February 10, 2020
ARE YOU TRYING TO FOLLOW JESUS AT A DISTANCE? On the night when Jesus was arrested, Peter tried to blend in as one of the crowd, following Jesus at a distance. This, after following so close must’ve been unbearable for Peter. Yet, it only took a little distance before denial overtook him. For just as
February 9, 2020
DO YOU REMEMBER THE PLACE YOU FIRST FOLLOWED JESUS? Jesus said this to His disciples to encourage them. For He had already warned them that they would all stumble and scatter that very night. Yet He wanted them to look past His coming betrayal, crucifixion and death, and their own failure to stay with Him,
February 10, 2019
JESUS, SON OF MAN, SON OF GOD Jesus remained silent before His accusers. But when Caiaphas, the high priest, demanded that Jesus answer whether He was the Messiah, the Son of God, He replied, “You have said it.” In other words, Jesus answered in the positive. And Jesus said even more, quoting the prophet Daniel,
February 9, 2019
THE LORD JESUS SANG ON THE NIGHT OF HIS BETRAYAL The night Jesus was betrayed to be crucified, He joined His disciples in singing a hymn before going up to the Mount of Olives to pray and await His betrayer. What hymn did they sing? The traditional Passover hymns were the “Hallel” (“praise”) psalms found
February 8, 2019
EXTRAVAGANT GENEROSITY THE MARK OF GOSPEL BELIEVING PEOPLE What Jesus said is true. Wherever the gospel is preached, the story of a woman’s extravagant generosity towards Jesus is told. A woman in Bethany came up to him with “an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and poured it on his head” (Matt.26:7) causing those in
February 10, 2017
Before we judge the disciples too harshly, we must answer the question, “When have you forsaken Christ?” For even those of us with the most sturdy faith have certainly faltered at times. Simon Peter, still stinging from Christ’s prediction that he would deny him three times at sunset, pulled out his sword and cut off an ear of the high priest’s servant who had laid hands on Jesus. What did Peter get from Jesus for this protective action? Praise? No. He received a rebuke. Jesus didn’t need Peter’s protection. He could’ve called more than 12 legions (72,000+) of angels to His side, but instead He went willingly and obediently to the cross. Peter dropped his sword and fled along with the other disciples. Peter must’ve been overwrought with fear and confusion. Jesus wouldn’t listen when he tried to talk him out of going to the cross, calling him “Satan” in rebuke. And now, Jesus wouldn’t let him protect him, rebuking him for using his sword. Peter was at the end of his own wisdom and strength. “What does Jesus want from me?” He must’ve wondered. So he “forsook” and “fled,” instead of forsaking himself and following. Jesus does not need our protection, he wants us to deny ourselves, take up our own cross, and follow him (Luke 9:23). Even the best of us have forsaken and fled at times, but Jesus prays for us as he did for Peter, that our faith should not fail; and that we return to him” (Luke 22:31).
February 9, 2017
We remember that Peter made this promise, but we forget that all the other disciples said the same, “I will not deny you.” Jesus had taught his disciples that the cost of discipleship involved denying oneself, taking up one’s own cross daily and following him (Luke 9:23). Yet, he predicted that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. I think Peter meant it. And so did the other disciples. They all wanted to be able to deny themselves and follow Christ, even unto death. Their spirit was willing, but their flesh was weak (Mark 14:38). It wasn’t until after the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, that Peter was able to truly deny himself and follow Jesus even unto death. We must be filled with the Spirit and walk in the Spirit in order to deny ourselves and truly follow Jesus.
February 10, 2016
When Jesus was arrested, Peter tried to blend in as one of the crowd, following Jesus from a distance. This, after following so close must’ve been unbearable. Following Jesus at church is one thing, but following Him in the public square is another. Do you try to blend in with the crowd? Are you trying to follow Jesus from a distance? When will you go public with your devotion?
February 9, 2016
The night Jesus was betrayed to be crucified, He joined His disciples in singing a hymn before going up to the Mount of Olives to pray and await His betrayer. What hymn did they sing? The traditional hymn that the Jews would have sung for Passover were the “Hallel” (“praise”) psalms found in Psalms 113-118. As the Rabbi, Jesus would have led the hymn, no doubt from memory, “Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! (Psa. 113:1)… When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language (Psa. 114:1)… The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul! (Psa. 116:3-4)… Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psa. 118:5-6)… Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psa.118:29). I wonder, did His voice break with emotion as He sang? Did the disciples feel the heaviness of the Spirit blanket the upper room during their singing? Did the heavenly choir of angels grow silent to hear their Lord’s voice? Listen all creation! The Lord Jesus is singing on the night of His betrayal!
February 8, 2016
What Jesus said is true. Wherever the gospel is preached the story of a woman’s extravagant generosity towards Jesus is told. A woman in Bethany came up to him with “an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and poured it on his head” (Matt.26:7) causing those in attendance to accuse her of waste. Yet, Jesus accepted her gift, rebuking her critics and declaring her offering a “beautiful thing.” The parallel reading for this story found in Mark 14:3-9, informs us that the ointment was worth nearly a year’s wages (300 denarii or 300 days wages). And this unnamed woman poured the whole thing out upon Jesus. What crazy love is this? What extravagant generosity? It is the only right response for those who have recognized and received Christ’s crazy, extravagant generosity towards us.