Digging The Word

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jesus Power Of Resurrection

The empty tomb is the greatest proof of who Jesus is.

 
John 2:18-22  But the Jewish leaders demanded, "What are You doing? If God gave You authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it."

19  "All right," Jesus replied. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

20  "What!" they exclaimed. "It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and You can rebuild it in three days?"  21  But when Jesus said "this temple," He meant His own body.

22  After He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered He had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said. 23  Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in Him.

In the previous verses we saw that Jesus cleaned out his Father's house, well, he said that the temple was his Father's house but the religious leaders are not so sure. In today's verses they ask Jesus why he thinks that he has the right to undermine their authority.

Have you ever noticed who was always looking for a sign from Jesus? (Matthew 12:38-40) It wasn't the demons that Jesus interacted with and it wasn't the Gentiles either. It was the Jews that always needed a sign but for the most part it was the religious leaders that were looking for validation of Jesus true identity. The people that should have known were the most clueless.

The fact that this one man was able to drive thousands of people out of the temple without being stopped by the temple guard or by a few strong men shows that Jesus had power and authority that was more than human. This is just one more sign that the prophets of the Old Testament gave that the Jews missed.

Three things that show us that Jesus is God:


✔  Jesus passion for reverence, John 2:13-17
✔  Jesus power of resurrection, John 2:18-22
✔  Jesus perception of reality, John 2:23-25

-John MacArthur "Jesus Displays His Deity"
Jesus ministry is just getting started and they have already missed so many signs. The predictions surrounding Jesus birth were all missed, the prophecies concerning John the Baptist and now the prophecies about Jesus passion for his Father's house are all being ignored.

They kept searching for answers to their questions but they could not decide for themselves who Jesus is. In response to their question Jesus told them about the most powerful proof that they will ever get. (John 8:24-25, 8:52-53, Luke 22:67-70)

They will have to wait three years for it to happen but they will get the best evidence ever to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. Of course they didn't understand what he was saying, they couldn't know that they were going to hate Jesus so much that they would have him crucified.

Matthew 27:40  "Look at You now!" they yelled at Him. "You said You were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if You are the Son of God, save Yourself and come down from the cross!"

They couldn't let go of these words, they brought them up at Jesus trial and again at the cross, three years later they are still burning in their ears yet they still don't understand. Jesus predicted many times that they would kill him (John 8:27-28), he knew that they would reject his claims to be the Son of God and they would not believe as a result of his miracles. (Matthew 16:1-4, John 2:23) They wanted a sign in the heavens but wasn't there one of them already? (Matthew 2:1-10, 12:24)

Some People Will Never Believe.

Luke 16:29-31 "But Abraham said, 'Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.' 30 "The rich man replied, 'No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.' 31 "But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'"
Jesus' parable about Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) ends with the rich man begging for somebody to go to his brothers and warn them about their eternal destiny. Abraham tells the rich man an important truth, one that we will see played out in real life, someone will rise from the dead and yet millions of people will not believe.

The resurrection is a well documented fact, the Romans made sure that he was dead before he was placed in the tomb, the spear in his side and the fact that they did not break his legs says that he was a dead man.

Why would Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus bury a man that is not dead? Given the fact that women were not credible witnesses in court then if the disciples were making up a story about the resurrection why would their witnesses for the empty tomb be women? Why would the disciples leave the safety of their locked room and risk preaching boldly in the streets?

The sign that they asked for came and most of them still didn't believe. The resurrection changed everything for the disciples and later for many thousands of new believers but to the religious leaders that were demanding more proof it changed nothing.
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Jesus Passion For Reverence

Does your worship honor God?

 
John 2:12-16  After the wedding He went to Capernaum for a few days with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples.  13  It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem.

14  In the Temple area He saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; He also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money.  15  Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers' coins over the floor, and turned over their tables.

16  Then, going over to the people who sold doves, He told them, "Get these things out of here. Stop turning My Father's house into a marketplace!"

17  Then His disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: "Passion for God's house will consume Me."  18  But the Jewish leaders demanded, "What are You doing? If God gave You authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it."

In the previous post Jesus revealed his glory at a wedding. He changed pots that had just been filled with water into the best wine without even touching the pots. Jesus glory was revealed in this miracle yet the guys that were directly involved in the miracle didn't get it. Jesus left that ceremony with his mother, his brothers and his disciples but the servants didn't go.

Three things that show us that Jesus is God:


✔  Jesus passion for reverence, John 2:13-17
✔  Jesus power of resurrection, John 2:18-22
✔  Jesus perception of reality, John 2:23-25

-John MacArthur "Jesus Displays His Deity"
Jesus made the 85 mile trip from Capernaum to Jerusalem to attend the first Passover during his three and a half years of public ministry. Since there were so many people that wanted to be in Jerusalem to celebrate, his 30 plus hour walk must have been with a mob of people.

When the thousands of people reached Jerusalem they needed to exchange their foreign money for the currency used at the temple and they needed to have an animal for their sacrifice. The religious leaders saw the need as an opportunity to make a load of money.

It would be next to impossible to focus on having a time of worship in that crowd. I think that it would look more like a noisy flea market with sellers trying to get you over to their booth and then there would be the noise and smell of all of those animals. And you think its difficult to worship when a baby cries in church.

This story may not look like a miracle to you but can you imagine the possibility of one man armed with a makeshift whip forcing that many people out of the temple? The crowd or the temple police or even the Roman authorities didn't do anything to stop Jesus.

Sincere Worship

Romans 12:1  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.
Almost all of Jesus miracles were prompted by love and compassion for people but in this miracles Jesus passion for his Father's house is the motivation for this miracle. Jesus never tolerates irreverence toward God. The Old Testament prophets told us that the Messiah would be passionate about cleaning up the temple. The Jews expected the Messiah to come and attack the Gentiles but instead, the Messiah came and attacked them.

The things that break God the Father's heart are the same things that break Jesus' heart. If we are close to God then the same things will break our heart as well. How well do you tolerate insincere worship? Do you sing lyrics to worship songs without any thought to what you are singing?

God's greatest joy is when his people are praising him with sincere, repentant hearts and our greatest joy in life should be to bring joy to the one who made us and gave us the riches of heaven as our inheritance. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
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What is worship?
Wise Men Worship Him (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)

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(devotionsfordisciples.com)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unbelieving Waterboys

The servants knew where the wine came from but they didn't believe.

 
John 2:1-12  The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there,  2  and Jesus and His disciples were also invited to the celebration.  3  The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus' mother told Him, "They have no more wine."

4  "Dear woman, that's not our problem," Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."

5  But His mother told the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."

6  Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.  7  Jesus told the servants, "Fill the jars with water." When the jars had been filled,  8  He said, "Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies." So the servants followed His instructions.

9  When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over.  10  "A host always serves the best wine first," he said. "Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!"

11  This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed His glory. And His disciples believed in Him. 12  After the wedding He went to Capernaum for a few days with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples.

Jesus told his disciples that there would be greater proof of who he is and now it's just a few days later and they are getting to see it. (John 1:50) Jesus has spent 30 years in private with his family and now the time has come to step out into public ministry. He has recently gained a few disciples and now his first miracle that initiates his public ministry is about to happen with his family present.

Wedding were a big deal back then and it is a major embarrassment to run out of wine. This is the biggest social event that they had and it was a chance to forget about how hard life is and have a good time. It's interesting that Jesus ministry was different from that of John Baptist, "who came neither eating nor drinking," Jesus was involved in the everyday events of life. (Matthew 11:18-19)

Mary is concerned about the potential embarrassment and she knows that Jesus has the power to fix the problem. However she doesn't push Jesus in a corner and try and force him to do it. She makes him aware of the problem and then tells the servants to do anything that he asks them to do.

Imagine being a servant in this home and you are probably tired from working this week long wedding event and now Jesus asks you to fill some water pots that total over one hundred and fifty gallons. You probably groan as you think about the extra work that you are forced to do.

Now imagine being told immediately to dip some of the water out and take it to the head waiter, allowing him to have a sample and finding out that the water that you put in those pots was no longer water. You are standing there as the man announces that the best wine has been saved for last. What would your reaction be?

Help Me Believe

Mark 9:24  The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"
The purpose of miracles to to reveal God's glory to us and help us believe in Jesus. It is too bad that when the supernatural is revealed to us we don't always see it. There were two different reactions to Jesus first miracle.

Everybody remembers that the miracle helped the disciples grow in their belief in Jesus. That fact is documented at the end of the story but what about the guys that were up front and close to the miracle?

The guys that were directly involved, the ones that did everything as Jesus told them, that knew that Jesus didn't even touch those water jars and they knew that there wasn't anything deceitful going on. The scripture states that they knew (John 2:9) without question that the water was changed into wine. They just walked away and pretended that nothing happened.

Miracles can be so difficult to see. It wasn't just this group of servants, almost everybody in Jesus hometown missed out, and there was the crowd that was mourning the death of Jairus' daughter that actually laughed at Jesus. (Matthew 9:24-25, 13:54-58)

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. – C S Lewis

We can be just as blind to the miracles in our own lives. Every day of our lives are filled with miracles great and small that are a result of God's love for us. Some of them are everyday things that we just expect with little thought about why they happen. Some of them are big things that we prayed for and yet when they happen we just don't think about where it came from.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord so that I can see you at work everyday!
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