January10 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:4:18-22 THE FIRST DISCIPLES - Our Lord's faith is not only in heavenly and ethereal things but, in four common fishermen (soon to be twelve common men total ). When we think about the effect/impact Jesus needed to make in the short time that He had available, the stock of well prepared/educated people to draw a team of disciples from, it is illustrative of the faith that he had in these few particular men and this sort. There were hundreds of disciples, but, there were only twelve Disciples. After His death, these are the men whose testimony would be used to spread the gospel to the entire world. How did He know that they would follow? How did He know that they would be able of heart, mind and body? Better yet, what did they see in Him? Was it not His faith in them? His faith in His Father? His faith in the redemptive plan?
January31 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:8:1-4 I WILL - Was the leper part of the show or part of the testimony? Jesus wanted him to be healed but, did not want him to tell anybody except as required by the Law. If part of the show, such a cleansing would garner great press and recognition. If part of the testimony a man would be healed and the Law fulfilled. Strangely, as a consequence, it seems that straight/honest fulfilling of the Law would bring greater press through controversy. The faith of our Lord does not operate on human terms of what will certain people think or what result will stir from this, it operates from the center of what is right to do. If it stirs controversy amongst this or that group, fine, it is because they are unaccustomed to seeing what is right being done. If ever you have opportunity to ask our Lord if He wilt.. be prepared for Him to say yes He wills it... oh and all of the consequence that comes along with that. The man might have better asked "do you want that I should stir up the hornet's nest by you doing simply what is right?" You see the faith of our Jesus do you not?
February16 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:12:1-14 LORD OF THE SABBATH - Can the Law legislate against mercy? The intent of Sabbath is for rest. Rest from mercy? How hungry were the disciples? Hungry enough for this to be considered mercy on the Lord's part? How withered was the man's hand? Not enough for him to wait till Sunday? Surely the Law cannot contradict its deepest fulfillment mercy but, our interpretation of it can. The work of mercy as long as it is indeed mercy never rests. It is the faith of our Lord that these disciples have gone too long without eating, that this man has gone too long without the use of his hand, that this fallen sheep is in too much danger, that the opportunity to provide a needed mercy is at hand, that even if it means breaking somebody else's awkward interpretation of Sabbath it is well worth Him proceeding. After all, He is the Lord of the Sabbath.
March3 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:15:1-20 OFFENDED - The base context throughout this passage is that it is not what goes into the body that defiles but, what comes out. Lying, deceit, accusation, threats, perversity most assuredly. What is that is coming out in this case? Accusations based upon tradition, traditions based upon a heart and lips though religious far from God. How far from God? Far enough to sanction the breaking of one of the Ten Commandments honoring father and mother. Break one commandment and you've broken them all. How far? Far enough to have the gall to accuse God in the flesh of breaking a tradition of the elders. If broken by this one tradition, how many other traditions as well? What we must realize is that everything surrounding Jesus at this moment is the product of everything that mankind has been able to do up until now, God given or not. What was true in Isaiahs' age is just as true now. None are found righteous no not one. Without Christ the person this is as far as any measure of religion gets. What goes into the heart is nothing but the refuse of other defiled hearts and whatever ones defiled heart can make of that. No heart is not changed until the person-hood of the risen Christ dwells within. God is not experimenting with the right combination of things until He gets human nature right. Everything the Godhead has done up to incarnate Christ has been to show the absolute human need and dependence for Christ. What Jesus sees around Him in every direction is nothing but venomous tongues, even in His disciples. The faith of our Lord is that what He is doing at this moment, what He is about to do on His cross is exactly what is needed for mankind. In one sense He is repulsed by the utter defilement constantly exhibited by all. On the other hand His overwhelming love for those who will eventually believe and come to His light is much much greater. His being here is not by mistake. What then is our response? Are we offended also?
March4 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:15:21 NOT SENT BUT - I don't think that the Lord is giving this Phoenecian gentile the brush off. There are several at least partial references to Jesus/Gospel coming to the Jew first. God in His righteous wisdom and for the sake of His covenant with Israel has foreseen the maximum benefit to the entire world will be gained through the initial and final emphasis on the lost house of Israel. In the middle of these two points is an age primarily of the Gentiles. It is because of the Jew's rejection of Christ that the Gentile is grafted into the Kingdom. Jesus signals to us herein a soon to come means of grace to all believers by drawing out of this woman a desperate but amazingly humble confession of faith. Jews should take careful note of this particular exchange. The faith of our Lord is in the entire plan for all mankind by means of a single point of injection, the rejection of the one tissue producing the antibody in the another returning in the end to immunize the fevered and rejecting tissue.
March5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:15:29-39 HOW MANY HAVE YE - Ever notice how Jesus is using whatever the disciples have available? In the days of the Exodus He brought the manna from Heaven out of nowhere; it had nothing to do with what anybody there had available. Now that He is the manna from Heaven, whatever the disciples have available He is making it work. Maybe this is the way His healing works at times as well! I think that we often skip passed the three non stop days spent by the multitude witnessing/partaking in this healing fest; that is really the true miracle, dinner is just the 'how do you top this' communion experience. Imagine being there during this time and what you would have seen. Imagine recapping these many events hillside in the calm evening air with the taste of fresh fish on the tongue. When Matthew says glorifying the God of Israel, he means glorifying! If anyone is counting back in Jerusalem, every person that is healed by Jesus is one more than any Priest there has been able to do. Wouldn't you count that as a sign? If there was to be a legitimate trial upcoming, do you not think that some of these three day thousands would be more than willing to take the stand? The faith of our Lord is in the testimonies of individual people; multitudes of individual people. Remember, He is not telling us of His successes, transformed people like you and me are. There are more details given in these accounts than Matthew could ever take note of himself, these are surely his collection of other's testimonies.
March7 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:16:5-12 TAKE HEED AND BEWARE - The Disciples have forgotten to bring bread (perhaps not even five loafs) and must think that the Pharisees are going to attempt to emulate the wonder with their own bread. In their minds I think that they feel that they've let Him down. That is an issue with their faith, Jesus is able to make bread from rocks if He has to. Instead the warning was to take heed (observe/examine) and beware (be alert to/take precaution against what has been discovered) of their false doctrines. Even a little bit of their doctrine ferments and puffs up the entire loaf. Leaven is essentially the left over or reserve from a previous batch of dough. Jesus at a latter point compares bread to His own body which is given for our sins; this is His doctrine, a new dough entirely. Anything other than this above or beyond (say legalism) produces a comparative diminishment of His doctrine and a swelling of man's. Amazing how the use of one word can describe the entirety of the doctrine held by others to such a tee. Little faith is that God does not have everything well in hand and is capable of doing whatever is most needed despite our effort or lack, corrupt faith is that salvation is anything less or more than the incarnation and sacrifice of the Son of God Jesus Christ. The faith of our Lord is that we will be able to take heed and beware of such corrupting doctrine once clued into this truth. However, it will be a constant effort and struggle against. A very small amount does change everything about what should be believed. And once altered, who do we get the loaf back to it's true unleavened form?
March14 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:18:10-14 THE WILL OF YOUR FATHER - Parable part one warns against offending the child of faith. Parable part two warns against despising the child of faith whom the Son of Man goes after when he has gone astray. Offended and offender, despised and despiser, who is who? The principal can be applied in several ways. For now, let's ask the question this way: Who are typically considered the lost sheep over and over in the scriptures? How often has the larger body of believers rather despised these lost sheep and the Lord's attention to them thus becoming their greater offenders? Did Jesus not know that in the future this historically defining opposition would be so? The faith of our Lord is that it is the Father's expressed will that not one of these should perish; He has come (been sent) to save that which was lost; gentile believers are not being lost they are being grafted in. The angels over Israel rejoice exceedingly along with their Shepherd when another Jewish soul is redeemed. Whomsoever that despises them despises God's Will and shall be an offender of all.
March15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:18:15-20 THERE I AM IN THE MIDST - Within the flock there are things that can separate and drive members away. We have seen enticement/offense and then despising those gone astray and the effort made to regain them. Now we see internal trespass between two and the response to that trespass. Before either give the other up for lost there is a progression expected to include more and more witnesses to establish/settle the case. Plenty of opportunity is given for the one or both to work matters out civilly. Binding here is in the sense of legal agreement. If the two shall come to a mutually agreeable arrangement, Heaven and the Father will stand behind that; as agreement within the flock is most desired from above. It should be fairly natural for the two parties to desire/achieve this if both parties are sincere about moving forward in the name of their Lord. The picture of the flock very much describes the faith of our Lord. It is His flock, He is it's shepherd. The inner workings and resulting culture within the flock are therefore most important as it has the ability to keep souls away and drive souls out; and as this reflects directly upon His leadership. If we are truly gathered as a flock in His name then agreement amongst us, binding agreement, should be every man's pursuit and petition. If the offender or offended cannot abide by this then certainly He/they should be loosed from the flock at least until they fully repent from the hardness of their hearts. The offended party should then not despise the efforts of Christ and Christ's body to win the lost soul back else they become an offender as well.
March16 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:18:21-35 BECAUSE THOU DESIREDST ME - You can imagine a man going through this life void of the sense of debt to his creator, doing as he pleased, taking what he pleased, conducting himself amongst the rest of creation just as he pleased. If anything is owed by anybody, it is owed to him for having made him work so hard to get where he is at; right?. Imagine then his surprise when his creator calls in the man's debts to Himself. How small is his grasp of the reality things when he thinks that somehow he can repay it on his own? Though the debt is forgiven him this man then continues on thinking that whatever is owed God from here on out will be extracted from what others owe to him; he won't be caught in the embarrassment of having to beg for mercy again. How small is his grasp of the reality of things again when he thinks that the small hundred pence owed him by others is anything near the amount of any future debt incurred to his creator? Instead he is incurring all the more debt. The two debts are completely dissimilar but, the principal being taught is the same; true compassion. Many today seek God to be unconditional without placing the same expectation upon themselves. Isn't that convenient? The Lord instead places one condition on compassion, it is implied by His forgiveness to you, that along the way from here on out that you proceed with the same compassion to all others that He has shown to you. That in itself is impossible to do unless we daily leave ourselves behind at the foot of His cross and pick up with His eternal burden. The faith of our Lord is that He will suffer many a horrible things in the weeks and months to come. He will suffer from the hands of those that He has most compassion for; He is the Father's direct offer of compassion. He see's this time as proving of His oath and understanding of the compassion of His Father. Not unconditional by our odd standards but, so much more effective towards the eternal.
April8 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:25:14-30 DELIVERED UNTO THEM HIS GOODS - The picture is of the servants responsibility with the Lord's goods after He leaves. A considerable amount is given to even the least according to his particular ability. Paul explains it as "grace given" kjv@Romans:12:6 "the manifestation of Spirit given to each man to profit withal" kjv@1Corinthians:12:7 "stewards of mysteries" kjv@1Corinthians:4:1-2. Peter says "minister the same one to another as stewards of manifold grace of God" kjv@1Peter:4:10. The fact is that He has given us His goods, spiritual gifts/ability and opportunity, this with any type of investment compounds with interest. It is not usury per se, not at the expense or misuse of anybody, it is natural and beneficial growth of the Kingdom. Withal implies the common good of all as does one to another. By the one man burying the grace given and not making diligent profitable use of it, he is accusing his Lord of reaping where He has not sown, profiting on the back on others, hardness in the ways of business. He is also burying it away from the profit of the collective. His own ability has been ceased by his mis-understanding of the Lords intentions/rights and by implication his association to the larger group. What he has been given is then to be taken away and given to those whose faithfulness has been proven. The faith of our Lord is in increase. He has given His grace; the Holy Spirit and it's manifestations, spiritual gifts to be ministered one to another for to profit withal and for all. What good is such an uncommon privilege if not faithfully executed as a good steward.
April15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:26:36-46 SORROWFUL EVEN UNTO DEATH - We should not think that these next several hours came easy for Jesus. To see Him as weak or having second thoughts while underplaying what He is up against severely misses the point. The sins of all mankind is not an easy thing to suffer for. The totality of griefs and sorrows being laid upon Him is wondrous to bare. Plus there is the additional concern for His sheep while they are scattered. He prayed the first time for and until He had certain confirmation. He prayed the second and third time confessing and bringing His other faculties into submission. All three prayers exhibit the fact that Jesus had His own will like we do. And as we, He needed at times to strengthen His connection to the Father by prayer in order to bring Himself fully into line; this was certainly one of those times. It is not a sign of weakness for either of us, it is a sign proper process and preparation (not neglecting to mention pure reverence). It is weakness when you are asked to maintain a level of prayer for the comfort of another or the group and cannot sustain that level long enough as Peter John and James those same hours; the temptation for sleep or distraction is too great. The faith of our Lord is unshaken. Faith however often requires the will and the impulse and body to submit and follow suit. Thus we have prayer. Side by side examples are pictured here, both a case study in what we need and need not do.
April24 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:27:57-61 DISCIPLES - There are twelve men (now eleven) that we use the specific title Disciple for. There are many others even in high places, even secretive that we use the more general term disciple for as well. Three are mentioned early on at the tomb burying Jesus (A forth Nicodemus reported by John). The two men in particular are members of the Sanhedrin and are thereby given consent for burial and possession of the body by Pilate. Joseph is elsewhere described as a counselor, the word having direct ties to this governing body. Pilate may have seen these men as "non consenting" to the crucification but, surely not as pupils of the convicts' teachings. Had the major disciples attempted such they would have either been detained to squelch any possible uprising or they would have brought intense criticism as to the validity of the burial should something happen to the body under his watch. In these two men Pilate would find a comfortable political solution to the awkward/crucial issue of what to do with the body. These disciples are very important to birth and history of the church, as much as any other even though they were somewhat hidden away. There is very little that we have to go on to know how much of this Jesus had prepared for or how much that he had left to come about organically or by the Spirit. My guess would be all of the above. The more obvious evidence is that He had the faith to leave it to capable hands after His departure. The faith of our Lord is in the ability of His Father and His Holy Spirit. It is in peoples and places we may not have considered friendly to our cause. It is in the emotional but thoughtful obedience and effort of some loving women fearless that would attend to Him. It is in peoples two thousand years still having access to their testimonies that will come to believe. It is in a stone being rolling away, human eyes peeking in to see an Angel sitting at the foot of uninhabited burial linens and a folded napkin. It is in four women running back to the house to tell the others in the dawn's early light. Our Lord's faith is most supreme!
May10 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:3:7-12 LEST THEY THRONG - Arrangements have to be made for Jesus' safety; not hostile endangerment per se but, eager/desperate. The pressing of the crowds were like those in a famine at a food distribution line where innocent people do get trampled. Perhaps the most dangerous thing is that people now presume that they can get healed simply by touching Jesus. They don't even have to converse with Him or receive His consent/action. We are told of this being true in a few cases but, not as I am aware as a general rule. With this inhibition torn down the people feel free to press in on and through and around anything or anyone that might stand in their own way. Crowd control is always a major factor as multitudes take on a illogical unpredictable dynamic all of their own. As we see with modern terrorist tactics, a crowd can even be used against itself by malcontents when excited into a stampede or incited into a riot. How odd/nightmarish it must of seemed to be packed into a tight space of sickly even demon possessed people all moving in without self prohibition toward the center. The plan was to stay close to the shoreline cutting off half of the encirclement, providing a means of retreat via small swift boat. The faith of our Lord is very bold but, certainly not stupid. The nature of men, the nature of desperation, the nature of crowds is all taken into account. Being a disciple was often like being a body guard, intense, physical, eerie, and dangerous; not the place for mere academics. The whole experience must have been becoming more and more unimaginable to them. The Lord I am sure takes that into account too.
May17 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:4:30-34 AS THEY WERE ABLE TO HEAR - When they were alone then He expounded. Don't you wish that they would have recorded these teachings? Saved us all a lot of trouble? That tells us two important things right off the bat. One, there is much to take in, too much for one parable/session/three year apprenticeship. Two, Jesus does not mean for just anybody to know because not everyone spiritually discerns it. Despite the huge amount of time He spent publicly/privately, I believe that it can be shown that not even the disciples discerned the message spiritually until after Pentecost. Not because it is too heavy intellectually but, because the mind always tries to discern it intellectually which leads to counterfeiting and approximation and various interpretations. It is almost as if Jesus is investing His teaching forward to the future. He is depositing into their memories knowing that these teachings will not take hold until after they become spiritual. For the moment it is a tiny seed, there is some potential/benefit, what it is though is not what it will become. There is process, there is nurturing, there is husbandry. Take the Kingdom message, He plants it now, He expounds it to those who will carry it forward after Him, they invest/devote themselves to seeking it/Him out, He infuses the seed/their efforts with Spirit, there is miraculous growth. The mind resists this, it bypasses the essential steps and determines the meaning that serves itself best, it universalizes the teaching with other teachings that it can come with on it's own. The mind wants/expects a kingdom of much different design on much different terms. Ask yourself, is this a seed of intellect, a seed of self growth and determination, or is it a seed of spirit, a seed of Heaven on Earth, ever lasting redemption? The faith of our Lord is in big plans and changes in the hearts of all men, a faith where the things of this carnal world are not much more than fertilizer for a much greater thing. That we so easily/readily confuse and contradict spiritual process even as believers by resorting to the present intellect such ethereal matters itself is every indication of the types of things Jesus is up against. The other thing to see is how several parables are meant to interact together as a whole to stimulate/compound growth and yet to protect growth from diseased carnal influences. It will be a substantial and healthy enough end product that the angelic community will be able to be mixed back into it and cohabitate with it as well.
May24 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:6:30-44 GIVE YE THEM TO EAT - It is not just that Jesus took what the Disciples were able to come up with and make it to feed five thousand plus, it was when and why He did it. The Disciples had just returned from their first paired solo excursions and reported everything that had happened. Imagine the testimonies of these men! But, they were tired and needed rest. Yet five thousand other men (not counting women and children) had followed them out to the rest sight. Imagine the disappointment of these men. Did they get their rest? Little energy and barely enough food to feed themselves, what they did have Jesus was able to make more than enough for everybody. Yes. At the point where they thought they had the power to do anything settling quickly to the point of fatigue and human impossiblility, Jesus shows them who the Master still is. His strength is in divine compassion; compassion for these men, compassion for these shepherd-less crowds, compassion for fallen mankind. Divine compassion continually invigorates and supplies. The faith of our Lord is that these many men will experience this divine love from Him and come to accept the terms of it. It is not their love nor power, it is His, it is His Father's, it is the Spirit's. It is there to taste of, to sustain us, to replenish us, to be filled of, to rest assured of/in. We gather together and offer up what little we have collectively, He makes it miraculously all sufficient. Is there rest for the weary disciple and shepherd-less? Yes, in His compassion! GIVE YE THEM TO EAT.
May26 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:7:1-23 HOWBEIT IN VAIN - Imagine spending the bulk of your lifetime judging others presumably on spiritual grounds by what means little to God. If the commandment of God boils down to loving God with all heart/soul/body/strength and neighbor as self, where then have the disciples broken this commandment by not ceremoniously dry washing hands to honour the elders? What would make one ever think that the two are the same unless it was a dirty heart that wanted to appear to others as if it was clean? Imagine being consumed by what went into others' bellies more than what came out of their hearts. Imagine having that be the factor that keeps you from coming to a clear and present knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Imagine that you have come all the way from Jerusalem to argue with/disprove Messiah over that. The funny thing is that even after having this explained disciples like Peter still had problems reversing this clean/unclean thought long ingrained in him later on in life. How deep are the traditions we hold? How do we still hold to them even though we understand differently? Why does such a principal teaching appear to us as a parable and not a plain principal? The faith of our Lord has to keep it's focus. He cannot allow these side issues to detour His teaching, He must vanquish them as soon as they are presented. Our focus must be spiritual and be on Him and His commandment. It can not morph into what we think is spiritual but really is not.
May28 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:7:31-37 ASTONISHED BEYOND MEASURE - It is most astonishing that the deaf and impeded/mute can be healed. I guess that you'd actually have to be there to know absolutely that it was so. This case is probably of a person who spoke and heard at one time previous as they know how to speak once released. Jesus pulls the man aside though so that not many actually saw what He was going to do. Those that did see were told not to say anything about it. To me the proof these many years after is the fact that it could not be contained. Surely there are enough people that saw the before and after who even though they did not see it happening first hand had no other explanation left for it and thus were astonish and vocal about it. After all, how do you keep something like this silent, one minute he is verifiable deaf/mute judging by the reaction and the next healed and the only thing that happened in between is that Jesus pulled Him aside? So that without any words spoken anybody that knew the sequence of event was going to add it all up. Beyond measure is the other indicator to examine as there is very little that can compare to this; the blind seeing, a withered hand immediately made whole, raising of the dead. He must have charged them more than once because the more He did it the more they published it. So is this reverse psychology on His part? Or, is this something about human nature and His judgments that He is revealing to the discerning pupil? The faith of our Lord is aware of the ears and the eyes in the future that will believe or not believe based upon these written testimonies. Words are spread, interpretations corrupt, fables develop. It is important to the Gospel that Jesus makes mention of this even though the people there are going to do whatever they want with this. It is stated for the record, if not for their sake then for our sake. Anyone else speaking to another about this off record would be disobeying the Lord Almighty.
June6 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:9:42-50 LITTLE ONES THAT BELIEVE IN ME - Jesus, not to be distracted, continues with child in arm "And" or furthermore. We were talking service over perceived rank, we continue one step further with anyone with rank that scandalizes/entraps to trip or stumble/entices to sin or apostasy anyone lesser, in this case a vulnerable believer. The occasion would be for a priest, a teacher, a professor, a counselor, an officer or one impersonating one, a parent grandparent or immediate relative or family friend, anyone with the implied suggestion of authority over the youth/pupil/patient/client/parishioner up to and including king or president. The daily news is filled with cases where authority has been occasion for wicked sin and perversion. How much more goes un-reported? The classrooms are filled with persuasive coercion and acidic secular proselytization. The courts and prisons are filled with horrific domestic abuses. Worst of all the Church itself for some has come to symbolize molestation and pedophilia of the most egregious offense of authority. Where is the service to God? Jesus makes absolutely clear what His judgment will be of these people; He repeats it five times worms and hell fire. For those who argue for God's unconditional compassion it needs to be understood where compassion has to surely end in order to be compassion at all. If you think about all it's possible forms, the tentacles reach everywhere. It indeed would be better that before offending the offender would cut or pluck the body part off, but, they won't. That the disease has affected the Church which Jesus set out not to be authoritative in this sense shows how far these tentacles can reach. In face of this we that remain are to have salt ourselves and peace one with another. The faith of our Lord knows the necessity of certain levels of authority but, teaches without distraction against it's selfish propagations and abuses. It is clearly a fault and tendency of all human nature, however the Church must particularly be on the guard for such offenses and mark out each and every offender without tolerance nor delay.
June11 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:10:35-45 TO SIT AT MY HAND - Who will sit at Jesus' side? Not even Jesus knows. You'd think maybe Moses, maybe David, maybe Adam or Noah or Abraham or Joseph. What about Elijah or .....? You see there are a lot of people that you would think would be there long before James and John. What if it is James or John? What if is a old widowed missionary by the name of Paxton from Little Rock 2027 who more than anybody fulfilled the "servant of all" clause Jesus is talking about? You'd say I never heard of Paxton, nor Carmen from 15th century Portugal on His left side. The fact that Jesus does not know means that more than likely we will not know. That's the thing about being a servant, they are usually someone behind the scenes, someone you may have thought was a lonely old stick in the mud or an orphaned gutter dweller run over by a cart at sixteen. It could well be an assistant to someone big that everyone would have thought would be there instead. What if it was Peter's assistant Mark for writing down the words we are reading today? What if it was the Demoniac Jesus restored back on the shores of Decapolis? The faith of our Lord is that these types of honorable decisions for His followers is already being prepared for. His task is to drive onward to the cross, win the prize and spoils for all of us to partake in. The task for us is to minister to and give of ourselves enough to be in the running for "servant of all".
June25 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:14:1-11 SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD - It can't be said that there weren't those who knew that this was the last they'd see Jesus. How much Mary of Bethany understood we are not sure but, at least enough accept this ending and to know to respectfully anoint the body for burial. Peter was willing to fight that the end not happen, others were more concerned about who would be promoted into charge should it end, others were not so sure where it was He was even going, most all could agree with Judas' complaint of her excess. It really is a somewhat sorry state of affairs concerning His disciples except for perhaps one. What is it that we are suppose to remember about this woman in memorial? That she could afford 300 pence of ointment? That she had long saved it for some proper (perhaps her own) occasion? That she had gone out earlier that day and sold something/everything of value to buy this for this specific reason? That God had worked through her to make this happen? We don't know the whole of it for sure. What we can take away from this is that something special happened for a brief moment, a deeply real connection, and that the Lord received the thoughtful and meaningful/costly act of adoration from an admiring follower without even a word. The faith of our Lord is on the look out for moments such as this, moments of connecting. There can be a crowd of intellectual diversions and hypocrisies all around Him and yet He seems quite attuned to these one on one opportunities. This Mary perhaps may be His first true convert.
June26 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:14:12-31 I WILL GO BEFORE YOU - Jesus could not have made it any clearer; betrayal, Shepherd smited, sheep offended/scattered, His body given, His blood shed, soon risen, will go before you to Galilee. All of this is said on the day (dusk to dusk) of unleavened bread (remember the parables?) at the feast of passover (remember leading up to the Exodus?). The many Hebrew connections are quite intense. Having been told this in advance how could one be offended? They are still convinced that there is an alternate way that Jesus could do this that He is not considering. Would He go through with it if they all vehemently swore to stand firm swords drawn at His side? How can you conquer death when you are dead? Is man's sin and transgression really serious enough to warrant this innocent miracle worker's sacrifice? Is this really the time or can He spend another three years preparing them? Can't a man the stature of Jesus make his own choices and determine himself when his time will be? Why is Jesus so set on this one thing and not listening to the counsel of His closest friends? After all of this time do they not have a say? Has He become moon struck like His kinfolk earlier suspected? We leave now out the back door and slip out to Galilee now and....? There are a hundreds way to look at this as a why not and what if. There are a hundred ways of becoming offended that Jesus carries through with this, puts you in the position He does. So He is betrayed, do something about it now beforehand Jesus! It is not like He hasn't escaped death many times before! The faith of our Lord is not moon struck it is awe struck by the righteousness of His Father, that the Father will see this act of obedient submission as satisfying the righteous demands of judgment and mercy, that the Father will see and be pleased, that HIS righteous servant shall justify many having bare their iniquities. The prophet Isaiah long ago asked "Who hath believed our report". The answer? Not even His disciples. When it should have been clear given all this simply by His words "I WILL GO BEFORE YOU INTO GALILEE".
July5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:15:42-47 BOLDLY - The body of Jesus legally remains the property of Pilate at this point. I would think that there would be several interested parties at least as to the whereabouts of the corpse if not full possession of it. Joseph is taking a big chance here if he is a member of the Sanhedrin should Jesus rise the third day as it would mean that He rose or was stolen in Joseph's possession, Joseph would be in kahoots. If he is not Sanhedrin then Pilate's judgment would be called into question. We are not told what became of Joseph nor his partner in this burial Nicodemus. If not known to be believers then they are certainly outed now and with that there must have been a price to pay; how costly would be conjecture. It was a bold move indeed, a considerable honor, an obedience to the Holy Spirit who would be in charge. Perhaps someday we will get the chance to talk to these two men to find out just how bold of a move this really was. The faith of our Lord was that everything, body soul and spirit, happenings on the ground were in the Father and Spirit's capable hands. His faith puts the fates of His followers into the same hands as it always was and is and always will be. As it should be!
July13 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:1:67-80 THROUGH THE TENDER MERCY - Luke is now well into his attempt to convey the certainty of these things to his respected acquaintance. What more can he now be certain about? That this is God's work. False messiahs do not go about planting seeds through the holy prophets thousands of years before their conception. They don't go about setting other people into motion months before their birth. They don't make announcements through Angels and declarations through the Holy Ghost while gestating. One could theorize that somebody else is orchestrating all this, well then of the cast of actors so far who would fit that bill? Would it be Mary? Would it be Joseph who hasn't even been mentioned yet? Zacharias or Elizabeth? The Sanhedrin? Who could impersonate angels, mute priests, impregnate a woman past her years, impregnate a virgin? Some have said that cousins Jesus and John masterminded all of this. How then did they conjure their parents to make these bold declarations before they were even born? The key to all of this goes back to the word of the prophets long before and with all prophecy the participants did not have to be conscious or in agreement with what they were saying or even present for it to still come about. Take Zacharias here, how much of what he was saying did he understand or believe himself? Had he lived to the Crucifixion would he have argued on Jesus' behalf? Would he still want his name associated with all this after it had played out? It is likely that he saw a different interpretation the scriptures quoted and of what the Holy Ghost was saying and yet the prophetical course did move straight ahead. Recall that Jesus said that many would come to Him in that day saying "Lord did we not prophecy in your name". Just because a person was used by God to speak His word does not mean that the person was fully on board later. This truth throughout all prophecy matched alongside with the fact that this is what has come about despite any private interpretation and yet can still be confirmed by scripture is the exact certainty we need to be convinced of. This is God performing His mercy not us deciding what we think this performance should be. The faith of our Lord is that one day will all will come to understand the performance by God of His tender mercy. It has everything to do with His covenant, the remission of sins, deliverance from the hands of our enemies, the holiness righteousness before Him, but, it has everything as well to do with it being done completely on His Father's terms. Having confidence in that will lead us to the certainty that it all has been done right.
July15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:2:8-20 AS IT WAS TOLD THEM - Did anyone follow up on Luke's proposition that there were Shepherds in/around Bethlehem that could attest to this event or people that knew of these shepherds these many years later? The Apostles seem to know of them or else they would have stopped Luke from making such unsubstantiated claims. These four canonized gospels are almost dares or challenges for others/critics to attempt to disprove the facts as depicted, as there are just so many examinable points put forth. Did the Sanhedrin of 45-70 AD make any effort for instances to investigate/rebut these testimonies; and if not then why not? Could they be refuted? The faith of our Lord is putting this all detail out on the line. His story is largely being told by the people around Him describing it; multiple people from multiple vantages. If anybody at that time did make inquiry worthy of debating the evidences provided here it apparently never got long term traction. One would expect that any counter (reliable or not) information would have received much play from Christianity's many immediate/vehement critics.
July29 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:6:1-11 IS IT LAWFUL - After a time or two I think the majority of us would say "I am just going to avoid this on the Sabbath since it is causing such uproar"; you know, pick your battles. Jesus seems to be looking for it. Had the Pharisees any sense they would drop the matter as well. It is obvious that they are operating from an indefensible position based on hardened traditions and He is operating from a sense that He is going to make sure that everybody else knows it. We however frequently read into this that the Sabbath is not important to Jesus which is false; He is the Lord of the Sabbath (is He the Lord then of nothing?). Jesus attempts to free the Sabbath from the death grip of staunch tradition where select authoritarian legalists get to decide what can and can't be done instead of it being a day set apart for rest and reverent worship and holy reflection and yes even an occasional good deed. Jesus does not nix the idea of Sabbath, He nixes the idea that sour pusses can rule over it. So why is Jesus not willing to back down on this? Why is He looking for the fight on this? The faith of our Lord is in the real and true religion, the liberating faith, the unfeigned outreach, the joyous worship. The normal and everyday must be challenged. The way things have been long been done must be challenged. The "because we know better than you" must be re-examined. Not because it all must be done away with but, because the scriptures do lay out a desire on God's part for us to observe such on a truly pure spiritual level. Many of His promises to us stand in sync with these specific observances.
July30 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:6:12-16 LIST OF TWELVE - Well here they are ladies and gentlemen The twelve top human candidates for disciples of God the Son Hand picked Ready for intensive specialized training A once in an ion opportunity Cream of the crop Don't believe it? Let's review the judging criteria. Willingness to leave all behind and follow someone doing something you can't comprehend in a manner that you don't understand. The eliminates the academics and philosophics and intellectuals. Willingness to die for this somebody and His cause after He Himself has died with extreme public humiliation for the same belief/cause. That eliminates the scientific and political. Willingness to present oneself a living daily sacrifice, a bond servant of the gospel. That eliminates any with ulterior motives. We could go on, but let's count who among us is left in the running. That fact is that not one of us has chosen Him not even the disciples, He has chosen us, He has chosen them. Whatever qualities they possessed He alone saw, He alone determined. Those that may have prepared themselves would not have known what to prepare for, most likely they would have been hidden qualities that only He could bring out of us. So why did these men follow at His call? Was it a tough decision on their part or a explainable feeling of destiny? How much of their future did they know upfront? How is it that brothers and partners were just as likely join Him? Recall that Jesus prayed for those whom the Father had given Him. That He did not loose any that were given but the son of perdition. The faith of our Lord is in that which is given by His Father. He has the spiritual balance and discipline afforded (by prayer mainly) to identify where the Father's hand is at this moment, what HE has given for this, what direction HE is leading, what next step will be obeyed. That may be all we need any given moment as well.
August10 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:8:16-18 WHEN HE LIGHTETH - When who lights? Did you light? With what did you light? The answer is that we did not light. Light typically symbolizes the knowledge of God, the candle-stand prophetically the church (or a church). When Jesus lit the light He placed it on a stand so that they that entered in might see the light. He had no intention of hiding it from them, but they did have to enter in. In the OT such a candle and candle-stand was the only light inside the tabernacle in the Holy Place. God's light was the only light that could light the darkness of mankind. Jesus says "I am the Light". John says "the Light came into the world". Jesus addresses seven candle stands, churches of the revelation, holders of His light, He Himself walking in the midst of these candlesticks. In the light of the knowledge of God nothing will remain secret, every dark hidden thing will be found out. God already knows these things, the revelation will be to those that have entered in. First and foremost are the things hidden within our own darkness. To those that have been revealed in His light more revelation will be given. To those that have not been revealed or yet turn away even what has been revealed will be taken away. We must then be careful how we hear. Some believe that the light is their own faith, nothing to do with their darkness being revealed and dealt with, that this is a call to believe all the stronger and let their own faith shine forth. The faith of our Lord is in those that will actually enter into His light, that willingly and consistently become more and more discovered/transformed in the knowledge of His light. It is in the collection of these discovered individuals as a body dedicated to holding true to His light, that stand to raise His light. We are revealed individually, we are revealed holding together as a group.
August11 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:8:19-21 HEAR AND DO - Like His own family it is possible for some to not believe at all. It is possible that some want to believe, but their expectation of Him differs from who He actually is and what He must do. It is possible the some believe, but have yet to do. What is it to do? kjv@1John:3:23 simplifies it "believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another". How do we love? Jesus just gave a parable saying to receive the seed into good ground, keep out that which might wither or choke the word off; He just spoke of a light to those that entered in, were revealed and transformed, raised up His light as a body. It would be nice to think that one just set themselves to loving. Man is incapable of this kind of love however apart from it being a fruit of the Spirit. Doing good as any unregenerate man would do, doing a compassion is one thing; one would not be required even to "hear the word of God" as it would come naturally. This is not the type of doing Jesus is talking about. kjv@John:13:15-17 We should follow our Lord's example. It maybe early on in the developing faiths of His own family; this is not said to discourage them. This puts all men and women on equal footing "he who hears to do it". There is just as much opportunity for any of us should we take it. The faith of our Lord is that many will take Him up on this, not just love with our corrupted forms of love, but have that love revealed and transformed in His light and Spirit, have His love and our love for Him motivate us into doing as He has done. We have the proof that at least two of His half brothers James (the less) and Judas (Jude) took Him up on this at some point, likely several others if not all.
August12 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:8:22-25 JEOPARDY - News Flash. "Boat with Messiah capsizes, no survivors, details at ten". I know it would be highly unlikely to think of it in the midst of a hellacious sea storm, but here on the sidelines it appears to be fairly normal course for these adventurers; if you're gonna "fly" with the master you're gonna have to expect a severe test or three. So where was their faith? Was it in "let the master sleep, we can handle this all by ourselves"? Was it "He always says to believe in ourselves"? Did He? Was it in "He will wake up at some point all we have to do is keep bailing until then"? Was it "oh no... somebody on board has crossed God and we need to throw the scoundrel overboard" like the sign of Jonah that He'd promised? Surely it wasn't that they needed to have the faith to take on the winds themselves? Only one has the power to grip the wind and seas into His fist, to rebuke them and set their limits. Only one has the power to walk on water, to bid another to walk out to Him. This isn't about self will or self determination or extreme confidence. This is about our faith in His redemptive will and sovereign ability over all things. The faith of our Lord is that in order for us to get from here to there (to where He commanded us to take Him) we need see that it is all in His mighty power, authority and resource. He believes that these men will at some point see this. We may not know exactly why the storm or why a tragedy or why it is we stand face to face with our own mortal jeopardy while serving Him but, we do know that He is God our Lord, not one thing escapes His precise dominion. These men's faith would later show up in their later days, what the Lord was able to accomplish through them fearlessly to us ward, what they were willing to endure and suffer. It is faith born with trust and acknowledgement and selfless abandon. Where then is jeopardy when there is this kind of faith in Him? kjv@Proverbs:30:4 kjv@Mark:4:40-41
August28 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:11:33-36 THAT THEY WHICH COME IN MAY - See the light. The whole purpose of the man lighting the candle is for they that come in seeing it. It does not say for them to see their way around the room or so they don't stub their toe. Here are some facts about the light Jesus speaks of: Jesus is the light kjv@John:8:12, the light of the world kjv@John:9:5. Believe in the light that ye may be children of the light kjv@John:12:36, he that follow Me shall have the light of this world kjv@John:8:12. He that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest kjv@John:3:21, he stumbles not because he seeth the light of this world kjv@John:11:9. Take heed therefore that the light that is in you is not darkness kjv@Luke:11:35. There are many so called lights and enlightenment's. Not one of them do truth seekers come to to have their deeds made manifest nor where their belief is based upon what one person has done for them not what they have done for Him or themselves. Our eye must be single individually, collectively, for the purpose of those that come in to see His light. Focused on the insufficiency of our works and the supreme sufficiency of His. He is the light. The candle is not lit that those that come in can see "oh look they are doing supremely sufficient works now" rather "my works fail as well" and "this Lord may have done supremely sufficient for me as well". The eye will then feed this light to the body, the whole shall be full of light. Evil and darkness are tied to our works, light and fullness to His. Can you imagine the faith of our Lord that there will be all sorts of His children about His side filled with His light? From what was darkness of their own insufficiency into light of His total sufficiency? Works having been made manifest and surrendered to His great work? The joy He must anticipate on their faces as He brings them into the presence of His glorious Father? Sets before these His children their eternal inheritance? So now, when the others come in (and they will), what will they see from you? Your works or His? Your light or His? One last: quote kjv@Matthew:5:16. Do they glorify the Father because of our good works? Or that our eye and body being so filled with His light has produced now a spiritual fruit? His doing within us?
September30 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:19:28-44 TIME OF THY SALVATION - Mark the importance of this passage; there is an important shift to take note of. We have known for sometime Jesus's intention, He has been working his way over the past several chapters towards this entrance into the city. For all of the rejoicing and excitement and build up, we must also consider the solemn separation Jesus must feel. When you think of the entry of others they are typically riding the wave of momentum of support and allegiance. To the contrary Jesus is going into this all alone while being surrounded by people that think that they know what needs to happen. Though they've been told what must happen, even His most loyal disciples are far from the true allegiance required supposing that Jesus will opt for other options. He is essentially being carried on the shoulders of the blind and confused into the hidden broad of vipers. Nobody present clearly sees this entry as Jesus does. The faith of Lord is not in the snowplow effect where you are so convincing that everyone else gets swept up and comes along with you, it is in taking the lead when no one else is ready to come along and won't be ready until much later when they realize what has been done. Think of it as that lone shepherd walking into the smoky distance from the fold to give his life for his fold. Eventually their eyes will be opened, but that time is not now. They rejoice now because of what all they have seen, however, what they are about to see will challenge them to their very core!
October25 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:1:29-34 THIS IS HE - Not just anybody can claim another to be the Lamb of God and have it stick. The man who is giving testimony of this is a man whom God has established in very particular un-human ways. John the Baptist has not become who he is by playing his way through the system, by selling himself well to the public, by riding a tide of public sentiment to the top. He is who he is because of who God made him to be. God needed to establish a sentinel prophet and He did exactly that. Few if any of the testimonies we consider as central to our faith resemble anything that men would do to establish a faith. John the disciple/apostle himself was originally a disciple of the Baptist John and likely turned to follow Jesus based on the witnessing of this event and the Baptist's own testimony. Though the Baptist and Jesus are cousins, John swears twice that he did not truly know Him as such until this day when the Spirit descends and remains upon Him. A lot can be said as kids growing up, but until a sign from heaven the size of this happens it is not much more than talk. So we rely upon the testimony of the Baptist God established, and the Baptist's younger disciple brought up to testify to that event when the Spirit God sent to testify Jesus as the now present incarnate Son of God. The faith of our Lord is in the marvelous multiple threads of testimonies woven into the fabric of our honest faith.
October29 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:2:12-25 DESTROY THIS TEMPLE - Jesus knew what was in man. For instance, men ask for a sign, but don't take the time to think the sign through, to see it for what it truly means. Jesus never said that He would destroy the temple, He said that they would. Therefore, regardless of anything said beyond that they are completely off track. This issue does come up again and we see that they are still of the mind Jesus intends to destroy the temple. They are asking for a sign of His authority and pinning it to a misconception that He wants to destroy. Once taken this direction, their minds are consumed by the obsessive thoughts of how a facility of stone of this size could be rebuilt in three days. Nothing of what He is saying is being understood. So similarly then why would He commit himself to men when they falsely believe on Him even for the miracles? We ourselves must be aware of this ill being within us. What are we mis-understanding? What are we falsely believing? What have we allowed into our zeal that has made our worship into a market place? Why didn't Jesus make it clearer at that time that He was talking of His body? There may be a fine line between making a permissive statement about what this human ill leads men to do and making it a outright suggestion or command. There is a difference between "why don't you kill me and we'll see" and "not even death can hold me down". He is not asking for them to kill Him, He is suggesting that because of what is in them that they will. He is suggesting that when they look back on all this they will remember these words and realize how far off track they really were, that He would have raised and that that would be the final sign of authority that they had sought. The faith of our Lord is not in the apparent success of numerous followers, but in the eventual belief that each will hold when His righteousness if fully performed. There is a long distance that they must be lead through to get them to where their belief is fully in that unadulterated mode. It shows how far the human heart universally has sunken and how much further it typically has to go before being turned around and set straight. It is interesting that His half brothers and sisters where with Him a short time, for down the road they too will later need to be turned as well.
November25 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:11:1-16 BECAUSE HE SEETH THE LIGHT - The thing that is sure to catch the eye is the intensity of the miracle and the set up to it. There is something stated here that could slip by if not pointed out. The concern of the disciples is obvious and sincere. Without being there I believe it is hard/impossible for us to grasp just how dangerous getting to (and back from alive) this miracle will be. You and I would see the danger and we'd be able to come up with several self justifications dressed up in alternate but safer forms of ministry, a letter, an envoy, a bouquet, a tract, an evening of group prayer. If we were a messiah we could even issue the command to rise from far away. Jesus does not shy away from this. How does He know from all His options which course of action is the correct one? How does He favor the one when everyone else is convinced otherwise? How does He keep Himself from stumbling? Jesus inserts a quick illustration walking in the light of day; there being twelve hours. Though I don't claim to understand it with any certainty, at the same time I know that this insertion was not frivolous or placating. I believe that the answer He meant for us is in His answer here. So often we are faced with several immediate options only one of which we can actually take. We apply our wisdom to the discernment of which one to choose. As we process those decisions, by what light are we analyzing them by? Our Lord's decision is lit by the glory of the Father seeking to glorify the Son. Has that ever since changed? Lazarus's body was dead and decaying, his soul had not yet transitioned (nor would it this time) it was sleeping and unaware awaiting the Son to receive the Father's glory. Lazarus's condition is not a common condition of death for others, it is like being laid out on the ledge spiritually presented by the Father for the Savior to come and show Himself by. Who else's death can we say this of?. Jesus sees this presentation and knows that He must move that direction no matter what the supposed cost might be. IS this the type of presentation we should be looking for as well? If He is sent here to do the Father's work, here is where the Father's work is sending Him. We too must become more and more aware of the pathways appearing in front of us. We were created unto good works, works that He will direct us to should we be alert and not fear the assumed consequence. The faith of our Lord is that there is twelve hours in this symbolic spiritual day and that the work does not end until the lights are completely out. If the light shows another task to be done then what is to stop Him, HE SEETH THE LIGHT.
November26 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus *John:11:17-37 BELIEVETH THOU THIS - We have illustrated for us the different levels of belief. There is the belief of if He had been there, the brother would not have died. Is this true and how many other levels of belief does this branch off into? There is the belief whatsoever He ask, God will giveth it to thee. This is true, but how many other directions could this branch off into? There is the belief thou art the Christ which is come into this world. This is true, but how many other directions could this branch off into? There is the belief I know that he will rise again in the latter resurrection. This is true, but how many other directions does this lead? There is the belief could not this man which opened the eyes of the blind cause that this man have not of died. Again, all true, but how many other ways could these belief branch off? The question is how does this event have the Father best glorify the Son? Jesus says "he that believe in me shall never die. Believeth thou this"? He is speaking this about a dead believer. "Though he were dead yet shall he live" it is stated. Obviously, physical death is not death, eternal separation from God is. "I am the resurrection and the life". Think of how many different directions our faith can be taken with all the other human approaches, even scriptural approaches. Yet there is only one direction our faith can be drawn by this particular approach wherein the Father is glorifying the Son in this passage. Jesus is "The Life". Not even physical death can deny it. If it is too hard to believe it by what He says, believe Him because of His works; works such as this raising the dead to life. Four days dead and the body putrefies. Four days dead and the professional mourners come to wail at your doorsteps. Four days dead and you start coming up with all these beliefs and rationalizations that take you every which way, but toward the truth. Four days dead and the impossibility of it all becomes overwhelming. The faith of our Lord, He believes in a sweet spot, a spot where if hit full on that men's faith only have one direction to go. Choose you this day between life or death. The life that surpasses death's decay and corruption or else the death eternal that separates one's soul from God's. This is the glory of the Father upon the Son. Believeth Thou This?
December20 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:18:25-27 THE COCK CREW - It is almost like following two stories simultaneously, the most important time for Jesus, but His story keeps getting interrupted by Peter. The stories though are not separate and it is not an interruption because Jesus had predicted this. Jesus' concern was always for His disciples and friends, Peter being high on that list. He has invested so much into these men and women. Like you and I as parents though where you know that you've done everything you can to see your kids off on the right road at the same time you know that they are going to have to make their own mistakes. You can talk and talk until you are blue in the face and they are blue in the ears. You would think that they know, you pray that they would know and not have to go through these things, but they are not truly going to know until they go out on their own and are tested. I believe it is much the same with our Lord Jesus as He looks upon Peter and therefore us. Peter may be the first of His kids to spread his wings out as he was the first in so many other things. He certainly has the desire to be there, yet at the same time he has the "know it all" cockiness that can spell big failure. Peter swore that he had the control not to allow this to happen and he meant every word. Now the cock crews. Interesting that it is a cock, meaning everybody there outside and in probably heard it, it may have stood out like a sore thumb (is it really already that time?). It is not just that we make mistakes, it is often mistakes that other people can't help but know about; in this case John and Jesus would have known the special significance. John may now have tearfully understood that the two story lines are really one. The story line is where the ministry stood as Jesus approached the climax of His trial as He watched along the dawning horizon of His disciple's new frontiers. It stood broken and flat and scattered. We could say that it was unprepared for the reality happening all around it, just like with our kids. On the other hand it has been prepared, the only way it can be prepared, trained up in way it must go, shown the path that it must return to. Note that these men are not operating in the Spirit as of yet; the Spirit is yet to come. Until we come to the path in the Spirit, say what we will, intend what we intend, be as bold and confident as we can muster, we will be much like Peter is right now - strongly believing yet denying the very person we desire to glorify, sticking out to those who know the significance, being noticed for the peculiarity by everyone else. The faith of our Lord is in us operating in His Spirit. He is willing to allow us our mistakes at first. Our mistakes however should be bringing us to realize our need for His Spirit in short order else they are not just mistakes, they become short sighted disobedience. Thankfully, Peter figures this all out in short order; the investment in Him made by the Lord pays off.
December25 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:19:38-42 BEING A DISCIPLE - There is some apparent coordination between Joseph and Nicodemus. Nicodemus would not have bought so much spice unless there was some certainty the Joseph was going to be able to get the body from Pilate. There may have even been some discussion by the two of them with Pilate after the sentencing increasing the certainty. The two are both disciples of Jesus within their respective parties showing us that there may not have been a unanimous consent with the high priest, but not enough power to have changed the course of events. Some readers interpret this as a sign of their weakness of faith, I see it rather as just the harsh reality of things on the ground. They may have wanted things to be different, but this one thing was all that they felt the power to do. We must also be aware of such realities, that there are people in places and positions least expected of the faith and that there are limits to what believers within political structures can do. There is also the reality that this is what God the Father wanted to be done, there is no working against that. The faith if our Lord is presented in that during His life time He had measurable effect on a great many people, people that we would not at first expect. Whether He Himself had had any influence on these after plans we do not know, such a thought would be secondary to the greater sense that He trusted that the right thing would be done with His body regardless.
December30 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:21:1-14 AND YE SHALL FIND - There are just certain moments in a life time that guys will always and fondly remember. That moment away from it all with your buddies doing what you want to do, no pressures, everything in the universe suddenly just clicks. It is usually times like a fishing or hunting trip, a dusk or a dawn, concluding around a fire, a simple meal of the day's catch. You can remember Peter out of nowhere, totally unexpected jumping of the boat almost as to John's beckoning swimming to shore; oh how we laughed at him. You can remember John at the hearing of another's voice saying "it's the Lord"; oh how our hearts lightened up. You can remember Thomas and the other's looking at each other as if to say "well someone better hang on to this net or esle we loose all these fish"; oh how we smiled and the fish nearly pulled us to shore as if to get a glimps of our Jesus. It was a crazy crazy night, but one that each one of you will fondly remember, perhaps even to your last awkward moments together, perhaps even to the moment of hearing of the passing of another of these friends much later on. It is a bonding moment, a life long bond, and the taste of fresh fish smoked over dried beach wood will never taste so good. Women have these moments. Men have these moments. We could of course try to make more out of it for ourselves, you know Peter with all of his professional skills could not catch a fish that night, you know this is the second time Jesus has surprised Peter in this same manner, you know ministry is often the same with our own resources verses the Lord's. You just know there are some lessons that we could take out of this. I choose this time to believe that this was a moment for these men in particular, with everything that has recently happened, all of the pressure they've all been under, a time to just be "buds" with our Lord. It was a perfect moment. Yea there is more to it; there always is. The faith I have in our Lord is that He is just as real and just as pleasurable as any body that you would ever hope to meet, that He enjoys the simple moments because often they are the longest lasting, that He enjoys hearty conversation and joyous song and dance by a fire sometimes until dusk. The faith of our Lord is in our deeply bonded fellowship, Him to us, us to Him, us to one another, all with the Father. Certainly there is much work to be done all the time, but there must also be within that these moments of fellowship and communion to partake of as well. I bet our Lord cooks a mean mean fish!