We Go Up To Jerusalem

“Then He took the twelve, and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished…’ ” Luke 18:31 (KJB)

Since the day of His birth the salvation story was for Jesus to go to Jerusalem, and die for the sins of Adam’s race, thus the world (John 3:16).  Jesus’s heart was to glorify the Father, and accomplish all that the Father gave Him to do.

All that the Law had spoken condemned Adam kind, and provided no hope but only complete obedience to it, without flaw, or blemish. The prophets spoke of One who would come, to be the sacrifice for sin, One who was without sin, without flaw, who would fulfill all the commandments of God (Isaiah 51 – 53), and Jesus was the fulfillment of those prophecies.

At this time of year we are reminded of the birth, the first coming of our Redeemer. Lest any forget Christmas is not just a holiday, it is a Holy day, to remind us that Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem to one day (33 years later), go up to Jerusalem, to be falsely accused, wrongly and evilly judged, and found guilty of nothing more than being the perfect, sinless Son of God. He was sentenced to die on a Roman cross on that hill called the “the Skull”. He bled, He died, was buried, and He rose again.

Back in February I wrote on verses 31-34; and it seemed appropriate to write on this verse near the end of the 2019 year.

We need to always remember that if  God has said it; it shall be done. We do not need to go up to Jerusalem to meet Jesus, and to call on His name. He is as close as you speaking a word. Call on His name. He will hear. He will save.

The Disciple of Jesus Christ

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33 (KJB)

Jesus has dealt with the cost of following Him in verses 25-33 of Luke 14. Many who have or are thinking of themselves as followers of Christ have truly sacrificed, and given themselves for that great name – the name of Jesus.

There is a cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. First of all, your heart and life become His – you are His possession. You are no longer your own. You are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). Secondly, you see as He sees, you believe as He believes. If He has declared something a sin; it is sin. You are in agreement with Him and His word. Human opinion is moot against the word of God. Third, you love Jesus Christ more than family, friends, work, play, sports, deer hunting, hunting, wife, children, grandchildren, and more than your own life (Luke 14:26). In this there are times when you will stand for the truth of God and His word at the disdain of these. Fourth, not the least of these is your greatest treasure is Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).

The cost of discipleship – of following Jesus – is the cross we must choose to pick up. Let us keep in mind the price He paid that we could do so. He went to the cross, laid down His life, took the judgment that was yours and mine, died, was buried, and then He rose again. Through Him, there is life everlasting.

When the Righteous Perish

“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil.” Isaiah 57:1 (KJB)

First of all we need to understand who the righteous are. The righteous are those whom God declares righteous, and none other. In the context of Scripture these righteous are a  remnant of Israel who were ashamed of the sin, debauchery, and evil in the land, and they kept themselves from it. The righteous of today are those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ death on the cross; His burial and resurrection proving the deal.

The death of the righteous is just as likely as the death of the evil. It is most likely going to happen, and none knows the day. The death of the righteous is not eternal.  The death of the wicked is eternal. There is a place in Heaven prepared for the righteous.  There is no place found for the evil in Heaven, so the only place for them is Hell.

When the righteous die there will be many wicked who applaud that death saying something like “Well that  trouble maker is gone, and good riddance”, maybe just thinking it. The wicked always see the righteous as the cause of  trouble. At any rate they do not care at their passing.

The merciful are the same as the righteous, and will be taken away from the evil that God has declared judgment upon.  God knows how to deliver the righteous from the evil…

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished…” 2 Peter 2:9

Become one who is righteous before God. Call on the name of the One who died on the cross for you, was buried, and He rose again.  His name is Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son.

Just Sitting There

“And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink.
And they crucified Him, and parted His garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, ‘They parted My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast lots.’ And sitting down they watched Him there; and set up over His head His accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Matthew 27:32-37  (KJB)

After the rigged “evidence” and very falsified testimony at an unjust trial, and conviction the soldiers had flogged Jesus, beaten Him nearly to death, and physically weakened.  On the way to the place of crucifixion, He carrying His cross gave way under the load, and they compelled Simon to carry His cross the rest of the way to Golgotha.

Jesus giving His life for the sins of the world; for my sins and for yours; had willingly gave Himself for us; and He is now in the Scripture hanging, bleeding, and dying.  The soldiers just sit down to watch Him die.  There are two others who are dying too, but the soldiers are watching Jesus die.

The King of the Jews was dying for the Jews, and the Gentiles.  He is not only the King of the Jews; He is the King of kings.

The King did not stay on the cross; He was buried, and He rose again from the grave.  He is alive (Please read Matthew 28).  He lives that we all might live too.

Believe Him.

Jesus in Genesis (2)

LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS (2)

“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10c).

Can Jesus and the gospel be found in the Old Testament? It is my declaration that He can and that the gospel is there as well.

Look in Genesis 3. This is the chapter of the fall of man and sin entering into the world. After the sin of Adam and Eve we find God’s declarations to the serpent, to Eve and last of all to Adam. Within this chapter there is a prophecy of a Savior who would come, and a type (picture, shadow) of what would take place by that Savior who would come. This is what we will look at in this post.

In God’s Word to the serpent He said (v. 15),

“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.”

We can see the enmity (fear, strife) between the serpent and the children of Eve. It is even present to this day. When I see a snake it causes fear in me. That is one of God’s creatures which I want absolutely nothing to do with. In my mind they are a symbol of all that is vile and wicked and evil. If you want to handle the things, you go right ahead. If it bites you you cannot blame anyone but yourself. The same thing is true of sin. When you play with sin, it will bite you, and it already has.

The seed of the woman, the one who would bruise the head of the serpent is the promised Redeemer who would come. When Eve had Cain it seems as though she expected him to be the one. There was such expectancy. It is seen in what she named him

“Cain…I have gotten a man from the Lord” (4:1).

It was not to be Cain, because he was not a man who had a heart for the things of God. This prophecy would not be fulfilled for about four thousand years. It is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. On the cross, upon which Jesus died Satan (that old serpent) “Bruised the heel” of the Seed of the woman. Upon that same cross the head of the serpent was not only “bruised” but the power of Satan was crushed, and his authority over men taken away. After the cross Jesus rose from death showing that He was indeed the Son of the living God, and God the Living Son (Romans 1:4). By that same resurrection we have the promise of eternal life.

There is also a shadow/type of the cross seen in this chapter of Genesis. In Verse 21 it says,

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”

Now in the minds of some, this verse may seem very insignificant, but I do not think it will be to many who are reading this. Remember Adam and Eve had been warned by God that they would die if they ate fruit from the forbidden tree. Now they had eaten fruit from the tree, and God provided redemption for them. It was a covering for their sin. It was in the form of animal skins, and I personally believe the skins to be lamb skins. Life was taken; blood was shed. This was the first time death had come into the world, and it was God who did the killing. In this shadow of the cross there were animals put to death for the sins of these two sinners. God in his holy and righteous way provided a means of salvation which would bring salvation to the human race. To think that God in His wisdom, power, love and grace was showing us the wonderful life of Jesus Christ in providing covering for Adam and Eve. They had tried to cover themselves in fig leaves, but it was not good enough for God. The “Fig leaves” of religion, self-righteousness, good works, or ceremonial laws will never satisfy the righteousness of God. The blood or the righteous Lamb of God alone has done that.

Isn’t the love, grace and mercy of God something wonderful. It is the most wonderful knowledge that we could have. It is, in fact the most wonderful thing we could have in our lives.

Day Three Hundred Thirty and Two

What do I want for Christmas?

If there is to be any boasting which comes from my mouth let it be of the power, wrath, love, grace, mercy, peace, awe, beauty, the cross, burial, resurrection power, etc. of the Almighty, Living God.

My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.” Psalm 34:2 (NKJV)

“In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever.” Psalm 44:8

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galations 6:14

Thanks, Mercy, and Great Wonders

“O give thanks unto the God of gods: for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him who alone doeth great wonders: for His mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 136:2-4 (KJV)

I have a friend who when something happens, something is said that is surprising, or is questionable will say “Mercy”. I am tempted many times when I hear him say that to say “We need more of it”; or “That is from God”. I may have a time or two.

With the events taking place in our world today; a SCOTUS going AWAL from its foundings purpose; to interpret the law not legislate law; it is clear to me that the mercy of God abounds.

Take a look at the verses above: First of all we are to thank God, not our “Lucky stars”, but the God of gods; the One who is more awesome, powerful, and holds all things together; and we are to thank Him for His mercy, because it is enduring forever. Secondly, we are to thank Him because He is the Lord of lords, the Master of the masters, the Husband of the husbands, the Superior of the superiors; and His mercy endures forever. Thirdly, He is the One who does great wonders; I mean think about it, the only One, who does great wonders. No one can design, build, and create like He has done. Look at all the great wonders that are mentioned in this Psalm. Look at the Creation and the order within it; and thank Him, because His mercy endures forever.

Be thankful to God the LORD today, because His mercy is everlasting; He is faithful, and will continue to be faithful no matter what comes into our world, our nation, our town, our county, or our personal lives.

Thank Him because when He could have shown us wrath, He sent us His Son to die on the cross in our place. Now, what will you do with this information? Believe or throw it out?

The People Versus God

There are competitions galore.  Track and Field competitions, swimming, football, soccer, basketball, even political competitions when we go to the polls and vote.  You get the idea.

One competition this world is in, and cannot win is the competition that is going on against God and His Word.  The following is what the Psalmist recognized in his day…

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” Psalm 2:1 (KJV)

“The heathen” is another word for the nations of the world.  Hey world!  You cannot win against God.  It is already decided.  Jesus won on the cross.  The enemy is defeated.  The bodily resurrection of Christ is the evidence.  Submit to Him or perish in your sins, and rebellion.

The question of the Psalmist is a great one, “Why do the heathen rage?”  It is a foolish endeavor.  Believe Jesus and be delivered from your condemnation.

“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.” John 3:18

Councils, Sparrows and Enemies

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ‘Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.’  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?  Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”  Matthew 10:16-39 (KJV)

Notice the three “Fear nots” in the text above.  The word also of Whom we are to fear.

-T.A.

…Ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven

“And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. 54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. 55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. 56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. 57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, 58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. 59 But neither so did their witness agree together. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? 62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? 64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. 65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. 69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. 70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. 71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.”  Mark 14:53-72 (KJV)

It was very early in the morning and the “High priest, all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes” were all assembled together and for the distinct purpose of putting Jesus on trial.  It was not the time of week they preferred, but it was the time ordained by God.  It was illegal to hold a trial this early, but there was nothing legal about the arrest of Jesus either.  He was arrested out of pure envy, because of sin in the hearts of wicked men.
We are told by the writer that “Peter followed Him afar off…”.  Peter followed all the way to the home “Palace” of the high priest.  It was there that he sat with the “Servants” and warmed himself at their fire.

These religious leaders sought for testimony against Jesus, and did not find any (v. 55).  There were many who bore “False witness” against Him, but it was not in agreement.  They kept searching until they found two who would agree as to the destroying and rebuilding of the temple.  These “Leaders” were desparate.  This testimony was on Jesus’s statement where He had said, “Destroy this temple [speaking of His own body], and in three days I will raise it again.”  (John 2:19).   There was no accusation against Jesus which would stand in a real court of law where a judge was fair and just.  But, then, all men are liars when compared to the justice of God.

Jesus is asked if He is the Messiah/Christ, and He answers, “I Am…”  He goes on telling of seeing His coming glory (v. 62).  That really upset the high priest to the point of hypocritically ripping his garment.  This was an outward show of grief, despair, even at times repentance – which he certainly needed right now, but even more later.   The sound is more and more the echo of Psalm 2,

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

At the trial before the religious leaders they began to spit on Him and strike him with their hands.  It is a grievous thing to read and think that the God of the universe placed Himself in the hands of sinners; He Himself being sinless, to give His life as the  payment for sin, and giving to those who believe in Him His righteousness.  My what  a Savior.
Peter, the disciple, John MacArthur calls “The disciple with the foot-shaped mouth”.  He has previously said that he would never be offended because of Jesus (vv. 27-30), now denies Him.  In these seven verses (66-72) we have three accounts where he does just that.

At one point he even goes into a “Fit” of cursing; denying that he knows Jesus.  He went out not believing the word of Jesus about “All being offended in Him”, and finds himself doing exactly what Jesus said.  We need not fear that the Word of God and His Son Jesus will be performed.

Peter’s weeping was not the weeping of one who silently sheds tears, but one who “Wailed” loudly where it could have been heard by people around him.  When that rooster crowed the second time Peter saw the eyes of Jesus looking at him (Luke 22:61), and it grieved his heart.

Have I denied Jesus?  Have I betrayed Him?  Do I need to ask?  Yes!  To all three questions.  I must ask for His forgiveness, and He forgives, cleanses and sets me free.

-Tim A. Blankenship

…I Have Known Thee…

We have been on a journey through the Priestly prayer of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in John seventeen.  To me it has been a pleasant journey, an encouraging journey, and refreshing one, knowing, and being reminded of the wonderful love, mercy and grace of our God.  I pray you have found it the same or even better.

With this posting we will conclude with the final two verses of chapter seventeen.  Jesus again addresses the Father by name, only as “Righteous Father”, and to that we must say “Amen”.  God our Father truly is righteous.

“O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me.  And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou has loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”  John 17:25-26 (KJV).

There are too many people in this world who hate God, do not know Him, nor do they want to know Him.  There are many of them who want to worship their own god, in their way, but refuse to reconcile the fact that the true God has only one way of knowing Him.  That one way is by way of the cross of Jesus.

The only way the disciples for whom Jesus is praying knows the Father; is because they know the Son.  That is the way to know God through His Son Jesus Christ.  Jesus has revealed the Father God to us, and has given us His name.  It is not Allah, Buddha,  or Moon. It is Jehovah/YHWH, manifested through the Son Jesus Christ.

The love the Father has for the Son is in us who know the Son.  The reason for that is that the Son has prayed for us, and has received what He has requested.  Let us love as Jesus loves.

-Tim A. Blankenship

…That They Might Know… God

“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent”  John 17:3 (KJV).

Jesus proceeds to pray for eternal life for those whom the Father has given Him.  Eternal life He says is knowing the Father.  It is God’s desire that people might know Him.  The knowing of God is having to do with an intimate relationship.

Does that blow your mind when you hear the word “Intimacy” or “intimate” what is the first thing that flashes through your mind?  It is probably like ‘Loving your spouse’ or something along that thought line.  And it is similar.  It is opposite of knowing about God.  Many of us might say, “I know the President of the United States”, but in fact only know of him, because we voted for or against him in the last election.  We hear about him everyday.  There are a few who can actually say and be truthful, “I know Barrack Obama”.  One of those would be his wife.  Others could be their two daughters.  They have an intimate relationship with our President.

Eternal?  How long is it?  It could be expressed this way; If you counted one million years, multiplied it by another million, then eternity would only be as a grain of sand on the seashore.  That is the life Jesus Christ as purchased for those who will trust in Him.  Eternity with the God of creation; who created all that is; and we have access to His very throne even now (Hebrews 4:16).

To know the Father one must also know Jesus Christ.  Jesus made it His life’s goal to make a way possible for men, women, boys and girls of every tribe, tongue, and nation to come to faith in God.  He made that possible by way of the cross, and now you can have a personal intimate relationship with the Creator of all that is.  By way of the cross of Jesus; the One whom the Father sent.

-Tim A. Blankenship

He Took Our Infirmities

He Took Our Infirmities

Matthew 8:1-17

We begin now to see the accounts of Jesus’s healing ministry. He is showing Himself as the Prophet, Priest, and King, though the message of Matthew rest upon His being King of kings.

We see in Jesus that He is unafraid of touching the sick, even lepers, for in this passage He does exactly that. He touches the leper. Jesus touches the “Unclean leper”, because He sees a man who is healed. We have a Roman Centurion coming to Jesus seeking for healing of his servant who is sick of “Palsy”, and “grievously tormented” and the Centurion is a Gentile. The third individual who is healed is a woman, Peter’s mother-in-law. We see Jesus touching and healing three of the “outcasts” of society of that day.

In these miraculous healings we see Jesus taking the infirmities upon Himself. He was touching the untouchable according to ceremonial laws. Even before the cross He is taking our sin upon Himself. Of the evening following the healing of the three individuals there are many brought to Him for the casting out of demons (these are all first mention for Matthew’s Gospel) with only “His Word”, and healed all that were sick.

 

Jesus operates His ministry without any racial prejudice, without any fear of contracting disease, and shows no favoritism toward the gender of any individual.

“When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” 8:1-4 (KJV).

According to Old Testament Law when an individual was afflicted by lepersy they were pronounced “Unclean”. They even had to wear a protective cover over their mouth when in public and cry out “Unclean, unclean” (Leviticus 13:44-46). Lepers were “outcasts” the Jewish society. It played no cultural or societal favorites, nor according to gender or race. They were forbidden to mingle with the healthy people. There is one disease, which socially is similar to leprosy in today’s society; and that is AIDS.

According to Warren Wiersbe “Leprosy is an illustration of sin”. It is deeper than the skin (Lev. 13:3), it spreads (Lev. 13:8), it defiles and isolates (Lev. 13:45-46), it is worthy only of fire (Lev. 13:52, 57). AIDS has similar likenesses as a disease. It seems that there is no direct known cause for leprosy, while AIDS has come upon us as an affliction, mainly upon the sexually immoral. It still passes on – spreads – through blood into “Innocent” victims. None are left untouched by sin.

This leprous man came to Jesus. This of itself broke the law of the leper. We are told that the leper “Worshipped Him”, and in worshipping Him he is recognizing His deity, and His sovereignty. This man has been greatly humbled, and is submissive to the sovereignty and power of Jesus, as he says, “If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean”. He is willing to accept the will of Jesus, and he is not demanding, but humbly asking. Jesus heals this leper, and gives him commandment to go and obey the law of Moses concerning the matter of the law of the lepers. This was in order to fulfill the law. Lepers were rarely if ever healed. There is really only one Biblical account of any Jewish individual being healed in the Old Testament, and that was Mirriam (Numbers 12:10. Read chapter 12 Numbers to see why she became leprous). In my thinking it would almost seem that by Jesus sending the healed leper to the religious leaders He is making a statement, and they will be approving the healing, in that they recognize the healing. This would give them no excuse not to believe Jesus is genuinely their Messiah. By keeping the law and sending a healed leper for ‘cleansing’ He stifles their hypocrisy, and shows it as death.

“And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, 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. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” 8:5-13 (KJV)

A Roman soldier shows a great faith, and in behalf of a servant of his household, who is suffering from a palsy with great pain and suffering. The Gentiles were hated and despised by Jewish culture; as were slaves. Here we have a Gentile praying for his slave. The Centurion is commended by Jesus, for his faith. Jesus warns of willful ignorance and eternal judgment upon those who have seen, written, interpreted, and yet have no faith. He, as Messiah, was in the midst of His people doing His mighty works, yet they did not believe (John 10:37-38). He warns them, that just because they are physical descendants of Abraham, does not make them his spiritual descendants.

The very hour Jesus spoke healing the slave/servant was healed. In this instance it was according to this man’s faith. This is usually not the standard, but it can apply.

The “children of the kingdom” mentioned here are the children of Israel who have refused to believe the message and that He is the Messiah. The only place for all who will not believe Jesus is to “be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. “That many shall come” are evidently the Gentile masses who would come and believe Jesus and His Word that He speaks. “East and West” is from around the globe.

We know that due to this man’s faith his servant was healed that same hour. The man understands the principle of authority, and trust the authority which he sees in Jesus. His recognition is one that shows the deity of Jesus; because who but deity has authority over sickness and disease? There is none but God.

“And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.” 8:14-15 (KJV).

The final individual who is mentioned is a woman in bed with a sickness, and this woman is Peter’s Mother-in-law. A common prayer for Jewish males in Jesus’s day was, “I thank Thee that I was not born a slave, a Gentile, or a woman”. Of course, no one would desire to get leprosy. Women held no honored position in Jewish society.

Peter’s Mother-in-law is very sick, and she must have been really ill, because she is in bed. People of that era did not stop working just because they felt a little ill, with an upset stomach or something like that: they kept to their work. She seems to have been sick, even possibly to the point of death.

Jesus touched her hand in a special way, a special touch, a healing touch. She was a Jewish woman. Jesus may have been stating by this touch, “I have not forsaken my people. They are sick, but in Me there is healing”. By healing the Gentile’s slave, and the leper He showed an open door to sinners and Gentiles of every land. Israel in her illness will be touched again by her Messiah. The woman, being healed, arose and served Jesus and the disciples. It was an immediate healing.

“When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” 8:16-17 (KJV).

By all these healings it seems that Jesus is making a point to say to one and to all, “I am the King of all people”. We find it stated in these verses a quotation of Isaiah the prophet from Isaiah 53:4, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”.

Here we find Matthew’s first mention of Jesus delivering people from demon possession. It is called “Possessed with devils”, and He did it by His Word. He did not use a method of any ritual. He did not even use any prayer. He simply spoke the Word. When we are confronted by demons and demonic activity it has been given to us to speak His Word to the people. Where His Word is heard, accepted, and believed demons must flee.

Jesus may have been heckled by the demons as He was suffering on the cross, but it was not for long. He crushed the head of the devil at that same cross, and the evidence of it is the resurrection. The stone is rolled away, the tomb is empty, and Jesus is alive forever more.

LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS (2)

LOOKING FOR JESUS – GENESIS (2)

“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10c). Can Jesus and the gospel be found in the Old Testament? It is my declaration that He can and that the gospel is there as well.

Look in Genesis 3. This is the chapter of the fall of man and sin entering into the world. After the sin of Adam and Eve we find God’s declarations to the serpent, to Eve and last of all to Adam. Within this chapter there is a prophecy of a Savior who would come, and a type (picture, shadow) of what would take place by that Savior who would come. This is what we will look at in this post.

In God’s Word to the serpent He said (v. 15), “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” We can see the enmity (fear, strife) between the serpent and the children of Eve. It is even present to this day. When I see a snake it causes fear in me. That is one of God’s creatures which I want absolutely nothing to do with. In my mind they are a symbol of all that is vile and wicked and evil. If you want to handle the things, you go right ahead. If it bites you you cannot blame anyone but yourself. The same thing is true of sin. When you play with sin, it will bite you, and it already has.

The seed of the woman, the one who would bruise the head of the serpent is the promised Redeemer who would come. When Eve had Cain it seems as though she expected him to be the one. There was such expectancy. It is seen in what she named him “Cain…I have gotten a man from the Lord” (4:1). It was not to be Cain, because he was not a man who had a heart for the things of God. This prophecy would not be fulfilled for about four thousand years. It is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. On the cross, upon which Jesus died satan (that old serpent) “Bruised the heel” of the seed of the woman. Upon that same cross the head of the serpent was not only “bruised” but the power of satan was crushed, and his authority over men taken away. After the cross Jesus rose from death showing that He was indeed the Son of the living God (Romans 1:4). By that same resurrection we have the promise of eternal life.

There is also a shadow/type of the cross seen in this chapter of Genesis. In Verse 21 it says, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Now in the minds of some, this verse may seem very insignificant, but I do not think it will be to many who are reading this. Remember Adam and Eve had been warned by God that they would die if they ate fruit from the forbidden tree. Now they had eaten fruit from the tree, and God provided redemption for them. It was a covering for their sin. It was in the form of animal skins, and I personally believe the skins to be lamb skins. This was the first time death had come into the world, and it was God who did the killing. In this shadow of the cross there were animals put to death for the sins of these two sinners. God in his holy and righteous way provided a means of salvation which would bring salvation to the human race. To think that God in His wisdom, power, love and grace was showing us the wonderful life of Jesus Christ in providing covering for Adam and Eve. They had tried to cover themselves in fig leaves, but it was not good enough for God. The “Fig leaves” of religion, self-righteousness, good works, or ceremonial laws will never satisfy the righteousness of God. The blood or the righteous Lamb of God alone has done that.

Isn’t the love, grace and mercy of God something wonderful. It is the most wonderful knowledge that we could have. It is, in fact the most wonderful thing we could have in our lives.