google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2013 March

Archive for March 2013

AGOG 31

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 31

~

Jesus Crucified and Dead

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are now on Day 31 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today is the last in this series and we look at the events after Jesus’ death!

~

Jesus was crucified, dead and buried. Frequently Jesus taught that he would rise from the dead. He was mocked for it when on the cross. The disciples had seemingly forgotten this and were hiding in fear at any retribution by the Jewish religious authorities. At his tomb, there were both Temple and Roman Guards to ensure nobody could steal the body of Jesus.

~

Events at the Empty Tomb

~

John 20:1-10

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’ So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

~

Matthew 28:11-15

While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, ‘You are to say, “His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.” If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

~

Let us first look at the sequence of events over the period of time after Jesus death till He ascended. Now remember, the Gospels are documents which have recorded historical events.

~

  • • Two Marys watch the burial: (Matthew27:61, Mark 15:47, Luke23:54-55)
  • • Roman soldiers guard the tomb and place an official Roman seal upon it: (Matthew 27:62-66)
  • • Women prepare burial spices then rest: (Luke 23:56)
  • • An angel rolls the stone away: (Matthew 28:2-4)
  • • Women arrive at dawn with spices: (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-4, Luke 24:1-3, John 20:1)
  • • Angels appear to women: (Matthew 28:5-7, Mark 16:5-7, Luke 24:4-8)
  • • Women dart back to tell disciples: (Matthew 28:8, Mark 16:8, Luke 24:9-11, John 20:2)
  • • Peter and John investigate the empty tomb: (Luke 24:12, John 20:3-9)
  • • Before going back home: (Luke 24:12, John 20:10)
  • • Mary Magdalene weeps by the tomb: (John 20:11)
  • • Mary sees two angels: (John 20:12-13)

That’s all the action at the empty tomb! The risen Jesus, with his new body makes appearances! Let us know look at them!

~

Jesus' Appearances

  • • Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene: (Mark 16:9, John 20:14-17)
  • • Jesus appears to the other women: (Matthew 28:9-10)
  • • Women report to the disciples: (Mark 16:10-11, John 20:18)
  • • Guards testify to the priests: (Matthew 28:11-15)
  • • Jesus meets two people on the Emmaus Road: (Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-32)
  • • Jesus appears to Simon Peter: (1 Corinthians 15:5, Luke 24:34)
  • • 2 report to disciples in Jerusalem: (Luke 24:33-35)
  • • Jesus appears to the Disciples less Thomas: (Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-24)
  • • Disciples report to Thomas: (John 20:25)
  • • Jesus appears to the Disciples and Thomas: (Mark 16:14, John 20:26-29)
  • • Jesus appears to seven people: (John 2 1:1-14)
  • • Jesus reinstates Peter 3 times: (John 21:15-23)
  • • Jesus appears to 500 people: (1 Corinthians 15:6)
  • • Jesus appears to James: (1 Corinthians 15:7)
  • • Jesus gives the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • • Jesus ascends back to the Father (Acts 1:8-11)

~

Nobody who could have produced the dead body of Jesus did so. Their silence is as significant as the preaching of the Apostles. Jesus also made a multiple appearances to various numbers of individuals and groups of people at various times of the day and in differing circumstances. When you read the gospel accounts, you will notice the changed attitude of the disciples after seeing the risen Jesus. They changed from defeated, cowardly people full of fear into victorious and brave people. They suddenly became an amazed and overjoyed people! At one appearance, when Jesus broke bread with them, the spiritual eyes of the disciples opened, and Jesus disappeared from them! WOW! The disciples had recognized Jesus! Another appearance shows that Jesus’ resurrection was physical in nature! Note that Jesus has a new body – a resurrection body – a glorified heavenly body! But he is not spirit as he has a body with bears the scars of his crucifixion, as evidenced when meeting with Thomas!

If there was no bodily resurrection of Jesus, would the disciples really have risked persecution and death for knowing a lie? One or two may have done, but not all eleven and thats not including the women! They were full of fear remember! The very existence of the church today, 2000 years after the event, is perhaps the greatest tangible proof of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Jesus did not merely faint on the cross – He died, as attested to by the Roman soldiers, Roman authorities, Jewish authorities, Joseph, Nicodemus, Mary and other women.. If Jesus was not dead on that cross, they would have broken his legs to ensure that He had died. No! Jesus was dead. Jesus rose from the dead, just as he had promised that he would many times during his ministry on earth.

~

We let the Apostle John have the last word from John 21:25 “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

~

Have you asked Jesus to be your Saviour yet? Jesus – the God-man who conquered sin and death who died and was raised to new life again by God. When you allow Jesus to be your saviour and rely on him for your salvation, you become spiritually alive! Until then, you are spiritually dead. But you can have spiritual life! What are you waiting for? Again, I ask, who do you say the Jesus is? But further, what are you going to do with this Jesus and let Him bring you to life spiritually? It is not too late! Today can be the day of your salvation and new life!

That is the last of this series! Come back every day, where there is something new to help you in your Christian life!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 30

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 30

Cross Events

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 29 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly at events surrounding Jesus' death.

~

1. Mockers and scoffers - Matthew 27:38-40

Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’

~

Alongside Jesus, two robbers where placed. They had committed crimes against the Roman authorities and were justly crucified, as opposed to Jesus who was innocently crucified. This sees Jesus fulfilling the words of Isaiah 53:12 “he (Jesus) was numbered with other sinners.” The on looking Romans and Jews also mocked Jesus. Jesus could have come down if he had desired to do so. He could have ordered legions of angels to rescue him. But he didn’t. The two robbers, the two rebels, also mocked and jeered him. However, one of them repented and asks Jesus to save him as well. Jesus acknowledges his request and says they will indeed meet in Paradise. One robber repents and is saved and the other robber refuses and dies a lonely death.~

~

2. Testimony and tearing - Matthew 27:50-54

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’~

Jesus gave up his life and could have stopped at any moment! He could have called down legions of angels to protect himself. But he didn’t. Not He gave his spirit up – nobody took it from him. When that happened amazing scenes took place! Tombs broke open and righteous people raised to life again. Romans and those guarding Jesus at the cross exclaimed that Jesus was indeed the Son of God! The curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom! Top to bottom signifies that God did the tearing! A human hand would have torn it from bottom to top! An amazing scene to behold! The curtain was the entrance to the most sacred place in the temple! The high priest was the only person allowed to enter to offer a sacrifice for the sins of Israel! It was considered sacred space because they considered that God dwelt in that room! Now the curtain was gone! This meant that no more sacrifices for sin needed to be made and access to God was available to all! This meant that what Jesus had said about being made a sacrifice for sin was true indeed! What Jesus had said about destroying the Temple came true! WOW! ~

~

3. Dead and Buried - John 19:38-40

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

~

Jesus has died and Pilate is surprised Jesus had died so quickly and has to check with his guard to verify the death! Joseph of Arimithea and Nicodemus ask permission from Pilate to bury Jesus. Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin. He did not agree with the decision taken to condemn Jesus to death. So they take Jesus’ body and prepared his body in accordance with Jesus customs. Some women also came and added spices and perfumes as a token of their love and adoration of Jesus. Then Jesus’ body is placed in an unused tomb and sealed it with a large stone. Jesus had no place to call home when he was alive and had no tomb of his own in which to be laid down. He was laid in an unused tomb belong to somebody else, possibly Joseph himself. The significance of “in which no-one had ever been laid” (John 19:41) is to demonstrate that the body of Jesus at no point came into contact with the decay of a dead body. But his burial is not the end of the story. Even his enemies, the religious authorities had remembered that Jesus said he would come back to life three days after his death! What would they do about that?~

~

~

4. On Guard - Matthew 27:62-66

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise again.” So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.’ ‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

~

The day after Jesus was buried, the religious authorities go to the governor, Pilate, and ask for a guard to be placed on the tomb. They had of course remembered that Jesus had said he would rise three days after His death. They considered Jesus a deceiver and by default considered His disciples also as deceivers. They wanted to make sure the disciples didn’t steal the body and then say “Look everyone! The tomb is empty! Nobody in there! Jesus must be raised from the dead!” So to stop that happening, they request guards to be placed at the tomb. Pilate’s answer can also be translated as saying that your temple guards are already there but have an extra guard of Roman solders as well. With a sealed tomb, the Roman guards and Temple guards in place, Jesus’ body is safe from theft!

So it is Saturday. Jesus has died. His body is prepared according to Jewish burial customs. His body is buried and laying in the unused tomb of a stranger. What happens in this time of Saturday silence? We don’t know but we do know something extraordinary happens later on! ~

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 31 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together some of the events surrounding Jesus’ death! See you soon at Partakers!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 29

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 29

Jesus Crucified and Dead

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 29 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly at Jesus crucified and dead.

~

So far, we have seen that Jesus has been betrayed by a friend, Judas, who later killed himself. We know also that Jesus was denied three times by a close friend, Peter. Upon that third denial, a rooster crowed and Jesus gave Peter a look of love. Jesus of course, had predicted that Peter would deny him three times… Even when being denied by a close friend, Jesus loved that close friend.

~

Jesus Crucified

~

Jesus has also, we have seen, been condemned to die by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. Pilatef was urged on by the crowds and in particular the religious authorities to pronounce a condemnation of crucifixion upon Jesus.

~

John 19:17-27

Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews." Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

~

Jesus bearing his own cross was killed as a common criminal (John 19:17). We read that Pilate was responsible for fixing the sign “The King of the Jews” (John 19:21-22) despite the protests of the religious authorities who wanted it altered to “This man claimed to be The King of the Jews”. The clothes of condemned prisoners were given to soldiers on duty (John 19:23) at which point they gambled to see who would get them. Even when he himself was in agony, Jesus showed concern for his mother, committing her to the Apostle John (John 19:26-27).

~

The crucifixion site was always chosen purposely to be outside the city walls because the Jewish Law forbade such action within the city walls. This was for sanitary reasons as crucified bodies were sometimes left to rot on the cross and serve as a disgrace, a convincing warning and deterrent to passers-by. Sometimes, the subject was eaten while alive and still on the cross by wild beasts. Jesus face was beaten beyond recognition and the scourging reduced his flesh to something like raw hamburger mince. The whips used has pieces of glass and rocks stuck to the cord so as to inflict as much damage as possible. He had a crown of thorns pushed into his scalp.

~

Jesus Dies

~

That is the betrayal, let us now look at Jesus being condemned to be crucified by the Roman authorities. Having been condemned and then crucified, Jesus eventually dies.

~

John 19:28-37

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken," and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."

In Jesus’ final moments he uttered “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28) and “It is finished.” (John 19:30). The desire of the Jews (John 19:32) to fulfil their rituals was important because the Sabbath fell within the Passover festival. The breaking of legs (John 19:32-33) sped up the process of death because Jesus wouldn’t have been able to push himself up. The piercing of Jesus’ side and the flow of blood and water proved Jesus was really dead (John 19:34).

~

Jesus - condemned, crucified and died. Where were the others disciples and other followers of Jesus? Peter had been interrogated about Jesus so was still in the city somewhere. The other disciples had fled and were probably in hiding, wondering why their Master had to die such a death – even though Jesus told them many times it would occur. There is Jesus on the cross – abandoned by all his friends and family. That is except for two people who were very close to Him. They were Mary the mother of Jesus, and also his close friend, John. Both witnessed Jesus’ agonising death. In a matter of sheer poignancy, John and Mary are asked by Jesus to take care of each other as family. As he has said throughout his ministry, Jesus’ mission would involve his death. But that is not the end! Oh no! Not by a long way!

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 30 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together some of the events surrounding Jesus’ death! See you soon at Partakers!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 28

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 28

Jesus Betrayed, Denied and Condemned

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 28 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly at Jesus being betrayed and denied by two of his closest friends and then condemned by both the religious and political authorities.

~

For the 3 years of His public ministry, Jesus has preached the good news of God’s salvation to reconcile people back into relationship with Almighty God. He has healed the sick, raised the dead, and with a little food has fed thousands of people! He has built strong relationships with his disciples. He has proclaimed that His mission will be fulfilled through his death and being raised back to life. After his prayers in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is arrested and betrayed (Matthew 26:36-56). From there Jesus appears before various religious authorities. During this time, Jesus is recorded as saying very little and often with oblique answers to their questioning. This prompts his accusers to mock, blindfold insult and beat him. When the accusers couldn’t find any witnesses to speak against Jesus, they confronted him with false witnesses. When the High Priest asked Jesus directly “Are you the Christ?” Jesus says “I am!” At which the priest reacts with anger and accuses Jesus of blasphemy. During this time, Jesus also suffers the indignation of being denied by Peter, one of his leading disciples. From there Jesus is condemned, and sent to the Roman authorities. With all these events we look briefly together at Jesus’ betrayal by Judas and then his appearance before the Roman authorities.

~

Jesus Betrayed

Luke 22:1-6

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. and Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

~

Jews were expected to remove all yeast from their houses (Exodus12:15) as a reminder that their ancestors left Egypt in a hurry and had to eat bread without yeast. Jesus had warned his disciples about the “yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1). In other words, the religious leaders had cleansed their houses but not their hearts. The last thing the religious leaders wanted was a messianic uprising during Passover (Luke 19:11).

~

Judas was motivated and energized by satan (John 13:2, 27) and was never a true believer because his sins had never been cleansed by the Lord (John 13:10-11). Therefore Judas had never believed or received eternal life (John 6:64-71). However, Judas had been given authority and had been preaching the same message. This proves how close a person can come to the kingdom of God and still be lost (Matthew 7:21-29). Judas could have chosen not to betray Jesus but his heart was won over by the short term benefits offered by the finance given to him to betray Jesus.

~

Jesus Condemned

That is the betrayal, let us now look at Jesus being condemned to be crucified by the Roman authorities.

~

John 19:1-16

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face. Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him." When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!" But Pilate answered, "You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him." The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."

When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"

Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar."

When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.

"Here is your king," Pilate said to the Jews.

But they shouted, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!"

"Shall I crucify your king?" Pilate asked.

"We have no king but Caesar," the chief priests answered.

Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

Pilate was the Roman Governor of Judea. It was he that made the decision and gave the order for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate gave in and permitted the flogging and mockery in the hope of shaming Jesus’ accusers (John 19:1-3). Pilate affirmed Jesus’ innocence after the scourging (John 19:4). Jesus’ refusal to answer him, stings Pilate into reminding Jesus of his Roman authority (John 19:10). Jesus, however, corrected Pilate’s idea of authority and told him that although Pilate may have power on earth, his power did not reach beyond earth (John 19:11).

~

Jesus knew that his work of bringing people back to God in a loving relationship did not rest on the actions of a mere Roman governor. Overall, we see that Pilate was more concerned with his own position than he was for justice. Jesus is publicly rejected by the masses and by the religious authorities who proclaim publicly that Caesar is their only King, while forgetting that in reality, God is their King! Jesus is led away to die on his cross as a common criminal.

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 29 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together Jesus final moments before He goes to his crucifixion! See you soon at Partakers!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 27

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 27

Jesus Final Prayers 2

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 27 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly at Jesus prays for all future disciples.

~

John 17:20-26

“‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.’

~

Jesus has prayed for Himself and for his disciples. Now Jesus prays for all those who have ever believed and also those who will become His followers as the fruit and seed of the disciples. As such, it brings all Christian disciples into intimacy with Jesus and a part of a dynamic relationship with Him. Jesus doesn’t just pray for the rich of faith but also for those who are weak of faith. Jesus’ prayer encompasses all believers, not just some – including the strong with the weak.

~

What does Jesus pray for all believers? Firstly Jesus prays for unity. That is unity on various levels. Firstly it is unity on the invisible, supernatural level (John 17:21-22). The lives of all Christian disciples are inextricably linked to each other, through the love and obedience of God the Son and God the Father through God the Holy Spirit who lives within all believers.

~

Christian disciples are united together because Jesus imparts upon them, the glory given to Him by God the Father (John 17:22). This unity is also physical, in so much as through a visible unity, people will come to know Jesus personally and take up the offer of reconciliation with God (John 17:21, 23). This unity is also physically seen, through the telling of the Gospel - a message of reconciliation between God and humanity (John 17:20). That is why different churches must be seen to work together – a visible sign of unity reflecting the invisible unity. Jesus’ prayer in verse 23 “bought to complete unity” seems to signify that this visible unity will be a process. Therefore all believers must be seeking to bring this unity forward.

~

Then Jesus prays that all believers will stay in Him and in God. When believers are united with God then we can also be united with each other. All believers are in God – Father, Son and Spirit. They are also in us – Father, Son and Spirit. All believers are branches of the same vine – Jesus. Remember recently when we talked about that? When those who are not believers see Jesus’ modern disciples loving others sacrificially, then unity is seen and it is an effective witness to the reality of reconciliation with God, and a vibrant living relationship with Him. And this relationship is borne of God’s love! The same love which God the Father has for God the Son! WOW!

~

As Jesus closes his prayers, He prays that the mission He has been on will be concluded. Jesus knows he is going to be betrayed, adjudged guilty by both the religious and secular authorities. Jesus knows he is going to be denied by one of his disciples before being condemned to die on a Roman cross. But that want be the end of the story. Jesus has been saying previously that God the Father will raise Him back to life again after death! Jesus wants all believers to see His glory, the glory He had at the beginning and the glory which he wanted his disciples to see! All believers and modern day disciples of Jesus are disciples and believers because of Jesus who has made known and manifest the love of God. There are those who do not know God the Father! Jesus is also praying for them, that they will see believers in action, showing God by loving all generously. Those who are strong are to support those who are weak and by doing so, manifest the love of God.

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 28 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together Jesus final moments before He goes to his crucifixion!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 26

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 26

Jesus Final Prayers 1

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 26 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we start looking briefly at Jesus final prayers.

~

John 17:1-19

After saying this, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the time is here. Give your Son glory so that your Son can give you glory. After all, you’ve given him authority over all humanity so that he can give eternal life to all those you gave to him. This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. On earth I have given you glory by finishing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, give me glory in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world existed. “I made your name known to the people you gave me. They are from this world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me. They did what you told them. Now they know that everything you gave me comes from you, because I gave them the message that you gave me. They have accepted this message, and they know for sure that I came from you. They have believed that you sent me. “I pray for them. I’m not praying for the world but for those you gave me, because they are yours. Everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine. I have been given glory by the people you have given me. I won’t be in the world much longer, but they are in the world, and I’m coming back to you. Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name, the name that you gave me, so that their unity may be like ours. While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name, the name that you gave me. I watched over them, and none of them, except one person, became lost. So Scripture came true. “But now, Father, I’m coming back to you. I say these things while I’m still in the world so that they will have the same joy that I have. I have given them your message. But the world has hated them because they don’t belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world but to protect them from the evil one. They don’t belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. “Use the truth to make them holy. Your words are truth. I have sent them into the world the same way you sent me into the world. I’m dedicating myself to this holy work I’m doing for them so that they, too, will use the truth to be holy.

~

Jesus prays for Himself~

Jesus starts off by praying for Himself. Central to this part of His prayer is glorification. That is the glorification of Himself in order that God the Father who sent Him will be glorified. In effect, Jesus is saying “Father, may people see me for who I truly am, your Son. And may they also through Me, see Your true nature Father!” Praying as He does, just before He knowingly goes to His death on the cross, shows the importance of the cross. For it is through the cross alone. Both God the Father and Jesus will be glorified.

Jesus’ death on the cross reveals a God of love, faithfulness and forgiveness. John 17:4 reveals that it was this purpose that He came, in order to complete the work given. Jesus’ entire earthly life has been one to show divine love – to all people of every age and class. All Jesus’ works and words were completed without even a hint of hypocrisy. His entire life was driven by the desire to see sinful people turn to God for reconciliation and forgiveness. Jesus confidently prays that having laid aside His glory by taking on human form, He will return to God’s right hand, having achieved the work of redemption through the cross.

~

Jesus prays for His Disciples~

Now Jesus turns to pray for His disciples. Note how He describes them: they were chosen by God Himself, seen God in Jesus and have received God’s words and obeyed them. Jesus prays that the disciples would be in the safe possession of both the Father and the Son. Despite misunderstanding frequently what Jesus was talking about, the disciples still managed to grasp that Jesus had come from God. Having taught that the disciples will endure persecution and suffering because they are His followers, Jesus prays for their safety.~

They will be safe, not because of their own cunning, character or conduct. They will be safe because of God’s care and protection. As the disciples were God’s possession, He will ensure that they are watched over and protected. This security is also borne from glorifying God and being witnesses for Him. By remaining loyal and obedient to Jesus, obedient to His teachings and telling others about Him, God’s name & nature will therefore protect the disciples. Jesus also prays that they may be filled with joy and be dedicated wholly and solely to Him. The disciples now have a mission and purpose to fulfil – to tell others about this Jesus. Remember they will not be left alone but have the Holy Spirit to counsel and clarify with them.

~

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 25

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 25

Jesus Prepares His Disciples 3

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 25 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly again at Jesus preparing His disciples for the coming few days and His departure from them.

~

John 16:5-17

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. “A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me.” Some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?”

~

Jesus is will soon be leaving them. He has told them that they are to keep on loving one another and keep on being obedient to Him. This would be evidence that they are indeed His disciples. He has warned them that they will be persecuted for being His disciples. Jesus has encouraged His disciples by saying he will send the Holy Spirit to be with them, to help them testify about Him.

~

But, as noted by Jesus Himself, no matter how many times he has told them he is leaving, not one of them has asked where He is going. He has also noted that they are full of sorrow. But Jesus continues with his encouragement about the Spirit who is to come after He has left them!

~

At the time the disciples still didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about, but they would soon understand completely! The Spirit who would come and live within the disciples, would clarify and proclaim all about Jesus’ teachings and works to them. He would testify about Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. Jesus explains that while He could only be at one place physically at a time, the Spirit could be everywhere at once – regardless of where the disciples were when separated from each other! It was better the Spirit to be in them, than to have Jesus beside them physically!

~

Jesus announces that the Holy Spirit would speak to the hearts of the disciples and to their fruit. This signifies the intimacy between the holy God and– the disciples and their fruit – that is all believers! The Holy Spirit will come and work in the world, convincing people of their sin (John 16v8); that they are separated from a holy & righteous God (John 16v10) and also in that Satan and all who follow him have already been judged by God!

~

Once bought to faith, the Holy Spirit will perform several tasks for the Disciples. He will guide them into all truth and develop what is coming in the future (John 16:13). The New Testament is the product of this work and that through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For us today, as fruit of the disciples, the Holy Spirit helps us to apply the Bible to their life in order that Jesus Christ be glorified (John 16v14). The Holy Spirit always ensures that Jesus is glorified! He makes Jesus known – Jesus’ righteousness, power and glory will be the disciples – and also their fruit!

~

Yes, the twelve disciples will experience sorrow and loss when Jesus is put on trial, crucified and dead. But after the resurrection, their sorrow will turn to great joy – similar to the exceeding joy after the pains of childbirth!

~

Not only His presence, but the disciples would also have His provision! Through answered prayer, joy abounds (John 16:24)! Prayer will be of necessary importance for the disciples as it is a way to ensure unabated joy – joy even amidst suffering and trouble!

~

The disciples finally started to understand what Jesus was talking about! They understood that Jesus had perfect Godly knowledge of all things! Though Jesus’ knowledge of their thoughts reveals that their faith was still quite weak and insipid. One more time, Jesus tells them that He is leaving. Indeed, His departure will be soon! One last warning about the time of persecution to come but the disciples are to be of great joy, because Jesus has overcome the world (John 16v33) and nothing can prevail against Him! If the disciples abide with Jesus, then nothing will prevail against Him and He will protect and provide for them.

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 26 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall start to see together Jesus in his final prayers! See you soon at Partakers!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 24

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 24

Jesus Prepares His Disciples 2

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 24 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly again at Jesus preparing His disciples for the coming few days and His departure from them

~

John 15:18–16:4

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfil the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’ But when the Counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

~

Disciples will suffer for the kingdom

Having spoken of love and bearing fruit, Jesus now declares a warning to His disciples and the context into which He is sending them. They will learn, if they were not already aware, that opposition to Jesus’ message was unavoidable. Their first opposition would be that of world. As His Disciples, Jesus said, they were called out from the world (John 15v19). They belonged to a different place and were heading for a different place. His disciples have been called into His kingdom – the kingdom of God.

~

Secondly, opposition was to be expected simply because of who Jesus was (John 15:21). Just as His Disciples shared in the life of Jesus so will they share in His persecution by being persecuted themselves. If the world treated Jesus in such a way, then the world would also treat His disciples that way (John 15v20-21). Jesus’ disciples would go and do great things for the Kingdom of God, just as Jesus did, and suffer the persecution for it. Not only had Jesus’ teachings been rejected by the religious leaders, but so had his miracles and good works. These people were not only in opposition to Jesus, the Son of God, but also in opposition to God the Father! The Disciples were not to be like that!

~

Thirdly, opposition comes through revealing evil. Jesus, as the Light of the World, had exposed evil and sin through His words (John 15v22) and works (John 15v24). At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus commanded all those who follow Him, to also be “lights of the world” (Matthew 5v14-16). This was to be done by consistently ensuring that their works and words matched their lifestyle. Opposition brings persecution, is the warning Jesus gives His disciples. The law predicted that the Jewish people would reject Jesus.

~

Then Jesus gives them some good news and encouragement! They will persevere, because His Disciples will not be alone. Jesus and the Father will send the Spirit, the Comforter! Jesus will be with them to help them through the Spirit! The Spirit will be a witness for Jesus and testify about Him! But, the disciples would also need to testify and witness about the works and words of Jesus Christ. They were to be the audible voice of the Holy Spirit who would live inside them!

~

Why is Jesus preparing them? He is preparing His disciples so they do not fall away from him. His disciples would be excommunicated from the synagogues and possibly killed for following Jesus. All this would be done, Jesus says, because they are blindly thinking they are serving God. But they do not know God, because they hadn’t known Jesus – they had rejected Him. When the time of persecution comes, they will remember what Jesus has said. Previously all persecution had fallen on Jesus, but when He departs back to the Father, it will fall on them! Ergo, it was necessary that Jesus prepared His disciples for that time coming shortly when they would be persecuted for loving and following Him.

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 25 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together Jesus continuing to prepare His disciples for when He leaves them! See you soon at Partakers!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 23

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 23

Jesus Prepares His Disciples 1

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 23 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly at Jesus preparing His disciples for the coming few days when He will depart from them.

~

John 15:1-16

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.

~

Jesus and His disciples are now in Jerusalem. They had a triumphant entry. Jesus is saying goodbye to His disciples and giving them some final teaching before He departs. Several times He has told them He is leaving them and going away (John 13:33; John 14:3-4, 19, 28). His departure from them involved him being arrested, betrayed, condemned and crucified. Jesus was going away to die, be raised to life and ascend back to the Father.

~

As usual Jesus uses Old Testament language. In the Old Testament the nation of Israel is often described as a vine (Jeremiah 2:21; Psalm 80). However as a vine, Israel had not produced fruit that God had expected. With Jesus describing Himself as the true Vine, the implication is clear that the nation of Israel was but an imperfect precursor to His perfect self. With Jesus as the vine, his disciples are the branches, and will draw spiritual nourishment from Him. As part of this nourishment, sometimes pruning is required.

~

Cleansing is also required in order that fruit be borne from the disciples. They were cleansed of sin through faith in Jesus and His teaching. The disciples are to remain in Jesus! How are they do that? They are to be obedient to Him. This included regularly confessing outstanding sins to God and participating in the Lord’s Supper. Jesus tells his disciples these things so His joy may live in them. Peace and joy would be twins within his disciples if they stayed faithful to Jesus.

For when in the very near future, Jesus has departed back to God the Father, His disciples have to prove they really are His disciples. In order for this to happen, Jesus commands them they are to continue loving Him and also to sacrificially love others joyfully (John 15:12-14). Jesus would prove His love for His disciples by laying down his life for them when he goes to the cross. That is the greatest love. This is to be Jesus’ disciples’ mission statement, and if they live this out, they will bear much good fruit for God’s greater glory (John 15:8).

~

Note that Jesus now calls them His friends. He calls them his friends because that is what they are. Jesus has made known to them all He has learned from the Father. There was more to teach them, but they would have to wait for the Holy Spirit in order to be able to bear that teaching. Jesus had chosen each of them to follow Him. Remember Matthew the tax collector? Jesus commanded him to follow – and Matthew did. That is one example. It is to the glory of God, that we in the 21st century if we are followers of Jesus, that Jesus’ disciples did as they were commanded to by Jesus.

Come back tomorrow for Day 24 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together Jesus continuing to prepare His disciples for when He leaves them!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 22

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 22

Jesus Teaches About Himself 2

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 22 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

~

Matthew 17:1-13

After six days Jesus took only Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone.Jesus’ appearance changed in front of them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared to them and were talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s put up three tents—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Peter didn’t know how to respond. He and the others were terrified.)

Then a cloud overshadowed them. A voice came out of the cloud and said, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Suddenly, as they looked around, they saw no one with them but Jesus. On their way down the mountain, Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen. They were to wait until the Son of Man had come back to life. They kept in mind what he said but argued among themselves what he meant by “come back to life.” So they asked him, “Don’t the experts in Moses’ Teachings say that Elijah must come first?”

Jesus said to them, “Elijah is coming first and will put everything in order again. But in what sense was it written that the Son of Man must suffer a lot and be treated shamefully? Indeed, I can guarantee that Elijah has come. Yet, people treated him as they pleased, as Scripture says about him.”

~

Jesus has now taken Peter, James and John with him on a trip up a high mountain. When they arrived there, as if to confirm their confession of Jesus as the Christ Messiah, Jesus transfigures into the glorified Son of God! Moses, the first great law-giver of Israel and Elijah the first great prophet of Israel also appear with Jesus! WOW that must have been an amazing moment! According to Luke’s account, they talk with Jesus about his coming death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.

~

The yeast talked about by Jesus was their hypocrisy and evil. This was seen in evidence in our last study where they asked Jesus for a sign. Yeast in the New Testament is often used to illustrate evil. A little evil can spread a long way, much like yeast can in bread. Just as false teaching can decimate a church. Jesus was also warning his disciples to be convinced of the signs they had already seen, without coveting yet more signs!

~

On the way back down the mountain to join the remaining disciples, conversation ensues. Again they were not to tell anybody else about what happened on the mountain top. If knowledge had become widespread, chaos would have ensued around Jesus. He would be surrounded by excitable crowds of people wanting to make Him their political King. All this happening, when He wanted to concentrate on his final preparation of his disciples. Jesus tells them again about his resurrection –his coming back to life after his death. Still Peter, James and John have difficulty grasping it and squabble amongst themselves.

~

They go on to raise some of the teachings of the scribes about how Elijah would return before the Messiah Christ would come anoint the Messiah as King and then everything would be restored back to perfection. Jesus affirms what they are saying, but not that he agrees with it. Still the disciples don’t understand the correlation between suffering and glory. Jesus also affirms that the Elijah prophesied about was indeed John the Baptist! The religious teachers had missed this as had the disciples. Just as John the Baptist was rejected and killed by the religious authorities, so would the Christ. Jesus explains that the road to glory for the Messiah was through his death and suffering.

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 23 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together Jesus preparing His disciples for when He leaves them! See you soon at Partakers!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 21

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 21

~

Jesus Teaches About Himself 1

~

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 21 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

~

Mark 8:31-33 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man would have to suffer a lot. He taught them that he would be rejected by the leaders, the chief priests, and the experts in Moses’ Teachings. He would be killed, but after three days he would come back to life. He told them very clearly what he meant. Peter took him aside and objected to this. Jesus turned, looked at his disciples, and objected to what Peter said. Jesus said, “Get out of my way, Satan! You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think.”

~

We recently saw that Peter confessed who the disciples think Jesus is – the long awaited for Messiah! Jesus is now starting to tell his disciples more about his role as Messiah. Jesus starts elaborating on previous teaching and includes what suffering he must undergo as part of his mission to earth. He is teaching them that his mission would include rejection by both the religious and secular leaders. The Jewish religious leaders would scrutinize Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah, then reject Him deliberately. However, the real danger was failing to pass the scrutiny of God!

~

That this mission will include Him being killed. But… But… Jesus says that death will not get victory over him! No! Jesus said that He shall come back to life! Just as He had told the religious leaders when he cleared the Temple courtyard of the traders and money exchangers. Jesus was very clear in this teaching to them, so the disciples could be in no doubt what he meant! They could not make any mistakes regarding this part of Jesus teaching. Yet…

~

Peter, who we saw earlier coming along as the spokesperson for the disciples, took Jesus aside to rebuke him. Peter had great zeal obviously but didn’t want to rebuke His master Jesus in front of the others. Peter’s view was that it was absurd the Messiah should be crucified and die! Peter was holding Jesus and telling Jesus “Get a grip, man! Why on earth are you talking like this?” He tries to restrain Jesus from exposing Himself to death.

~

Yet Jesus censures of Peter. It may appear at first to be very harsh. Peter was using human wisdom but Jesus was urging his disciples to use wisdom from the Father, just as they had done when they confessed that He was the Messiah. Peter’s actions were an offense to Jesus. But Jesus sees who is really behind this – satan. It was satan that had prompted Peter to try to talk Jesus out of dying on the cross and following God’s will and intention. The suggestion was not blasphemous or crude but a smooth temptation.

~

As we saw yesterday, it was a hard concept for the Jewish people to believe that their Messiah would suffer and die. For Israel, the coming of the Messiah would be the climax of their development as a nation and the fulfilment of their history! All this is seen in the Old Testament scriptures. It is equally true that these same Scriptures show that the Messiah would also suffer and die. We saw glimpses of that at Jesus’ baptism, in the Messiah being the Suffering Servant. Through His suffering, Jesus would be able to fully empathise and identify with humanity. Without this identity, He would be no Saviour Messiah and not able to overcome the root of evil in the world. It was only by taking on death, and overcoming it, that Jesus as the Messiah would usher in the new kingdom. Not a temporary physical kingdom that was expected by people, but a spiritual kingdom that would be everlasting!

~

Such was Peter’s haste to rebuke Jesus that he along with the other disciples seem to have missed that last part of teaching. That yes, the Messiah would die but also be raised back to life 3 days later! Peter and the other disciples had not fully understood what Jesus was talking about. The idea of a resurrection, being bought back to life after death, was a concept that they would be familiar with. Only the Sadducees rejected a resurrection. But the disciples were discounting a resurrection that would happen in the present, because they accepted the resurrection was for a time in the distant future in the “last day”.

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 22 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together another example of Jesus teaching about Himself! See you soon at Partakers!

~

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

AGOG 20

00:0000:00

Partakers_AGOG.jpg

March 20

Teaching the disciples 2

Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG - A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 20 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Today we look briefly again at Jesus teaching his disciples!

~

Matthew 16:13-20

~

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will have been and will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been and will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

~

Here we have a climax of the Gospels! Jesus has asked his disciples who they think he is. The disciples start out by saying who others thought he was. John the Baptist some say, yet others say Elijah or one of the prophets.  In Matthew's account of this conversation, they also say Jesus was Jeremiah! So let us have a look at a couple of those.

~

Firstly, John the Baptist! Some people were saying that Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead.  Or perhaps he is Jeremiah raised from the dead! Of course, there is some similarity between the two men. Jeremiah was the 'weeping prophet', and Jesus was the 'man of sorrows'. Jeremiah called the people to true repentance from the heart, and as we know Jesus did. Both men were misunderstood and rejected by their own people. Both Jeremiah and Jesus condemned the false religious leaders and the hypocritical worship in the temple and were persecuted by those in authority. But that's where the similarity ends! Now we come to a climax of the Gospels.

~

Confession of who Jesus is

~

Jesus asks His disciples: "That's who others say that I am. But what about you? You have been with me for a while now, who do you say that I am?"

~

Peter rushed to answer "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!" Peter is emerging as a spokesperson for the disciples. Finally the eyes of the disciples are beginning to open to who Jesus truly is! Unlike a few days ago while crossing the Sea of Galilee, when they were whinging about a lack of bread while forgetting that Jesus had twice created bread out of nothing!

~

Jesus then imparts a blessing on Peter! "You are Peter, and I can guarantee that on this rock I will build my church." It was revealed to Peter by God the Father. It is a play on words as the name of Peter means 'rock'! Peter is not the rock on which the church will be built but rather what he confessed when he said Jesus was the Christ Messiah! On this confession by Peter about who Jesus really is, the disciples or apostles would be the foundation of the church! Death or satan would not be able to stop and overcome the Church - the Church would be living and dynamic!

~

Jesus then goes further and says to all the disciples, not just Peter, that the keys to the kingdom will be given. Here Jesus is giving authority to all the disciples to establish His church and be its leaders!  Jesus who holds the keys of David (Isaiah 22:22 & Revelation 3:7) gives his own key to the disciples. Binding means to legislate and demonstrate. Loosing means to reprimand and excommunicate where necessary.  The disciples have received from Jesus the authority to determine true doctrine, punish false teachers and unrepentant sinners! They were to exercise complete authority in the church. They were also to go about and tell people the good news of Jesus and what that means for people!

~

Why did Jesus tell the disciples to keep quiet about Him?

~

Now Jesus warns the disciples to keep quiet about him for now. Why did Jesus do that? There are various reasons. These disciples still had much to learn about him and what it meant to follow him. Additionally, the Jewish people were expecting a victorious Messiah who would free them from their slavery under the Romans (Isaiah 11v1-5). However, they had forgotten that their Messiah must suffer and die (Isaiah 53:1-12; Luke 24:26). The Jewish people also thought that the Messiah would set up an earthly kingdom, but Jesus came to set up an everlasting spiritual kingdom (Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 1:33; Revelation 11:15). If the disciples had gone from this place immediately proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah, people would have tried to force Jesus to be the Messiah they wanted him to be and make him their king. Rather than letting Jesus be the Messiah he was to be, who the Servant would suffer and die. Ergo, it was necessary for the disciples to keep quiet about Jesus for now!

~

Come back tomorrow for Day 21 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We shall see together an example of why the disciples weren't quite ready to start fulfilling their mission and tell others about Jesus being the Messiah!

~

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

iTunes Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »