March 12, 2019
WHO WILL MOVE THE STONE? On the first Easter morning, the women who went to anoint the Lord’s body worried about moving the stone that sealed His tomb. Arriving there, they found that the enormous stone had already been rolled away, revealing the empty tomb. Do you know someone that seems close to believing,… Read more »
March 9, 2019
HAS JESUS INVITED YOU TO PRAY WITH HIM? Jesus invited Simon Peter, James, and John to keep watch and pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was the night of His betrayal, the day before His trial and crucifixion. He wanted them as prayer partners. They were willing, but their flesh was weak… Read more »
February 25, 2019
COMPASSION THAT MOVES US TO ACTION Jesus felt compassion for the hungry. He noticed their need and then took action to address it. We don’t read that the disciples felt compassion. When faced with human need we learn to turn a blind eye. There is so much need and we are so concerned with our… Read more »
February 23, 2019
WHEN DO YOU GET ALONE TO PRAY? After a long day filled with teaching and miraculously feeding the 5,000, Jesus insisted that His disciples go on ahead while He excused the crowds. Jesus wanted some time alone to pray. For the Son did “nothing of Himself” (John 5:19). Everything He did was shown to Him… Read more »
February 20, 2019
HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD? The disciples were afraid of the storm outside the boat until they awoke Jesus. Then, they feared the One inside the boat. We say that we believe and trust Jesus fully. Yet when life’s storms come, we discover the true measure of our faith. The disciples thought they knew the… Read more »
February 17, 2019
HOW DOES JESUS FEEL ABOUT YOUR HEART? The Pharisees brought out the full range of emotion from our Lord Jesus. When He tried to show them the spirit of the Sabbath, they clung to the letter of the law, even that which they themselves had added to it. He asked them a simple question, one… Read more »
February 16, 2019
CHRIST’S IMMEDIATE CARE The Gospel of Mark is unique among the four in that it was written in present tense. Mark’s action-oriented writing is marked by his favorite phrase, “and immediately” (καὶ εὐθὺς), which is found throughout the book. Here, the NLT translates the phrase as “instantly.” Each gospel presents a different perspective of… Read more »
March 12, 2018
ARE WE OBEYING CHRIST’S COMMISSION?
Jesus commissioned His disciples to share the “Good News” to everyone in “all the world.” Are we obeying this commission? What are we doing as a church and what are we doing as individual believers to answer this call? Do we pray for the gospel to be preached in every nation and language? Do we give financially to support those who carry the Good News to every “people group” (An ethnic group which identifies based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, society, culture or nation)? Are we willing to go personally to see that the gospel is offered to everyone?
According to the Joshua Project, there are 16,970 people groups in the world out of which 7,040 groups have yet to be reached. This means that 3.14 billion people, out of the world’s total population of 7.48 billion, have not yet heard the gospel!
There are two important spiritual questions that we must ask ourselves: 1) What did we do with Jesus? and 2) What did we do with the gospel? How have you answered these two questions in your own life? If we have believed Jesus then we must obey His commission.
March 11, 2018
JESUS WAS SILENT
As Christ’s accusers made charge after charge against Him, Pilate was surprised at His silence. Pilate already suspected that the Jews were acting out of “envy” (Mark 15:10), but he was amazed that Jesus offered no defense. No doubt he was accustomed to seeing the accused blubber out a passionate defense when facing his court. Yet, Jesus uttered not a word. Certainly, he must have also marveled at Christ’s dignity and self-control. He had never seen a man such as this.
Jesus could have easily offered a verbal defense that would have made Pilate see Him as innocent and His accusers as fools. But Jesus said nothing. Jesus could have responded with a devastating military defense, as He had told Peter when he tried to defend Jesus in the garden, “Put away your sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53). Yet, Jesus took no action.
As the prophet Isaiah prophesied concerning the Messiah, “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Isa. 53:7). Jesus was silent.
And as the chorus of Ray Overholt’s 1958 hymn declares:
“He could have called ten thousand angels
To destory the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone for you and me.”
March 10, 2018
WHY WAS JESUS ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY?
The high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (Mark 14:61). Why was it blasphemy for Jesus to answer the high priest’s question in the positive? The question itself revealed the first century expectation that the Messiah would also be called the Son of God. It has been well documented from the Dead Sea Scrolls that many first century Jews and rabbis thought the Messiah would be called the Son of God. So, why was it blasphemy for Jesus to reply, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62)?
They called Him a blasphemer because they rejected His claim. They saw Him as a challenger to their position and power. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, they were so concerned with the great crowds following Jesus, that they called a special council meeting, concluding, “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:48).
Yet, calling him a blasphemer was a stretch. The law concerning blasphemy states, “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death” (Lev. 24:16). Notice that the law concerning blasphemy makes no mention of claiming to be the Messiah or Son of God.
Jesus was not a blasphemer because He did not “blaspheme the name of the Lord,” nor did He make a false claim by answering the high priest in the positive. I can find no other instance in history when Jewish authorities accused and executed a so-called Messiah. And there have been many. Jewish author, Jerry Rabow, wrote a book entitled, “Fifty Jewish Messiahs.” None of them endured the rejection and accusation that Jesus did. Why?
It was always God’s plan for His Son to come as Messiah, to be rejected and killed and on the third day to be raised again, so that we might be saved.