Saturday, September 29, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 30 Jesus and the Adulterous Woman

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Who is Jesus? Chapter 30  Jesus and the Adulterous Woman  

As he often did Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray, and about dawn he came again to the temple.  All the people came to him, and he sat down to teach them.  

Soon the Religious leaders and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and had her stand before them.  They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery.  Now Moses commanded us to stone such a women. So what do you say?”  This they said to test him, so they might have some charge to bring against him.

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  And as they continued to question him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  And once more he stooped down and continued to write in the dust.  

(I have often wondered what Jesus was writing in the dust of the ground.  Do you suppose he was writing the names of those who were guilty of this very sin?)  

What ever he wrote, conviction set in and those who heard him begin to leave one by one, first the older ones, and finally, Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on - - sin no more.”  She knew it was time for a life style change for she owed her life to Jesus.

The people had observed all this and were amazed at his wisdom.  Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  Jesus said to the Jews who had believed on him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  

Jesus did not accept the woman's act of adultery as an okay thing to do.  Rather than judge her, He forgave her and told her to stop living that way and to change her occupation.

When God created man and woman; sex was God's idea.  His perfect plan was for man and woman to leave their father and mother and live together in marriage harmony enjoying one another.  God intended for marriage to be holy and sex inside of marriage to be lawful and right.

Paul reminded us in  Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be kept honorable in every way, and the marriage bed undefined.  For God will judge those who commit sexual sins, especially those who commit adultery.

Paul continue in his letter to the Ephesians chapter 5:  "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)  and find out what pleases the Lord."  

If you are being tempted to engage in sex outside of marriage, let me suggest:  If you both consider yourselves to be in love, it is up to the man to bring a lawful and legal solution to your union.  If he truly loves the woman, he will take action to be united with her in marriage which not only brings respect to the woman he loves, but legal rights and financial gains for her upon his death. (if he should go first.)

Jesus cared for the woman and gave her a choice.  It was up to her to make those decisions on how to live. 

Today out of His love for you; Jesus is asking you to decide to put Him first and to obey his plans for you and for your life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 29 Jesus Says Some Puzzling Words

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Body of Christ - and Blood of Christ

Who is Jesus? Chapter 29  Jesus Says Some Puzzling Words

Today's message is taken from John chapter 6.  

Although Jesus ministered from boats, many times out in the desert or on Mountain tops, it was often that he taught in the Jewish Synagogue.  One Sabbath day as he taught in the synagogue located in Capernaum, the people found him there and asked; “Rabbi, when did you come here?”  

Jesus answered them, Of a truth, you are seeking me, because you ate your fill of the loaves.  Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. 

Then they said to him, “How must we do the works of God?”  Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom God has sent.” Jesus then said to them, “I tell you the truth, indeed Moses gave you manna, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.   All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 

So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”   Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves.  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.  I truly tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and receive eternal life.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world - - is my flesh.”  

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  So Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, know that I will raise him up on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 
(Okay Jesus, now you are changing the subject and getting weird - why is this?  Tell me Jesus; Are you looking into your future when your flesh is broken and placed on the cross for our sins and healing?  Are you speaking of the table of communion in remembrance of your death?  Those listening to you, do not see into your future, because their eyes are only fixed on what you can do for them each day for their food.  In a few days there same people might be part of the crowd that yells 'crucify him.') 

On hearing these strange words and not understanding that Jesus was speaking of spiritual things referring to his future in a few days.  Very soon when his body would be broken during his appointed time of judgement, and the glorious future celebration of communion.  They could not understand that Jesus was not speaking of actually eating his flesh and drinking his blood, so as natural men, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching.  Who can accept it?”

Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?  Then what if you see the Son of Man go up in a cloud to heaven where he was before!  (This too was a future event when after the resurrection, Jesus would return to heaven in a cloud.)  The Spirit gives life and the words I have spoken to you they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.  

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.   So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 

 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”  (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though he was one of the Twelve, later would betray him.)    

Today are you like Peter who says, I believe You are the Holy One of God?

Monday, September 24, 2018

Who is Jesus? Part 28 Jesus Heals a Blind Man - from John 9)

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Jesus Anoints a Blind Man with mud - -

Who is Jesus? Chapter 28 -  Jesus heals a Blind man - - from John 9)

Jesus had been teaching at the temple in Jerusalem, and as he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth.  And his disciples asked him, “Master, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be done in him.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  

Having said these things, Jesus spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.”  So he went and washed and came back seeing. 

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?”  Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he looks like him.”  But he kept saying, “Yes, I am the man.”  So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”  He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

The neighbors decided to bring the man who had formerly been blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.  So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “Jesus put mud on my eyes, and I washed like he told me, and now I see.”  Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” 

But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.  So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?”  The man declared: “He is a prophet.”

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the man's parents and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?  How then is he able to see?”  

His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind;  But how he now sees we do not know, neither do we know who opened his eyes.  Ask him; he is of age.  He will speak for himself.”  (His parents said, 'He is old enough, ask him,' because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ and the Messiah, he was to be put out of the synagogue.)
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”  He answered, “If he is a sinner I do not know.  One thing I do know, that once I was blind, now I can see.”  

They said to him, “What did he do to you?  How did he open your eyes?”  He answered them, “I have told you already, and you refused to listen.  Why do you want to hear it again?  Do you also want to become his disciples?”  And they became very angry and reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.  We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”  

The man answered, “This is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.  We know that if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.   Since the world began - - it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  

They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and do you assume to teach us?”  And with one accord they cast him out.  (To be thrown out of a synagogue and lose their Jewish privileges, was very humiliating to a Jew.)

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, so He found him and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  He answered, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”  

Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is now speaking to you.”  He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he fell down at Jesus feet and worshiped him. 

The once blind man acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah and worshiped Him as God.  

Often our spiritual eyes are blinded to the truth about Jesus, but when we ask Jesus to remove our blindness, we will recognize that Jesus is Lord.  If you have not already done so; Today is a good time to tell Jesus you believe in Him and you will follow Him all the days of your life.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 27 "Jesus Walks on the Water"

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Jesus had been teaching for many hours, and the feeding of the 5000 had been completed.  

John chapter 6 records:  'After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. '

Jesus discerned the thoughts of the people; Here was their opportunity, all they could see was daily food without work and this appealed to their selfish nature.

At the instruction of Jesus, his disciples entered their ship and determined to go to the other side of the sea, as Jesus sent the people away, He ascended higher up on the mountain to pray and be alone with His Father God.

Matthew chapter 14 states: "But their ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary."   Rowing very hard, they were only able to go about 3 or 4 miles and the disciples were not able to control their ship because of the storm.  Their greatest fear was that they might perish. 

Mark 6 tells us it was sometime between 3:00 and 6:00 in the early morning Jesus was alone standing on the land watching.  He could see the disciples rowing frantically as the winds and waves tossed their boat and - - Immediately Jesus went to them walking on the water.   (Wow - - That must have been an amazing sight, and scary too.)

And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost; and they cried out in fear.  But right away, Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer; it is I; do not be afraid." 

Can you really blame the disciples for being afraid?  How would you have reacted if you had been there?  I think I know the answer and so do you.

Peter hoping that maybe this was really Jesus and not a spirit, answered Jesus by saying, "If it is really you, then ask me to come to you on the water." And Jesus said, "Come."  Taking a bold step of faith, Peter stepped out and began to walk on the water toward Jesus, but suddenly fear took over and he looked down at the troubled sea and began to sink.  His next move was a good one, because Peter cried out "Lord Save me." 

Immediately Jesus reached out and caught the sinking man, and lifted him up, saying to him;  "Oh you of little Faith, why did you doubt?"

As the two of them entered the boat the wind and waves ceased and all who were in the ship fell at Jesus feet and worshiped him saying: "Truly you are the Son of God."

The disciples took some deep consideration to confess that Jesus was the Messiah, but never the less, Jesus accepted their worship, and if he were merely mortal and not God, it would have been wrong to allow them to deify him. 

Today each of us need to understand that Jesus is waiting to hear what we have decided about him.  Are you ready to say; "Jesus you are the Son of God, and I will worship you?"

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 26 Jesus teaches about Life

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Who is Jesus? Chapter 26  Jesus Teaches about Life - From Matthew 7

High up on the mountain was a favorite place for Jesus to use as a place of solitude, but the crowds often followed him.  Then he would find a place to sit where they could hear him teach.  

On one occasion they asked Jesus to teach them to pray and he gave them an example:   1. Address God as your father:  "Our Father which is in heaven - -2. "Tell Him you recognize he is Holy:  "Hallowed be your name."  3. Give Him permission for His will to be done on earth:  "Your Kingdom Come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  4. Ask Him for your daily provision:  "Give us this day our daily bread," 5. Ask for forgiveness and help to forgive others: "And Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."  6. Ask for assistance to avoid evil and to live right: "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,"  7. Acknowledge that God is supreme and His Power and Glory is over all the earth: "For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

Jesus began to teach about Judging others:   He said, it is better not to judge, because it will come back on you.  For with the judgment you declare, you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  

Why do you see the tiny speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the two by four that is in your own eye?   You hypocrite, first take the big log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Jesus continued to teach about Asking, Seeking and Knocking:  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 

Jesus compared asking God for something you need, with a child asking of their earthly father:  He put it this way:  "Which one of you, if your son asks you for bread, will give him a stone?   Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  Or if they ask for an egg, do you give him a scorpion? Of course not!   If you then, who are natural men, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Jesus continued to teach what we know as the Golden Rule:  "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."  

 Following Jesus Christ is not always easy, and he gave an example about two gates:  "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, but the path to eternal life - - is worth every step you take.

Jesus warned about false teaching that sounds good, but is not the true gospel.  He said:  "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit and is cut down and thrown into the fire. 

Jesus likened allowing Him to be your foundation for life; as a wise man building a house.  He put it this way:  "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”  

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. 

God's Word is still teaching every one of us today.  Are you paying attention to what Jesus is asking you to do?  He is calling you to follow Him and allow Him to be Lord of your life.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 25 The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath

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Who is Jesus? Chapter 25 - The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath  
(Today's happening is taken from John chapter five: ESV)

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic  called Bethesda, which has five roofed porches.  In these lay a multitude of invalids; blind, lame, and paralyzed.  One man was there who had been crippled for thirty-eight years.  

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”  The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”  Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath.  So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is against the law for you to take up your bed today.”  But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man told me to ‘Take up my bed, and walk.’”  They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”  Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a large crowd in the place. 

 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made whole! Sin no more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.”  The man went away and told the Religious Leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.  And this was the reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.  But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus began to tell the Religious Leaders where he received his authority and said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing.  For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.   For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that He himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 

Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.  I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me receives eternal life; and he does not come into judgment, but has passed from spiritual death to eternal life.

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.  And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of God.  

Jesus continued to speak to the Religious Leaders: "For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,  Yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.  For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Today we have heard Jesus testify of himself, that all He did was a direct command from our Father God, and if we seriously take these Words and believe in Jesus as God's son, we shall pass from spiritual death to eternal life.  

A wise person will say Yes to Jesus.  I believe and I receive your everlasting life, come into my life and I will follow you always.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Who is Jesus? chapter 24 Jesus is Transfigured and Delivers a Possessed Boy

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Who is Jesus? chapter 24  Jesus is Transfigured and Delivers a Possessed Boy

Our message today is from Mark chapter 9 English Standard Version.  Jesus was speaking to his disciples and he said to them, “Of a truth, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”  (In six days they were to SEE the Glory of the Kingdom in a glance.)

After six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured or changed before them,  and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.  And there appeared him, Elijah and Moses, as they were talking with Jesus.  And Peter not knowing what else to say, declared to Jesus, “Master,  it is good that we are here.  Let us make three temples, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah."  Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”  

And suddenly, as quick at it happened, as they looked around, they no longer saw anyone else with them but only Jesus.  And they were terrified at what they saw and heard. 

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  So they kept the matter to themselves, but they were puzzled and wondered what this rising from the dead might mean. 

 As they descended from the mountain and came to the other disciples, they saw a great crowd, and scribes arguing with them.  And immediately all the crowd, when they saw Jesus, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him.  And Jesus asked them, “What are you arguing about with the scribes?”

And a man from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that causes him to not be able to speak.  And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.  So I asked your disciples to cast out the spirit, and they were not able.”   And Jesus answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to bear with you?  Bring him to me.”
And they brought the young boy to him. And when the spirit saw Jesus, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground rolling about, foaming at the mouth.  And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.  Often it has thrown him into fire and into water, to destroy him; But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”  And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can believe, All things are possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out  saying, “I believe; help my unbelief!”  And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You voiceless and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, the spirit came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took the boy by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.  

When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast the spirit out?”  And Jesus said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know where he was because he wanted privacy so he could teach his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”  But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Jesus was desiring to prepare his disciples for his death, burial and resurrection, but their spiritual understanding was darkened and they failed to realize the truth in what Jesus was telling them.  

How often do we find ourselves unwilling to listen and understand what the Holy spirit is saying to us?  May be open our spiritual ears to listen and then with our heart be ready and willing to obey God's plan for the day, for the coming weeks, and possibly be willing to accept a change coming in the new future.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 23 - - Who do you Say I am?

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Who is Jesus? Chapter 23 - - Jesus asks; Who do you Say I am?
Today my desire is to take you to some happenings that are recorded in Matthew chapter 15 and 16 and also in Mark chapter 8.
Everywhere Jesus went he was pushed and prodded as people tried to reach out and touch him.  Jesus often needed to get away from the crowds to rest. At this time he went up on the mountain and sat down there.  And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered; and they glorified the God of Israel.

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way." And the disciples said to him, "Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?" And Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish."   Directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and gave thanks as he broke the food and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples distributed them to the crowds.  

And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.  And after sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

The Pharisees and Sadducees  came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.  Jesus knew their hearts were full of unbelief, and he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, Why do you seek after a sign? I must say to you, There shall no sign be given except that of Jonah.  And he left them, got into the boat again and departed to the other side. 

When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “Is he saying this because we brought no bread.”  

But Jesus, aware of this, said, “why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread?  Do you not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?  Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?  How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread?  Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  

Today we must also be careful what we read and messages we listen to that seem good; and to examine what actually does the Bible say?  Many are deceived by man's opinion or fanciful stories instead of the true gospel. 

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  He said to them, “What about YOU; who do YOU say that I am?” 

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  And Jesus answered him, “Simon, You are Blessed! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 

Now Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Today, this also is a good question for us to consider and to make our choice now to follow Jesus the Christ.  Nothing in this world would be of value if we were to lose our own soul.  If you have not already done so, decide today to receive Jesus into your life and follow him.  He is just a prayer away.