Wed, Dec 31st - 12:28PM
45: And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.
46: And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
47: And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.
48: And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
49: But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
50: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.
51: And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
52: For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
The disciples were still having a hard time dealing with all the things they had seen of Jesus. Verse 52 says their heart was hardened. They were still thinking in the flesh and not in the spirit. Today so many hearts are still hardened to the truth of Christ. Christ is the Son of God, born of a virgin, he lived a sinless life, he died on the cross for our sins that all that receive him might have eternal life, he raised again on the third day, and he will come again to gather his Church. So many people have a hard time dealing with the truth of the Bible, that the only way to heaven is through Jesus and without Jesus we are doomed in our sins. They want to see God as God of love, which he is, but they have a hard time dealing with the fact that God is going to judge this world someday and those who rejected Christ face eternal punishment for rejecting Christ. The love of God is that while we were yet sinners he sent his only begotten Son to die for our sins. There hearts are hardened to these very simple truths because they try to find God through their own fleshly understanding. Only the Spirit of God can break through the hard shell they have put around their hearts. John 4:24 says God is a spirit and those that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. You will never find God unless you open up your spirit to him. The truth of God is in the Bible you just have to open up your heart and allow God to show you his truths. If person tries to find God in the Bible by taking verses out of context or skipping over certain parts over the Bible they will never truly understand God.
Tue, Dec 30th - 12:43PM
30: And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
31: And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
32: And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
33: And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.
34: And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
35: And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:
36: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.
37: He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
38: He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
39: And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
40: And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
41: And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
42: And they did all eat, and were filled.
43: And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
44: And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
The Disciples were faced with what seemed an impossible task when Jesus told them to feed the 5000+ people that were there. They were looking at the problem through earthly eyes not spiritual eyes. Jesus had said all things are possible with God. Jesus had told them what to do surely he would not have instructed them to do so without providing the means to make it come true. The will of God will always come to pass, nobody can stop it. We just have to be faithful and let God lead us in the way he wants us to go. Even though the task looked impossible the Disciples did as Jesus had instructed and God worked a miracle through them. One of the messages throughout the New Testament is the power of faith. Paul said without faith it is impossible to please God. Whenever things look tough God wants us to faith in him that his will for us will come to pass.
Mon, Dec 29th - 12:21PM
14: And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
15: Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
16: But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
17: For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.
18: For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
19: Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
20: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
21: And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;
22: And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
23: And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.
24: And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
25: And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
26: And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.
27: And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,
28: And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
29: And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
John the Baptist lost his life because he dared to take a stand against sin. He didn’t just take a stand but he took a stand against one of the most powerful couples in Israel at the time. John didn’t back off just because they were a royal family but instead he boldly declared they are living in sin. Would we have the faith and courage to take a stand in today’s modern society where it is not very popular to do so. Christians today who take a stand for morality are labeled as hateful, old fashioned, fundamentalist, and intolerant. Tolerance has become the new catch phase. We are expected to be tolerant of all beliefs rather they are against God’s will or not. If you don’t you are labeled as hateful and intolerant. Thank God for those Christians who refuse to compromise their beliefs to be seen as politically correct. May we all have the courage and faith of John to declare sin is sin not desiring the acceptance of man but the acceptance of God.
Sun, Dec 28th - 2:47PM
7: And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
8: And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
9: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
10: And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
11: And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
12: And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
13: And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
Jesus sends the Disciples out on their first mission for God. What was the message they went with? That men should repent. If the message wasn’t received they was instructed to shake off the dust of their feet as a testimony against them. He goes on to say it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha then for those who reject the message. We are to continue to preach the message of repentance today. If the message is refused it is not accounted against us but the person who rejects the message and on the Day of Judgment they themselves will have to give account for rejecting the message of God. We are to move on to others who will receive the message gladly. In another passage Jesus says not to throw our pearls before swine. We can try our best but some people will never accept the word of God to their own doom.
Sat, Dec 27th - 1:10PM
1: And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
2: And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
3: Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
4: But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
5: And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
6: And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
The people of the area had a hard time believing Jesus was who he claimed to be. They had seen Jesus grow up as a lowly carpenter’s son and couldn’t believe he was now performing miracles. Sometimes when we become Christians the hardest people to convince that we have changed is those close to us. Sometimes they don’t accept our new beliefs or sometimes they have a hard time forgetting the old person and can’t see the new. They have a tendency to remember every little past discretion. The Bible describes how when a person is born again he is a new creature. That old life is past and we are beginning a new life. A new start in our life. That is a hard thing for some people to accept. Of course we know Christ wasn’t a new person, those around him just couldn’t get over his humble upbringing to have him now claiming to be the Son of God.
Fri, Dec 26th - 12:06PM
21: And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.
22: And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
23: And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
24: And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25: And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26: And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27: When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28: For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29: And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30: And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31: And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32: And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33: But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34: And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
35: While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
36: As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
37: And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
38: And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
39: And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
40: And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
41: And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
42: And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
43: And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
Here is two great stories of faith. First was Jairus one of the leaders of the local synagogue. As a leader in the synagogue Jairus was probably associated with the Pharisees who opposed Jesus but Jairus knew Jesus had the power to heal and was more concerned with the welfare of his daughter then the political ambitions of the Pharisees. Notice how others laughed when Jesus said the girl was only sleeping. They didn’t understand who Jesus truly was. Next was the woman with the bleeding issues. She pressed through the crowds to get to Jesus believing he had the power to heal her. She was awarded be her act of faith and healed of her disease. Both of these people showed faith in Jesus and was awarded for their faith. God wants us to come to him in faith. As Paul said without faith it is impossible to please God.
Thu, Dec 25th - 1:38PM
1: And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
2: And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3: Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
5: And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
6: But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
7: And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
8: For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
9: And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
10: And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
11: Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
12: And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
13: And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
14: And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
15: And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
16: And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
17: And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
18: And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
19: Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
20: And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
Why did Jesus come to earth? To give us life. This man’s live was ruled by demons. Jesus gave him his life back. After receiving his new life he wanted to go with Jesus but Jesus gave him his own mission. To go around the surrounding region and tell the people what Jesus had done for him. Until we all meet Jesus our lives are under control of sin. It is only through Jesus we can gain freedom from the power of sin. Once we have gained this freedom we are expected to tell others about our freedom in Christ so that they to can choose to accept this freedom. Some will accept the message others will be like the people in verse 17 and asked Jesus to stay away from them. They were afraid of what they had just seen and probably upset over losing their herd of pigs. They failed to see the true nature of what just happened. They was focused on their worldly views and not on their eternal salvation. They asked Jesus to leave so he left. God gave us freewill to accept him or reject him. They chose to reject him and so has most of the world today. God could force the world to accept him but this is not God’s will. The will of God is that we would seek him as our Lord and Savior and it is God’s will that those who have received life would bring the message of hope to those who are still in captivity to sin.
Wed, Dec 24th - 1:01PM
35: And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36: And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37: And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38: And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39: And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40: And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41: And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
The disciples at this time still didn’t understand who Jesus truly was. If they did they wouldn’t have been afraid of the storm. Storms are going to arise in our lives but just as the Disciples did we should call on the Lord in our time of need. No storm is to big for our Savior.
Tue, Dec 23rd - 11:48AM
30: And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
31: It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
32: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
33: And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
34: But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
The Gospel of Christ started off with a handful of believers but these believers would go to spread the Gospel throughout the world after the death of Christ. The word of God is a powerful thing and all though Satan has used his servants throughout the ages to try to stop its spread the Gospel continues to spread. There are still many parts of the world that stills need to hear the Gospel. God wants everyone to know of the good news of the Gospel and his will will be done.
Mon, Dec 22nd - 10:21PM
26: And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27: And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28: For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29: But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
The word of God is a powerful thing. Every time we witness to people a seed is sowed. We read in the preceding verses the different ways this seed is received. Sometimes it is received sometimes it aint. People react in different ways. Some receive it joyfully, some reject it outright, and sometimes a long time passes before the seeds sprouts to life. But the seed is a powerful thing and it will have an effect. It just might be a long time before we see the results.
Sun, Dec 21st - 3:55PM
10: And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
11: And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
13: And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
14: The sower soweth the word.
15: And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16: And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17: And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18: And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19: And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20: And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
21: And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
22: For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.
23: If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
24: And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
25: For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
Jesus explains the parable of the sower in these verses. He explains four different types of people and how they receive the word of God. The first is the seed that fell on the way side. This person hears the word of God but doesn’t let it take root and Satan comes and takes it away unless they should believe. The ones that fell on the stony ground receive the word of God but doesn’t let it take root and when hard times arise they fall away. The ones that fall among the thorns receive the word of God but soon the cares of the world choke it out. Then there are the ones that fell among the good ground. The word of God is allowed to take root and soon produces fruit according to their ability. Of course we want to be the person where the seed has good ground to take root and grow. Then he goes on to explain we should let the light that is in us shine bright amongst this dark world. It is not meant to be kept hidden or be a secret. We have heard the good news we should also lead others to the good news of salvation through Christ. Those believers that hear the word of God and understand more knowledge will be given them. But those that refuse to learn or lack discernment will have what knowledge they do have taken away. A lot of professing Christians have very little real knowledge of the Bible. While others have misinterpret a large part of the Bible, either through lack of discernment or preconceived notions of the Bible they refuse to let go of. We should always study God’s and pray that God gives us understanding of his word. It is through prayer and study that we grow and it through letting our light shine as a witness to the world that we produce fruit.
Sat, Dec 20th - 12:08PM
1: And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2: And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3: Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5: And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7: And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8: And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9: And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
The seed in this parable is the word of God and we are the sowers. We are to spread the word of God into the world. Sometimes we are going to find fertile ground and sometimes we aint. If you know anything about farming or gardening you know once the seed is planted that is not it. It needs constant attention. It needs water, fertilizer, it needs to be protected from weeds and insects. The point is to many time someone hears the word of God but there is no follow up. The seed is planted but no fertilizer applied to help it grow. An unbeliever or a new believer is going to have questions. Satan is going to try to take away what they have learned. They need the attention of mature believers. Witnessing is great but it doesn’t end with telling somebody about Jesus you have to put the time in to help that seed grow. To many new believers never take the time for Bible study. More than anything good Bible study is going to help that seed grow. But a new believer doesn’t have a good grasp of the Bible yet that is when they need mature Christians with a good Godly understanding of the Bible to help fertilize that seed that it might grow strong. They are also going to need strong Christians to stand by them when the storms of life hit. Satan is going to try and take away that seed, that is when they need us to stand by them. Remember when you were a young believer. Was there somebody standing by you and helping you to grow? Did you wish there was?
Fri, Dec 19th - 12:23PM
31: There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.
32: And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
33: And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
34: And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
35: For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
The family of God is open to all who seek him and do his will. Jesus died on the cross to bring the whole world into a loving relationship with the Father. But it is a relationship we must seek. God did his part. He sent his Son to die for our sins on the cross. Now it is your turn. Repent of your sins, accept Christ into your heart and you can have the same relationship with the Father as other believers have.
Thu, Dec 18th - 11:03PM
20: And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
21: And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.
22: And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.
23: And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
24: And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25: And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26: And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
27: No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
28: Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
29: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
30: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
Jesus’ friends thought he was crazy, the scribes claim he was of the devil. These friends were probably people and family that had knew him since childhood. Who thought of him as a mere carpenter’s son. They couldn’t believe this man they had known since childhood was claiming to be the Son of God. You can never hide your past from those closest to you. Some of the harshest critics of a new born Christian is going to be friends and family who are always going to remember the old you. The one who use to party, curse, and get wild. They are always going to remember the old you and bring it up. It is up to you to prove you truly are a new person in Christ.
The scribes took it a step further, even calling him a worker of Satan. This is blaspheming the Holy Spirit by calling the work of God the work of Satan. To deny God and his Holy Spirit is blasphemy. If you deny God you are a sinner and hence without forgiveness. This is the unpardonable sin, denial of God.
Wed, Dec 17th - 2:18PM
13: And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
14: And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15: And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
16: And Simon he surnamed Peter;
17: And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
18: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,
19: And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.
Why did Jesus pick these twelve men? They were not religious scholars, or prominent men in the community. They came from ordinary backgrounds and what might be called simple men, average joes. They all had character flaws. Peter would put his foot in his mouth several times. Thomas would gain a reputation as a doubter. Matthew just from his background as a tax collector was despised by the Jews. They all would abandon him before he is crucified. Several times their faith would falter and they would often question Jesus. So why were these men chosen? The Bible says God doesn’t see men as other men see them. God sees the heart of a man. God knew what kind of heart these men had. What about Judas? God knew his heart also. I don’t believe Judas was forced to make the decisions he did but I think God knew what Judas would do if put in the situation he was. Someone had to play the role of the betrayer and Judas willing played the part. You might fool your fellow man but God knows your heart. Judas had his fellow apostles fooled but not God. And we can’t fool God either. God knows what is in your heart. Whether you are manpleaser or a true follower.
Tue, Dec 16th - 4:58PM
7: But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,
8: And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.
9: And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.
10: For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.
11: And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
12: And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.
The evil spirits had no problem recognizing who Jesus was. They knew by what authority they had been casted out. Why couldn’t the religious leaders of the Jews recognize who Jesus was? Their hearts had been harden to the truth. They were jealous of the attention Jesus was getting from the people. But the people themselves didn’t understand Jesus. They were looking for a political leader that would overthrow the Roman rule not a spiritual Savior. They consider themselves the children of Abraham, God’s chosen people. They didn’t need a Savior because they believe themselves God’s own people. How many people today refuse to admit they are sinners in need of salvation. Paul says we are all sinners worthy of death. Many people today believe in God but refuse to submit to him. Stubborn pride keeps them from admitting they are even in need of a Savior and that stubborn pride keeps them from submitting to the will of God. Pride and humility is two subjects mentioned often in the Bible. Pride keeps us from God, a humble spirit brings us to God.
Sun, Dec 14th - 10:17PM
1: And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
2: And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
3: And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
4: And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
5: And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
6: And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
The Pharisees were looking to accuse Jesus but they in turn reveal their own hypocrisy. They hated Jesus so much they were willing to turn to murder and to accomplish their goal were willing to ally themselves with the Herodians, who they were often at odds with. The Pharisees of all people should of recognized the Messiah but instead they were fearful of losing their position of power. The goals of leaders in the church should always be to point the lost toward God and to care for the believers in their care. When it comes about personal gain and statue they have lost focus on their roles as leaders in the church.
Sat, Dec 13th - 5:14PM
23: And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
24: And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
25: And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
26: How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
27: And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Many people don’t understand the purpose of the Old Testament laws. It was designed to regulate conduct, to define what sin was, to show Israel their inherent tendency to violate God’s will and do evil, and to awaken their sense of need for God’s mercy and redemption. Most of the laws were for the benefit of the person observing the law including resting on the Sabbath. The problem with the Pharisees they had turn the Jewish religion into a ritualistic observance of laws and traditions with no true worship of God in faith and spirit.
Fri, Dec 12th - 10:32PM
18: And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
19: And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20: But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
21: No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.
22: And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
Jesus didn’t come to fix the Jewish religion. The Jewish religion was corrupted by corrupt leaders and the traditions of men. Jesus established a brand new covenant by his death on the cross built on the prophecies of the Old Testament. Many Christians preach that we are still under the Old Testament laws. This isn’t the message Jesus preached and Paul dealt farther on it in his writings. The Gospel of Jesus replaced the Old Testament laws. The death of Crist on the cross freed us from the curse of the law.
Thu, Dec 11th - 10:44PM
13: And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.
14: And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
15: And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
16: And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
17: When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Mark 2:15,16 are two of the most misused verses in the Bible. Often by people trying to justify a certain lifestyle. Their argument is that Jesus set down with sinners without condemning their lifestyle. Verse 17 contradicts that notion. Verse 17 explains that he sat down with sinners to bring them to repentance, in other words they might hear the Gospel. He even calls them sinners that need to repent. At no time does he justify their lifestyle of sin. The problem with most preachers is that they spend their time preaching to the choir instead of going to where the sinner is. More than likely the average nonbeliever isn’t sitting in the church pew Sunday morning. We usually have to bring the Gospel to the nonbeliever. This is what Jesus was doing. He was bringing the Gospel to the sinner. He was the physician making house calls.
Wed, Dec 10th - 10:48PM
1: And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2: And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
3: And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
4: And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5: When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
6: But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7: Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8: And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
9: Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
10: But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
11: I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
12: And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
There were many that was sick during the time of Jesus but why was this man healed? He was healed because he came to Christ in faith. Christ was available to all but only those who came to him in faith received healing and salvation. There is much arguing today about salvation, about whether Christ universally saved the world on the cross or does on those who come to him receive salvation. I think the Bible shows in many examples, including this one, that those who come to him in faith receive salvation.
Tue, Dec 9th - 11:39PM
40: And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
41: And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
42: And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
43: And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
44: And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
45: But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
The leper came to Jesus not only in faith but humility. He said if you are willing I can be clean. Many in the word of faith movement preach whatever we claim in the name of Jesus God will provide for us. They almost say God has to give our request because we claim it in the name of Jesus. Who are we as humans to demand anything of God. How arrogant of them. Look at the Lord’s prayer, He said thy will be done. If I ask to be rich out of the greed of my heart is God obligated to grant my request? No. God aint some magical genie that waits to grant our request. God is all knowing and knows what we need. We come to God in prayer to show faith that he is the one that can provide for our needs. But God’s will will always be accomplished. We don’t always understand God’s will. I have had prayer request go unanswered to only have something much better happen in my life. He knows what is best for us. Look at Paul, he was hampered by some physical aliment, he asked God to take it away but he didn’t. God used this aliment to his purpose. And sometimes a believer aint healed of an aliment because it is time for that believer to come home. The point is we come to God in faith and humility in our prayers not out of human arrogance and selfish ambition.
Back to Blog Main Page