Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 35 Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead

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The message for today is from John's gospel chapter 11.  

Often when Jesus came through the town of Bethany, he would stop over at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, to rest and have a meal.  They became good friends. but one day while Jesus was in another city, he received a message from Lazarus's sisters Martha and Mary which said, “Lord, your friend whom you love is ill.”   
But when Jesus heard it he said to his disciples, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

Now Jesus cared about Martha, Mary and Lazarus.  But even hearing that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  Then he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”  The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews in Judea are desiring to stone you, and are you sure you want to return there again?”
Jesus said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I must go to awaken him.”  The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, perhaps we should let him rest.”  Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.  Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died."

Now when Jesus arrived just outside the village of Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.  Now many of the Jews had come from Jerusalem to comfort Martha and Mary concerning their brother's death.  So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, but Mary stayed with the others. 

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live,  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

When she had said this, she hurried back to speak with her sister Mary, saying, “The Master is here and is calling for you.” And Mary immediately got up and went to him.  When the Jews who were with her in the house, saw Mary get up so quickly, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the grave to weep.  When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 

And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Then Jesus began to weep.  So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 

Some have wondered why Jesus was weeping ? ? The crowd thought he was weeping because Lazarus was dead; but wait - - there was another reason Jesus was so moved. 
Both Martha and Mary had just blamed Jesus for their brother's death saying if you had come sooner when we first sent you the message, our brother would still be alive - so there.  In their sorrow, these harsh words were like a slap in the face to Jesus.  

Tenderly Jesus told them he was going to rise Lazarus from the dead, but both women were so deeply involved in grief, and entrenched in Unbelief, they could not accept what Jesus was telling them about the present day.  Instead they could only refer his words to an event in the far away future.  Even the crowd was against him, saying all kinds of negative remarks about Jesus.  He marveled at all their unbelief.

Some of the mourners were critical saying, “If he could open the eyes of the blind man why didn't he keep this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb which was a cave, with a stone door.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be a terrible smell, for he has been dead four days.”

Jesus said to her, “Didn't I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
With hesitation they obeyed and removed the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me. I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 

When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” Lazarus, who had died came hobbling out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him,  but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what was done.   So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What shall we do? For this man Jesus performs many signs and wonders.  If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away our positions and our place.” 

But one of them, Caiaphas; who was high priest that year, said to them, “Don't you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”  Being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,  and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one family the children of God who are scattered abroad.  So from that day on the religious council made plans to put Jesus to death.

I am reminded in Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, yet we too are guilty at times of relegating our miracle to the future instead of realizing that God desires for us to enjoy health, provision, protection now, today.  As Jesus told Mary and Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life, and those who believe in me shall never die."  Wait a minute, don't we all expect to die someday?  Yes, but what was Jesus really saying.  Eternal Life is ours when we receive Jesus, so when a believer "dies" physically on this earth, their Spirit does not die, but is merely continuing on in a different form of life everlasting with Jesus in heaven.  

If you have not already do so - - Receive Jesus now - and receive His eternal Life in your spirit.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Who is Jesus chapter 34b Jesus spits - - this time on a Blind man.

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I See people like trees walking - - touch me again, Jesus

Who is Jesus chapter 34b  Jesus spits - - this time on a Blind man.

During the ministry of Jesus, he healed all kinds of diseases, including deafness and blindness.  We remember the happening of the man born blind, who was healed on the Sabbath day.  On that day, Jesus spit and made mud rubbing it on his eyes.  I wonder if he was simply creating new eye balls and putting them into the man's eyes.  Anyway, religious leaders after questioning the now healed man, cast him out of the synagogue for believing on Jesus.  His parents were afraid they too might be cast out, but they did admit to the leaders that this was their son who was born blind and now he can see.

Mark's gospel, chapter 8 tells the story of another blind man healed by Jesus.  At Bethsaida some people brought to Jesus a blind man and begged him to touch him.  For some reason, Jesus wanted privacy, so he took this blind man by the hand and led him out of the village away from the crowd.   

And when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”  The man looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”    Then Jesus  laid his hands on his eyes again; and when he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.   And Jesus sent him to his home, saying, “Go straight home, and do not even enter the village.”

Mark's gospel, chapter 10 tells of a blind beggar that Jesus healed:
A few days later, As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd was following them, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.  And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and yell loudly, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  

Now those standing near the blind beggar scolded him, telling him to be quiet.  But he paid no attention to them and cried out all the more, and this time even louder - - “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”    Jesus heard him and stopped in his tracks and said, “Call him to come to me.” 

And so they called the blind man, saying to him, “This is your lucky day.  Get up; because Jesus is calling you.”   And throwing off his blanket, he jumped up and came to Jesus.  

And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Jesus knew what he wanted, but it was important for the man to tell Jesus what it was he needed.)   

The blind man said to him, “Rabbi, that I might recover my sight.”  And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately his sight returned to him and he followed Jesus.

Today my friend, Jesus is calling you; Jesus is saying, "Come to me, what is it you want me to do for you?"  Although I don't believe in lucky days, but I do believe in Blessed days, and today can be your day of blessing when you come to Jesus and lay out your life before Him. Just tell Him like it is.  

Often we are blinded to the truth and all it takes is for God's light to shine in our hearts and reveal to us the reality of Jesus being the one who can bring you into the family of God and cause you to become his child.  By His Holy Spirit, he sets up His kingdom in the hearts of believers.  

Do you believe Jesus is the Messiah?  You can ask him to open your eyes to see all that He desires you to be.  It is as simple as saying;  "Here I am Lord Jesus, I come to you now, open my eyes so that I may see all you have for me."

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 34 Jesus delivers a woman's daughter and spits on a deaf man

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Who is Jesus?  Chapter 34  Jesus delivers a woman's daughter and spits on a deaf man

The happenings in today's message are from Mark's gospel chapter 7

The Jewish religious leaders were always disapproving of Jesus and condemning him, especially because Jesus healed people on the Sabbath day.  Also from what he was teaching; Jesus was putting himself equal with His father God and they were furious.  So one day they criticized the disciples eating bread without going through the traditional way to wash your hands.  Jesus rebuked them by saying: "Isaiah did prophesy well about you hypocrites, as it is written;  'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'  "You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men."

Jesus said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!  God's word says to honor your father and your mother, but you use the money that should go for your parents support, for other things and say it is for God's work.  Jesus went on to speak of defilement as to what is in your heart; "What comes out of a person's heart is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."  Jesus turned his back and moved on . . .

And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know where he was, never the less, he could not be hidden as word spread.  But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet.  Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by her nation; And she begged Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter. The disciples asked Jesus to send her away because she is bothering us and besides, she is a Gentile, she is not worthy of help.   

But Jesus answered and said to her, "I am sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."  Then she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me."  Jesus continued saying: "Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she answered him, "Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." And he said to her, "For this wise statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter." And she went home and found her daughter calmly resting in bed and the demon was gone.

Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis And they brought to Jesus a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and his friends begged Jesus to lay his hands on him. 

And Jesus took the man aside away from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched the man's tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more earnestly they proclaimed his fame. And the people were astonished beyond measure, saying, "Jesus has done all things well.  He even makes the deaf to be able to hear and the mute to speak."

Today we see that God desires our heart to be changed if we are harboring sin or ill will towards others.  We also viewed that Jesus had mercy on a Gentile woman who was not a Jew and delivered her oppressed daughter.  Amazing enough was the fact that blindness, deafness and not being able to speak was viewed as a curse and it was a custom for people to spit on them in disgust.  Jesus used his spit to bless the man by touching his tongue and healing his speech and also cured his deafness. 

Wow; Jesus is the Awesome teacher, mighty deliverer, and healer of spirit, soul and body. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 33 Who is my Neighbor?

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Who is Jesus? Chapter 33  Who is my Neighbor?

The happenings in today's message are taken from the Gospel of Luke chapter 10.
Jesus had appointed 72 of His followers to go two by two and preach about him being the Messiah, to heal the sick and cast out demons.  The 72 returned rejoicing saying; “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”  And Jesus said to them, “Yes, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  However, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

As Jesus continued to teach and minister, a young lawyer stood up to test him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you understand it?”  And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  And Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But the lawyer, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “Tell me, who is my neighbor?” 

Jesus replied with a story as he often did to explain; “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and some robbers surrounded him, stripped off his clothes, beat him and left him half dead lying in the road.  Now as it so happened a priest was going down that road, and when he saw the injured man he gingerly pulled up his robe so as to not soil it, and crossed to the other side of the road.  Soon a Levite approached but when he saw the wounded man, he also passed by on the other side. 

But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where the man was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he carefully placed him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  And the next day he took out money which was about two days wages and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and if you spend more, I will repay you when I come back.’

Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 

He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Now as Jesus continued on his journey teaching and ministering, he entered the village of Bethany.  And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.  But Martha was distracted with much serving her guests. And she went up to Jesus and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Please tell her  to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

So in today's broadcast we have considered that as believers we can go forward in Jesus name and especially rejoice that our names are written in heaven.  We must also consider that our neighbor is the person who needs our help.   And may we always be reminded that no matter how busy we are doing those things that seem important to us, we must also take time to sit at Jesus feet and learn more about Him and all He desires for us to do for Him.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 32 A Woman Anoints the Feet of Jesus

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Who is Jesus? Chapter 32  A Woman Anoints the Feet of Jesus   (from Luke 7)

Jesus had been traveling and teaching for many hours and the day was nearing evening.  One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home and eat with him, and so he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at a table. 

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that Jesus was having a meal in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of sweet smelling ointment,  and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet, anointing them with the ointment. 

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known what sort of woman this is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 

And Jesus knowing The Pharisee's thoughts said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Go ahead and say it, Teacher.”  

You will remember that Jesus often told stories and there was a reason behind all this.  He wanted to make a point to illustrate a bigger picture to all who were in the house so He began by saying;

 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed several thousand dollars, and the other one a few hundred dollars. When they could not pay, he cancelled both their debts. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 

Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 

You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.
You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 

And he said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”  Then those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”
And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

The woman; a sinner had some to worship Jesus and show her love for him, and he repaid her by forgiving her sins, and telling her to go in peace.  Jesus knew she was a sinner, because Jesus knows all about each and every one of us.  He understands we are frail, but He wants to make us strong.  He is ready to forgive the sins of the worse sinner and also the sins of those who think they are good enough already and don't need to be forgiven.

The woman did not care what others thought about her, she came to Jesus and received forgiveness and she left a righteous person.  

Jesus is reaching out today to forgive your sins, large or small, regardless - - Jesus loves and cares for you and will always be with you no matter what.  Kneel at his feet and he will accept you into His kingdom.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 31 "Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant and Raises a Widow's Son"

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Who is Jesus? Chapter 31
"Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant and Raises a Widow's Son" 

Today's happenings about Jesus are taken from the Gospel of  Luke chapter 7:

After Jesus had finished a long session of teaching the people, he departed and entered the city of Capernaum Now a High ranking Centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, and the servant was highly thought of and was like one of the family.

When the noble Centurion heard about Jesus, he sent a message to Jesus by way of the elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant.  And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, "This man is worthy to have you do this for him, because he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue."  

So Jesus turned to go with them to the man's home.  Now when he was close by the house, the Centurion sent friends, saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof.  This is the reason I did not presume to come to you.   I know all you need to do is say the word, and my servant will be healed.

Because I too am a man given authority by my superiors, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it.  By this I know that all you need to do is speak the word and my servant will be healed."

When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." 
And when the messengers returned to the house, they found the servant well.

Soon afterward Jesus, and his disciples and a great crowd following him, traveled to a town called Nain. 

As he came near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out; the only son of his widowed mother, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.  Now Jesus knew the widow depended on her son to take care of her, so she was extremely heartbroken because of his passing at such a young age.

And when Jesus saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep."  Then Jesus came up and touched the stretcher and those who were carrying it stood still. And Jesus said, "Young man, I say to you, arise."  And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother alive and well. 

Fear and amazement seized all the crowd that had gathered, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and "God has visited his people!"  And this report about Jesus spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

Paul reminds us in Hebrews 13:7-9 Remember your leaders who have spoken God's word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives - - imitate their faith.  
Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Be not carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace and truth. 

Might I ask:  "Are you paying attention to the message you are hearing?"