1 Miracles Of Jesus
"Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me... If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him." John 10:24, 25, 37 & 38
We read of many miracles of Jesus in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. From His miraculous virgin birth, to His death and resurrection, He fulfilled many prophecies recorded in the scriptures, since the dawn of time. He walked on earth as a man, and yet He was one with His heavenly Father. Many saw His miracles and believed. "And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?" (John 7:31) But there were some who lived to see His great miracles and still did not believe. "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?" (John 12:37 & 38) I want to take a few weeks to look at some of these wonderful, mighty miracles that Jesus did.
2 The Virgin Birth
"And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:... Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God... For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:30-32, 34, 35 & 37
"For with God nothing shall be impossible." Mary believed the words of the angel Gabriel and said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." (Luke 1:38) Jesus' life on earth began as a great miracle, just as foretold by the prophet Isaiah. "And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:13 & 14) Immanuel means, "God with us". That in itself, is a miracle. That Jesus left His heavenly home, to be born of a virgin, to give His life for all who will believe. And when we believe, we know that God is with us, and that we will one day go to be with Him.
3 Fulfilled Prophecy
"When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." Matthew 2:3-6
King Herod went to the scribes and priests to find out where Christ was to be born. They knew from the Holy Scriptures that He would be born in Bethlehem. In this chapter of Matthew we see many of the prophecies fulfilled by the coming of our Lord. "When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son." (vs. 14 & 15) "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." (vs. 16-18) Again in verse 23, "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." Down through the ages God spoke by His prophets of the coming Messiah. Only by the providence of God could all these things be told centuries before they were to come to pass. And just as the prophecies of His first coming were fulfilled, you can be sure that all the prophecies of His second coming will most definitely also come to pass.
4 The Boy Jesus
"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart." Luke 2:46-51
When Mary and Joseph started back home after the feast of the passover in Jerusalem, they lost Jesus. I once had a nightmare about losing one of my children in an airport, and I woke up in a panic and cold sweat. I can imagine how frightened Mary and Joseph were to have lost Jesus, God's Son, as they searched for three days. Then, when they finally found Him in the temple, He answered, "How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" I don't know how much Jesus had to learn as a child, but these verses tell us that the doctors were amazed at His understanding and answers. They also tell us, that at 12 years of age, He knew He was not sent to follow Joseph as a carpenter, but He was in the temple about His "Father's business". He was perfect, yet He lived in an imperfect world. He went back with Mary and Joseph "and was subject unto them". You may feel like your parents don't understand you... and they may not. But you should still have respect for them. Ephesians 6:1-3 tells us, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." Honor your parents and follow the example of the Christ child.
5 The Son Of God
"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Mark 1:9-11
The greatest miracle of all times is found in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The precious Son of God left His heavenly throne "to seek and to save that which was lost". (Luke 19:10) The angels proclaimed the message to the shepherds at His birth. "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11) When He was eight days old Simeon blessed Him and said He came "A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." (Luke 2:32) Again in Matthew 12:21 we read, "And in his name shall the Gentiles trust." Jesus, the blessed Son of God came not only to redeem God's chosen people, but He also came to give light to the Gentiles. I am so thankful that God loved me so much that He sent His only beloved Son to die for me. That is a miracle.
6 The Temptation Of Jesus
"And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." Luke 4:1-4
We are looking at the miracles of Jesus. But notice in this passage that Jesus could have performed the miracle of turning the stone into bread, but He did not. I don't know of any miracles that Jesus did for Himself. He healed others. He multiplied the five loaves of bread and two fish to feed the 5,000. He calmed the storms for the disciples. He came to give His life for others. And He lived His life for others. We need to follow His example and give of ourselves to others. It is also good to see in these scriptures that Jesus did not fall to the temptation of the devil, but He overcame temptation through the Word of God. We too, need to learn the scriptures so that we can keep from falling into temptation. Last of all I want us to look at verse 13. "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." Don't think that you are too holy to be tempted. Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost and the devil still tempted Him forty days in the wilderness. Don't become proud when you overcome temptation and don't look down on others who fall. You don't know what trials someone else may be going through. You may not be having problems right now. The devil may depart for a season, but he will be back. Keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in Him to help you overcome temptation.
7 The Beginning Of Miracles
"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." John 2:1-5
The first thing I notice about the setting of this first miracle is that the couple invited Jesus to their wedding. Have you invited Jesus to your marriage and into your home? This brings up my next point, Jesus went. Marriage is an important step in a person's life... so important that Jesus went to the ceremony. Don't rush into marriage without careful prayer and guidance from the Lord. This marriage was so important that Jesus did this miracle even though He told Mary, "Mine hour is not yet come." He provided for this couple. What do you need in your life? Your needs are important to Jesus. Trust in Him to provide all your needs. Next, we notice in verse 10 that the governor of the feast told the bridegroom that he had kept the best for last. That is the way it is for us. Revelation 19:9 tells us, "And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." Don't turn down His invitation. Trust in the Lord and make preparations today for the wonderful marriage supper of the Lamb.
8 Jesus Sees Us Where We Are
"The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him. Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these." John 1:43-50
This story takes place in the beginning of Jesus' ministry. He called the twelve disciples to follow Him. He called Philip, and Philip went and told Nathanael. We should be like this disciple and tell others about Jesus. We should invite them to "come and see". The miracle of this story is that Jesus sees us right where we are. Jesus saw Nathanael as he sat under a fig tree. Where are you sitting today? If you are somewhere that you would be ashamed for Jesus to find you, just remember that He sees you where you are. If you are in trouble and need His help, remember that He sees you right where you are. If you bow down on your knees with a thankful heart, remember that He sees you where you are. Also notice that not only did Jesus see Nathanael under the fig tree, but He also knew him. He said, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Jesus also knows us. You might get discouraged at times when you try to follow the Lord and feel like you aren't making a difference. You feel like you are the only one doing the right thing. Always remember that Jesus knows your heart. Keep on telling others about Jesus. Keep on praying and reading your Bible. Keep on trusting in the Lord, and doing what's right even when you don't think anyone is watching. The Lord is watching and He not only knows when we fail, but He also knows the good that we are doing.
9 Simon Peter's Mother-In-Law
"And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them." Mark 1:29-31
We can also read of this miracle in Matthew 8:14-15, and in Luke 4:38-39. All three end with the same words and tell us that she "ministered unto them". This was important enough that God told us three times. Jesus healed this woman and she got right up and started working. Maybe she prepared something to eat, or made places for them to sit, or poured water for them to drink. We don't know what she did, but we do know that she didn't just sit there and let others wait on her. I think we can apply this to our daily lives. I believe we are here for a purpose. God has work for us to do in His kingdom. Jesus said, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth." (John 4:35-37) Don't get discouraged if you don't see fruits from your labor. Just keep on working for the Lord and sowing the seed.
10 Jesus Prayed
"And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles; Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traiter. And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclead spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all." Luke 6:12-19
This is the beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry and the first verse tells us that He went "into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God". Jesus was perfect, Jesus was God, and He knew the importance of prayer. He was going to choose 12 apostles to follow Him, and He knew that Judas Iscariot would betray Him, and He prayed all night. We also read in Mark 1:32-35, "And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." He healed all of these people late into the night, and He still got up early in the morning, "a great while before day" and prayed. Jesus spent time with the multitudes, but He also took time to get alone with God in prayer. Once more, look at Matthew 14:22-23, after the feeding of the 5000, "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." We often feel that we are too busy to find time for prayer. Jesus knew the importance of praying before a busy day, and He knew the importance of praying after busy days. We should follow His example and get alone with God in prayer to find comfort, peace, rest, and strength for our souls.
11 Jesus Said, "Follow Me"
"It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." John 6:63-66
As Jesus chose the twelve apostles, He said, "Follow me." My son had an appointment early this morning close to where I work and I have a hard time giving directions so I said, "Follow me." All the way through town I watched my mirrors to make sure I didn't lose him at traffic lights. When there were several cars between us I tried to watch for him when I made turns. I tried to make it easy for him to follow me. But if I was coming home and I saw someone follow me that I thought meant to harm me, I would try to lose him at stop lights and on curves. I would try to blend in with other traffic. When Jesus called the disciples to follow Him he knew that Judas would betray him. Yet, He called him to follow Him and loved Him just the same. Jesus has given us His Word to make it easier for us to follow Him. We have the Holy Spirit within us to guide our heart and thoughts. For my son to follow me through town, he had to keep his eyes ahead and watch me. If we want to follow Christ we have to keep our eyes on Him. Don't turn back from following Jesus as some of the disciples did. Keep on following Him.
12 Jesus Moved With Compassion
"And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.." Mark 1:9-11
This miracle is also recorded in Matthew 8:2-4 and Luke 5:12-14, and each writer mentions that Jesus touched the leper. Jesus didn't have to touch the leper. He had power to heal by His word. Many times He spoke, and men and women were healed. Why did Jesus touch the leper? The verse says, "And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him..." Leprosy was a very horrible and contagious disease and those with leprosy could not be touched. They had to leave their homes and loved ones. They could not pick up their children and hold them close. Wives could not hug their husbands. Friends could not shake hands. But Jesus had compassion on this leper and touched him. I recently heard a song which asks, "How can we reach a world we never touch?" We should reach out with compassion and touch lives around us. Our youth group visited a nursing home last night and the people seemed to enjoy a hand-shake and a few kind words. Follow the example of our Lord and reach out with compassion to others.
13 Power In His Word
"And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out." Luke 4:32-36
We saw how Jesus was moved with compassion and touched the leper. Here we see the power in His Word. He spoke and the demons obeyed. He spoke and many were healed. He spoke and calmed the storms. "And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:39-41) There is still power in the Word of God today. "For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) Stay in the Word, our source of power. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
14 Other Little Ships
"And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:35-39
I mentioned these verses yesterday in speaking of the power of His Word. Today look at the third sentence, "And there were also with him other little ships." Jesus was in a ship with the disciples when the storm came. But there were also other little ships in the storm. Trials and storms often come into our lives, but Jesus brings a deep, settled peace. I don't know how the world, in the "other little ships", cope with storms and problems. Also, notice in the next verse, "And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full." The disciples did not call on Jesus until the ship was full. Sometimes we wait until things look really bad before we call out to God in prayer. Paul tells us to "Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:17-18) Don't wait until the storms of life get you down to call on Jesus to help you. Pray continually... and be thankful unto Him.
15 Jesus Heals The Centurion's Servant
"And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed... When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel... And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour." Matthew 8:5-8, 10, & 13
Many went to Jesus to be healed of their diseases. This centurion went to Him on behalf of his servant. He cared for His servant and asked Jesus to heal him. It is wonderful that we can pray for things we need for ourselves, but it is also great that we can go to the Lord in prayer for our family and friends. We may have loved ones that don't know the Lord. We can pray for them, that God would convict them so that they will trust Him for salvation. It is also wonderful to know that when we are in need, our friends and loved ones lift our names up in prayer to God. Next we see the humility of the centurion. He was a Roman commander of 100 men, and said, "For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." Even though he was a man in power, he still humbled himself to the Lord and said, "I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof..." We may be in a high position on earth, but we are nothing without the love and mercy of our gracious Lord and Savior. We can't buy salvation or do anything in our power to earn it, but we must humble ourselves in the sight of God and bow our hearts to Him. Finally, we see the faith of the centurion. He believed in the power of the Word of Jesus. Sometimes people say, "I'll have to see it, to believe it." This is what Thomas said. "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into him side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold, my hands, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:24-29) Do you have faith like this centurion? Don't be "faithless", as Thomas, but believe in the power of His Word.
16 The Maniac Of Gadara
"And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not... And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them;..." Luke 8:26-28, & 31-35
You can also read this story in Matthew 8:28-34 and Mark 5:1-21. This was a wonderful miracle in the life of this man. These demons were so many and so fierce that they destroyed this whole herd of swine. Mark 5:13 tells us there were about 2,000 pigs. Swine were unclean animals to the Jews, but they must have valued these pigs more than the soul of this man. We read that the people of the city did not rejoice with the man, but rather asked Jesus to get out of their country. When Jesus does a miracle in your life, don't expect the world to rejoice with you. These people could see how Jesus had made a difference in the life of this man, but they asked Him to leave and depart from them. Now let's look at another city near Galilee in Luke 4:40-42. "Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them." These people were begging Jesus not to leave them. This is the way we should be. We should start each day in prayer, asking Jesus to be with us throughout the day, and help us to keep our lives clean.
17 Jesus Knows All About Us
"Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." John 2:23-25
Jesus spoke these words after He drove the people from the temple that were selling oxen, sheep and doves. There was no need for these people to try to explain their reasoning for selling merchandise in the temple. Jesus "knew what was in man". We see another example of how he knows us in the story of the Samaritan woman. Jesus met her at the well and told her He was the living Water. "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" (John 4:28-29) He knows us so completely that He also said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God." (Luke 12:6-9) But I think the prettiest picture of how Jesus knows us is that we are His sheep and He is our Good Shepherd. "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:11-15) He knows us in our sinful state, yet He left His home in heaven and gave His life so that we might live. That is a great miracle. That Jesus knows our poor, lost condition, and yet He loves us so much. And if He would die for us, why would we ever doubt His love and ability to take care of us. Don't make excuses for your problems. Just confess your sin and repent, and follow Him. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" (John 10:27)
18 Jesus Saw Their Faith
"And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee... I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion." Mark 2:1-5 & 11-12 (Also found in Matthew 9 & Luke 5)
I remember hearing this story as a young child. I could imagine these four men, each with a corner of the make-shift bed, carrying this man up to the roof and gently lowering him down to Jesus. This man could do nothing on his own, but his friends cared so much for him, that they carried him to Jesus. We need to care about those around us enough to lead them to Jesus. Another thing I like about this story is in verse 5, "When Jesus saw their faith..." Jesus saw that these four men had enough faith to bring the sick man to Him and He healed him, because of their faith. We are having a Revival meeting the first week in April and we need to bring people in. We need to have faith that Christ will do a work in their lives and send us a true revival.
19 Toiled All Night And Taken Nothing
"And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink." Mark 1:9-11
In the beginning of these verses we see the fishermen washing their nets. They had "toiled" all night and not caught any fish. This was no vacation, pleasure, fishing trip. This was their means of making a living. They had worked all night, and now they had cleaned up their nets and were probably ready to go home. I have days like that. Sometimes I feel like I have worked all day, but accomplished nothing. I can see how discouraged and disappointed these fishermen must have been. But Jesus asked Simon Peter to thrust out a little from the land and He taught the people. Look at what Jesus then told him, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." They had been out in the deep all night. They had already washed their nets. And Peter said, "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net." Jesus told him to let down the nets. And I think he didn't really fully believe because he only let down one net. But in a miracle of the Lord, he caught so many fish he had to call his partners to help bring them in. He caught so many fish the net broke and the ships began to sink. "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him." (Luke 5:8-11) These fisherman had probably never caught so many fish before, but they left them all, and followed Jesus. If we look at what we can learn from this lesson, I see that we need to fully believe God and follow His Word completely. If you know in your heart that He is leading you to do something... then you need to do it. Pray for guidance and follow His directions. Also, we see that Jesus can use anyone who is willing to follow Him. These were not scribes in the Temple. These were not rich rulers. These were common fishermen. You don't have to be important or rich and famous to be used by God. You just have to be willing to follow Him. Last of all, we need to examine our lives and our priorities. Has God asked you to give up something, and follow Him? It may cost us something to become fishers of men. We may have to leave some people or things behind to follow God. Listen to what the Lord may be telling you, believe in Him, and follow Him all the way.
20 Money In The Fish's Mouth
"And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." Matthew 17:24-27
When I was a little girl I heard this story and someone asked, "Where did the fish get his money?" And the answer was... "At the bank." Peter went fishing on the river bank and the first fish he caught had money in its mouth so that he could pay his taxes. That's a miracle. But the part of this story I like is in verse 25, "And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute?..." Jesus knew that Peter was worried. And before Peter could even ask Jesus about it, Jesus knew the answer. You may be worried or concerned about issues in your life. You may not feel like you can talk to anyone about them. But Jesus knows all about it. Even before you speak to Him in prayer, He knows the answer. This doesn't mean that we don't need to tell Him what's in our heart. Even though He already knows, Jesus wants us to talk with Him and believe in Him to answer our prayers. That brings me to the next point. Peter's needs were met. Jesus provided the money from a most unusual source. There have been many times in my own life when God sent just what I needed from a completely unexpected source. Take your cares to the Lord and believe in Him to provide for you.
21 He Healed The Multitudes
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." Matthew 4:23-25
I have often wondered how people could not believe in Jesus when they saw the many miracles that He did. In John 14:11 Jesus told Philip, "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." Jesus wanted people to believe in Him. He once asked the disciples, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" Some of the people thought He was John the Baptist, or one of the prophets. "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:13-16) Peter knew Jesus. Some unbelievers may say today that if they could see the miracles that Jesus did they would believe. But Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans that creation itself, is enough for us to believe in God. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:19-20) The people living in Jesus' day had no excuse, but we also have no excuse. We didn't see Jesus walk the shores of Galilee performing miracles, but we can see the miracles of God in creation daily. Do you know who Jesus is?
22 John The Baptist
"Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." Matthew 11:2-6
In Matthew 3:1-3 we read, "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." I believe John knew the writings of the prophet Isaiah. When he received his answer from Jesus he could be assured from these words of Isaiah. "Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." (Isaiah 35:4-6) Some have said, "If I could see miracles I would believe in Jesus." But God has given us His Word. Just as Jesus used the words of the prophets in His teachings on earth, and just as Jesus used the Word to overcome the temptation of Satan, we need to believe the Word. Romans 15:4 tells us, "Now whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." God's Word gives us comfort and hope. Also in Romans 8:24-25, "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." John the Baptist was in prison and he may have had doubts and been discouraged. But the Words of Jesus gave him assurance and comfort and hope. Jesus also said to the multitudes, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: nothwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11:11) Will you have a part in God's kingdom? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
23 The Pool Of Bethesda
"Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed... And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day." John 5:2-10 & 16
Jesus did a wonderful thing for this man. He had been sick and unable to walk for 38 years, and Jesus healed him. Jesus told him to take up his bed and walk and the man was immediately made whole. The Jews did not see the great miracle that was done, but they complained that Jesus healed the man on the sabbath day. We do not have such legalistic views about doing things on the Lord's day today. We even see in Mark 2:27-28, "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." But I am afraid that we do have complainers in our churches. They can't see the good in something that has been done, but they complain about the way it was done. This person may complain that he was not asked to teach a Sunday school class, or sing a special in the choir. Another person may complain that she was not asked to be on a certain committee. There are other church members who don't want to do anything. They are content to come and sit, and not do their part. Sometimes the older members hurt a church by saying, "We never did it that way before." What kind of church member are you? Are you using your God given talents for Him? Do you get along with your Christian brothers and sisters? Do you "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep"? (Romans 12:15) Don't be like the Jews and complain. Worship the Lord and serve Him. Love your Christian family. And help your church to be a shining light in your community.
24 Feeding The 5,000
"And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. and they say unto him, shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How many loaved have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes... And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled." Mark 6:34-38 & 41-42
Our pastor, Jeff Woods, used this scripture to show some of the excuses the disciples used. He compared these to excuses we may use today for not feeding the people. First, it was a desert, a lifeless place. We may look around us and say that it won't do any good to witness because we are in a dry area. Second, they said "the time is far passed." Some may use the excuse that it is too late to witness. Next they complained that they did not have enough money. We should use the tithes and offerings in our churches to support missionaries, for the upkeep of our church and to carry on the Lord's work. Then they said they only had five loaves and two fishes, and there were 5,000 men, plus the women and children. What good would that little, do among such a vast number? We may feel that we have so little. But we are to use what we have for the Lord. Use your talents for God, no matter how small they may seem. And don't look out at the great harvest and quit because there are so many that need to be fed. Jesus looked at the multitude with compassion. He loved them and fed them. Do you remember how Jesus asked Simon Peter three times, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" Peter said, "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee." Then Jesus said, "Feed my lambs" and "Feed my sheep." (John 21:15-17) We too, should use the Word of God, to feed a lost people.
25 A Man Born Blind
"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." John 9:1-7
I never understood the question these disciples asked. "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" Could they actually believe that a baby could sin before he was born, causing him to be born blind? They were judging this man because of his condition. How many times have we done the same thing? We judge people we see every day. We may see someone and wonder what that person must have done to be that way he is. Jesus told the disciples that this blind man had not sinned, nor his parents sinned, to cause him to be blind. "...but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." Sometimes things happen in our lives because of sin or poor judgment on our part. But some things happen so that God can get the glory through us. Jesus taught the people, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matthew 7:1-3) Be careful not to judge others. We need to examine ourselves and confess our sins to God. God is the Righteous Judge. "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." (I Corinthians 11:31-32)
26 Only One Gave Thanks
"And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." Luke 17:11-19
How important is it to say, "Thank you"? When my children were small I often reminded them to say, "Thank you". Another mother told me that she did not make her children say it because it did not really mean anything if they did not mean it. I disagree with her. I think it is important to teach children good manners and it will become a habit. It is also good to teach by example. Do you say, "Thank you", when someone holds the door for you? What about when someone compliments you? We need to say, "Thank you" for the little things people do for us every day, and not just for birthday and Christmas presents. And even more importantly, we need to say, "Thank you" to our Lord and Savior. All that we have and all that we are, is through God's wonderful grace. We can say with Paul, "But by the grace of God I am what I am..." (I Corinthians 15:10) Don't wait until Thanksgiving to give thanks. Tell Him daily how much you appreciate His loving mercy.
27 Lord, Help My Unbelief
"And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? and he said, Of a child. And oftimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." Mark 9:17-29
I used all the verses in this story because there are several things I think we should notice. In the first verse we see a father that is greatly concerned for his son. He took his son to Jesus and told Him all about his problems. We need to be concerned about the spiritual needs of others and bring them to Jesus. We need to spend less time telling our friends about problems others have and spend more time pouring our hearts out to God in prayer. Also notice that the spirit entered this person as a child. Our children face so many problems everyday and we need to continually call our their names in prayer. I know several people who were brought up in church and now that they are grown and have children of their own they can't find time to go to church. This is so sad. We need to take our children to church and teach them the Word of God. Satan wants to destroy all that he can, and he even tries to destroy our children. Next, look at the words of the father, "...but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us." This father loved his son so much that he hurt for his child. He included himself as being in need of help and said, "help us." You may feel like your parents don't understand you. But parents love their children and hurt for their children. And then we see a simple prayer from this father that I have often prayed myself. "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Sometimes my faith is weak, but like this man, I can pray for faith. Jesus wants us to turn to Him and believe in Him and He is able to increase our faith when we ask. But we also have to be willing to do our part. Jesus told the disciples that this kind of faith comes only through prayer and fasting. Sometimes we need to deny "self", and put God first so that He can do a work in our lives.
28 He Opens Blinded Eyes
"And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried out the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him." Matthew 20:29-34
These two blind men cried out to Jesus, "Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David." In reading through the four gospels we see many who did not know who Jesus was. But I believe these two men knew because they called out, "O Lord, thou son of David". When Jesus was in Nazareth the people said, "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (Matthew 13:55-58) The people of Nazareth knew Jesus, the carpenter's son. But they did not know Jesus, the son of David. We read of others who knew Jesus in John 7:40-42. "Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" The blind men called on Jesus, the son of David to give them their sight. Paul tells us in II Corinthians 4:4-6, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." We are all born lost, and blinded by sin. But we can call on Jesus, the Son of God, for He is the Light, and He will open our eyes and give us salvation. It is not enough to believe that Jesus was the son of Joseph, the carpenter. You must believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of God.
29 Jairus' Daughter And The Woman Who Touched Jesus
"And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed hm, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of hm, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith had made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughted him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment." Mark 5:22-42
(These two miracles are also found in Matthew 9:18-26 and Luke 8:41-56.) Something in common between these two miracles is the faith that each had. The man believed Jesus could heal his daughter, even though she was at the point of death. And the woman believed that if she could just touch the hem of his garment, she would be healed. But, look at the differences. This man had an only daughter (Luke 8:42) and for twelve years she was the joy of his life. Now, she was dying and he was in great sorrow. He wanted Jesus to heal her and bring back his joy. I am reminded of Psalm 51:12, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." But for the woman who touched Him, the previous twelve years had been full of sorrow. She had spent all her money on doctors and had only gotten worse. She wanted to be relieved of her pain and suffering. She did not feel worthy to ask Jesus to heal her, but she believed that if she could just touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. Today you may be like the ruler, with great joy in your life. But, it only takes a moment for your dreams to be shattered. Accidents and unusual circumstances can take away our loved ones instantly. Do you have faith to turn to Jesus in your times of sorrow? Or, you may be like the woman, and have been spending your years in pain and sorrow. You can find help from the Lord. Through prayer, you can touch the hem of His garment and find hope and peace. The multitudes thronged Him, and laughed Him to scorn, but only these two who had faith really touched Him. Do you need your joy restored? Put your faith in Christ Jesus and believe that He can.
30 The Man With A Withered Hand
"And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." Mark 3:1-5
(Also found in Matthew 12:10-14 and Luke 6:6-11) This man had a withered hand that Jesus "restored whole as the other". Paul compared the believers which make up the body of Christ to our physical body in I Corinthians 12. "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?...But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him... And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." This man had a problem with his hand, a part of his body. And because of this, his whole body suffered. Paul tells us that each believer is a part of the body of Christ. And when one member suffers, we are to suffer with him. Are there members of your church who are suffering? Look for ways you can help them and ease their pain. If there is someone who has fallen, you can help lift him up again. We not only need to suffer with those that suffer, but we also need to rejoice with those that are honored. Sometimes that is hard for us when pride and envy build up in our hearts. But we are all in the body of Christ and we each have our gifts. Don't be jealous if someone sings a song better than you can. Rejoice and praise the Lord along with him or her, and use the gifts God has given you to glorify His name.
31 Brothers With Christ
"While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him. Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:46-50
What a miracle! That we can be in the family of God! Paul tells us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:14-18) What amazing love! That Christ died for us, so that we could live with Him. That is so wonderful! We could never thank Him enough, for just saving us from a life of sin and eternal hell. But He has given us the Spirit of adoption and we can be children of the Heavenly King and joint-heirs with Christ. What a gracious God we serve!
32 Warnings For Unbelief
"Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you." Matthew 11:20-22
Bethsaida. Do you remember what great miracle was done in Bethsaida? "And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing." If we continued here in Luke 9:10 we could read the story of the feeding of 5,000 with two loaves and five fishes. They were healed and they ate and were filled. But we read of the day following in John 6:25-35, "And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life..." It is hard to understand why these people did not believe in Jesus. They also ate bread in the desert. But, there are many still today who don't believe. We need to tell others about this wonder Bread of Life.
33 Jesus Walked On The Water
"And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the forth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God." Matthew 14:22-33
(Also found in Mark 6:45-56 and John 6:15-21) The first thing I notice in these scriptures is in the first verse above. Jesus told the disciples to get in the ship to go to the other side and that is just what they did. But even when they were exactly where Jesus told them to be, they still came upon a storm. We can be doing what God wants us to do and still have problems and storms in our lives. But even in the midst of our storms we need to remember the Words of our Lord. "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." My children learned Psalm 56:3 when they were very young, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Next, we see an invitation, "Come." We have all been extended an invitation in Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Again in Revelation 22:17, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." We all need to come to the place where we cry out as Peter, "Lord, save me." Then we see Jesus reach out in love as He said, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" In looking at the miracles of Jesus during the past few weeks we have seen the results of those who had faith to believe in our Lord. We have also seen how unbelief hindered the work of our Lord in some instances.
34 The Deaf And Dumb
"And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that it, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain." Mark 7:31-35
Verse 37 tells us the people were astonished beyond measure and said, "He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak." We should all come to the place where we fully trust in the Lord and say, "He hath done all things well". We serve a wonderful Lord. In the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelations He repeats, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Revelation 3:22) Read His Word and listen to what the Spirit is trying to tell you. And just as He wants us to Hear Him, we are to tell others about His amazing love as we see in His closing Words of the book of Matthew. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:18-20)
35 He Knows Our Thoughts
"Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him. And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great." Luke 9:46-48
This is a sobering thought... Jesus knows all our thoughts. He not only knows the thoughts of our mind, but this verse tells us He also knows the thoughts of our heart. He knows when we have bad feelings towards others. He knows when we are lonely, sad, or hurt. He knows when we are tempted and tried. In these verses we see that Jesus knew the pride in the hearts of the disciples. The Bible has a lot to say about pride. In Proverbs 6:17, "A proud look" is the first in the list of seven things that are an abomination to God. Sometimes we meet boastful people who lift up themselves with pride. But I am afraid that there are times that I lift up myself in my heart, and this is wrong. Jesus wants us to serve others. He wants us to edify each other. We not only need to watch what we say, but we better watch what we think. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)
36 The Transfiguration
"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Matthew 16:28 & 17:1-5
Peter, James, and John got to see Jesus in His glory when they went a little farther with Him. Our scripture reference tells us they went "up into an high mountain apart..." Sometimes I am afraid that we don't really see Jesus because we don't come apart and separate ourselves from the world. We see this also in Romans 12:1-2. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." It is time for us to come apart and see Jesus and find that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
37 The Miracle Of The Good Shepherd
"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." John 10:14-18
We have spent several weeks looking at the miracles of Jesus. Now, as we approach the Easter season, let's look at some of the miracles concerning the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. The glorious miracle in this passage is that Jesus laid down His life for you and me. He wanted the disciples to know, just as we can know, that His death on the cross was no mistake. He knew all the pain and suffering He would have to endure, but He said, "...I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." This is a wonderful miracle, that Jesus loved us so much He came to become our sacrifice. As John the Baptist proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)
38 Jesus Went To Jerusalem
"And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again." Matthew 20:17-19
"And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." (Luke 9:51) In many of the miracles Jesus told the people to "tell no man" because He knew His time had not yet come. But when it was time, He went "stedfastly" to Jerusalem. Jesus wanted to prepare the disciples so He told them what was going to happen. He told them that He would be crucified and that He would rise again on the third day. Mark tells us, "And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid." (Mark 10:32) They were afraid, and did not understand, as we also see in Luke's account. "And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken." (Luke 18:34) Only perfect love could guide a man to give His life for lost sinners. Only perfect love could endure the pain and suffering of the trial and cross that He bore. And only the perfect Son of God could go to Jerusalem, knowing all that would happen, and die so that I could live. What an amazing miracle of love!
"Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him..." John 11:41-48
When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick and told the disciples they would go to Judaea, the disciples said, "Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?" (John 11:8) So He told them plainly, that Lazarus was dead. And people often pick on Thomas for being the doubting disciple but look at verse 16. "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdiscples, Let us also go, that we may die with him." They arrived in Bethany and Mary and Martha thought Jesus was too late, but we need to remember that Jesus is never too late. And we read the verse that shows us that although Jesus was God, He was also man, "Jesus wept." (verse 35) Then Jesus called Lazarus up from the dead. This caused many to believe on Him. But it also angered others as we see clearly in verse 53. "Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death." When you witness to people about the Lord, they have a choice. They can choose to believe on Him and be saved. Or they can be angry and try to stop others from believing. Have you made the choice to believe on Him? Don't turn Him away. Trust in the Lord to save you and you can have everlasting life. Be ready, for one day, He is coming back. And all the dead in Christ will rise just as Lazarus did, never to die again. And we that are alive will rise up to meet them in the air, to ever be with the Lord.
40 The King Of Kings Became A Servant
"Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded." John 13:1-5
There are three simple truths I want you to think about in these scriptures. The first is that Jesus loved us unto the end. He knew that His hour was come. He knew of the cruel suffering He would have to go through. But He did it all for me, and He did it all for you. He loved His own, all the way to the end. The next is that Jesus knew "that He was come from God, and went to God." The next time you get discouraged remember where you came from. God brought you from a life of sin and despair. He lifted you up out of the depths of sin and called you His child. Then, remember where you are going. Jesus has prepared us a place where we can live together with Him throughout eternity. Don't fret about the small stuff here on earth. Look beyond the problems of today and lay up treasures in heaven. The last thing I want us to notice is the example Jesus gave by washing the disciples' feet. This was a servant's job. But He stooped down to wash their feet to show us that we should serve others. "So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." (John 13:12-15) One way we can serve the Lord is in serving others.
41 The Wisdom Of His Words
"Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he said unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way." Matthew 22:15-22
The chapter continues as the Sadducees also try to "entangle" Jesus in His talk. "But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions." (Matthew 22:34-46) I have heard people say that they would have loved to been able to sit and listen to Jesus as He taught on the mountain side, or shores of Galilee. And I agree that we would have been just as amazed by the wisdom of His Words as these men and women were. But, in a sense we have more, because we have His written Word. And we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us at all times. We have churches with padded pews, and heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Do you faithfully attend your church to hear the preaching of God's Holy Word? Do you read your Bible and pray for wisdom from the written Word? When we stand before our Lord and Savior we won't have any excuses for not knowing His Word.
42 The Passover Lamb
"Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover." Luke 22:7-13 (Also in Matthew 26:17-19 and Mark 14:12-16)
Do you remember the story of the passover lamb? When the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt God sent plagues upon the land of Egypt and said, "Let my people go." To be protected from the last plague the children of Israel had to kill a lamb and put the blood on the two side posts of the door and over the door. "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beasts; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever." (Exodus 12:12-14) Since that time the children of Israel killed a passover lamb as God had instructed. But Jesus sent the disciples to a "large upper room furnished." God supplied the Passover Lamb, the spotless Lamb of God. Romans 3:23 tells us, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" and Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Jesus told Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." (John 3:7) You must apply the blood of the precious Lamb of God to the door posts of your heart. You must confess your sin and believe in your heart that God sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to become your sacrifice. He paid the price for sins that He did not commit. Just as the disciples found the upper room furnished, God has furnished the Passover Lamb for you and me. But you must believe. Let's end with these words of John, "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:11-13)
43 The Lord's Supper
"And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in rememberance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." Luke 22:14-20
We also have the story of the Lord's Supper in Matthew 26 and Mark 14, but I especially like the words of our Lord here in Luke, "With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you..." Jesus wanted to have communion with the disciples. It is wonderful that even today, Jesus wants to have communion with us. Down through the years and still today, Christians are taking part in The Lord's Supper, in remembrance of Christ. In the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation we read, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20) Have you opened your heart's door and let Jesus come into your life? He wants to have communion and fellowship with you.
44 Palm Sunday
"And when he had thus spoken, he sent before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Luke 19:28-40
When I taught young children in Sunday School I would take large leaves (or paper ones) to represent the palm leaves and we would wave them and say, "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord" and "Hosanna in the highest". (Matthew 21, Mark 11, and John 12) It is important to give our praise to the Lord. I don't want the stones to have to praise the Lord for me. And I don't want to wait until I get to heaven to praise Him for all He has done for me. I love Him and praise Him for His marvelous grace and mercy. Today is a great day to praise the Lord!
45 Jesus Wept Over Jerusalem
"And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:41-44
Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the people shouted, "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord..." (Luke 19:38) But the people of this same city, would later cry out, "Crucify Him". They rejected Christ, the King of the Jews. And our scripture tells us here that Jesus wept over the city. Earlier Jesus cried out, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not" (Luke 13:34) Have you accepted Jesus as Lord of your life? Is He reigning as King in your heart? I would not want to live in such a way to make Christ weep over my apathy. Let's look at the last of the seven letters to the churches... "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." (Revelation 3:15-18) Don't turn away from Christ as the people of Jerusalem did. Jesus cares for you and wants you to return His love.
46 Jesus Prayed For Peter
"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me." Luke 22:31-34
We know this story... how Jesus told Peter he would deny Him. "Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly." (Luke 22:54-62) I can not criticize Peter. I have failed my Lord many times. There are days that I feel like I have been sifted as wheat. But I have hope. Because just as Jesus told Peter that He prayed for him, I believe that Jesus prays for me too. Hebrews 7:25 tells us, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." The Holy Spirit also prays for us when we don't know how to pray. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26 & 27) Yes, I often fail the Lord, but I am so thankful that He prays for me.
47 The Ear Of Malchus
"Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people." John 18:10-14
Where did Peter get the sword? Look back at the scene in the upper room. "And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough." (Luke 22:35-38) Peter had just told the Lord he would go with Him, to prison and even to death. Now he has a sword and is ready to fight, but the Lord did not let him fight. Jesus touched the ear of Malchus and healed him. (Luke 22:51) Matthew tells us more, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matthew 26:53 & 54) This is an amazing miracle of the love of our Lord. He could have called twelve legions of angels to save Him, but He chose to save us instead. We also see in Mark 15:29-31, "And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Jesus could have saved Himself, but He chose to save us instead. This is the greatest miracle of love ever shown.
48 Who Had The Power?
"Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid: And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." John 19:5-11
49 "Father, Forgive Them"
"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." Luke 23:33-34
Here is the miracle of forgiveness. Jesus prayed from the cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." In the midst of His pain and suffering, He was able to forgive. We need to follow His example and forgive others. Look at Luke 11:1-4, "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." Jesus wants us to forgive. Don't waste years of happiness by holding grudges and ill feelings towards others. Be forgiving.
50 The Veil Of The Temple
"And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." Mark 15:37-39
"Truly this man was the Son of God." God gave instructions for the veil of the tabernacle after the children of Israel came out of Egypt. "And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount. And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made... And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place." (Exodus 26:31 & 34) The veil separated man from God. But when Christ died, the veil was torn from the top to the bottom. "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." (Matthew 27:52-53) The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that Christ became the final sacrifice and the veil that separated God from man was torn. "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeard to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:24-28) Man could not keep the law of the Old Testament. But Christ offered Himself as our sacrifice to bring us mercy and grace in the New Testament. "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith..." (Hebrews 10:19-22) We don't need a priest to pray for us or offer up sacrifices for our sins. We only need to have faith and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and say, "Truly He is the Son of God."
Pilate asked Jesus, "...knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?" But Jesus told him, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above..." If Pilate had no power against Jesus, how was he able to beat Him and crucify Him? Because Jesus gave His life for you and me. He said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:13 & 14) He loved us so much that He gave His life, to give us life. And He wants us to follow His Word and do His will.
51 Easter Sunday
He Is Risen
"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." Luke 24:1-7
He lives!!! The angels said, "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen." There are many beliefs and religions in the world today. But there is no other god like our God. We serve a risen Lord. As you celebrate Easter, remember that Jesus lives! He died, and was buried, and rose again! Happy Easter!
52 The Stone Was Rolled Away
"In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him." Matthew 28:1-1
Let us also look at these verses from the gospel of Mark. "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great." (Mark 16:1-4) The women went to anoint the body of Jesus and wondered who would roll the stone away from the tomb. But, when they got there they saw that the stone was rolled away and the angel was sitting on the stone. The tomb was empty... and the stone was away from the door to stay! When I was a young child the Lord rolled the cold stone away from the door of my heart and I was saved by His marvelous grace. Now, I have great joy and I can worship Him. He lives on high and He lives in my heart, ... He is not in that borrowed tomb! The tomb is empty!
53 On The Road To Emmaus
"And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him... And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village... And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" Portions of Luke 24:13-32
Jesus appeared to these disciples as they walked on the road to Emmaus, and talked to them of the prophecies concerning Himself. They did not know Him until they had fellowship with Him and He blessed the bread and broke it, and gave it to them. Then they said, "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" If we want to see Jesus, our eyes have to be opened. He said, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness." (John 12:46) Then we can read His Word and fellowship with Him. Just as He opened up the scriptures to these disciples on the road to Emmaus, He can open up your understanding of the Word of God as you read and travel on this road of life.
54 The Comforter
"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, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." John 20:19-23
Before Jesus was crucified He tried to prepare the disciples by telling them what was going to happen. But they did not understand. Look at these words in John 14:1-6, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto hm, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled..." He wanted to comfort the disciples. In the same chapter we read, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:16-19) This is a wonderful miracle. That we serve a living God and the Holy Spirit lives within us. When the world asks, "How do you know that following Jesus is the right thing to believe?" I can say with full assurance, "He lives inside me." I know what to believe because I can read it in His Word. And I know that He is real, not only with my mind, but in my heart.
"But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:24-29
Many people refer to this disciple as "Doubting Thomas". But let's look back to when Lazarus was sick in John 11:7 & 8. "Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?" And in verse 16 we see a different side of Thomas. "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him." Then when Jesus told the disciples that He was going to prepare them a place in His Father's house "Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" (John 14:5) Thomas followed Jesus even when it was dangerous to do so. He wanted to follow Jesus to His Father's house. The disciples still did not understand the crucifixion. We have the whole story in God's Word. The disciples walked day by day with the Lord, learning as they went. Don't criticize Thomas for not believing. Just make sure that you believe.
56 Many Other Signs
"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." John 20:30 & 31
We have looked at many of the miracles Jesus did, but there were many others which are not even written in our Bible. I think John summed it up really well with the last verse in his book. "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." (John 21:25)
57 The Love Of Christ
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35, 37-39
The last miracle that I want us to look at is in these verses. Here we see the miracle of the love of Christ. We read in John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) And this miracle of Christ's love extends to us today. He loves us and nothing can separate us from His love. This is the miracle of all miracles, that Jesus loves us. In the same chapter in Romans we read, "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:31-33) Do you know the love of Christ?