Tag Archive for: adult study class

Matthew 20:17-28

The Gospel of Matthew

Session 46 – 1/11/2015

Fr. John Codis


Towards the Cross, The False and the True Ambition,

The Lordship of the Cross


Opening thoughts and basis for discussion

Christ, although he knew of his passion and suffering to come gave a confident assertion of the Resurrection. There is life after death, after the suffering and false ambitions we place on ourselves. The ambition should be the Christian life in whatever cup that has been given to us; a cup that either has us in a short or long routine of suffering.

Towards the Cross

Christ knew that he had a terrible passion to live through. He was to be betrayed, condemned to death, mocked, scourged, and crucified.

Even through all this, Christ still gave a certainty that there was glory at the end. This glory is the Resurrection of the Son of Man.

We all struggle through life but there is the great crown which has been created for us that is, if we are willing to realize the revelation of the Resurrection

The False and the True Ambition

The disciples show us their worldly ambition. How often do we concentrate on our worldly success? Our ambition is not focused on the cross. The cross is the road to our ultimate life in Christ; that is if we are willing to accept it.

We have the invincible faith and unshakeable loyalty of the disciples. That invincible faith is an optimism when all things seem to be conspiring against us, of the Kingdom and through the atmosphere of our inescapable cross we will reach it.

We all have a cup which has been given to us to drink. We have a Christian life to live by, whether it be in a moment’s notice or over a lifetime of struggle, this cup is our cross, to simply drink the cup means to follow Christ wherever he may lead.

The Lordship of the Cross

“The Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for many” Matt 20:28. St. Athanasius of Alexandria said, “The Son of God became man, that we might become god.”

Matthew 20:1-20

Adult Christian Education Program

St. Demetrios Church

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gospel of Matthew 20:1-20

Rev. Dr. Christopher T. Metropulos


The First and the Last-Parable of the Workers in the field.

Our Lord illustrates here the principle of the last being first and the first last by telling another parable, for the Kingdom of the heavens is such that it overthrows all the standards of the age. In chapter 19:27 Peter showed that he was very concerned that he be adequately rewarded for his labor, and was worried that God might unjustly overlook his sacrifice and work. Christ did perceive the question lurking in the background and saw a dangerous attitude in it. In the Kingdom, God’s response to men was still the one of grace, not one of works. God would give to each more than he deserved. Thank God for His mercy and love for us…

The story: a housemaster (landowner) went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He promised the money of the time, denarius for pay. It started in the third hour (9am) which was the normal time for people to find work. Then on to the sixth and ninth hour which is 12 Noon and 3pm. Then on to the eleventh hour which is 5pm. In the late hour of the day he found some men standing idly and asked them why they did not have work and their response was no one asked us to work.

Review the discussion of the landlord with the workers… Realistic expectations and knowing what we sign on for in each encounter with God’s creation.

Warning presented to the disciples and to us in this biblical stop.

A warning to the disciples which was you have received much from Me and the Church in the early days but this does not mean that others will not come along and receive the message and possibly become greater guardians of the faith. Faith is not something that each of us owns rather it is something that gains its power when we give it away. There is no such thing as a favorite nation’s clause.

Infinite compassion of God. It wasn’t that the laborers were lazy it was they were not offered work to do from the start as others where in the beginning of the reading.

By this parable Christ reveals the unworthy and grasping nature of such complaints. The righteous were offered the Kingdom, just like the rest. What harm is it to them if God grants the Kingdom also to the righteous who repent. We own nothing. We just gratefully should receive God’s blessings.

This is the third time that Jesus warned his disciples that he was on the way to the Cross.

Matthew 19:10-22

The Gospel of Matthew

Session 43 – 12/21/2014

Fr. John Codis


The realization of the Ideal, Jesus’ Welcome for the Children, The Great Refusal

Only the Christian can accept the Christian ethic

Christ speaks about celibacy as a gift from God, just as marriage between a man and woman is also a gift from God.

“The holiness of virginity not as a rejection of marriage, but as a special calling for those to whom it has been given.”

Christ acknowledges not everyone can make room in his heart for this word of teaching, and that most men will find it difficult, to not marry. In the world, it is easier to regard marriage simply as a contract one can make or break at will. But those to whom it has been given by God to become His disciples are not of the world. They belong to the Kingdom and can, through God, do the apparently impossible.

Christ Welcomes Children

Although the disciples rebuke the mothers and their children, Christ instead allowed the children to approach him and said let these children be the example to all of you; they are the ones who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Great Refusal

We are to be wholly open to all the things Christ asks of us, even it if makes us uncomfortable in our minds. This feeling of discomfort can only be cured by picking up our cross and following Christ.

If we truly wish to become disciples of God, then we must not be like the young man and feel sorrow for when we must give up the lap of luxury. We must rejoice that God has a higher calling for us, a calling to perfection which we are made for.



Matthew 18:21-35; 19:1-9

Adult Christian Education

Rev. Christopher T. Metropulos

Matthew 18:21-35, 19:1-9

pgs.’ 52-53


Forgiveness in the Church

  1. Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
    1. Peter comes to Christ with a question, “How often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?”
    2. Jesus response not “up to seven times but up to seventy times seven”

Do not keep track of wrong doings

Parable- story of a man, a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves.

Talents- each talent worth approx., six thousand denarii, or six thousand days’ wages for the laborer, 10,000 talents was an extraordinary amount. Debt is unrealistic- billions of dollars in today’s world. Figure is huge because it images the debt of sin we owe to the King of Heaven.

The slaves plea and later actions toward one who owed him 100 denarii (that is just over 3 month wages for the working man, a figure 600,000 times less than he owed the King.)

“Be patient with me and I will repay you”

Reasonable demand of the King to forgive what the man could not do even though his life and family were spared.

Message to us- forgive, forget, move on.

The past is behind us, the future is unknown, live in the joy of the present!


  1. Final part of Christ’s journey to Jerusalem (20:17)

Wherever Jesus went, there was the power of God.

  1. Conflict with the Pharisee over Divorce
    1. They ask if it is permitted for a man to dismiss his wife in divorce in every cause. It wans’t a question but a trap.
    2. Jesus Christ refers them to scripture- He who created them Gen 2:24,  a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, so that the two will be one flesh.
  • Pharisee refer to what Moses wrote later in the law

A man shall give his wife a booklet of divorces and dismiss her (Deut. 24:1-3) If divorce is contrary to the will of God, why did Moses

command this? To prevent serial divorces and remarriage of the same women. This was a practice referring to the trading of animals.

  1. Christ rather severe response and acknowledgement not everyone can make room in his heart for his word of teaching.

Matthew 18:10-20

The Gospel of Matthew


Sampson Kasapakis

Matthew 18:10-20

Finding the Lost Sheep


“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

–Matthew 18:10-14


  • This narrative of finding the Lost Sheep can also be found in Luke 15:3-7. Take a look at this version as well.
  • Look at some of the bible passages where we are compared to sheep within parables.

Some examples are: 1 James 2:25, John 10:11-16, John 10:26-30, Matthew 25:31-46

  • What is the symbolic nature of a sheep? How are we like sheep?


-“He calls them “sheep” on account of their gentleness, and because they yield fruit and useful things for us, as do sheep, providing wool, which is divine and spiritual protection, and milk, which is the spiritual sustenance of what is needed. The goats are the sinners, for they walk along the precipices and are unruly and fruitless”- Blessed Theophylact

-The Greek word for sheep is πρόβατον. It literally means any four-footed, tame animal accustomed to graze, most common a sheep or a goat; but especially a sheep. The word has a deeper meaning than just that when broken down. The word πρόβατον is a derivative of προβαίνω. When you dissect it you see two words, πρός, from πρός, meaning, toward, and βαίνω, to go, which is really from βάσις, which means a step, or in the verb form, to take a step. When it is broken down like this you can see why we as Gods People are compared to sheep. We are just like sheep, in a manner of we are to take steps towards something, and that something is God.

The weekly challenge: Be a sheep…I know it sounds ridiculous but hopefully after this it wont: “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you…”

–Matthew 25:32-34

Weekly Sunday Bulletin – 10th Sunday of Luke

St. SpyridonDecember 7, 2014

O Father, God-bearer, Spyridon, you were proven a champion and Wonder Worker of the First Ecumenical Council. You spoke to the girl in the grave and turned the serpent to gold. And, when chanting your prayers, most sacred One, angels ministered with you. Glory to Him who glorified you; glory to Him who crowned you; glory to Him who, through you, works healing for all.
December 12 – Apolytikion of Spyridon the Wonderworker in the First Tone

Parish Council on Duty
George Georgakakis, Manny Daskos, Eleni Varvoutis, Michael Haralambis, Michael Fossler, Juanita Antley

Matthew 14:1-14

The Gospel of Matthew

Session 40 – 11/30/2014

Fr. John Codis


The Essence of Christian Discipleship


Seven qualities can mark the personal relationship of the Christian. They are: humility, responsibility, self-renunciation, individual care, discipline, fellowship, and spirit of forgiveness.

Unless you turn

Christ warns the disciples that they are going in the completely wrong way by asking “who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” This indicates that the disciples had no idea what the Kingdom of Heaven was. Christ said, “Unless you turn.” Focus yourself on forgetting selfish ambitions and a life of service not power.

Become as little children

There are many characteristics in a child which mark the man of the kingdom: the power to wonder, the power to forgive, the innocence, and only to do.

There are three great qualities which make a child the symbol of those who are citizens in the Kingdom.

  1. Humility
  2. Dependence
  3. Trust

“A child’s humility is the pattern of the Christian’s behavior to his fellow man, and the child dependence and trust are the pattern of the Christians attitude towards God, the Father.”

A terrible responsibility

There is nothing more terrible than to destroy someone’s innocence. If we are called to be “as little children,” to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and we destroy others innocence a great weight is laid upon us. It is better to have a large millstone hung around our necks and be drowned in the open sea.

This responsibility is given to us not to teach another to sin!

Yes there is sin within the world. “It is inevitable to avoid temptations in a world which sin has entered; but that does not lessen the responsibility of the man who is the cause of a stumbling-block being placed in the way of a younger person or of a beginner in the faith.”

It is therefore our responsibility to remove the stumbling-blocks never to place them in another’s way.

“In every child there are infinite possibilities for good or ill. It is the supreme responsibility of the parent, of the teacher, of the Christian Church, to see that his dynamic possibilities for good are realized. To stifle them, to leave them untapped, to twist them into evil powers, is sin.”

God’s Love

  1. Individual
  2. Patient
  3. Seeking
  4. Rejoicing
  5. Protecting

Christ will always go after us no matter how far we stray from the path. His love is forever and will always find us.

Matthew 17:9-27

Adult Christian Education

Rev. Christopher T. Metropulos

Matthew 17:9-27

November 23, 2014

pgs.’ 49-50


  1. The Descent from the Mountain and healing of the Demonic Child
  2. Takes place after Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. It is good for us to be here.
  3. Request of the Demoniac’s father.
  4. Jesus’s response to the father’s lack of faith- its meaning for him and us.
  5. Disciples lack of faith- not being able to perform the miracle.
  6. Faith of a mustard seed.
  7. Jesus Suffering- the imminent delivery of Christ to be crucified.
  8. Jesus pays the Temple Tax.
  9. Does not your Teacher pay the temple tax?
  10. From whom do the kings of the earth receive custom or poll tax- from their sons or from others? From others. Then the sons are free.

Matthew 16:24-17:1-8

The Gospel of Matthew

Session 38 – 11/16/2014

Sampson Kasapakis



Bible Passage:

16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

17:1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us [a] make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”While he was still speaking, behold, a cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

What it means to take up our Cross:

  • Today and every day are called to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow a life towards Christ.
  • When we look at the literal definition of denying oneself, it is defined as a refrain from satisfying one’s desires and needs.
  • One of the early Church Fathers, Caesarea of Arles, says, “Just as we are lost through loving ourselves, so we are found by denying ourselves.”
  • Looking at the Greek text, the words that are used for taking up our cross are “ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ.” Aράτω can mean to take up or away, but what is more interesting is that it is similar to the Hebrew word nasa’ which means to expiate sin, remove sin.

The Meaning of the Transfiguration of our Lord:

  • It was a lesson for the disciples about who Jesus was.
  • The Transfiguration occurred to show the true authority of Jesus Christ.
  • It confirmed that the Kingdom of the Messiah would be characterized by glory.
  • It is the key to understanding the Cross of Jesus and His commitment to it.