On a Holy Day

And He entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched Him, whether He would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse Him. And He saith unto the man which had the withered hand,
“Stand forth.”
And He saith unto them,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill?”
But they held their peace. And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man,
“Stretch forth thine hand.”
And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.                             Mark 3:1-6

“Is it right to do good or evil on a holy day?” That should be the question for the law monger of the Christian era.

If the legalists of Jesus’s day were okay with delivering a sheep from the ditch (Matthew 12:10-14) on this holy day ( the Sabbath), then surely it would be right to deliver a man whose labor was hindered by a “withered hand”, and his right hand (Luke 6:6), which was the strong hand for most laborers.

Hardened hearts which is said in the above text blinds eyes to truth, and loves to accuse those who labor for the truth, righteousness and healing. Like they were doing to the Most Righteous One.

You see, for those who are truly righteous through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ every day is a holy day; and it is always good to do the right thing; even laboring for the benefit of others. Especially deliverance.

 

False, Empty Religion Versus Christ

“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. And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And He taught, saying unto them,
“Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves.”
And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy Him: for they feared Him, because all the people was astonished at His doctrine. And when even was come, He went out of the city. And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, “Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away.” And Jesus answering saith unto them,
“Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”  Mark 11:12-26 (KJV)

IN THE FIG TREE JESUS SHOWS US THE FRUITLESSNESS OF A DEAD RELIGION AND CONFRONTS IT.
As Jesus and the disciples were  leaving Bethany, back toward Jerusalem, Jesus spots a fig tree with leaves on it – advertising that it had fruit.  When Jesus arrives there they discover it has no fruit.  Jesus curses the fig tree.  To some this may seem unnecessary for Jesus to have done, but it seems to me that there is a message we must hear and heed.

  1. “There was a voice in it for the JEWISH CHURCH. Rich in the leaves of a formal religion, but barren of all fruits of the Spirit, that Church was in fearful danger, at the very time when this withering took place. Well would it have been for the Jewish Church if it had had eyes to see its peril!”
  2. “There was a voice in the fig tree for all the branches of Christ’s VISIBLE CHURCH in every age, and every part of the world. There was a warning against an empty profession of Christianity unaccompanied by sound doctrine and holy living, which some of those branches would have done well to lay to heart.”
  3. “There was a voice in the fig tree for all the branches of Christ’s VISIBLE CHURCH in every age, and every part of the world. There was a warning against an empty profession of Christianity unaccompanied by sound doctrine and holy living, which some of those branches would have done well to lay to heart.”   From J. C. Ryle commentary on Mark’s Gospel.

Dead religion offers nothing but leaves, and like the “fig leaves” which Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with were inadequate, so are the “fig leaves” of a dead religion.  In Scriptures the “Fig tree” often represents the nation of Israel and/or its religion (See Hosea 9:10; Nahum 3:12;  Zechariah 3:10).  It is somewhat intriguing that we have Jesus’s strong words to this fig tree just before He enters the Temple compound and finds them “Buying and selling”.  You will also notice that when Jesus and the disciples pass by the fig tree again that it is dead.

Why did Jesus “curse” the fig tree.  First of all “it was not the season for figs” according to the text, but it had leaves, and most usually the leaves and the figs grew together.  Secondly, by having leaves but no figs it was “advertising” it had fruit when it did not.

There are many people who do not believe that Jesus ever became angry.  Those who think that must have never read of the two times Jesus cleansed the temple.  He cleansed the temple once when He had just began His ministry three years prior to this, and then He does it again here.  You can read about the first “Cleansing” in John chapter two, verses thirteen through seventeen.

Here is what was going on in the Temple compound.  It was expected that the animals brought to the Temple for sacrifice would be inspected by the priest, but it had became a practice to find fault when there was no fault.  It may have been something like this – A priest would say an animal was at fault then sell the owner of the “faulty” offering an “approved” offering, and then, he would sell this man’s animal as “approved” to someone else.  Some people who traveled great distances may expect to buy a Temple approved offering at the Temple.  It was nothing more than theft, and dishonesty that was taking place in the name of God.  There was no holiness, righteousness, or godliness in the place.  The “House of prayer” had been turned into a “Den of thieves”, and Jesus would not tolerate it.

The money changers would charge great fees for exchanging Greek and Roman monies for the Temple money.  They made a great deal of profit by this deed, and took advantage of many poor people by the selling of doves for an extravagant  profit.

The Church of the Lord Jesus this day needs to pay careful attention to this.  The things of God are not for the making of profit.  Using the name of God to attach a price on things is theft, and dishonors the name of the Lord.  There are business men today who attend church so as to maintain a base for their business, and to keep a good name in the community they are in.  Some will even try to conduct a little business in the church.  There are some who think the church should be conducted like a business, when it is not a business, nor should it be conducted as such.  It is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and is to be conducted by His guidelines and for His purposes, and glory.

In looking at the fig tree this is how we could define “Dead religion” – 1.  It offers much but delivers little;  2.  It is cold and formal;  3.  It seems alive by its much activity [its buying and selling], but God is not there;  4.  Its leaves cover its fruitlessness, but not to God’s eyes.

In verses 20 through 26 Jesus gives us a lesson in faith.  The fig tree He “cursed” the day before has already withered – it is dead.  It was so dead that even its roots were dried up.  “Have faith in God” is the statement Jesus issues to the disciples.  It is faith in God that makes all things possible.  Someone has said, “Where God guides, He provides”.  Is that true.  Yes! it is.

Faith is believing in what you cannot see, touch, smell, taste, or hear in the physical realm.  You can see evidences of faith in God, for instance; the rising of the sun, and its setting; the order of the universe; the intricacies of the human body, and the bodies of animals as well;  the singing of the birds;  and all the other details of life.  Faith believes in God, even when there is no possible way of something happening.  Jesus’ words on prayer are strong, and is telling us to ask as if we have already received it  “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Mark 11:24(KJV).

That is genuinely the prayer of faith.  Believing you have received it before you do.

Notice the importance Jesus places on “Forgiveness”.  Without forgiveness we cannot expect answer to our prayers.  God is so good to forgive us, we ought also to forgive those whom we believe responsible for offending us.

Remember this, NO FORGIVENESS, NO ANSWER TO PRAYER.  KNOW FORGIVENESS, KNOW ANSWER TO PRAYER.

Be Of Good Cheer: Come

“And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a spirit;’ and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying,
‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.’
And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.’ And He said,
‘Come.’
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, ‘Lord, save me.’ And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him,
‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.’ ” Matthew 14:22-33

Some things we immediately see as we read this portion of Scripture:1) Jesus orders, commands, or made the disciples get into a boat to go to the other side; 2) After sending them away He went to a mountain to pray, and He was alone; 3) the boat the disciples are in is in the midst of Sea of Galilee tossed by the waves and the wind; 4) It was the “fourth watch” between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. when Jesus went walking to them on the water; 5) When the disciples saw Jesus they thought Him to be a “spirit”, and were afraid; 6) Jesus says to them, “It’s Me. Don’t be afraid”; 7) Peter asked Jesus to allow him to walk to Him on the water, and Jesus says, “Come”; 8 ) Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water, began walking to Jesus, but when he saw the boisterous wind he began to sink, and cried out to Jesus for help; 9) Jesus reached out His hand to Peter, and “caught him”, then says, “O thou of little faith…”; 10) back in the boat the wind ceased; 11) The disciples worshipped him confessing, “Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.”. Quite a few interesting events are taking place here and some which Matthew does not mention as well; according to the other gospels. I will get to those later

Dealing with the matter of JESUS THE KING we can see by this that He is not only the King of men, but also the King of creation, and all created things. Only the sovereign King and God can walk on water, and command the winds and the waves.

Having fed at least 15,000 people with five loaves of bread and two small fish; Jesus has sent the multitudes away with their stomachs full, their hearts should also be full after having been in the presence of our Lord. Being fully God, yet also fully man, Jesus is probably weary, tired and needing some time of refreshment and rest. He needs to be alone. Yet He know that He is never alone; because the Father is always with Him. The multitude sent away and the disciples rowing across the Sea of Galilee he goes up to a mountain to pray, to speak to His Father.

They are on the East side of the Sea of Galilee, and were rowing toward the West side. Matthew says, “Other side”. Mark writes, “Bethsaida”. John says, “Capernaum” was the destination. Matthew’s destination could mean anywhere on the West side, but I think there is more than that meant. Mark’s destination was more definite, yet speaking of an area on the West side. John speaks of the place where Jesus headquartered His ministry. There is not a contradictory statement here in any of them. First of all they are all three mentioning the West side. Secondly, we do name things like this all the time. For instance; when my wife, our son and I lived in California, and we would come back to Missouri; we were sometimes asked where we were going when we were planning on traveling back home. We would say the Southwest Missouri area; and another time we might tell them Barry County in Missouri; and we might be a little more specific and say Jenkins, Missouri. Now, were we making contradicting statements? NO! Where we were coming was to the Southwest part of Missouri and into Barry County, to the community of Jenkins, Missouri. We have three different testimonies as to their destination, and they are all accurate.

It seems to me, that in this historical event in the life of the disciples and the life of Jesus Christ there is a picture of life, its troubles, and trials and our deliverance.

How many times have we heard the phrase, “Other side” concerning the death of someone we know; whether it be a family member, work associate, or a friend? “He/She has gone to the other side”. Could there be a lesson on life and our eternal destination in this event of history? I think we can see it if we look at the situation, and understand the truth that is presented here.

Capernaum is where the headquarters for Jesus’s ministry is, and possibly in Peter’s home. We can see in Matthew 4:12-16 that Jesus went to Galilee and “dwelt in Capernaum”, and did so that the Scripture might be fulfilled spoken by Isaiah the prophet. Then, in chapter 8 we find Jesus at Peter’s house healing his mother-in-Law (chapter 8:14-15). He dwelt in Capernaum, and when they were there stayed in Peter’s home. Capernaum was home for Jesus on earth. Capernaum, though did not realize who was living among them.

In this act, this miracle of Jesus,  He gives us a picture of His coming for those who are His, and our eternal deliverance.

As Christians go through life, it is sometimes likened to the “Sea of life”, and these seas get very troubled at times. Physically our Lord Jesus is not with us and we row, and struggle and grow fearful that the boat we are in is going to fill with these troubled waters and sink, capsize, and we will not make it. Then Jesus comes, our faith grows, and then, in an instant, we find ourselves on the other side. John writes, “Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going”. Where were they going? to the “other side”, writes Matthew. Where were they going? “Bethsaida”, says Mark (Mark 6:45). Where were they going? “Capernaum”, writes John (John 6:17). Where were they going? Headquarters. Home.

When Jesus comes again, as we struggle in this life we will immediately appear with Him in glory, where we shall forever live with Him. No more struggles with life; no more tears, no more fear, no more death or dying…” Home Sweet Home.

Why Are You Fearful?

Fear is an emotion we all face at times.  There are some who seem to be fearful much of their lives.  I have known some who were fearful of leaving their home, or new home for a night or so; for fear that someone might break in and steal their possessions or do harm to their home.  Now, there is a needless fear.

It would probably surprise us what many people are fearful of.  There are some parents who are constantly fearful that their child or children will fall down, get hurt, be hurt by someone else; well you get the picture.  Children need to learn, and their falling, experiencing pain is part of growing up.  Fear can be dangerous to one’s health.

We live in an era or time when people are fearful of what the economy will do; or how the stock market will perform.  In this post today I want us to look at two portions of Scripture.  First from the New Testament we hear from an event in the life of Jesus’s disciples and the words of Jesus;

“And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him.  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep.  And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us: we perish.’  And He saith unto them,
‘Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?’
Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  But the men marvelled, saying, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!’”  Matthew 8:23-27 (KJV)

Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee, Jesus is asleep in the boat, a storm comes up, Jesus remains asleep undaunted by the storm; and His disciples are fearful.  Had they forgotten what Jesus has told them?  Do they not know who He is?  Of course it is a normal part of life to get fearful in the midst of a storm; at least for many people it is.  However, when you have the Son of God with you, having heard His words; what is there to fear?  Some wise Christian from years ago said, “If we fear God we do not need to fear anything else”.  Jesus said to His disciples “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”, then He “Rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”  Now, do you suppose that calm was just the ceasing of the wind and the seas?  I think not.  The calm entered the hearts of His disciples as well.

To continue of this thought lets look into the lives of Abraham and Sarah from Genesis;

“And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken.  For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.  And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.  And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.  And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.  And Sarah said, ‘God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.’  And she said, ‘Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? For I have born him a son in his old age.’  And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.” Genesis 21:1-8 (KJV)

Now Abraham and Sarah had been promised a son by God.  They had gone to extraordinary means to try and accomplish God’s will in their own way.  First by the surrogacy using Hagar Sarah’s servant.  As a result of this Ishmael was born and Sarah was despised by her servant, and when God did give them the son He had promised this promised son was hated by Ishmael.  Where did this deed come from.  It seems to have been spawned by fear.  Fear that they needed to do something which God had not commanded, nor commended.

Some might think, “Well where does faith fit into the picture with Abraham and Sarah?”  Despite their actions they did believe they were aiding God in giving them a child; but it still was contrary to His will.  Yet God uses this fear and its fruit to later discipline His children.

They believed God in their lives, and God honored their faith.  In Genesis 15:6 we are told of Abram, “And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.”

The word for today.  No matter what the devil and life may throw at you; do not fear for God is the Master of your life.  You do not need to use schemes, or the wiles of the world to accomplish the works of God.  He works His plan and accomplishes His will for our good and His glory.  When we do our own plan, our own way, “The chickens will come home to roost”.

“Why are you fearful…?”

Betrayer or Servant

“And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.  And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.”  Mark 14:10-11

This text goes from one who, “Has done what she could”; to one who “takes all he can”, and gives nothing in return.  The Gospel of John calls him a “Thief” (John 12:6).  It is quite the contrast.  On which side do we stand? On the side of giving all to Jesus; or taking all we can for self.

Notice the path of the betrayer.  It was not an accident it was a planned, purposeful, plot for material gain.  Judas went to the “Chief priests, to betray Him unto them”.  He went to them.  They did not come to him with words of deception, or a scheme to try and trick Judas into betrayal.  It was in Judas’s  heart.  Then after they had received his offer he sought for a way to set it up – “he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.” (v. 11).  Is this the heart of one who really loves Jesus?  Is this the act of one who really believes in Him?  I think not.

Some may think of Peter and his denial of Jesus, but Peter did not plan, or purposely plot to deny Jesus.  When Judas betrayed Jesus did he seek forgiveness and repent of his action?  No!  He was sorry for what he did, but did not seek the cleansing of forgiveness, rather, the Gospel of Matthew and the book of Acts tells us he went and hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-5;  Acts 1 17-19), and went to his own place.  Peter sought the Lord’s forgiveness for His act.

The woman in verses 3 – 9 sought how best to serve her Lord.  Judas sought how best to serve himself.  Which one sought rightly?  Which one will receive the Lords blessing, and reward?  Which one will spend eternity in Hell?  It is evident to those who know the Lord.

What is the worth of your soul?  What is the worth of Jesus Christ to you?

The Power of Faith

“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.  And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.  And He taught, saying unto them,
‘Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?’ But ye have made it a den of thieves.’
And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy Him: for they feared Him, because all the people was astonished at His doctrine.  And when even was come, He went out of the city.  And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, ‘Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away.  And Jesus answering saith unto them,
‘Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ ”  Mark 11:12-26 (KJV)

IN THE FIG TREE JESUS SHOWS US THE FRUITLESSNESS OF A DEAD RELIGION AND CONFRONTS IT.
As Jesus and the disciples were  leaving Bethany, back toward Jerusalem, Jesus spots a fig tree with leaves on it – advertising that it had fruit.  When Jesus arrives there they discover it has no fruit.  Jesus curses the fig tree.  To some this may seem unnecessary for Jesus to have done, but it seems to me that there is a message we must hear and heed.

  1. “There was a voice in it for the JEWISH CHURCH. Rich in the leaves of a formal religion, but barren of all fruits of the Spirit, that Church was in fearful danger, at the very time when this withering took place. Well would it have been for the Jewish Church if it had had eyes to see its peril!”
  2. “There was a voice in the fig tree for all the branches of Christ’s VISIBLE CHURCH in every age, and every part of the world. There was a warning against an empty profession of Christianity unaccompanied by sound doctrine and holy living, which some of those branches would have done well to lay to heart.”  From J. C. Ryle commentary on Mark’s Gospel.

Dead religion offers nothing but leaves, and like the “fig leaves” which Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with were inadequate, so are the “fig leaves” of a dead religion.  In Scriptures the “Fig tree” often represents the nation of Israel and/or its religion (See Hosea 9:10; Nahum 3:12;  Zechariah 3:10).  It is somewhat intrigueing that we have Jesus’ strong words to this fig tree just before He enters the Temple compound and finds them “Buying and selling”.  You will also notice that when Jesus and the disciples pass by the fig tree again that it is dead.

Why did Jesus “curse” the fig tree.  First of all “it was not the season for figs” according to the text, but it had leaves, and most usually the leaves and the figs grew together.  Secondly, by having leaves but no figs it was “advertising” it had fruit when it did not.

There are many people who do not believe that Jesus ever became angry.  Those who think that must have never read of the two times Jesus cleansed the temple.  He cleansed the temple once when He had just began His ministry three years prior to this, and then He does it again here.  You can read about the first “Cleansing” in John chapter two, verses thirteen through seventeen.

Here is what was going on in the Temple compound.  It was expected that the animals brought to the Temple for sacrifice would be inspected by the priest, but it had became a practice to find fault when there was no fault.  It may have been something like this – A priest would say an animal was at fault then sell the owner of the “faulty” offering an “approved” offering, and then, he would sell this man’s animal as “approved” to someone else.  Some people who travelled great distances may expect to buy a Temple approved offering at the Temple.  It was nothing more than theft, and dishonesty that was taking place in the name of God.  There was no holiness, righteousness, or godliness in the place.  The “House of prayer” had been turned into a “Den of thieves”, and Jesus would not tolerate it.

The money changers would charge great fees for exchanging Greek and Roman monies for the Temple money.  They made a great deal of profit by this deed, and took advantage of many poor people by the selling of doves for an extravagant  profit.

The Church of the Lord Jesus this day needs to pay careful attention to this.  The things of God are not for the making of profit.  Using the name of God to attach a price on things is theft, and dishonors the name of the Lord.  There are business men today who attend church so as to maintain a base for their business, and to keep a good name in the community they are in.  Some will even try to conduct a little business in the church.  There are some who think the church should be conducted like a business, when it is not a business, nor should it be conducted as such.  It is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and is to be conducted by His guidelines and for His purposes, and glory.

In looking at the fig tree this is how we could define “Dead religion” – 1.  It offers much but delivers little;  2.  It is cold and formal;  3.  It seems alive by its much activity [its buying and selling], but God is not there;  4.  Its leaves cover its fruitlessness, but not to God’s eyes.

In verses 20 through 26 Jesus gives us a lesson in faith.  The fig tree He “cursed” the day before has already withered – it is dead.  It was so dead that even its roots were dried up.  “Have faith in God” is the statement Jesus issues to the disciples.  It is faith in God that makes all things possible.  Someone has said, “Where God guides, He provides”.  Is that true.  Yes! it is.

Faith is believing in what you cannot see, touch, smell, taste, or hear in the physical realm.  You can see evidences of faith in God, for instance; the rising of the sun, and its setting; the order of the universe; the intricacies of the human body, and the bodies of animals as well;  the singing of the birds;  and all the other details of life.  Faith believes in God, even when there is no possible way of something happening.  Jesus’ words on prayer are strong, and is telling us to ask as if we have already received it

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24(KJV).

That is genuinely the prayer of faith.  Believing you have received it before you do.

Notice the importance Jesus places on “Forgiveness”.  Without forgiveness we cannot expect answer to our prayers.  God is so good to forgive us, we ought also to forgive those whom we believe responsible for offending us.

Remember this, NO FORGIVENESS, NO ANSWER TO PRAYER.  KNOW FORGIVENESS, KNOW ANSWER TO PRAYER.

Only Sinners Can Be Saved

Many religions place importance on doing something to gain God’s favor. Let me at the beginning just say; there is nothing you or I can do to gain God’s favor. There is no sacrifice, there is no sacrament, there is no good deed to your neighbor or the world which will gain you or me eternal life and/or the favor of Holy God.

This very mentality is what Jesus is addressing in the following verses:

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them,
They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ ” Matthew 9:10-13 (KJV)

When Jesus was ministering to the publicans (tax collectors) and sinners the religious leaders began questioning Jesus’s purpose, power, and ministry. “What kind of man would sit with tax collectors and sinners?” they were asking themselves, and the disciples.

There is only one sacrifice which God the Father accepts; and that is the sacrifice, the death of His only begotten Son. Still the religious; the self-righteous try to gain the favor; the grace; of God through sacrifice and sacrament.

God shows grace and mercy to the sinner who will come to Him through the cross of His Son Jesus with a repentant heart. Through the act of repentance on the part of the sinner, trusting Christ Jesus, God clothes the sinner in the righteousness of God the Son.

You may be a righteous person today. You cannot be saved. Until you see yourself as the sinner your really are you will remain lost, condemned, dying, guilty, and spiritually dead.

Come to the Father through the cross of Jesus. Sinner hear Him and be saved. He came to save the sinner.

Teaching and Yeast

The Pharisees and Sadducees were a constant heartache to our Lord. As they were supposed to be the religious leaders of Israel during this time they were filled with doubts, unbelief, jealousy, and condemnation of any and all; including our Lord; who were not “letter for letter” correct to their own understanding. Many of these men hated Jesus, very few loved Him.

After dealing with the Pharisees concerning signs (vv. 1-4) Jesus will deal with the disciples concerning their faith, give them warning concerning evil doctrine, and hypocrisy.

“And when His disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them,
‘Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.’
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘It is because we have taken no bread.’ Which when Jesus perceived, He said unto them,
‘O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Matthew 16:5-12

The disciples must have had their attention diverted by physical need concerning Jesus’s caveat concerning the “leaven of the Pharisees”. It had not been so long ago that they had witnessed the power of the Lord when He took 5 loaves of bread and two small fish, and fed a multitude of 5000 men, plus women and children (14:13-21), then later fed 4000 men, plus women and children with seven loaves a “a few little fishes” (15:32-38). They had forgotten to bring food with them, except for one loaf (Mark 8:14), and they assume that Jesus is speaking of bread.

He speaks of “Leaven”. Of course, leaven is used in bread. It is, however, used to puff up, fluff up, and stuff up. It gives baked goods a fuller appearance than they would have without it. It is my belief that every time there is mention of “leaven” in Scripture, it is as a symbol of hindrance, sin, or evil. Hindrance because when the children of Israel were leaving Egypt they were commanded to prepare bread without leaven (Exodus 12:15-20). They were going to be leaving Egypt very quickly, therefore no time could be taken to allow bread to rise, thus they would have been in rebellion to even have it in their homes. Leaven also represents false doctrine, and hypocrisy (clouds without rain in a time of drought).

There are many professing Christians in our day who do not believe we need to be concerned about doctrine; whether it be right or wrong; just believe something. Anything is okay as long as you sincerely believe something; even if it is that your dog is the reincarnation of Geronimo. Jesus, however, gives an earnest warning to His disciples to “Take heed and beware of the leaven [doctrine] of the Pharisees. It is also a warning of hypocrisy. There is glaring hypocrisy in the Pharisees; requiring things of the people they lead, and give themselves loopholes around their own laws. False doctrine, and hypocrisy seem to go together.

Jesus’s warning is for all Christians of all ages, because we fall into a gross pit of oozing manure when we fall into false teaching and hypocrisy. Very often a pit that is very hard to get out of, or be rescued from.

It is not all about bread. It is not all about physical needs; Jesus meets those needs daily. It is a warning of being sure the doctrine is right and they life is right with God. This means much of the responsibility for remaining correct in what we believe and how we live lays on our own shoulders, and the Spirit of God within us. We can do this by staying true to the Lord in the reading, study, and meditation upon His Word; spending time with Him in prayer – walking with Him daily; faithful attendance to our local church as often as the door is open; and to faithfully serve the Lord by loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves by giving of ourselves in serving others when possible, and sometimes when it gets in our way.

Satan has desired to have you

“And the Lord said,
‘Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’
And he said unto Him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison, and to death.’ And He said,
‘I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest Me.’ ”   Luke 22:31-34

REFERENCE – verses 55-62

Can You Hear Me Now?

“Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, ‘Is there any word from the LORD?’ And Jeremiah said, ‘There is: for, said He, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.’ ” Jeremiah 37:17

In a day when we should have all kinds of time to hear God we have less time. I guess we feel we always have to be doing something; something other than listening to God. There are many voices to hear – the psychiatrist, the psychologist, stock brokers, advice columnist, medical doctors, senators, congressmen, governors, and you could go on. People listen to all these voices, and fail to hear what God says. We fail to hear because our hearts are not tuned in to God, but are tuned in to the things and goings on of our own ways. Jesus said, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”, and, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:9, 23). He also said, “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21). A lot of people may ask, “Is there a word  from God?”, and may have just heard God’s voice the night before through a man of God proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. What do they do with it? They sense a presence, but put it off as just emotions, or their mind playing tricks on them. They hear God’s word, but will not do it.

We are not part of the body of Christ unless we have begun to do the Word, and not just hear it. Zedekiah heard, but did not do. If you will read Jeremiah 38 and 39 you will see the result of his not doing. God’s desire for us is that we hear His Word and do it. If God has at one time spoken to us and we have not did it; He will not speak to us something new until we carry out that Word which has not been done.

God desires for us to live or abide in His Word, but when we get out of His Word we begin to doubt, and fear begins to control our lives. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). God always has our best at heart. When we are out of His word we are out of His will, and therefore often we reap what we have sown.

Often people do not understand a message and it is partly because they do not hear. They hear words, but they are not tuned in to what is being said. Jesus said, “Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word”, and in another verse He says, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:43, 47). It is evident that when Jesus used the word “Hear” in these verses He meant to hear was to put into action what He had said.

Is God still speaking today? Do we need to ask? There are people being saved. There are backsliden Christians rededicating their lives to Christ. YES! God is still speaking. We can look in our nation, and the gross immorality, and in it God is saying, “Repent and come back to Me”. We can look at natures pollution and God says, “I left man to care for this planet, but the sin of lust, greed, and godlessness has destroyed her created beauty”. On a more individual level God says, “Do you know why I am not blessing you? Because you did not ‘Go’ as I commissioned you”. “Do you know why you are suffering financially? Because you have not been a good steward with what I have entrusted to your care”. He speaks to all of us through His Spirit whom He sent to be our Comforter, Guide, by His Word. Jesus said of Him, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak ; and He will show you things to come” (John 16:13). God’s Word is truth. The Holy Spirit guides us, and teaches us God’s Word. He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (See v.8).

In the book of the Revelation our Savior speaks seven times of the Holy Spirit speaking. He said, “He that hath an ear to hear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” The Spirit guiding into truth, and glorifying Jesus Christ.

“Is there a word from the LORD? There is…”. His Word is not bad. It is always for the well being of His children. We may not always understand, but God’s Word never fails. God never breaks a promise. How is God speaking in our day? He speaks first of all through the written Word guiding by His Spirit; secondly, He speaks by the Spirit impressing upon our hearts something we ought to do; thirdly He speaks through circumstances; and finally He speaks through other people, a friend, relative, or even an enemy or stranger. God does have a word for us today. Do you have an ear to hear? WELL LISTEN!

If you are not hearing God speak you need ears to hear Him. You get those ears by His grace. You hear Him as You read the only message He has given to us and that is the Bible.

READ PSALM 81:8-14

Pressure

“Then saith He unto them, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.’ ”  Matthew 26:38

We humans experience pressure. It is called stress. Those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior believe Jesus to be fully God and fully Man. We recognize Him as flesh and blood human, of the race of Adam just as we are.

I have for many years struggled over this scene of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and have heard and been taught for years that Jesus was asking to be delivered from the cross. In recent years I have settled this in my own heart and mind, and I believe it is Scriptural.

I see many times that the gospels mention Jesus having His eyes set on Jerusalem near the final days of His life. That meaning He had His eyes set on paying our sin debt. That is one reason I cannot fathom the idea of His praying to be delivered from dying on the cross.

The verse above settles it for me. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…” and that looks to be what He is going to pray about when He says, “Let this cup pass from Me”.  He was pressured by what would be too early a death right there in Gethsemane.

I believe the Father answered His prayer and gave Him the physical strength to make it to the cross where He fulfilled the Father’s will dying for my sins, your sins, and the sins of the whole world.

Taken

“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”  Matthew 24:40-41

The above verses are from Jesus’s Olivet Discourse or the Sermon of Olivet. Jesus is answering the questions asked by Peter, James, John, and Andrew (Matthew 24:3 and Mark 13:3). The questions asked were at least two, but I call it three questions – 1. “When shall these things be?”,;  2. “What shall be the sign of Your coming?” and 3. “What is the sign of the ending of the age?”

The first question is answered in verses 4 – 14, and is referencing the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem that would take place in 70 A.D. and is also a reference to the beginning of the “time of Jacob’s trouble” referenced by Jeremiah 30:7.

Verses 15 –  28 are probably speaking of an event and time that have yet to happen, in the midst of the “time of Jacob’s trouble” for the making of the righteousness of the people called Israel.

Verses 29 – 35 speak of our Lord’s second coming and making of things right on earth declaring that not one word which God has spoken will fail to come to pass.

The verses shared above (40 and 41) may speak of the taking of some out of the way who are not believing, and leaving the believing one to live in the kingdom.

The whole point our Lord Jesus is making is that we all need to be ready for He is coming. We do not know the day or the hour; so we must stay in touch with Him through prayer the reading, study, and application of His holy word in our daily living.

Jesus died for our sins, was buried in a borrowed grave, and He arose alive and forever lives interceding for us, before our Father.

Faith of an Outsider

“When Jesus heard, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”  Matthew 8:10-12

This Roman centurion was over a group of men that was about 100 in number. He knew authority when he saw it; and he saw Jesus as a Man with authority, so he knew he could trust Him with the healing of his servant.

Jesus in His words of the centurion’s faith was words of applause. It was a greater faith than He had seen among His own people; especially the Jewish leaders of their religion.

There is much the Christian needs to hear in the words of Jesus.

The first one I see is this; Just because you say your a Christian, yet do not believe the word of god, does not mean you are a Christian;

The second one that I see is, that judgment awaits all who claim to know Jesus, yet do not live according to His word, starting with believing what God says of His Son, and what the Son says of Himself; and

The third, just a thought; the judgment for a professor that does not possess the Spirit of Christ [God] is not His (Romans 8:9), and will be judged more severely.

It is better to be an outsider of the religious, yet believe the word of God, than to be a religious insider and miss God completely by not believing His word.

In closing these thoughts be sure you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus shed on Calvary’s cross for the sins of the word, believe Jesus died, was buried, and that He rose again (Romans 10:9-10).

 

 

The Nazarene

“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’ ”  Matthew 2:23

The writing of Matthew, the gospel writing, is particularly filled with the quotations from the Old Testament showing how the birth and life of Jesus Christ are the fulfillment of those prophecies. It seems that there are nearly twenty references to the old writings of the prophets within the first three chapters of the evangelist.

Why would that be important? Since God is the one who verbally inspired the prophets preaching and writing, then He is greatly moved to declare to us that He will fulfill every jot and tittle of Scripture.

What is especially notable of the above verse in Matthew is probably referring to Isaiah 11:1;

“…And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots…”

where the stem or something insignificant, called out. Nazareth is not even named in the Old Testament so an insignificant town. Jesus coming from Nazareth called a Nazarene, seeming so insignificant, but becoming the “Branch” of our salvation.

A reading of Isaiah 53 might bring this together a bit, especially  verse two…

“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”

Jesus, being called, “The Nazarene” was a distinct fulfillment of the prophets which foretell His coming, the Messiah, the Christ. His birth, His life, His death, burial, and resurrection were all foretold by the Old Testament prophecies, and came to pass just as they were written and spoken.

Believer, we can rest assured that, just as all Scripture concerning His first coming were fulfilled; then, we can trust that those concerning His return, His second coming will also be fulfilled. Are you ready?

Sneaky and Condemned

I was reading in Jude this morning and was reminded of the study I did in this epistle about 13 years ago. I found the study and I share these thoughts from verse 4 again in 2021 because it is still true today.

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4 (NKJV).

Hopefully most Christians have noticed that there is a whole lot of religious rhetoric in the world and most of what you will see on what poses as “Christian Television”. The aim of many in these supposed ministries is not the promotion of the glory of Jesus Christ, but to fill their pocket books, and tell you things like, “If you are sick you have sinned”. They may not be so brash as to say that as clearly as that, but that is what they mean.

These are apostates. They actually hate the truth of Jesus Christ. They deny Jesus Christ by changing the meaning of His death on the cross, and will tell you things, such as, “On the cross Jesus was just a little wimp who couldn’t do anything.” The truth of that is that the victory of Jesus was the cross. It was on the cross where Satan, and Hell and sin were defeated. During that three hours of darkness there was the greatest war which has ever taken place; that ever took place in eternity. Jesus was and is the Victor because after He was laid in a borrowed grave He came out alive showing the victory of the cross.

The men and women who proclaim that your life should be without sickness, you should always be victorious, and always have a full bank account; and if you don’t you have sinned; are liars and are following their father the devil. They are deceivers and antichrist.

Beware of those teachers who call on you to give money to them, “And you will be blessed a hundred fold”. Jesus warned,

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ’; and shall deceive many.’ ”  Matthew 24:4-5

Now, these apostates may not be actually saying they are Christ, but they are denying the very power of Christ, and His cross. When you deny the power of His cross you deny Him.

These teachers are condemned people. They will have a place in eternity, but not with Jesus Christ. Be aware of false teachers. Believe the Word of God, and trust Him.

Who is born of God?

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him. 1 John 5:1
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  Verse 5
He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.  Verses 12 – 13
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.  Verse 20

As I was reading the first epistle of the apostle John I noticed once again the important emphasis he puts on Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The title of this post is “Who is born of God?” That is a question we all must answer, and know ourselves. Are you, have you been born of God?

In chapter 5 verse 1 John writes “Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” and he goes on stating that to love the Father (the One who begat), is to love the Son (the One who is begotten). If we love the Father we will love the Son; and on the other side too; if we love the Son we love the Father. These are the one’s who are born of God.

We learn in the five verses above too, that Jesus Christ the Son of God is the One who overcomes the world, and through Him we do too. In Him we have life, and without Him is no life. Without life in Him there is only death. Through Jesus Christ and Him alone can we have the true assurance of eternal life, and we can know quite well that we will live with Him eternally.

In knowing Jesus we receive understanding from Him knowledge of who He truly is. In Christ Jesus we are in the True God, and have eternal life. The moment, by grace through faith, you turn from your sin to Christ calling on His name for salvation you receive eternal life.

Who is born of God? If you have not been born of God will you call on Him today?

You Follow Me

“Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on His breast at supper, and said, ‘Lord, which is he that betrayeth Thee?’ Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what shall this man do?’  Jesus saith unto him, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me.’ ”  John 21:20-22

The Lord Jesus, recently resurrected from the grave, has told Peter how he is going to live, and how he is going to die. Then Peter begins to think about “that other guy”. We know “that other guy” is John; he is the one who leaned on Jesus’s breast at the meal and the last supper.

Now, Peter’s question is not without the likeness of many people of all ages, including yours truly. “What about Joe?” or we may ask, “What about Jan?”, “What are You going to expect of them?” “Lord, You sent Joe to Hawaii. Why don’t You send me to some place like Hawaii?”

The Lord’s answer to Peter was, “You follow Me”. That is His answer for you and me as well.

Our personal relationship with the Lord involves me going where the Lord leads me. I am to follow Jesus, and not be distracted where He might send you, Joe or Jan.

Light

“Then Jesus said unto them,
‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.’

These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” John 12:35-36

Light is wonderful to have. Without light we would be stumbling around in the dark. Light shows us danger in our path, the way ahead, and even is a source of life.

Few people clean under their beds, and if you take a light and shine it under the bed you will see all kinds of dirt and dust. Light exposes the things that are hid in darkness. Jesus is the Light of the world. He has told us so in John 8:12 and John 9:5.

Because Jesus is the Light of the world many hate them because they do not want their evil hearts to be exposed, because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). I pray that your sin has been exposed and your condemnation, and that you have turned your heart away from sin to Christ Jesus.

Jesus also said to those who believe on Him, “You are the light of the world” Matthew 5:14. When we have put our faith in Him, we are His light in this dark world.

Hear God’s Words

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47

Jesus was spending time telling the religious leaders of their unbelief. They claimed to love Moses and the Law; also claiming to be children of Abraham. Though they were biological descendants of Abraham Jesus was confronting them concerning their spiritual connection with Abraham. They had none.

The message from Jesus for us today is this. Just because you were born in a Christian household does not make you a Christian. A friend of mine once told me this, “God does not have any grandchildren.” Those who believe in Him through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus are sons and daughters of God – born again by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10).

The evidence you are a child of God is clearly explained in Jesus’s words above. We hear His word and do them. We believe His word and put them to work in our lives.

How about you? Have you been born again? Do you believe the word of God concerning what He has said about Jesus His only begotten Son? If you do not, then you are not a child of God, but a child of wrath, and doomed eternally.

You can call on the name of Jesus right now, turning from sin and unbelief, to the Lord Jesus Christ believing Him.

God Does Not Condemn You

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”  John 3:17-19

The truth of the matter is we were all condemned through the sin of Adam and Eve while they were living in paradise. They had it made and chose to believe the lie of the serpent rather than the One who walked with them in that beautiful paradise.

Because they chose to sin against God they condemned the whole race of Adam – that is you and me. Since that sad day every child ever born into this world is in a condemned state, spiritually dead, separated from God, and headed to an eternity separated from good and from God, to a burning eternal fire.

For Adam and Eve God sent the means of redemption through the shed blood of innocent animals (possibly lambs) a covering for their sin. For us today, He has given us His Son Jesus Christ.

For all who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, believing that He died on the cross for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose from the grave bodily we can have eternal life with Him. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God does not condemn; He delivers us unto eternal life.

Will you call on His name today, believing Him? He will hear and He will deliver you from condemnation.

All Things Must Be Fulfilled

“And He said unto them, ‘These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me.’ ” Luke 24:44

Jesus spoke the above words after walking with a couple of His followers to Emmaeus. He has at this point been seen by others who are His followers, and reminds them of the importance of His life, His ministry and His death, burial and resurrection.

When Jesus speaks of the “law of Moses”, “the Prophets”, and “the Psalms” He is speaking of the whole Old Testament, and every prophecy which was written.

There are many prophecies of Jesus that have not been fulfilled. We can rest assured that since the prophecies of the first coming of Messiah are fulfilled, and He died just as the prophets said (consider Isaiah 53), then we can know and be assured that those concerning His coming again will be fulfilled in every detail.

All things must be fulfilled just as it has been spoken.

Son of David, Son of God

“Then certain of the scribes answering said, ‘Master, thou hast well said.’ And after that they durst not ask Him any question at all. And He said unto them,
‘How say they that Christ is David’s Son? And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, ‘The LORD said unto my Lord, ‘Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.’ David therefore calleth Him ‘Lord,’ how is He then his Son?’ ”  Luke 20:39-44

In the Hebrew teaching of doctrine the Christ or Messiah would come as the Son of David. Psalm 110 is the reference to which Jesus is quoting, and He asked the question, “How is He then his (David’s) Son?”

In the Psalm Jesus refers to David calling Him, “…my Lord”, and the Psalm clearly quotes the Father (the LORD), saying “…My Lord” to His Son. Jesus was and is the fulfillment of this prophecy from the sweet Psalmist of Israel, and His being the Son of David, and the Son of God.

Have you heard the voice of Jesus calling unto you, “Come to Me” and have you called on His name?  He is the One who died for our sins, He was buried and He rose from the grave. He lives forever and forever, and by faith in Him  we do as well.

Look Who Comes to Jesus

“Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, ‘This Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.’ ”  Luke 15:1-2

The lesson Jesus teaches  following the above words was to all who would and will hear. There are so many that will not hear the words of life which Jesus speaks, that they continue on the path that leads to eternal destruction and Hell.

Those who came to Jesus that day were ones whom the religious leaders, and most of the Jewish population despised and hated. The were Jews who were working for the Roman government collecting taxes from their fellows Jews. Many considered them as traitors. That is the “Publicans” in verse 1.  They came to Jesus and to hear Him. Levi other wise known as Matthew was one who followed Him.

“Sinners” would most likely include the murderers, thieves, adulterers, child molesters, rapist, and all the outcasts of this society, and society of 2021. These came to Jesus. Many heard Him, followed Him and have eternal life.

Jesus still calls all who are lost, no matter what your sin might be, to come, hear Him, and choose to follow Him doing His word, walking His way and doing His will.

Call out to Him for salvation. He will hear you.

Those Who Hear the Word of God

“And it came to pass, as He spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked.’ But He said,
‘Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.’ ”  Luke 11:27-28

More than once in all of Scripture are the words of the Lord giving great blessing on those who read and hear the word of the Lord. One of those places is in the above verses; another is Revelation 1:3. The Psalms are full of the blessing on those who love the word of God – especially Psalm 119.

No person is more blessed than the one’s who will hear the word of the Lord and keep it. It must begin in what the word says about God’s only begotten Son Jesus, the sin of Adam kind, and the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial and resurrection.

You have not began to hear the word of the Lord if you reject that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, God the Son.

Will you hear Him today?

Have You Not Read The Scripture?

After the parable of Mark 12:1-9 Jesus said,
“And have ye not read this Scripture; ‘The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?’ “  Mark 12:10-11

.Jesus always has a good, even a great question or questions for His accusers. Jesus knows the Scriptures. He is the One who inspired, and gave the Scriptures. Since He gave them to us it is fitting and very proper and a means of the Christian’s growth in the faith of Christ to read them, hear them and do them for His glory.

The parable in verses 1 through 9 is a parable of those who rejected a land owners son, killing him, so that they might be the ones who would inherit the land, since the land owner only had one son.

The scribes and Pharisees, the hypocrites did have the sense to realize the parable was about them, and their rejection of God’s Son who was speaking to them – though they were too blind to see Him as the Son of God.

Do you read the Scriptures? If you are a Christian they are for you and your growing; being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). When you know and love Jesus you will read, know, and love His word. You will also see that His word reads you.

Jesus is the “Cornerstone” which the builders rejected. He is rejected by them so that others might be saved and come to the truth of who Jesus is. He is the Son of Man, the Son of God and God the Son who willingly laid His own life down on the cross and was crucified, dying for our sins, was buried, and three days later He rose again and is calling you to Himself. Call out to Him turning from your sins to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will hear, and He will save you giving you eternal life.