“Praise You, O Father”
So many questioned answered in these few verses.
Did/does Jesus worship Father?
Why did Jesus worship Father?
Father, Lord of Heaven and earth has hidden these things - Jesus is saying this immediately after the “woes” unto Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum - from the wise and revealed them to infants.
This hiding was pleasing to Father.
What is the relationship between Jesus and Father?
How is one brought into correct relationship with Father?
- all things have been handed over to Jesus by Father
- no one knows the Son except Father
- no one know Father except the Son...and anyone to whom the Son will to reveal.
Did the disciples know how blessed they were?
Jesus told them.
Many prophets and kings wished to see what they had seen...yet had not seen.
Also to hear, yet they had not heard.
We have seen.
We have heard.
The Lord has revealed the ways of the Kingdom to us.
We are blessed.
Will you walk in it?
The Lord had sent His disciples out two-by-two.
They now returned.
They were rejoicing!
Because even the demons submitted to them in the name of Jesus.
Jesus acknowledged that He had seen Satan fall like lightning from heaven. An intriguing thing. Satan still has access to heaven...to Father. He accuses the Brethren. When the disciples went forth, Satan fell forth.
Jesus then gives them some insight.
He had given them authority to tread snakes/scorpions/full force of the enemy.
Nothing will hurt you.
We have the same authority.
Not authority to test or challenge the Lord.
Authority to fear not the attack of the enemies.
Authority to walk in victory.
The Mark reading is not a parallel passage, but does give insight to what the disciples experienced.
Many teach/preach that this Mark passage should be ignored.
Such is not the case.
The Lord has told us that signs will accompany those who believe.
In the name of the Lord they will…
- drive out demons
- speak in new languages
- pick up snake with their hands
- not be harmed by ingested poison
- place their hands on the sick...they will be well
This is not permission to “challenge” the Lord to prove faith.
We do not grab poisonous snakes to “prove faith.”
We do not drink poison to “prove faith.”
No doubt, the mercy of the Lord has been upon many who have done such in ignorance.
What does the Mark passage mean?
I believe the Word provides some insight.
Remember when Paul was shipwrecked?
He was gathering wood for a fire.
An asp (extremely poisonous snake) latched on to him.
Paul shook it off, none the worse.
The natives then began to listen to Paul.
The drinking poison?
How many times have we eaten/drunk something that would be dangerous, yet the Lord protected?
We are blessed to be protected by the Lord in this manner.
But, even this is not what the Lord wanted them/us to rejoice in.
Rejoice that your names stand written in heaven.
Do likewise...if true.
Repent if not.
So often we do not speak of the things of the Kingdom because we fear the reaction of people.
We fear resentment.
We fear anger.
We fear rejection.
We fear appearing foolish.
We fear belittling.
Notice these are “all about me.”
These verses put things in perspective.
Matthew tells us that the one who receives us receives Jesus.
He who receives Jesus receives the Father.
In other words, if they believe the Truth of Jesus…
Luke gives more understanding.
The one who listens to you, listens to Me.
Listening to a Believer is listening to Jesus.
f they reject you they reject Jesus.
If they reject Jesus, they reject Father.
Finally, John shows us that we are sent by Jesus.
So, fear not.
You are sent by Jesus.
If they reject, they are not rejecting you. They are rejecting the Lord.
Do not allow fear or pride to dissuade you from proclaiming the Word of the Kingdom.
“It Will Be More Tolerable”
Jesus denounces/criticizes/upbraids certain cities.
Because they did not repent.
Even though Jesus did most of His miracles in these cities they refused to repent.
Therefore, Jesus proclaims what will happen to them.
Jesus compares them to cities/situations with which they would have been familiar.
Woe to Chorazin and Bethsaida.
If the miracles performed in them had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
Woe to Capernaum.
They will descend to Hades.
If the miracles that had occurred there had been done in Sodom, then Sodom would remain.
Jesus makes an interesting statement with both examples - “it will be more tolerable for…”
Apparently there are “degrees/levels” of judgment and punishment.
Have you truly repented?
If not, do so.
It will more tolerable for Sodom than for you.
Matthew 9:37-38; 10:7-16
No doubt the harvest is plentiful.
There are as many people alive on earth today as have lived since the beginning.
Most are unsaved.
We must seek the Lord of the Harvest for workers unto the harvest.
Look what we are to do.
Preach the Kingdom
Cast out demons.
Give freely. You received freely.
Be shrewd as serpents.
Be innocent as doves.
As a Believer you are a Worker of the Harvest.
Jesus wants us to know the cost.
He does not hide anything.
In this verses we see some elements of the cost.
Jesus, the Son of Man, had no where to lay His head.
He had no hole as the fox.
He had no nest as the bird.
He wanted folk to know.
There is nothing that can come before the Lord.
We cannot say “let me take care of family first then I’ll follow”.
We are to follow.
All else will be in proper alignment.
Proclaim everywhere the Kingdom of God.
Notice we proclaim as we Go.
Press on with the hand on the plow of the Kingdom.
“What Kind of spirit Are You Of…?”
This vignette would be humorous if it were not so serious.
It reveals much about the disciples.
It reveals much about us.
Jesus and His entourage were traveling to Jerusalem.
Jesus sent messengers ahead of Him. The messengers went ahead to make arrangements for Him.
They entered a village of the Samaritans.
The Samaritans learned that Jesus’ destination was Jerusalem, they refused to receive Him.
The disciples James and John were indignant.
How dare these Samaritans reject The Teacher!
How dare they reject The Messiah!
The disciples knew exactly what to do.
They petitioned Jesus for permission to call down fire from heaven upon them.
Several thoughts here:
- The disciples totally believed that “calling fire from heaven” was possible.
- The disciples believed that the Lord would grant them the ability to do such.
- The disciples believed that this was a proper response to those who rejected Jesus.
- This is another example of the need to read several translations of the Bible. Only the KJV has the complete story.
The Authorized version states “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?”
They knew of Elijah and his encounter with Jezebel’s false religion.
- All versions state that Jesus rebuked them. Only the KJV and NASB give a non-foot-note account of what Jesus said. “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of: for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
- James and John were functioning with a “non-Holy Spirit” spirit...the flesh? Perhaps.
- Jesus declares that He, the Son of Man, did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
Too often we act in the same spirit as James and John.
We literally want to destroy those whom the Lord seeks to save.
Hear the Word of the Lord.
“On the Move”
In these verses we see Him moving from Galilee to Judea and beyond to the other side of the Jordan River.
Large crowds followed Him.
Jesus taught them, as was His custom.
What did He teach them? The Kingdom of God!
Jesus healed the crowds.
Why did Jesus move to this locale?
He was headed toward Jerusalem.
Resolutely He was obeying Father.
“Unmerciful Recipient of Forgiveness”
There are some amazing truths in this passage.
Do not lose site of the obvious.
Jesus begins with “for this reason”.
What does this mean?
It picks up what we examined yesterday.
We are to forgive 7x70 times.
Forgiveness is the context.
Jesus gives an example of forgiveness.
He states “for this reasons the kingdom of heaven may be compared…”
A slave...note that it is a slave...owes a King a large, large amount of money.
The King was about to sale the slave, the slave’s wife and family.
The slave fell to the ground and begged for patience.
He promised to repay everything.
The slave did not ask for the debt to be forgiven.
He asked for opportunity for repayment.
The King forgave the debt.
Of his own volition he forgave.
The slave, free from debt, then went to collect a debt owed him.
He refused to forgive, as he had been forgiven.
He seized the debtor.
He chocked the debtor.
He imprisoned the debtor.
The fellow slaves heard and reported back to the King.
The King declared the slave to be wicked.
The King declared that the slave should have showed mercy as he received mercy.
The King, moved with anger, handed the slaves over to torturers until the debt was repaid.
This is what Father will do to those who do not forgive his brother from their heart.
Forgiveness is serious.
We are called to forgive.
We are required to forgive.
If you refuse to forgive, you are not saved.
You will spend eternity in the lake of fire.
Peter had a question.
Actually he had an “issue”.
You can nearly hear him whining about it.
“How many times do I have to forgive my brother?”
Seems he wanted to get beyond the forgiveness to something else - perhaps revenge?
Peter thought he was being quite magnanimous.
He suggested seven times.
I believe the rabbis and religious rulers of the day suggested three times, thereafter forgiveness was not required.
So, Peter doubled that, added one more time for good measure, and proffered the suggestion.
Jesus thought otherwise.
I have to forgive 490 times?
Yes. And more.
Jesus used the number as “spiritualized hyperbole”.
We are to always forgive.
Anything else is sin.
“2 or 3”
There is power in agreement.
There is power in unity.
Jesus says “again I say to you…”
He had been driving home this point.
If two of them agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it would be done for them by Father in heaven.
But, I think with a qualifier.
The picture here is the Body of Christ unified in the Spirit.
If they ask...led by the Spirit…then they will agree.
The Spirit/Lord will lead them in unity.
They will agree upon that which the Father desires.
The Lord is in their midst.
The Lord is always with True Believers - dwelling within, present without.
But, there is something special that occurs when two or three gather “in My name.”
“In My name” shows that they were seeking the Lord.
They were seeking His mind, His heart.
It is in the gathering that the Unity of the Lord is revealed.
May we live there always.
“Brother in Sin”
These passages, especially the Matthew portion, speak to what is often referred to as “church discipline.” A useful, though somewhat incomplete phrase.
The obvious truth behind what Jesus says is the restoration of a sinning brother.
This is very important.
A brother - a fellow True Believer.
I’m reminded of an occasion many years ago when some men came to me and spoke of “church discipline” in relation to a particular gentlemen. They wanted to approach him, but were concerned he might sue them. I told them I shared their concern. They had missed one pivotable point.
The man in question was not saved.
He was not a True Believer.
Yes, he was religious.
Yes, he was in leadership position.
But, his fruit revealed the nature of his relationship with God.
We see that the Lord has provided a precise approach in helping someone in sin.
- Approach the brother when the two of you are alone. Show him his fault. If he listens you have regained your brother. You have helped him repent, confess. You have helped him to “save face.”
But, what if he does not listen to you?
- Take one or two others with you and show him his fault again. This time there will be witnesses…”at the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established.” Again we see minimal involvement of individuals and minimal exposure of the sin. The Lord seeks to restore the brother, not embarrass.
What if he still refuses to listen?
- At this point the entire Body is told. Other portions of the Word tell us to “remain aloof”...not rude, but not walking in closeness with the “brother” as before. We are told to treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector. Again, we are not to be hateful and rude. What does it mean “Gentile/Tax collector”? Could it be that we are to treat them as someone who is unsaved? Someone who is not a brother? I think so.
What happens when he repents?
We are to forgive.
We are to restore.
What does it mean “whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven”?
When we move in the Truth and obedience of the Lord and do as He instructs, He will honor it. We can declare that someone is in sin or forgiven.
Many do not like to hear that. They think it is “judging”. But, the Lord tells us that we can declare “this is sin” and this is “forgiven”.
We are told to be on our guard.
How much does the Lord care for each person?
We see in this passage - the parable of the 99 Sheep.
Verse 10 tells us to see that we despise not these little ones.
We were all children at some time.
We do well to not despise children, again, chronological or positional.
An interesting explanation is given by Jesus.
We are not to despise the children of God because their angels continually see the face of Father.
Note that many of the “contemporary” translations do not include verse 11.
It is not God’s will that any of the little ones should perish.
Repentance of a sinner brings joy in heaven.
Are you a stumbling block?
Woe to you if so.
So many who profess to be Believers are actually stumbling blocks.
They cause the True Believer to stumble.
These stumbling blocks grieve the Spirit.
They deny the Lord.
They sound wonderful, articulate, entertaining, yet they cause harm to the Body.
We note the severity of being a stumbling block.
Jesus uses some serious hyperbole to describe…
- better to drown by millstone
- better to cut off hand
- better to cut off foot
- better to remove eye
Jesus then encourages us to loss not our saltiness.
He then tells us to be at peace with one another.
(You will notice that in the Mark passage the NIV and NET do not include verses 44, 46)
Jesus states that stumbling blocks are inevitable.
It is not inevitable that we become one.
“Not With Us!”
The disciples of the Lord Jesus can be some of the most selfish, controlling, defensive,
pride-filled folk there are.
That is the reason we are told repeatedly to not do such.
The disciples had seen someone casting out a demon.
But, the “someone” was not part of their little group.
How dare he?!
Jesus told them to not stop him.
The man was casting out demons in the name of the Lord.
Jesus tells them that that whoever was not against them was for them.
Determine to avoid being like the disciples. Do not seek to prevent someone from proclaiming the name of the Lord.
We do well to give close attention to the disicples…
- to the questions they asked
- to the way they behaved among themselves
- to the way they behaved before Jesus
- to what they thought of “the people”
We are so like them.
Here, they wanted to know who the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven was.
Mark reveals that they were discussing it among themselves. Luke says they were arguing. So, they really wanted to know which of “them” was the greatest. They were silent when Jesus inquired as to the discussion. This reveals much.
Jesus’ answer was likely surprising to them.
Here are the truths he revealed:
- we must be converted
- we must received Jesus, thereby receiving Him Who sent Him
- we must become as a child...innocence
- we must be humble as a child
- we must receive such children (referring to age and those converted)
- we must be servant of all
The one who is the least among you all is the great one.
Don’t see this much in contemporary, “western church life”.
Did Peter lie?
Did he feel that he had to lie to protect Jesus?
I suspect so.
From the account we learn that Jesus had not paid the “tax of man”.
Yet Peter said He did.
Jesus knew what Peter had done.
When Peter came into the house, the Lord asked him a question.
Peter answered correctly.
Kings of the earth gather customs/poll tax from strangers, not from their sons.
The sons are exempt.
The sons are free.
(Our nation formerly was like this...no more.)
But, Jesus shows us something.
So that they would not cause offense they would pay the tribute.
The Lord would provide “supernaturally”.
He told Peter to go fishing...Peter’s former profession.
Look at the detail.
Go to the sea - salt water, not fresh.
Throw in a hook - not a net as Peter was accustomed.
Take the first fish - not the second, third, etc. The first.
Open its mouth.
A four drachma shekel would provide for Jesus and Peter.
Knowing God this way…
Why do we fret?
Why do we fear?
Why do we worry?
Trust in the Lord.
“Betrayed, Killed, Arise to Life”
These passages are a good example of why it is important to get the full counsel of the Word of God. Each gives insight into the account.
Jesus and the disciples were passing through Galilee.
Jesus did not want anyone to know.
Apparently He wanted to spend time with the 12.
Jesus was teaching the disciples.
He also was telling them what was about to happen to Him..
- He would be betrayed into the hands of men
- He would be killed
- He would rise from the dead after three days
Jesus told them to “take these words to heart…”.
They were to remember, reflect, understand.
Note how the disciples reacted:
- They were greatly distressed
- They did not understand
- They were afraid to ask Him
- Its meaning had been concealed from them
- They could not grasped it...in the flesh, in their own understanding
They would later…
The Holy Spirit would reveal…
Do you grasp what the Lord has done for you?
Do you seek first the Kingdom and the righteousness of the Lord and to allow the Lord to do what He desires in your life?
A father’s cry for mercy before the Lord.
His son was described in ways that we think are “politically incorrect” today.
He was a lunatic...he had seizures.
He was vexed...very ill and suffered terribly.
He fell into fires.
He fell into water.
We learn that this occurred because something was making it happen.
Something threw him in the fire.
Something threw him in the water.
Something seized him, causing him to scream convulse, foam at the mouth, mauling.
Something vexed him.
We learn what the something was - a demon.
The boy was brought to Jesus.
The demon slammed him to the ground.
The cry of the father - I believe. Help my unbelief!
Jesus rebuked the demon and the demon came out.
Notice that Jesus called the spirit by name - deaf/mute.
Commanded it to leave.
Commanded it to not return.
The boy was cured.
Jesus had given a strong response to the situation…”you unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”
Who was Jesus speaking to?
What was He expecting?
The father had stated that he had brought his son to the disciples who “could not cure him”.
The disciples came to Jesus privately...could we say ashamed?
Why could they not drive out the demon?
Do you ever feel that way?
Why can we not do something?
Jesus gave them the forthright answer.
Because of the littleness of their faith.
If we have the faith of a mustard seed then nothing will be impossible.
Where is our faith?
Usually in what we can do.
Usually in medication.
Our faith is usually in fear.
We say it is in the Lord, but our actions declare otherwise.
Matthew 17:21 tells us “this kind (of demon) does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
There are “kinds”.
There can be process.
You will also note that some of the “contemporary” Bible translations omit the verse.
There is so much the Lord desires to do through us.
Yet, we do not believe.
We grieve the Spirit.
“Is Coming/Already Came”
Jesus’ disciples were curious about something the scribes taught.
Did Elijah have to come first before Messiah?
Jesus affirmed that Elijah is coming and will restore all things.
Jesus also affirmed that Elijah had already come…
- they did not recognized him
- they did to him whatever they wished.
The disciples then understood that He spoke of John the Baptist.
Jesus told them that He, the Son of Man, would suffer at their (scribes, et al) hands.
Elijah did come.
Elijah will come.
If they believed, John the Baptist was Elijah.
And yet, yes! Elijah is to come.
Yesterday we saw where Jesus stated that some before Him would not taste death before they saw Him in His glory.
It occurred six days later.
Always give close attention to timing elements mentioned in the Word.
You read the account. Think on these things.
The Lord took three with Him.
We do not know, though we do know what these three did after the Lord’s resurrection.
They were key to the Kingdom.
Jesus was praying.
Perhaps the three were praying also.
We do know that by the time of this event they were overcome with sleep.
- became different
- clothing of gleaming white
Two men were talking with Jesus - Moses and Elijah.
Why Moses and Elijah?
We do not know.
We do know it is what God wanted.
Likely Moses represent the Law while Elijah represented the prophets.
They appeared in glory.
Did you note the subject of the conversation?
The departure that Jesus was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
Peter and companions awaken and once fully awake they saw the glory of the Lord and those standing by him.
As Moses and Elijah were leaving Peter does what man always wants to do...got all religious.
He wanted to build three tabernacles - one for Jesus, one for Moses, one for Elijah.
The Word tells us He did not know what he was saying.
What was he saying?
He was equating the Lord Jesus with man.
While Peter was talking a cloud formed...the covering of Father.
God then spoke, “This is My Son, Chosen One; listen to Him!”
The disciples fell to the ground terrified.
Jesus was then alone.
He tells them to get up. Be not afraid.
They kept silent, as instructed, until the appropriate time...after the Son of Man has risen from the dead.
They wondered what rising from the dead meant…
Are you prepared to arise?
John 12:25; 8:51-52; 21:20-23
At least three interesting things here.
- What does it mean to be a “follower” of the Lord Jesus?
- deny self
- take up cross...daily
- follow Lord
- Jesus gives some insight into His “coming again”. Many would have “their eschatology” turned upside down if they paid attention to these type of statements.
- the Son of Man will come
- the Son of Man will come with His Holy angels
- the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father
- the Son of Man will then repay every man according to his deeds
- whoever is ashamed of Jesus and His Words in this adulterous and sinful generation...the Son of Man will be ashamed. Note Son and Word.
- Some there would not taste death - taste death? - until they saw the Son of Man come into His glory...we will see this later.
Do you deny self daily?
Do you die daily?
Do you take up your cross daily?
Do you follow the Lord, daily?
Are you prepared for His soon coming?
“Get Behind Me…”
Often, people believe that the disciples were taken by surprise at the death of Jesus.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Jesus told them what would occur.
We have much in these few verses.
Jesus openly told His disciples that He must suffer many things/be rejected at the hands of…
- chief priests
- experts in law
(Keep this in mind when the Religionists attack)
He told them He would…
- be killed
- rise again after three days.
Peter would have none of it.
He took the Lord aside and rebuked Him, saying, “God forbid, Lord!”.
Here is a truth for life.
One cannot say “No” to one whom you profess to be “Lord.”
Jesus addressed the issue.
He turned to Peter and said, “Get thee behind me, Satan…”
Peter was speaking the mind/words of Satan.
Just a few moments before Peter had voiced the great declaration “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”.
Now he is speaking the words of Satan.
This is what happens when we set our mind on man’s interest and not God’s interests.
Where is your mind?
On God’s interests?
“You Are the Christ…”
Jesus asked His disciples an interesting question - “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
Note the time...Jesus was praying by Himself with the disciples nearby. Hummm...
Jesus knew the answer.
He wanted His disciples to reason, consider, think.
So, they gave a partial list…
- John the Baptist
- One of the other prophets
Then Jesus cuts to the crux of the matter.
“Who do you say that I am?”
That is the definitive question for us.
Many “believe” that Jesus is Who He is… LOL ...but, the demons “believe” and shutter.
Simon Peter gave the answer revealed from God - “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Of course there is great debate as to what the Lord meant in the verses that follow.
Did Jesus declare that Peter was the rock upon which the church would be built?
That Peter would bind and loose?
That Peter (and his successors) would have the keys to the Kingdom?
The Lord meant that upon this declaration of truth and faith - “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” - the church would be built. One becomes “the church” by this belief.
This Truth is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven.
We can declare release and binding based upon this truth.
Do you believe unto salvation?
Then I can declare to you that you are free, unbound.
Do you not believe?
Then I can declare to you that you are bound in sins.
Amazing, freeing Truth.
Do you live in it?
Wait ‘til you see what Mark tells us Peter said four verses later...
Jesus had just given a difficult teaching to the disciples.
Difficult to this day.
53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood resides in me, and I in him.
57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me.
58 This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread your ancestors ate, but then later died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”
The Jews were arguing over the statement.
How could it be?
In this passage we see that the disciples question Jesus. Who can understand it?
So, they were offended by eating/drinking of Him?
What would they do when the Son of Man ascended to where He was before?
The Spirit gives life.
The Spirit gives understanding.
Human nature is of no help.
Jesus told them that what He spoke are Words of Spirit and Life, but some did not believe.
It is only through the Spirit that we understand.
Have not the Spirit?
Then you are not saved.
You will not understand.
The “disciples” here are “learners”...those that were following Jesus for varied reasons.
We learn a truth that is often ignored.
Jesus knew from the beginning who did not believe.
Jesus knew from the beginning who would betray Him.
Jesus knew that Judas did not believe, that he was the son of perdition.
Jesus knew who the true believers were.
We also see that one can come to Jesus in faith only if the Father has allowed him to come. Hummmm…
After these “hard teachings” many of His disciples...learners, followers...did not accompany Him any longer. They were not “True Disciples” because they did not believe and press on to the end.
Following and accompanying makes not a disciple.
Abide in the Lord.
A blind man was brought to Jesus.
I find this particular event fascinating.
Jesus spit on His eyes?
Why does Jesus do this?
On occasion He spits and makes mud/clay.
This time He spits on the man?
We do not know exactly why, but could it be, that He Who spoke creation into existence is recreating the actual organ of the eye? I think so.
What I find interesting here is that there was process involved.
Jesus spits on him.
Jesus lays hands on him.
Jesus then inquires “do you see anything?”
The man could see partially “men like trees walking around”, but the vision was not completely restored.
Did Jesus not “get it right the first time?” LOL
Sometimes healing is a process, even with Jesus.
The same thing happened once with Jesus casting out a demon.
Jesus then laid His hands on the man’s eyes.
Jesus looked intently. What does that mean? Likely that He looked to heaven, to Father, to the Most High, intently with faith. We see Jesus doing this in other places.
Seeing was completely restored.
Jesus sent him home, but told him not to enter the village.
Likely not the time for the Lord to be revealed there.
What is the lesson for us?
Press on in prayer.
Press on in speaking healing.
Look intently upon the Lord and He alone.
“Leaven of the Pharisees”
The disciples are us.
They forgot to bring bread.
Certainly each thought that someone else would take care of it.
Jesus tells them to “watch out, beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
The disciples, like us, immediately jump to the conclusion that “they are in trouble”.
Why do we do that?
Because we still have a tendency to think “it is all about us”.
But Jesus lovingly rebuked them.
Had they not learned the lesson?
Where is their faith?
Do they not remember the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000?
Did they not remember the leftovers?
Did they not understand that the Lord would provide?
Do we understand?
Jesus again told them to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees/Sadducees.
They were to be on guard related to the teaching of the Religionist.
The warning is applicable today.
The Religionist proudly rejects the Truth of the Word of God.
The Religionist arrogantly suggest that if you do not agree with them, then “go somewhere else.” (Here is my favorite line of the week...paraphrased…”if you believe in speaking in tongues, then go to the pentecostals…&rdquo
The Religionist divides the Body of Christ.
The Religionist...full of arrogance, hubris and pride...proclaims to “know the Word” and “preach the Word.”
We know them by their fruit.
Watch out for the Religionist...especially those who laughingly protect their denominational understanding while deceiving the flock.
Woe to them.
The Pharisees and Sadducees sought to test Jesus.
They seek to test us today.
They demanded a sign from Him.
They demand “signs” from us.
Think of all the healing, the feeding, the teaching they had heard from Jesus.
Yet, they wanted “a sign”.
Jesus tells them that they could tell the weather by looking at the sky, yet they could not judge/evaluate the signs of the times.
Jesus said that the only sign He would give was the sign of Jonah.
He gives more insight here…
New English Translation (NET)
39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 41 The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them—and now, something greater than Jonah is here!
Some truths for us to know:
- the Religious will demand signs, all the while rejecting the truth before their eyes
- Jesus affirmed the historicity of Jonah - many/most of the Religious today reject the story
- Jesus’ statement about the sign of Jonah speaks of His being in “the belly of the earth” and subsequent resurrection - 3 days/3 nights reveals that “our” traditional understanding of Easter/Holy Week timing is incorrect.
Fear not when challenged by the Religionist.
Study/know His Word.
Speak the Truth, in love.
Most have heard of the “feeding of the 5,000”.
Less know that Jesus fed 4,000 another time.
Jesus felt compassion for the people.
They had been with Him for three days.
They had nothing to eat.
Again, the disciples asked where they could get such provision.
Jesus asked what they had.
Seven loaves of bread.
A few small fish.
Remember what the Lord did…
- Seated the people
- Took the loaves and fish and gave thanks
- Broke the loaves and fish and gave to disciples
- The disciples gave to the people
All were satisfied.
Seven baskets full of broken pieces.
Are you allowing the Lord to give you that which He is distributing for others?
We have here a big picture and a specific incident.
Jesus sat down on the top of the mountain.
The crowds came to him bringing their lame, blind, crippled, mute and many others and laid them at Jesus’ feet.
He healed them. All.
The people were amazed.
They saw the mute speaking.
They saw the crippled healed.
They saw the lame walking.
They saw the blind seeing.
They responded properly - they praised the God of Israel.
Mark gives us an account which reveals some insight to the “mechanics” of what Jesus did when He healed.
I believe this to be true...we never see the Lord healing the same way twice.
With this particular deaf man Jesus did the following:
- took him aside privately, away from the crowd
- put His fingers in the man’s ears
- spit and touched his tongue
- looked to heaven and said with a sigh “ephphatha” - open!
The man was healed.
Should we expect to see the same today?
If not, why?