church and Mary, the woman, is our mother.  In this chapter, we are introduced to another of John’s themes:  the hour.  When Mary tells Jesus that the wine has run out, Jesus responds that his hour has not yet come.  Jesus, in his humanity, anticipates the hour of his passion, and knows that this first miracle of turning water to wine will mark the beginning of his road to Calvary.  Another theme that runs through John’s Gospel are the Jewish feast days.  In this the first of three Passovers found in John’s Gospel, Jesus clears the Temple of merchants and money changers.  The true presence of God had been missing from the Temple since the Ark of the Covenant was hidden away by Jeremiah (2 Mac 2).  The true presence of God has now returned to the temple and Jesus predicts his passion:   Jesus’ body, the new temple, will be raised in three days after his death.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

ST-John Ep 4 – In the Beginning pt 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 4 – John 1:  In the Beginning pt. 2

What is your deepest identity?  As we begin our study of John, Sharon poses this fundamental question:  Who are you?  What is your identity?  The answer can be found in scripture:  you are a beloved son or daughter of God.  This powerful theme runs deep in this lecture.  Beginning at the beginning, Sharon focuses on John 1 and Genesis 1, illuminating the nature of Jesus, the Word, who was with God, was in God and was God before the beginning of time.  Central to the nature of Christ is his humanity, and specifically his identity as a man.  Jesus’ maleness is inherent to his personhood.  Sadly, Satan attempts to distort the reality of who we are as male or female, and our current culture has been bombarded with so-called “gender identity ideology”, which Pope Francis describes as a negative trend, a profound falsehood, ideological colonization by wealthy countries, and demonic.  Gender used to be a binary choice:  male or female.  Now gender is used to describe social and cultural differences as opposed to biological.  With the fall, confusion entered the world and we lost our identity as beloved sons and daughters of God and the fatal wound of sin entered the world.  But, thanks be to God, with the Incarnation of Christ, we now have a way back to the Father.  Jesus has given us the power to be children of God and reclaim our truest identity.  Sharon then goes on to talk about John the Baptist, whose purpose was to bear witness to Christ.  The Jewish leaders venture into the desert and question John about his identity:   Are you Elijah?  Are you the prophet?  Are you the Messiah?  John explains that he is the voice in the wilderness preparing the way for the Lord as prophesied by Isaiah.    While not Elijah returned, John indeed is the new Elijah as predicted by the prophet Malachi, who the Lord will send before the anointed one.  Sharon focuses on typology:  John, the new Elijah, and Jesus, the new Moses.  She concludes her lecture with the first of several examples of bridegroom imagery found in John’s Gospel.  John states he is unworthy to unfasten the ties of Jesus’ sandals.  More than a statement of humility, John is reaffirming his role.  He is not the bridegroom of redeemed Israel.  He is the witness, the best man of the marriage between Jesus, the groom, and the Church, his bride.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

ST-John Ep 3 – In the Beginning – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 3 – John 1:  In the Beginning pt.1

What is your deepest identity?  As we begin our study of John, Sharon poses this fundamental question:  Who are you?  What is your identity?  The answer can be found in scripture:  you are a beloved son or daughter of God.  This powerful theme runs deep in this lecture.  Beginning at the beginning, Sharon focuses on John 1 and Genesis 1, illuminating the nature of Jesus, the Word, who was with God, was in God, and was God before the beginning of time.  Central to the nature of Christ is his humanity, and specifically his identity as a man.  Jesus’ maleness is inherent to his personhood.  Sadly, Satan attempts to distort the reality of who we are as male or female, and our current culture has been bombarded with so-called “gender identity ideology”, which Pope Francis describes as a negative trend, a profound falsehood, ideological colonization by wealthy countries, and demonic.  Gender used to be a binary choice:  male or female.  Now gender is used to describe social and cultural differences as opposed to biological.  With the fall, confusion entered the world and we lost our identity as beloved sons and daughters of God and the fatal wound of sin entered the world.  But, thanks be to God, with the Incarnation of Christ, we now have a way back to the Father.  Jesus has given us the power to be children of God and reclaim our truest identity.  Sharon then goes on to talk about John the Baptist, whose purpose was to bear witness to Christ.  The Jewish leaders venture into the desert and question John about his identity:   Are you Elijah?  Are you the prophet?  Are you the Messiah?  John explains that he is the voice in the wilderness preparing the way for the Lord as prophesied by Isaiah.    While not Elijah returned, John indeed is the new Elijah as predicted by the prophet Malachi, who the Lord will send before the anointed one.  Sharon focuses on typology:  John, the new Elijah and Jesus, the new Moses.  She concludes her lecture with the first of several examples of bridegroom imagery found in John’s Gospel.  John states he is unworthy to unfasten the ties of Jesus’ sandals.  More than a statement of humility, John is reaffirming his role.  He is not the bridegroom of redeemed Israel.  He is the witness, the best man of the marriage between Jesus, the groom, and the Church, his bride.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

ST-John Ep 1 – Overview – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 1 – The Gospel of John Overview

We begin our study of the beautiful Gospel of John with an overview lecture.  John the Evangelist wrote this powerful book for a specific purpose:  “So that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name (Jn 20:31).”  Sharon starts off with some background information about John, son of Zebedee, who with his brother James, are surnamed by Jesus as the Sons of Thunder.  Salome, their mother, petitions the Lord on behalf of her sons that they be granted a seat beside him in heaven.  Salome is also one of the myrrh bearing women who prepare the crucified Lord’s body for burial.  John, the youngest of the Apostles, refers to himself as the one whom Jesus loved, illuminating the intimate relationship they shared.  John was an eye witness to the defining events of Christ’s ministry, including the Transfiguration as well as the resurrections of Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter and, most importantly, Jesus himself.    John, the only Apostle present at the foot of the cross, was entrusted with the care of Mary, bringing her to safety in Ephesus where she lived until her assumption.  John’s Gospel differs from the synoptic Gospels, presenting a highly theological perspective of the life of Christ.  Unlike the synoptic writers who begin with historical facts surrounding the life of Christ, John begins at the beginning, drawing us back to Genesis and the creation of the world.  His Gospel is rich with imagery, irony, symbolic themes.  It contains the seven signs and the seven “I am” statements.  John’s Gospel contains unique stories not found elsewhere:  the Samaritan woman at the well, the wedding feast at Cana, the raising of Lazarus, the woman caught in adultery, the doubt of Thomas.  His bread of life discourse lays the foundation for our understanding of the Eucharist.  Highly sacramental, the Gospel of John reveals the nature of baptism, reconciliation, Eucharist, confirmation, matrimony and Holy Orders.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

ST-Luke-9 – The Genealogy of Jesus Christ – The Gospel of St. Luke – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 9 –

Luke’s Genealogy Traces Jesus Back to Universal Adam, not discrepancies but theological distinctions with Matthew.  The Symbolism with St. Luke’s 77 Generations.

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ is recorded differently by Matthew and Luke.  Each unique author has a particular theological meaning behind their genealogies of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of God.

Matthew recognized three groups of 14 generations giving a total of 42 generations, which was also the number of Israel’s encampments as they exited Egypt for the promised land.  Jesus was the new Moses, out of Egypt I have called my son.

In contrast, Luke is gentile by birth, writing to a more universal audience.  He does not necessarily stress the Davidic line of Jesus nor does he begin with Abraham, the father of the Jewish faith.  Rather, he traces Jesus’ lineage all the way back to Adam, who Luke describes as Jesus, the Son of God, is the New Adam.  In addition, Luke lists 77 generations, which reminds us of the “seventy of sevens” or 490 years from Daniel to the arrival of Jesus, as predicted by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9.  Seventy-seven also reminds us of the need to forgive:  Jesus tells his apostles that they must forgive their brother “seventy times seven” times.  Jesus is the New David, the New Moses, the New Adam.  He is the perfection of forgiveness.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:  www.seekingtruth.net

ST-Luke-8 – The Genealogy of Jesus Christ – The Gospel of St. Luke – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 8 –

The Messiah Must Come from King David’s Royal Lineage.  The Genealogy of Jesus Christ: comparing Matthew’s version to Luke’s.

In our last episode, we learned of the head crushing women of the Bible, which raises the question:  are there any head-crushing men in the Bible?  This brings us to the story of David.  We learn in 1 Samuel that through a miraculous conception, Hannah gives birth to Samuel, who she offers back to the Lord for service in the temple.  The Israelites at that time clamor for a king and the Lord appeases them by having Samuel anoint Saul as the first king of Israel.  Under the ineffective Saul, the Israelites are on the verge of being conquered by the Philistines.  Samuel enters the picture once again, and at the Lord’s direction, anoints David.  The spirit of the Lord comes upon the young David, who kills the Philistine giant Goliath with a single rock throw from his sling and then cuts off his head.  The Philistines flee and Israel triumphs.  Blessed be David, another head crusher of the enemy!

Before turning our attention to Luke’s genealogy of Jesus, we spend some time looking at Mary’s lineage.  While scripture does not directly say that Mary was from the line of David, a number of clues are present that would lead us to believe she was.  In response to the Roman census, Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem, which Luke calls the “City of David” indicating the birthplace of the famous king of Israel.  Many of the Church fathers conclude that Mary is from David’s line, including Ignatius of Antioch and Justin Martyr.

We then move to the proclamation of John the Baptist, the new Elijah predicted in Malachi 4.  John also fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”  John preached a baptism of repentance, while Jesus baptizes into the Trinity. John’s purpose was to glorify Jesus, who in turn glorifies the Father.  From Their perfection of love; the Holy Spirit flows as a unique person as well.

We then dig deeper into the genealogies of Luke and Matthew.  How is it that they list different ancestors of Jesus?  The answer is these genealogies are much theological as historical.  Matthew is Jewish, speaks to a Jewish audience and stresses Jewish themes.  He describes three separate groups of 14 generations leading to Jesus:  Abraham to David, David to the Babylonian exile, the end of the exile to the birth of Jesus.  In the Hebrew gematria, David corresponds to the number 14.  In essence, by describing three groups of 14 generations, Matthew is proclaiming “David, David, David.”  Jesus is the new David.

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Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:  www.seekingtruth.net

ST-Luke-7 – The Messiah Comes from King David’s Lineage – The Gospel of St. Luke – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 7 -The Messiah Must Come from King David’s Royal Lineage.  The Genealogy of Jesus Christ: comparing Matthew’s version to Luke’s.

In our last episode, we learned of the head crushing women of the Bible, which raises the question:  are there any head-crushing men in the Bible?  This brings us to the story of David.  We learn in 1 Samuel that through a miraculous conception, Hannah gives birth to Samuel, who she offers back to the Lord for service in the temple.  The Israelites at that time clamor for a king and the Lord appeases them by having Samuel anoint Saul as the first king of Israel.  Under the ineffective Saul, the Israelites are on the verge of being conquered by the Philistines.  Samuel enters the picture once again, and at the Lord’s direction, anoints David.  The spirit of the Lord comes upon the young David, who kills the Philistine giant Goliath with a single rock throw from his sling and then cuts off his head.  The Philistines flee and Israel triumphs.  Blessed be David, another head crusher of the enemy!

Before turning our attention to Luke’s genealogy of Jesus, we spend some time looking at Mary’s lineage.  While scripture does not directly say that Mary was from the line of David, a number of clues are present that would lead us to believe she was.  In response to the Roman census, Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem, which Luke calls the “City of David” indicating the birthplace of the famous king of Israel.  Many of the Church fathers conclude that Mary is from David’s line, including Ignatius of Antioch and Justin Martyr.

We then move to the proclamation of John the Baptist, the new Elijah predicted in Malachi 4.  John also fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”  John preached a baptism of repentance, while Jesus baptizes into the Trinity. John’s purpose was to glorify Jesus, who in turn glorifies the Father.  From Their perfection of love; the Holy Spirit flows as a unique person as well.

We then dig deeper into the genealogies of Luke and Matthew.  How is it that they list different ancestors of Jesus?  The answer is these genealogies are much theological as historical.  Matthew is Jewish, speaks to a Jewish audience and stresses Jewish themes.  He describes three separate groups of 14 generations leading to Jesus:  Abraham to David, David to the Babylonian exile, the end of the exile to the birth of Jesus.  In the Hebrew gematria, David corresponds to the number 14.  In essence, by describing three groups of 14 generations, Matthew is proclaiming “David, David, David.”  Jesus is the new David.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:  www.seekingtruth.net

ST-Luke-6 – The presentation of Jesus in the Temple – The Gospel of St. Luke – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 6 – Mary the Ark of the Covenant and “Do Not Touch the Ark”. The presentation of Jesus in the Temple means the true presence of God is back in the temple again.  Simeon and Anna rejoice.

We begin today’s podcast with St. John’s vision at Patmos in REV 11-12.

The contents of the ark are sacred and not to be touched. Everyone knew the rule; do not touch the ark.  Recall how in Leviticus 10, Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, offered unauthorized fire and were struck dead. David’s man Uzzah was also struck dead when he touched the side of the Ark to steady it (2 Sam 6). We also recall when the Lord slew 70 men who looked into the Ark of the Covenant (1 Sam 6). We too become a tabernacle of meeting each time we receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

The episode continues with the circumcision of Jesus, and Presentation of Jesus in the temple.  We remember from 2 Maccabees 2 that the true presence of God has been absent from the temple ever since Jeremiah sealed the Ark of the Covenant in a cave on the mountain of Moses.  As Mary and Joseph bring the infant Jesus for the purification ceremony, the true presence of God has finally returned to the temple, an event long anticipated and recognized by Simeon and the prophetess Anna. The Holy Family returns to Nazareth for the “hidden” years of Jesus as he grows in strength and wisdom with the favor of God upon him.  Luke 2 concludes with 12-year-old Jesus teaching in the temple:  the true presence of God has returned to the temple yet again, “Why are you looking for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s House?” With the Eucharist present in every tabernacle of every Catholic Church, we have access to the true presence of God at all times.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:  www.seekingtruth.net