March 22, 2018
CHRIST’S MIRACLES ARE PROOFS OF HIS DIVINITY
The Pharisees were upset by Jesus telling a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven. They said to themselves that he had committed blasphemy because only God had the authority to forgive sins. Jesus knew their thoughts, so he asked them which is easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? Then, without pause, he commanded the paralyzed man to stand up and walk. He said that this miracle should “prove” his authority as the “Son of Man” (A Messianic title).
Jesus offered many “proofs” of His divinity. That’s why the apostle John called Christ’s miracles, “signs” in his gospel. Sign’s don’t point to themselves. They identify the place, person or thing. Jesus’ miracles were signs pointing to His identity as the Messiah, both Son of Man and Son of God. They were proofs that He had the authority of God because He is God.
March 23, 2017
This was Christ’s response to those who questioned why he associated with sinners, even eating and drinking with them. He had come to call sinners to repentance. Those who thought themselves righteous, as the Pharisees did, would not answer the call. Only those who admitted their sin would hear and obey his call.
This is still Christ’s ministry. As the Father sent him, he sends us (John 20:21). Having repented of our sins and believed in Jesus, we are sent to call sinners to repentance too.
March 23, 2016
The Pharisees challenged Jesus’ choice of disciples. Unlike the followers of Pharisaic rabbis, or even the disciples of John the Baptist, the disciples of Jesus were considered uneducated and uncouth. They didn’t even fast. But Jesus defended his followers. First, he explained that fasting and wedding parties didn’t go together. His disciples were with the Bridegroom now, they would fast later when he was not with them. Then, he used a parable to illustrate the thinking behind his choice of disciples. He had called them because they were flexible enough to be teachable. Christ’s teaching was the “new wine,” and his disciples were the “new wineskins.” He didn’t have to overcome all of the Pharisaic teachings and additions to the Mosaic law with them. Every word he taught wasn’t challenged, but freely received by his disciples. Christ chose his disciples because they recognized him as having authority and were willing to believe and follow him. The Pharisees were like “old wineskins” that wouldn’t accept Christ’s authority, nor his teaching. The Pharisees were prideful, self-righteous and judgmental of others. Christ’s disciples were humble, self-confessed sinners who were amazed that Jesus would even consider calling them. What kind of “wineskin” are you?
March 22, 2016
A man “full of leprosy” fell on his face before Jesus saying, “Lord if you are will, you can make me clean.” And the Lord, who could’ve healed from afar, came near and touched the man who was leprous all over and said, “I will, be clean.” Jesus was not only willing to heal the leper, he was willing to touch him. The first action demonstrated divine power, the second divine love. Certainly, we rejoice in Christ’s healing and forgiving power that saves us. Yet, that Jesus is willing to touch us, calling us his own, moves us to even greater thankfulness and joy. He is not only Physician, but Friend!
March 21, 2016
When Jesus called Peter and his fellow fisherman to follow Him, they left their boats, nets and everything to be His disciples. Sure, there were a few occasions when Peter tried to return to his fishing, but his former life no longer aligned with his new life in Christ. Stop clinging to the former things that held your interest before believing in Christ. Experience the sweet release of leaving your self-effort behind and trusting Jesus with all. Leave and follow. Christ wants to take you places you could never go on your own. What aspect of your former life is keeping you from fully following Christ?
March 22, 2015
The more that crowds gathered around Jesus, the more often He “withdrew” to pray. Jesus modeled an important rhythm between doing ministry and personal devotion. We recognize the need for food and rest for our physical bodies after exerting work, but we often overlook the need for our souls to be replenished after doing ministry. Do you ever withdraw to pray?
March 22, 2013
The more that crowds gathered around Jesus, the more often He would “withdraw” to pray. Jesus modeled an important rhythm between doing ministry and personal devotion. We recognize the need for food and rest for our physical bodies after exerting work, but we often overlook the need for our souls to be replenished after doing ministry. Do you ever withdraw to pray?