Thursday, November 29, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 39 Jesus speaks about two weddings

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Who is Jesus?  Chapter 39  Jesus speaks about two weddings

Matthew 22 and also in chapter 25; Jesus told  two parables about a wedding.  His stories always had a deeper meaning.  See if you can understand and realize the answer to the question even before the question is asked.

Crowds gathered to hear Jesus, and as always there were the chief priests and scribes who listened with anger because they knew he was referring to them in many of his parables,  And although they were wanting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because the people counted Jesus to be a prophet.

The first story Jesus told was "The Parable of the Wedding Feast."   There was much interest about the kingdom of heaven so Jesus was again speaking to the people in parables, saying,  “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to remind those who were invited to the wedding feast, that today is the time to come, but they paid no attention.

Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they were too busy to heed the Kings invitation and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 

This exceedingly angered the king, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 

Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’  So the servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests, each dressed in the wonderful wedding clothes the king had so freely provided.  

 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.  And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’

And the man was without excuse but he refused to answer the king because he was proud and stubborn wanting to do his own thing.  

Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and toss him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  For many are called, but few are chosen.”    

In this story, the fact is we all have been invited, but we have a choice to decide to receive Jesus and to be present in that great celebration in heaven. 

It is a wise person who knows better than to turn down the heavenly invitation.  Our own goodness is as filthy rags in God's sight.  We cannot come to God any other way but the way He has lined out for us to follow.  We must be willing to lay aside our own will and to accept the garment of salvation and be clothed in the Righteousness of Christ.

* * * *

Jesus told another parable about a wedding and the Ten Virgins who were invited. 
He began by saying;  “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.  For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no extra oil with them, but the wise took additional flasks of oil with their lamps. 

Because the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and decided to take a nap.  But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’  

Then all those virgins quickly rose up and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 

But the wise answered, saying, ‘We cannot do that because there will not be enough for us and for you, go find the sellers of oil and buy for yourselves.’ 

And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.  

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’   Watch therefore, for you don't know the day or the hour when the bridegroom will come.

In this story, the fact is even those who are willing to come to the celebration, must keep the fresh oil of the holy Spirit burning in their spirit.  

Ephesians 5:18  Be ever filled with the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 38 Speak your faith and change your Mind

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Now when Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the young colt, the whole city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?"   And the crowds declared, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee."

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant, and they said to Jesus, "Do you hear what these children are saying?" And Jesus replied, "Yes; have you never read, "'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise'?" 

Soon afterwards, Jesus and his disciples left the temple, going to the city of Bethany to spend the night there.  Early the next morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry.  And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found on it nothing but leaves. And he said to the tree, "May no fruit ever come from you again!" And the fig tree immediately began to wither. 

When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree shrivel so quickly?" 

And Jesus answered them, "Of a truth, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only be able to do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen. 
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."

And when Jesus arrived at the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and chided him saying, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" 
Jesus answered them, "I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.  The baptism of John, from where did it come? Was it from heaven or from man?" 

And they discussed it among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?'  But if we say, 'From man,' we are afraid of the crowd, for they all consider that John was a prophet." 
 So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And he said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Then Jesus began to tell a story:   "What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, 'Son, Please go and work in the vineyard today.'   Being very busy with other things, the son answered, 'I can't today,' but afterward he changed his mind and went.   So the man went to the other son and asked him to go work in the vineyard. And this son answered, 'Absolutely, I will go,'  But he did not go.  Which of the two son's did the will of his father?" 

The Priests and the elders said, "It was the first son who changed his mind and went." 

Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.  For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Today we all have our opinions, and many of us have some sort of religious training, but consider to re-think your options, and realize that Jesus is the Son of God, the Only way to heaven. 

It is time to put aside all traditions and understand the religion is a form, but serving Jesus is a Reality.  Jesus desires to have a personal relationship with you that will continue through out eternity.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 37 - Wee Little Zacchaeus and Jesus' Triumphal Entry

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Come Down for I am desiring to Fellowship With You

Who is Jesus? Chapter 37  -  Wee Little Zacchaeus and Jesus' Triumphal Entry

Today's happening of the Triumphal Entry is shared in all four of the Gospels.    Jesus was on a mission to arrive in Jerusalem, but as he was passing through the city of Jericho there was a small man named Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, and he was very rich.   The man was trying to see Jesus, but on account of the crowd and him being so short, he could not see Jesus.  So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see him, because Jesus was about to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he stopped and looked up in the tree and called his name; “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”  So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 
And when the crowd saw it, they all grumbled, “He should not do this; doesn't Jesus know he is going to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”
 And Zacchaeus stood in front of Jesus and spoke; “I repent of my sins, and Lord, half of my goods I will give to the poor.  And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will restore it four times.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Each of us must understand that Jesus knows OUR name and regardless of our past, he is calling you to open the door of your heart so he and you may enjoy fellowship.
A while later Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
  When he drew near to Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples saying“Go into the village ahead of you, where you will find a young colt tied, one which has not yet been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’”  

 Blessed is King Jesus

So they went and found it just as Jesus had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.  And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road and some threw down palm branches with children dancing and rejoicing.  

As he was drawing near to Jerusalem the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen,  saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

This same crowd who that day shouted Blessed is the King, would in a few days change their words to be "We have no king but Caesar - - so crucify this man Jesus."

Today is a good day to make your declaration.  Jesus is MY King and I will praise Him and will serve Him all the days of my life.  Know that Jesus is calling your name and He desires to be your King.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 36; Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

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Who is Jesus? Chapter 36; Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

Early in the ministry of Jesus, certain Greeks desired Philip to bring them to see Jesus.  Before them all Jesus began to pray:
 My soul is troubled; Father, save me from this hour: but for this reason I came and am facing this hour.  Father, glorify thy name. Then there came a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.  The people that stood by heard the voice but said it must be thunder.  Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sake. 
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all
men unto me.  This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Jesus tried to prepare his disciples about his death; that He must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

But the disciples refused to listen because they did not like this kind of message.  Peter openly rebuked Jesus saying "Not so Lord, please do not talk this way, because you are scaring us."

Jesus told Peter that he was listening to the wrong voice and it was time for them all to begin to understand the Big picture of God's eternal plan of salvation. 

Jesus even mentioned the cross as he shared: from Marks's Gospel chapter 8;
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

A few days later as they passed through Galilee; Jesus the second time, again taught his disciples about his death, and said to them, The Son of man is soon to be delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.  But they did not understand his saying, and were afraid to ask him.

You would think the followers of Jesus might get a clue after being told twice that he was about to be betrayed, killed and rise again, but no they were dense and a third time Jesus attempted to help them to understand as they went up to Jerusalem. 

Matthew's gospel chapter 20 says it this way: And Jesus took the twelve disciples aside, and said unto them,  Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. 

Another time Jesus again tried to prepare his disciples that he was going to leave them.  Johns Gospel chapter 14 Jesus shared:  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.   Again, they did not understand that Jesus was saying He was the way to heaven if they would believe in him.

Jesus continued saying; These things have I spoken unto you, while I am still here with you.  But I will not leaved you comfortless,  For the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, what ever I have said unto you.   

It is good for us all to think on these things.  It is good to rejoice that the story has a happy ending, but not a final conclusion.