30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL ARE YOU GOING THROUGH A TRIAL ROMANS 8:28

3Jun

Hi, I'm Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries. Are you going through a trial in your life?  There are some things we say that are not in the Bible, but are very true.  Every cloud has a silver lining and it is darkest before the dawn.  God does great thing in our lives through trials if we will just trust Him.  In Romans 8:28, it says God works all things together for good to those who love Him.  Just when things get the worst and you don’t think you can make it, just call on God and He will get you through and just like it is darkest before the dawn, you will be blessed greatly on the other side if you will just hang on to God.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 21:19-25 THIS HE SPOKE, SIGNIFYING BY WHAT DEATH HE WOULD GLORIFY GOD. AND WHEN HE HAD SPOKEN THIS, HE SAID TO HIM, “FOLLOW ME.”

31May

John 21:19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me." 20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?"  21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?" 22 Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." 23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?" 24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

 A committed Christian’s will is content with following.

 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."2Pe 1:14

Follow Me” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE as is v.22. This is related to the renewal and reaffirmation of Peter’s call to leadership

Our Lord’s words, “Follow Me!” must have brought new joy and love to Peter’s heart. Literally, Jesus said, “Keep on following Me.” Immediately, Peter began to follow Jesus, just as he had done before his great denial.

Peter later wrote that Christians who follow Jesus Christ faithfully to the point of dying for Him bring glory to God by their deaths

1Pe 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

He lived with this prediction hanging over him for three decades

2Pe 1:14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.

Notice that Jesus does much more than predict Peter’s death. John wishes us to understand that Jesus went so far as to predict the way in which Peter would die: “(Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.)” (verse 19). Peter’s previous effort to resist the arrest of Jesus was contrary to the gospel, and this is why Jesus rebuked him and abruptly ordered him to stop resisting His arrest. The death which Peter will experience is a death that will glorify God. Jesus also indicates that Peter will die in his old age, and thus he is informed that his death is not imminent. But his death for the Savior’s sake is certain: Notice it says that his death would glorify God. How? Because anybody who dies for their faith in Jesus Christ is a glory to God.

I agree with those who see here a prophecy that Peter truly will follow Jesus, by dying on a Roman cross:

More important is the way stretch out your hands was understood in the ancient world: it widely referred to crucifixion (Haenchen, 2. 226-227). … Bauer (p. 232) proposed long ago that this ‘stretching’ took place when a condemned prisoner was tied to his cross-member and forced to carry his ‘cross’ to the place of execution. The cross-member would be placed on the prisoner’s neck and shoulders, his arms tied to it, and then he would be led away to death.

The words, “Follow Me,” constitute the first calling of the disciples (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17; John 1:43). As time passed, these words took on a much deeper meaning. Following Jesus meant putting Jesus above family (Matthew 8:22). It meant a whole new way of life, where former practices would be unacceptable (Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14). Before long, Jesus let His disciples know that following Him meant taking up one’s cross (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34). (At this point in time, our Lord’s reference to “taking up one’s cross” was, at best, understood symbolically.) For the rich young ruler, it meant giving up his possessions (Matthew 19:21; Mark 20:21). And now, for Peter, it means not only carrying on the Master’s work, but taking up a very literal cross. It would seem that at every point where following Jesus is more precisely defined, another challenge to follow Him is given. So it is in our text.

I fear that Christians today understand these two words, “Follow me,” in a superficial way. When Paul writes, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), we interpret his words in a somewhat self-indulgent fashion. We suppose that Paul means living as a Christian is glorious, trouble-free, and fulfilling. It is, to put it plainly, “the good life.” In other words, we get to live it up here, and then when we die, it gets even better. There is a certain sense in which this is true. But we must understand Paul’s words in the light of what Jesus is telling Peter here, in our text, about following Him.

To follow Christ is to walk in His steps, to live as He lived, to serve others as He did, and to lay down your life for the sheep, like Him. In Philippians chapter 1, Paul is therefore saying, “For me, to live is to live just as Christ did, taking up my cross daily, laying down my life for His sheep.”

"Obedience to Jesus' command, Follow Me, is the key issue in every Christian's life. As Jesus followed the Father's will, so His disciples should follow their Lord whether the path leads to a cross or to some other difficult experience."

Peter got the message. He was willing to lay down his life for the Savior.

Do you know what Jesus is saying to him here? "Peter, you're going to grow old, “because He says, "When you’re old, so you're going to have a full life, Peter. And when it comes to the end of your life, you're going to be crucified."

That means, to Peter, that when it comes down to the crux at that hour, he's going to confess Christ and die for Him, right? Now don't you think that's good news to Peter who last time he had a chance to die for Jesus blew it? And so He says, "Peter, I'm going to give you another chance, you're going to live a full life and then at the end you're going to hang in there, it's going to come down to a life/death issue and you're going to stand up and say I believe in Jesus boldly and you're going to die for it." Now I can imagine the thrills were shooting up Peter's back like crazy because he was going to get a chance to prove his love for Jesus.

Peter committed his life to Christ and Christ said, "Peter, you'll live for Me and you'll die nailed to a cross." That's the destiny that God had designed for Peter. That's a beautiful promise. O Peter I'm sure in his heart just was saying over and over again...if I only had another chance...if I only had another chance to show the Lord I could be faithful in a crucial situation...if I only had one more chance to show Him my love in a life/death thing, O I'd do it, I'd do it. And so the Lord says, "Peter, you'll do it...you'll do it." And, you know, it's a good thing He told Peter cause Peter would have lived his whole life a nervous wreck thinking that every time he came to a real issue he'd blow it. And a leader with no confidence is no leader at all. And the Lord knew that Peter would worry himself about this so the Lord says, "Peter, you can relax through your whole ministry. When it comes to the end, you'll proclaim My name, you'll die a crucifixion death, don't worry about it."

  1. Following Jesus means being where He is. Jesus said in John 12:26 that, "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me that where I am, there will My servant be also." In other words, Jesus wants servants to go where He goes. That's the first thing about following. You go where He goes. Real simple. And in all the days of your life, in all the circumstances of your life, in all the places of your life, in all the relationships of your life, you should be able to say when asked, "Why are you here?" I'm here because I'm following Jesus and this is where He's led me today.
  2. Following Jesus means to pattern our lives after His attitudes. His holiness and His purity and His obedience to God becomes the pattern for us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye perfect even as I am perfect." We are to pattern our lives after Him. As He was faithful to the Father and obedient, so are we to be faithful and obedient..
  3. Thirdly, following Jesus means a willingness to suffer sacrifice for His sake. That's the nitty-gritty. Are you willing to do that? In Matthew 16 Jesus said, "If any man follow Me, take up his cross," right, "and follow Me." Now that's talking about the suffering sacrificial side of following Jesus.

But what does it mean to take up your cross, to bear your cross? in those days the victims of crucifixion bore the crossbeam of their own cross on their back as they marched to crucifixion. And in Matthew, as this was being spoken, the people in Galilee would well understand it because when the Roman General Varus had broken the revolt of Judas of Galilee, he crucified as a punishment two thousand Jews and he placed their crosses along all the roads leading through Galilee so that everywhere that everybody went they saw people hanging on crosses, two thousand of them. And all these people had borne the crossbeam on their back to their own death.

What Jesus is saying here is that means to be willing to sacrifice yourself for a cause. That's what it means. And Jesus is saying the same thing, are you willing to sacrifice everything you hold dear, everything you love, all the stupid little things that occupy your time, all your dreams and all your ambitions to be obedient to His cause? That's the real issue.

20 ¶ Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?" Joh 13:23,25; 20:2

 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?"

22 Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."

Mt 16:27-28; 25:31; 1Co 4:5; 11:26; Re 2:25; 3:11; 22:7,20

"Follow...you follow Me, Peter." What does He mean? He means, "Peter, get your eyes off of everybody else," like Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:16, I love this, "Take heed unto thyself."

  1. Following Jesus means Peter’s job was to follow, not to meddle into the lives of other believers. Beware when you get your eyes off the Lord and start to look at other Christians! “Looking unto Jesus” should be the aim and practice of every believer (Heb. 12:1–2). To be distracted by ourselves, our circumstances, or by other Christians, is to disobey the Lord and possibly get detoured out of the will of God. Keep your eyes of faith on Him and on Him alone.

This does not mean that we ignore others, because we do have the responsibility of caring for one another (Phil. 2:1–4). Rather, it means that we must not permit our curiosity about others to distract us from following the Lord. God has His plan for us; He also has plans for our Christian friends and associates. How He works in their lives is His business. Our business is to follow Him as He leads us (see Rom. 14:1–13).

But why was Jesus singling him out? What about the rest? What about John? At some point, it appears that Jesus and Peter have gone off by themselves, apart from the others. Verse 20 seems to indicate that Jesus and Peter are walking by themselves, with John following behind, at a distance. Peter turns around and sees John, some distance away. He and John had been closely associated in the fishing business, and even as disciples. Later, they will work very closely together as apostles, as we see in the Book of Acts. Peter could not resist asking Jesus about John’s fate. If Peter had to die to follow Jesus, was this also true of John? Peter seems to have the same attitude toward suffering. If he had to suffer, then surely John should be expected to suffer in just the same way, for the same period of time

This description highlights his intimacy with Jesus. That intimacy was evidently a factor in Jesus’ plans for John to which He proceeded to refer (vv. 22-24). These plans included his writing this Gospel (v. 24). Therefore by presenting the writer as an intimate of Jesus, John was establishing his credentials as a reliable eyewitness of what he reported. A second reason is that this description also reminds the reader of John’s intimacy with Peter. This helps us understand Peter’s question about Jesus’ will for John. Peter evidently wanted to know what would happen to his young friend if he himself was going to suffer crucifixion.

 23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”

  1. Following Jesus means people play their parts and God puts it all together.

Peter was guilty of giving too much attention to John, when our Lord had narrowed the focus of the discussion to Peter’s love, and Peter’s service. Jesus further indicated to Peter that he would glorify his Master by his death, a death that was similar to His death, a death by crucifixion. Peter had fixed his attention on John. From John’s words here, we know that others erred in the same way Peter had. It was a popular misconception that Jesus promised John that he would not die until His return. It was only that—a popular misconception—and John corrects it here.

  1. Following Jesus means we are not here to compete with each other. Here we have the problem of rivalry and competition in the church. The Gospels clearly indicate that Jesus eliminated competition as a motivation for Christian activity. But it is rare to find that in practice today. The church has followed the world in this regard, competing and struggling within itself, thereby diminishing its message, and often destroying its effectiveness. Jesus says we do not have to worry about what others are doing, but to be faithful to what God has given us to do; he will put it all together.

This is how the church should operate. We are to fulfill the gifts God has given us. He will put it together. We are not in competition with anybody; we do not have to struggle for position. We each have been given a ministry, not only leaders, preachers and teachers, but to everyone has been given the gifts of the Spirit, and they define our ministry.

The twelfth chapter of First Corinthians indicates there are two things we must never say: Because we have gifts given us by the Lord, we must never say to anybody, "I have no need of you," (1 Corinthians 12:21). But how many times we hear that in the church: "We have no need of you. We can get along fine." I have heard churches boast that they had no need of any other church because they had adequate resources of their own. But that is not in accord with the mind of the Lord.

The second thing we must never say is, "You have no need of me. I as so ungifted, so poor, I have nothing to offer." You cannot say that. You have gifts which the Spirit of God has given to you and you alone. Thus we must not look at one another and ask, "Lord, what do you want to do with him?" Jesus' word is, "That is none of your business. Follow me. I will put it all together."

The reference to Jesus’ return is probably a reference to the Rapture rather than the Second Coming in view of what Jesus had promised these disciples in 14:1-3.

By the time John was writing this Gospel, Peter was probably already dead. If this is the case, then what is John’s purpose in writing about this incident? It is clearly not for Peter’s benefit. John tells us his reason for writing about this. It was to clear up the misconception some had that John would not die before the coming of our Lord. Jesus did not say that John would be alive at His return. He simply told Peter that if it was His will that he (Peter) die, and that John remain alive until His return, that was of no concern to Peter—it was none of his business. Death, like everything else, falls within the boundaries of our Lord’s sovereign control of all things. If death is God’s business, His sovereign business, then it is not Peter’s business to raise questions about John’s death. 

John himself is not so taken with himself. John keeps the focus on our Lord, and on the truths He spoke.

  1. Following Jesus means Our eyes should not be on ourselves, but on Christ. Our focus should not be on what others are doing for Christ, or what God is doing for them. Our focus should be on Him, and on our love for Him, as shown by our loving service to His flock.

This is the “Great Commission” of John’s Gospel. It is certainly different from the Great Commission of Matthew’s. But when you stop to think about it, the point of both Gospels is the same. Matthew emphasizes the authority of our Lord, and the Lord’s command to make disciples. John focuses on our love for the Lord, and the privilege we have to show our love for Him by caring for those He loves, in a way that is consistent with His sacrificial death at Calvary. How simple, how beautiful that is! How effective the church would become if we would but return to it.

The last word here is for both the fisherman and the shepherd: We rest upon a reliable testimony.

  1. Following Jesus means our words are concerned with Jesus.

 24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. Joh 19:35; 3Jo 1:12,14

So, the beloved disciple is identified, ‘these things’ refer to the gospel. We have this very curious plural ‘we’. What’s going on here? Is John schizophrenic as he finishes the book? “We, me, myself, we write this.”

The early church probably endorsed this letter somehow, this gospel. In fact, some believe that the church at Ephesus was the church that was involved in John’s assembly of the Gospel, and they said, “Yes, we’ve seen those things and we know that what John has borne witness of is true, and so we agree with these things.”

This description of the writer stresses the reliability of his witness. "These things" probably refers to the whole Gospel, not just what immediately precedes.

 25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. Am 7:10; Joh 20:30

This  final  verse  along  with  the  one  preceding  it  returns  to  the  broad perspective with which this Gospel began in its prologue (1:1-18). The prologue presents the Word humbling Himself and entering the world in incarnation. This verse presents the world as not able to contain all the revelation that the Word made. John's final word was that what he wrote, and what everyone else could write, would be only a small part of what could be written to bring honor to Jesus Christ.

John has been very selective in what he has chosen to present as evidence in favor of his conclusion that Jesus is, indeed, the Son of God and the Savior of the world. And in his final words, John testifies that the words of this book are “the gospel truth.” It is not for lack of evidence that men are eternally lost. John has now set the evidence before his readers, and he urges each of us to draw the conclusions this evidence merits.

  • Obedience to Jesus’ command, Follow Me, is the key issue in every Christian’s life. As Jesus followed the Father’s will, so His disciples should follow their Lord whether the path leads to a cross or to some other difficult experience.
  • The false rumor about Jesus’ words to Peter show the possibility of misunderstanding God’s promises. Christians must seek to understand God’s Word accurately.
  • Peter and John have been off the scene (except for their books) for centuries, but you and I are still here. We are taking His place and taking their place. What a responsibility! What a privilege!
  • We can succeed only as we permit Him to transform us.
  • The verdict is clear. You should believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah—the Christ—and that by His sinless life and sacrificial death, your sins may be forgiven. And having believed the verdict, you should not only be overcome with His love for you, but you should be compelled by your love for Him, to serve Him as you shepherd His lambs. The evidence abounds; the verdict is clear. The question that remains is this: Given this evidence, how will you respond to Jesus Christ?

 Could we with ink the ocean fill,

  And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

  And every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above

  Would drain the ocean dry.

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

  Though stretched from sky to sky.

He was saying you can't write about God's love, the whole universe couldn't handle it.

 Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL MINISTERING TO THE LEAST OF THESE

27May

Everyone His Love Ministries reaches out to is locked up in some way.  Some are locked up in bodies that don't work or the Nursing Home facility or in the wheelchair or bed they cannot get out of.  We minister to youth who are locked up because of behavior problems or their parents and their cry is we want to have a “REAL FAMILY”. Other kids are locked up because of crimes.  We reach those locked up correctional facilities; in addictions to drugs, depression, and suicidal thoughts.  Jesus came to give us life and set us free and these folks are not free that we minister to, but we can set them free through Christ Jesus. 

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 21:14-19 JESUS SAID TO SIMON PETER, SIMON, SON OF JONAH, DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE PART 2

24May

John 21:14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep. 18 "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."

 

Today we look a little closer at the three do you love Me statements and what they mean to us in practical terms of what we need to do and how we need to live in light of these questions.  Peter is like us in that he is not willing to totally commit to something unless we are sure WE can pull it off.  So, Jesus gives a prophecy of how Peter will die.  He tells Peter that he will live to be an old man and then they will put him on a cross. That he will glorify God through his death.  That is just like God to let us know, yes you have failed, yes you are hesitant to fully commit now because of your failure, but I am going to use you anyway. Also, I want to let you know that when it comes  time to stand up for me, you will not fail, you will not make the same mistake again and you will ultimately do the will of God as you are supposed to when it really counts.  2Co 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

 

14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. Joh 20:19,26

John said that this was the third post-resurrection appearance "to the disciples" (i.e., the apostles, cf. 20:19-23, 26-29). Chronologically this was at least Jesus' seventh post-resurrection appearance (cf. 20:11-18; Matt.

28:8-10; 1 Cor. 15:5; Luke 24:13-32; John 20:19-23, 26-29). Nevertheless it was the third appearance to the disciples, and the third appearance to the disciples that John recorded.

John viewed this appearance as further proof of Jesus' resurrection. Perhaps he viewed it as completing a full complement of testimonies since he drew attention to its being the third appearance to the disciples. The number three in Scripture sometimes connotes fullness or completeness (e.g., the three Persons of the Trinity). However by calling this appearance a "manifestation" (Gr. ephanerothe, cf. v. 1) John indicated that he also viewed it as a revelation of Jesus' true character. So far Jesus had reminded these disciples of lessons that He had taught them previously that were important for them to remember in view of their mission. He had also set the stage for an even more important lesson that would follow.

I believe there are lessons to be learned from this miracle in the light of its similarity to the great fish harvest of Luke 5. Because of the fishing miracle in Luke 5, Peter and the other disciples came to see Jesus (and themselves) in a whole new light. There, Peter realizes he is not worthy to be in the same boat with Jesus. In John 21, Peter and the others are once again awed by our Lord and His works. In both texts, these professional fishermen were not able to catch anything on their own, even though they were laboring in the area of their expertise.

Jesus taught them that He is the source of their success, He is the One Who, when obeyed, makes men fruitful fishermen.

In Luke 5, the disciples were called to leave their fishing boats and to become “fishers of men” (5:10). I believe that John 21:1-14 is a reaffirmation of that original call. The disciples are all waiting around, wondering what to do with their lives.

I believe that by means of this miracle Jesus reiterates and reinforces their original call, which came in Luke 5.

There are some interesting differences in these accounts as well—and lessons to be learned from them.

The most obvious (and probably the most important) difference is that in Luke 5, Jesus was in the boat. In John 21, Jesus is on the shore. You may think I am pressing the limits of this story, but there is a lesson here: “Jesus is able to guide, to provide for, and to watch over His disciples just as well (better?) from a distance, as He is able to care for them “up close and personal.” From 100 yards away, Jesus knew they had caught no fish. From 100 yards away, Jesus could guide them to an abundance of fish. Even before they saw Him, Jesus was prepared to provide for their needs. He had breakfast “on the table,” so to speak, when they arrived on shore. Were the disciples uneasy about Jesus going away, about Jesus leaving them to return to His Father? Such fears are unfounded. He is just as able to care for them when He is in heaven as He was to care for them while He was on earth. I think this was a significant part of the lesson He wanted them to learn.

That is why this story is included here -- to teach us that in the work of evangelizing, whether through mass evangelism or individual witnessing, God himself is working with us and will supply far more than we ever dreamed.

Both of these accounts refer to Peter as "Simon Peter." Recall that when the Spirit of God uses the name "Simon" Peter, the natural Peter, the one with whom we feel a kinship, the Peter in us all, is in view.

And three times, Jesus is going to ask Peter the same question, or at least, we think it’s the same question, but as we’ll see as we move through this there’s actually a subtle shift in this question that we can’t see in our English Bibles, right?

It’s a rich picture of how intimately Jesus knows His friend, Peter, and by implication, how He knows us.

So, not only the guilt of, “Oh, I failed, and I didn’t respond well,” but, “Let me restore you to a place of usability that’s far beyond your wildest imagination.”

We need to keep this in mind as well, especially those of us who are very aware of our own sins, and how we have failed…

No matter how great a person is, he may fall (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12).[i]

  • Would you begin to understand that nothing you will ever done will make Him love you more, -and nothing you have ever done will make Him love you less. And when you start there, I believe the prayer thing is going to take care of itself.” But we’re all in this performance quota, “I have to do this before God will look on me favorably.”

He could not have demonstrated His love more profoundly than He already has. Why would He then change that conditionally based upon our works? So the motivation is, “I love you, and I want to respond well to you.”

Not, “I need to pray more, I need to be more faithful, I shouldn’t have done that.” What a terrible way to live the Christian life. Ultimately, that performance mindset that you’re talking about is legalism. It’s an attempt to self-justify and we have to come back and say do we believe that Christ has paid it all, and that we’re accepted not because of what we do, - but because of what He has done? And Peter had to realize that as well. As we pick up this account in John’s Gospel, Jesus has just finished cooking breakfast for His friends, and He’s about to have a conversation with Peter.

to follow Christ as maybe we have promised to do. Jesus is in the business of restoration. I am inclined to understand verses 1-14 in terms of evangelism—being fishers of men. But it is not enough to simply bring a lost sinner to faith in Jesus Christ; that person should also be discipled, and thus brought to maturity in Christ. This seems to be implicit in the Great Commission:

Lu 24:33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"

Mr. 16:7 "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

Jesus is not seeking to correct (or even rebuke) Peter here for his three-fold denial. Jesus personally revealed Himself to Peter, probably before He appeared to the disciples as a group (1 Corinthians 15:5; Luke 24:34; Mark 16:7). I believe it is there that our Lord dealt with Peter’s three-fold denial, and forgave him. In our text, Peter is eager to be with our Lord. I believe this is because Peter’s sins have already been confronted and forgiven, and thus he has already been restored to fellowship with the Master

I am not even inclined to see this text as Peter’s restoration to leadership. There are some scholars who hold that Peter was restored to fellowship in his private interview with Jesus, and that this incident is his public restoration to leadership. I see the emphasis of this passage falling on humble service, not on leadership, per se.?????????

this passage is more about love than about leadership. Love for Jesus is demonstrated by faithfully caring for His sheep. So, too, when we care for the sheep whom our Lord loves, and for whom He gave His life, we show our love for the Shepherd.

caution should be exercised in making too much of the two different words for “love” which are employed in this text. The two verbs are agapao and phileo. The first two times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, the word for love is agapao. The third time Jesus asks, He employs the term phileo. Every time Peter responds to Jesus’ question, indicating his love, he employs the word phileo. The distinctions that some make between these two terms may hold true in some cases, and for some authors. They do not seem to hold true for John, who often uses different terms for the same concept. When commentators do seek to emphasize the distinctions between the two Greek words John uses, they do not agree as to what the meaning and emphasis of these terms are. We should keep in mind that when Jesus spoke to Peter and asked him these three questions, He spoke not in Greek (the language in which the Gospel of John is written), but in Aramaic, the language spoken by the Jews of that day. The change in words may have some significance, but I hardly think it is the key to understanding the passage.

Jesus began by addressing Peter as Simon the son of Jonas. In the Gospels, Jesus addressed Peter this way on only the most important occasions. These were his call to follow Jesus (1:42), his confession of Jesus as the Son of God (Matt. 16:17), and as he slept in Gethsemane (Mark 14:37).????????????

 When Jesus addressed Peter this way here, Peter probably realized that what Jesus was about to say to him was extremely important.

"His [Peter's] actions had shown that Peter had not wanted a crucified Lord. But Jesus was crucified. How did Peter's devotion stand in the light of this? Was he ready to love Jesus as he was, and not as Peter wished him to be?"

His will is content with following. His work is compelled by love. His way is committed to God. And his work, or his will is content with following, but his words are about Jesus.

Number one, his work is compelled by love. A real committed Christian operates on the basis of his love for the Lord. Two, his way is controlled by God. He has learned how to give his life totally to God and trust Him for it. His will is content with following. He's happy to do what Jesus leads him to do. Fourth, his words are concerning Jesus. His work is compelled by love. His way is controlled by God. His will is content with following. And his words are concerned with Jesus.

  1. A committed Christian operates on the basis of his love for the Lord.

 15 ¶ So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."

Each question begins with Simon, son of John. It’s funny to me that He names him Peter, but He never calls him Peter but one time. At least, it’s only recorded one time that He calls him Peter. He still calls him Simon. I think it has to do with the person of him before the Holy Spirit indwells him because in Acts he’ll be known primarily as Peter. But now, Jesus still calls him Simon.  Called Him Simon Peter every time something important occurred. Original calling, garden of gethsemane, and now.

Peter had denied that he was one of Jesus' disciples and that he even knew Jesus three times. Thus Jesus' question was reasonable. He wanted Peter to think about just how strong his love for Jesus really was.

"There can be little doubt but that the whole scene is meant to show us Peter as completely restored to his position of leadership. . . . It is further worth noting that the one thing about which Jesus questioned Peter prior to commissioning him to tend the flock was love. This is the basic qualification for Christian service. Other qualities may be desirable, but love is completely indispensable (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-3)."

Our Lord’s addition of the words, “more than these do,” really got to the heart of the matter. Our Lord’s prediction of Peter’s denials came in the midst of Peter’s confident boasting that even if all the others denied Jesus, he certainly would not. In other words, Peter was claiming a higher level of devotion than the rest. Jesus is simply asking him to re-evaluate his boastful claim. And this Peter did. Peter could truthfully affirm that he did love Jesus, but he would not go so far as to claim that his love was greater than that of his fellow-disciples. He also speaks of his love in terms of the Savior’s assessment of it: “Yes, Lord, You know I love You.” To this our Lord replied, “Feed My lambs.”

There is some discussion over what Jesus means here. The verse could be translated (and understood) in several ways. (1) “Peter, do you love me more than these fish, more than this boat and the nets, and the things which represent your life of a fisherman?” (2) “Peter, do you love Me more than you love these men?” (3) “Peter, do you love me more than these men do?”

But a comparison of these two accounts reveals that what he means is, "Do you love me more than these men love me?" Before he denied Jesus, Peter had inferred that he loved Jesus much more than they. "All men will forsake you, Lord, but I will lay down my life for you," he had said. Clearly he regards himself as more faithful and more committed than the others, whom he expected would desert the Lord in a time of danger. Thus Jesus addresses these words to him, "Do you love me more than these?"

When we bring that into our context, taken together, “Peter, now that you’ve denied me three times, remember I told you you’d deny me? Now that you’ve denied me three times, can you tell me that you love me more than these people love me?” That’s the question He’s posing to him.

And Peter is saying, “Look, Lord you knew I was going to deny you three times, you know if I love you or not, Lord.”
Now, Peter is starting to develop a fuller Christology. This Jesus Christ knows everything about him. And He knows everything about him now. That’s why it grieved him, I think. Three times, “Lord, you know I love you. You know everything.”

Peter has learned some painful but necessary lessons. He does not judge himself in relationship to the others, but reads his own heart and replies, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." He makes no mention of the others. Here is a great lesson on how we are to look at others. Peter indicates he has learned to read his Lord's mind better. In the Garden of Gethsemane he felt that his love for Jesus required that he assault the enemies of his Lord, but here he learns that he is responsible to feed the sheep of Jesus. That is the correct manifestation of love.

Jesus responded graciously by giving Peter a command, Tend My lambs” This is an PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. All three of these statements are the same grammatical form.

Note that Christ gives Peter a new commission: he is now a shepherd (pastor) besides being a fisher of men. (See 1 Peter 5.) He is now to shepherd the lambs and sheep and feed them the Word of God. All Christians are expected to be fishers of men (soul-winners), but some have been called into the special ministry of shepherding the flock. What good is it to win the lost if there is no church where they might be fed and cared for?

When Peter sinned, he did not lose his Sonship, but he did fall away from his discipleship. For this reason Christ repeated His call, “Follow Me.” Christ also confronts Peter with the cross (v. 18), indicating that Peter would one day be crucified himself. (See 2 Peter 1:12–14.) Before we can follow Christ, we must take up the cross. When you recall that earlier Peter tried to keep Christ from the cross, this commandment takes on new meaning (Matt. 16:21–28).[ii]

He told Peter to tend (Gr. boske, feed) His lambs (Gr. arnia). Previously Jesus had referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd (10:14). Now he was committing the care of His flock to this disciple who had failed Him miserably in the past. Jesus had formerly called Peter to be a fisher of men, an essentially evangelistic ministry (Matt. 4:19). Now he was  broadening  this  calling  to  include  being  a  shepherd  of  sheep,  a pastoral ministry.

The image, however, changes from that of the fisherman to that of the shepherd. Peter was to minister both as an evangelist (catching the fish) and a pastor (shepherding the flock). It is unfortunate when we divorce these two because they should go together. Pastors ought to evangelize (2 Tim. 4:5) and then shepherd the people they have won so that they mature in the Lord.

Here is the chief work of a shepherd. Jesus says to Peter, "Feed my lambs"; "Tend my sheep"; "Feed my sheep." Three aspects of feeding are suggested here:

"Feed my lambs." Teach the children. Do not wait for them to grow up. Teach children from the Word what life is all about.

Peter was grieved because Jesus found it necessary to ask virtually the same question three times. I do not like to be asked the same question repeatedly. I conclude that either the person asking the question wasn’t paying attention (this could not be the case with Jesus), or that my answer was not acceptable or credible. The three-fold repetition must have registered with Peter as being related to his three-fold denial. Peter was grieved because he realized that the bold and even arrogant claims he had made proved to be empty. Peter is not distressed with Jesus; he is grieved over his own sin.

Jesus is not attempting to shame Peter; he is seeking to reaffirm his call to service. Did Jesus question Peter about his love for Him three times? Then note that three times Jesus instructed Peter to care for His sheep. Does Peter fear he has been cast aside as useless? Jesus tells him to return to His work, three times!

Peter really did love Jesus. But Peter needed to understand that his love for the Savior was not as great as he thought, just as his ability to catch fish was not as great as he seemed to think. In loving, and in landing fish, Jesus was supreme.

  • Even in the thing Peter did best (fishing), he could not hold a candle to Jesus, who proved to be far better at fishing than he. Peter sought to prove his love for Jesus by boasting about it, by arguing with his fellow-disciples about it (see Luke 22:24), and by being the first to draw his sword and lop off an ear, or perhaps even by being the first man into the water and onto the shore. These were not the benchmarks our Lord had established for testing one’s love for Him.
  • The proof of one’s love for God is sacrificial service —feeding our Lord’s sheep.
  • The way I understand verses 15-19 is something like this: “Peter, do you really love Me as much as you say? Then prove your love for Me by taking care of My sheep.” Jesus is the “Good Shepherd,” Who cares for His sheep (see John 10).
  • If Peter really loves his Lord, then his passion will be the Lord’s passion.

The circumstances must have reminded Peter of the scene of his denial. And if the circumstances as such did not remind him of this, what was about to happen was bound to do so. Note the following resemblances: 1. It was at a charcoal fire that Peter denied his Master (18:18). It is here at another charcoal fire (21:9) that he is asked to confess (his love for) his Master. 2. Three times Peter had denied his Master (18:17, 25, 27). Three times he must now own him as his Lord, whom he loves (21:15-17). 3. The prediction with reference to the denial had been introduced with the solemn double Amen (13:38; see on 1:51). The prediction which immediately followed Peter’s confession was introduced similarly (21:18).

Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

  • But it has been shown that the resemblance is even more pointed. In reverse order the same three ideas—1. following, 2. a cross, 3. denying—occur here in 21:15-19 as in 13:36-38.” William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel According to John, II , p. 486.

John 21:15-17 is more about love than about leadership. “Peter if you’re going to love me, part of that will be shepherding and feeding and caring for my sheep, but the manifestation of those attributes come connected to your love to me. If you love me, Peter, you will shepherd the flock that I will give to you. My passion, Peter, will be your passion. The things I’m concerned about, Peter, will be the things you’re concerned about, if you love me.”

 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." Ac 20:28; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25; 5:2,4

Now the first and third words for “feed”, “Feed my sheep… feed my lambs… “ is the same word. The middle word is the word I want to talk about. The middle word is the word shepherding. Some of your translations use the word “care for”, and it has the root of a pastor. In fact, the word that Jesus uses here for Peter to shepherd is the word for pastoring and for eldering. Pastoring is the gift, eldering is the function. It is a shepherd; one who cares for people. The shepherd-sheep relationship describes the spiritual task of leaders of God’s people. The command ‘to shepherd’ includes guiding, guarding, feeding, protecting.

Then, "Shepherd my sheep." The word means, watch over, guard them. In Peter's first letter he says to the elders to whom he is writing, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, watching out for them," (1 Peter 5:2). Try to discern where they are at, apprehend the coming dangers, warn and guard them. That is the work of a shepherd.

  • The verbal tense conveys urgency. It calls upon the elder to have the official life of devotion to serving the flock of God.”

 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep. Joh 2:24-25; 16:30

Jesus is the “Good Shepherd”; He is the Shepherd who came to lay down His life for His sheep. If Peter really loves Jesus, he will care for the Master’s sheep, and he, like the Master, will lay down his life for the sheep. Love manifests itself in service—humble, sacrificial, service.

            You become like the people you love. The things they love, you love. If Peter really loves his Lord, Who is the Good Shepherd, then Peter will surely seek to shepherd in the same way.

He will seek the lost sheep (evangelism). He will feed and tend the young and vulnerable lambs (discipleship). And, like the Good Shepherd, he will lay down his life for the sheep. That is why the Lord moves so quickly and easily from verses 15-17 to verses 18 and 19. Peter had assured his Lord that he was willing to die for Him (Matthew 26:35), and so he will. But he will not die in the manner that he once supposed—seeking to keep His Master from being arrested and crucified. Peter will die, as the Savior did, as a good shepherd, and for the sake of the gospel.

Finally, "Feed my sheep, my grown-up ones."

The instrument of feeding, of course, is the teaching of the Word of God. Open their minds to the thoughts of God. This is the missing element in the church today.

The primary function of shepherding is in teaching and explaining the Gospel and the Word to the flock of God.

People are not thinking the thoughts of God, not looking at life the way God sees it, but following blindly after the fantasies and the illusions of the world. What is necessary is the unfolding of the mind of God in obedience to the word of Jesus: "Teach the word." The weakness of the church flows from a famine of the Word of God.

  • Peter had learned not to make rash professions of great love. Therefore he did not compare his love for Jesus to the love of the other disciples as he had done before. He simply appealed to Jesus' knowledge of his heart.
  • Notice that throughout this interchange Jesus consistently referred to the sheep as His sheep, not Peter's sheep. Moreover Jesus described Peter's ministry in terms of acts, not in terms of an office. Later Peter wrote to elders urging  them  to  apply  these  same  viewpoints  to  their  pastoral ministry (1Pet. 5:1-4).

The Greek word for “sheep” at the end of John 21:17 means “dear sheep.

  1. A committed Christian’s way is controlled by God.

Having loved Jesus Christ to that extent that you'd give your life for Him, it's no problem to hand Him your life and let Him keep it. Didn't Paul say, "I'm confident that what I've given the Lord He'll keep till the day of Jesus Christ?" And as a Christian, you can say, "All right, Lord, I love You, here's my life, You've got it now, it's up to You to do what You want." Are you willing to say that? Whatever God's will is, he'll do it. The committed Christian yields the control of his destiny to God, no questions asked. Psalm 37:5 puts it this way, "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him." Just let it go. Here's my life, God, and it's Yours, do whatever You want. And Paul says, "If I live, I live unto the Lord. If I die, I die unto the Lord. So, if I live, if I die, I'm the Lord's." See. I gave myself to Him.

18 "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish."

Joh 13:36; Ac 12:3-4

Peter had been learning how his self-confidence led to failure and how he needed to depend on Jesus more (i.e., "You know vv. 15, 16, 17). Jesus reminded Peter that as time passed he would become increasingly dependent on others even to the point of being unable to escape a martyr's death. Therefore, Jesus implied, Peter should commit his future to God rather than trying to control it himself as he had formerly tried to do.

    "The long painful history of the Church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led."

For Peter, following Jesus would involve more than teaching, it would ultimately involve pain, suffering, deprivation, and death. This was historically fulfilled.

Clearly this book was written after the death of Peter, as John records the way Peter would die. Eusebius, the church historian, tells us that when Peter went to Rome at the close of his life (by the way, he did not found the church at Rome at all; he went there much later), he was finally imprisoned, his hands were bound and he was led out to the place of execution, and there he was crucified. At his own request he was crucified upside down because he did not feel he was worthy to share the manner of his Lord's death.

Jesus is saying that preaching and teaching the Word of truth in a mixed-up world like ours will call for sacrifice. It may mean living in primitive conditions, under difficult circumstances, and not feeling harassed, but privileged, to teach and to suffer for the sake of the Word of God. Peter found this to be true. He ultimately obeyed his Lord. He had said, "I will lay down my life for you," and Jesus replied, "You will indeed, not like you once thought, not in defense of me with a sword, but in the teaching and preaching of the Word. Eventually you will lay down your life for me."

  1. A committed Christian’s will is content with following.

 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."2Pe 1:14

Follow Me” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE as is v.22. This is related to the renewal and reaffirmation of Peter’s call to leadership

Our Lord’s words, “Follow Me!” must have brought new joy and love to Peter’s heart. Literally, Jesus said, “Keep on following Me.” Immediately, Peter began to follow Jesus, just as he had done before his great denial.

Peter later wrote that Christians who follow Jesus Christ faithfully to the point of dying for Him bring glory to God by their deaths

1Pe 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

He lived with this prediction hanging over him for three decades

2Pe 1:14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.

Notice that Jesus does much more than predict Peter’s death. John wishes us to understand that Jesus went so far as to predict the way in which Peter would die: “(Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.)” (verse 19). Peter’s previous effort to resist the arrest of Jesus was contrary to the gospel, and this is why Jesus rebuked him and abruptly ordered him to stop resisting His arrest. The death which Peter will experience is a death that will glorify God. Jesus also indicates that Peter will die in his old age, and thus he is informed that his death is not imminent. But his death for the Savior’s sake is certain: Notice it says that his death would glorify God. How? Because anybody who dies for their faith in Jesus Christ is a glory to God.

I agree with those who see here a prophecy that Peter truly will follow Jesus, by dying on a Roman cross:

More important is the way stretch out your hands was understood in the ancient world: it widely referred to crucifixion (Haenchen, 2. 226-227). … Bauer (p. 232) proposed long ago that this ‘stretching’ took place when a condemned prisoner was tied to his cross-member and forced to carry his ‘cross’ to the place of execution. The cross-member would be placed on the prisoner’s neck and shoulders, his arms tied to it, and then he would be led away to death.

The words, “Follow Me,” constitute the first calling of the disciples (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17; John 1:43). As time passed, these words took on a much deeper meaning. Following Jesus meant putting Jesus above family (Matthew 8:22). It meant a whole new way of life, where former practices would be unacceptable (Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14). Before long, Jesus let His disciples know that following Him meant taking up one’s cross (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34). (At this point in time, our Lord’s reference to “taking up one’s cross” was, at best, understood symbolically.) For the rich young ruler, it meant giving up his possessions (Matthew 19:21; Mark 20:21). And now, for Peter, it means not only carrying on the Master’s work, but taking up a very literal cross. It would seem that at every point where following Jesus is more precisely defined, another challenge to follow Him is given. So it is in our text.

I fear that Christians today understand these two words, “Follow me,” in a superficial way. When Paul writes, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), we interpret his words in a somewhat self-indulgent fashion. We suppose that Paul means living as a Christian is glorious, trouble-free, and fulfilling. It is, to put it plainly, “the good life.” In other words, we get to live it up here, and then when we die, it gets even better. There is a certain sense in which this is true. But we must understand Paul’s words in the light of what Jesus is telling Peter here, in our text, about following Him.

To follow Christ is to walk in His steps, to live as He lived, to serve others as He did, and to lay down your life for the sheep, like Him. In Philippians chapter 1, Paul is therefore saying, “For me, to live is to live just as Christ did, taking up my cross daily, laying down my life for His sheep.”

"Obedience to Jesus' command, Follow Me, is the key issue in every Christian's life. As Jesus followed the Father's will, so His disciples should follow their Lord whether the path leads to a cross or to some other difficult experience."

Peter got the message. He was willing to lay down his life for the Savior.

Do you know what Jesus is saying to him here? "Peter, you're going to grow old, “because He says, "When you’re old, so you're going to have a full life, Peter. And when it comes to the end of your life, you're going to be crucified."

That means, to Peter, that when it comes down to the crux at that hour, he's going to confess Christ and die for Him, right? Now don't you think that's good news to Peter who last time he had a chance to die for Jesus blew it? And so He says, "Peter, I'm going to give you another chance, you're going to live a full life and then at the end you're going to hang in there, it's going to come down to a life/death issue and you're going to stand up and say I believe in Jesus boldly and you're going to die for it." Now I can imagine the thrills were shooting up Peter's back like crazy because he was going to get a chance to prove his love for Jesus.

Peter committed his life to Christ and Christ said, "Peter, you'll live for Me and you'll die nailed to a cross." That's the destiny that God had designed for Peter. That's a beautiful promise. O Peter I'm sure in his heart just was saying over and over again...if I only had another chance...if I only had another chance to show the Lord I could be faithful in a crucial situation...if I only had one more chance to show Him my love in a life/death thing, O I'd do it, I'd do it. And so the Lord says, "Peter, you'll do it...you'll do it." And, you know, it's a good thing He told Peter cause Peter would have lived his whole life a nervous wreck thinking that every time he came to a real issue he'd blow it. And a leader with no confidence is no leader at all. And the Lord knew that Peter would worry himself about this so the Lord says, "Peter, you can relax through your whole ministry. When it comes to the end, you'll proclaim My name, you'll die a crucifixion death, don't worry about it."

  1. Following Jesus means being where He is. Jesus said in John 12:26 that, "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me that where I am, there will My servant be also." In other words, Jesus wants servants to go where He goes. That's the first thing about following. You go where He goes. Real simple. And in all the days of your life, in all the circumstances of your life, in all the places of your life, in all the relationships of your life, you should be able to say when asked, "Why are you here?" I'm here because I'm following Jesus and this is where He's led me today.
  2. Following Jesus means to pattern our lives after His attitudes. His holiness and His purity and His obedience to God becomes the pattern for us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye perfect even as I am perfect." We are to pattern our lives after Him. As He was faithful to the Father and obedient, so are we to be faithful and obedient..
  3. Thirdly, following Jesus means a willingness to suffer sacrifice for His sake. That's the nitty-gritty. Are you willing to do that? In Matthew 16 Jesus said, "If any man follow Me, take up his cross," right, "and follow Me." Now that's talking about the suffering sacrificial side of following Jesus.

But what does it mean to take up your cross, to bear your cross? in those days the victims of crucifixion bore the crossbeam of their own cross on their back as they marched to crucifixion. And in Matthew, as this was being spoken, the people in Galilee would well understand it because when the Roman General Varus had broken the revolt of Judas of Galilee, he crucified as a punishment two thousand Jews and he placed their crosses along all the roads leading through Galilee so that everywhere that everybody went they saw people hanging on crosses, two thousand of them. And all these people had borne the crossbeam on their back to their own death.

What Jesus is saying here is that means to be willing to sacrifice yourself for a cause. That's what it means. And Jesus is saying the same thing, are you willing to sacrifice everything you hold dear, everything you love, all the stupid little things that occupy your time, all your dreams and all your ambitions to be obedient to His cause? That's the real issue.

 Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

 

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL JOHN 6 FOLLOWING JESUS NO MATTER WHAT

20May

Hi, I ‘m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  In John 6 when Jesus began to speak about the hard things of the Bible such as living for Him and Him only and that we can only come to Him if it has been granted to us by His Father, most of His followers left.  He asked the disciples will you leave too? But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  Most people today will not stand up for the Word of God.  They would rather compromise and go with the popular opinion than be disliked.  So which one are you a compromiser, or will you follow Christ no matter what it may cost you?

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 21:10-17 JESUS SAID TO SIMON PETER, SIMON, SON OF JONAH, DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE PART 1

17May

John 21:10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" --knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. 14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. 15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.

 

In this very familiar section of Scripture we see Jesus telling the disciples after they have fished all night to cast the net again and they catch so many fish they almost sink the boat.  They need to recognize without Him they can do nothing, as do we.  Then He feeds the disciples with fish He has created for their breakfast in the same fashion He multiplied the fish and the loaves at the feeding of the 5000 men and their families.  He then proceeds to restore Peter by asking him three times do you love me.  That is the question of all time, do we love Jesus more than others, more than things, more than anything.  As the old song says I would rather have Jesus than silver or gold, than riches untold, I rather have Jesus than anything this world affords.

Jesus invites us to labor with them,  Little boy brought his fish and bread, they caught it and hauled it in.

The “fire of coals” would certainly remind him of the fire at which he denied the Lord (John 18:18). It is good for us to remember the past; we may have something to confess.

10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught."

Even though there was already one fish (Gr. opsarion, singular) on the fire Jesus instructed the disciples to bring some of the fish (plural) that they had caught. He would not provide for their physical needs by multiplying the food miraculously as He had done in the past. Now He would use the product of their labor to satisfy their need. Nevertheless it was clear that their fish had been the result of His miraculous provision. Perhaps this was all symbolic of how Jesus would carry out His mission through His disciples in the future compared with how He had done it during His pre- cross ministry.

But notice that Jesus then invites the disciples to bring the fish they have caught. This beautifully suggests the way God works with man. As I read through the Scriptures I am continually astonished at the privilege given us by God of being co-laborers with him. Human labor was involved in almost all of the miracles of Jesus. For instance, our Lord multiplied the bread and fish which the boy had to feed the multitude, but he first sent the disciples searching through the crowd to see what they could supply. The wonder of this is that God, who could easily do it all himself, nevertheless gave them the great privilege of being co-workers with him.

What he invites you to do may be a very simple thing. You may have opportunity to share your faith with your neighbors. While that may seem an insignificant thing now, when history has come to an end and we are all gathered on the shore with Jesus this may well become the greatest thing you have ever done. We will see ourselves as tremendously privileged to have worked with God in what he was doing in this world.

 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

A spiritual lesson here is that great blessing comes to one’s efforts when he follows the Lord’s will.

Peter either organizes the landing of the fish or he's the one who hauls it in. Now, if you've ever been in the water playing with your children when they're small, you can have two or three of your small children kind of hanging on you and you can still get around the water, right? Because the buoyancy displacement makes them not as heavy as if you were on land. On land you might be able to move a step or two but you sure can't haul them around the water, right?
So you envision Peter. They can't get over the gunnel of the ship because it's so heavy, but he can sort of man handle it in the water up to the side and then the disciples would organize the getting of all the fish out before they could slip back into the Sea of Galilee.
Why 153 fish? Well it's almost comical, commentators write pages of what the number 153 means. They have spiritualized allegorizations into all kinds of things in the Bible and it's almost comical to read, but unfortunately they happen to believe the stuff they write.
I am one hundred percent convinced that it means there were 153 fish. And if you know anything about fishing, what does any good fisherman do? You count your fish. Notice the text says large fish? No one ever says, "I caught 153 little fish.  John tells us it was 153 large fish. Much has been made of the number 153, but it may be enough to note that the author knew the exact number of fish caught, and that it was a great quantity. Such details give credibility to one’s testimony, and John certainly provides us with details.

There have been many symbolic explanations of the meaning of the 153 fish. One of the more credible of these is as follows. Jesus formerly told His disciples that they would become fishers of men, an obvious metaphor (Mark 1:17). If the fish here represent the converts that Jesus would miraculously provide for His disciples to "catch," perhaps their large number represents many converts and the fact that Jesus is the one who is responsible to bring the converts in to us.

Mt 13:47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,

48 "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,

Mt 25:32 50 "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

The fact that the net did not break may symbolize the capability of the gospel to "catch" many people without failing.

We are blessed by Laboring with the Lord

They have much patience and persistence, and they will not quit. They know how to cooperate with one another, and they are skilled in using the equipment and the boat. What examples for us to follow as we seek to “catch fish” for Jesus Christ!

We are indeed “fishers of men,” and there are “fish” all around us. If we obey His directions, we will catch the fish.

But the main emphasis in this account is: success cannot occur without the recognition that the power of God is needed. This is not new truth. In Psalm 127 the psalmist said, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. Except the Lord guard the city, the watchman watches in vain," (Psalms 127:1 KJV). But it is very common in the church today to see people rely on strictly human methods, with no recognition of the fact that God must supply.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us
 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" --knowing that it was the Lord. Ac 10:41

Jesus, as the host, invited the disciples to dine with Him. Perhaps He was reminding them of their last meal together in the upper room just before His arrest. In the ancient Near East a host who extended hospitality to others and provided food for them was implying that He would defend them from then on.

Consequently Jesus' invitation may have been a promise of commitment to them like the oriental covenant meal. Such a meal involved acceptance, forgiveness, and mutual commitment. By accepting His invitation the disciples were implying that they were committing themselves to Jesus afresh.

"Three 'invitations' stand out in John's Gospel: 'Come and see' (John 1:39); 'Come and drink' (John 7:37); and 'Come and dine' (John 21:12). How loving of Jesus to feed Peter before He dealt with his spiritual needs. He gave Peter opportunity to dry off, get warm, satisfy his hunger, and enjoy personal fellowship. This is a good example for us to follow as we care for God's people. Certainly the spiritual is more important than the physical, but caring for the physical can prepare the way for spiritual ministry. Our Lord does not so emphasize 'the soul' that He neglects the body."

Jesus then invites the disciples to join Him for breakfast. We are not actually told that they ate some of their fish for breakfast, and I am inclined to believe that Jesus supplied their entire meal. This was true of the bread, it would seem, and I think it was true as well for the fish. If Jesus had not already prepared a sufficient quantity for all these men (something a little hard to believe), then He could simply have fed them the same way He fed the 5,000, on the other side of the sea. These men had worked hard to provide for themselves, and they had nothing to show for it. Then they come to Jesus, who has more than enough to meet their needs. And in the process, He provides this great catch, enough to supply for their future needs.  I suspect that Jesus had them bring some of their fish so they could actually see how great the catch was. Once again, it would seem as though Jesus did not look exactly as He did before His death and resurrection. Even after the disciples had gotten close enough to get a good look at Jesus, they were still wondering to themselves, “Is this really Him?” They wanted to ask, but no one dared. They knew it was Jesus, but He probably did not look exactly as He had before, and so they just found it hard to believe.

"Come. Have breakfast. You've been fishing all night. You're worn out. Come. Have breakfast."
There's a charcoal fire and the smell of fish grilling on it. There are hunks of bread by the stones there maybe.

It is a great picture. I think we lose, again, a sense of the idea that the disciples, these appearances by Jesus were not every day or commonplace. There was still awe and wonder at when He appeared and what He had come to tell them.
Try to envision yourself coming off this boat, you know with your particular first century garb. You are wet, tired, cold and hungry and you haven't had the advantage of a thermos full of coffee. You've been out there on the water all night. It's cold and you’re weary and you have nothing really to show for it. Then you come in and here's Jesus.
And of course Peter is thinking to himself, "I've been here before. This has happened to me before."
Because back at his conversion this is how Jesus called him. He had a night where he had fished and hadn't caught anything and Jesus sends him back out in the morning and he catches a boatload of fish and he comes before Jesus and he says, "I am a sinful man."   And Jesus says, "Follow Me."
 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.

 14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. Joh 20:19,26

John said that this was the third post-resurrection appearance "to the disciples" (i.e., the apostles, cf. 20:19-23, 26-29). Chronologically this was at least Jesus' seventh post-resurrection appearance (cf. 20:11-18; Matt.

28:8-10; 1 Cor. 15:5; Luke 24:13-32; John 20:19-23, 26-29). Nevertheless it was the third appearance to the disciples, and the third appearance to the disciples that John recorded.

John viewed this appearance as further proof of Jesus' resurrection. Perhaps he viewed it as completing a full complement of testimonies since he drew attention to its being the third appearance to the disciples. The number three in Scripture sometimes connotes fullness or completeness (e.g., the three Persons of the Trinity). However by calling this appearance a "manifestation" (Gr. ephanerothe, cf. v. 1) John indicated that he also viewed it as a revelation of Jesus' true character. So far Jesus had reminded these disciples of lessons that He had taught them previously that were important for them to remember in view of their mission. He had also set the stage for an even more important lesson that would follow.

I believe there are lessons to be learned from this miracle in the light of its similarity to the great fish harvest of Luke 5. Because of the fishing miracle in Luke 5, Peter and the other disciples came to see Jesus (and themselves) in a whole new light. There, Peter realizes he is not worthy to be in the same boat with Jesus. In John 21, Peter and the others are once again awed by our Lord and His works. In both texts, these professional fishermen were not able to catch anything on their own, even though they were laboring in the area of their expertise.

Jesus taught them that He is the source of their success, He is the One Who, when obeyed, makes men fruitful fishermen.

In Luke 5, the disciples were called to leave their fishing boats and to become “fishers of men” (5:10). I believe that John 21:1-14 is a reaffirmation of that original call. The disciples are all waiting around, wondering what to do with their lives.

I believe that by means of this miracle Jesus reiterates and reinforces their original call, which came in Luke 5.

There are some interesting differences in these accounts as well—and lessons to be learned from them.

The most obvious (and probably the most important) difference is that in Luke 5, Jesus was in the boat. In John 21, Jesus is on the shore. You may think I am pressing the limits of this story, but there is a lesson here: “Jesus is able to guide, to provide for, and to watch over His disciples just as well (better?) from a distance, as He is able to care for them “up close and personal.” From 100 yards away, Jesus knew they had caught no fish. From 100 yards away, Jesus could guide them to an abundance of fish. Even before they saw Him, Jesus was prepared to provide for their needs. He had breakfast “on the table,” so to speak, when they arrived on shore. Were the disciples uneasy about Jesus going away, about Jesus leaving them to return to His Father? Such fears are unfounded. He is just as able to care for them when He is in heaven as He was to care for them while He was on earth. I think this was a significant part of the lesson He wanted them to learn.

That is why this story is included here -- to teach us that in the work of evangelizing, whether through mass evangelism or individual witnessing, God himself is working with us and will supply far more than we ever dreamed.

Both of these accounts refer to Peter as "Simon Peter." Recall that when the Spirit of God uses the name "Simon" Peter, the natural Peter, the one with whom we feel a kinship, the Peter in us all, is in view.

And three times, Jesus is going to ask Peter the same question, or at least, we think it’s the same question, but as we’ll see as we move through this there’s actually a subtle shift in this question that we can’t see in our English Bibles, right?

It’s a rich picture of how intimately Jesus knows His friend, Peter, and by implication, how He knows us.

So, not only the guilt of, “Oh, I failed, and I didn’t respond well,” but, “Let me restore you to a place of usability that’s far beyond your wildest imagination.”

We need to keep this in mind as well, especially those of us who are very aware of our own sins, and how we have failed…

No matter how great a person is, he may fall (cf. 1 Cor. 10:12).[i]

  • Would you begin to understand that nothing you will ever done will make Him love you more, -and nothing you have ever done will make Him love you less. And when you start there, I believe the prayer thing is going to take care of itself.” But we’re all in this performance quota, “I have to do this before God will look on me favorably.”

He could not have demonstrated His love more profoundly than He already has. Why would He then change that conditionally based upon our works? So the motivation is, “I love you, and I want to respond well to you.”

Not, “I need to pray more, I need to be more faithful, I shouldn’t have done that.” What a terrible way to live the Christian life. Ultimately, that performance mindset that you’re talking about is legalism. It’s an attempt to self-justify and we have to come back and say do we believe that Christ has paid it all, and that we’re accepted not because of what we do, - but because of what He has done? And Peter had to realize that as well. As we pick up this account in John’s Gospel, Jesus has just finished cooking breakfast for His friends, and He’s about to have a conversation with Peter.

to follow Christ as maybe we have promised to do. Jesus is in the business of restoration. I am inclined to understand verses 1-14 in terms of evangelism—being fishers of men. But it is not enough to simply bring a lost sinner to faith in Jesus Christ; that person should also be discipled, and thus brought to maturity in Christ. This seems to be implicit in the Great Commission:

Lu 24:33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"

Mr. 16:7 "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

Jesus is not seeking to correct (or even rebuke) Peter here for his three-fold denial. Jesus personally revealed Himself to Peter, probably before He appeared to the disciples as a group (1 Corinthians 15:5; Luke 24:34; Mark 16:7). I believe it is there that our Lord dealt with Peter’s three-fold denial, and forgave him. In our text, Peter is eager to be with our Lord. I believe this is because Peter’s sins have already been confronted and forgiven, and thus he has already been restored to fellowship with the Master

I am not even inclined to see this text as Peter’s restoration to leadership. There are some scholars who hold that Peter was restored to fellowship in his private interview with Jesus, and that this incident is his public restoration to leadership. I see the emphasis of this passage falling on humble service, not on leadership, per se.?????????

this passage is more about love than about leadership. Love for Jesus is demonstrated by faithfully caring for His sheep. So, too, when we care for the sheep whom our Lord loves, and for whom He gave His life, we show our love for the Shepherd.

caution should be exercised in making too much of the two different words for “love” which are employed in this text. The two verbs are agapao and phileo. The first two times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, the word for love is agapao. The third time Jesus asks, He employs the term phileo. Every time Peter responds to Jesus’ question, indicating his love, he employs the word phileo. The distinctions that some make between these two terms may hold true in some cases, and for some authors. They do not seem to hold true for John, who often uses different terms for the same concept. When commentators do seek to emphasize the distinctions between the two Greek words John uses, they do not agree as to what the meaning and emphasis of these terms are. We should keep in mind that when Jesus spoke to Peter and asked him these three questions, He spoke not in Greek (the language in which the Gospel of John is written), but in Aramaic, the language spoken by the Jews of that day. The change in words may have some significance, but I hardly think it is the key to understanding the passage.

Jesus began by addressing Peter as Simon the son of Jonas. In the Gospels, Jesus addressed Peter this way on only the most important occasions. These were his call to follow Jesus (1:42), his confession of Jesus as the Son of God (Matt. 16:17), and as he slept in Gethsemane (Mark 14:37).????????????

 When Jesus addressed Peter this way here, Peter probably realized that what Jesus was about to say to him was extremely important.

"His [Peter's] actions had shown that Peter had not wanted a crucified Lord. But Jesus was crucified. How did Peter's devotion stand in the light of this? Was he ready to love Jesus as he was, and not as Peter wished him to be?"

His will is content with following. His work is compelled by love. His way is committed to God. And his work, or his will is content with following, but his words are about Jesus.

Number one, his work is compelled by love. A real committed Christian operates on the basis of his love for the Lord. Two, his way is controlled by God. He has learned how to give his life totally to God and trust Him for it. His will is content with following. He's happy to do what Jesus leads him to do. Fourth, his words are concerning Jesus. His work is compelled by love. His way is controlled by God. His will is content with following. And his words are concerned with Jesus.

  Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED

13May

Hi, this is Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  In Romans 1:16 Paul says For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. In 1Corinthians 15:3-4 it says the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He died for our sins, He was buried and rose again the third day.  It is the power to change lives, to forgive sins, and make us a new creation, so why aren’t we telling people about the Good News of the Gospel? says If we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us.

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

JOHN 21:1-11 JESUS SAID TO THEM, CAST THE NET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BOAT, AND YOU WILL FIND SOME

10May

John 21:1 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." 6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

  The Purpose of chapter 21 The Conclusion Or Epilogue

This Chapter is here for 5 reasons:

  1. Helps us understand Peters prominent position in the church
  2. How are we to relate to the risen Christ
  3. Give us a Balance between Nurturing the saved and winning the lost
  4. Refutes the false rumor that Jesus coming back before John died
  5. Clear expression of how to love Christ. If you love me keep my commandments

We are blessed by Laboring with the Lord.  The disciples have learned how to cooperate with one another and how to obey Jesus. What examples for us to follow as we seek to “catch fish” for Jesus Christ! There are “fish” all around us. If we obey His directions, we will catch the fish.

The expression, "By hook or by crook," originated from the 21st chapter of the Gospel of John. A hook is the symbol of a fisherman, while a crook is the symbol of a shepherd. Here then in this chapter are symbolized the two ministries of the church: fishing and shepherding. That is how the work of God goes forward.

Chapter 21 contains instruction for those who have come to faith in Him and explains how they are to serve Him as they carry out their mission (20:21-23). Many of the prominent themes in the rest of the Gospel recur here.

"Some critics have argued that this chapter is anticlimactic after the great conclusion in chapter 20, and therefore was written by another (anonymous) writer. But the language evidence does not support this notion. In addition, other great books of Scripture have appendixes after reaching a grand climax (cf. e.g., Rom. 16 following Rom. 15:33). Thus John 21 is neither without value nor out of harmony with other Bible books."

The structure of this chapter is similar to the rest of the Gospel. John first narrated an event (vv. 1-14) and then related Jesus' teaching based on that event (vv. 15-23). Finally he concluded his Gospel (vv. 24-25).

In many ways, “frustrating” also describes what it must have been like for the disciples during that 40-day interval between Jesus’ resurrection and His ascension. With few exceptions, the disciples had spent three wonderful years with Jesus. They traveled together, ate together, camped out at night together, and shared a common purse. Their private, relaxing times together were exceedingly few and far between, but at least they were continually in close contact during the time of our Lord’s earthly ministry.

The last few hours our Lord spent with His disciples before His arrest were private and uninterrupted. After the horror of our Lord’s arrest, trials, and crucifixion, it would be tempting to think of this 40-day interval as a time of wonderful fellowship for our Lord and His disciples, but this was not really the case. For one thing, the disciples expected Jesus to immediately commence His kingdom, but it quickly became evident that this wasn’t happening. For another thing, the disciples were not really seeing a great deal of their Lord. After Jesus appeared to them, and they were convinced that He was alive, they were filled with joy. But if the disciples were thinking they would now be spending a lot of time with Jesus once again, they were wrong. Things had changed. This change was first indicated to Mary by our Lord, when He appeared to her after His resurrection:

John 20:16-17 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (NIV).

Jesus informs Mary that things are no longer going to be as they once were. Jesus was not going to be with His disciples on earth much longer, but was returning to His Father, as He had indicated earlier. He promised that after His ascension, He would dwell among them, and in them, through the Holy Spirit, but at the time they had no idea what He meant.

And so the disciples found themselves relating to Jesus in an entirely different way during this 40-day period of time. They were formerly with Him day and night. Now, they only saw Him from time to time. Eight days passed from the time Jesus first appeared to His disciples (John 20:19-23) to the time of His second appearance (John 20:26). He appeared to them only a handful of times in those 40 days (see 1 Corinthians 15:5-7). He came and went in such a way that they never knew when to expect Him. And He did not always look exactly the way He once did—there was something different about Him, which sometimes caused them to wonder whether or not it was really Him (see Mark 16:12; Luke 24:16, 31; John 21:12). I’m sure the disciples wished for the “good old days,” when they enjoyed much more intimate fellowship with Him. Jesus, however, was “weaning” them from those days, because He would no longer dwell among them as He once had. He was soon to ascend into heaven to be with His Father.

There were other things that made this time difficult. These were perilous days. The tomb of Jesus had been sealed and was under Roman guard, by order of Pilate. When Jesus was raised from the dead, the Jews and the Roman soldiers agreed on a cover-up. They sought to explain the resurrection and the empty tomb by circulating the story that Jesus’ disciples had stolen His body. This would have been a serious crime. The disciples could have been the targets of a manhunt. No wonder they were hiding out in a locked room when Jesus came to them (John 20:19, 26).

In addition to this, there was really very little the disciples could do during these 40 frustrating days. They were told to wait until they were given power from on high. The Holy Spirit had not yet come, because Pentecost was still a few days away. These men were not yet transformed, nor were they supernaturally empowered to heal the sick, raise the dead, or proclaim the gospel. The kingdom was on hold, there was little for them to do, and Jesus was seldom seen or heard from.

It was not an easy time for the disciples at all. I can imagine that Peter could have gone home, only to find Mrs. Peter standing in the doorway, with her hands on her hips. “Peter,” she might have said sharply, “we’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed. When are you going back to work? How long are you going to wait around, wondering what to do with yourself?” All of the disciples must have been thinking similar thoughts. They had families to support. They had to do something. They couldn’t just wait around …

Why would we be surprised that it was Peter who decided to do something? Why would we find it unusual for Peter to speak out? This is precisely where the final chapter of John’s Gospel takes up.

  1. Command - vs 1-6- Manifested or Revealed Himself to the Seven Disciples

1 ¶ After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:

John recorded still another post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to His disciples. It undoubtedly occurred during the 32-day period between Thomas' confession (20:28) and Jesus' ascension (Acts 1:9).

Same as the sea of Galilee.  Called different names depending on where they are, Emperor Tiberius officially named it that. Evidently most of his original readers would have known it by this Roman name.

They were to learn something new about Him from this revelation.

 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Mt 4:21; Joh 1:45

The exact number may be another detail designed to add credibility to the account,  or  John  may  have  been  hinting  that  a  complete  number  of disciples was present. Seven was a number that symbolized completeness to the Jews (cf. Gen. 2:2-3; et al.). He may have been implying that the lesson that Jesus taught here was applicable to the full complement of disciples.

Book starts with 6 disciples and ends with 7? Anything to do with the completeness now of the work being done?

Peter is always named first

His name expresses the grace of God, He was impetuous, vacillating, moody, sees us as who we can be

Thomas called the Twin

Nathanael of Cana in Galilee

The sons of Zebedee – James and John

and two others of His disciples - Probably Andrew and Phillip

 3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

Some expositors have interpreted Peter's words as a renunciation of his calling as Jesus' disciple. They believe he meant that he intended to return to his former occupation as a fisherman permanently. However there is no basis for this conclusion in the text. Indeed when Peter learned that Jesus was standing on the shore he jumped into the water to get to Jesus as quickly as he could (v. 7).

Mt 26:32 "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."

Mt 28:7 "And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."

 Mt 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."

 Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

Mr. 16:7 "But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

For the third time in John’s Gospel, our Lord appears to His disciples. This time He reveals Himself to seven of His disciples as they are fishing on the Sea of Tiberias — the Sea of Galilee (John 6:1). Most of these men were fishermen by trade. When Peter informed them that he was going fishing, they knew he was not planning to go out and do a little fly fishing on the Sea of Galilee, hoping to catch a fish or two. They understood that Peter was going back to work as a fisherman. They all must have had financial obligations they needed to meet. In addition, they needed to eat. And so those who were with Peter agreed to go fishing with him. There seemed to be nothing better to do. I do not find this decision to go fishing something unbefitting for a disciple. It was better for them to be doing something productive than nothing at all.

The first miraculous catch of fish came fairly early in the ministry of our Lord. Jesus was teaching beside the Sea of Galilee, and the crowds were pressing in on Him. There were at least two boats pulled up on shore nearby. One belonged to Peter and his brother Andrew, the other to James and John (and apparently their father—see Luke 5:2-11). These men had been out fishing all night, unsuccessfully, and were now washing their nets. Jesus got into Simon Peter’s boat and asked him push out from shore, so that He could use the boat as His speaker’s platform. When Jesus finished teaching, He told Peter to launch out into deeper waters and to lower the nets for a catch. Peter gently protested, informing Jesus that they had just spent the entire night fishing, without success. Nevertheless, Peter did as his Master instructed. As the nets were drawn in, it was evident that they had a huge catch of fish, so large that the nets were beginning to tear. Peter and his brother gestured to their partners, James and John, who came alongside with their boat. They filled both boats so full with the fish that they began to sink. Peter fell at Jesus’ knees (they were still in the boat) and said, “Go away from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord!” (Luke 5:8). Jesus comforted the men with these words, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people” (5:9). It would seem that from this point in time, they ceased fishing for their livelihood and followed Jesus wherever He went.

In John 21, we read of a very similar miraculous catch of fish. It is my opinion that it took place at virtually the same place, with the same boats, and most of the same fishermen. You will recall that before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that He would go ahead of them to Galilee (Matthew 28:7; Mark 14:28). Then, after His resurrection, Jesus instructed His disciples to meet Him in Galilee (Matthew 28:10; Mark 16:7). The disciples who have gone fishing with Peter may very well be in Galilee because they have done what Jesus instructed them to do—go to Galilee, where He will meet them. This took them out of Jerusalem and Judea, the source of the strongest Jewish opposition. Like most of the disciples, Peter was a Galilean. These were his old “stomping grounds.” If they had been waiting for some time, Peter might well have concluded that they may as well occupy themselves by doing something profitable. And so he announced to his colleagues that he was going fishing.

 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Joh 20:14

Likewise the breaking of this new day is perhaps symbolic of the new era that was opening up for them as Jesus' disciples, though they did not realize that yet. Jesus' instruction would change the course of their lives forever.

 5 Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." Lu 24:41

Much of the fishing in the Sea of Galilee was done at night in those days as it is yet today. Fishermen used torches to attract the fish to the boat and then netted them. But although they were expert fishermen, the disciples had labored throughout the night and had caught nothing. That must have been a rather unusual experience for them. Yet as this account makes clear, it was the Lord's intention that they catch nothing on this occasion.

Now the question that Jesus asked is a number of observations. First it's framed expecting a negative answer. What the expected answer? "Well of course not," And that's exactly the way Jesus has framed the question.

"Haven't you caught any fish?" "You haven't caught any fish, have you?" That would be the English equivalent. "You haven't done so well, have you?" I think their answer is sort crestfallen. "No."

Failure is a very demoralizing thing. Some of you have tried hard to accomplish something. Like these fishermen, you have expended much energy and utilized all your resources but gained nothing in return. But although failure is a painful experience, valuable lessons can be gained through it.

Here is what one writer said about this failed night of fishing:

The night of failure was not without its lessons and its benefits. We can do worse than fail. We can succeed and be proud of our success. We can succeed and burn incense to the net. We can succeed and forget the Hand whose it is to give or to withhold, to kill or to make alive.

People who think they have done it all themselves are common today. Every now and then I meet someone who claims to be a "self-made man." I have discovered, however, that most self-made men worship their creator! Yet nothing is more revealing of human ignorance than the claim to be a self-made man. That is to take for granted all that has been provided for them all throughout their lives, without giving a thought for Who provided it. Yet, were it not for God's providing hand, we would have neither the opportunities nor the resources to begin with.

Success -- yes, even spiritual success -- can be a snare and a ruin, while failure can be an unspeakable benefit. Failure is often the only test by which the real worth and quality of a man or woman can be tried. It is in failure that a man begins to think, to wonder where his failure comes from, to look around and seek for the reasons, to put into his work double watchfulness and double energy, and to look upwards to Him who can turn failure into a glorious achievement.

John goes on to show what God can do with a night of failure.

Now many of your translations, unfortunately, render the word "friends." The word is not friends. The word is children. In fact it's a diminutive term. It's “little children.” And I think when the translators gloss over it and call it "friends" it is unfortunate because you want to see Jesus Christ here as coming on the scene as a fatherly, loving, compassionate friend of theirs. And it's sort of like the Brits would say, "Lads. Or boys in our language"

Or if you're a dad with three or four sons, and they might even be grown sons, and you would say, "Sons." There is a real endearing and graciousness in the tone of the word. "Little children." Who else uses the phrase "little children" in the NT? John in First John. Little children. Little children. Little children. It's caring and compassionate and rich.

One can sense the discouragement and mild embarrassment in the disciples' "no." Jesus was in the process of teaching these men their personal inadequacy even in the type of work they knew best and had most experience with. It was important that they articulate their failure.

 6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they In the Luke 5:5 account, Simon tries to pull them in and the nets are breaking, remember? They almost make the boats sink, remember? So these two are two different stories. Luke 5:5 account says: "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets."

Maybe there was a little hint of that again; There's enough differences in the stories that we know these are two different incidents; one early in the disciples' life and one right prior to Christ's ascension. In verses seven to nine the disciples recognize Him: they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Lu 5:4,6-7

Their nets had been hanging over the left-hand side of their fishing boat.

The unknown authority on the shore now promised that if they would cast their net on the right-hand side they would catch some fish. Such a suggestion must have seemed ludicrous to these seasoned fishermen. The idea that such an insignificant change would accomplish anything was laughable. Yet amazingly the disciples followed Jesus' orders.

Nevertheless it seems clear that even after they obeyed the unknown armchair fisherman on the shore this dark morning they still did not realize that He was Jesus.

The reason for the disciples' obedience is not as important as the fact of it. Had they not obeyed Jesus' command they would have failed to catch any fish. However because they obeyed, they experienced overwhelming success, success far exceeding their natural ability.
Jesus knew that these men had worked all night and had caught nothing. I am tempted to think that Jesus actually orchestrated things so that these men would not catch anything. Anyway, Jesus let the fishermen know that He knew they had caught nothing. He then instructs them to cast out their nets on the right side of the boat, assuring them that when they do so, they will find some fish. I don’t know why these weary fishermen did it, but for some reason they were willing to make one last effort. When they drew in their nets, they did not contain just a few fish, or even a lot of fish. Their nets were virtually filled with fish.

These men would reflect on this experience and realize that Jesus had been teaching them how important it was to obey His word. Obedience to Jesus was the key to supernatural success. Indeed obedience to His word even though they did not know it was His word yielded an unbelievable reward.

It was at this point that John seems to have realized what was happening

 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. Joh 13:23; 20:2

Again John realized something about Jesus before Peter did (cf.  20:8).  Probably  he  sensed  that  a  miracle  had happened,  and  he  remembered  that  a  few  years  earlier  Jesus  had performed a similar miracle (Luke 5:1-11). True to the pictures we have of them in the New Testament John exhibited quick insight and Peter quick action.

Now the identity of Christ is no longer obscure. They know who He is and they can see Him. This incredible catch quickly reveals to John that it's the Lord. Peter connects the dots and before we know it characteristically he's thrown himself in the water.

Apparently he wanted to get to Jesus faster than his boat and net now full of fish would allow. He showed no concern for the fish; he willingly let them go. His only desire was to get to Jesus.

This was not the first time that Peter had met Jesus after the Crucifixion. Jesus had appeared to Peter evidently on Easter morning (1 Cor. 15:5) and undoubtedly on Easter evening (20:19-23; cf. Mark 16:14). Peter had also seen Jesus the following Sunday when Thomas made his profession of faith (20:26-29). Therefore we should not conclude that Peter would have been reluctant to see Jesus now because of his denial in the high priest's courtyard. Peter's moment of reconciliation with Jesus had already passed.
Now there's a little bit of a question if you read the text carefully. He's stripped for work. I don't think he's naked but I think he's down to the bare minimum of what he could have on. He's going to gird himself with something and jump into the water. Now if you've come to the edge of the water you take as much off as you can before you jump in not to be encumbered by your shoes or your coat or whatever else you have, right? So why is Peter putting something on?
There are a couple of little hints in the text that are kind of fun. This is the same word only found in John thirteen where Jesus girds Himself to wash the disciples' feet. And so now we see Peter girding himself. I think Peter is sort of, if you will, working hard and sweating and so he's probably hot and smelling like fish, certainly like the lake water. And so he puts on the minimum amount of clothing when he comes out of the water to see Christ.
John wants us to see these little connections about Jesus and girding up to serve and Peter girding himself as he goes to see his Lord, his friend and starting to put this thing together. When the disciples had followed Peter to go fishing, they don't follow him to jump in the water. It's about one hundred yards to the shore according to the text. It's a pretty good measurement.

Fishermen usually worked in their light undergarments (Gr. chiton, not underwear). Peter evidently put his outer garment (Gr. ependytes) on so when he reached land he would be properly clothed albeit soaking wet. Normally people take unnecessary clothing off before going swimming. Peter's somewhat irrational behavior seems to be another indication of his strong desire to get to Jesus quickly. He was again demonstrating his characteristic extravagant loyalty to his Lord (cf. 20:6).

So we have the boat, some think there are two boats, a larger fishing boat and a smaller like dingy type boat. We can't know for sure.
Instinctively, he knew that the man on the beach was Jesus. And now that he knew, he told Peter as well. That was all it took for Peter. He tucked in his outer garment and plunged into the sea, swimming to shore to see Jesus.

Someone has remarked that what we find here is typical of both Peter and John. John was the first to understand; Peter was the first to act.  We cannot be sure that Peter actually arrived on shore first. One thing does seem certain: Jesus must have personally forgiven and restored Peter on His previous, private meeting with him (see Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5). Peter certainly shows no reluctance to see Jesus face to face here!

8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.

If I were one of the other disciples, I would have been perturbed with Peter for leaving me behind with a full net and an unsecured boat, still several hundred feet from shore. They seem to have learned from the miracle in Luke chapter 5 that it was unwise to try to empty the net full of fish into the boat—since their two boats nearly sank on that occasion. And so they simply drug their bulging nets behind the boat and made their way to shore, with their nets still in the water, teaming with fish.

Jesus supplied the original fish and all we have originally comes from the hand of the Lord.  James 1.17

 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

John's narrative sort of creates a setting here of a number of things. He mentions a charcoal fire. If you've been with us in the study only one other time in the New Testament do we have the phrase charcoal fire. Do you remember where it is? It was with Peter's denial. Why does John, with an eyewitness touch, mark this little detail of charcoal fire at the denial and now he marks it again. What's about to happen?
Peter's restoration.
We can almost smell the smoke of the fish and a charcoal fire. First there's a charcoal fire as they're warming themselves and he bitterly denies Christ and breaks down and cries and now there's a charcoal fire with fish on it that Jesus prepares for him. Now they're about to be restored with a threefold question, "Do you love Me, Peter?" There are interesting eyewitness touches that John gives us

Jesus was setting the stage for a lesson He was about to teach the disciples and especially Peter.

Bread and fish were common staples, but again they recall earlier miracles that Jesus had performed. He had miraculously provided meals for 5,000 and later 4,000 males plus women and children with bread and fish.

Notice that He had already provided some fish for them before the disciples got out of their boat and pulled the fish that they had caught to shore.

Several things here have parallels in the work of fishing for men. Notice that Jesus supplied the original fish and bread for this breakfast. When the disciples landed, the charcoal fire was already lit, and fish and bread were lying there. This is indicative that all that we have come from the hand of God. We did not provide this world or the food that is in it. We do not provide the opportunities that come our way. Many of them come to us right out of the blue. Behind all of this the hand of God has already been at work. He has already put us in the right place, leading us into situations we could never have designed ourselves. We operate by his grace and according to his efforts.

Before His crucifixion, Jesus had served His disciples by washing their feet (13:1-17). Now He continued to serve them as their risen Lord by providing them with a warm fire and breakfast (cf. v. 13).

Jesus invites us to labor with them,  Little boy brought his fish and bread, they caught it and hauled it in.

The “fire of coals” would certainly remind him of the fire at which he denied the Lord (John 18:18). It is good for us to remember the past; we may have something to confess.

10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught."

Even though there was already one fish (Gr. opsarion, singular) on the fire Jesus instructed the disciples to bring some of the fish (plural) that they had caught. He would not provide for their physical needs by multiplying the food miraculously as He had done in the past. Now He would use the product of their labor to satisfy their need. Nevertheless it was clear that their fish had been the result of His miraculous provision. Perhaps this was all symbolic of how Jesus would carry out His mission through His disciples in the future compared with how He had done it during His pre- cross ministry.

But notice that Jesus then invites the disciples to bring the fish they have caught. This beautifully suggests the way God works with man. As I read through the Scriptures I am continually astonished at the privilege given us by God of being co-laborers with him. Human labor was involved in almost all of the miracles of Jesus. For instance, our Lord multiplied the bread and fish which the boy had to feed the multitude, but he first sent the disciples searching through the crowd to see what they could supply. The wonder of this is that God, who could easily do it all himself, nevertheless gave them the great privilege of being co-workers with him.

What he invites you to do may be a very simple thing. You may have opportunity to share your faith with your neighbors. While that may seem an insignificant thing now, when history has come to an end and we are all gathered on the shore with Jesus this may well become the greatest thing you have ever done. We will see ourselves as tremendously privileged to have worked with God in what he was doing in this world.

 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

A spiritual lesson here is that great blessing comes to one’s efforts when he follows the Lord’s will.

Peter either organizes the landing of the fish or he's the one who hauls it in. Now, if you've ever been in the water playing with your children when they're small, you can have two or three of your small children kind of hanging on you and you can still get around the water, right? Because the buoyancy displacement makes them not as heavy as if you were on land. On land you might be able to move a step or two but you sure can't haul them around the water, right?
So you envision Peter. They can't get over the gunnel of the ship because it's so heavy, but he can sort of man handle it in the water up to the side and then the disciples would organize the getting of all the fish out before they could slip back into the Sea of Galilee.
Why 153 fish? Well it's almost comical, commentators write pages of what the number 153 means. They have spiritualized allegorizations into all kinds of things in the Bible and it's almost comical to read, but unfortunately they happen to believe the stuff they write.
I am one hundred percent convinced that it means there were 153 fish. And if you know anything about fishing, what does any good fisherman do? You count your fish. Notice the text says large fish? No one ever says, "I caught 153 little fish.  John tells us it was 153 large fish. Much has been made of the number 153, but it may be enough to note that the author knew the exact number of fish caught, and that it was a great quantity. Such details give credibility to one’s testimony, and John certainly provides us with details.

There have been many symbolic explanations of the meaning of the 153 fish. One of the more credible of these is as follows. Jesus formerly told His disciples that they would become fishers of men, an obvious metaphor (Mark 1:17). If the fish here represent the converts that Jesus would miraculously provide for His disciples to "catch," perhaps their large number represents many converts and the fact that Jesus is the one who is responsible to bring the converts in to us.

Mt 13:47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,

48 "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,

Mt 25:32 50 "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

The fact that the net did not break may symbolize the capability of the gospel to "catch" many people without failing.

We are blessed by Laboring with the Lord

They have much patience and persistence, and they will not quit. They know how to cooperate with one another, and they are skilled in using the equipment and the boat. What examples for us to follow as we seek to “catch fish” for Jesus Christ!

We are indeed “fishers of men,” and there are “fish” all around us. If we obey His directions, we will catch the fish.

But the main emphasis in this account is: success cannot occur without the recognition that the power of God is needed. This is not new truth. In Psalm 127 the psalmist said, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. Except the Lord guard the city, the watchman watches in vain," (Psalms 127:1 KJV). But it is very common in the church today to see people rely on strictly human methods, with no recognition of the fact that God must supply.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL REACHING FOR THE PRIZE PHILIPPIANS 3:12-14

6May

Hi, I’m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  To sum up Phil 3:12-14,  Paul said I have not already attained, nor am I perfect; 13 but one thing I do 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  The goal is to be like Christ here on earth, the prize is to be made like Him in Heaven.  Many have died climbing the Alps, one grave reads he died climbing . Are you continually climbing one step at a time with the goal of being like Jesus?

12 Not that I have already attained,[a] or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [b]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 20:24-31 JESUS SAID TO HIM, “THOMAS, BECAUSE YOU HAVE SEEN ME, YOU HAVE BELIEVED. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND YET HAVE BELIEVED.”

3May

John 20:24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 26And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

 

The disciples keep on telling Thomas that they have seen the Lord, but Thomas refuses to believe unless he sees for himself.  Remember he is only asking for what the others have already experienced.  So, we will see Jesus make a personal appearance eight days later so that Thomas can see Him and believe. Jesus offers for Thomas to put his finger in His side and in hands where they have been pierced by the nails that held him to the cross.  Then Thomas makes that greatest of all confessions of faith when He says My Lord and my God.  Jesus tells Thomas he is blessed because He saw and believed, but there is a greater blessing for those who just take it by faith that He rose from the grave. He finishes up the chapter by giving us the purpose statement of the whole book of John. He wrote about the seven signs that we might trust in Christ and have eternal life forever because of Jesus.

John's previous pictures of this disciple present him as a loyal and courageous, though a somewhat pessimistic, follower of Jesus. His more common identification as a doubter comes only from the present event. Thomas had no doubts that Jesus had died. This is another evidence that Jesus really did die.

The Greek text clarifies that the other disciples kept saying (Gr. elegon, imperfect tense) that Jesus was alive. In spite of this repeated verbal testimony by those who knew Him best, Thomas refused to believe (cf. 4:48). He had become so thoroughly convinced that Jesus was dead, as evidenced by his references to Jesus' wounds, that he could not see how Jesus' crucifixion could be overcome.

24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. Joh 11:16

How much Thomas missed because he did not meet with the other disciples on the Lord's Day

Heb.10:22-25 

He had to endure a whole week of fear and unbelief unnecessarily.

 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

The disciples seem to have been convinced of our Lord’s resurrection, except for Thomas who was not there. He did not see the resurrected Lord, nor did he behold the Savior’s wounded hands and side. And so it was that when Thomas was told that Jesus had appeared to them, he refused to believe. He insisted that in order for him to believe, he would have to see Jesus with his own eyes. He would have to personally inspect the Lord’s nail-pierced hands and His pierced side. Only then would he believe. Before we become too harsh with Thomas, let me remind you that the other disciples did not believe until they saw, either. Thomas is really demanding to see the same things that convinced the others. He is not asking for anything more than what the others saw.

Eight days passed. Apparently Jesus did not appear to any of His disciples during this period of time.

 26 ¶ And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"

Jesus again materialized in the presence of these disciples as He had a week earlier (v. 19). He also repeated His benediction (v. 21). Perhaps Jesus did these things because the disciples had told Thomas that He had appeared this way and had said these things. This would have bolstered Thomas' faith.

 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." 1Jo 1:1

Jesus knew what Thomas had said even though He had not been physically present when he had said it. This is further proof of Jesus' deity. The purpose of this test was not just to satisfy Thomas' curiosity, however. It was to bring him to faith that Jesus was the resurrected Messiah.

When Jesus appears to Thomas we have this road of unbelief that goes into a road of belief.  And, again, John’s whole effort is to show how people come to faith and believe in Christ.  Thomas had heard the report.  In fact, the text, the word “see” is a very important verb all the way through this whole story.  They had seen Him.  They had seen the Lord.  “I’m not going to believe until I can see.”  It’s like I’m putting the finger in the nail print.  Until I can see, I won’t believe.  That’s the whole context that John’s setting up for us.  Thomas is a thoroughly a skeptic.

Now, we often call him “Doubting Thomas” and we want to be careful with that.  We want to be careful of overstating the case of any of the disciples.  I’ve encouraged all of us not to sort of wail on Peter and we’ll see Peter one day.  And I don’t want to wail on Thomas because we’re going to see Thomas one day; and I think Thomas is given to us for all of us who have that little skeptic, unconvinced - Thomas is the spiritual Missouri.

 “Unless you show me, I’m not going to believe you.  I’ve got to see it with my own eyes before I believe it.  I don’t believe this thing.”

 And the Sunday after resurrection Sunday, the disciples are together, Thomas is now with them, they’ve tried to convince him, “He still won’t believe.”

 I think the more profound part of this is not when Jesus says, “Reach here.”  Not that He shows Himself to Thomas.  I think the profound part is He knew what Thomas had said.  In one sense, that’s more profound than the miracle, if you will.

 Now, play this one out if you want to get a little nervous.  If Jesus Christ knew Thomas’ doubt, does He know yours?  Does He know the sin that you and I toy with?  Does He know the fears and the skepticism and the lust of our heart and the lust of our eyes and the pride of our life?  Seems to me it’s a pretty good case for omniscience.  I don’t necessarily like it, but I believe it and I believe that’s one of the main lessons He wants us to see.

 Well, Thomas’ confession is really unrestrained.  He just sort of blurts out, “My Lord and My God!”  And there’s nothing in the text that tells us what he did.  In other words, we don’t know if Jesus took his hand and poked his finger in His own hand.  Or if Thomas said, “Okay, let me check this out.”

In fact, I think the text is intentionally blank with Thomas’ physical process because whatever you’d have done, that’s what he did.  In other words, Christ is sort of meeting and condescending to Thomas and I think He does to you and me, too, in our doubts.  So, we don’t know precisely what he does, but his response is powerful.

Immediately, Jesus turns His attention to Thomas. He summons Thomas to come and to put his finger where the nails had pierced His hands, and to feel His side where the spear had pierced it. He challenged Thomas to forsake his unbelief and to believe.

Since John does not tell us that Thomas actually felt the wounds of our Lord, it may well be that after seeing Jesus alive he no longer required this proof. It may have taken this sight to convince Thomas, but once convinced, Thomas got it right. He does not merely profess a belief that Jesus has risen from the dead. Thomas professes to believe in what the resurrection proved—that Jesus was God, and that He was Lord (verse 28). Thomas now has it right.

 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

For a Jew to call another human being "my Lord and my God" was blasphemy under normal circumstances (cf. 10:33). Yet that is precisely who Thomas believed Jesus was. It is also who John presented Jesus as being throughout this Gospel. Both titles were titles of deity in the Old Testament. Thomas had come to believe that Jesus was his lord in a fuller sense than before, and he now believed that Jesus was fully God.

In fact, it is perhaps the climax of the entire Gospel of John, that one sentence.  “My Lord and my God!”

 The first person pronoun is unusual when you talk about my Lord and my God.  In fact, you won’t find it in the Bible, except under Thomas’ declaration.  It’s one of the greatest “Aha’s” in all the Scripture.  And it serves a wonderful purpose the way John orchestrates His Gospel and puts it all together.

The  repeated  pronoun  my  does  not  diminish  the universality of Jesus' lordship and deity, but it ensures that Thomas' words are a personal confession of faith. Thomas thereby not only displays his faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but points to its deepest meaning; it is nothing less than the revelation of who Jesus Christ is. The most unyielding sceptic has given to us the most profound confession."

Now Thomas believed as his fellow disciples had come to believe (cf. v.25). His confession is a model that John presented for all future disciples. It is the high point of this Gospel (cf. 1:1, 14, 18).

John's witnesses to Jesus' deity

  1. John the Baptist “This is the Chosen One [literally, “Son”] of God” (1:34)
  2. Nathaniel              “You are the Son of God” (1:49)
  3. Peter                             “You are the Holy One of God!” (6:69)
  4. Martha “You are the Christ, the Son of God” (11:27)
  5. Thomas                             “My Lord and my God!” (20:28)
  6. John the Apostle    “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (20:31)
  7. Jesus                            “I am the Son of God” (10:36; see also 4:26; 8:58)

Nobody has previously addressed Jesus like this. It marks a leap of faith. In the moment that he came to see that Jesus was  indeed  risen  from  the  dead  Thomas  came  to  see something of what that implied. Mere men do not rise from the dead in this fashion.  The One who was now so obviously alive, although he had died, could be addressed in the language of adoring worship."

I want you to notice Jesus’ response to Him.

 29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." 2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.;

It confirmed the reality of Thomas' belief, and it prepared for the beatitude that followed (cf. 13:17). "Blessed" (Gr. makarios) does more than just describe the person in view as happy. It also declares him or her acceptable to God (cf. Matt. 5:3-12).

Jesus pronounces a blessing upon those who don’t get to see and yet have faith in Him.  Jesus is saying, “It’s a good thing that you believe, Thomas, as a result of the sign.  But it’s a blessed thing if you believe and you don’t get to see the proof of the thing that you want proven.”

And so we see God in His grace condescending to Thomas but also God in His grace telling us that not all of us are going to get to see the things that would cast our doubts aside.

Most believers have believed on Jesus because of sufficient evidence without the physical confirmation that Thomas required (cf. v. 8; 1 Pet.1:8-9). Those were the people whom Jesus had in view when He made this statement. This beatitude does not make believers who live after Jesus' ascension superior to those who saw Him in the flesh. Rather it guarantees their blessing by God.

When Jesus makes that blessing statement, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe,” He Absolutely had us in mind. He’s thinking of those who throughout the centuries would believe without seeing the resurrection.

"Thomas's declaration is the last assertion of personal faith recorded in this Gospel. It marks the climax of the book because it presents Christ as the risen Lord, victorious over sin, sorrow, doubt, and death. It also presents the faith that accepts not only the truth of what Jesus said but also the actuality of what he was—the Son of God. In the experience of Thomas, the writer has shown how belief comes to maturity and how it changes the entire direction of an individual life."

"The growth of belief depicted in the Gospel of John thus moves from an initial acceptance on the testimony of another to a personal knowledge marked by loyalty, service, and worship; from assumption of the historicity and integrity of Jesus to a personal trust in Him; from an outward profession to an inward reality; from practicing His teachings to acknowledging His lordship over life. Full belief may not be attained instantly; yet the initial and tentative belief is not to be despised."

Based on a story of faith.  Based again on the intrinsic power of the Gospel story.  That He lived, He died, He was buried and He came back from the grave.  And those who trust in that are extraordinarily blessed. There is compelling evidence for the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; but ultimately, even with all of that evidence -

It comes down to faith.

Reviewing what it would take to cover something like this up.  It’s impossible, to cover something like that up.  And to think about these eleven inept men who’ve run away at the fear of being somehow associated with Jesus a couple of days before are now so emboldened to steal the body and cover it up.  Talk about the extraordinary leap of faith.  It takes more imagination and fiction to think they could pull that off than that Christ really came back from the dead.

And the Gospel writers don‘t say it, but we have to be sure that there were many who had a compelling desire to produce the body and demonstrate that this rumor going around that Jesus had been resurrected was just that, a rumor.  But no one was able to demonstrate.

 Well, from Caiaphas on down, the most powerful, political religious group of men could not produce a body.  And you know what?  No one ever will.

Think about Lee Strobel, the Chicago journalist who has written a number of books to provide evidence for the reality of Christ, the truth of the Scriptures.  And he wrote a book on the case for the cross where he examines the evidence.  And as wild as it may be to consider it, there’s no conclusion you can come to that makes any more sense than that Jesus is who He says He was and He was raised from the dead.  It’s just one piece of evidence after another.

1Pe 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.

Although you’ve not seen Him, you love Him.  You don’t see Him now, but you believe in Him.  And this is Peter.  This is the Peter who ran away and three times denied His Lord.  And I’ve got to believe Peter is in the room when He appears again with Thomas.  And I wonder if in the inspired movement of the Spirit of God when these words are penned, if all is not meant for us to piece together. “You’ve not seen Him, but you love Him.  You’ve not seen Him but you believe in Him.”  And you’re blessed in that process. 

If you add up the Synoptics you have thirty-five miracles, little debate on the exact number, but thirty-five miracles, signs, that Jesus performed, John records only seven key ones.

Now get the flow of the book.  It’s very important.  They’ve not seen the risen Christ.  They’re looking for the body.  The Christ appears resurrected.  The fear is turned to joy.  Doubting individuals are convinced.  Their doubt is now taken away.  He really believes and Jesus says, “When you go out, you proclaim forgiveness as part of this gospel message.  You teach the people that the covenant, the new covenant, provides for forgiveness.  That’s what this is all about.”

 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;  Joh 21:25

 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. Lu 1:4; Joh 3:15-16; 5:24; 1Pe 1:8-9(NKJV)

It’s okay if you saw and believed, but you’re blessed if you believe and you didn’t get to see.  And then John says, “These signs that Jesus has done, a lot more of them happened, but these were written so you’ll believe.”

What does he want for us to believe?  The signs.  John the Gospel writer has said now for twenty chapters, he said, “I wrote all this so that you’ll believe.  And I punctuated it with these miracles so that you’ll believe.”

Jesus even said, “If someone comes back from the dead they won’t believe.”

But John says, “I want to record these signs so that you’ll believe.”

When Jesus Christ performs a miracle it’s always for a purpose.  The word sign is a stem of signifying.  The sign signifies something.  Take for example the blind man, John nine.  He’s blind from birth.  What’s the point?  Jesus has power over creation.  Sure.  That’s not the real point.  The real point is all of us are blind and we need new sight and Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.  I am the one who gives you new sight.  I create new hearts.  I create new eyes.  I create new people.” 
That’s what Jesus’ message is.  So the sign of the blind man being cured, being given new eyes, is not just a, “Wow!  He cured somebody.”  It’s, we’re all spiritually blind and we need curing.  Are you with me?  So John says, “All these signs signify something about Christ and our condition and they’re written so you and I will believe.”

A SUMMARY OF THE SEVEN SIGNS IN JOHN

Sign

Significance

Belief

Unbelief

Reference

Changing water to wine

Jesus' power over life,(source)

The disciples

 

2:1-11

Healing the official's son

Jesus' power over distance

The official and his household

 

4:46-54

Healing the paralytic

Jesus' power over time

The paralytic?

The Jews

5:1-9

Feeding the 5,000

Jesus' power over quantity

Some people in the crowd

 

6:1-15

Walking on the water

Jesus' power over nature

The disciples

 

6:16-21

Healing a man born blind

Jesus' power over creation and misfortune

The blind man

The Pharisees

9:1-12

Raising Lazarus

Jesus' power over death

Martha, Mary, and many Jews

The Jewish Authorities

11:1-16

His presentation of Jesus as the divine Son of God certainly has universal application.

"There cannot be any doubt but that John conceived of Jesus as the very incarnation of God."

John's purpose was not academic. It was not simply that people might believe intellectually that Jesus is the divine Messiah. It was rather that they might believe those foundational truths so they could possess and experience the life of God fully (cf. 10:10). This divine life affects the whole person, not just the intellect. Moreover it affects him or her forever, not just during that person's present lifetime.

Let’s look at a couple of lessons

John's clear purpose statement concludes the body of this Gospel.

  1. The graveside can bring incredible grief in life, but the faith of the believer moves on beyond the grave.

We’re separated and we miss people bitterly because we love them.”
That’s what death is, a separation, right?  And we long to see them.  And it’s very common for people to dream about a reunion and I think Mary is sort of that person.  She’s hanging on and she’s hurt and Jesus says, “Mary.”
And she turns.  The point of that:  turn away from the graveside and see the resurrection.  Turn away from your grief and see life is beyond the grave, right?  And we must do the same as we process through our grief.  Grief is tough, it’s not meant to be simple.  It’s tough.  But the believer in Christ has hope that the world doesn’t have.

  1. Suffering is universal, misery is optional.”
    Some of you know the name Charles Wedemeyer.  He was a very successful coach who is now a quadriplegic and can’t even speak.  One hundred percent dependent upon other people.  And he says, through her interpretation, “Suffering is universal, misery is optional.”
    And, you know, all of us are going to suffer and hurt and grieve in life, but to remain miserable is an option and the believer in Christ must look beyond the circumstances and say, “You know, this earth is a rotten place sometimes.  My faith is in the next life.”

      God’s peace only comes through Christ.  John fourteen to John sixteen Christ had gone at length to say, “My peace I leave with you.  Not as the world do I give, but my peace I give to you.  Peace be with you.”
    Earlier it said his spirit was troubled and He says, “I’m going to give you peace.”  Three times in this text, “Peace be with you.  Peace be with you.  Peace.”

They’re afraid of the Jews, they are fearfully grieving their loss.  “Peace be with you.  Peace.”  He’s dispelling their anxiety. 

Isa 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Ps 4:8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Phil 4:6-9 Paul says a peace that surpasses all comprehension that will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.  How many of us have never even come close to understanding that?  And that’s the resurrection peace that Christ gives. 

  1. Jesus Knows Everything - If Jesus Christ knew Thomas’ doubt, does He know yours? Does He know the sin that you and I toy with? He knows the fears and the skepticism and the lust of our heart and the lust of our eyes and the pride of our life?
  2. "Thomas's declaration of personal faith marks the climax of the book because it presents Christ as the risen Lord, victorious over sin, sorrow, doubt, and death. It is our example. Romans 10.9-11
  3. What proof do you seek? 

See, the reasons we don’t believe, the reasons we doubt are not because we’re so smart or clever.  The reason we doubt is because if we believe, we therefore must submit and obey.  And that’s not fun.  It’s not fun to do the right thing when sin wants to do the wrong thing.  But the believer in Jesus Christ submits and he says, “You know, God, I don’t understand it all, but by Your grace and kindness I’m going to follow You even when I can’t see to believe, I believe You.”

Mark chapter nine.  The man who has brought his seizure ridden epileptic demonized son to the disciples who can’t do anything for him.  Jesus comes back with Peter, James and John from the mount of transfiguration.  An extraordinary passage, where the man wants to believe but what great honesty.  “Help me in my unbelief.  I want to believe you.”
And Jesus doesn’t condemn him Or shame him or anything, Or say, “What kind of faith is this?”  In fact, the message is really a double-edged message because He says, “Oh unbelieving generation, how long will I be with you?”  That precedes His comment to the father.  I think His primary target is the disciples.
It’s like when you discipline one child in front of your whole family.  You’re telling them all the same issue, but the one’s on the hot seat.  And Christ is saying to you, “Don’t you get it?  This is not your power.  This is not you.  You have to move beyond that.”
And with a few words the Lord does a miracle of healing.
Would we say to Jesus, “Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.” I hope so.  I often do.  I want to believe Him, I hope to believe.
And belief and faith are not the little engine that could.  It’s not, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” and if I exercise enough of that faith, then God will come through.  Faith is confident assurance of things hoped for.  Meaning, I want this outcome.  With a conviction of things not yet seen.  I don’t know the outcome, I don’t know the verdict.  So I’m trusting Christ, I’m believing in Him, I’m hoping for this outcome.  I’m convicted in the sense I’m planted, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.
And ultimately your faith is not in the outcome, it is in the one who controls the outcome

 Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 1:1-4 NOT JUST RELIGION BUT TRUE SALVATION

29Apr

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life--  2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us-- 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

In 1 John 1:1-4, it speaks of the fact that Jesus was seen and heard by the disciples because he came in the flesh.  John says Christianity is not just another religion, but a relationship with a living God who came and died on the cross for our sins.  But there is also a fellowship with other Christians and God that results from that relationship called salvation.  We also need to realize that the final result is that our joy may be complete.  Joy is a deep down settled feeling of peace and satisfaction that we can have no matter what the circumstances.  Do you know this Jesus I am talking about?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 20:22-23 JESUS SAID IF YOU FORGIVE THE SINS OF ANY, THEY ARE FORGIVEN THEM; IF YOU RETAIN THE SINS OF ANY, THEY ARE RETAINED

26Apr

John 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

 Jesus is saying that when His disciples went to others with the message of salvation, as He had done, some people would believe and others would not. Reaction to their ministry would be the same as reaction to His had been. He viewed their forgiving and retaining the sins of their hearers as the actions of God's agents.  If anyone believed the gospel, the disciples could tell the believers that God had forgiven their sins. If they disbelieved, they could tell them that God had not forgiven but retained their sins. Jesus had done this (cf. 9:39-41), and now His disciples would continue to do it. Thus their ministry would be a continuation of His ministry relative to the forgiveness of sins, as it would be in relation to the Spirit's enablement. This, too, applies to all succeeding generations of Jesus' disciples since Jesus was still talking about the disciples' mission.

22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

In His high priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus does not ask the Father to send the Spirit, which He has promised in chapters 14-16. Indeed, the Holy Spirit is not even mentioned in this prayer! How can this be? I believe that while our Lord prepared His disciples for the coming of the Spirit in the Upper Room Discourse, He did not intend to send the Spirit until after His ascension. In other words, the Holy Spirit would not come until Pentecost. Some suggest that in our text Jesus is temporarily bestowing the Spirit upon His disciples, until Pentecost comes. I don’t agree.

In the first place, John does not report anything out of the ordinary happening as a result of our Lord’s actions. The disciples are not transformed, as they will be at Pentecost. The gospel is not preached. In fact, the next thing to happen in John’s Gospel is that some of the disciples go fishing. I do not believe that the Holy Spirit was immediately bestowed upon the disciples at this moment, as a result of what Jesus says and does. I believe Jesus is symbolically bestowing the Spirit upon His disciples, although it will not actually take place until Pentecost. Jesus will have ascended to the Father then, and so this gesture indicates to the disciples that when the Spirit comes at Pentecost, it will be as a result of what Jesus had promised earlier, and symbolically indicates here.

   I wish to be very clear here, both as to what I am saying, and as to what I am not saying. I am saying that our Lord is here symbolically bestowing His Holy Spirit on the church. This symbolic act will literally be fulfilled at Pentecost.

Jesus wants it to be clear that it is He who is sending His Spirit to indwell and to empower His church. I am not saying that the Spirit is given at the moment Jesus breathes upon His disciples. I am not saying that this is a temporary bestowal of the Spirit, until the permanent coming of the Spirit at Pentecost.

Specifically, I believe that what Jesus is symbolically bestowing is the coming of the Holy Spirit upon His disciples as those who will act as His apostles. Earlier, Jesus outlined some of the ministries of the Holy Spirit. For example, the Spirit would call Jesus’ teaching to their minds. He would convict the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. But here, none of these ministries seems to be in view. Here, the Holy Spirit is given to the apostles so that they can either proclaim the forgiveness of sins, or the retention of sins. I do not think this text justifies some priestly hierarchy, who hears confessions and grants absolution from one’s sins. Instead, I believe Jesus is giving the apostles the authority to declare men and women to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I believe we see an example of this in the Book of Acts: Acts 11:1-18,

Furthermore there is no evidence that when Thomas returned to the scene Jesus gave him the Spirit as one would expect if the Spirit's presence was essential for the disciples then (v. 26-29)

It also explains why this event had no changing effect on the disciples. Evidently there was only one coming of the Spirit on these disciples, and that happened on Pentecost.

The ‘breathing’ of the Spirit is John’s way of describing the commissioning of Jesus’ disciples. This is John’s version of the great Commission given to the Apostles

The disciples are now apostles — those who are sent to pioneer and protect the church. [i]

He breathes on them and this raises another theological host of questions that is a great area of study on your own.  We know that when the disciples were on the earth they were His representatives.  They had His power at timesWe know that from the Gospel accounts that He sent them out and they performed miracles empowered by the Holy Spirit.  We know in the Old Testament that Saul had the Holy Spirit removed from Him and David even prayed after His own tragic sin, “Take not your Spirit from me.” Right?

 So we know the Holy Spirit could empower and indwell believers, but the Holy Spirit was not a permanent resident until Pentecost, or Acts chapter two when the birth of the church and that fulfills the New Covenant and the Holy Spirit comes and indwells the believer.

 So what’s happening here is a great field of study.  I think a number of things are going on.  I think when you go back to Genesis 2:7 and I believe Jesus Christ, as a theophany, has made a dirt Adam on His hands and knees.  That’s my sanctified imagination.  He’s from the dirt of the ground.  He’s formed a man in His image.  He breathes life into that dirt and it becomes a living man.  And Adam is made in His image, a bearer of His image.  The animal kingdom was not, Adam was.  This first Adam.

 The second Adam, according to Romans two, is Jesus Christ without sin.  And now the second Adam has been buried and resurrected and He breathes on, imparting the new life of the Spirit that is only possible from the Holy Spirit from Christ.

 He has to go to the Father to be able send the Spirit permanently.  So what’s happening here seems to be not unlike how He empowered them perhaps in their ministry.  But pre-resurrection He somehow is imparting His Spirit to them in a unique way and then it’s tied to this issue of the forgiveness of sins.

Ezekiel 37:5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.

Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 

This is possibly an Aramaic idiom meaning “he gave them courage.” That encouragement was in the form of a promise of the Holy Spirit.

It takes a monumental work of God to convince the Jews that God has purposed from eternity past to save Gentiles (see Acts 22:21-23). Our Lord had promised to send the Spirit, which He did at Pentecost. After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit directed Peter to go to the house of a Gentile and to proclaim the gospel to those gathered in his house. The Spirit then came upon all those who had come to faith, thus indicating that the gospel (the forgiveness of sins) was not just for Jews alone, but for all who believe, Jew or Gentile. It is difficult for Gentile believers today to grasp how hard it was for Jews to accept the salvation of the Gentiles. Even the apostles found this difficult. As the Spirit came upon the apostles, this truth was embraced, proclaimed, and defended by them. By means of the Spirit’s guidance and illumination, the truth that the gospel was for Jews and Gentiles was declared by the apostles, and particularly by Paul:

Ephesians 2:11-22

23 "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained. Mt 16:19; 18:18

This relates both to those who share the Gospel and to those who respond by faith. Someone with the gospel knowledge chooses to share it and someone hears it and chooses to receive it. Both aspects are required. [ii] This verse does not give arbitrary authority to clergy, but wonderful life-giving power to believing witnesses!

Their sins have been forgiven them” The grammatical construction implies God’s forgiveness, is available completely through gospel proclamation. Believers have the keys of the kingdom (cf. Matt. 16:19) if they will only use them. This promise is to the Church, not individuals. This is theologically similar to “the bound and unbound” of Matt. 18:18.[iii]

Matthew 16:19 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth 8will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  John 8:32 set free

This was a metaphor for gaining entrance. The keys are the proclamation of the gospel with an invitation to respond.[iv]

Matthew 18:18 18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 

Forgiveness of sins Jesus mentions in verse twenty-three I do not think empowers an individual to absolve people of sin.  I think what He’s saying here is that the message of the resurrection is forgiveness and when you preach the gospel of Jesus Christ raised from the dead, you must preach forgiveness. 

Essentially what Jesus is saying here is the Gospel message must, in this context, include the issue of forgiveness.  And that we as believers are the only ones who have the proclamation of the forgiveness of sinApart from Christ there is no forgiveness for our sins, that’s the message, and only in Christ, only understanding the resurrected Christ, will you have the forgiveness of sin, according to the New Covenant.  Well, the disciples are to proclaim this and that’s part of the mission that they will have.

The Great Commission not only requires supernatural power to carry it out (v. 22), but it also involves the forgiveness of sins (cf. Jer. 31:31-34; Matt.26:28). In the similar passages in Matthew 16:19 and 18:18, the context is church discipline. Here the context is evangelism.

The second part of each conditional clause in this verse is in the passive voice and the perfect tense in the Greek text. The passive voice indicates that someone has already done the forgiving or retaining. That person must be God since He alone has the authority to do that (Matt. 9:2-3; Mark 2:7; Luke 5:21). The perfect tense indicates that the action has continuing effects; the sins stand forgiven or retained permanently.

Jesus appears to have been saying that when His disciples went to others with the message of salvation, as He had done, some people would believe and others would not. Reaction to their ministry would be the same as reaction to His had been. He viewed their forgiving and retaining the sins of their hearers as the actions of God's agents.  If people ("any" or "anyone," plural Gr. tinon) believed the gospel, the disciples could tell the believers that God had forgiven their sins. If they disbelieved, they could tell them that God had not forgiven but retained their sins. Jesus had done this (cf. 9:39-41), and now His disciples would continue to do it. Thus their ministry would be a continuation of His ministry relative to the forgiveness of sins, as it would be in relation to the Spirit's enablement. This, too, applies to all succeeding generations of Jesus' disciples since Jesus was still talking about the disciples' mission.

All who proclaim the gospel are in effect forgiving or not forgiving sins, depending on whether the hearer accepts or rejects the Lord Jesus as the Sin-Bearer."

Who can forgive sins but God only?” (Mark 2:7) All that the Christian can do is announce the message of forgiveness; [v]

This resurrection appearance has threefold importance in John's Gospel.

  • It validated again Jesus' bodily resurrection
  • It provided the setting for the commissioning of Jesus' disciples.
  • It also provided the background for Jesus' appearance when Thomas was present and Thomas' climactic statement of faith that followed (vv. 24-29).

Lessons

  1. Trust God in every situation

2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Ro 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

  1. god has given us peace and joy

vs 20 Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you!

Romans 5:1-11 We have peace with God and the Peace of God and His Joy

  1. god has left us here to fulfill a mission

Vs 21 As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 23 "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

We are called to go tell others about Jesus and what He has done for us and give them peace, joy and freedom too

 

LUKE 11:2 PRAY FOR OUR WORLD AND OUR NATION

22Apr

Hi, I ‘m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries. In Luke 11:2 Jesus said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. I would like to ask you to pray every time you hear this devotional or think about it to please pray for our world, our nation, it’s leaders, and for us to come back to God.  That God would be glorified because of the way we live for Him, that people will be saved, and that we would live in obedience to God’s Word so that He is pleased with our lives. That is His will being done.  Will you do that with me?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 20:19-21 SO JESUS SAID TO THEM AGAIN, “PEACE TO YOU! AS THE FATHER HAS SENT ME, I ALSO SEND YOU.”

20Apr

 John 20:19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."

The seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, commemorates God's finished work of Creation (Gen. 2:1-3). The Lord's Day commemorates Christ's finished work of redemption, the 'new creation.' God the Father worked for six days and then rested. God the Son suffered on the cross for six hours and then rested. The Jewish Sabbath is associated with the Law: six days of work, and then you rest. But the Lord's Day, the first day of the week, is associated with grace: first there is faith in the living Christ, and then there will be works. We also see how our Lord transformed His disciples fear into courage. First, not only did Jesus come to them, but He reassured them. He showed them His wounded hands and side so they would know it was Him, and they would know He had risen from the grave. Lastly, Jesus gives them a new purpose.  The purpose of Jesus' incarnation was the spiritual salvation of the world (1:29). That also is our purpose.

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you."

Mr. 16:14; Lu 24:36; 1Co 15:5

John moved his readers directly from the events of Easter morning to those that happened that evening.

There were at least five Resurrection appearances of our Lord on that first day of the week:

“the first day of the week” Sunday was the first work day, like our Monday. This became the meeting day of the Church to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection. He Himself set the pattern by appearing in the Upper Room three Sunday nights in a row (cf. vv. 19, 26; Luke 24:36ff; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2).

The first-generation believers continued to meet on the Sabbath at the local Synagogues and at the Temple on set feast days. However, the rabbis instituted a “curse oath” that required Synagogue members to reject Jesus as the Messiah. At this point they dropped the Sabbath services but continued to meet with other believers on Sunday, the resurrection day, to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection.[i]

Nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the church epistles, but the Sabbath commandment is not repeated.

"The seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, commemorates God's finished work of Creation (Gen. 2:1-3). The Lord's Day commemorates Christ's finished work of redemption, the 'new creation.' . . . God the Father worked for six days and then rested. God the Son suffered on the cross for six hours and then rested.[ii]

"For centuries, the Jewish Sabbath had been associated with Law: six days of work, and then you rest. But the Lord's Day, the first day of the week, is associated with grace: first there is faith in the living Christ, then there will be works."

It was on the first day of the week—the same day that Mary saw Jesus—and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors. They were afraid of the Jews. They were disciples of Jesus, and He had just been crucified for sedition. And now, the story was circulating that they had stolen the body of Jesus (Matthew 28:11-15). Remember that the tomb was sealed by Rome, and guarded by Roman soldiers. The disciples may have felt in greater danger here than on any previous occasion. They must have been deeply troubled by the reports they had heard that Jesus was alive. What were they to think of all this? What were they to do? They did not know.

And so the disciples met together behind locked doors. The PLURAL implies that both the downstairs and upstairs doors were locked. This was mentioned to (1) accentuate Jesus’ appearance and (2) to show their fear of arrest.

The disciples' initial reaction to Jesus' unexpected appearance was terror Lu 24:37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not I am with, be not dismayed, I am your God, I will help you”

He told them 3 things in Chapter 14 and other comforting things in Ch. 13-17, if they had only listened and believed, they would not be hiding and afraid as they are now.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

John 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 "You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I.

Mark 16:12-14 - 12 After this he appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 They went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. 14 Then he appeared to the eleven themselves, while they were eating, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen him resurrected .

We are told that one disciple was missing—Thomas. What we miss when we do not assemble with the believers like we ought to. Heb 10:24-25.  We are not told why he was absent. There is no particular blame cast on him for his absence. In some miraculous way, Jesus enters the room, even though the door is locked. We do not know what the disciples saw, but John certainly leaves us with the impression that our Lord’s entrance was unusual—one more proof of His resurrection. Our Lord twice repeated the words, “Peace be with you” (20:19, 21). This certainly reminds us of what Jesus had said earlier to these men:

Jesus would have appeared to Mary and the other women by now, and they have already announced to the disciples that Jesus was alive. But the disciples refused to believe. Then, the two men who talked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus arrived to tell the disciples of their encounter with the risen Lord. Once again, the disciples refused to believe:

Jesus' greeting was common enough (i.e., Heb. shalom 'alekem). However, He had formerly promised His disciples His peace (14:27; 16:33). Consequently He was imparting rather than just wishing peace on them. This seems clear because Jesus repeated the benediction two more times (vv. 21, 26). "Shalom" summarized the fullness of God's blessing, not just the cessation of hostility

But the wounds meant more than identification; they also were evidence that the price for salvation had been paid and man indeed could have “peace with God.” The basis for all our peace is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He died for us, He arose from the dead in victory, and now He lives for us.

  1. Rom. 5:1; Phil. 4:7

"'Shalom!' on Easter evening is the complement of 'it is finished' on the cross, for the peace of reconciliation and life from God is now imparted . . . Not surprisingly it is included, along with 'grace,' in the greeting of every epistle of Paul in the NT."

Ephesians 2:14–18 He [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made us both one [Jew and Gentile] and reconciled us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. John 16:22

How did our Lord transform His disciples’ fear into courage? For one thing, He came to them. [iii]

Not only did Jesus come to them, but He reassured them. He showed them His wounded hands and side and gave them opportunity to discover that it was indeed their Master, and that He was not a phantom.

John apparently focuses on the piercing of Jesus’ side more than the other Gospels (cf. 19:37; 20:25). His feet are not mentioned except in Luke 24:39 and Ps. 22:16. Jesus’ glorified body retains the marks of His crucifixion (cf. I Cor. 1:23; Gal. 3:1).[iv]

He gave them a purpose a commission to fulfill

21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." Mt 28:18; Joh 17:18-19; 2Ti 2:2; Heb 3:1

Jesus repeated His benediction (v. 19). He then commissioned His disciples for their mission from then on. He expressed this commission in terms of the relationships that John recorded Jesus teaching extensively in this Gospel. Jesus was sending His disciples on a mission just as His Father had sent Him on a mission (cf. 17:18). The emphasis here is on the sending and the authoritative person doing the sending. Thus Jesus' disciples became apostles (lit. sent ones) in a new sense.

Jesus uses two different terms for “send.” In John these are synonymous. This is clearly seen in chapter 8, where pempō is used of Jesus’ being sent by the Father (cf. 8:16, 18, 26, 29), yet apostellō is used in 8:42. This same thing is true of chapters 5 and 6. hath sent <apostello> (send on a mission )me, <me> even so <kago> send <pempo> (send) <kago> you. <humas>

2 Corinthians 5:14–15 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that of One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.  

Jesus apparently gave this commission on at least three separate occasions.  The reader of the Gospels can scarcely escape its crucial importance.  It expresses God's will for every believer in the present age.

Some Christians believe that Jesus intended this commission only for His original disciples. They point to the fact that the writers of the New Testament epistles never referred to it.

  1. However even though they did not refer to it explicitly they clearly presupposed its validity for the whole church. They simply cast it in different terminology (e.g., 2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
  2. The universal scope of the commission also argues for its continuation. ( Go into all the world)
  3. Third, the repetition of this commission five times suggests that Jesus intended all of His disciples to carry it out.
  4. Finally, this was the last charge that Jesus gave His disciples before He returned to His Father (Luke24:46-48; Acts 1:8). This fact also suggests that He intended it for all succeeding generations of disciples.

Clearly on this occasion Jesus was presenting His mission as a model for His disciples' mission. Just as He left His home to go on a mission, He was asking them to do the same.  Many Christians have concluded, therefore, that what characterized Jesus' ministry must characterize the church's ministry. They see this mission including healing the sick, casting out demons, and feeding the hungry.  They believe that the church's mission is much broader than just preaching the gospel, baptizing, teaching, and planting churches.

However the emphasis on Jesus' mission in John's Gospel has been primarily that Jesus always carried out God's will in perfect obedience (cf.5:19-30; 8:29). Even before His crucifixion Jesus stressed the importance of the believer's obedience as the fulfillment of this paradigm (15:9-10). The purpose of Jesus' incarnation was the spiritual salvation of the world (1:29). That is also the believer's primary, though not our exclusive, purpose

  1. Ga 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.).

As Jesus always operated in dependence on the Father with the Spirit's enablement, so should His disciples (cf. 1:32; 3:34;

4:34; 5:19; 6:27; 10:36; 17:4). As He was a Son of God, so are His disciples sons of God (cf. 1:12-13; 3:3, 5; 20:17).

       Since believers no longer belong to the world (15:19), it was necessary for Jesus to send His disciples back into the world. Our mission does not replace Jesus' mission, however.  He carries out His present mission through us.

We must consider all the versions of the Great Commission that Jesus gave to understand our mission correctly, not just this one. The first recorded commission chronologically was evidently the one in Mark 16:15-16 and John 20:21-23. Matthew 28:19-20 appears to be another account of a later event. Likewise Luke 24:46-48 and Acts 1:8 seem to be two versions of one incident, the last giving of the commission.

               What is central to the Son's mission—that he came as the Father's gift so that those who believe in him might not perish but have eternal life (3:16), experiencing new life as the children of God (1:12-13) and freedom from the slavery of sin because they have been set free by the Son of God (8:34-36)—must never be lost to view as the church defines her mission."

“Lord This title is used here in its full theological sense which relates to YHWH of the OT (cf. Exod. 3:14). Applying an OT title for God the Father to Jesus was one way NT authors affirmed Jesus’ full deity.

Jesus and John reminded all disciples of these central issues in the verses that follow (cf. vv. 23, 30-31).

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

 

WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO YOU HAVE?

15Apr

“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built." (Luke 6:47-48)

I pray that your life is built on that Rock which is Jesus Christ.  He is the one who died for your sins, paid your debt, and either has or can set you free from the penalty of sin, death, and hell.  If you were building a house hopefully you would build it on a solid foundation so that it stand the test of time and all that comes against it.  It is the same with your life, if you are not trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone for your salvation you will never make it to heaven. Is your faith one that is based on works (what you have done) or one of what Jesus has done?  When the storms and tough times of life come your faith will stand if it is based on Christ alone, if not it will all come tumbling down.  What kind of faith do you have?

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 20:10-18 JESUS SAID TO HER, “WOMAN, WHY ARE YOU WEEPING

12Apr

John 20:10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. 11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away." 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'" 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

 Note that our Lord’s first appearance is not to one of the 11 disciples, but to Mary Magdalene. She will never be one of the apostles. She will never write a Gospel. She will never become a great preacher or leader. Nevertheless, our Lord chose to manifest Himself to her first. Why do you think this was? First, she had a great love for her Master, as He did for her. Second, she seemed to be the one with the greatest measure of grief. “Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). There is a third reason: Mary was there first. Jesus revealed Himself first to the one who was there first. Mary came to the tomb early, because of her great love, and her great grief, and Jesus revealed Himself to her, first. Fourthly, I think that it was because she was a woman and He always appears to those who are the most downtrodden. An important lesson this text teaches us is when we come to see things as they really are, we will find that many of our tears were unnecessary.

 

Probably the best known quote associated with St. Augustine is the quote at the beginning of his confession where he says, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.”

And there is something about coming to the Scriptures and saying, “That which I don’t fully understand I’m still going to believe.” That does produce a peace that passes understanding.

In the Christian life the why questions will plague you all of your life.  We can have such great confidence in so many things and I think maturity is when you quit worrying about the whys and focus on the what.

We do not really know a great deal about the time between our Lord’s resurrection and His ascension. When you stop to think about it, a significant portion of each of the Gospels is taken up with the events of the last week of our Lord in Jerusalem. And yet, the 40 days following our Lord’s resurrection gets very little attention in comparison. The material we do have about this period is not meant to satisfy our curiosity about all that happened during this time, but is recorded to prove one important fact: Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father!

Of the details we do find regarding our Lord’s ministry after His resurrection, a number of them are recorded only in Acts and 1 Corinthians. I did not realize how much of my understanding of our Lord’s ministry after His resurrection is based upon New Testament books other than the Gospels. Some of the most important details come from Acts 1 and 1 Corinthians 15:

10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

John had taken the mother of Jesus to his home (19:27) and so he now hurried home to tell her the glorious news as he believed.[i]

Note that they go back home without proclaiming the message of the risen Christ. Mere intellectual evidence alone will not change people. We must meet Christ personally.

That is what happened to Mary: she lingered and met Christ. How many times it pays to wait! (See Prov. 8:17.) She saw two angels in the tomb (Luke 24:4 calls them “two men”) but was too taken up with her grief to let them comfort her.

Well, when Jesus appears to her, it sort of sets off a number of questions in all of our minds because Jesus’ appearances after the resurrection are interesting in and of themselves.  Let me show you a number of observations.

First there is this tangible part of the body of Christ.  That when he comes back from the dead, that when He’s resurrected, He’s still tangible, He’s still corporal, He’s still flesh and blood.  He bears the marks of His crucifixion.  He shows them His wounds.  He shows them where the spear went in His side.  He cooks and He even eats fish, so there is this physical nature, this corporal body of Jesus that’s still there.

But we also have this resurrected body that raises some of the questions.  He’s resurrected through these grave cloths.  He’s resurrected through the closed, sealed tomb.  And then He appears and manifests Himself in this upper room, or this locked room, on two occasions that we know of. So we have sort of this physical side, still there, but it’s a resurrected body and He can do some unusual things in this resurrected body.

  1. Mary’s distress

11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.

Mr. 16:5

She had not yet realized what John did. John must not have yet told her that Jesus was risen. He probably was too stunned and puzzled to say anything significant. [ii]She now peered into the tomb for the second time

Proverbs 8:17—'I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.

Psalm 30:5, 'Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

She had devoted herself and her livelihood to following Jesus and supporting Him, along with some other women. She had watched helplessly as Jesus was tried, convicted, and crucified. She looked on as His body was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Now, she believed that the body of her Lord had been taken. It was almost too much to bear.

 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

Evidently Mary had seen them earlier (Matt. 28:5-7; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:4-7). The angels' white apparel distinguished them as angels (cf. Acts 1:10), but Mary apparently did not recognize them as such. She responded to them as she would have responded to human beings, maybe because she was in the shock of grief and was weeping.  But often in the Bible, angels simply look like men, so that their appearance alone would not reveal their true identity (see Genesis 18 and 19; Acts 1:10-11; Hebrews 13:2). It would seem that the two angels made no effort to identify themselves as angels, nor even to inform Mary that Jesus was not there. Perhaps it was because our Lord was going to do this personally.

The description of the angels in v. 12 reminds us of the mercy seat in the holy of holies (Ex. 25:17–19); the risen Christ is now our Mercy Seat in heaven. It is as though God is saying, “There is now a new mercy seat! My Son has paid the price for sin, and the way is open into the presence of God!”

Exodus 25:17–19 17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. 18 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat.

13 Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."

The angels asked Mary, “Woman, why are you weeping?” The inference is that her tears were not really called for. They were tears of love, and of sorrow, but they were also ill-founded. In Mary’s mind, this was the darkest moment of her life, and yet her tears were based upon false assumptions: that Jesus was dead; that His body had been stolen; that she would not be able to find His body. If Mary had known the real reason why the tomb was empty, she would not have been crying. Weeping was inappropriate in view of Jesus' resurrection.

She still doubted the Resurrection in spite of the angels' earlier announcement that Jesus had risen from the dead. That earlier announcement had produced some initial enlightenment and joy (Matt. 28:6, 8; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:6,

8). Mary still wanted to mourn over Jesus' body but did not know where it was. Perhaps her inconsistent behavior is more understandable if we remember that many people in that part of the world still express their grief almost uncontrollably.

 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.

Mt 28:9; Mr. 16:9; Lu 24:16, 31; Joh 21:4

Some have suggested that the angels gave a look of recognition when they saw Jesus behind Mary, maybe they bowed and worshipped Him outside the tomb. We do not know why, but for some reason Mary turned around to gaze at the risen Lord. She saw Him, but she did not recognize Him

Some suggest that Jesus’ appearance was changed; others say she had a temporary “blindness” as did the Emmaus Road disciples who “were kept from recognizing Him” (Luke 24:16) until His act of disclosure.[iii]

Luke 24:16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 

I think John shows us a number of things in the text, verse fourteen, “she’s turned.”  It seems as though she has her back to this apparent gardener, and then in verse sixteen she turns back.  And the word probably is meant more than just the physical aspect of her features.  She’s turning in her understanding of what’s happening to the Gospel of Christ.  She’s turning, understanding what this means.

No Jewish author in the ancient world would have invented a story with a woman as the first witness to this most important event.

 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away."

Jesus  addressed  this  heartbroken  disciple  by  respectfully  calling  her "woman" (Gr. gynai), as had the angels

Jesus asks Mary the same question the angels had asked her moments earlier: “Woman, why are you weeping?”, but He adds a further question, “Who are you looking for?”. Jesus knew why she was weeping. He knew that the empty tomb caused her great grief. He knew that she was seeking His body. His words indicate to Mary that He knows something about her dilemma. Mary’s grief still blinds her to the truth, but she nevertheless seems to discern that this “gardener” holds the key to her quest for the Lord’s body. She pleads with Him to convey any information He may have to her:

There seems to have been something about Jesus' resurrection body that made immediate recognition of Him difficult for many people (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:16; John 21:4; cf.1 Cor. 15:35-49).

  1. Mary’s delight, see John 20:16-18.

 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher).

When she first recognizes Him, He calls her “Mary” and that’s sort of the trigger.  And my mind at least goes back to John 10:27 where He says, “"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

So, through, perhaps tearful eyes, she doesn’t recognize Him, but then when she hears the voice and her name she connects it and that’s her Friend, her Savior, her Lord, Jesus.

"Never was there a one-word utterance more charged with emotion than this."

The title Rabboni is used in only one other place in the Gospels, Mark 10:51 (in the Greek text “Lord” is “Rabboni”). “Rabbi” and “Rabboni” were equivalent terms of respect. In later years, the Jews recognized three levels of teachers: rab (the lowest), rabbi, and rabboni (the highest).

We know from our Lord’s words that Mary has already locked Him in her grasp. It is as though she intended to keep holding on to Him, so that He would never leave her again. And it is because of this that Jesus responds,

17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'"

Ps 22:22; Mt 28:10; Joh 16:28; Ro 8:29; Eph 1:17; Heb 2:11

These words spoke of a new relationship, new relatives, and a new responsibility.

In a few days He’s going to tell Thomas to put his finger in His hand and put his hand in His side, so why does He tell Mary to “stop clinging to Me.”?

Some translations say here Do not touch me. This is hard to translate, but I disagree with this wording

One view is that it was inappropriate for Mary to hold Jesus since He had not yet ascended to the Father, but it was appropriate for Thomas to touch Jesus (v. 27). Therefore Jesus must have ascended to the Father and returned between His appearances to Mary and Thomas. Yet there is no biblical evidence that Jesus ascended to the Father and returned from Him between these two appearances. Moreover it is unclear why ascending to the Father should make any difference in the disciples' physical contact with Jesus' body. It is not that Jesus could not be touched. In but a few verses we will read, “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe’” (John 20:27). Why would Jesus tell Mary not to touch Him, and instruct Thomas to do so? In Matthew 28:9, Jesus allowed the women to take hold of His feet and worship Him.

Second, the tense of the imperative is present, and this grammatical construction often conveys the thought of ceasing to do something.  Jesus is not trying to prevent Mary from touching Him; He is trying to make it clear to her that He is going to leave this world to return to His Father. She should not suppose that by clinging to Him she can prevent His departure.

 This best I can figure out on my own, and you could probably improve on this in your own study of Scripture, is that Mary’s still hanging onto a body.  She’s still hanging on to Christ before the resurrection.  She’s looking in a tomb for her friend and she sees Him alive and she grabs Him and holds on.  She’s holding on to the past, as it were.  She’s holding on to who He was and He’s trying to teach her that who I was has changed and who I am.  And, “I’m no longer here like I was, I’m going to ascend.  You go tell My friends, My disciples, what’s happened.”

 And so the relationship is changing.  “I’m going to ascend to the Father.  The relationship is going to be different than the way it was.”

The reason she should release Him was that she would see Him again. He remained on earth for forty days after His resurrection and often appeared to the believers to teach them spiritual truth (Acts 1:1–9). Mary had no need to panic; this was not her last and final meeting with the Lord.

A second reason is that she had a job to doto go tell His brethren that He was alive and would ascend to the Father. “

Only in heaven would it be possible for loving believers such as Mary to maintain contact with Jesus forever. Rather than remaining with Jesus from then on Mary needed to carry out a mission. She needed to inform the other disciples of Jesus' resurrection. This was the time for telling good news (i.e., the gospel), not for remaining with Jesus ceaselessly. This view makes good sense of the text and harmonizes with Jesus' invitation to Thomas (v. 27). Thomas needed to touch Jesus to strengthen his faith. Mary needed to release Him because He would not depart immediately, and Jesus had something else for her to do.

The message that Mary was to carry to the disciples was that Jesus was going to return to the Father. She would obviously report that Jesus was alive, but Jesus wanted her to communicate more than that. Jesus had spoken of His ascension before (e.g., 7:33; 14:12, 28; 16:5, 10, 17, 28). His disciples needed to understand that His death and resurrection had not wiped out these earlier predictions.

Some feel that Jesus did return to the Father on that morning, and that was the ascension He was referring to; but no other New Testament passage corroborates this interpretation. To say that He was fulfilling the symbolism of the Day of Atonement and presenting the blood to the Father is, I think, stretching a type too far (Lev. 16). For that matter, He had no blood to present; He had presented that on the cross when He was made sin for us. In His resurrection glory, Jesus was “flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39), not “flesh and blood.” The Resurrection itself was proof that the work of redemption had been completed (“raised because of our justification”—Rom. 4:24–25, nasb). What more could He do?[iv]

Jesus described the Father in a new way. He was Jesus' Father, but He was also the disciples' Father. Jesus did not say "our" Father. He and His disciples had a different relationship to the Father. Nevertheless they were all sons of the Father albeit in a different sense (cf. 1:12-13, 18; 5:19-30). Therefore Jesus called the disciples His "brothers" here. The context clarifies that Jesus was referring to the disciples and not to His physical half-brothers (v. 18). Likewise Jesus' relationship to God was similar to, though not exactly the same as, the disciples' relationship to God. The emphasis in Jesus' statement was on the privileges that His disciples now shared with Him because of His death, resurrection, and ascension (cf.

Ro 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,;

Heb 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You."

Galatians 3:26 Sons and Heirs 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Jesus said, in effect, “This (the physical contact) is not My real presence for the church. A new relationship will begin with My Ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church.” Jesus then explained the fact of the new relatives. He called His disciples His brothers. Earlier He had said they were friends: “I no longer call you servants … instead, I have called you friends” (15:15). Believers in Jesus become a part of Jesus’ family with God as their Father (cf. Heb. 2:11-12; Rom. 8:15-17, 29; Gal. 3:26).

Mary’s new responsibility was to testify to His risen presence. She was the recipient of four special graces: to see angels; to see Jesus risen; to be the first to see Him alive; and to be a proclaimer of the good news. Christians today are also the recipients of special grace; they too are given this new responsibility to witness to the world (cf. Matt. 28:16-20).

Jesus’ words, I am returning to My Father indicate His unique sonship. Mary and the other women told the news to the disciples, but according to Luke, they did not believe her or the other women “because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:11; cf. Luke 24:23).

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

Mt 28:10; Lu 24:10

As an obedient disciple, Mary went to the other disciples and told them that Jesus was alive plus the message that Jesus had given her. Again "the Lord" probably meant "Jesus" to her at this time, but she spoke better than she knew. Later she would understand more about the implications of that title.

John does not include the command which Jesus gave to Mary, though it is clear that He instructed her as to what she was to tell the disciples (20:18). She who was the first to go out to the tomb was the first to see the risen Lord, and apparently the first to be privileged to share the good news of His resurrection with others.

Mary not only shared the fact of His resurrection and that she had seen Him personally, but she also reported the words that He had spoken to her. Again, we see the importance of the Word of God. Mary could not transfer her experience over to them, but she could share the Word; and it is the Word that generates faith (Rom. 10:17). The living Christ shared His living Word (1 Peter 1:23–25).It is good to have faith that is based on solid evidence, but the evidence should lead us to the Word, and the Word should lead us to the Savior.

Before we go on to the next appearance of our Lord, I would like to make a comment or two. I would like you to note that our Lord’s first appearance is not to one of the eleven disciples, but to Mary Magdalene. She will never be one of the apostles. She will never write a Gospel. She will never become a great preacher or leader. Nevertheless, our Lord chose to manifest Himself to her first. Why do you think this was? I would call your attention to three important factors. First, she had a great love for her Master, as He did for her.

Second, she seemed to be the one with the greatest measure of grief. I am reminded of the words of our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). In the context of this sermon, Jesus did not promise blessings to those who were the greatest, or the most powerful, but to those in the greatest need, with the greatest desire for spiritual things.

There is a third reason: Mary was there first. Jesus revealed Himself first to the one who was there first. Mary came to the tomb early, because of her great love, and her great grief, and Jesus revealed Himself to her, first.

Fourthly, I think that it was because she was a woman and He always appears to those who are the most downtrodden.

I would also like to point out an important lesson which this text teaches us: When we come to see things as they really are, we will find that many of our tears were unnecessary. To put it in different words, Many of our tears are ill-founded. Both the angels and our Lord questioned Mary as to why she was weeping. The reason she gave was that her Lord’s body had been taken, and she did not know where to find it. The truth of the matter was that Jesus was not dead; He had been resurrected. And beyond this, His body was not missing at all, and no one had taken it. Jesus did not need to be found by Mary; Jesus found Mary.

We know that in heaven there will be no more tears: Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist anymore—or mourning, or crying, or pain; the former things have ceased to exist”.

Why will there be no more tears in heaven? The first answer is because there will no longer be those things which cause us to cry—no more suffering, no more sin, no more injustice, no more death.

But the second reason is that we shall then see all of our sorrows in an entirely different light. We shall see them in the context of the perfect work God was achieving through the things which caused us to weep.

When you and I get to heaven, we will see things in a very different light, and when we do, we will discover that many of our tears of sorrow were as groundless as Mary’s tears were. I am not saying that Christians should not cry. What I am saying is that a good deal of our sorrow is the result of our inadequate knowledge of what God is doing in and through our adversities. When Christians get to heaven, they will see the entire picture, and thus they will find that everything that has ever happened to them is for their good and His glory. No wonder there will be no tears in heaven!

Our comfort and joy may not come as quickly as Mary’s did, but it will be just as great, just as real, and it is just as certain.

  1. What will you do with the evidence?

    1. All died for this truth, would you die for a lie?
    2. If Jesus didn’t really die, then these Roman soldiers who dealt with death missed it
    3. If they stole the body, why didn’t they produce the body to prove that it wasn’t true with the guards there?
  2. What are the implications for my life?
  3. What will I do with this truth? What will I do about it?

 Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

 

 

Jesus In the Old Testament - Where is Jesus

10Apr

Using Luke 24:27 as a foundation for our methodology of study, We seek to find Jesus Christ in the Old Testament: "Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

HAVE WE PRAYED FOR AND THANKED GOD FOR OUR DAILY BREAD

8Apr

In the United States I don’t believe we think too much about this anymore, we take these things for granted, but we shouldn’t. He first wants us to understand that we are dependent on God for everything we have and need. Food is a blessing from God and so are the many other things we could consider daily bread. He means give us and keep on giving us about all the things we need to get through the day. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. It is a privilege and a blessing to be able to read and know the word of God.  Many places today it will cost you your life or your freedom to own a bible or assemble to hear the word taught. Then how about a job, or good health, or a place to live.  I don’t know if you have really thought about it but all of the things we take for granted could be gone in a minute.  Have you asked God to supply what you need today and have you thanked Him because you have it?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM

6Apr

In the midst of all the craziness going on we have seen that many areas are shutting down everything except essential businesses. My wife saw that liquor stores are considered essential. I made the comment that the world cannot get through a crisis without something that comes in a bottle, a pill or liquor bottle or some other crutch. We who are believers have something way greater. Jesus said in John 14:17 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. We have the promise that He is enough even though the world may be falling apart, we must not let the world make us anxious or stressed.
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.… Paul said in Philippians 4:6-9 to not be anxious about anything but take it all to God and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds. He also said not to think on and fill your mind with the bad things but to dwell on what is good. That is the cure for all the craziness going on.

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 20:8-9 THEN THE OTHER DISCIPLE, WHO CAME TO THE TOMB FIRST, WENT IN ALSO; AND HE SAW AND BELIEVED

5Apr

John 20:8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

John believed Jesus had risen from the dead, by the sheer force of the evidence, not because he thought he was supposed to. What an incredible event this must have been. There, in the darkness of that tomb, John “saw the light.”

Lessons from John 19 and 20:1-8
1.  First of all, faith in Christ is never meant to be a private matter. The regular team—the eleven disciples—have been called off the field, and a number of substitutions have been made (to speak in sports terms). Among these are Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene. Who would have expected such folks to play a key role in the burial and resurrection of our Lord?

Again, I think their faith is growing. Nicodemus came at night; now he comes at the dawn. When Arimathea went to Pilate, he came out in a big way.

  1. it takes courage to come out for Christ
    I have just a few observations about these secret disciples; they do something very dangerous, very costly and for no personal gain. They risk a great deal. The text says, "For fear of the Jews they kept their faith in secret." They risk a great deal.
    How often we are like the eleven disciples of our Lord, so frightened and lacking in faith that we do nothing, or like the women in our text who are preoccupied with fears about how we can move a stone. How foolish these fears seem to us, and yet is it not our own fears that keep us from attempting what our Lord has commanded us to do?
  2. God provides. God provided. Neither the stone, the seal, nor the soldiers kept Jesus in the tomb—or the disciples out. God always provides for the fulfillment of His promises. He does so by the instruments of His choosing. He does so in His time. The human instruments were those we would not have chosen, people we would never even have considered.
  3. God is at Work all the Time

God was at work in the hearts of these two men—Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus—and at just the right time, He used them for His glory, and their good.

  1. The resurrection is a foundational truth for the Christian. Saving faith is resurrection faith.
  2. God always uses just the right instrument to accomplish His purposes in the right way at the right time.
  3. It was the turning point for men and women like Joseph, and Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene, not to mention Peter and John and the other disciples.
  4. Devotion and love for Christ is increased when we know our origins. Go back to the ditch from which God pulled you out of." I hope you wonder about this as much as I do, but I wonder, "Why in the world did He save me?"
    9. We don't get we are to be living for Him. Your life and mine should be a thank you back to Christ for what He did for us on Calvary and the message of the resurrection is the core of our faith.
    10.  When it comes to the most important issue of your eternal soul, what will you pin your hopes on?  And for man to pin his hopes on humanism or agnosticism or some “ism” of “ology” is a fascinating thing.  That something as profound as a resurrection of life from death would keep us from knowing Christ.
  1. John’s Belief

8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.

The third word John used “to see” in the past tense, one is in verse five the other in verse six and now he uses a different one and this word is "to put it together" or "to perceive something." So first John takes a glance, blepo; then Peter theorizes and then John, the beloved disciple, perceives.

“He's gone. They didn't just take His body; He's gone!”

And he believes, John the Gospel writer tells us about John the beloved disciple.

It is incredible that some would conclude from this statement that John “believed that Mary was right, and that Jesus’ body was gone.” That would be to state the obvious. It seems to me what John wants us to grasp is that while Peter was still pondering the evidence, John had reached his conclusion. John had come to believe that Jesus really had somehow risen from the dead. John “saw” and he “believed.”

9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

John commented (v. 9) that even after a long period of teaching by Jesus the disciples still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead (cf. PS’s. 16:10-11; 110:1, 4; Isa. 53:11-12).[i]

Ps 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. Ac 2:25-31; 13:34-35

Mt 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Three years of being with Jesus Christ and umpteen times He told them about His suffering, umpteen times He told them about being delivered over or handed up, umpteen times He told them that He would die on a cross, the Scripture of the Old Testament.  They should have known and we say, "Why didn't they get it?" Have you ever thought that? Are these guys that thick and dull?
It's unfair because we know the story far differently than they know it. In fact I think the failure for the disciples to understand is not an indictment about them at all. I think their failure to understand is an illustration of God's grace of their fledgling faith starting to take root. Because he saw it, he theorized and then John believed. I don't think the Gospel is intending us to think, "These idiot disciples." I think he's trying to show us how their faith is growing because what's the purpose of the Gospel of John? That you might believe. And John tells the story so that when we read it we’ll believe the story.
Many Scriptures that I've given you there you can track down on your own if you wanted to, but I want you to notice the way John writes it. “That He must.”  It's not that Jesus would rise from the dead. Jesus must rise from the dead because if he does not our faith is not only worthless, it's foolishness. It's foolish to call yourself a believer in Christ if Christ did not raise from the dead.
Why does John tell us this here and now? I think the reason is very simple, and very important. The disciples were not predisposed to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. It was not something which Jesus suggested to them, so that when His body was found to be missing, they would jump to the conclusion that He had truly been resurrected. John is telling us that he came to believe in the resurrection of Jesus before he even realized that he was supposed to do so.

John is telling us here that he became a believer in the resurrection of Jesus before it was understood to be a necessary part of the Christian faith

Ro 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

John believed Jesus had risen from the dead, by the sheer force of the evidence, not because he thought he was supposed to. What an incredible event this must have been. There, in the darkness of that tomb, John “saw the light.”
1.  Some lessons. First of all, faith in Christ is never meant to be a private matter. When Joseph and Nicodemus are sort of finding out who Christ is, Nicodemus comes at night in chapter three and in chapter seven he says "Well shouldn't we basically do a fair trial?" And they call him a Galilean in which in our language would be, "You idiot! Of course we don't want a fair trial. We want to kill the guy. What's your point?" And now we find him securing spices.
There are a number of things which catch my attention in our text. The first is that there is a clear change of players. The regular team—the eleven disciples—have been called off the field, and a number of substitutions have been made (to speak in sports terms). Among these are Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene. Who would have expected such folks to play a key role in the burial and resurrection of our Lord?

John tells us that Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple; a crypto disciple. Is he telling us that to sort of criticize these guys? Again, I think their faith is growing. Nicodemus came at night; now he comes at the dawn. When Arimathea went to Pilate, he came out in a big way.

  1. it takes courage to come out for Christ
    Mark says, "He gathered up his courage and went to Pilate to ask for permission to take the body of Jesus." That took a lot of courage. I don't think it was a secret anymore. It would run quickly through the ranks of the Council and the Sanhedrin what Arimathea had done. The same for Nicodemus.

In Mark sixteen some versions say, "He boldly went before Pilate." A better rendering is "He gathered up his courage and went to Pilate." I like that. He gathered up his courage because it takes courage to come out for Christ , doesn't it? It doesn't keep a lot of other people from coming out; it seems to keep Christians from coming out.

So on the one hand the open disciples who follow Christ have all run away and hidden and the secret disciples are now coming out to bury the body. Isn't that interesting? We think they'd sort of show up and say, "Okay we'll take the body now" but they don't. These three other people we don't know that much about.
I have just a few observations about these secret disciples; they do something very dangerous, very costly and for no personal gain. They risk a great deal. The text says, "For fear of the Jews they kept their faith in secret." They risk a great deal.
So it's dangerous, and it costs Joseph of Arimathea a lot of money to do this. It was his own crypt; his own tomb and it warranted no personal gain. They weren’t going to get anything out of it. In fact they were going to get in trouble most likely, right?
I start thinking about their actions I asked myself, "Self, when have you done something that was dangerous, cost you a lot of money and there was no personal gain?"

How about you? When have you done something for Christ that involves some danger? I don't mean stupidity danger. That doesn't count. But you've done something that took a risk; you came out for Christ and it was dangerous and it might have taken your money and your time to do it and you would not gain. 

How often we are like the eleven disciples of our Lord, so frightened and lacking in faith that we do nothing, or like the women in our text who are preoccupied with fears about how we can move a stone. How foolish these fears seem to us, and yet is it not our own fears that keep us from attempting what our Lord has commanded us to do?

  1. There is another lesson to be learned here: God provides. I am reminded of the story of Abraham, when he took his son Isaac up Mount Moriah to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Isaac asked his father where the animal to be sacrificed was, and Abraham assured him that the Lord would provide the sacrifice. And God did provide. Our text is another demonstration of God’s faithful provision of all that He has purposed and promised. He provided a rich man’s burial for Jesus, who should have been buried on “boot hill.” He provided a place near the cross, within a very narrow window of time. He provided, not through the expected means, but through a man whose name (Joseph of Arimathea) we have never seen before in the Gospels, and through another (Nicodemus) whom we would never have expected to help bury the body of our Lord. The women who followed Jesus wanted to be able to anoint the body of our Lord, but the barriers to entering the tomb seemed insurmountable. A large stone covered the tomb; it had been sealed by Rome, and soldiers were there guarding the tomb to make certain it was undisturbed. God provided. Neither the stone, the seal, nor the soldiers kept Jesus in the tomb—or the disciples out.

God always provides for the fulfillment of His promises. He does so by the instruments of His choosing. He does so in His time. The human instruments were those we would not have chosen, people we would never even have considered. It never occurred to me that, among the members of the Sanhedrin that condemned Jesus to die, there would be some who believed in Jesus, who opposed the plan of their peers, who managed to obtain the body of Jesus and give it a rich man’s burial.

  1. God is at Work all the Time

God was at work in the hearts of these two men—Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus—and at just the right time, He used them for His glory, and their good.

As I read through this text describing our Lord’s burial and resurrection, I am impressed with how unlikely it all seemed at the time. It looked impossible to secure the Lord’s body and to properly prepare it for burial before nightfall. It seemed impossible to find a burial place. There seemed to be no one who would be able to secure the release of our Lord’s body. And once the body of our Lord was discovered to be missing, there seemed to be no way to recover it. Much of what occurred in our text was contrary to the expectations and desires of those who were present. It does not seem as though Joseph really intended to have Jesus buried in his burial place, but as time ran out, it became the only thing he could do.

For John, at least, there is an unavoidable conclusion: God raised Jesus from the dead. All these things were orchestrated by God, at just the right time, and in just the right way, so that the Scriptures would be fulfilled.

This was not a conclusion John felt he was obliged to reach, based upon our Lord’s prophecies of His resurrection. John had completely forgotten about these prophecies. He believed in the resurrection of Jesus because there was no other explanation.

  1. The resurrection is a foundational truth for the Christian. Saving faith is resurrection faith. Christians do not believe in the resurrection simply because they feel obliged to do so; they believe in the resurrection because it is true, and there is no other reasonable explanation for the events which we find described in our text, or in the rest of the Bible.

By bringing about the fulfillment of prophecy in the way He did, God gave compelling proof of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The disciples and followers of Jesus believed in the resurrection because the evidence was convincing. That’s the way God wanted it to be. That’s the way God caused it to work out. He arranged for the body of Jesus to be placed in a hewn tomb, the entrance of which was covered by a great stone, sealed with the Roman seal, and guarded by Roman soldiers. The open and empty tomb was compelling proof that the claim of our Lord to be the Messiah, the King of the Jews, was true.

  1. God always uses just the right instrument to accomplish His purposes in the right way at the right time.

As I think of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, I am reminded that these were men of position and power, and at least Joseph was a man of wealth. I would never have imagined God would have used them to provide for our Lord’s royal burial, but this is precisely who He used. While it is true that God uses the weak and foolish things of this world, it is also true that He sometimes uses the rich and the powerful, as He does here in our text.

As I have reflected on this passage, I have come to realize that it describes one of the great turning points of all time. Our Lord is put to death, and His body is placed in a tomb, only to be raised to new life on the third day. This event turned the disciples’ sorrow to joy, their weakness to strength, their fears to boldness and courage.

  1. It was the turning point for men and women like Joseph, and Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene, not to mention Peter and John and the other disciples.

It is by His death, burial, and resurrection that Jesus Christ saves us from our sins, and from the penalty of death. Have you trusted in Him, in His death on the cross of Calvary for your sins, and His resurrection from the dead, so that you may have eternal life? Let me invite you to do so this very hour. May the truth of this text be a turning point in your life, to His glory and to your eternal good.

Read Romans 3:16-25
8.  Another lesson - devotion and love for Christ is increased when we know our origins. Go back to the ditch from which God pulled you out of." I hope you wonder about this as much as I do, but I wonder, "Why in the world did He save me?"
Do you ever really wonder about that if you're a believer in Christ? Why did He love the likes of you and me? Why would He save us? Why would He save Mary of Magdala a demonized, sick, sinful woman? Why would He save a rich Joseph of Arimathea? Why would He save a secret disciple like Nicodemus who sneaks around at night asking questions? Because God loves no matter the person. He's no respect or persons. Whether you're a throwaway prostitute or a filthy rich man in a community, He's no respecter of persons. He loves you because He loves.
One of the ways we keep our intimacy with Christ; our seeking Him constantly is that we come back to the miry pit from which we were dug and we do not deserve His grace. Don't ever think you do and live as if you don't because the moment you begin to believe you deserve it, you become a Pharisee and you become self-righteous and your behavior.
These guys are trying to figure out the resurrection and you and I are trying to figure out the resurrected life. How do we live it? The only way I know is to beg God to somehow take this stinking body, mind and soul and to transform it into the image of Jesus Christ and to use it in spite of it.
Galatians 2:20 that says, "I am crucified with Christ; therefore I no longer live. Jesus Christ now lives in me and the life I now live In the flesh I live by the power of Christ.

  1. We don't get we are to be living for Him. Your life and mine should be a thank you back to Christ for what He did for us on Calvary and the message of the resurrection is the core of our faith. Why do we pin our hopes on this? Because if He is dead and buried then go eat, drink and be merry because you're going to die.
    10. When it comes to the most important issue of your eternal soul, what will you pin your hopes on?  And for man to pin his hopes on humanism or agnosticism or some “ism” of “ology” is a fascinating thing.  That something as profound as a resurrection of life from death would keep us from knowing Christ.

Jesus' Post-resurrection Appearances

Easter morning

to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:10-18)

to other women (Matt. 28:9-10)

to Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5)

Easter afternoon

to two disciples on the Emmaus road (Luke 24:13-32)

Easter evening

to about 12 disciples excluding Thomas (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23)

The following Sunday

to 11 disciples including Thomas (John 20:26-28)

The following 32 days

to seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-23)

to 500 people including the Eleven at a mountain in Galilee (Matt. 28:16-20;1 Cor. 15:6)

to His half-brother James (1 Cor. 15:7)

to His disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:3-8; 1 Cor. 15:7)

to His disciples on Mount Olivet (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-12)

 

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

 

GET IN THE BOAT! Mark 4:39

3Apr

And Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. 

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL RESPONDING TO GODS WORD

1Apr

Proverbs 6:23 says For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:) Someone told me after hearing a sermon that they never knew it could feel so good to have their toes stepped on.  That is what the Bible, the Commandment does for us and to us.  It shows us the right way to live by the light it gives to walk in the ways of God and it also tells us when we are doing wrong.  Are we sensitive to the Word of God and the Spirit’s leading when it tells us to do something or not to do something?  May we ever be diligent to hear the word of God and respond to what it says.  Amen.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 20:1-7 FROM FEAR TO FAITH (MARY SAID TO THEM, “THEY HAVE TAKEN AWAY THE LORD OUT OF THE TOMB, AND WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY HAVE LAID HIM)

29Mar

 John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.On this first day of the week Mary goes to the tomb and seeing the stone has been moved decides that they have stolen the body of Jesus. She goes and gets Peter and John and they come running. When they get there John glances in, Peter looks a little harder and is puzzled because he sees the grave wrappings lying there in their proper place. This is a day that seems to be the worst ever in that not only has Jesus died, but they have stolen His body too. It is actually the best day to ever have happened, because this is the day that Jesus rose from the grave, proved He was God, and showed that He had done everything necessary to pay for the sins of the whole world. This is the Good News, the Gospel, that Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day according to the Scriptures (1Corinthians 15:3-4).

In a 24‑hour period leading up to and including His death on the cross there were 28 specific Old Testament prophecies fulfilled to the letter, and in addition to that, there were many types fulfilled. Now as we see Jesus Christ conquer death, we are going to see some additional fulfillment of prophecy doubly verifying to us that He is in fact God.

The fact that John continued his account and shared the excitement of the Resurrection miracle is proof that Jesus Christ is not like any other man. He is, indeed, the Son of God."

This is The best news ever told. Most important news in human history. ‘He is not here. He has risen’ see Matthew 28:6. His death, burial, and resurrection will affect the destiny of us all! Gospel: power of God for salvation. The Gospel challenges the intellect, challenges emotions and challenges the will.

"For John, as for all the early Christians, the resurrection of Jesus was the indisputable fact upon which their faith was based; and their faith in large part depended on the testimony and transformed behavior of those who had actually seen the resurrected Jesus. Their Master was not in God's eyes a condemned criminal; the resurrection proved that he was vindicated by God, and therefore nothing less than the Messiah, the Son of God he claimed to be .

Romans 1:4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

1Co 15:14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up--if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

Ro 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

We are at the climactic point in John's Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and in fact we're looking at the Sunday morning event, the first day of the week. I know there's been some talk throughout history about the three days that Jesus was dead. Did He die on Friday? Did He die on Wednesday? What is your take on how we understand the chronology of the events? 

Roman versus Jewish calendar, Sabbath begins at twilight on what we would call Friday. And so the crucifixion takes place sometime Friday afternoon and so that would be day one. So we have the one day and then the second day is Saturday and then the third day is technically Sunday. The first day of the week is when He is resurrected.

So when He says "Tear down this Temple and in three days -- I'll raise it up again," that doesn't necessarily mean 72 hours.

I just think it's the way they view a calendar. We think of 72 hours, but to them a day was the course of what happened during that time frame, so Friday, Saturday and then the first day of the week, Sunday; three days.

Before we concentrate on John’s account of the burial and resurrection of our Lord, allow me to call your attention to the contribution of the Synoptic Gospels. Matthew’s Gospel has some especially important information, which enhances our study in John. Matthew informs us of the request the Jewish religious leaders made of Pilate after the death and burial of Jesus. They remembered that Jesus claimed He would rise from the dead after three days:

Matthew 12:39-40- 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” ( also Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; John 2:19).

Even though the disciples had forgotten our Lord’s words about His resurrection, the Jewish religious leaders had not:

Matthew 27:62-66 -62 The next day (which is after the day of preparation) the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while that deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give orders to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal his body and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “Take a guard of soldiers. Go and make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went with the soldiers of the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

In my mind’s eye, I can see the smug look of satisfaction on the faces of those who had brought about the death of our Lord. What could be more perfect? The body of Jesus was in a chamber hewn out of rock, with a very large stone sealing the entrance to the tomb. Once the stone was “sealed,” no one would dare to try to steal the body of Jesus, to make it look as if He had been raised from the dead in fulfillment of His own prophecies. And to be doubly sure, guards were posted at the tomb so that no one could gain access to the body of Jesus. These guards would terrify anyone who dared to attempt to gain entrance to the tomb.

Matthew’s account shows how useless these efforts were to “contain” the Son of God:

(Matthew 28:2-4) 2 And there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled back the stone, and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him.

Did the Jewish religious leaders hope to strike terror into the hearts of our Lord’s disciples to prevent them from attempting to steal the body of Jesus from that tomb? It was not the disciples they were opposing; it was God. The guards were no match for the angels, and a sealed stone was no match for an earthquake. In an instant, every barrier to that tomb was removed. And to think that the women had wasted their time worrying about how they would remove that stone (see Mark 16:3)! It was the Roman guards who were “all shook up” by the earthquake. They were petrified with fear at the sight of the angel of the Lord.

I don’t think you need to be reminded of this, but that stone was not removed so that Jesus could get out of the tomb (see John 20:19). The stone was removed to make it completely clear to those outside that Jesus was not inside—that He had been raised from the dead, just as He had said.

"In each of the following [resurrection appearances] we will discover a pattern with the following features: (1) The beneficiaries of the appearance are engulfed in a human emotion (Mary, grief; the disciples, fear; and Thomas, doubt). (2) The risen Christ appears to them in the midst of their condition. (3) As a result, their condition is transformed (Mary, mission; the disciples, gladness; Thomas, faith)."

"With Mary, the emphasis is on love; with the ten, the emphasis is on hope; and with Thomas, the emphasis is on faith."

1. Mary’s Distress, Love, and Devotion

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Mt 28:1; Mr. 16:1; Lu 24:1

"The first day of the week" was Sunday. It is interesting that all the Gospel writers referred to the day of Jesus' resurrection this way rather than as the third day after His death.

Now the first day of the week is Sunday and so Sunday morning this group of women, John records Mary Magdalene only, but there's a group and she'll use a plural pronoun here that will tip there's a group there, but the Synoptics talk about a group of women. She probably beat them there. All Synoptics indicate she was the first one on the scene. So Mary of Magdala appears.

Although John’s Gospel does not state the purpose of Mary’s visit, Mark 16:1 and Luke 23:56 mention that several women (cf. v. 2) came early to anoint Jesus’ body with spices. Apparently they did not know of Joseph and Nicodemus’ anointing or thought it needed to be supplemented.[i]

Perhaps John mentioned Mary Magdalene and none of the other women because of the testimony that she gave after she had seen Jesus (v. 18).

Her devotion to Jesus Christ was probably born out of the fact that she was delivered of seven demons and that she had been a very oppressed individual. From whom much is forgiven, there is much love in this story. She has a great love for Jesus Christ and so the Gospels, all of them, say, "Look she was the first one to go to the tomb early in the morning."

Lu 7:47 "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."

This tomb had been closed with a large rock door (Mark 16:3-4) and had been sealed by the authority of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:65-66). The women were amazed to see an open and apparently empty tomb. [ii]

So we see her love. In Mark sixteen, the women are worried about who's going to move the stone. Of course if you know a little bit of the harmonization, an angel has descended, an earthquake occurred, Matthew twenty-eight, and it says the angel lifted up or moved the stone and sat on it.

From the other gospel accounts we have one in the tomb as well who talks to them. So we have some issues of timing and chronology that John does not detail. We have no guard; the guard is gone. The stone is removed, an angel has shown up to tell them and he says, "Go tell His disciples and Peter."

 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." Joh 13:23; 19:26; 21:7,20,24

Mary was to experience a far greater blessing than she could have imagined at this dark moment in her life, no doubt the darkest she had ever known. She had been delivered from bondage to Satan. She had been privileged to follow her Lord and to help support Him and His ministry. She had placed all her faith and hope in Him, and yet He had been put to death as a criminal. That was bad enough, but now she thought that she would not even be able to honor His memory by properly anointing His body for burial. It couldn’t get any worse—or so she thought. But the truth was that it could not get much better. How slow we are to see God’s richest blessings in the things which appear to be great adversity!

Mary first assumed that grave robbers had stolen Jesus' body. Evidently robbing graves was not uncommon around Jerusalem (cf. Matt. 28:13-15).

But it's very typical of what a hewn tomb would look like. You go inside and you see this sort of shelf that they've carved and you see this area and when their hewing the rock, it would make sense that you would want to remove as little room material as you have to, right, because it's stone you're dealing with. So leave ledges in place to lay the bodies on. That would be a very typical First Century stone hewn tomb that Jesus might have been buried in.
Well they don't understand the story yet. They don't understand what's happened. They haven't figured it out. In fact they think the body has been stolen. That's the implication from all the texts.

 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. Lu 24:12

4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.

 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Joh 19:40

“stooping” The tombs of this period had a low entrance about 3 to 4 feet high. One would have to bend down (cf. v. 11) to enter the cave/dugout.[iii]

I want to point out a number of things here. We have Peter and his personality running in the tomb. Some presume John is younger so he wins the foot race. In any event, there's three words that John the Gospel writer uses for the word, in English, “saw“; to see something, past tense. I want to show you these words because they're all different in the original language and John does this for a wonderful point.

So first of all they run into the tomb and John gets there early and the tomb or the hole was probably low to the ground, so he stoops in and takes a quick glance. The word is blepo. It's like a little quick peek. He glanced. And then maybe he leans back and stands aright waiting for Peter to catch up. If grave robbers had removed the body, they would have undoubtedly taken the expensive cloth with which Joseph and Nicodemus had prepared it for burial. John may have assumed that Jesus' body was still there since the light was bad at that hour. Perhaps John did not enter the tomb because he did not want to violate its sanctity or incur ritual defilement.

2. Peter’s Perplexity

 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,

Peter, as was his personality, huffing and puffing runs right in the tomb and he's looking around.

Notice in verse five you have the word "sees" meaning he took a quick glancing look, but in verse six the word is theoreo, which in English is to theorize or to make a theory. So where John takes a quick glance, Peter goes in and we kind of see him scratching his head. He is absorbing the information. He is developing a theory based on what he sees. So John takes a quick look; Peter takes a longer studious look.

When Peter arrived at the tomb, he barged right in, probably because he wanted to know exactly how things stood regardless of the consequences. He also beheld (Gr. theopei, beheld intently) the linen burial clothes (Gr. ta othonia) but also the cloth that had covered Jesus' face (Gr. soudarion, cf. 11:44). Evidently John could not see this from his vantage point. It's distance from the other clothes and the care with which someone had positioned it were unusual. Jesus was obviously not there, but someone had been there.

Lying there means - Undisturbed and in their proper place

 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Joh 11:44  Head piece resembles a ball of cloth that was wrapped around something that was no longer there

The orderly arrangement of everything in the tomb marks the absence of haste and circumstances in the awakening and rising from the dead.

When he arrived, he seems to have entered the tomb without giving it a thought. Peter came out scratching his head, so to speak. It was a mystery to him, one that he couldn’t reason out. The body of Jesus was definitely gone, but the scene inside the tomb was not what one would expect if the grave had been robbed. And where were the guards? Who had moved the stone? What was going on? Peter simply didn’t know

According to Luke 24:12 Peter went away “wondering” still.

Lu 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

What we do know from the text are two things. The body is not there and the wrappings are. If you were a grave robber kneeling down into some stone hewn crypt to bring out a body, would you go to the trouble to unwrap the sticky gooey substance and leave the wrappings in and neat pile and take a naked corpse out? That by the way has been scourged and hemorrhaged and bleeding and stuck with a spear in the side, don't forget.

If you are a grave robber, it's a lot neater to pick up the package, isn't it? So what John wants you and me to see is that the body's not there but the wrappings are. So we sort of scratch our head along with Peter and with John. Look at verse eight: It was not the scene of a grave robbery, for no robbers could have gotten the body out of the grave clothes without tearing the cloth and disarranging things. Jesus had returned to life in power and glory and had passed through the grave clothes and the tomb itself!

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

 

I HAVE HEARD OF YOU GOD, BUT NOW I SEE YOU

25Mar

Job 42:5 says “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You;

By the time we get to this verse Job has been through the worst imaginable ordeal anyone could go through.  He has lost all he owned, his children, has been living in a horrible time of sickness and has been accused by his friends saying that everything that happened is because of his sin. Can you imagine losing everything you own and being so sick you feel like you are going to die?  It is during this time that God shows Job who He really is and how much He cares for Job that is why Job says I have heard of you but now I see you.  In the midst of everything that is currently going on God wants to get your attention and bring you to Him for salvation or into a closer relationship with Him like He did with Job.  Either way, the worst thing that can happen to you here on earth will be like a picnic in the park compared with Hell. But for believers this is the worst it will ever be. 

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 19:38-42 SO THERE THEY LAID JESUS, BECAUSE OF THE JEWS’ PREPARATION DAY, FOR THE TOMB WAS NEARBY

22Mar

John 19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

 Here we see the secret disciples come forward when all the others have forsaken Jesus and are hiding. These guys come at the perfect time so the last of the prophecies can be fulfilled Isaiah 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked-But with the rich at His death. These two men give Jesus a burial fit for a King using 100 pounds of very expensive spices, because He is King Jesus and one day will come back to rule and reign. They are running out of time to get Jesus in the grave before the Sabbath starts and also so the 3 days and 3 nights can be fulfilled, so they use the closest available tomb which happens to be Joseph of Arimathea’s. It is done, it is finished, all that is left is for Jesus to come out of the grave and show that He is truly God as if all the miracles He has done is not enough. Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

 

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.

Mt 27:57; Mr. 15:42; Lu 23:50; Joh 9:22; 12:42

All four evangelists mentioned Joseph of Arimathea but only with Jesus' burial. The Synoptics tell us that he was a God-fearing rich member of the Sanhedrin who was a follower of Jesus and who had not voted to condemn Jesus. Only John identified him as a secret disciple who feared the Jews, namely, the unbelieving Jewish leaders. Jesus had warned His disciples about trying to hide their allegiance to Him (12:42-43). Finally Joseph "broke his cover" by courageously requesting Jesus' body from Pilate.

Jesus'  corpse  would  have  ended  up  in  the  grave  of  a  common criminal but for Joseph's intervention. Pilate probably granted his request for Jesus' body because he realized that Joseph wanted to give Jesus' an honorable burial. That would have humiliated the Jews further.

Joseph's courageous act doubtless alienated him from many of his fellow Sanhedrin members. We do not know what the ultimate consequences of his action were for him. Evidently it was Jesus' death that made him face up to his responsibility to take his stand for Jesus.

I think that he worked up the courage to request an audience with Pilate and then made his request, but not with the arrogance and smugness with which the Jewish religious leaders had dealt with him. His was a humble request, but a reasonable one. Unlike the crucifixion of our Lord, it does not appear to be something that Pilate begrudgingly granted. Indeed, if he felt guilty over condemning an innocent man, he may have felt good that Jesus (this “righteous man,” as Pilate’s own wife had referred to Him—Matthew 27:19) was given an honorable burial. And if the other religious leaders happened not to like it, so much the better.

Gave him leave. According to Roman law. Ulpian, a Roman jurist of the third century, says: “The bodies of those who are capitally punished cannot be denied to their relatives. At this day, however, the bodies of those who are executed are buried only in case permission is asked and granted; and sometimes permission is not given, especially in the cases of those who are punished for high treason. The bodies of the executed are to be given for burial to anyone who asks for them.” Greedy governors sometimes sold this privilege. Cicero, in one of his orations against Verres, has a terribly graphic passage describing such extortions. After dwelling upon the tortures inflicted upon the condemned, he says: “Yet death is the end. It shall not be. Can cruelty go further? [i]

39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Joh 3:1-2; 7:50 This was usually the amount used for a King and He is King Jesus

Can you imagine the cost for that much spices?

The contrast is marked between Nicodemus’ first and his second coming.[ii]

40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.

While the Synoptics speak very favorably of Joseph, John is not quite as complimentary in his description of this man. John does not mention that Joseph was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin or that he opposed their efforts to kill Jesus. John describes Joseph only as a disciple who kept his allegiance to Jesus a secret, for fear of the Jews.

It looks as though John wants us to view Joseph as a pretty unlikely candidate to bring about what the Scriptures require, so far as our Lord’s burial is concerned. Added to this is the fact that Nicodemus is just as unlikely. Who can pull off what is required here, and in such a short period of time? From what I know of Nicodemus, and from what little I know of Joseph of Arimathea, these two men would not be at the top of my “most likely to be helpful” list.

So far as their loyalty to our Lord in the past is concerned, these two men are not impressive. But so far as their ability to accomplish the task (of burying Jesus in a kingly fashion), they are well qualified. This is not the time for a family member or a close follower of Jesus to request His body for burial. But Joseph of Arimathea is a member of the Sanhedrin and a very wealthy man. He offers Pilate the opportunity to rid himself of the responsibility for burying the body of Jesus.

Joseph of Arimathea is not alone in his efforts to obtain the body of Jesus and to give Him a proper burial. He is working with Nicodemus, another very prominent member of the Sanhedrin. These two men must have begun their association as colleagues on the Council of the Sanhedrin. When Nicodemus objected to the way the Council was proposing to deal with Jesus, Joseph must have taken notice. They may have talked privately and discovered that they were of like mind regarding Jesus. They may have attempted to support each other as they objected to the course the Sanhedrin seemed bent on taking. While Jesus was being crucified, they seem to have mutually agreed upon a plan to obtain His body in order to give Him a proper burial.

One cannot discern from the Gospels just when Joseph and Nicodemus agreed to work together, or when they commenced their efforts to prepare for the burial of Jesus. It may be that Joseph agreed to ask Pilate for permission to remove and bury the Lord’s body. At the same time, Nicodemus could have begun to acquire the necessary spices and material to prepare the body of Jesus for burial. Working together, these two men are able to accomplish something that none of our Lord’s family or His eleven disciples could achieve—they are able to gain access to Pilate and to gain possession of the body of Jesus.

41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.

John is the only evangelist who recorded that there was a garden and an unused new tomb near the place of Jesus' crucifixion. The tomb was probably an artificial cave in the limestone, many examples of which are observable in Palestine. Matthew noted that the garden and its tomb belonged to Joseph (Matt. 27:60). John's mention of the garden prepares for his reference later to a gardener (20:15). His reference to the tomb being new and unused prepares for the Resurrection in which no other corpse was in the tomb (20:8, 12).

"The fall of the first Adam took place in a garden; and it was in a garden that the second Adam redeemed mankind from the consequences of Adam's transgression

Look at Isaiah fifty-three verse nine.  His grave was assigned with wicked man, Yet He was a rich man in His death,
because he had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

We might even say that Jesus was given a burial “fit for a king.”

In his account of the burial of Jesus, John gives us some very important details. He not only mentions Joseph of Arimathea, he tells us about Nicodemus. It is only from John’s Gospel that we even know of Nicodemus. No other Gospel mentions this fellow. Nicodemus is the same man who “came to Jesus by night,” as we read in John 3:1-2, and as he reminds us in 19:39. It is John’s mention of Nicodemus in chapter 7 of his Gospel that now catches my attention. You will remember that Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (7:1-10ff.). The Pharisees and chief priests decided it was time to arrest Jesus, so they sent the temple police to bring Jesus to them (7:32). When these men returned empty-handed, the Pharisees were incensed. The officers explained that they had never heard anyone speak as Jesus did (7:45-49).

Nicodemus then sought to speak a word (cautiously, it would seem) on Jesus’ behalf. He did not openly defend Jesus and His teachings, but he did question his fellow Pharisees about the legality of the method by which they proposed to deal with Him.

John 7:50-52- 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before and who was one of the rulers, said, 51 “Our law doesn’t condemn a man unless it first hears from him and learns what he is doing, does it?” 52 They replied, “You aren’t from Galilee too, are you? Investigate carefully and you will see that no prophet comes from Galilee!”

In today’s legal terminology, Nicodemus is objecting that Jesus is not being given “due process of the law.” Jewish law required that charges against Jesus first be substantiated and, after this, that Jesus be given the chance to speak in His own defense. This had not been done, Nicodemus pointed out, and no one seemed to be heading in the direction of making things right. His peers were not at all gentle in the way they responded to his objections. Here was a highly respected teacher of the law, a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, and yet he was dealt with as though he were an incoming freshman. “You are not a Galilean, too, are you?” This was no compliment. It was like saying, “How could you be so ignorant?” And then, adding insult to injury, they challenged Nicodemus to look into this subject more carefully, implying that his grasp of the issues was shallow and superficial.

I must admit that I had nearly written Nicodemus off in chapter 3, but after reading about Nicodemus in chapter 7, I had totally given up on this man. I assumed that he just sort of wilted under the criticism of his peers, never to be heard from again. I now must rethink my hasty conclusion. I believe that Nicodemus rose to the challenge. I think that he did investigate more thoroughly and found that the Scriptures did point to Jesus as the Messiah. Furthermore, I think that as Nicodemus became more convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, he spoke out more openly, and at least one other person on the Council agreed with him—Joseph of Arimathea. I am willing to go even farther. I wonder if it was not because of the objections of Nicodemus (and perhaps Joseph as well) that the Sanhedrin felt compelled to modify the way they sought to deal with Jesus, so that they at least appeared to be following Jewish law. Is this why Jesus was first brought before Annas, and then Caiaphas, and then finally brought before the whole Council? Is this why the assistance of Rome was requested? If this is the case, then Nicodemus contributed greatly to the process which led to our Lord’s crucifixion rather than to death by stoning, as the Jews seemed to prefer. It would also seem that the Sanhedrin voted to hand Jesus over to Pilate, but not without hearing objections from both Joseph and Nicodemus (if, indeed, they were both present). This act of requesting the body of Jesus and giving Him a proper burial may have been a public protest on the part of these two members of the Sanhedrin. All of this would mean that Joseph and Nicodemus were not as passive in their disagreement with their peers on the Sanhedrin as assumed.

It is John’s Gospel alone that informs us of these two men’s lavish use of spices in their preparation of Jesus’ body for burial (19:39-40). From the accounts of the Synoptic Gospels, we might have assumed that our Lord’s body was not even properly prepared for burial. We read there only that the body of Jesus was “wrapped in a clean linen cloth” (Matthew 27:59; see also Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53). We read also in the Synoptics of the intent of the women to return to the tomb and to prepare the Lord’s body with spices (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55-56; 24:1). It was almost as though the women were unaware of the fact that 100 pounds of spices had been used by Joseph and Nicodemus. Or, perhaps they just felt they could not trust these men to do it right, and they would have to come back later to improve on the work of these two men.

The thing that strikes me in John’s account is that no mention is made of the fact that the tomb in which Jesus was laid was the one that Joseph had custom-built for himself (Matthew 27:60). From a reading of John’s account, one would assume they were carrying the Lord’s body away from the cross and through a garden (only John mentions the garden). It was getting late, and they had no time to lose. There was an available tomb nearby, in the garden, and they made use of it. It appears the reason for using this tomb was not because it belonged to Joseph, but because it was close, and it seemed expedient to use it because they had run out of time.

This makes sense to me. The question which the reader must ask is, “How was it possible for Jesus to be given a rich man’s burial, when none of His eleven disciples were present, and when the time was so short?” Putting together all of the data from the four Gospels, I would conclude that something like this occurred. Joseph and Nicodemus had opposed the Sanhedrin’s plan to kill Jesus. At some time during the crucifixion process, they determined to acquire the body of Jesus to give Him a proper burial. Joseph went to Pilate and obtained the body while Nicodemus acquired the necessary spices and cloth. They both went to the cross, took down the Lord’s body, and wrapped it in a clean linen sheet. They were carrying the body through the garden, noting the lateness of the hour, and wondering what they should do. Joseph may have looked up and seen the freshly-hewn tomb which he had acquired for his own burial (and perhaps for the use of his family as well). Realizing they were out of time, Joseph told Nicodemus that they would stop right here and bury the body of Jesus in his own tomb. There was no time to do anything else.

I am assuming here that Joseph had intended from the beginning to give Jesus a proper burial, but that he had not necessarily planned to bury Jesus in his own tomb. As nightfall approached, Joseph realized that he was in trouble, time-wise. He looked about, and his eyes fixed on his own personal burial place. There was really no other choice, given the time, and so this is the place where they chose to lay the body of Jesus. John tells the story in such a way that the reader sees, once again, the sovereign hand of God, orchestrating these events so that they fulfill the prophecies of old. Jesus was put to death with criminals, but in the final analysis, He was buried with the rich. The One who seemed destined to be buried on “boot hill” is now buried on “snob hill.” And in so doing, prophecy is once again fulfilled.

Note, incidentally, that John does not tell us every time that a prophecy is fulfilled. Three times in his account of our Lord’s death he indicates that the details of Jesus’ death fulfilled prophecy. But here he does not tell us that the Scriptures were fulfilled, even though they were. I believe John expects his readers to figure some things out for themselves. A good teacher does not give the student the answer to every question. A good teacher teaches the student how to find the answers to his questions. John is a good teacher.

42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. Isa 53:9; Joh 19:31

Preparation Day - the day immediately before the Sabbath and other Jewish festivals. Preparation Day always fell on Friday among the Jewish people, because all religious festivals began on the Sabbath, or Saturday (Matt. 27:62; John 19:14, 31).

With a week of holidays ahead, the Preparation Day for the Passover was especially busy. The details for preparing the Passover supper had to be completed by afternoon. Preparations included baking the unleavened bread, gathering festive garments to wear for the occasion, and taking a ceremonial bath.

But above all, the Passover lamb had to be slain. Slaughtering began an hour or more earlier than for the usual daily evening sacrifice. At the Temple, the priests slaughtered thousands of lambs brought in by the people. Their blood was poured at the foot of the altar. Then the lambs were roasted whole in preparation for the Passover meal in each home that evening.[iii]

The chronological reckoning between John’s gospel and the Synoptics presents a challenge, especially in relation to the time of the Last Supper (13:2). While the Synoptics portray the disciples and the Lord at the Last Supper as eating the Passover meal on Thursday evening (Nisan 14) and Jesus being crucified on Friday, John’s gospel states that the Jews did not enter into the Praetorium “lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover” (18:28). So, the disciples had eaten the Passover on Thursday evening, but the Jews had not. In fact, John (19:14) states that Jesus’ trial and crucifixion were on the day of Preparation for the Passover and not after the eating of the Passover, so that with the trial and crucifixion on Friday Christ was actually sacrificed at the same time the Passover lambs were being slain (19:14). The question is, “Why did the disciples eat the Passover meal on Thursday?”

The answer lies in a difference among the Jews in the way they reckoned the beginning and ending of days. From Josephus, the Mishna, and other ancient Jewish sources we learn that the Jews in northern Palestine calculated days from sunrise to sunrise. That area included the region of Galilee, where Jesus and all the disciples, except Judas, had grown up. Apparently most, if not all, of the Pharisees used that system of reckoning. But Jews in the southern part, which centered in Jerusalem, calculated days from sunset to sunset. Because all the priests necessarily lived in or near Jerusalem, as did most of the Sadducees, those groups followed the southern scheme.

That variation doubtlessly caused confusion at times, but it also had some practical benefits. During Passover time, for instance, it allowed for the feast to be celebrated legitimately on two adjoining days, thereby permitting the temple sacrifices to be made over a total period of four hours rather than two. That separation of days may also have had the effect of reducing both regional and religious clashes between the two groups.

On that basis the seeming contradictions in the gospel accounts are easily explained. Being Galileans, Jesus and the disciples considered Passover day to have started at sunrise on Thursday and to end at sunrise on Friday. The Jewish leaders who arrested and tried Jesus, being mostly priests and Sadducees, considered Passover day to begin at sunset on Thursday and end at sunset on Friday. By that variation, predetermined by God’s sovereign provision, Jesus could thereby legitimately celebrate the last Passover meal with His disciples and yet still be sacrificed on Passover day.

Once again one can see how God sovereignly and marvelously provides for the precise fulfillment of His redemptive plan. The MacArthur Study Bible. 1997 (J. MacArthur, Jr., Ed.) (electronic ed.).

DOCETISM : a belief opposed as heresy in early Christianity that Christ only seemed to have a human body and to suffer and die on the cross

  1. God is not interested in outward religion

Mt 15:8 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.

 Mr. 7:6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.

  1. You must decide whether to choose the favor of God or of men

Joh 12:43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Joh 7:13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews

  1. Is Jesus the real Messiah

You have to decide, there are 300 plus prophecies fulfilled.  The evidence is overwhelming.

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 19:38). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

[ii] Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 19:39). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

[iii] Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. 1995 (R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison & Thomas Nelson Publishers, Ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL HAVE YOU REDEDICATED ALL YOU ARE AND ALL THAT YOU HAVE TO HIM?

18Mar

In our last devotional we talked about how Moses instructed Israel to build a monument with God’s law written on it and it was a picture of them remembering how good God had been to them in spite of their sin and how His love and faithfulness would continue in the future. They were swearing their allegiance to Him to live for Him from now on.  Have you stopped recently and thanked Him today for the mercy He has shown to you in your sin and the strength and grace He has given in the tough times of life. Psalm 136:2 says “Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever.” Have you most importantly rededicated all you are and all that you have to Him, especially the areas of your life where you have strayed?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 19:28-37 SO WHEN JESUS HAD RECEIVED THE SOUR WINE, HE SAID, “IT IS FINISHED!”

15Mar

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. 31 ¶ Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

 Here we see the final prophecy being fulfilled as Jesus knows all else has been fulfilled, He says I thirst. He has completed everything else He was supposed to do and then He fulfills one last Scripture by saying He thirsts and they give Him the sour wine. He says it is finished and gives up His spirit. It is finished is an accounting term that means your debt has been paid in full. Jesus paid for all our sins on the cross. He suffered 3 hours spiritually when it was dark and He was taking our hell for us as our substitute during that time period. That is why the old song can say Jesus paid it all. There is nothing left for you and I to do but to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved Acts 16:31. Have you done that? If not, you need to because no one will make it to Heaven unless they trust in what Jesus did on that cross and add nothing to it to be saved. It was the day before the Sabbath and the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross so that they might not defile themselves. These people cared more about their rituals than about killing Jesus. Lastly we see that the soldiers came and fulfilled two more prophecies by piercing Jesus side and not breaking his legs. We see the water and the blood comes out and it proves without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is dead. To find out about the symbolism behind the water and the blood you will have to listen to the message..

 I am amazed at the words of verse 28. Jesus knew that everything was completed. He was no helpless victim, powerless, and therefore subject to the whims of those who had arrested Him. Jesus was aware of every Scripture that spoke of His atoning death as the promised Messiah. In the last few weeks especially, Jesus has been orchestrating events so that His death would perfectly fulfill all these prophecies. In the final moments of His life, Jesus takes note of the fact that every prophetic detail has been arranged for so that He now may proceed to complete His mission, in a way that fulfills the remaining prophecies concerning His death.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!"

Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished.

Now how did He know that? Why, He knew it because He had omniscience. He knew everything. Jesus Christ was on a divine schedule with an omniscient eye moving step at a time and fulfilling every detail of prophecy. He knew exactly where He was; and He was saying to Himself, Well, I know that all things are now accomplished, except for one Scripture, Then He says at the end of verse 28, "...I thirst," Jesus, in total awareness of every fact in the universe, knew that in God's plan everything was done except one Scripture was left unfulfilled. Psalm 69:21 was that Scripture. Psalm 69:21 said of Christ in His death, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.." He knew that that had not yet been fulfilled. At the beginning of the cross they had tried to give Him vinegar. Really, gall, which is a sedative; but He wouldn't take it so He could suffer without any kind of deadness but suffer the total pain, But now He knows that Scripture needs to be fulfilled, so He says, " I thirst." Jesus refused this because He insisted on drinking the “cup of God’s wrath” to the full (John 18:11). Now the soldiers didn't have to respond, they did because they were under divine motivation; God was moving to fulfill the prophecy.

29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. Mt 27:48

The hyssop reference may simply be a detail in the testimony of an eyewitness to Jesus' crucifixion. However, 1 Cor. 5:7) it's interesting that hyssop, a long reed with kind of a little more bushy end is what they used on this occasion because hyssop is very famous to all Jews, It takes them immediately back to Exodus 12:22. You remember that the angel of death was going to pass over Israel, and God said to the people of Israel, You take hyssop and take the blood and sprinkle on the doorposts and the lintel. Any time hyssop appears to the Jewish mind it's reminiscent of the great sacrifice of the Passover lamb, How fitting that hyssop should be the tool at this sacrifice of that final and greatest Passover Lamb. So they give Him to drink, and with that Jesus fulfilled every single prophecy. He was in full knowledge of every detail; He was in full control of everything He did and everything the soldiers did

The “wine” Jesus now accepts is a cheap wine. It did not deaden any of His pain. Our Lord’s thirst and His partaking of this “wine” seems to have served a two-fold purpose. First, it fulfilled Scripture:

My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death (Psalm 22:15, NKJV).

I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God Psalm 69:3,

There’s a spiritual thirst.  And I believe this, of course, is what Christ is screaming out and shouting out; that He’s thirsting spiritually. 

Second, it would seem as though the vinegar-like wine served to help clear the throat of our Lord, so that He could end His life triumphantly, with a shout. So far as John informs us, the “shout” is not, “It is completed,” but rather as Luke informs us, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). These two statements must have come in close proximity to each other, however. The words that John records were no doubt spoken first, and then were followed by the words that Luke records. John simply tells us that Jesus “said,” “It is completed.” Jesus declares that His work is completed, and then He gives up His Spirit.

30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Joh 17:4

"Papyri receipts for taxes have been recovered with the word tetelestai written across them, meaning 'paid in full.

Paul would write in Second Corinthians 5:21, “He became sin for us.  He was made to be sin for us to finish that work.  Nothing more needs to be done.”

It really has been completed, hasn’t it? Everything for which John has been preparing us in this Gospel has now been accomplished by our Lord. John 1 declares that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, who called the world into being. He is the One sent to earth by the Father, in order to reveal Him to men. He is the One who “came unto His own place and to His own people,” and yet those who were “His own”—the Jews—rejected Him. He was “lifted up” so that He could draw all men unto Himself (3:13-18). He came to do His Father’s will (4:34) and has now completed it. He came to declare His Father’s Word, and He has proclaimed it (8:26-28, 38; 12:49-50; 14:10). He came to glorify the Father, and on the cross, He has done that (12:23, 28, 41; 13:32; 17:1, 4). It truly is finished; His task has been completed.

And because all of His prerequisite work has been completed, our Lord can now die. His life is not taken away from Him; He voluntarily gives it up, just as He had indicated earlier:

John 10:14-18 - 14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to my voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves me—because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. 18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This is the commandment I received from my Father”

The phrase “bowed His head” is also a marvelous phrase.  It’s found in Matthew 8:20 and in Luke 9:58.  The phrase “bow His head,” you go back in your mind when they asked Jesus where He’s staying.  And He says what?  “The foxes have holes, the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”  Same phrase.  The one place Jesus found to finally lay His head was on Calvary and He does it willfully, He does it obediently.  He does it in control.

The phrase “gave up” I’ve mentioned to you a number of times as we’ve gone through John for a deliberate reason.  The word “delivered, handed over” and the word used for Judas when he betrayed Him, when he delivered Him up.  “Delivered, handed over and/or betrayed”:  paradidomiSame word Jesus says here.  He delivers up His spirit.  What looks like a betrayal, what looks like handed over to the police, handed over to the Roman guard, handed over to the Jewish authorities.  What looks like He’s being delivered up, He Himself delivers up His spirit.  And I believe John uses this to illustrate, again, Christ is in control.  Nobody else is pulling the strings on this deal, Christ is the one who delivers up His spirit. 

Notice there is darkness, separation, and intense thirst, these all will be found in hell.

Simon Greenleaf years ago wrote a collection called The Testimony of the Evangelists. He was an attorney and, a student challenged him.  He was sort of notorious for vilifying Christians and how stupid they were; and some student challenged him, “Why don’t you use the same case law analysis that you teach to prove or disprove the resurrection?”

And this was sort of a novel idea and evidently Greenleaf took some time off from teaching, spent two years of his life tracking this thing down; and at the end of it, again, he wrote the book Testimony of the Evangelists saying that if the death, burial and resurrection of Christ was put on trial today there would be more than enough evidence to convict it.  In other words, to prove, that it actually happened and it brought Simon Greenleaf from an antagonistic person toward to Gospel to belief in Jesus Christ.  And there’s a Simon Greenleaf School of Law.

  1. We have a faith built on the inspired Word of God, notice the prophecies.
  2. It is a finished faith;.
    1. A cry of victory

This set of verses is unique to the fourth Gospel

31 ¶ Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

De 21:23; Mr. 15:42; Joh 19:42 These Jews considered sundown the beginning of a new day. In this case the new day was a Sabbath. This Sabbath was an extra special day because it fell during Passover week. The Jews wanted to get the bodies down off their crosses so they would not defile the land. The Mosaic Law instructed the Jews to allow no one to remain hanging on a cross overnight because this would defile the land. Such a person was under God's curse (cf. Deut. 21:22-23; Josh. 8:29). To allow someone to remain overnight on a Sabbath would be especially offensive.

De 21:2 "If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 "his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.

Time was running out for The Jews. They had been forced to go through the formalities of a trial and to obtain Pilate’s cooperation in the crucifixion of Jesus. They were still under great time constraints because this was the day of preparation; they must be done with this crucifixion by evening so they could begin to observe the Sabbath by evening. Normally, death by crucifixion would take much longer, and this was no problem to Rome. While the Romans liked to leave the bodies of those crucified exposed for some time, to serve as a warning to all, the Jews could not allow these bodies to remain exposed after nightfall. The men would have to die more quickly than normal so that their bodies could be taken down.

Rome had a solution for this situation.  A heavy hammer was used to crush the bones of the victims’ legs. This would make it impossible for those being crucified to push up with their legs in order to facilitate the breathing process. Once their leg bones were broken, the victims died within a short time. The soldiers therefore set out to break the legs of all three. For some reason, they started on the outside, waiting to deal with Jesus last. (Is it possible that having seen and heard the events of that day—such as the three hours of darkness—they were now reluctant to do further bodily harm to Jesus?) When they came to Him, it was apparent that He was already dead. There was no need to break His legs.

32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.

33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 1Jo 5:6,8

One of the soldiers must have wanted to make absolutely sure that Jesus was dead, so he thrust his spear into our Lord’s side. Immediately, both blood and water gushed out, a fact to which John gives special significance

Ex 17:6 "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

And much is made of this whole issue of blood and water.  Some think it has to do with the sacraments; others see a mystical reference to it.  All sorts of things. I do think the one thing John wants us to know for sure is that Jesus Christ really died.

I think, that John evidently intends to describe the incident as something entirely unexpected and marvelous, and that this explanation better suits the solemn asseveration of ver. 35. That the fact had a symbolic meaning to the Evangelist is evident from 1 John 5:6.[i] 6 This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

1Jo 5:8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

There may also be a symbolic meaning: the blood speaks of our justification, the water of our sanctification and cleansing. The blood takes care of the guilt of sin; the water deals with the stain of sin.[ii]

The blood and water illustrate two aspects of salvation: blood to atone for the guilt of sin, and water(symbolic of the word) to wash away the stain of sin. The blood speaks of justification and the water of sanctification. The two must always go together, for those who have trusted the blood of Christ to save them should live clean lives before a watching world.[iii]

Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

Tit 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Eph 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

In the baptism of Christ He identified with sinners, didn't He?  He identified with sinners.  You see, baptism was baptism of repentance.  It was baptism of repentance.  He didn't have anything to repent of.  But there in that most unique way He told John, "You have to baptize Me."  John said no, the reverse is true.  And He said, "No, you have to baptize Me.  I need to fulfill all righteousness."  And there He was in His baptism identifying with sinners and defining the reason He came.  And the Father gave witness, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."  Jesus arrives from Galilee where He's been with His disciples and desires to be baptized by him, by John. Even though there is no sin for Jesus to repent of, and there's no need for Jesus to be washed on the inside, God requires this of all His people and I will do all that God requires.  I will do it in order to fulfill all righteousness.  Whatever it is that God requires of His people, I will do."  He was fully human and He obeyed God's Law in full.  That was the perfection of His life, which by the way, as we know was imputed to our account.  And so He says, "I must fulfill all righteousness. the gospel of John, I always think it's an interesting note, chapter 1 verse 32, "And John the Father says to him, "The one on whom the Spirit descends, this is the one who is coming to baptize with fire."

 And the second divine testimony was given at His blood, as it were, or at His death, that at the end of His ministry...at the end.  That too defined His ministry because as He had identified with sinners in going into the waters of a baptism of repentance, He fully identified with sinners at the cross by taking their punishment.  Those are tremendously defining events, two monumental experiences bracketing His ministry of redemption.  And so the Father says, "I gave testimony at His baptism, testimony at His death."

Second half of verse 6, quite interesting, just in case you missed it, "This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and with the blood."  Well what a strange thing to say.  Why, did You think we were going to deny the second one?  Did You think we were going to say that You only gave testimony at His baptism, that only at His baptism did You identify with Him?  Only at His baptism was He Your Son?  Only at His baptism did You say, 'This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,' and that You didn't affirm Him, You didn't give testimony to Him, You didn't witness to Him at His death?  Did You think we were going to say that?  And is that why You said, "With the water, not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood?"  Exactly right...that's exactly what I knew you'd say. By the end of the first century when John wrote this, sometime after 90 A.D., a serious heresy had already developed which said that Jesus was God's Son at His baptism, but not at the cross.  That the Christ's Spirit descended on Him at His baptism and left Him before the cross so that Jesus came by water, the Christ's Spirit came by water, not by blood.  That is that His baptism was a revelation that He was the anointed of God but the Christ who was baptized was very different than the Jesus who was killed.  The Christ's Spirit who came upon that man at His baptism departed before the cross and the Jesus who was crucified was nothing but a mere man.

35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. Purpose is John 20:20-21

1Jo 1:1 ¶ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—

2Pe 1:16 ¶ For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

Same in 1 John 5 The purpose of God's witness, God's witness through the water & the blood, , the purpose of all of God's witness that essentially is the New Testament, is that you might have eternal life and this life is in His Son.  Go down to verse 20, right toward the end of this epistle, "We know the Son of God has come."  How do we know that?  Because of the testimony of God now recorded on the pages of the inspired Scripture.  "And has given us understanding in order that we might know Him who is true and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ, this is the true God and eternal life...and eternal life."  It's always about eternal life.

36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken."

Ex 12:46; Nu 9:12; Ps 34:20

Once again, John wishes us to see that the things which took place at Calvary were the very things God had prophesied.  Jesus, by giving up His life earlier than expected, was spared from having His legs broken. John sees in this a fulfillment of prophecy. Though the Old Testament text that is fulfilled is not indicated, very likely it comes from Exodus 12 or Psalm 34:20, or both:

Exodus 12:43-46, 43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. 44 But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45 A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. 46 In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones”

Nu 9:12 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it.

Psalm 34:20, He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken (NKJV).

37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced." Ps 22:16-17; Zec 12:10; Re 1:7

What a profound prophesy.  They’re going to see the Christ crucified, the One they’ve pierced, the only begotten, the One and only and they’re going to mourn.  And then John, when he writes the Revelation writes in Revelation 1:7:
BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, . . . every eye will see Him,

Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn”.

The piercing of the side of our Lord was prophetically necessary, since Zechariah 12:10 refers to the Messiah. And so what John describes is what Zechariah foretold. Everything was truly going according to God’s plan. Not one prophecy failed to be fulfilled.

I am sure that the events which occurred at the cross had a great impact on those who witnessed the death of our Lord. The centurion was convinced from what he saw that Jesus was the Son of God. Some of those who heard Peter preach at Pentecost may well have witnessed our Lord’s death at Calvary. Luke 23:48 tells us that the multitudes, when they beheld this sight, went away beating their breasts. It was a horrible day for those who thought it might be entertaining. I wonder how many of these folks were later saved.

If you are a Christian, you should be stirred in your soul every time you read of our Lord’s death. We should never tire of remembering Him and His death, as our Lord commanded (see Luke 22:19; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23ff.). We should take every temptation to sin seriously, knowing what our sin cost Him at Calvary. We should never cease to preach Christ crucified, for this is what the gospel is all about.

Thirty years later, on this very spot, judgment was pronounced against some of the best citizens of Jerusalem. Of the 3,600 victims of the governor’s fury, not a few were scourged and crucified! Judas died in a loathsome suicide, the house of Annas was destroyed some years later, Caiaphas was removed a year after the crucifixion, and Pilate was soon after banished to Gaul and there died in suicide. When Jerusalem fell, her wretched citizens were crucified around her walls until, in the historian’s grim language, ‘space was wanting for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies.’ The horrors of the siege of Jerusalem are unparalleled in history.

In the Synoptic Gospels, we read a great deal concerning the mockery of the crowds, of the Jewish religious leaders, of the Roman soldiers, and even of the two thieves. But John passes these matters by. Why? I think there is a good reason, one that makes a lot of sense once you stop to think about it—John wants our Lord Jesus to be central and preeminent in his account of the death of the Savior at Calvary. Jesus is center stage in John, as He ought to be. Calvary is about a cross, the cross of Jesus Christ. It is He alone, through His cross, who saves sinners. Let us never lose this focus. We need to see that the punishment that He took is the punishment that we deserved. Totally.  Every time a sacrifice occurred in the Old Testament, even up until Christ’s time, I think there’s great importance in putting your hand on that animal and slaying him.  That should be you.  It should be your blood.  You should pay for this.  And He did it for us.  Therein is, I think, the compelling part of the human conscience.  Someone else took my penalty.

Lu 23:49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Mr. 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 19:34). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 19:31). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[iii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (265). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL SETTING ASIDE TIMES TO REMEMBER HOW GOOD GOD HAS BEEN TO YOU

11Mar

Moses instructed Israel to build a monument with God’s law written on it when they entered Canaan (Deut. 27:1-8). This is a picture of them remembering how good God had been to them in spite of how they had acted and His love and faithfulness that would still be there in the future. They were swearing their allegiance to Him to live for Him from now on. Do you have any times in your life that you have set aside to remember how good God has been to you? All of us no matter who we are have done things that God doesn't approve of and also there are times in our life when God has sustained us in the toughest of circumstances. Let us remember that and thank Him today Amen!!

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 19:24-27 JESUS, KNOWING THAT ALL THINGS WERE NOW ACCOMPLISHED, THAT THE SCRIPTURE MIGHT BE FULFILLED, SAID, “I THIRST!”

8Mar

John 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things. 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" 27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

 We see more Scripture being fulfilled through Jesus and all that He does and has done to Him while on the cross. These cold callous soldiers are gambling for His garments as He is on the cross suffering the most cruel death ever devised up to that time.  All they can see is we are getting some material goods out of this deal.  Meanwhile Jesus is paying for the sins of the whole world. There are 4 soldiers who are cruel and they are contrasted by 4 loving women who have been there for Jesus and still are as He dies. The last thing Jesus does as He is dying is to give us the example to take care of the widows. He tells His mother to treat John as her son and for John to take care of His mother as if she was his own.

 It is John’s Gospel which most emphatically underscores the fulfillment of prophecy in the events surrounding our Lord’s death. Three times in our text John specifically informs his readers that prophecy has been fulfilled (verses 24, 36 and 37).

24 They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things. Fulfills Ps 22:18 They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots” (NKJV). they divide His clothing even before He's dead.

What John does stress throughout the Gospel, and it heightens as we go through the Passion narrative and Crucifixion, is the fulfillment of Scripture, verse twenty-four: to fulfill the Scripture.

Now fulfilling scripture is an important part of John assembling the evidence that Jesus Christ is who He said He is; He's going to die as He said He would die. Remember John says, "Glory comes from suffering."  So for Christ to find glory, He must go through the suffering of the cross.

 Look at it another way. Jesus Christ isn't dead yet and they're dividing His clothes. From a human standpoint, the poor guy is still alive and struggling and they're arguing over His clothes. They're doing what comes naturally to soldiers who do this thing. It's customary for them.

 But from the other side of it, Jesus Christ's life is hanging in the balance by His own will until Scripture is fulfilled. He's in control of the whole situation and He knows that they're going to do this thing and He knows that they're inadvertently just doing the details of throwing lots to figure out who gets what and they are fulfilling the Scripture. John doesn't miss the detail. I'm not denying the tragedy and the pain of it physically, but the physical suffering of Jesus Christ was nothing compared to the deeper fact of the cross."

When you go back and look at the Gospels, even the Synoptics, what do they say? "There they crucified Him." They don't go into details about the horizontal bar and the hanging between earth and heaven and the excruciating pain. We get some details. We're going to get more details in the text in the future, but not to the extent with which we are captivated by the crucified victim Christ on the death mechanism called the cross.

 So, if that's true then how do you and I when we come to the crucifixion, do we step aside our presuppositions and our sort of story ideas about this and look at the sufferings of Christ? Spiritually? That He was separated from God the Father; that He willingly, volitionally obeyed the Father to the point of death, even death on a cross; that the God of all eternity hurls all the abuse of His wrath on His only Son, and feeling that wrath, Christ calls out, "Why have You forsaken Me?"

The physical things of the earth and the curtain and all that we know and love in the storyline are all important pictures, no doubt, but lest we miss the spiritual separation of Jesus Christ from His Father. He died on that cross not just endure the physical punishment, but he died for you. He died for me.

They appear to be oblivious to the suffering of the three men hanging on their crosses. According to Luke (23:36), the soldiers joined in with the others who mocked Jesus, virtually daring Him to come down from the cross to save Himself. John characterizes these four soldiers using this one scene. As Jesus hung there, beaten and bleeding, the soldiers were down on their knees. They weren’t praying; they were casting lots. They were, so to speak, rolling the dice to see which one of them would get the one-piece tunic. I can almost see one of the men shaking the dice in the palm of his hand, saying, “Com’ on, snake eyes …Yes! It’s mine!”

It almost sounds as if these soldiers were bored. Perhaps they had carried out this duty so many times they were just mechanically doing their job. There was nothing new or unexpected here, not yet, that is.[i] From experience, these soldiers must have felt they knew almost exactly what would happen over the next few hours. Their ears very likely tuned out every moan and cry. They may have learned not to even look at their victims. If there is going to be any excitement for them at all, it will be in the casting of lots to see who wins the garments the dying men will leave behind. I cannot think of any way John could have better captured the cold-heartedness of these four men than by seizing upon this moment in time as they huddle together on the ground, casting lots for our Lord’s garments. They see nothing to gain from Jesus but some item of clothing.

As He hung there on that cross, shedding His precious blood for guilty sinners, all they could think about was our Lord’s tunic. When Jesus was “rolling away the burden of our sins” (as the hymn celebrates), they were rolling the dice.

Yet, let us not be too quick to judge these soldiers. They are no different, in heart, than many today. They ignore the atoning work of Jesus and look to Him only to meet their material needs—not the need for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life—but for their physical needs. Even we who name the name of Christ as Savior and Lord all too often only look to Him to care for our material needs. Our prayers sound more like shopping lists than serious petitions for our spiritual needs and those of others.

That Jesus died naked was part of the shame which He bore for our sins. At the same time He is the last Adam who provides clothes of righteousness for sinners." Romans 5:12-21

Now many of your Bibles have a paragraph, sort of a hard break return if you will, at verse twenty-five “a.” Some of them run it together and do not break the text there. I would opt to break the text there with sort of a paragraph return for a number of reasons.

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Mt 27:55; Mr. 15:40; Lu 23:49; 24:18

It is interesting that John did not identify his own mother by name or as the mother of Zebedee's sons. His mother’s sister, Salome, the mother of James and John[ii] He evidently wanted to play down his mother's identity as well as his own since he did not mention himself directly in this Gospel either. By referring to his mother as the sister of Jesus' mother, John prepared for Jesus' action in verses 26-27. John was Jesus' cousin on his mother's side. As such, he was a logical person to assume responsibility for Mary's welfare. Evidently Jesus' physical half- brothers did not become believers until after His resurrection.

Do not confuse Mary Magdalene with the “sinful woman” described in Luke 7:36ff. Jesus had delivered Mary Magdalene from demons (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2), and she used her resources to assist Jesus in His ministry. Salome had asked Jesus for thrones for her two sons James and John who wrote this book (Matt. 20:20–29), and He had denied her request. You wonder what she was thinking about as she stood there and beheld Jesus dying on the cross. The scene must have rebuked her selfishness.

Clopas has been identified with Cleopas, probably Joseph’s sister to whom the risen Lord appeared on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:18) and with Alphaeus, the father of James the Less. Mary is the name of all who are named; Mary means bitterness.

Start a new thought. We have four soldiers in the previous section; now we'll have four women and John is setting up a beautiful contrast in the narrative about, "Look at what these four men did. Now look at what these four women do to the body of Jesus Christ."

In stark contrast to the four male dice-rolling soldiers are the four dedicated women John identifies by name. The soldiers seem to have no appreciation for who Jesus is. They may never have seen Him before. They have no compassion on Him, even though He is suffering beyond words. These four women linger as close to the cross as they can get. They are among those women who followed Jesus, supporting Him from their own means (Mark 15:40-41; Luke 8:1-3). They did not look upon His death as a means of gaining some of His possessions (as was the case with the soldiers), but as the greatest loss they had ever suffered. Was it one of these women who gave Jesus the seamless garment for which the soldiers gambled?

26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Joh 2:4; 13:23; 20:2; 21:7,20,24

John is the only one of the apostles with courage enough to take his stand with the women by the Cross.

John never names his name but calls himself "the one whom Jesus loved," I can just hear him saying that. I kind of can imagine his whole heart just about to burst and he’d say, you know me, I'm the one that Jesus loves. I mean, that's a kind of exciting thought, isn't it? I mean, he didn't say, I'm the one that loves Jesus; no, he gets more excited about His love for him than his own love for the Lord,

Woman means grandmother or old woman, it is a form of respect such as Ma’am here in the south.

It was as Jesus was hanging there, half-naked, on that cross that He made arrangements for the care of His mother:

27 Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

Ps 69:21; Joh 1:11; 16:32

He gave Mary a new son. You see, from the moment of His death He would cease to be the earthly Son of Mary so He replaced Himself in Mary's life with John.

There are some beautiful thoughts in this. As He dies, Jesus, the King of love, selflessly cares for those who stand at His feet. It is almost incomprehensible because here is Jesus occupied with the most stupendous task in the history of the universe, here is Jesus Christ under a burden which no one could possibly have sustained or endured, here is Jesus Christ enduring in a matter of several hours what it will take all individuals through all eternity in all of Hell to endure; and in the midst of it all, He thinks not one thought of Himself but cares only for His Mother and His beloved disciple.

William Barclay says, ‘There is something infinitely moving in the fact that Jesus in the agony of the Cross, in the moment when the salvation of the world hung in the balance, thought of the loneliness of His mother in the days when He was taken away. Jesus never forgot the duties that lay to His hand.’ Earlier in this Gospel we are told that Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him (7:5), and we may fairly infer that they were out of sympathy with Mary. So it was important that there should be somebody who would look after her when Jesus was no longer there.”

the Fourth Gospel focuses on the exclusiveness of the Son, the finality of his cross-work, the promise of the Paraclete as the definitive aid to the believers after Jesus has been glorified, and correspondingly de-emphasizes Mary by giving her almost no part to play in the narrative, and by reporting a rebuke, however gentle, that Jesus administered to her (2:4). With such themes lying on the surface of the text, it is most natural to see in vv. 26-27 an expression of Jesus’ love and care for his mother, a thoughtful provision for her needs at the hour of supreme devastation. … To argue, then, that this scene is symbolic of a continuing role for Mary as the church comes under her care is without adequate contextual control. It is so anachronistic an interpretation that [it] is difficult to imagine how it could have gained such sway apart from the developments of centuries of later traditions.  Jesus' act also placed Mary under John's authority,

The common Protestant interpretation of this incident is that Jesus, knowing He was about to die and to return to the Father, made arrangements for the long-term care of His mother.  This “long-term” element does raise some questions. We are told in Scripture that it is the responsibility of the immediate family to look after their own:

1Timothy 5:3-4 - 3 Honor widows who are truly in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. For this is what pleases God, Why, then, would Jesus assign the responsibility of caring for His mother to John, who is not one of her sons? The answer most would give is that none of her other sons were believers (see John 7:5). This is true, of course, but not for long. We know that within days or weeks, James, Jesus’ half-brother, will come to faith and eventually become a prominent leader in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19). Why would Jesus assign the long-term care of Mary to John, knowing that James, her son, will soon come to faith?

I would suggest that our problems are solved if we see Jesus providing here for Mary’s short-term care. Surely we would agree that Jesus knew James was one of the elect. If James is one of our Lord’s “sheep,” then Jesus would know it and would not act in a way that was contrary to this knowledge. I would suggest to you that Jesus was providing for the care of His mother for the next few days or weeks. We know that John immediately began to care for Mary, because he tells us so in verse 27 (“from that very time”—literally, “from that hour”). There are those who believe that John (or his family) may have actually owned a home in Jerusalem. This could explain why John (“the other disciple”) was known to the high priest and to the servant girl at the gate (18:16). Mary, like the disciples, could have been in danger and would certainly need to be looked after for a while. John would have been the one most able and willing to carry out this task.

The next few days were going to be pure agony. We do not know for certain that Mary’s other sons were present in Jerusalem (though we would expect so—see John 7:1-9), but if they were, can you imagine what kind of comfort these unbelieving sons would have been to their believing mother?  I can almost hear James trying to comfort Mary after the death of Jesus: “Mom, you know I told Jesus to give up His insane talk about being the Messiah. He must have been out of His mind. And now, all of this foolishness was for nothing, except to shame us.” I believe that Jesus assigned John to care for Mary because he was the one closest to the heart of our Lord, and because he was the first disciple to believe (see John 20:8). He also seems to have had the means to do so. Who better to look after Mary in the next dark and difficult days than John?

 Mr. 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

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“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[i] Something changed all this, as we can see from the statement of the centurion (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39). The three hours of darkness must have had an impact on them all, not to mention the unusual way in which Jesus died, followed by the violent earthquake of Matthew 27:51ff.

[ii] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 19:17). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WHAT DO YOU THINK IT TAKES TO GO TO HEAVEN?

4Mar

  The Jews of Paul’s day boasted in their physical circumcision, claiming it was evidence they belonged to God. Many today think something they have done, or not done is what makes them right with God. What do you think it takes to go to Heaven?  Good works, church membership, baptism, communion, Keeping the 10 commandments, I have done more good than bad? Jesus said in Matthew 7 that it has always been a matter of the heart, not the outward things that show what is really inside us.  Paul said if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. Have you done that?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

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