Digging The Word

"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure." PSALM 119:162

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stairway To Heaven

Jesus gives us access to God.


John 1:45-51  Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, "We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth."

46  "Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" "Come and see for yourself," Philip replied.

47  As they approached, Jesus said, "Now here is a genuine son of Israel--a man of complete integrity."

48  "How do You know about me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, "I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you."

49  Then Nathanael exclaimed, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God--the King of Israel!"

50  Jesus asked him, "Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this."

51  Then He said, "I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the One who is the stairway between heaven and earth. "

We have seen in the first chapter of the book of John a great amount of proof that Jesus is God, the testimony of John the Baptist, the testimony of God when Jesus was baptized, and the testimony of the first disciples should be considered if you are investigating who Jesus is.

As we saw in the previous post, Andrew couldn't wait to go and tell his brother Simon about Jesus, Philip had the same reaction and went to find Nathanael and invite him to "come and see" Jesus for himself.

As they approached, Jesus gave some information about Nathanael that he couldn't have possibly known, Nathanael was convinced very quickly that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God that they have been waiting for.

John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Nathanael was right to call Jesus his king but he didn't realize that his kingdom is not of this world. Jesus told his disciples that they will see greater proof in the days ahead that he is the Son of God. They are going to witness some amazing events in the next three years that will solidify their faith and make them sure of Jesus. Just wait until they see how much he loves them!

Romans 5:1-2 ESV  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Jesus changed everything, his work on the cross gives us access to God, like a ladder connecting earth to heaven, he made it possible for us to come to God. My relationship with God is changed, I don't need to go to a priest and I don't need to offer a sacrifice, I have peace with God for eternity. I get to live each day knowing that I am loved beyond measure and I know that I have access to God. (John 14:2-3, Hebrews 4:16)

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 

I have access to the riches of heaven, not only for my eternal future, but as a resource for daily living. I should live each day with strength and confidence that this world doesn't offer. I need to show them Jesus and invite them to "Come and See" for themselves.

Thank you Lord for giving me access to heaven!
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Come And See

Jesus invites us to come and check him out.


John 1:38-46  Jesus looked around and saw them following. "What do you want?" He asked them. They replied, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are You staying?"  39  "Come and see," He said. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when they went with Him to the place where He was staying, and they remained with Him the rest of the day.

40  Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus.  41  Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means "Christ").

42  Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, "Your name is Simon, son of John--but you will be called Cephas" (which means "Peter").

43  The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Come, follow Me."  44  Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter's hometown.

45  Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, "We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth."  46  "Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?"

"Come and see for yourself," Philip replied.

Two men took the initiative and start following Jesus and it doesn't take long for him to realize that he has company. Have you ever been followed by a couple of rough looking men that you don't know? Would you walk faster and try and get away?

Jesus is a very kind and inviting person and he decides to break the ice with these two guys by asking a question. In the previous post we looked at the question that Jesus asked. The disciples make it clear that they are anxious to spend time with Jesus and they want more than just a few minutes on the road with him. (What Do You Want From Jesus?)

"Come and see" is the invitation that Andrew and John received from Jesus. The offer is the same one that we have today. He doesn't force himself of us but if we take a step toward him he will invite us to come closer and check him out and make an informed decision about who he is. His response to the disciples revealed nothing and it didn't promise anything, it only invited an opportunity to begin a relationship. Do you desire to be in the presence of God?

It didn't take long for Andrew to be fully convinced that he had found the Messiah and he wanted to share the awesome news with his brother Simon. That's the same response that most new followers of Christ have, they cannot keep it to themselves and hide it under a bushel, they seek to tell their family and friends so they may be brought to the Saviour. That is the thrust of mission work today. We do not wait for them to come to us, but we go for them and seek them out, and tell them that a Saviour is found.

Jesus invites Philip to "come follow me," Philip must have made up his mind about Jesus very quickly. We see another immediate reaction reaction, Philip's reaction was the same as Andrew's, he wants to find his brother right away and share the good news."

"Come and see," is the reply that Philip gives when Nathanael shows that he is skeptical that somebody that comes from the region of Galilee or the town of Nazareth could possibly be the Messiah. Philip didn't try to convince him, he didn't give him any apologetics or try to reason with Nathanael, he just wanted to show him Jesus.

So we should beg the people around us to lay aside their prejudices against religion, since there are so many definitions for the term Christian, we should be cautious about asking them to be one. We should just ask them to "come and see" Jesus for themselves.

John 7:52  They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself, no prophet ever comes from Galilee!"

"Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Nathanael may have been skeptical or prejudiced but he certainly was not proud like the religious leaders that couldn't believe that the Messiah would come from Nazareth or from the region of Galilee. As soon as Jesus met  Nathanael he confirmed that Nathanael was a man of good character.

Jesus knows each one of us but do we know him? Do we know more about our definition of a Christian than we know about Jesus? A Muslim, a Jehovahs Witness, a Mormon or any other religious group, don't need to be convinced to become a Christian. They need to be shown Jesus for who he really is.

If we seek to know him then we will have a better chance of becoming like him. If we show Jesus to the people around us then we will overcome the prejudice that people have toward Christianity. After all of the history of messing things up, they can easily say, "Christian, can anything good come from that?"

Philippians 3:8  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. 

We don't need to show anybody a lot of knowledge or doctrine. We need to invite the people around us to learn about Jesus by inviting the to "Come and see."
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Do You Want?

How would you answer Jesus question?


John 1:35-39  The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples.  36  As Jesus walked by, John looked at Him and declared, "Look! There is the Lamb of God!"

37  When John's two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.  38  Jesus looked around and saw them following. "What do you want?" He asked them.

They replied, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are You staying?"  39  "Come and see," He said. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when they went with Him to the place where He was staying, and they remained with Him the rest of the day.

A popular phrase that you have probably heard is "Jesus is the answer" but have you ever thought about the questions that Jesus asked? As a teacher or Rabbi Jesus used questions to make us think and go deeper in analyzing our hearts. Instead of easy answers Jesus asks difficult questions.

It is almost time for John the Baptist to fade into the background, his ministry doesn't seem to have lasted very long, it isn't long after Jesus begins his ministry that John's ministry disappears. There isn't any reason for the crowds to keep following John the Baptist when the Messiah is the one that you should be following.

I have to wonder what the disciples of John wanted if they didn't want Jesus. John the Baptist must of had a lot of disciples around him the day that he pointed out Jesus and told the crowd that that guy is the Messiah and yet we only know of two people that stopped following John and turned to Jesus. It makes me wonder why they were following John. If they believed in his message about the coming Messiah then they should have said good-bye to John the Baptist and followed Jesus.

These two guys were very happy to see Jesus and the look on their face must have made it very clear that they wanted to be with Jesus. As Jesus notices the disciples he turns to them and makes himself available to them. That's the same thing that he does for anyone that is honestly seeking him.

Jesus breaks the ice and begins the conversation with a question. Jesus asked them "What do you want?" Their smiling faces may have turned to red with embarrassment. Was he mad that they had interrupted his day?

What do you want from Jesus? Why are you following him? We all have different reasons for beginning to follow after Jesus. Most of them are pretty selfish at the beginning of our faith journey, we want to avoid hell or we want Jesus to fix our situation in life that we created, your life is a mess and you don't know what else to do.

Instead of a direct answer the disciples ask Jesus where he is staying, that's an indirect way of saying that they want to get invited over for the afternoon, they wanted to be with Jesus for more than a few minutes on the road. They addressed Jesus as "Rabbi" and they knew that they needed to stay with him and learn from him.

Consider three of Jesus questions that are recorded in the Gospels:

✔  What do you want? (John 1:38)
✔  Why are you looking for me? (Luke 2:49)
✔  What do you want me to do for you? (Mark 10:36, 51)

We can analyze our motives and the condition of our heart by asking ourselves the questions that Jesus asked two thousand years ago. His questions will help us to focus on God and not religion, his questions will draw us to repentance, and his questions will bring to mind our level of obedience and commitment to him.
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