Archive for February, 2019

Seeing JESUS:part 6

Posted: February 14, 2019 in Seeing JESUS: part 6

The faith of the Centurion

 

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When he came into Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking him, and saying, “Lord, my servant lies in the house paralyzed, grievously tormented.”

 Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered, “Lord, I’m not worthy for you to come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and tell another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and tell my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

 When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to those who followed, “Most certainly I tell you, I haven’t found so great a faith, not even in Israel.

 I tell you that many will come from the east and the west, and will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven,but the children of the Kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way. Let it be done for you as you have believed.” His servant was healed in that hour.   Matthew 8:5-13

 

LEADER

A Centurion was a leader in the Roman army. He had to fight well and be prepared to die for his country. But he also had to look after his 100 men under his command. He had to be organized and able to take orders and obey them. If he didn’t obey, he would loose his job and maybe also his life. He was dedicated to the army and was prepared to die for any of his men, and he taught them to be prepared to die in wars and battles as well.

GOOD

This man was also a good man, who cared for his men and his household. The Centurion came to Jesus to seek for healing. A member of his household, a servant was very ill and had been paralysed so that he could not move. The servant was in a lot of pain.

SUCCESSFUL

This very successful commander in the Roman army was concerned about his servant. That tells us something about him. He was a soldier and led the troops into battle, but he had a soft heart and was very worried about this servant who was part of his household.

The Centurion finds Jesus and asks him to heal the servant. Jesus replied that He would come and heal the servant. It is not clear if the servant is male or female. It doesn’t really change the story.

BELIEVING

When Jesus said He would come with the Centurion, the centurion gave a reply to Jesus.

He said to Jesus, “Lord I am not worthy for you to come under my roof.” Why does the centurion say this?

The Centurion recognizes that he is a sinful man, and he also recognizes who Jesus is. He totally believes that Jesus can do this miracle, and he knows he does not deserve to ask for it. He knows who Jesus is, and has heard of His power to heal and forgive. The Centurion has true faith and puts his trust fully in Jesus.

He says to Jesus, “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and tell another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and tell my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

We can see how much the Centurion believed and how he understood the power of God. Remember this man had never been in the synagogue or been taught from the law of God. He saw Jesus and he believed. His faith was real because of how he reacted to what he saw and heard. It was very straightforward to him.

The Centurion believed in the Word of God even thought he had not been formally taught it. He knew that if Jesus just spoke the word, the miracle would happen.

Jesus was amazed at this man’s faith. Jesus said He had never seen such faith, not even in His own people the Israelites. This shown us clearly what Jesus is looking for in us. He is looking for straight-forward faith and obedience. Its not complicated.

This faith is not worked up in us, but is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This faith did not come from the Centurion. Faith does not come from us, but from God. God opened the eyes of the Centurion so that he could see Jesus. When he saw Jesus, he then believed.

We need to believe….

Jesus said that there would be many worthy people from the Jewish people who would loose their opportunity to be in the kingdom of God, because they wouldn’t believe. These are people who have heard the gospel time and time again, but will not come to God and seek forgiveness through what Jesus did for them.

Jesus said they would be cast into outer darkness. They saw much light, but it never entered their souls.

On the other hand, Jesus talked about a huge company of people who would come from every place on the earth, and would sit down with Him and all God’s people.  These are the people like the Centurion. They have seen and heard and believed. They would not necessarily be the Jewish people. Just because you are born into “good” or “christain” family, does not mean you will be in the kingdom.

The Jews believed that they were the chosen ones and they believed that their good works and their following the law of God would save them. The leaders actually persecuted Jesus and ended up having Him killed. They had no faith….

This Gentile soldier has the greatest faith. Jesus commends him for it and answers his prayers. This is the worldly view turned upside down.

FAITH

God is looking for faith. Without faith it is impossible to see God. Without faith we are no where.

We can read the Bible every day and pray and try to be good, but its no good.!!

Without faith, there is no forgiveness or new life.

This Centurion has no name in the Bible, but he has the greatest commendation of all.

THE GREATEST FAITH

 

 

 

 

Seeing JESUS: part 5

Posted: February 9, 2019 in Seeing JESUS part 5

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 The cost of following Jesus

“Now when Jesus saw great multitudes around him, he gave the order to depart to the other side. A scribe came, and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”   Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”    Matthew 8:18-22

Jesus sees a great crowd who had come to see and hear Him. See had come to see a spectacle; some to see other people being healed; some wanted to be healed themselves; some wanted to hear His words; some believed in Him. Jesus knows the intentions and thoughts of every heart. He told His disciples to go to the other side of the lake and he remained to spend time with His father and pray.

A religious leader came to Him and told Jesus he would follow Him everywhere he went. He was dedicated to Jesus and wanted to keep in His presence and learn from him. The Scribe called Jesus “Teacher” so he recognized that Jesus was different from other teachers he had heard.

Again, Jesus sees the intentions of this man’s heart. Jesus seeks to show the man the reality of what the man is seeking.

Life following Jesus will cost you…

 Jesus tells him that the foxes that live wild in the countryside have homes to go to. The foxes that are lowly and untamed animals have got a place to rest and stay and find shelter. Also the birds of the air have nests where they can find safe roosting, bring up their young and shelter from predators. But, says Jesus, I have nowhere to lay my head. Jesus has no home, no place of safety, no certain place to find rest, no certainty of any of the necessities of life. He felt no need of them, because he knew His father in heaven would provide all he needed.

Those who follow Jesus can expect the same kind of standard in this world. The Christian finds trouble in this world. The Christian lives every day in the faith that keeps them alive to God.

There is no response from this man, and we have no record of him joining the twelve disciples. The cost is great. The cost means giving up the right to everything. We must consider this before we choose the way of Christ. Jesus is not looking for people who put their hand up in a meeting, or people who think He is going to meet every need they think they have. The way of the cross is difficult, severe and can only be walked in the power of the Spirit. We cannot keep our salvation. No matter how we might think we can.

A disciple overhears this conversation. It seems to happen as they are leaving for the lake. The disciple asks Jesus for permission to go and bury his father. Some comment that the father was not yet dead! But the disciples is being honourable and truthful in asking this request. He needs to go and work out his family responsibilities to his dead father.

Jesus reply seems very strict and unyielding. Jesus tells the disciple to let someone else bury the dead. Let the people who are of this world and dead to God, do the things of this world. Jesus tells this disciple to “Follow me.”

“Follow me..”

is the price to pay for a God-orientated life in this stricken world. We do not belong to it and we are servants of Christ and not our own. There are always people who can do the earth bound things, the necessities of this world’s culture and social expectations. But the Christian has another agenda.

This is why we count the cost.

Too many start off well, but when the difficulties come and the real sacrificial way of life comes into our understanding, we back off. We want the blessings, but not the thorns and the pains of growing and saying “goodbye” to this world’s treasures.

We cannot follow Jesus and still hold on to worldly pleasures.

It sounds so hard a saying and impossible to do, and it is, without the Spirit of God, changing us and making us able to do things we cannot do. As we walk the pilgrim pathway, we walk in the power of God. He changes our desires to be like His desires, and we will have the pleasure and joy of knowing Jesus and walking with Him every day of our lives.

Some have no appetite for that prospect, and show their lack of love for Christ and careless attitude to a relationship with Him.

The Scribe at least came to Jesus and wanted to follow. Maybe he did follow and gave up his religious job and earth orientated views. Maybe he was willing to suffer loss for the sake of Jesus and was ready for a life of sacrifice. If he did follow, he is enjoying the presence of the Lord right now in heaven. We can be sure he never for a moment regrets leaving his sinful life and following His Master and Teacher.

Lord, help me to count the cost of following you and I will willingly follow you. You are my Saviour and I trust you, because of who you are. Give me the strength dear Lord, to keep following to the end of the pathway…

Seeing JESUS: part 4

Posted: February 3, 2019 in Seeing JESUS part 4

Unknown

 

Jesus begins to preach

Matthew 4:12-17 WEB     “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:  “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darkness have seen a great light;on those living in the land of the shadow of deatha light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9)    From that time on Jesus began to preach, 

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Jesus hears that John the Baptist has been put in prison. He knows what the outcome of that will be. Jesus leaves Nazareth and goes to Galilee to call His disciples.

Capernaum is a city in Galilee near to the Lake of Genesareth also know as the sea of Galilee. It is in the land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. These areas were called “the village of consolation” and so it was for Jesus Himself lived there.

Where ever Jesus dwells is peace and blessing. Peace with God, and the blessings of Eternal life – not necessarily the blessing of this life, for many Christians have suffered loss for His sake.

The Jews regarded it as an evil place because they rejected Christ. They said great sinners live there, and people who do dark magic arts. But the prophesies of old said that Christ would come for there, from Galilee and the whole area would be filled with the glory of the Lord.

So, we see, Jesus the true Messiah, first appearing here to call His disciples and start His public ministry.

“the people living in darkness have seen a great light;”

 The people living in Galilee who have lived in spiritual darkness, and ignorance about the salvation of God, have now seen THE GREAT LIGHT… Jesus is the light of the world, that lights every one and shows the way to God.

Jesus spoke with them, preached to them, taught them, and opened the eyes of their understanding to see His glory and know Him and trust in Him.

So also with us, all these year later. We see Jesus lifted up in the Scriptures, and we are taught and shown who He is and how we can trust in Him. We also see Him to be the true Messiah and the only Saviour of our souls. Do we see the light and are we following Him?

“on those living in the land of the shadow of death”

 The people of Galilee have been living in a  land that is dark. The people sit in sin and under the condemnation of God. The live sinful lives and are facing the second death.

BUT, the light has come. They no longer have to suffer under the darkness and live in fear.

They have not looked for Him, but He has come to save them and will freely forgive them. Christ the light of God has risen in the land and He will illumine every soul that seeks Him.

“:a light has dawned.”

 And so it has. Not just for Galilee, or Zebulun or Napthali, but for the whole world. The light has dawned and continue to dawn in the lives of people sitting in the darkness – people like us…

We enter this world in darkness and we live in the shadow of death all our lives, until the Sun of Righteousness dawns on us. We live ruined lives, until we see the light of Christ and seek Him. We cannot see the truth of Scripture or the sinfulness within our hearts, until the light dawns and shines on us and shows us what we are really like.

Those who are wise will run to the light and be cleansed from the darkness of sin. We repent of our darkness and seek the light that can bring us into the eternal kingdom.

The light dawned on Galilee all those years ago and many believed. Has it dawned on us today?

Jesus brought a message.

How do we see and get this light?

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

 When we see our darkness and hate it enough, we will run to Jesus to seek forgiveness from our sinful self. We are able to repent, because the kingdom of God is near to us. It is here with us…

IT IS JESUS…

THE SAVIOUR OF OUR SOULS

Jesus can blot out the sin and darkness and remake us as Children of the Light.!!

Instead of sitting in the dark, we live glorious lives is the light. It is the light of God’s kingdom and not what this world considers glorious. Jesus has come near to us, how can we ignore Him?

Why sit all our lives on earth in the darkness and then face the ultimate darkness of an eternity separated from the light?

Let us put our trust in the Light and walk in that Light on and on into eternity.

 

 

 

 

Testimony of a Brahmin

Posted: February 3, 2019 in Testimony of a Brahmin