Dead On The Cross

All Thy works shall praise Thee, O LORD; and Thy saints shall bless Thee. They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, and talk of Thy power; to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.  Psalm 145:10-13

But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.  And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.  For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “A bone of Him shall not be broken.”  And again another Scripture saith, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”        John 19:34-37

The Psalm tells us that the works of God shall praise Him. As far as Adam’s race is concerned the great gift of God, the great work of God is the sending of His Son Jesus to be the  propitiation for the sins of Adam kind. Jesus said it, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent”  (John 6:29). This is the great work or God that ought, I say, that ought to get our attention; and partly because of the above verses of John 19:34-37.

The verses of John prove that Jesus was dead. He was not faking His death; not swooning as some call it. He died. He was dead on the cross. He showed that His death was under the power of His Father, that no man could take His life from Him; He gave it Himself. Why do I say that? His legs did not get broken a fulfillment of Psalm 34:20. The two who were crucified with Him had their legs broken to cause their near immediate death; but the death of Jesus was in the Father’s power.

They did not break His legs because He was already dead. Romans knew dead when they seen it. The one soldier took his spear and pierced the side of Jesus and out flowed blood and water fulfilling another Scripture prophecy in Zechariah 12:10; also see The Revelation 1:7.

John wrote this as he was witness to the death of Jesus. His testimony was true when he wrote it, and it is true today and for all eternity. He tells us why he wrote it as well. He wrote this testimony that we might believe.

The death of Jesus on the cross was the payment for our sins, Jesus becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21); His burial was another evidence that He was dead and that He took our sins far away; and His resurrection was for our justification and evidence that all the words that Jesus had spoken were indeed truth and power of who He is.

Believe Him today.

Peace

“These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But 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, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, ‘I go away, and come again unto you.’ If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice, because I said, ‘I go unto the Father:’ for My Father is greater than I.”                          John 14:25-28

There is a peace that this world system knows nothing about. The god of this world (Satan) has deceived, and distracted the hearts and minds of the intelligent, highly educated, the wealthy, the middle income, and many a poor man and woman on the streets and poverty inflicted areas with lies. And they have no peace.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, and through Him all can be at peace with Him, with the Father, and be able to sleep at night no matter what this world may do. Peace is not always thee absence of conflict. It is also resting in the midst of conflict. This is the peace that God gives through His Son Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit residing, abiding in those who are His.

Paul the apostle wrote, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1. He also wrote, “…And the peace of God, which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7.

If you do not have this peace it is available to you by calling out to Him in repentance and faith. He will hear you and give you peace.

Receiving Jesus

“I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against Me.’ Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.”
   John 13:18-20

One would betray Him. Jesus knew the hearts of those who were with Him at the Passover meal, and He instituted the Supper. He also knew they would all flees from Him, and one would even deny Him.

Scripture was fulfilled. What God has spoken God will bring to pass. Its coming to pass does not, however, negate the responsibility of those who come out on the wrong end of the fulfillment.

When an individual receives Jesus Christ they also receive the Father (the One who sent Him), and Jesus even tells us above, “He that receives whomsoever I send receives Me…”  If you have received Jesus Christ then you will also receive those who He sends; whether it be pastor, preacher, missionary or and brother or sister in Christ.

Where do you stand in position with Christ Jesus? Are you in receipt of His word and doing it?

Jesus – The Door

Then said Jesus unto them again,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
                              John 10:7-10

Jesus tells us that He is the door of the sheep. He tells us in other verses that His sheep hear His voice and they know His voice. Those of us who hear His voice through the Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit are His sheep. The one’s who hear Him and follow Him.

Jesus also mentions that all who came before Him; and He is not referring to the likes of Moses, and the prophets who spoke His truth; He is speaking of those like the false prophet Balaam showed the enemy how to lead Israel into sin, and many others like him.

So, the “thieves and robbers” are those who are leading others astray. There are men and women in our world today who are attempting to make the word of God fit with the culture of the day; rather than calling people to conform with what God says. These are the false teachers and prophets of 2021 and any era of time.

Those who are following Jesus Christ will not hear the false teachers and pastors. Hear Jesus. Hear the word of God. It is relevant for today. All men and women everywhere need to repent, turning from their sin, and trust in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. That includes you. I already have.

He will give you abundant life of peace and joy, and eternal life.

Bread of Life

And Jesus said unto them,
“I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not.
All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.
     John 6:35-38

On this Thanksgiving Day, in the United States of America, let us first give thanks for the “Bread of Life” who is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. By Him all things were made (Genesis 1:1-3; John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:16-17). It is also by Him that all who believe Him have everlasting life (John 3:16).

He Himself said above, “I am the bread of life” and all who come to Him shall never be in want (Psalm 23:1). There is an endless supply of the bread of life. The thing about this bread is the more you eat the more you desire it. Or to put it another way, the more you get of Jesus, the closer you get to Him in fellowship and worship, the more you desire Him. You are never lacking, never wanting, and He is always present.

Another thing to thank Him for is that any one who comes to Him He will never cast out. That includes you. When you come to Him trusting in His finished work on the cross of death, burial, and resurrection, then You are His for all time and eternity.

Have a great and blessed Thanksgiving Day and let us be thankful every day of our lives.

Miracles or Him?

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which he did.  But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man. John 2:23-25

Jesus had a following of the mass number of people, who saw what miracles He did. In this chapter of John’s gospel we see Him turn water to wine and provides the host of the wedding the best wine ever drank by Adam’s race.

They were following Jesus because they saw the miracles that He did. Jesus knew their hearts and their thinking. Please note, that, He “Did not commit Himself to them”. Just because someone believes Jesus for a miracle does not mean they are delivered from their sin.

When one follows Jesus for salvation through faith in Him, we know He does miracles, and believe Him even when He does not do miracles for us. We do not just stop believing Him because we think He is not hearing our prayers, or doing what we had hoped He would do for us.

Jesus has committed Himself to those with that kind of faith. Faith that believes in the dark what has been revealed in the light.

There are many who profess to having followed Jesus at one time or another in their lives; only to fall away. You were drawn to Him because of a healing, or the need for healing, or a great need, and maybe it did not come as you had hoped. You were following the miracle, but not following the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus died for your sins (our sins), He was buried, and He rose again. You need to trust solely in Him no matter what. The greatest miracle He does is change of heart, mind and life.

When the Light Went Out

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said,
“Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit:”
and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.                        Luke 23:44-46

This event of the darkness happened around noon. Some commentators say that this was and solar eclipse. I tend to disagree, but cannot prove or disprove either way. I think the darkness was world wide; not just a local event, thus it would be a supernatural event. The Light of the world had just became sin for us (John 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21). He was taking the wrath of God upon Himself, for the sins of the world.

When the veil of the temple was torn in two, and right  down the middle from the top to the bottom God was showing that the way into the holiest of all places; the very throne of God was open for all who would believe coming to Him through the death of His Son on the cross, His burial, and resurrection.

Jesus in commending His spirit to the Father is not sending the Holy Spirit (though the spirit of Jesus Christ is holy), but His own human spirit. In His living spirit throughout His life as a Man He has been faithful to do His Father’s will, being sinless, spotless, without blot or blemish; holy unto the Holy One. In His spirit He has gone all the way to the sacrifice of Himself for sin, in obedience to His Father. Now, as He is near to death of the body, He sends His eternal spirit back to the Father who gives spirit to all of Adam’s race.

When we realize our lostness, our condemnation, the guilt of our sins and realize that we need a Savior, and only Jesus Christ can save us; we can call out to Him in faith, believing Him, asking forgiveness, and He hears, He saves and gives us eternal life.

The Judgment that Evil Judges

And the men that held Jesus mocked Him, and smote Him.  And when they had blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face, and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is it that smote    thee?”  And many other things blasphemously spake they against Him.                      Luke 22:63-65

We often hear the words, “Judge not” from many who make unrighteous judgments themselves. Yes, those of us who have been redeemed by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ often do make unrighteous judgments too, but let’s be honest. Is not telling others, “Judge not” itself making a judgment.

It usually comes from someone who does not agree with what has been said, whether it is right or wrong; according to Scripture; makes no difference.

The most unrighteous judgment ever made in the history of the world, and Adam’s race is seen in the verses above. The Righteous One being judged, mocked, smitten in the face, and blindfolded to be asked to “Prophesy…” is nothing short of evil and blasphemous.

To treat our blessed Lord that way is the epitome of evil; and of evil judgments. So the next time you hurl the words “Judge not” at someone who made a Scriptural judgment, a righteous judgment,  remember the evil of your own heart, and your contempt for the Christ who as the Righteous Judge will one day judge you.

Remember believer, “There is therefore, now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1).

When You Find Yourself Up A Tree

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him,
“Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.”
And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” And Jesus said unto him,
“This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”            Luke 19:1-10

When I was in High School I had a Vocational Agriculture teacher who would take some of us coon hunting in the Ozark hills here in southwest Missouri. It was beautiful walking and often running through the woods in the darkness, and listening to the dogs as they got on the trail of a racoon and then know that certain baying sound when they had one up a tree. That was several years ago; probably 44 to 47 years ago.

When those coons were up a tree they were not always caught or killed. Sometimes they got away.

Zacchaeus found himself up a tree. Of course, it was not for the same reason of those coons; or was it? He was wanting to see Jesus. We are not told that he was seeking Jesus, but that, “He sought to see Jesus who He was.” We are told that Jesus was seeking Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus found himself up a tree because he was not a very tall man.

Jesus does not seek one because of one’s stature, their beauty or lack thereof. He seeks those who are lost. He seeks those who are lost in the depths and darkness of sin. Do you find yourself up a tree today looking, wondering who Jesus is?

Jesus is the Son of God, the Son of Man, and He has come and died for our sins, was buried and He rose again. Just like Zacchaeus, when Jesus comes into your house He will make a change in your heart, mind and life. Believe Him.

Humility

And He put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when He marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
“When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, ‘Give this man place;’ and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, ‘Friend, go up higher:’ then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”                                                          Luke 14:7-11

Jesus used this parable to address the religious leaders of Israel who always sought to be the center of attention by taking the more honorable seating positions, because of their “Office” in life. They were the educated elite, and expected respect and honor from all who met them, and knew them.

This is a lesson for the disciples of Jesus as well. When we are invited to a wedding or any place of public prominence, we ought not expect to be better treated than the  honored guest.

Someone has said, “Humility is a funny thing. If you think you have it, you don’t.”

In humility we remember who we are before Holy God; we are wicked wretches apart from His marvelous mercy and grace. He will exalt us in His time when we turn to the Lord Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for our sins, was buried and He rose again.

Persistent Praying

And He said unto them,
“Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?’ And he from within shall answer and say, ‘Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.’ I say unto you, ‘Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.'”                                            Luke 11:5-8

In this short illustrative story Jesus is teaching us about persistent prayer. Persistence is related to having a burden, a need so great that you will not give up on seeing that it comes to pass.

Please note that I said “Need” not “want”. For the child of God the greatest need we see in our families, and  for our neighbors, and for strangers is that they need to recognize their lostness, their great need to turn from their sin, and to trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

In Jesus’s story it is of a friend who goes to a neighbor at midnight. The man has had a guest show up and he does not have the means of feeding and being a proper host to that friend. In his “troubling” his neighbor he awakens him from sleep to ask for help. It was a shame to a family in that day for a hosting family not to care for their guest by feeding them, even washing their feet. The man persist with his neighbor and finally wins out, because of his need and his persistence.

Now God our Father in Jesus Christ never sleeps, and He is never disturbed by our prayers. He is more disturbed by our lack of prayer, and especially our lack of persisting in prayer. If we have a great need, we ought to desire it so much; in His name; that we keep asking until God answers. We must remember it will be according to His will and in His time.

Do you have a lost friend, family member, neighbor? Are you continuing in prayer for them? Do not give up and quit. Keep on praying. Do you have a health need, or know someone who has a great health need? Keep praying, and be persistent in praying.

Read verses 9 through 13 as well.

Those Who Hear the Word of God, and Do It

Then came to Him His mother and His brethren, and could not come at Him for the press. And it was told Him by certain which said, “Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.” And He answered and said unto them,
“My mother and My brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.”                                                                           Luke 8:19-21

It was not the news media of the day that kept Mary and Jesus’s brethren from seeing Jesus; it was the great number of people who was there.

Jesus is making it clear that one’s who were hearing the word of God and doing it; applying what He said to their lives; these were the ones who were and are His brethren.

This should cause those who put Mary on a higher plain, or a place of veneration, or a place of intercession to have access to Jesus Himself is moot, and completely idolatrous worship. A place that Mary did, neither does not deserve.

Jesus is our Intercessor, our Mediator between God and Adam’s race (1 Timothy 2:5).

If you desire to know Jesus, then call out to Him in repentance and faith for forgiveness of sin, and He will hear you and He will save you. Then do what He says.

Two Foundations

And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.                                                         Luke 6:46-49

Jesus is speaking of two different hearts.  Everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” will not enter His kingdom (Matthew 7:21). Just because one professes “Jesus is Lord” does not make it so.

Doing what He says is the fruit of our confession of Jesus. Believing Him and doing is the work of God which brings forth fruit of salvation, and Jesus is Lord of one’s life.

The one who lays the foundation of faith in Him, plus nothing, minus nothing, will have the faith that stands the test and trials of every storm, wind and rain, and flood.

If we say “Jesus is Lord” then let us build on that foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is the exclusive way, the only way to God the Father, eternal life, peace and joy (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

Believe and Tremble

Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, “Thou art Christ the Son of God.” And He rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that He was Christ.           Luke 4:40-41

Healing was given by Jesus Messiah the Anointed One of God. As He healed many people He also cast out demons. These evil beings recognized Jesus and His authority.

There are many in the world, that when they are asked, “Do you believe in God?” will give the answer of “Yes! I do,” but they do not believe in the Jesus the Christ/Messiah, and do not tremble before Him even as do the demons of hell.

In the epistle of James, it is written, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19). The fear the demons have of Jesus is evident. They know He is their Creator, and the along with their leader [Satan] know that they have only a limited amount of time before they are eternally consigned to the lake of fire.

Jesus would not allow the unholy to mention His holy name before the masses of people to whom He was ministering.

The question for you today is this, Have you trusted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? If not, you do not trust, neither do you believe in God. The only way to God is through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Remember the demons believe and tremble, because they know their time is limited. So is yours.

How the Wicked Respond to Jesus Christ

And they that passed by railed on Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ah, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself, and come down from the cross.”
Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” And they that were crucified with Him reviled Him.                  Mark 15:29-32

We have three examples in the text above of how the wicked responded to the death of Jesus on the cross.

Number one, was those who passed by.

Number two, was those who were the priests and religious leaders in Israel.

Number three, was those other two men who were crucified with Him; one on His right, and the other on His left.

Will you just continue on your way passing by the One who was nailed to that cross for the forgiveness of your sin? Will you continue in your sin of rejection of your only hope for eternity?

Will you, O you who have great educational degrees; PHD’s and MDivs; or whatever degree you may have; thinking you are more intelligent than our Creator;  will continue to mock and blaspheme His name and then burn in Hell?

Will you who are condemned to die deride, continue in your blasphemy and ridicule of the name of the One who died for you? One of the men who died with Jesus on the cross, awhile later cried out to Jesus, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus responded and said, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23:42-43

What is your response to the death of Jesus? Will you respond to His love and grace, or will you continue in your wicked, evil way?

When the Son of Man Comes Again

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.                                                        Mark 13:24-27

 

The Curse

And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, He was hungry: and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find any thing thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it,
“No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.”
And His disciples heard it.                                    Mark 11:12-14

Jesus has not cursed anything up to this point, except, though not particularly mentioned as a curse, the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23).

We are told in the verses that “He was hungry”, and He thought He could get a fig from a frig tree for a bite to eat. The tree was boasting of having fruit, due to its having leaves; yet it had no fruit.

O the fruitlessness of a religion that will not trust the truth of the whole of the word or God, the One whom God has sent, and the One who sent Him. There are many religious institutions today who den the truth of Scripture by trying to make Scripture fit with the times, the people, the culture. The institutions which do circles around the truth of God’s word trying to fit it with culture, appease and please people have the curse of the  Almighty on them.

Our task as Christians and Christian pastors and teachers is to bring the people in line with Scripture.

We are all cursed by sin and death due to sin. Jesus came and bore the curse for us, and paid our debt with His own life’s blood. Now, by the power of the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) in us we live by His faith.

 

Gain the World and Lose Your Soul

And when He had called the people, with His disciples also, He said unto them,
“Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 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?
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:34-38

When the culture and the world around us is promoting self, “Love yourself”, and as I mentioned yesterday, “Me too”, the Bible, Jesus still says, “Deny yourself”.

That is what the Christian life really is. It is a life of being a blessing to others by living as  God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit guides us in His word. This adulterous and sinful generation does not need us to be like them. The world and the self loving culture needs to see us losing our lives for the name of Jesus Christ.

If you are thinking, “But no one will like me,” or “No one will promote me,” or “I won’t have any friends;” then, you deny the Lord Jesus and lose your own soul, and the Father and the Son will also be ashamed of you.

The answer is “Take up your cross” that is lay your life down for Him, and follow Him, and you will be blessed by Him.

People and Jesus

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22

But Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him.
For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, “Thou art the Son of God.”  And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known.  Mark 3:7-12

There were many people who had heard of Jesus, and His great works of ministry; healing the sick, lame walk, blind see, even raising some from the dead. Though they saw these mighty things, and some of those experienced them does not mean they believed Him, becoming His followers.

We of Adam’s race love excitement. If it is not for personal entertainment, it is for selfish reasons, such in the above case; personal healing. It is growing in the realm of Christianity that we are drawn to where “Things are happening” and it does not matter if the word of God is being proclaimed or not. If it is proclaimed it is too often ignored, not heard, and God is not glorified.

In this day and age we ought to live to point others to Jesus Christ. Living in this world and living this life is not about you or me. For the Believer, the follower of Christ, it is solely about Him.

We live in a “Me too” culture, which makes it all about “Me”. This life is about Him. He was sent by the Father to die on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying our sins away, and He rose bodily from the grave justifying forever those who believe Him.

I believe Him. How about you? If you have not done so, now is the time to call out to Him in repentance and faith. He will hear and He will save you.

No Need of the Physician

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto His disciples, “How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them,
“They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”      Mark 2:16-17

Who is in need of a physician? Any who are sick. Who is in need of healing? The cripple, the blind, the leper. Who is in need of the Savior? All who are lost in the black darkness of sin and its condemnation, and shame.

Jesus is addressing people in the text above who considered themselves already righteous. It is quite obvious they considered themselves so because of their judgment against “Publicans and sinners”.

The publicans were the tax collectors of Israel, who were Jewish collecting taxes for the Roman government. So they were hated and despised because the Jewish leaders and people considered them as betrayers of Judaism. Sinners was those who were prostitutes, thieves, murderers, and ruffians who did not obey the laws of God and in particular the religious leaders definition of the law.

Who is in need of salvation? The point blank answer is all who are of Adam’s race. There are none of us who are righteous in the eyes of God. Those who see themselves as righteous cannot be saved. Not until they have their eyes open to the truth that they need the righteousness of God Himself.

The Bible clearly tells us, “There is none who are righteous; no not one” (Romans 3:10); and that, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

So, no matter who you are, you are unrighteous before God, until He gives to You His own righteousness; and that is through the death of Jesus Christ His Son on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead.

By calling on the name of the Lord in repentance (turning from your sin to the Savior), and calling on His name you will be saved. “There is no other name by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12).

 

An Eternal Decision

I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise Thee for ever and ever.                            Psalm 45:17

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, “Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?” They said, “Barabbas.”
Pilate saith unto them, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” They all say unto him, “Let him be crucified.” And the governor said, “Why, what evil hath he done?” But they cried out the more, saying, “Let him be crucified.”                                    Matthew 27:20-23

It would be the last day of Jesus’s ministry in His physical body on earth. It was why He had came. Yet this was done by evil hearts and minds of individuals who hated Him and the light which He had brought into this world. The light that would drive away the black of the night of sin.

It was the last moments of His trial. The governor Pilate had given them a question, “Who do you want me to release to you? Barabbas or Jesus?” Now Barabbas was a murderer, of which there was no doubt. Jesus was innocent, pure, spotless, and clean with absolutely no sin in His life. And the crowd yells, “Give us Barabbas.”

Now Pilate gives the people another question, “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?” This is and eternal question that still rings through every hill, mountain and valley around the world. It is a question every man, woman and child must answer, and the answer is an eternal decision we must make.

If we deny Jesus when He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through Me” then we are saying with the above crowd, “Give us Barabbas, and crucify Jesus.” If we deny the Son we deny the Father and there is no truth in us.

I have made the decision. I choose Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way of salvation. Those who make claims of there being other ways deny the truth of Christ Jesus, deny His word, and deny the Father God.

Your decision is an eternal decision.

The Kingdom Closed Up

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.                             Matthew 23:13

Jesus gave many words of rebuke to the religious leaders. They were leaders who were not entering the kingdom, and they were working in preventing others from entering it.

We could ask, “How were these men preventing others from entering the kingdom?” and that is a good question.

One of the most notable ways was they were making doctrines of the traditions of men. They were really the one’s profaning the Sabbath day by not allowing healing of another member of Adam’s race; or simply by walking through a wheat field and with their hands plucking the grain, blowing the chaff away, and eating it.

I pray that I do not mess with the word of God, and make it a document of condemnation; but will rather declare and show the goodness, grace, mercy, peace, and justice of a holy, righteous and just God.

Yes! The Bible shows us our heart, our condemnation, our sentence in eternity as being the eternal fires of Hell. The Bible also shows us the way of deliverance from such an eternity.

That deliverance is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the One who spoke those words of rebuke. Will you repent of your sins today, and call on the name of Jesus Christ as Your Lord and Savior?

Which Ones?

And, behold, one came and said unto Him, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” And He said unto him,
“Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but One, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He saith unto him, “Which?” Jesus said,
“Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
The young man saith unto Him, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” Jesus said unto him,
“If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.                                              Matthew 19:16-22

There is an eternal peril who have possession of great riches, in material things. There is also eternal peril to those who do not have those possessions.

The “rich young ruler” who came to Jesus supposed that he could have eternal life by doing something good. He asked Jesus, “…What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” That is an assumption that most people make; that eternal life is attainable by some good deed.

If we look at the commandments Jesus gave to the young man, they are four of the final six of the Ten Commandments, and all have to do with how we treat our neighbor. The rich young man believes he has been obedient to all those Jesus has mentioned; and Jesus has not mentioned the first of the Commandments which have to do with our relationship to God.

This young man’s relationship with God was not what it ought to be. He had riches which blinded his eyes to God and to seeing Jesus for who He truly is.

We of Adam’s race must realize that all things are God’s. What we have in our possession, and under our feet is not ours. No matter whether you are a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ or an non theist – All Things are God’s.

Would you like to have eternal life? Then be perfect. That is not going to happen except by realizing you are imperfect, lost, dying in sin, and calling on the name of Jesus Christ who died on the cross  for our sins, was buried, and He rose again; and in doing so gives eternal life to all who have received Him.

Cutting Off Sin

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be Thou my helper. Psalm 30:10

Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.                                                    Matthew 18:8-9

How seriously should the Christian take sin? Yes! I ask myself that question, then I must ask, “How seriously did Jesus take sin?” and  then realize the seriousness of sin.

Not too many people think about sin, but are sometimes very much prone to see the faults, failures and weaknesses; sins; in others, but not self.

Jesus saw sin as such serious condemnation of the heart, soul, mind, and strength of Adam’s race that He chose to take sin upon His sinless Person, and take the wrath of the Father in our behalf, so that we might know Him. In doing so He also gives us His Righteousness.

When we have received His Righteousness we no longer desire sin to be in our lives, and we constantly, and consistently fight against it. In the epistle to the Colossians the apostle Paul wrote,

If ye then be risen with Christ…  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.   Colossians 3:1, 5-7

In the words of Jesus spoken above Jesus speaks of cutting off a hand or foot if it causes us to sin; and pulling out your eye if it offends you, causing you to sin. Is He okaying the mutilation of one’s body. Only if it means the saving of your life, your soul.

Something to consider with cutting off the hand or foot or pulling your own eye from its sockets is this; unless you deal with your heart the other hand or foot can still offend you. The other eye can still look upon someone or something with a covetous heart, and you are condemned. There is no hope in cutting off the hand or foot to deliver yourself; or pulling and eye from its socket.

Our hope is only in the cross of the Lord Jesus who gave Himself for the redemption from sin. Like Psalm 30 verse 10 says above,

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be Thou my helper. Psalm 30:10

The Lord Jesus alone is our salvation and deliverance from sin, yet when we have received Him we still hate sin, our own, and the destruction it causes to life, homes, churches, communities, states and nations; to the world. We must fight it daily in ourselves, putting it to death (Mortify), cutting it off.

Compassion for the Multitude

Then Jesus called His disciples, and said,
“I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.”
And His disciples say unto Him, “Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?” And Jesus saith unto them,
“How many loaves have ye?”
And they said, “Seven, and a few little fishes.” And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. Matthew 15:32-38

Matthew 14:13-21 gives a similar miracle of Jesus but it is in fact and truth a different miracle. For instance, in Matthew 14 the number of men is clearly 5,000; in chapter15 it is 4,000. The numbers of fish and loaves of bread is different; 5 loaves and two fish verses 7 loaves and a few fish. A “few” being more than two.

One thing that surprises me in this event in a day, and the life of Jesus and His disciples is that they had just recently seen the earlier feeding of more people, and they ask Jesus, “Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?”

Now, about the numbers; 4,000 men, because the women and children were not counted. Many have commented on this I am fairly sure; but think of this; since there was 4,000 men there is a great probability that there could have been a total of 12,000 or more. That is in figuring a wife, and one child for each man. The Scriptures ends this account, and the one in chapter 14 with the phrase, “beside women and children”.

The point is that many of these people had followed Jesus for receiving healing for various sicknesses, diseases, deliverance from demons, etc.. He looks at them having been with them three days and without food. Now He feeds them without any worry or  fear, but faith in the power of His Father to provide.

For the Christian today, we should be able to see Jesus’s compassion for the multitudes and be convinced that He is compassionate toward us as well. He will also supply and meet the individual needs as well.

Trust the work of Jesus, especially His work on the cross dying for our sins, His burial, and resurrection. The greatest miracle of Jesus, is the power of His grace to save a wretch like me.