January1 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus geneva@Matthew:1:1-17 - 42 generations. A span of some 1950 years. Peoples lives and peoples future hope in God. It is a long time preparing mankind for the Savior's entry. There has been nearly a constant steady movement towards this moment when Son becomes incarnate flesh. Things are about to take a sudden turn. The taskmaster, the Law is about to be fulfilled and the Law of Grace about to superceed it. What do we find as the faith our Lord possesses in this geneology?. 1. His faith in the Father's plan, His judgment, His timing. 2. A faith in the Holy Spirit's abilities once the Son comes into this flesh and a faith in the same when He departs. 3. A faith in His own complete submission. 4. A faith backwards to include salvation to those this life has passed, a faith present into the salvation of those with whom He will be here with for 3+ years, a faith future toward the salvation of thise who will believe based on these present men's testimony. It is a large faith that we hope to look more deeply into as this journal continues.
January8 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:4:1-11 THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS IN THE WILDERNESS - There is more than a books worth of journaling to be done here, this is the much condensed version. The Spirit leads Jesus to a place to be examined by the devil, Jesus has given Himself into the Spirit's hands at all times (we are not told that the Spirit just dropped Him off), Satan has no power over Him at any time other than to attempt to test Him; Jesus had willingly submitted Himself to this and this is faith one. Knowing the source of this inquiry, Satan, the best strategy is always to refuse doing/showing/proving anything, being able to identify that this was Satan is made clearer as always by a. knowing/believing God's will/plan and b. days of devoted fasting and communion with Spirit/Father and c. seeking/memorizing not only scripture but the underlying principals involved; this is faith two. Some preachers make this event to sound as some monumental battle of wills and enticements. I believe this to be an event where both fighters had each other sized up before hand and that Satan was staring face to face with his ending, making sure that this one was the true one come in the flesh.
January14 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:5:17-20 THE LAW BY JOT AND TITTLE - The faith of our Lord is written all over this passage. First that He did not come to destroy the Law/Prophets, He came to fulfill. There is the letter of the Law and the spirit of the law. The spirit of the Law is that it was meant all along to be a vehicle to convict all men of their sin and drive men to repentance and acceptance of the remission of sins secured in the blood of the promised Christ. Christ fulfilled the spirit of the Law by proving even to the most ardent adherents of the Law their utter inability yet to escape sin (as in their adherence they broke every single one of their commandments putting Messiah to death). The relevance of the Law never ends until the sinner is brought to the point of depending solely upon the grace and righteousness of Christ. The second article of faith presented is that the righteousness that He would impute upon us believers through His death and resurrection would far exceed the assumed righteousness of even the most zealous and fanatic adherers of the Law. His faith is quite unlike any other's indeed.
February1 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:8:5-13 MANY SHALL COME SIT DOWN - The Centurion was a gentile Roman captain over one hundred. When the Lord says many from the east east and west, He means to include non-Hebrews at a banquet alongside even the Jewish patriarchs. When He says I have not seen such faith in all of Israel He is pointing to the fact that amongst His own something has been left amiss, apparently with their perception and acknowledgement of His authority. An outsider is portrayed as being in the inner circle while many of the covenant children are left out in the darkness. The man's faith and perception of authority is made an example of. The faith of our Lord believes that both Jew and Gentile would be able to see and sense His authority and thus be petitioned of to be put to use for the good of others. We are not told of the servants faith, but, we do know that he was healed by the faith of another convinced of our Lord's authority.
February3 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:8:18-22 HOLES AND NESTS - Our lives are filled with priorities. One man believes he can set Jesus as his number one priority, Jesus asks him to consider more carefully just how much of a priority that commitment could become. Another man has Jesus as his priority but another priority temporarily becomes more the priority, Jesus asks him to reconsider. The Lord knows our hearts and our lives. He knows that they are controlled by priorities; priorities that we ourselves set. At this particular time, given His short stay, His disciples priority had to be one thing and one thing only. Even during His time here at times He worked within other peoples commitments (Peter's mother in law for instance) to make His message known. Now that His pathway for us has been paved, though we be not removed from being His disciples, neither are we to remove ourselves from our vows and obligations. The message is that we make those vows and obligation and we set those priorities; not to make those rashly or hastily or foolishly that they become a distraction from our true obligation following and serving the discipline of our Lord. Not to let those involvements become an excuse for not proceeding further in the Lord's work. Understand how much sacrifice and commitment our discipleship must at all times be. Our Lord's faith is shown in how single minded and dedicated His obligation and priority was and is.
February6 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:9:1-8 THAT YOU MAY KNOW... ARISE - Does Jesus actually link palsy to sin? It could be read this way. However, if so why did He not say 'that you may see that sin causes palsy and that I have the power to forgive sin'. Would He have left the man at 'good cheer' had it not been for the thoughts of blasphemy in the audience? We have a observable evidence here in being able to walk. We have an unobservable evidence here being forgiven. Could it be that this healing was meant to be testament to His power as Christ first and foremost and if Christ then the power to heal as well as the power to forgive? The audience seemed to think that God had given a power to men. The power to heal palsy by the casual forgiveness of sins? Or the power to come to a Christ who has the proven authority to do either or both? Is it easier to say forgiven or arise? Both are impossible to say if you are not Christ. The faith of our Lord is in the authorities given Him by the Father for the purposes of performing the Father's will. Not only does He believe in such, He is willing and able to demonstrate such; both observable and unobservable.
February9 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:9:18-26 THY FAITH HATH MADE THEE WHOLE - It is one thing to go along with the flow against Jesus, another when presented with a deep need that you rebellion cannot negotiate and He becomes your only chance. Jairus is a ruler of the synagogue. We are not told whether he was a believer either before or after, we only know that he was for this moment. The woman with issue took it upon her own, nothing had been said about touching His garment to be healed that we are aware of. Surely many people had touched Jesus, she however believed. Had they not need or faith or initiative? Is Jesus looking for a certain type of faith? Perhaps a faith planted by the Spirit alone that becomes all one's own? A inner faith that compels a person to do the unlikely? Propels a person against the tide of the mass of commonality? The faith of our Lord does what it sees the Father do. In a crowd of many outward faiths it sees the lone inner faith as a indicator of the Father's doing and therefore does the Father's will to it in response.
February22 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:13:24-30 WHILE MEN SLEPT - The Kingdom sowed but, certain men were apparently given the responsibility of watching over the field and did not. While they slept the enemy came in and planted near identical yet false seed. This parable goes hand in hand with the original Parable of the Sower. Wouldn't it be good to know that along with your personal struggle to bring forth fruit that there is a field (world) of other believers going through the same process? Wouldn't it be equally as good to know that not everyone that you would think by appearance is of the same stock? No one would know until the final fruit was harvested. It is interesting that all the enemy had to do is plant the seed and then go about his way. Are these darnel seeds subject to the same process of root and depth and parching sunlight as the wheat? Most likely. Is one required to grow the other? Apparently not. What then is the difference and how can they be identified? Not even the servants from above can tell until the final fruit is bore. Once intermingled, removing the one would uproot the other. Imagine for instance the prospects of the Protestant church if ever the Catholic Church was removed or vise versa. The faith of our Lord is in that while this did not need to happen it was going to and did happen because men do sleep. It is deceptive to say that all paths lead to God when not all seed leads to the same fruit, when not all seed is planted to the same intent by the same kingdom. While we cannot identify the measure now amongst ourselves, He certainly can when all things come to fruition.
February23 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:13:31-35 SECRET FROM THE FOUNDATION - There may be a way to look at these parables and have them confirm what we have known all along. Jesus intends though to reveal things that have been concealed up until now and this/that parable. One must ask 'what do I understand now that until this parable was not known'? To do that one must search deeply with more than a passing glance. If the tiniest of seeds becomes a substantial tree, if the Kingdom hidden in three measures of meal raise the entire loaf, what new thing then does that mean? I think that the casual reader gets that He is talking about increase or growth here. Do they get what it is that is growing? Isn't the example of leaven also used as a analogy to spiritual corruption? Isn't the mustard seed used of the size of faith? Commentary cannot answer everything for you. Somethings simply must be searched out by one's self. To know that the true meaning is deep down into what has been concealed is an invitation into the parable. To know that parables are only opened up to the honest and sincere of reverent faith is a discipline. It is the faith of our Lord that all those that truly ask/seek/knock will find this wisdom and that this wisdom will grow out into every area and aspect of the believer's life. That the lives of believers together and united will combine throughout the world and ages to be supernaturally more than can be found in just one person.
February26 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:13:47-52 GATHERED OF EVERY KIND - Ah so all paths do lead to God; God's judgment. The Kingdom of Heaven is the net drawing up all types. A division is then made between the wicked and just as performed by angels. The basis of distinction appears to be clear black and white with little guess work or inquiry. The wise scribe is one instructed in the net that aptly draws from old and new testaments to convince men to change their ways in light of this judgment beforehand. These disciples surrounding Jesus now many will be writers documenting and testifying to what they have heard and seen. We have insight into their rationale and method by understanding the net. It is because of and through the Kingdom of Heaven that this all can take place. It is the faith of our Lord that the Kingdom of Heaven is now come and is further coming, that He is the key component of this net that makes this judgment holy and right. Because of Him the believer becomes just by imputation and the non-believer becomes wicked by insolence. The differentiation is simple based on ones belief in Him.
February27 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:13:53-58 BECAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF - The people of Nazareth were astonished but, not in the right way; they were astonished that the son of their well known carpenter was causing such a national disturbance. They may have even been witness or over-hearers of the burden Jesus' fame was placing on the rest of the family in these parts. Perhaps there was an embarrassment of their own. Here we see the limits of miracles, they are easy to write off, overlook or to see in the wrong light. Some would theorize that Jesus needed others to believe that He could do it in order to make a miracle happen, therefore He did few miracles during this time frame. It seems more likely that there was no point in wasting the efforts if they were just going to produce more of the same feelings of offence. Jesus limited Himself to mostly teaching, not that He didn't want to offend but, that He didn't want any progress to be set back. As always, He did what was right/given. The fact that this response from others was predicted by Isaiah (and others) should have alerted those in the know to caution or even quiet optimism. kjv@John:7:15-16 John records that Jews even marveled thinking that He was untrained. Jesus' reply was quite simple 'My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me'. The faith of our Lord is in knowing that human perception is always biased but can be swayed in some with much effort exposing falsity and truth. Others this effort merely offends. Miracles/signs can get into most doors but, not necessarily their hearts. You do what you can do with these doubters and leave it in God's patient hands for the rest.
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.
March6 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:16:1-4 YE DISCERN THE FACE OF THE SKY - Is there any difference between Satan tempting Christ at the temple peak and the Pharisees/Sadducees here on ground zero? In their minds these men are simply demanding an indisputable sign, something in/from the heavens that would prove once and for all that Jesus is/isn't the Son of God. Where in their scriptures was it ever said that there would be a sign such as this given? Was it not said rather that the sign given would be that He would heal the lame and the sick, proclaim deliverence the captives, be rejected by His own....? Is not the fact that they are asking for a sign a sign in itself? Why would He not just give them/us a certain sign? What about doing so would be tempting God thereby proving that He is not the promised one? Are we certain that such a sign would even be accepted? That such a heavenly declaration would not be an immediate then eternal curse to our rebellious hearts that would go about it's own way regardless? The faith of our Lord is in His installments of faith into man. He believes in the faith we will someday have even though there is no certain and present sign. He believes that with His slow and steady and methodical pressure that the heart will be brought to see their errors of it's direction and will turn eventually to follow His. A sign if it weren't for tempting God would only scare the heart further away; destroy the process that He is using to build faith and trust and desire within us with. Besides, there are great and wondrous signs big and little all around us, if with discerning eye we were to see. Faith comes through the knowledge of the righteousness of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ kjv@2Peter:1:1
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?
March8 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:16:13-20 WHOM AM I - The base context throughout is who Jesus is, not Peter, not the Church, everything is His, God is unchanged about not being a respecter of persons. God has revealed who Jesus is first hand to the disciples for whom Peter is often spokesman, they in turn at this point are to tell no man. The label Messiah/Christ unfortunately has a much more corrupted political meaning outside the group than Jesus wishes to draw attention to at this time. They are the very first, there was no one other to tell/reveal it to them, in this respect they are truly blessed. The foundation He has built already in them through revelation knowledge and in person witness/testimony is the Rock that He will continue to build His Church upon. The Rock is who Jesus is. The keys for Peter are the same keys as to any gospel believer/evangelist, abiding in the righteousness and knowledge of God and Son and applying all diligence toward becoming fruitful. With faith in the person of Jesus Christ and obedience to the will of Jesus Christ both heaven and earth mirror each other in the ability to bind and loose for the Kingdom sake. The faith of our Lord in who He is and what the Father is doing through Him towards us. It is the same faith He calls His gathered believers to hold and identify with. It is not to establish an intermediary papal system; it is a direct assembly/submission to Himself and His immediate Lordship alongside other like minded servants. Nothing, not even death, not even a papal version of itself, will prevail against this type of Christ infused church.
March10 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:17:1-13 ARISE AND BE NOT AFRAID - The Disciples believed, and for at least four of them because of their belief they were granted a sign. Not just a sign but, the momentary presence and voice of God the Father. Why then only four? Why then keep it secret? To release such information would cause quite the stir; a stir amongst the other disciples, a stir amongst the public. A stir in one direction is productive, a stir in another counter productive. Egos are damaged and inflamed, issues get side tracked, importance becomes orphaned. Why then grant the sign? It has as much to do about the connection of Jesus to Moses and Elias and their where abouts in all of this. In their presence He remains the glorious object. Peter sought three tabernacles when the Father stepped in saying 'this is my Son; hear ye Him'. To contrast this glorious moment so abruptly with the road of suffering ahead is vitally important. The faith of our Lord is not just in who He is and what position He should rightfully be seen, it is in what He must do now to bring man along to a vantage point where we can see Him in that light and how much it will cost. It is a light that we are unaccustomed to. A light that makes us to drop to the ground as if dead in fear. But, by a touch of His hand and a whisper in His voice we are brought to stand and listen.
March11 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:17:14-23 OH FAITHLESS AND PERVERSE GENERATION - What is the cause of this issue? The man? The child? The Disciples? The crowd? The generation! How long will they provoke? How long will He suffer them? We see the broad range of Jesus' task. It is not just the faith of any one person, it is the pool of sin from which we are all taken. We know nothing other than this. For this brief time each of us will experience what the other side of the spiritual universe is like. Why did this possession come about? Why did it go on for so long? Why when the disciples had the anointing did the anointing not work? Faith? Where do we get our faith? How do we come to believe such a powerful gift? Is it faith in the power or faith in the person that holds the power? Faith in the person for whom the disciple is an ambassador? The faith of our Lord is in light of everything that this generation represents and all the struggles that even the true followers will have even within their own faith that it all in the end works out right. That He will have to suffer this generation but a while longer.
March13 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:18:1-9 CONVERT AND BECOME AS - Follow the question from beginning to end; it remains 'who is the greatest'. The child is the symbol of a true believer, converted and becoming, the offender one who thinks himself greater or greatest, that he holds special rank or position there. The hands, feet and eyes aren't the cause of thinking oneself greater they are merely the means of action. The action is an attempt to trap or entice others to their point of view. Such offenses are sure to come, they were occurring even amongst His own disciples, but, woe to those by whom the offence comes. Think of what actions you might come up against that are intended to entice you into attempting to raise your position better or best in the kingdom as well, most are legalistic. When Paul addresses similar humility it is as opposed to the offences of legalism as well. Hands feet and eyes then are trying to impose legalism in many of these cases. How does best or greatest have any regard to a child who only yearns for the sense of family and belonging and safety? What type of kingdom is it where legalists only seek to out do each other and make others to behave the same? Who is the greatest is a selfish question with a unpleasant trap door. The faith of our Lord is in a kingdom comprised of family, of belonging, of inclusion, of joyful community experience. Unless one converts their way of thinking and becomes like a kingdom child in thought and action one very likely will not fit into the type of kingdom Jesus has awaiting, many may not be allowed or even permit themselves enterance therein. Like a child we have much to learn, much to be part of, and much joy to experience from our loving Father.
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.
March20 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:20:1-16 WHATSOEVER IS RIGHT - What is fair and just to us is largely a matter of perception. It shouldn't be that way but, it of course is. At the end of the day the first laborers hired think the master harsh and the last think that he is the greatest. The first had agreed to a penny, it was a very good day's wage. What upset them was that those that followed got the very same wage for half or quarter the work. What difference would it make if they made a very good day's wage? A wage they agreed to from hour one till the time wages were issued? The master said that he would pay each person whatever was right and he did. He was more than generous to all with his money and helped a great many unemployed people. Would you be upset that a man receiving Christ on his death bed was rewarded the same as you who had served the Lord all your life? Would you not be happy that the man was not left cold and dark and hungry? Let's take it a step further, would you be angered if a nominal believer received a certain blessing but not you? Is the blessing not His as well as the many long range reasons? Is not the kingdom His, first last and last first or what ever? The faith of our Lord is in whatsoever is right as a kingdom just as much as it is what is right for the individual. His warning is that we, being short sighted, may not see it that way. Many will be offended even though there is no cause because of their personal perception of fairness.
March24 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:21:1-11 HOSANNA - kjv@Psalms:118:26 is where 'blessed is he' comes from. Hosanna is better defined as both kjv@Psalms:118:25 'save us now I beseech thee' and kjv@Psalms:118:26 'blessed is he' combined. In turn we must recall kjv@Psalms:118:27 as well 'bind the sacrifice' 'unto the horns of the alter'. If Jesus is aware of the quote that the crowd is chanting (we must assume that He does) then He would know the context of how He is to bless/save them and why it is that He has come; He is the sacrifice. kjv@Zechariah:9:9 is where the 'thy King cometh' comes from which has it's meaning continued in kjv@Zechariah:9:10 'shall speak peace to the gentiles' and 'dominion...to the ends of the earth'. While this is the time for riding the ass and colt in, this is not the time for the ends of the earth. Why not? He is to be bound to the alter first. The palm branches I believe are from the Feast of the Tabernacles, a harvest time remembrance of the Lord leading the captives out of Egypt. The symbolism is to deliverance from sin. This day's events are rich with meaning, but, He is the only one that really knows really what that meaning truly is. The faith of or Lord stands alone. Even the closest to Him know little of what He sees even at jubilant times such as these.
March25 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:21:12-17 HOUSE OF PRAYER - Though not recorded by Matthew, John depicts this event as the second time in but a few years that Jesus has done this temple cleaning. The problem continues. Currency exchanges and selling doves (the poor man's sacrifice) were not wrong per se, they were actually needed especially this time of year due to volume. We believe that either the profit margins or inconstant arbitrary rates or the location (Court of Gentiles) or all were amiss. The temple priest surely were by now aware if not complicit in the unfair trade. A house of prayer is made a den of thieves and many more than just the vendors were involved thus giving the Temple a bad public reputation. The issue more than anything is how quickly these weed like practices reseed and take root and flourish. It leaves us to wander if in the Lords eye it is not seen the same today. How much of what we know as our "Temple" experience isn't clouded by greed and profiteering and unscrupulous religious industry? The faith of our Lord is in the access for all men to a common place of worship. A place for congregation. A place of prayer and healing. A place for the perfected praise of devoted adherents young and old alike. A place undefiled for sinners and weary souls alike to return to their most holy God. He knows that without Him it just doesn't happen on it's own; in fact He is likely to displease those to whom He has given charge.
March27 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:21:23-27 IN LIKE WISE - He says you can answer your own question with one word, the answer to my question will be the answer to yours. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth. He waxed strong in the Spirit waiting in the desert for God's word to come. Once word was received he then preached a consistent message the repentance for the remission of sins telling the Pharisees specifically to bring fruit worthy of repentance. He preached in the spirit/words from Elijah preparing the way of the Lord. A great many were prepared by him to hear the words of the one to follow, not the elders and chief priests however, their road was paved to be hewn down like a fruitless tree, there was shown no fruits of repentance. It was a worse sin in their book for Jesus not to comply under their authority than not comply with God's. Whose authority? Well it certainly was not theirs. John had called them vipers to whom wrath was to come, urged individuals of them to flee. Where are these men now today? Where is their authority gone? It is gone. Why indeed did they not believe John then? What was there to fear from the people if they themselves were correct? The faith of our Lord is in the authority of God as proven out by the Holy Spirit. Things have been done, steps made and proven out for millennium by the Spirit to prepare these next few days, things that Jesus if a man could not have possibly prepared for himself. All the pieces now will fall together, mind you not accidentally but, quite masterfully. Had they really been concerned about proper authority they would have traced all the steps.
March28 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:21:28 INTO THE KINGDOM BEFORE YOU - Let me try my hand at stringing the past few sections together. They are tied by the authority of the Father, the ability/responsibility of the believer who is convinced of that authority, and the message to the church and then the world for repentance as preached by John; the way of righteousness. They also have the common thread of producing fruit for a divine purpose. Let us suppose that the fig tree is the calcified/unrepentant church; John/Elijah said that Messiah would hew it down, Jesus says that if one does not doubt the Father's authority that they will have this power too. Then there is the call to go out into the vineyard and work. Here He illustrates that if you say you're going to obey the authority of the Father and don't go work the vineyard the kingdom is not yet yours. Repentance from this disobedience separates those who will receive it and those who will not. If the fig tree speaks of unrepentant/disobedient religion as a whole then it is just as likely that He is speaking of the repentant/obedient Church of the Disciples as a whole as well; this would explain the two sons, Jew and Christian (both His). This is not to say that individual members of these bodies cannot become encumbered by these tendencies also. The faith of our Lord is in this "way of righteousness". It begins with the righteousness and authority of the Father, works it's way outward through the prophets of old and the law which Jesus fulfills, continues as a call to the world at large to repentance and then obedience back to the authority of the Father thus producing the fruit in us of an overall righteousness. It is collective just as much as it is individual. The way of righteousness is righteous in every way.
March31 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:22:15-22 WHY TEMPT YE ME - Even today men seek to catch Him in a lie or contradiction, to entangle/corner Him in His talk. They present their question with flowery praise, the good lord, good prophet, good teacher, but, it is all done to disprove Him to believers or potential believers. They counsel together on the internet, in the class rooms, in the courts and temples. They come in both religious and political varieties. Strange/unlikely bed fellows intermix to come against Him. How do we know/spot them? By just that At the core they are hypocrites You will notice that the argument is over a penny, small change when it comes to the loftier things of God. With Simon kjv@Matthew:17:25-27 Jesus had made it a point that during an captivity/occupation tribute is extracted heavily from the occupied in order to lessen the burden on the true citizen. The Jews had whistled their self sovereignty away by rejecting the Lord and were now being taxed for it by their conquerers. The coin is Caesars just as they are. kjv@Luke:23:2 Jesus is accused of exactly the opposite of what He has said at least twice now. They are utter hypocrites. They puff Him up to tear Him down, they intellectually place Him in positions that they think impossible to defend when He is not in that position to begin with, they bring questions that are of little consequence to the overall debate. Render to God what is God's? They cannot, it is no longer their's to render. The faith of our Lord is in knowing that we will be met by such people. Though we give these people too much importance given their track record, though we might think they are finally coming around to see things as we do, they are constantly there and the same regardless. He believes that the truth will be proven out, the truth about Him, the truth about them.
April1 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:22:23-33 YE DO ERR - The Sadducees dict:easton Sadducee were largely defined by their non belief in the resurrection. They attempt the same brain twister on Jesus that stupefied so many a Pharisee. Unless one knows scripture dict:naves Resurrection which points to life after death and considers God's power kjv@Jeremiah:32:17 kjv@Philippians:3:21 one is left to fall into this conundrum of false logic. As to there being no marriage in the resurrection, I believe this is a new revelation or a composite of a larger base of scriptural doctrines. The Sadducee's case seems to involve more human logic than any particular scriptural knowledge, apparently they had not thought through the logic enough to have foreseen the logical resurrection confirming answer Jesus could use to easily escape their supposed trap with. We must be careful ourselves when scripture suggests something and our logic is spent exclusively attempting to disprove it; even more so when we cherry pick single scriptures to say what they do not. The Sadducee's are gone as a power by the time of the destruction of the Temple AD70, suggesting a change of public sentiment regarding resurrection and proof of Messiah hewing down the fruitless trees of that time. The faith of our Lord is rooted deeply in scripture and the sovereign omnipotence of God. It is also in the purpose to which He created man initially for. He is and will forever be the God of the living.
April3 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:22:41-46 WHAT THINK YE - Theology can fork at very interesting points leading believers in differing directions. Take the phrase "Son of David". If the Christ is only the descendant of David then he is not God incarnate; a whole world of different doctrines develop. Christ becomes just a really good really strong Jewish leader. If Christ is God in the flesh, flesh borrowed from the line of David and has to suffer and die in the flesh to redeem fallen mankind, the direction of doctrine is forced much different way. The distinction is crucial. "The Lord said unto my Lord" is the theological fork between Christianity and Judaism. From it way have two thirds of the Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption, Atonement etc... From it we also derive the second coming of Christ in order to fulfill the remainder of "leadership" prophecy. Christ however is not to be leader of just the Jews. He is not to be king of the same old untransformed sinners. It is not everything would be alright if we had a really good leader. Mankind has to be changed from the deepest core and once brought out of it's utter depravity lead to entirely new unfamiliar un thought of holly ground. No one there on this day was going to understand that. Symbolically after days of intense interrogation the inspection of the passover lamb was over. The faith of our Lord was that though no one yet understood it, what being Christ meant, they soon would. Until His resurrection everyone would continue to see Him as a Son of David and not the Son of David being God incarnate. The distinction is just as important for us today.
April4 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:23:1-39 MOSES SEAT - There is a place of honor and respect given by Jesus to Moses and the seat that remains that is to be carried on by His disciples. The life of a follower is a completely different mindset however because it is focused on Christ. Righteousness now is inputed because of His sacrifice and a new life is enabled because of His resurrection. This is what the Law had been pointing us to. Without the righteousness of Christ none of this is remotely possible. The woes described of the Scribes and Pharisees are more properly woes to any man who pursues righteousness minus Christ regardless of affiliation. In a sense these men are the most zealous and ardent of all religious men, but, this is the closest men's efforts can come to the target. Take the commandment to love the Lord your God. If Christ Jesus is God's offer of righteousness and such offer is pushed aside, how can it be said God is loved? Having justified not loving God in His entirety, what else then can be justified? Are not all the commandments broken at that point? The seat still holds authority (even if held by others) especially as schoolmaster over to those who have not received Christ, but, also to those who have. Do as they bid but, not as they do. It is almost a challenge to show them how in Christ things must be done. Remember that if God did not want them in the seat, they would not be in the seat. Today, these particular affiliations are not in power, but, others just as hypocritical often are. There is a means and a purpose in the life of the believer for this. Given all of these woes and faults the Lord's command has never been to pack up and start up anew. The faith of our Lord is firm, we must follow His lead. We don't have to know why it is this way only that He see's it as such. We are challenged considerably, we grow. We do as He see's fit in the midst of such darkness, He is honored. A rebel? no. A revolutionary? Yes!
April5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:24:1-35 AS LIGHTNING OUT OF THE EAST - It will be easy to deceive a great many but, perhaps not the elect. I think we have the impression that in the end days people just don't believe in God, that intellectualism will have out grown the need for God. The end Jesus teaches is of people flocking to false Christs. We live in an age now of relativism, a necessary precursor to an day of multitudes desperately gasping for any breath or hint of messianic slight. In a sense He is prophesying the end of intellectual relativism. Given that the gospel will have reached the ends of the earth (may have already have) this is a sign of just how much the people of Earth do not want to accept Jesus and will violently oppose Him, His approaching kingdom and His devoted followers. The injection of truth into the world causes it to fester and boil as if to expel it, but, somewhere in this process God's plan is fulfilled by producing vaccinated sin immune children from Earth to inhabit eternity. As the heat and pressure are turned up to final boil many false messiahs will bubble up leading to one ultimate false Christ; a world nearly of one religion. I suppose that there will be a sense of relief, even victory. Then, however, there will be an undeniable lightning from the east. The faith of our Lord is utterly remarkable. In so few words, how could such detailed insight into human nature and God's plan be revealed? Though we have a confirming picture of this event (disturbing in how quickly it can come about) in 70 AD it is clear that 70 AD is not this event. There will be no dispute remaining when this prophecy comes about.
April19 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:27:1 BLOOD MONEY - Isn't it interesting the chief priest's sudden concern the money for blood being put back into the treasury? It is as if it goes out holy and just spends an hour or two with an informant comes back and because they now have officially decided Jesus will die now it becomes contaminated blood money. Interesting the contortions the reprobate mind goes through to justify it's self. When was payment for info leading to the capture and execution of a man of miracles (possibly a prophet if not messiah), a man that you had to frame with false testimony and hung jury ever holy and just? Isn't it interesting that they bought a field to bury strangers with it? That makes it all clean and wholesome eh! Within just a few verses Peter feels his guilt, Judas feels his guilt, the chief and elders magically transform tainted money (tainted by another's guilt?) and make it whole again. So that essentially was the price Jesus was valued at, the price of a small clay quarry. The author quotes the prophet Jeremiah, though we are not actually sure were this quote is found in our canonized version. The importance still remains on the report of the prophets not being believed (as kjv@Isaiah:53:1 suggests). The Lord is silent at this point. It is not Him describing all these parts and pieces of the mob mentality. This is a collection of testimonies gathered later from insiders and onlookers that observed these events. The faith of our Lord is that by the hand of the Holy Spirit that the report of the prophets along with these collections of testimonies will be convincing and convicting and insightful to the future generations of Jews and Gentiles whom He seeks to deliver.
April22 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:27:32-44 HE TRUSTED IN GOD - King David seemed to have the clearest vision of what the Lord would have to suffer. Many of the articles he would pen into his songs at first reading would seem to point to David or else no one. But, when did David suffer these things he wrote of? Without what we see here happening unto Jesus we would have to conclude that David was near paranoid, highly over exaggerated, consumed with the pressures mounted against him, obsessed with the persecution of the wicked and the silence of a slumbering God. With Jesus we wonder what then is David somewhere in this audience that he can see these things sentenced onto Jesus by the Lord of His Lord? His descriptions are uncanny to the smallest of details; the parting of clothes, the offer of gall, the wagging of heads. Where is David? How did he see this? Who has believed his report? To whom had the arm of his Lord been revealed? While the sign above speaks the official accusation, the words on the ground heard spoken declare the actual accusation, that He trusted in God. This is apparently what one gets for trusting in such a far fetched notion as God, says even the Jews. What would it take for them to believe? For Him to save Himself and come down, but, wait... that would break the commandment of God and of the prophets. In other words, for them to believe in Jesus He would have to break every commandment and become like them. Why would God even want their belief if that is the case? David was deeply troubled by what he foresaw as were the other messianic prophets. Yet in every messianic psalm he come to the conclusion the seed - Jesus would hold true to the end and that the Father would avenge Him with all certainty. David took comfort and inspiration in that. The faith of our Lord is in His Lord the Father and in seeing the plan through to it's end. It is in the words He had had recorded long before hand to remind Himself and to tow us through the dark cloudy mist of perception and truth that we not loose sight of Him. How the Jews lost that sight, it is almost as if they were blinded for the sake of germinating this seed into the far reaches of the Gentile nations by their rejection. The more even that the report/arm of the Lord is being revealed.
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!
April28 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:28:16 WITH YOU ALWAY - Over five hundred people at different points saw Jesus glorified by resurrection according to Paul kjv@1Corinthians:15:6, some present at His ascension. Of the several occasions available, Matthew focuses on a meeting in Galilee ahead of Pentecost with the eleven to close His gospel. Everyone present there appeared to worship Him, but, we are left with the observable sense that at this point there was still some intellectual doubt present in the group. I think this to be admirably honest. We know that all were later present in the upper room for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and from Church tradition/history we know that each actually did go on to pursue this great world wide commission; so the doubts must have been laid to rest somewhere from this time forward. Doubt can take several different forms. One can be in agreement with but, still have some reservation. One can be in flat out denial. One can be scientifically skeptical awaiting further/conclusive data. Seeing Jesus stand before you may not cause all doubt to be erased immediately and I believe that this is alright with Jesus, He understands it as natural as long as is is not outright unconvincable denial; everyone comes to believe at different rates. Once on-board, occasion to doubt doesn't vanish either. To know however that our Christ is always with us and that all power is given Him in heaven and earth is of great great comfort. Doubt can be caused by fear, doubt can be caused by tribulation or the sudden death of a loved one. It is in these times most of all that for us to Love God and others (which is the the whatsoever He has commanded) as He has loved us and given Himself for us (even our enemies) that our doubts subside by faithful obedience. The faith of our Lord is always of great comfort to us and He wants it to be that way. With that comfort comes the power to pursue even this Great Commission. And with the power given to Him all things are to be gathered back unto Him to which we perform our obedience. Therein is the true worship even to the end of this world!
May2 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:1:21-28 AUTHORITY - Witnesses of Jesus immediately attributed His power to some new doctrine, twice in this passage. He had shown uncommon power in His teaching and also in the exorcism of one man's demons. They weren't yet willing to attribute this to God the Father working through the incarnate Son of God. Jesus doing these things was not dependent upon their belief as is often thought (as in if everyone believes enough we can do this). It is not in trusting demons announce to everyone who He is (as shown by His rebuke). His power is exerted here in obedience to the Father for the sake of those who do/will believe and for the person possessed. The disciples may not have known about these abilities before this and it may take them some time to understand but, this authority does not come from any special doctrine, it comes from a special relationship Son to Father and a special promise made as far back as kjv@Genesis:3:15. The faith of our Lord is in the authority of the Father and the authority the Father in turn has given Him. It appears to us as authority because it is. His fame may spread but, that is not the purpose that is one of several results.
May4 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:1:35-39 ALL MEN SEEK THEE - Peter leads a group of people in the pre-dawn outside Capernaum. Fame is spreading quickly and the opportunities of the new day are invigorating/intoxicating, perhaps keeping them awake; except for one thing, Jesus their miracle man is missing. There will be a great swell of people coming in from everywhere in the coming hours. People will want to be healed. People will want to be released from demons. People will want a political/religious uprising. People will want to witness miracles, but, will they want to believe in Jesus as the Son of Man? Sure all men would seek after Him, they seek after still today, what is it however that they seek of Him. Peter seeks after Jesus. What are his motives? Good I am sure but, pure? What is best? It is Peters' house that they are staying at, it is his hometown, he doesn't have to leave his wife or his front door step and the lost sheep are coming to him. I am not accusing him nor trying to read his mind, just saying He is new at this fame and miracle thing and the excitement may cloud his judgment/expectations. And the anonymous others with him, are they following Jesus or Peter? Where do they finally find Him? Where Peter's mind is racing with the many opportunities Jesus' mind is settling in worship and supplication to the Father. The settled mind seeks God's holiness, His omniscience, His righteousness, His communion, and from that reverent position receives a peaceful confident heart and direction. The faith of our Lord is not in all the opportunities to use His powers that the others might see it is in the need to maintain those powers and opportunities under will of the Father where all such blessings come. Power makes for itself plenty of opportunities, the focus of prayer makes so that the right opportunity come to light.
May6 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:2:1-12 SAW THEIR FAITH - Faith is visible. It may not always be what you'd expect to see though, at times it may appear as resourcefulness and with some of those times it may be the resourcefulness of others. In this case the oddity is that it seems like pretty destructive and dangerous faith at the expense of Peter the home owner. We are not told what it was that these men believed about Jesus other than the implication that He was the one who could heal their friend. We no nothing other the paralytic's faith. Accusation isn't always seen at first, it is more often perceived and has much to do with a man's reasoning. You can almost expect that it is hiding somewhere out in the crowded room in multiple places. Doubt that raises up to the charge of blaspheme may be easier to detect as it may show up in the eyes and faces. It may also come from knowing the men's hearts with whom you have been dealing. In Jesus' case, He would almost have to start each occasion from the presumption of the other's disbelief, even of His disciples, but, He'd be looking for every occasion to help who He could to believe. Some times an occasion may not be ideal such as the unruliness and disorderliness of these four. On the other hand it may have been the most opportune occasion given the foul reasoning filling the room air. The faith of our Lord encourages risk taking. He is honest about His surroundings but, faithful to the Father and therefore on the look out for opportunities that may even fall from the sky to engage and promote the faith of others.
May7 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:2:13-17 HEARD IT - Some one has either told Jesus or He has caught the sounds in the corner of His ear that there is growing displeasure with Him eating and drinking with sinners. I don't know whether the religious elite are still holding out a chance for Him as it would be hard to deny His miraculous powers or whether they have outright given up. I do believe that there is something substantial going on culturally that modern audiences would not be attuned to; Jesus is being radical to their viewpoint. Often the best teaching is not discussed it is exposed. Jesus is not going to them and partaking in their sin, He is going out like a physician to where they are and gracefully calling them to establish the ground work of something much better. If that means eating in a room of them, then by all means. Contact with one man leads to the man inviting His circle of friends. These friends are coming to partake of their own friendships and because of their trust in their host in turn they trust in His goodness. No doubt fame precedes Him here but, even without fame the trust building process works the same; why not build upon what is already there? Other's fear the associations that may be implied, if one hangs out with sinners one must be a sinner. The faith of our Lord is not afraid of such possible negative associations, He is afraid of what may happen to these people should He not reach out. In His eyes He is a physician and physicians go where people are sick. He does not partake in their sickness, he partakes in the future fellowship that might come should He be able to win their further trust.
May11 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:3:13-19 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:3:13-19 HE ORDAINED TWELVE - Of several select individuals called to Him in the mountain Jesus ordained but twelve. There is the thought that if twelve why not have fifty, if fifty why not have five hundred....? Jesus is revealing something very substantial about the divine plan at this moment. It is not that He is cutting anyone out, all men are to be discipled under Christ's tutelage and all have been sent to declare the gospel. All men have been given communion with the Lord and been granted to suffer for and as their Savior for their own and the church's edification. These twelve will now be sent two by two to preach/heal/cast out demons. A hundred more will be sent soon after, they will be gifted similar ability but not in the same sense of being ordained. What Jesus is doing is establishing order not just for now but for all the future. The situation now is developing on the ground where both the following of disciples and the following of seekers has grown beyond capabilities of the loose fit organizational structure previous. As the numbers increase and the danger increases, as the training of the select few intensifies, the time has come to make the organization more formal. Think of a small business today that grows into that next bigger level and the changes necessitated by that. In the long run this move proves most valuable to the early first century when many falsely proclaimed to be apostles that most people knew better who their Apostles were. This move even later gave second century scholars a road map to verifying and canonizing certain Apostolic epistles over a flood of lesser. There are weakness of course further out to the system as we see in the centuries leading up to the reformation as men corrupt the system but, the scriptures yet hold true as pillars even in those turbulent times. "Sola Scriptura" (only scripture) (Hebrew old with Apostolic new) becomes the protestants reforming creed lessening but, not eliminating the influence of church held traditions. I believe that the faith of our Lord is in being fully aware of the future Church that He is building and the types of problems and issues it will undergo. These issues may be healthy in that they are a constant stirring of the resolution of mens' intents and wills but, certainly less resolvable for true seekers had He not taken the steps that He just took. His declaration of these twelve gives the Holy Spirit written reinforcement/authority to conduct it's operations on a massive scale after Christ's Accession.
May13 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:3:31-35 THE SAME IS MY - It could very well be that Jesus' half brothers and sisters did not see Him as the Christ yet. To them He was still only their brother. Mary His mom probably knows too well His heavenly appointment and is having difficulty with what it all means; she may have been pressured into this. It may seem harsh that He would reply to their request in this way, but, it also seems harsh that they would call Him out in front of a crowd. Some commentaries suggest that they were the "friends" or a part of those that were suggesting that He was "beside Himself". I do not believe that Jesus is discounting His physical relationship to them, He is elevating His spiritual relationship to greater humanity and thereby expressing their need to get on board believing in Him fully as their Lord and Savior. It is a difficult relationship to fathom being the half brother say of the Son of God. Few will ever have to process faith in those terms. The time is short however. They will remember His words no doubt when His death comes. Also notice the absence of His dad Joseph, by all appearances deceased. Did Joseph ever come to true spiritual faith? Did Joseph ever do the will of God? We are never told. The faith of Jesus reaches out into all the world but, is also close to home in His brothers and sisters and mom. Their entry into His kingdom is on the same exact terms as all the rest. He is not willing that any should perish but, that they come to repentance and knowledge of Christ.
May14 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:4:1-20 WITHIN WITHOUT WAYWARD - This is a foundational parable that helps us to understand the rest. Principal one is that it is not given for others to receive the payload understanding of these parables; the revelation of said parable is a Jesus to sanctified believer exclusive, spiritually discerned. In fact, no man can come to it complete with out living and proving it out which requires a strong devotion to Christ. Theoretically, a class of college senors can analyze a Jesus parable and probably come to the same initial message that a believer can, maybe to another level or two, but that is as far as they can take it. Because they do not believe in Jesus it holds no further interest, any further meaning is stolen away. Many religions can be/have been formed from borrowing the superficial understandings of these parables; this is what Jesus has always strived to protect Himself from. However, by believing squarely in the righteousness of Jesus the desire will be to search out and grow into the message further. The message has to be applied into the daily life of a believer and experienced fully before the payload Jesus is revealing comes to fruition. The heart to apply oneself to it's growth is where the difficulty comes, as some believers lack the root, others lack the valor and fortitude, others lack the will to keep worldly influences weeded out. As hard as it is for believers to come to this knowledge without sincerity and endurance it is outright impossible for the insincere and academic critic. The faith of Jesus does not cast it's pearls before the swine and it cannot be counterfeited nor universalized. This is utter foolishness to the wise and learned, but, this foolishness is deliberately made to be our wisdom. Take this introductory understanding into the remaining parables and your efforts to live/grow into this word will yield plenty fruit.
May15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:4:21-25 EARS TO HEAR - If a believer and non believer arrive at the same conclusion on this parable then the parable has not accomplished its stated objective. The parable concerns all things hidden being revealed. Are you open and receiving, willing to endure and grow into such revelation? With the measure with which you hear this you will be given more. The faith of our Lord is all about an experiential process that brings His light into the darkest corners of our existence. It requires an openess and devotion few are willing to submitt themselves to, the rewards however are promised to liberating.
May16 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:4:26-29 SO IS THE KINGDOM - Let's again try to recall that it is easy for believer and non believer to begin at the same point with this parable but, if the two end at the same place the believer has operated from mere carnal intellect. The true understanding is going to require the Spirit/revelation and engagement with the growth process. Ask/Seek/Knock. There are some clues however to begin with. Action in terms of self should be changed to terms of the broader Kingdom. Receiving should be changed into spreading. Analytical pre-process should be changed to trust and observance, investment and experience seed to sickle. One does not have to know how the process works for the process to work, it works regardless as it is supposed to. The faith of our Lord is not the one being depicted here as not knowing how it is going to happen, that is our faith. It is not that He will leave it all up to us to fill in the details or to nature to make this Kingdom happen. His faith is in the "Kingdom come, Thy Will be done" principal where if we obey the Will the Will will take us where He wills us to be. The commitment is our's, the details are left to Him.
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.
May19 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:5:1-20 GO HOME TELL - How many times has Jesus forbidden others to tell of their healing? Why is it different in this case? The situation with the citizens of Gadarenes may necessitate it. The testimony of this man may be more productive for the Kingdom than Jesus staying and stirring things up more. People often think that if they were to see a miracle that they would believe. I believe that in most cases it is not that they don't believe it is how they respond to their belief. Belief in this case has caused fear and fear has caused discomfort and discomfort has caused opposition. Belief when not tied to faith is threatening. Why did Jesus not insist on staying to work through this resistance? Efficiency! Demons retreat into the sea rather than be tormented and are swallowed up. Men retreat into businesses and idols rather than be threatened and are swallowed up. Jesus leaves them a reminder, a man that has nothing but his own personal testimony. The man is as much a testimony against them even from his home in Decapolis Syria. His testimony is honest and simple, what Jesus did for Him, how Jesus had had compassion on him. Many marveled. The faith of our Lord has every option available to it. It is not limited even to Him having to be there. The best option can change to meet the situation, but, He always is clear as to what the best option for that occasion is. No doubt there is much prayer and spiritual diligence involved in Him being prepared for these types of decisions. This report may very well be Gentile Syria's first exposure to the Gospel of Christ. Marvel may be accurate for they would not yet know that Jesus is Messiah for all mankind. In kjv@Mark:7:31 Jesus will be on the coast of this man's homeland.
May22 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:6:7-13 TWO BY TWO - It is further proof of the authenticity of Jesus that He can give portions of His anointing to others. The others would not have this power any other way but by Him giving it to them. It is not learned. It is not alchemy or potion. It is not positive thinking. That He would now trust these men is important; to trust these men in the hands of others is extreme. For those looking on it should be eye opening. The power of God is not just manifest in one but in twelve and later one hundred and later... Something is going on here that secularists should take note of, Jesus is pretty much doing whatsoever He wants despite massive resistance and the whole movement is gaining momentum exponentially. Therein lays a testimony against the scoffer; these things are being done and they are witness and yet they still disbelieve. Another side of this is that Jesus feels that there are enough believers to host these men wherever they go, they don't even need to pack a bag. Whether these are people whom He has healed or preached to we don't know; He does. For years I have thought of this as a acid test intended for the Disciples; this time I am thinking that it is more of a significant declaration of how far He has brought His sheepfold and how many others there are off camera. We are all tested and learn to depend solely on Jesus, but, at the same time it is reassuring to know our Lord has resources and people inline that we have barely considered. The faith of our Lord is manifold. He is operating on multiple planes and in multiple directions we can barely fathom. It is a most beautiful thing to behold. Wouldn't you love to hear these men recount these first time first flight stories?
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.
May31 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:8:27-30 THAT I AM - There is a voice predicted that will prepare His way in the desert kjv@Isaiah:40:3. This is not necessarily Elijah or it can be Elijah in two roles. kjv@Luke:1:17 describes John as having the spirit of. There is also Elijah coming before the great and dreadful day of the Lord kjv@Malachi:4:5, speaking directly about the Day of Judgment kjv@Malachi:4:6 turning the hearts of the children to their fathers. kjv@Matthew:11:14 Jesus connects John to Elias if we will receive it. Since the great day (moon blood red, burning the wicked as stubble kjv@Joel:2:31) has yet to come we must conclude that Elias comes twice. If John is Elias Jesus then is not, He is the one whom will have His way prepared before Him and later the one whose Day will be great and terrible. If Elias comes twice so then does Son of Man. Jesus is aware that His disciples are struggling between what Jesus tells them and what they are hearing on the streets. In a sense Jesus is forcing them into deciding which Jesus they are going to choose to believe. This is the second time He has asked them. That there is so much talk in that day recorded is important today as the modern Jews attempt to state that Messiah is just anyone anointed with oil, as it shows that the Jews of that time expected something much more. They also have it so tightly wrapped up that prophecy can only be fulfilled in just one way and since it didn't happen their way what the Gospels/Jesus declare is just plain stupid or even blasphemous errors. The Spirit not flesh and blood will have to reveal this to a man's heart individually. While they seek to minimize the meaning of all this and contort prophecy to get there, the faith of our Lord has all of this in clear perspective. Prophecy also has one day their 'veil' being lifted.
June3 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:9:14-32 FAITHLESS GENERATION - Who is faithless here? The disciples who despite their anointing to do this failed having not fasted nor prayed? The man whose faith was small and asked for more? The scribes that were using the opportunity to publicly belittle the ministry? The crowds that gather to watch the knock down drag out cage match? What if it was all of them but not just any one of them individually? There is an inclusiveness in the word generation that needs to be pondered. Disciples affect a mans faith, the two affect the fanatical scribes, the three affect the crowd's temperament. Likewise, the crowd's affect the scribes which affects the man's which affect the disciple's. Could they all be part of one larger organism? Is that what a faithless generation looks like? If so, how does one escape? The faith of our Lord is that if one can believe, all things are possible. It is not just any belief, it is not the belief in the healing itself, it is the belief in the power and authority of Christ. The person and presence of Christ instills that belief and confidence. Anointing alone cannot account for everything. Prayer and fasting are both ways to refocus on the person and presence of Christ. This instills faith and helps to quiet/counter all criticism.
June5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:9:38-41 FORBID HIM NOT - We may have to come back to this one. I have thought about this one a lot and still am not quite sure where it leads. We know that many who had casted out demons in His name will be turned away in the end, Jesus never knowing them kjv@Matthew:7:22-23. Here we see that none of those miracle workers can lightly speak evil of Him. We know that one can have the faith to remove mountains and have not charity is nothing kjv@1Corinthians:13:2 and that whether in pretence or truth Christ being preached should be rejoiced in kjv@Philippians:1:18 . Add as well that some can propose to heal or cast out in the name of Jesus only to have it turn against them kjv@Acts:19:13-16 . It seems to suggest that if John was trying to deflect his present embarrassment by showing his protective zeal for Christ, Christ was not going to let it divert the current teaching. The teaching and correction of service over rank was pointed at the disciples. This man though he was performing miracles in Christ's name did not necessarily have everything all together. The Holy Ghost was performing miracles through him but the man would still have to come to know Jesus in his heart of hearts. Maybe he did believe and was saved, Jesus alone would know this, but, that is an issue other than what Jesus was tending to right now. Disciples need to be aware of the lesson at hand and not move the discussion elsewhere. We need also to know that the Spirit is working on multiple fronts in declaring/confirming Jesus as Christ; not everyone else is an imposter. The faith of our Lord is aware of and allows for some things that we may not consider, that we might feel compelled to defend Him from. It may be that it is better to inquire into the deeper faith of these workers as to their salvation than to criticize their not being part of our pack.
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.
June7 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:10:1-12 BUT FROM THE BEGINNING - This is a planned attack by the Pharisees. Somewhere along the way they have counseled together, decided, put out talking point directives to all that would come in contact with Jesus. These may be hired guns as well, men that are directed to seek out and trip up Jesus. It is obvious by what they are going after and the number of times that they have posed the same type questions that they believe that this is their best play. How would this be a no way out for Jesus? Is there really such unanimity amongst the sects regarding divorce and the law that all would disagree with Jesus' analysis? No, there is such hardened inflamed public sentiment about anything restricting to their personal freedoms and desires. The Pharisee have a less restrictive view of divorce and they want to make use of that to turn public opinion against Jesus and toward themselves. The same trick may have been used against John the Baptist. He told them what the law really meant, called them vipers to their face, and got in fatal trouble with the Herods for it. Why not try the same? Essentially, the hardness of the Pharisees is being used to stir or play the hardness of the people against the correct interpretation of the Law boxing Jesus into a corner. This is a much bigger test/temptation for Jesus that we today perceive. Jesus instead goes back to the beginning intention, Man, Woman, in God one flesh; hard to argue against that. If it were not for the hardness of a couples heart one or both toward the things of God they would have remained such. Now they make living together a living hell and their hearts harden all the more. If allowance had not been made in these cases the hardened would lash out all the more and take society down with them. The Law then can be used in at least two opposing ways, one as a warning against hardness or two as an easy justification for divorce. Jesus does not call them a broad of vipers, but, does make it known that the hardness of couples to the designs of God and hardness of the religious towards the true intents of the Law were not going to box Him into a place that truth can't still get out. The faith of our Lord is in the spirit of the Law as the spirit addresses the hardness of mankind complete. Without the Law we would not know our sin, knowing our sin makes us to resist and to sin all the more. Only being one with God through Jesus Christ makes us one flesh man to women and one with the spirit and design of all things.
June9 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:10:17-31 WITH MEN IMPOSSIBLE - Perhaps it was the innocent presumption and brashness of youth that made Jesus to smile, a youth talking about since he was young, a law had not yet worn down such adolescent confidence. No man can uphold the law just as no man can completely surrender to Christ unless it is God who makes him. The belief is often that riches are the blessing of obedience to God, the lack of riches the curse of disobedience. If so what reason would the rich man have to change anything that he is doing. Yet there is an emptiness or discomfort in the lad concerning eternity, perhaps the closest thing to truth he has said. Jesus counters that the true blessing is not from following the law but following Him who fulfilled the law. The riches from that extend much further into both this life and the next. Even those who have in fact given up all they have struggle to keep separated the doing it in a sense of duty to the law with reward verses doing it as an reverent response to the work of Christ regardless. Throughout the chapter there has been the theme of becoming as children. The adult mind has made entrance to heaven a needle's eye, the child's mind has few self imposed limits. The work of Christ makes the believer to perceive himself as a child, to look at her godly life through the lens of a child, the work of God makes all things even Christ work upon them possible. It does not come without persecution however. The faith of our Lord is that given the impossibility of any man coming to this themselves that it will be His Father alone that will bring this eternal salvation and all that comes with it to light. Who then can be saved? He who God makes to be saved who then follows.
June12 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:10:46-52 MADE THEE WHOLE/SAVED - kjv@Matthew:20:29-34; kjv@Luke:18:35-43 also give the same account. Mark here says "whole", Luke says "saved", Matthew omits the response noting Jesus' compassion but, he says that there are two beggars. Is there contradiction? Only if you want there to be. Why would you want there to be? So that you don't have to believe it. Is it that you believe that sight can't be restored as in a communicable eye disease? Is it that two men can't be present and one remembered in particular by Peter because of his name and perhaps as reference to those who might know him further? Is that being made whole cannot mean being saved? Is it that you think the Holy Spirit would make such an obvious mistake? There are plenty of other seeming contradictions if you want there to be. I would rather see it that the fame of Jesus was known well enough to the many beggars along the road near Jericho that some called to Him causing a disruption to the caravan of pilgrims to passover Jerusalem. The more they called out the more people tried to quiet them until finally Jesus was close enough to call at least two to where He was. They gladdly came and made petition of Him. He had compassion on them and seeing their faith was assured Himself that they were made whole/saved through the encounter. As others later read the account those who knew Peter would recognize the one name and be able to certify that he indeed could see and did remain in the faith perhaps having done or become something significant/memorable. The faith of our Lord is in the testimony that both had preceded Him and would follow Him. Where things needed to be further explained He made sure to mention, even repeat. Where things did not need but the benefit of a doubt He left it alone as a testing point. There are certainly challenging areas in our faith as there needs to be to prove our sincerity and give us room to grow, but, not one is contradiction unless one wants it to be. I would ask are you certain that you want this particular challenge to be the point your two paths split?
June15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:11:20-26 HE SHALL HAVE WHATSOEVER - A mountain often stands between here and there. On one side of this passage there is a mountain like the fig tree, a corrupt way of religious life that bares not fruit, which has been cursed, is dried and withered yet still holds much power. On the other side of this passage stands a mountain of unforgiveness needing to be removed and tossed deep into the sea. Perhaps it is all part of the same mountain, be it a system or be it an individual trespassing the power these things have over you can be removed if only you believe in His righteousness and power to do so. So often we see the mountain as the hole that we have dug for ourselves financially or in our relationships or in our careers, health etc; what a shallow inverse mountain. Peter did not ask if he would ever be as rich as he wanted to be if he believed. Why do we contort this passage so? The fig tree represents something that is planted by the master intending to have plenteous fruit; often it symbolizes the Church or Israel. When it is contradictory it hurts His children and trespasses His will. His well intending children outside the church in turn can be just as fruitless holding hard to their unforgiveness of the trespasses against them personally or as they feel done onto their Lord. Thus it is an surmountable mountain for runaway church and injured believer and or rogue believer and injured church. To accept this, repent of this, to allow God the presumption of complete righteousness in all things and thus the power to cast aside any ill effect from such without any doubt; this is miracle producing faith. Believe that these things shall come to pass and they will at least for you. The faith of our Lord is in overcoming insurmountable mountains, in calling things not only by what they are but by what they will be. Jesus has not given up on Israel and not the Church. He has empowered accepting individuals the power to cast aside the insurmountable corrupt and unfruitful and unforgiving mass one by one and thus make the true Church and true Israel to be whole.
June19 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:12:18-27 DO YE NOT ERR - It is obvious in the scriptures that the Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection and we know from encounters with them after Jesus in Acts that they were not convinced by this argument. They come like the others to trap Jesus, to shore up their own believers for the sentencing immediately ahead by means of stark theological differentiation. This also shows us why that they can be so bold in seeking Jesus death; they do not believe that He can raise again. The raising from the dead is so central to the approach Jesus is taking that it appears as a severe weakness to those who believe it impossible. Over and over the scriptures directly speak of and confirm resurrection, from Job to Ezekiel and others, and is implied in nearly everything else said including the phrases God of Jacob, God of Abraham, etc... I do not see Old Testament evidence that men and women will not marry after the resurrection; Jesus' argument almost seems to be "who ever said that they will". As the reason for marriage is for man not to be alone and for procreation and the weakness of the flesh, resurrection then is saying that man is no longer alone and no longer procreating and no longer weak; why then would there be need for marriage. As much as the Sadducees knew about the scriptures they really knew very little. They, like others have a form of godliness but, deny the power thereof. The power of God is proven in the resurrection. The power of God is proven in that what has been sown in corruption can be raised in incorruption. The faith of our Lord is firmly in not only His own resurrection but, that from His resurrection all others will be resurrected as well; some to eternal fellowship and some to eternal contempt. If Jesus does in fact raise from the dead then they do greatly err. If He does not, then the rest of the Bible they say they believe does greatly err. I guess they error either way. How great then is that?
June20 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:12:28-34 THOU ARE NOT FAR FROM - The two larger sides could not be any farther apart. Maybe this scribe is somewhat closer or maybe Jesus says this in jest. kjv@Matthew:22 gives us further details, that the scribe intended to tempt Him, and that he and everyone else was finally shut up by a quote from David "The LORD said unto my Lord" kjv@Matthew:22:44-45. The question or targeted ploy from the scribe had more to do with Jesus' claim of divinity and less about the greatest of commands. He believes that Jesus has confessed to His own supreme arrogance; there is none other but HE. The man's reply was discreet in the one sense, the prophet's sense that this love is desired more than sacrifice, but, not all together right if one does not allow for the prophesied Son of God into the Father's overall plan. How can one love the LORD with all of their heart/mind/strength and not love or even know what the same LORD is doing by way of His Son towards mankind's salvation? How can one be a lover of the Father and an enemy of His Son? The scribe is as close as He will ever get to the Kingdom because it stands right there before him. Jesus leaves the conversation with the one to address this with the group that sent him. The faith of our Lord has remained constant from day 1 on earth and before. He has been tested and inspected. He has been poked at and and measured up. What is there left for the others to say to Him but, "crucify Him"? "Let His God save him now"? He has passed examination. The passover Lamb must be prepared now for the sacrifice.
June23 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:13:1-31 HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS - Many of the prophecies in the past have been repent or else. There is usually left an out. Rarely did Israel take God up on that out but, there was an out; sooner or later God would withdraw His hand. This time the prophecy is one sided; this is the only way. Two people look at the stone wall differently, one sees how great, the other sees not one stone will stand. It is not the glass half full verses half empty syndrome it is the way things must be for God to make this all right. It is widely held that man can pull this out, that it is all in his hands if he only believes, God would never allow the heavens and earth to pass, if it passes then it is all because of man. Jesus doesn't see it that way at all. As great as the temple is there is a temple that is much greater. As great as the heavens are there are greater heavens in store. As great as the earth is, it is reserved for judgment by fire. And man... man, there is something much better for the man who has been sown into corruption only to be raised in incorruption by the miraculous work of the Father through Jesus. It is all part of the divine process. Take our persecution in the name of Jesus, it is a marvelous thing that prepares us for the unimaginable glory ahead. Take our tribulation in the end times, it makes what we are to become all the much more becoming. There are oh so many questions. There are oh so many uncertainties, but, there is also one thing for certain: The faith of our Lord is that all of this now works toward all of that then in His eternal kingdom. This isn't about "do it right or don't do it it all", this is "nothing could be done more right than for this to happen". This isn't "straighten up now or I will punish you", this is "hang on tight to me and I will take you there". Not until we see these terrible but necessary things pass will we know that the end is nigh, that the earth is near to baring it's magnificent highly anticipated fruit. The only way to look down on this way of thinking is by not being on board with what God sees becoming of it.
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".
July3 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:15:21-32 SCRIPTURE FULFILLED - The best explanation of what Jesus is going through is kjv@Psalms:22 prophesied nearly 1000 years before. The details are excruciating and graphic. Essentially two horrific things are converging upon Him at once, the sins of mankind past present future being transfered upon Him as with the symbolic Levitical sacrificial lambs, because of that sin the departing/forsaking of the Father never felt by Him prior in all eternity. The physical pain must be intense no doubt, but probably the least of His grief and ill. You think about the weight of the horrid sins of man like vile mass hatred and murder, rape and pillage, the woeful sins of oppression and bondage, the perversions of lust, the passive sins of idleness and unclaimed/stolen potential, how all this adds up to a terrible nausea/dizziness throbbing within Him. To that you add the loss of Himself to His Father; He is doing this in obedience to the Father and it is a great thing, but, the Father can not be with Him at this point because of the transference. No doubt He is in prayer throughout this ordeal to try to regain focus, the madness of all men laid upon must make it exceedingly difficult, but His prayer minus the Father's hand must seem vacant. What is there left Him to cling to in amidst this torrent except the expectation of a promise? We tend to think of the real suffering of Jesus to be after death perhaps in a hell. Though possible, much of that is conjecture/secular tradition. I believe the worst of His suffering to be now (what more could be done to His soul?). The faith of our Lord continues on however. It in essence is to simply obey the Father, trust that HE will at the right time pull Him through this all. This is paying the purchase price of redemption and what a price it is. We should not forget nor under appreciate what is being laid upon Him from all angles nor underestimate the cost to Him/Father in securing the forgiveness of our immense debts. It should vibrate through every cell in our bodies giving us new and substantial spiritual life.
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!
July11 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:1:46-56 HE HATH HE HATH - Notice the past continuous tense in Mary's song. He hath. What has He done? Not everything yet appears to be rosey. She is carrying the God child, truly a blessing but,the circumstances of which have surely put her at odds for a short time with her fiance, longer with family perhaps, perpetually surely with her local community. We are never told of the presence of her mom and dad and must assume that they are either too far away, disowning, or no longer alive so that she decides to stay three months with Elizabeth. She was of low estate before and in the eyes of some now even lower. This does not matter to her though, it is not how she see's it. Much of what He has done for her has been for all of Israel, much of what He is doing is for all mankind. His mercy, His scattering of the proud, the exalting of them of low degree, the filling of the hungry are all continual things that He has to do. Israel deserves judgment much receives His mercy instead. Mary anticipates that the child within her has much to do with all this past present and future. He hath done, He is doing, He will do. She feels this, believes it, anticipates it, expects it even though she may not fully understand what it will mean to her and how it all will play out. The faith of our Lord is in this type of person. His mercy is on them that solidly fear Him.
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.
July14 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:2:1-7 LINEAGE OF DAVID - Luke continues to work for the confidence of Theophilus with some historical markers that would either be well known in his time or easily verifiable by his excellency. We today as well would know by other sources of the second of these periodic fourteen year census/taxations happened in 20 AD putting the first on or near AD 6. We also have the reference to one Cyrenius governor also known as Quirinius. The Father would use the secular world as a time clock and a particular city as a locator, Bethlehem. Bethlehem we know prophetically kjv@Micah:5:2 as the birth place of Messiah and also by association as an indicator of probable lineage of David. That they went to their own city and there was nowhere to stay either shows that no family remained settled at that time in the city or that the family had no where left for them to stay or that the family hers/his was not willing yet because of their curious circumstance to receive them in. All of this doing puts Mary and Joseph in an awkward situation regardless but, it puts us in a place where matters can be confirmed and verified by others. Wouldn't you like to know if Theophilus ever used his influence/resources to look into the AD 6 census logs for Bethlehem to see if their names were listed? The faith of our Lord often puts believers similarly in awkward situations for reasons likely unknown to us. He seems able not only to make these times work out for us but, make these times valuable to others as well.
July19 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:3:21-38 IT CAME TO PASS - A very significant day for Jesus symbolizing the passing of the torch from John to Jesus. John's ministry will now diminish and Jesus' strengthen. It is much like the passing of leadership from generation to generation. Jesus respectfully submits to John's baptism that John might see that this is no ordinary baptism, this is a royal inauguration crowned with the blessing of both Father and Holy Spirit. All the signs now point to Jesus, the lineage of both mother and human dad, the prophecies old and new, the opening of the skies with voices and appearances. That is not to say that everyone will now believe it. Just as Isaiah had written "Who has believed our report" most Jews to this day disregard the lineage of Joseph the child was not of his physical seed. The arm of the Lord can be revealed having performed every detail of the report and the majority still not believe it, being not in the form that they intellectually expect/agree to accept. Had it not been this self imposed technicality it would have been another. As best as I can recall Jesus does not ever entertain this trivial objection as penetrating and lasting as it has been. The faith of our Lord is in the submission to the Father's performance of mercy not in the intellectual suppositions of the fallen race. As it is said "My thoughts are not your thoughts" and "My ways are not your ways", what difference does it make if this is the way the Father did perform it and it still can be shown to superbly fit with the prophecies? I respectfully ask you then, how else did He perform it?
July20 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:4:1-13 FORTY DAYS TEMPTED - This passage seems to be one of the oddest passages in the Bible along with the Devil standing before God asking to test Job. The questions that come up are many, some turn bizarre. Satan has had since kjv@Genesis:3:15 to prepare for a moment like this to tempt Eve's promised seed, and at least to this readers eye he never really takes the gloves off with these three efforts. Luke gives us room to interpret that this was forty days of temptation climaxing in these three notable ordeals. Not being privy to the events of those many days we can further interpret that it may have been Satan's plan to wear at Jesus and then at strategic points flash a quick barrage of punches hoping to intimidate Him with a commanding presence, awesome power and authority. The individual events hardly seem like tests plural as much as the overall duration and display. If this is the correct interpretation, we must also be on the constant watch for this multi-front long duration attack. Seldom is Satan outright identifiable. He does typically hide behind others using peer pressure and intimidation, he does hide behind scripture as well. The tactic isn't always to scare us into doing something wrong, it is often to scare us off or scare us into doing nothing at all. Therefore it is advantageous for him to wear at a believer any way and any time he can. Forty days of dull pressure is just as effective as three minutes of fright. Combined together, the impact could be devastating. Note however that Jesus fasted. His chosen preparation was to put His human flesh into submission to His spirit and to feed and strengthen His spirit upon the Word of His Father alone. This He did knowing the the dull test was constant and the barrage was soon to come. The faith of our Lord is in preparation. Not just waiting for events to happen that are then responded to with prayer/fasting but, putting oneself in front at the ready at all times should any sudden assault or need come about.
July21 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:4:14-30 THROUGH THE MIDST OF THEM - A prophet in his own country would be a well known proverb, Nazareth would be a well known prophetical link to messianic prophecy. The people of this city had to have some expectation. Jesus did not however match whatever that expectation among them was. The reaction at the synagogue goes from wonder to wrath all on the turn of Jesus' own words. While still in wonder, Jesus flips it and says 'but, you will ask me to heal myself' and then relates to two OT bible stories where only single individuals received God's grace. It is almost like saying that you are asking me to prove that I can heal you before you will allow me to heal you. In one of these stories the widow was commanded to receive the prophet and that she did. In the other story the man was under the command of the Syrian king to go to the king of Israel who in turn commanded him to visit the prophet. In this case after the healing, a servant of the prophet attempted to extort payment for the healing, breaking the prophet's command and thus as penalty received the first man's departed leprosy forever. These illustrations must be mentioned by Jesus to show to us Nazareth's heart at this time. Jesus came that all men might believe; he is not a respecter of any man over any another. The progress that He seeks however requires faith on the part of the recipient of such grace along with obedience such as these stories illustrate. One cannot first ask this particular Physician to heal Himself from the ailments that only one possess (lack of faith/obedience and over abundance of iniquity). The faith of our Lord walked into Nazareth knowing what reception awaited Him and He walked in without disciples or guard. They in turn attempted to push Him off the side of a cliff. How disappointing and eye opening this entire exchange must have been to His family and kin there in ear shot.
July22 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:4:31-37 AUTHORITY - Devils don't just relocate because they are told to no matter how stern and demanding. Exorcism requires an authority above and beyond the authority of the demonic. Authority requires either the threat of or exercise of greater power. When the townsfolk in Capernaum are are amazed and curious as to the authority exerted they are rightly familiar with these basics of this form of spiritual warfare. The question left for the ages however is where did the demons get their authority to posses in the first place? The most likely answer is from the possessed soul themselves or from someone in authority (such as a parent in the case of possessed from birth) either by permission or by blindly opening the door for them. Once authority is surrendered it seems that the authority cannot be resumed on ones own unless an authority above the authority of the demon(s) wins/brings authority back. The demons in this man believe Jesus to have the power to destroy them. Jesus does not destroy them at this time however. We must give this action/allowance the presumption of righteousness as we do not fully understand why why it is in fact righteous. Such a presumption opens up possibilities as to how all things can work for the good of those who love our Lord. The faith of our Lord exercises authority always within the framework/dictates of righteousness, not always by our understanding/self determination of such. By these actions He is by implication suggesting our need to offer Him the presumption of righteousness. It is an additional part of His faith in us.
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.
August2 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:6:37-42 SHALL MEN GIVE UNTO YOUR BOSOM - Top and bottom: judgment, condemnation, forgiveness and a beam in one's eye. The difficulty with judging others is that we do not judge ourselves by the same measure. I am going to flip this around however to level that few are comfortable with. Let's take the example of Christians that are for the death penalty. There are many that would use these words against us; "judge not lest thou be judged". Are they not using the very words of non-judgment to judge us by? No doubt they have other words to say about Christians as well, and they are quite public about it too. Hiding behind such peaceable words in order to openly judge another is most "beamish". The measure that most all of us will be rewarded with largely has to do with the amount that we give. If a man or woman is known otherwise to be very giving of forgiveness and compassion and peaceableness, exceedingly so shall we say, the fact that they favor the death penalty in this one particular instance does not mean that there is a "mote" in their eye. Thereto, the man or woman known to be judgmental and unforgiving and slanderous in many more respects except in this particular instance and turns these peaceable words intentionally into canon fodder, here is a case for the consideration of hypocrisy. The law of Moses is filled with not only judgments about those who sin against God and society, it is judgmental against the society that does not execute judgment upon those individuals on behalf of the victims. The very ground it is said often cries out with the blood of the innocent. Prophets bemoan the times when there is no judgment, no one to stand the gap, no one to stand up against the evil. Rightly so. Has Jesus not come to fulfill the law of Moses and the prophets? A disciple is not above his master. He cannot judge and condemn and be unforgiving by his own selfish and hypocritical standard. His one allowance is as a society when the word of God so demands. Those that use the word of God, to which they have not the slightest belief otherwise, to box out those who do believe every word from the very public and very necessary debate over the death penalty are hypocrites of the highest order. This is not to say that there isn't a mote or splinter lacing our debate as well. The faith of our Lord is in the measure that we mete withall. Everyone that is perfect shall be as his master. Jesus has always been able to discern both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. The measure that He gave has been and forever will be pressed down, shaken, running over from the sincerest of men. What better reward or compliment. Just as He wants experienced in the bosom of His disciples.
August4 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:6:46-49 MY SAYINGS - When the flood arises (and it will) there are two possible outcomes, the house stands or the house falls. What is the house? What one believes? What one has done? What is the rock? Both builders are building. Because of one builder's hearing and doing of the Lord's sayings he has built his house in a certain way. He hears and does by faith, faith in the Lord and faith in the storm, and what he does by that faith he does long ahead of the first droplets. The other builder builds a very similar structure I am sure, roof, walls, rooms, doorways, may even be bigger with more luxurious accommodations; the difference being the ground on which the foundation is attached. One might say that this is the far superior build up until the storm. This builder by all appearance has drastically under estimated the storm or the solidity of the rock perhaps selfishly over estimating his ability in framing the structure. The type of storm is unforeseen. It could then be said that it is not so much the structure that the two builders constructed but much more the ground on which the structure was errected. It is much tougher to build on rock, some say impossible and do not try, some try but on their own meager terms. Those that do best do so on the terms of the rock. Note that when tested for all that the second builder put into it it all immediately fell. The faith of our Lord is that we will understand and not under estimate the approaching storm nor the ever present rock, that we will choose to do our building on the only ground safe enough to withstand. His sayings. Our hearing them and our doing them; it is all that stands between us and a house built on sand.
August5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:7:1-10 NOT IN ISRAEL - A Roman centurion with a love for Israel that is tangible and very generous, this is not commonly seen. The same man being concerned enough over his Jewish slave who is near to death to have Jesus approached, this is more rare. That the same man who is respectful enough of the elders to involve them in the process to approach the Jewish Messiah, this is unheard of. That this same man yet remains humble enough to feel, unworthy enough to have Jesus enter his house, barely worthy to meet Him along the path is most amazing. That this same man understanding the inner workings of our Lord's faith enough to it to discern it's authority is simply staggering. Even today when we make the connection of our Lord's faith to His authority it seems vague and theoretical. Authority is nebulous to us that have not ever been exposed to it; we know it is there, but not of it's substance or workings. We are not told of the slaves faith nor that of these elders (they were at least respectful enough to the man to agree to go along to get Jesus). One concerned person of the bunch being good hearted, being generous, yet being humble of self, yet being respectful of others, willing to put it all in the Lord's hands, with the discernment of our Lord's faith and authority presents the Lord with the pleasure of making this healing happen. The faith of our Lord not only has all authority, but is on the lookout for the opportunity to use it amongst the faithful. I do wonder at times what Jesus would have seen had He gone into this man's house. I speculate that like us there was particular reason(s) (not just intellectual) for him to feel unworthy. For all of this talk of authority He may not have had as much authority over himself or his household as we've lead ourselves to believe. If true, the stunning thing is that our Lord is always willing to work with such men for at least their faith is faith seldom seen in neither Israel then nor America today.
August7 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:7:18-35 ALL HEARD/PUBLICANS JUSTIFIED GOD - John's message was simple and clear, essentially that God is righteous and man is fallen, that man must turn back. Our righteousness as believers is that God is righteous in sending HIS Son Jesus Christ to become righteousness for us, God is justified. If you are a Pharisee it seems that you are righteous simply on the basis of being a Pharisee, do enough to remain a Pharisee and you will remain righteous, Self and Pharisee are justified. There is a world of difference between the two. To be a Pharisee one has to meet a standard, one is the standard. To be a believer one needs to accept that no man can meet that standard except one, Jesus, faith in Him and transference by imputation/association by adoption is the standard. For the one there is no sin personally to repent of as he is already righteous/justified, for the other everything he does is sin unless done upon or through him by Jesus, everything else requires repentance (turning back to Him). In preparing the Lord's way, John began this process amongst the commoners and they were very receptive. He lead them to the understanding of a need for Christ. Those baptized by the baptism of John were not saved by such they were simply prepared to receive Christ. Once Christ can become our righteousness by the sacrifice of His own blood. Having then purchased our salvation these same repentant responders can believe on Him and in that justify God for graciously performing all necessary requirements. The Pharisee on the other hand believes himself justified simply by what he is regardless. He can contradict himself, he can make every demand of other people, he can attach himself to the Law of Moses without having to fulfill it, whatever as long as He is a Pharisee. Many today follow along the same line including Catholics that believe that they are saved for having been baptized as infants by their parents into the church. There is no need for full repentance only a cleansing of conscience by mere confession and penance. The faith of our Lord is that wisdom is justified of all her children. God's wisdom is in His own Grace knowing that man willed not nor could not of his own. God's wisdom is in performing all the requirements of truth and justice and equity by His own mercy and compassion as presented in His Son. Shall we not in turn justify God by receiving His Son as the propitiation for our every sin?
August8 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:7:36-50 SOMEWHAT TO SAY - The host of this event apparently did no see Jesus as a sinner. Pharisees as I understand were very much wanting Israel to return to its former glory becoming once again sovereign. They (at least one of them) are still toying with the idea that this Jesus may become if properly swayed this type of messiah. The event must have been open to the public or at least to those Jesus would chose to bring along and thus this woman. The thrust of the parable is that we are all sinners and that regardless of how sinful any of us perceive ourselves to be there is not one dime we can offer to our redemption. The issue is not how much we owe it is that there is nothing we have that can pay that debt. This would be important to tell such a Pharisee because he believes that being a Pharisee is more than enough when in fact like everything else we could offer payment received yet remains zero pence. The debt instead is forgiven by the creditor, the sins of both are forgiven, payment for possession will soon be accomplished in Jesus at the cross, yet only the one is accepting of the transaction that has been made. The host stumbles over whether Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. Though he'd answered correctly his understanding of the parable did not include Jesus as being the creditor. The faith of our Lord is by being a triune member of the Godhead He can act and speak as representative for the other members and at the same time His having become flesh and made to pay for our complete redemption He is also the very transaction. How is it that the debt can be forgiven and still the creditor has to pay for the repossession? Ask yourself, what good is it to forgive when the forgiven remain in bondage to another?
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
August15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:9:1 POWER AND AUTHORITY OVER ALL DEVILS - Except it didn't work on one type of devil, that type only came out with prayer and fasting kjv@Matthew:17:14-23. So was it a problem with what Jesus gave to the disciples or was it a problem with the way they utilized it? When the disciples asked Jesus replied "because of your unbelief". Why wasn't there enough belief? He later suggested "only by prayer and fasting". So we must ask what prayer and fasting have to do with the size or implementation of faith, what prayer and faith have to do with the conduit of power and authority? Without it it certainly appears that what whatever one does believe becomes as unbelief. This is not to say that the disciples did not achieve for the most part what they had been sent out to do. You can imagine what the critics said when not one but twelve mini Jesus's filtered through the entire region. It is not just that Jesus demonstrates the power and authority, but is able to delegate that same power and authority to others. It doesn't just happen once either, a hundred more are sent out a short time later. This is beyond slight of hand or trickery or mass illusion/hysteria; this is most unheard of. This is why the unbelief/fasting/prayer issue becomes so important to address, because in a herd of good white sheep it becomes the one black sheep every critic focuses on. The faith of our Lord is shown to be massive in scope yet minute in detail. For Him it is made easy because of His obedience to familiarity with the Father. With us it takes a much more diligent focus to overcome our carnal impulse, to find that obedience and familiarity; and thus the prayer and fasting. Not just for our needs, but more importantly for His.
August19 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:9:37-45 LET THESE SAYINGS - Everyone wondered at all these things. Wondered most likely about possession, where it starts, what it is like, how such a terrible thing could happen? Wondered why the disciples had not been able to heal this particular one having been able to heal so many others, having been given "all power" to cast such demons out. Wondered at what was meant by faithless and perverse generation, is that why this child was possessed, why the disciples were unable, is this the dad at fault, why devils have their way with men? Faithless and perverse how? Who? To what extent? Wondered as to who this man was and from where did He get such powers? Wonder one would think is good. It makes one to re-think, to re-examine. You would think that it brings sincere people to understand. It does not. To bring others to accept the Lord's power and authority. It doesn't. It is more likely to scare people away. The tremendous mercy placed upon this child at the same time raises the resistance of others, creates fear and discomfort. Some act as if it had not happened, some as if they were tricked, some as if they were being forced to believe. Even amongst His own the sayings to follow that should easily sink down into their ears are stolen away. It is a faithless and perverse generation all the way around. Divine mercies bring these varied forms of darkness to light and corner them. Wonder does not always mean enlightenment at first it may mean exposure to the challenging and perplexing. The mind is very good at justifying itself. Not long after wonder comes self protection and entrenchment for many. The faith of our Lord is to work through these things. A moment of His glory revealed followed by evidence of a faithless perverse generation followed by the people He trusts to observe and participate in this great work not understanding, it is all part of the same day for Him. It takes patience, continued obedience, continued faith. It requires His being delivered into the hands of men. They feared to ask Him of that saying.
August25 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:11:1-13 BECAUSE OF HIS IMPORTUNITY - To be delivered from evil does not mean that evil is avoided all together. kjv@1Corinthians:10:13 claims that He will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able. He will alongside provide you a means of escape. So what does that have to do with forgiving the debts of others and asking for three loafs for a journeying friend? It is likely that we will be unable to see of that means if we have yet to see how God has forgiven us our debts and if we have yet to believe the good fatherly intentions of our Lord for both ourselves and for those journeying souls that we petition on behalf of. The Lord gives us our bread day by day, that is near all we physically need be concerned for ourselves. As a model of Christian prayer we should see that a great deal of the emphasis in this passage is placed upon the belief in our Father because of His holiness and the installment of His Kingdom provides not only for you but also for those in need that you petition for. One temptation may be to service their spiritual needs by our own limited physical means. In a spiritual sense we have nothing to give these souls, but we do have a friend ready in Jesus. Another temptation may be to hold back and send the wanderer on his/her way empty handed. The model command is to love God with all and your neighbor as oneself, so to is the model prayer. A means of escaping evil is given in each temptation and it usually involves clarity of ones relationship to God and also spiritual service (even in the face of evil) to others. To see that means one must be observant of how God has treated you in your varied needs and deliverances. The faith of our Lord is in a sincere believing prayer that recalls God's merciful actions to us and calls upon those same mercies to be bestowed to the soul that still is searching.
August27 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:11:29-32 NO SIGN GIVEN - It can't just be evil to ask for a sign, it is evil that after everything that they've seen and heard that there hasn't been a movement toward repentance, that after all this they have not been convinced to turn. Those that have repented in antiquity did so based on less information from lesser sources. What keeps them from repenting? Evil. John placed it that they loved their darkness more than His light. The message is that they have seen everything that they need to see in order to believe and repent but they won't. Is this particular to this generation? Or is it a result of this generation being the one Jesus physically stood before? This is a rejection of Him and His physical presence kjv@Isaiah:53. Had Jesus stayed off in the prophetical and the theoretical distance, had He been an idea safe enough in the future tense people would not have had such an adverse reaction to Him. Even nowadays, where there is so much debate and academic criticism, it is not the same despising rejection as there was that once; He is no longer real enough to us for it to matter. Repentance today is something one offers another for having made an injurious mistake not a realization the entire direction one has spiritually been on in relation to God is wrong. We no longer hold that God has been injured or that God is any different than any of us in right or property or expectation. Oh we need repentance no doubt, but who is to say that we wouldn't have already repented had we not seen and heard the things observed by that generation while He stood in person. While we pride ourselves in our literacy and deductive reasoning, so much of what Jesus leisurely did daily so abruptly defied any explanation, we would be fish completely out of water on the occasions these crowds had. Now there will be a generation soon to come, we already see the evidences approaching (as did Paul) that men will completely be lovers of themselves, reprobate in every detail. That also will be a generation pivotal to the prophetic fulfillment. It is the faith of our Lord that during this meantime we will take every advantage to spreading His gospel, while there are ears eager and hearts accepting and directions that are turntable. There is a sign in each and everything to be seen; signs enough for a great plenty. We have this sign of Jonah completed by His resurrection. Should we still yet not believe/repent we would not be such an evil generation as a tragic one.
August29 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:11:37-54 RAVENING AND WICKEDNESS - Esteemed Theophilus, so that you don't get swept away with this liberal notion of a gentile passive peaceful ecumenical Unitarian type of Jesus, you will recall that I mentioned twice now a light is not lit to be hid... that in His light men's works will be manifest... well welcome to the making manifest side of Jesus! Jesus is invited to dinner, remember that, He is their guest. The pharisee did not see the freight train heading his way. Jesus ties His hosts (the leading parties of this temple generation) to the blood guiltiness going all the way back to Abel. Another man, a scribe, takes offence at the implied association of scribes to the pharisees; Jesus pours it on even harder. The blood of the prophets is required at these men's hands. And there will be more prophets by the end that will be added to their account; namely Jesus Himself. There is no reason for us to believe that Jesus did not mean exactly what He said. If so it is shockingly profound as to the history we have recorded of Israel, it's true nature and the direction of it's religious leadership all of this time. What is interesting is the reaction to this; peppering Him with every type of question to draw Him out with things they can use against Him. It is a tactic to take the offensive without mounting the slightest defense; they believe that in the public's eye that they have that advantage... and they are right. Ravening and wickedness have been quite effective for them all this time, there are challenges publicly, but certainly not reason not to press hard at Jesus now. What is not explained is how Jesus walked away from this in one piece or on what note the gathering ended. The faith of our Lord is not about being peaceable and gentle it is about being true to God's word. Liberal theologians who confuse Jesus with Gandhi or a dove of peace have a much different version of Jesus than does Luke. If these men are what Jesus says they are there is no way that He is going to stay silent; not for the sake of politeness, not for the sake of His hosts, not for the sake of bringing all sides together for a big pow wow. Call the spade what it is... especially when the case is so clear, has been for so long, and the blood of your many servants is to be accounted for.
September2 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:12:35-48 HE COMETH AND KNOCKETH - The Lord is portrayed as a lord returning from a wedding and a thief breaking in at an unexpected time depending on which side of His judgement you fall under. Deeper yet the goodman taken by surprise and the man quickly answering at the first knock both seem to be believers. The believer that knows what is expected and doesn't do it is found in a situation worse than a non-believer. Peter asks if this meant just the disciples or all believers. The response is anyone that follows after the Lord. The Lord expects to find us waiting for His return, to be watching for His return, preparing oneself ahead of His return, being responsive the moment He first knocks. This follows a passage where we are told to treasure the things in heaven and not worry for our daily needs. Why? because they keep us from being on this type of watch, they lead us to distraction and distortion. It is the faith of our Lord that this burden He expects from us is actually a lighter burden than we make for ourselves when the priorities are kept straight. Otherwise He will come as a thief and a portion with the unbeliever will be appointed. Think of this when considering what fearful rights the Lord brings with Him at His return.
September3 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:12:49-53 BUT RATHER DIVISION - Okay.. Let us size up the human heart. Jesus the Son of God comes, dies for our sins, raises the third day fulfilling all prophecy, ascends with the stamp of approval from the Father, fills our heart with His forgiveness and His Holy Spirit, heaven and earth and life and death there for the choosing. Everyone jumps on board, right? Wrong! As John would later say "the light came into the darkness" "they loved the darkness rather than the light". Let us size up the human mind. Jesus teaches through simple parable the mysteries of God, reveals the plan and will of God, one need only the mind of a child to understand. Every one understands, right? Wrong! As Paul later said "the cross of Jesus is utter foolishness to the wise of this world". What then shall we conclude is the state of man's heart? One psalmist asks "Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing" (see kjv@Psalms:2). The prophet asks "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" (kjv@Isaiah:53). Peter states "think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you". Jesus does not seek to be at peace with (tolerate/excuse) man's evil heart, He seeks to cleanse and restore it and while that is happening there "will" be sharp division. Can you think of one other single division any sharper? If three out of five family members do not want His operation on their hearts, three out of five are going to be belligerent to the two that do. If three out of five academics have disdain for the beautiful logic contained, three are going to belittle the two. If three of five nations regard the gospel of Jesus a blasphemous corruption of Mohamed's holy truth, three will war against two. The faith of our Lord is not in a peace here and now, the human heart is in no condition for such peace; peace then is not the first objective. The faith of our Lord is in all of this putrid rottenness being being flushed out, painfully/shamefully exposed, being proven ill, allowed it's full degenerate course; that it be used to prove and purify His follower's sincerity and faith; that at His triumphant second coming all wickedness be once and for all judged and put to end. Then and only then will the human heart be transformed and ready. Then comes His intended and planned for peace!
September5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:13:1-9 CUT DOWN - To what extent is God involved in catastrophe or mayhem? There may not be as much here in this passage as we'd like there to be for a complete theory. We know that even the hairs on our head are numbered and not a sparrow falls without His knowing. Somewhere we get the notion that these things are a punishment from God or that these people were sinners. It doesn't say that though does it? What it does say is about Israel the fig tree expected to produce fruit. This may be what a fruitless tree looks like; lunatic vengeful leaders and poor building codes, inspection and code enforcement. Who is to say that these Galileans weren't believers as Jesus spent so much time preaching in that area? We are looking for Jesus to answer the question on the small micro scale and He rather answers it on the macro. This is what one must expect when they turn their backs collectively on their God. They make bad decision, they become civilly corrupt, they are lead by tyrants and it is all because of their action and inaction, their faithlessness. This does not completely answer the tornado hurricane issue. It cuts through some preliminary issue however. The faith of our Lord is focused on big pictures, pictures behind pictures, pictures within pictures, knowing how things work and how they don't.
September6 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:13:10-17 WHOM SATAN HATH BOUND - Jesus has said that He can only do what He sees the Father do. He sees the Father loosening here. #G630 The word means to send away, divorce, pardon. The woman goes one direction and the infirmity goes the other. The more classical view is that God would be causing infirmity either because she is a sinner or because there is a break down in His genetic codes. If we go back one passage to Jesus' talk regarding catastrophe and mayhem, the context may be that this is what it looks like having a fruitless tree. You will recall in the wilderness for forty years people did not get sick, their clothes did not fray, their shoes even did not wear. When they were in God's complete care infirmity did not appear. As they have removed themselves from God's complete care infirmity abounds more and more. You will recall all the many quotes through the prophets that God has always been willing to heal Israel if they would just keep things straight. Like with the collapse of the towers innocent people may be caught under societies rubble. In fallen societies (from God's view) normal sexual inhibitions lessen, diets change, fears of pain and infirmities and deformities and bad deaths rise and thus odd prescriptions and remedies worsen the situation, medicines and surgeries are mis-prescibed, the entire course of affairs have dire affects upon what was otherwise made to work by God's command. It is an environment dominated by abject fear. Worse yet the door is left wide open for Satan to operate at his will. If God's will is not being followed, whose other will is strong enough? Does this mean that this woman was a devil worshiper? Probably not. Does this mean that she was a sinner? Well we all are. Why are we not all folded over? When so much of God's creation works so well as designed, when it does not these relatively few times (and there is no apparent reason why it shouldn't have) it should be a sign that we have as a society left the door open to another's will. It is not as easy as any one person reaching up and closing that door, it is opened by the whole, it effects the whole, it is closed by the Lord when He sees fit (re-establishes a final closure) for the whole. We also have Israel receiving a double measure sworn from the Lord. God's blessings to us are magnified in them for our observation; so too His curses. Israel was given something Holy to possess: His Commandments, His Covenant, His Name, His Temple, His Seed. Moses warned them of how such blessings would turn to curse should they not fulfill their obligations to that covenant. We today possess a similar (extended) form of that covenant in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Should we not expect the same double measure or more should we as a group neglect so great a salvation as well? Jesus appears to be walking in an extraordinary time of infirmity and demonic possession. The fruitless tree as a whole is rotted from the core outward. Yet for now, His work was being done on a smaller individual level because that is what He saw the Father as doing. It is not the time yet to remove all sickness because it is not a time yet where we have all come back to HIM. The holiness of His that we hold is yet held by defiled and idle hands. That this miraculous and instantaneous healing was done on Sabbath better states the idleness that prevails week long because of defiled (dead) religious traditions. The faith of our Lord is simply beyond our capacity to understand; our perception of it is too short sighted if not blind. Signs and indications that we should be seeing as messages and proofs are seen rather as God abandoning us. The big picture healing for mankind is not as instantaneous; it has taken several thousand years already to develop. And each one of us (believer and non-believer) are swallowed up in that plan till it comes to full fruition. That it hasn't already is a sign of the size and scope of the problem.
September7 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:13:18-21 BRANCHES OF IT - The Kingdom resembles the planting of a mustard seed. There is a interpretive practice of scriptural consistency that when scripture uses a picture type like a mustard seed or leaven the picture type is always the same, it does not change meaning. There is also an interesting consistency with the fowls of the air that you should search out. The seed is somewhat tricky because it is associated else where with the "Word" and with faith and with the Kingdom. The three can be thought of as one thing. The kingdom is built upon the Word, faith is built upon and is in the Kingdom Word, it can be said the kingdom is built upon those who have faith in the Word. Leaven however is always associated with corruption. The kingdom is not built upon corruption nor can it be corrupted nor is it hidden, but there is a direct attempt by many at making it appear corrupted to those that would have faith. One way to do that is to put the emphasis on one's faith and not the word or the kingdom. Another is to produce a glorying in the traditional articles and bureaucracies of an outward faith. Another way is to cast doubt upon the whole by puffing up what it should be and then deflating it what it is currently not. That these two parables are placed in the larger context of a mis-understanding of mayhem and infirmity framed by a fruitless tree of Israel and it's widespread resistance to that which would make it fruitful shows the depth to which the Lord's work is having to go to move forward. The faith of our Lord is strongly placed in the Kingdom. It would seem rather easy for Him given the extent of man's depravity to give it up. The kingdom/word/faith He believes in so strongly to be our answer, He is willing to give His life to make it happen. Of all His miracles this future accomplishment will be by far His greatest. Now find the placement of those pesky fowls and you will have the more complete picture.
September8 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:13:22-30 THRUST OUT - If the question presented is how few will be saved, the answer given is to just make sure that you are one of those who do enter. No number is given, we are told that many will not be able to enter. Why not? One common belief today is that all people will make it through. This presupposes that God wants the next life to be just the same as this life, we are free to be and do and believe whatever we want and will therefore spend eternity suffering these same consequences. Another common belief is that only good people will make it through and that this can be any good person of any good faith. This presupposes that Jesus' death and resurrection was not necessary and that Jesus is a liar about nearly everything He taught and said, but oddly His lies may have produced the will in some to do good. A view held by the people in this parable is that because they ate with Him and He taught in their cities that this brief familiarity should suffice for entry. It would be like us today saying because we greeted each other in an elevator you should consider me as friend that you know or that because my Grandmother believed I should be proxied. The thing that strikes me is that suddenly these people realize that they have to get in through the gate to the master. Suddenly they storm the gate demanding concessions from the master. Suddenly there is weeping and gnashing of teeth for seeing who does enter. In the case of these Jews those entering are those that they themselves presumed to be in league with but were not. What a terrible crashing down of all that you've believed in. They are called workers of iniquity. Is there any good that can be worked without God Himself working it? Is there any good that be worked if the work of Jesus Christ is denied or lessened, commingled or distorted? Is there any good that can be worked that in the end still must call/demand upon the concessions of God? Mercy is not a concession to allow one to remain the way that they are. Mercy is a person that is a "stand in" substitution receiving the penalty better deserved to us. The faith of our Lord is in being this stand in substitution for us without which we will in no wise enter into His Kingdom. There is no other good work than that. Separate yourself from that and you have essentially thrust your own self out the gateway of His Kingdom.
September13 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:15:1-7 NINETY AND NINE JUST PERSONS - There are two forms of justification here, those who are justified by Christ the Righteous Servant and those that are justified by the law. As much as the Pharisees and Scribes are convinced that they are justified by the law, Jesus has shown the Pharisees and Scribes as hypocrites and sorely missing the mark called for by the law. They often transgress the law in the very same breath that they are trying to fulfill the it. The is the position all men are in. When Jesus says ninety and nine just He is not talking about men that are justified by the law, He is talking about men whom presume themselves to have met it, whom have been proven not to have met it and yet insist that they have met it. They are in quite the predicament. Why would the Great Shepherd rejoice over their insolent unresponsive hearts? Why would He not leave them to go find the one that has drifted out of their hardened pack and rejoice? Why would He not put the new found believer on His shoulders, carry Him proudly, make a joyful proclamation to all? It is not that Jesus sits with sinners and publicans, it is that He sits with people who see the pack for what they really are, who leave or refuse to go along with the pack in the first place, that are sinners just like those in the pack, who are willing to entertain the notion of Christ, who are willing to accept the promise of His salvation, who are willing to turn from their hardened ways and become Christ's. It is a very large number of people who think that they are above this business of Christ compared that to those that become found. Notice that they did not find Him; He went out and found them. The faith of our Lord does not see justification the way most of us do; it is something that He does for them, not something they do for themselves. Try as you might not to have to need Him, one must be lost before they are found.
September15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:15:11-32 A CERTAIN MAN HAD TWO SONS - Who are these sons? One son has served his dad all this time and has not transgressed his command. Every thing the dad yet possess is this son's. That takes every man/woman that I know out of the running. This son complains about the celebratory nature of his brother's return. The other son takes his inheritance in advance, squanders it, falls upon difficult times. This son would portray every single human in relation to God. This particular man realizes the error of his way and goes back to the dad even if to be a servant. This would portray every believer. So if one son is all people and the other is none, who is the other son? Who has not transgressed and retains their rightful inheritance that would now be confused and upset about the prodigal return of all repentant believing men? We heard in the previous parts of this discourse about the Angels rejoicing when a lost sinner is brought back by the Good Shepherd. Are all Angels that have not transgressed and still retain their rightful inheritance happy about mankind's celebrated return (unproven return) from such carnal reprobacy? I would say yes the Angels are happy, but with conscious effort. If this interpretation is true it would also suggest that the merriment amongst friends (like believers) is another area of initial angelic contention. It is better understood as the joy of the dad for the sons return being enjoyed amongst them rather than the friends carousing at the dad's expense. The faith of our Lord not only has to deal with the hearts and sincere feelings of men, but also of the Heavenly host. It would be easy for the dad to become so consumed by the actions of the lost son so as to diminish the sincerity and loyalty of the other. The righteousness of our Lord is that His mind/designs is always on both.
September17 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:16:16-18 UNTIL JOHN - If the Law and the prophets were until John what is it about the Law and prophets that does not end? The Law could only save a person if they were able to keep it in it's entirety which no person ever was able to do. A person could continue to squabble as did the Pharisees over the best interpretation of the many details of the Law, but that would get them no closer to salvation which comes only in Jesus. Squabbling make in fact drag them further away. The Law does not end because all of those without Jesus still remain under the lordship of the law to keep it in it's entirety. Those under the lordship of Jesus have the Law fulfilled in Him by grace as a gift. What no one could do, Jesus does for them that believe in Him. Does that mean that believers do not have to keep the Law? No, that means a believer is not condemned by everything he doesn't yet know/understand/interpret correctly about the Law. The Law has brought him to the awareness of the need for Christ, now that he has Christ the Law is to keep him in remembrance of his continuing need. Adultery remains adultery, murdering is murder, to covet covetousness, the love of one God Yahweh and no other god before Him all things hold true. What has changed is that all the divisive striving in the Law has been superseded by a new personal relationship with the King of all Glory. The faith of our Lord is focused on the heart of the believer, if the heart be focused back on Him. If the heart be negligent on this one thing first, the heart has no way of pursuing the rest.
September18 @ @ RandyP comments: m[FaithOfJesus} kjv@Luke:16:19-31 A GREAT GULF - There are a great many that believe that if the evidence were strong enough their minds would be changed about the Gospel of Salvation. Perhaps a tormented soul back from the dead. Perhaps a comforted soul from Abraham's bosom. Truth be told, the mind only sees what it wants to see. Take the condition of Lazarus. We chose to see his suffering in this life as a reward for sin, a curse upon him, a proof of his idiocy. Take the rich man living sumptuously. Wealth and health are a sign of God's blessing upon him, that he is rewarded for his goodness, favor is upon him, that he is doing something right that Lazarus is not. Take the general concept of sickness and/or poverty, that if you are doing as God commands that these horrors will be kept from you. This is the way that we choose to see it. The problem with evidences and proofs is that there is always more needed. It is not a condition of the mind; it is a condition of the heart and what it is willing to hear and believe. There is plenty of evidence in Moses (his life, the Exodus he lead, the wilderness experience, the Law) and the prophets (their words, their works, their fulfillment, their reception, their establishment in the scriptures/history long after their decease) to be more than convinced of something much more than hand of man. Yet the mind does not go that direction. Even those that were their with Moses or Elijah or Jeremiah at the time, they had little conception of what was transpiring before their eyes and murmured and conspired and persecuted. The curiosity of this parable tends to draw us toward the after life side of the equation when we should rather be looking at the present living side of it; how we rationalize sickness and poverty and wealth and prominence etc...; how we testify against ourselves in the midst of divine movements and revelation. The five brethren are the many of us and this life we still enjoy is the only chance we have to resolve these conditions of our heart. The faith of our Lord is in this heart and in everything He has put forth past present and future to turn it from it's disbelieving ways. More important than knowing what happens to us after our death is how we come to perceive things in this life and learn to depend upon Him to cross the immediate vast gulf.
September21 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:17:20-37 LIGHTNING - If you are looking for the Kingdom of God don't follow where others tell you to look, that it is a place, a political/economic system, a particular denomination or cult; the Kingdom is within/inside you. If you are looking for the second advent don't think that Jesus will slowly appear in California to re-establish a group of latter day followers, He will appear as a bolt of lightening from one end of the heavens to the other. This message is spoken throughout prophecy. The second coming is nothing like the first. It will not be "I wonder if this is so". It will be sudden immediate determined judgment (and not the final judgment even). If there is the time to think back on all of the possessions you will leave behind, don't do it. If there is a brief moment to turn and look back on your city, don't do it. This is not a "pull all the data together to finally decide" moment, this is a "decisions already been made and lived forward for sometime... now it's time to go" half second. This is not the light of regular lightning as well. A ray of light from one end of the physical heavens to the other would take billions of years to travel. This is the pinnings of space and time abruptly superseded by something much more powerful, something (shall we say "someone") at the same time snatching His followers up and away. How can this then be explained by those that do not get raptured up? The message and implications will be perfectly clear to them. If this in fact happens early in the tribulation as many believe, the ugly time that follows is the workings of God condemned souls that seek to put forward a full fledged rebellion against God. Not a few souls, nearly all, and with extreme hatred. The great deception may be that they actually think that they can stage this rebellion against God and win. The Anti Christ not only becomes anticipated but welcome. The flushing out of remaining nominal Christians and Jews by economic and legal means becomes number one priority. The mark of the beast is worn with extreme pride. A worldwide celebration remember is broadcast with people exchanging gifts when the final two great prophets are executed. How can any of this be possible unless such a vile defiance and "in your face God" rebellion has not become the absolute worldwide cause. The faith of our Lord is a tremendous thing when His love and mercy for us is considered. However at this particular unprecedented moment all things change like at no other moment (save Adam and Eve's perhaps). There will be no turning back, not for Him, not for believers, not for those left behind. His lightning is not a mere line drawn in the sand, it is a vast gulf that none can traverse save the relatively few tribulation saints. There will be a final final judgment. It will not be sudden. Everyone of these evil men will look back on this rebellion, and know that He is God, and will have only to bow their knee and confess Him as God before accepting their rightful eternal sentence. It is crazy how much of the picture we don't see that Jesus does.
September23 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:18:9-14 TRUSTED THAT THEY WERE RIGHTEOUS - What does self righteousness have to do with despising others? Can you be self righteous and not despise others? Let's think it through closely. How is it that one can think himself righteous? He sees the faults of others and projects himself to be above that. He sees their works and judges them lacking. He sees their predicament and sees their blame. He sees their station in life and feels it well deserved. Does he not despise these others? Here then is the great commandment "love the Lord thy God because you are not a sinner and despise your neighbor because he is a low life. Okay, so maybe that is the extreme; let's take it down a notch. You are basically a good person because you have kept yourself from the types of issues that they are experiencing. You then are not blaming them so much as you are applauding yourself; right? What you are saying is that they are stupid for falling to such a thing, they are weak for not being as strong as you are. Let's turn it down yet another notch. How about "I came to believe in Jesus", "it was plain to see", "it suddenly made so much sense", "if you just search yourself it will come to you as well"? The truth is that the self righteous man gives himself a whole lot of credit where very little credit can be found. The self righteous man knows very little of the depths of the depravity within. He is disgusted by the depravity of others and puts himself above it when his type of depravity is perhaps the worst of them all. It is the depravity that keeps him from finding the need for God's mercy, from searching the righteous act of God performed for him on the cross, from accepting the payment made on his behalf for his depravity, from depending upon God's grace and nothing but. The faith of our Lord is in the man who knows that he is a sinner and is by God's hand ready to make a whole new start on more realistic terms. Self exaltation will be abased. The humbling of self will bring one closer to his/her exalted Lord.
September25 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:18:18-30 SAVE ONE - Is Jesus saying that He is not good? Is He saying that He is not God? Neither. He is speaking the ruler's hidden thoughts. The ruler is approaching Jesus and addressing Him as "good master" which if truth be told the ruler does not fully believe; not in the general sense of a local rabbi or high priest, not in the overall sense of Lord of Heavens. If so he would have dropped all that he had and followed. So why did he address Jesus as "good master" if he perceives Jesus neither good nor his master? Jesus said that none is good, save one, God. Not even the rabbis of the day were called good because it was doctrine that such a determination would put them on a level of God, which they weren't about to do. It was/is also their doctrine that there is not a triune godhead of Father/Son/Holy Spirit, even though they believe in Holy Spirit and the Seed (Righteous Servant). There must have been some suspicion on the man's part, reluctant yet curious that Jesus is attempting to expose. If Jesus means to say that He is not good/God He by implication is also saying that the Holy Spirit is not good/God either for only one is good implying the Father; and yet that would be blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. Rather, He is saying that He is good/God as is the Father, as is the Holy Spirit. Further, as He is good/God then He is Master and need be surrendered to and revered as such. If the master has done such (forgone all His riches and glory) so then should his servant. Imagine a rich lord or barron with many servants that upon an approaching war leaves all his riches behind so as to fight the battle and asks his servants to come fight as well. Yet the servants do not let go of the lords possessions that they hold thus hindering their movements towards the battlefield. It is ridiculous to see an enlisted soldier attempt to fight while his arms are filled with silverware and fine tapestries. The rich ruler hardly realizes that his Good Master stands before him heading down the road to the greatest of all battles, the battle for all men's souls. This man is talking about obediently performing the daily household chores when his weary master is talking leaving it behind for now to join in the fight. Unfortunately, few of His servants are able to do that; none by their own terms. The faith of our Lord is not writing this man (nor any man) off, He is simply identifying the present dilemma. Those that have given up all things for the cause have done so by God having brought them through the eyes of the needle. If this man is to do it it will be by God's hand as well; the good triune God's hand.
September26 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:18:31-34 ALL THE THINGS WRITTEN - Clearly the disciples do not understand. Is there anyone from those who had studied the scriptures to those who had spent the past three and a half years that understood? The question we must ask is why not? It is apparent that unless you have been taken through His experience of the death and resurrection of Christ, you can not grasp what has been written and taught concerning it. Further, unless either the resurrected Jesus Himself or the Holy Spirit (the seal and confirmation of it) open your eyes to it the experience of it is only intellectual at best. At this point no one there even intellectually grasps it. It is a statement of the condition of man that should well be considered, that even having it written and taught and experienced in person, left to man's intellectual resource the connection spiritually cannot be made. The ability required is not within man (neither friend or foe). Further, Paul in his writings suggests that the abilities of man's carnal mind will actually fight (be at complete enmity) against the realization and knowledge of such. The prophets themselves predicted much the same. And it is no surprise to Jesus. It is not as if He is just now realizing this, He has known it to be the case from the Garden of Eden or long before. The divine plan has this human inability fully considered. The faith of our Lord is that even though man has not the ability in any shape or form, the very thing that He is prepared to perform will give man that ability; the ability to finally see and believe to salvation. This is why He must perform this, complete it to it's fulfillment.
September27 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:18:35-43 FAITH HATH SAVED THEE - Does Jesus mean saved in the general sense delivered from blindness or in the eternal sense salvation? The man is observably saved from blindness. He persisted in asking for a mercy and despite the rebuke of others he received it. That alone is a good story. Can one be saved in the one sense and not the other? He also identified Jesus as Son of David which ties Jesus back to prophecy. Everyone in the group would also declare the same, however we know that the more that they know about the plan ahead the more difficulty they are having with it. Some have turned and walked away, others will swear to defend that it would not be so. The truth is that the death of sin/death lays at the foot of the cross and eternal salvation rises at the tombstone rolled away. This man has received mercy by being delivered from blindness like so many others. Many have been delivered in this way without knowing and believing in the full salvation simply by faith in the Lord's mercy. This man if he means what he says is well on his way to the greater salvation believing Jesus as Son of David. If he is just repeating what everyone else is telling him then he still has a ways left to go. The faith of our Lord is using the smaller case mercy healing to point this man to His upper case mercy salvation. If the man approached salvation with the same persistent faith that he has healing he will be sure to be with his Lord in his Lord's glory. This illustration happens at a time that all smaller case believers could use most given the days to come.
October3 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:20:9-19 THAT THE INHERITANCE MAY BE OURS - If they knew that He was heir, what would make them think that the inheritance would be theirs at any rate? Let's take it a step further. If you knew He was the "head cornerstone", why would you reject Him knowing that He would grind them into powder? Let's take it a step further. If these things were spoken against you why in the same hour would you in the same hour seek to lay hands on Him? Fast forward to modern times. The Scribes, Pharisees and Sanhedrin have all been destroyed and pulverized in one fell swoop (well within what should otherwise have been Jesus' lifetime) and the temple mount given to others for over two thousand years. The Jewish leaders all dismiss Jesus as a false blasphemous liar. Can you Rabbi name me one prophet who could have claimed to be heir before the destruction and scattering of Judah to the far reaches that the husbandmen of that day took out of the Holy City and murdered? Who had told them to their face what they were about to do and they did it anyway? Why did they think that the inheritance was theirs for the taking? Because they thought it was their's (not His) all along. Why do you reject the chief cornerstone still? Because you think that the inheritance has been your's (not His) all along. Given all that has occurred all this time after, what other sustainable reason is there? No! The inheritance is for the Righteous Servant of kjv@Isaiah:53 whose portion will be divided amongst the mighty. The arm of the LORD has performed this wonder. Who ("God forbid") would believe such a report? Those to whom the "arm" has been revealed. Look to the temple mount today. Is it not in the hands of others? Have you not spent this time broken? Has not the so called false prophet's words been true for some time? Is this not by the arm of the LORD? The faith of our Lord is that from the portion that He has received by the travail of His own soul thus claiming His inheritance, He will divide that amongst His strong, the sons and daughters of faith in the fulfilled promise. What a glorious day when He finally comes to remove these others and rules over the vineyard's glorious overflowing fruit! Will you be there for Him?
October5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:20:27-40 GOD OF THE LIVING - It is amazing how many doctrines and layers of doctrine can be built from one wrong assumption. If wrong in this one area, how many other areas can one be wrong with? Add all the layers up and you can see how easy it is to live a religious life that believes in the same name of the one and only God, but is as wrong as wrong can get. Bring that truth forward into today's universalist notion that "all paths lead to God". A path derived from the assumption that there is no resurrection leads to a outlook and experience that differs from outlook and experience of others. It leads to a different perception of the necessity of Christ for salvation (salvation from what?). It is this perception and the many other possible combinations that allow one to rationalize the procedures necessary to kill off the Christ that stands today before them. How then do all paths lead to God if most paths lead to replacing Him? What the "all paths" argument is actually saying is that God is a big enough person to excuse these murderous (physically, intellectually, theologically) idolaters who blaspheme the work and testimony of the Holy Spirit, completely shun the design and plan of God the Father and disregard the sacrifice made on their behalf by God the Son. What this God is is whatever one wants Him to be; He is nothing more than a vain imagination. Do all paths lead then to a vain imagination? If even the believers of the one God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can go astray at several essential points, what hope have the many would don't even believe that? The faith of our Lord is that man will not only be in heaven eternally, man will be on an equal footing with the angels that are already there. There is quite the transformation that has to occur between here and there. It is a transformation that only His death and resurrection can make on us. If God is the God of the living, then and now, how many of the living will have accepted Him for the God He actually is?
October6 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:20:41-47 GREATER DAMNATION - The concept of a scaled judgment is a tricky one. It would be easy for us to think that because we were slightly better than some others in good works we would receive slightly less judgment. We could extend it even further, that even though we did not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, we did believe that He was a very good man, we were inspired by Jesus to better love our neighbor and such, this would stand better in judgment than had we not believed/loved at all. Perhaps if we were on the verge of truly believing (teetering on the edge) we could avoid judgment altogether. The problem is that there are not separate areas in hell, one level of torment for the really bad, others graduated for the not so bad and almost good. Hell is hell. Hell is a complete separation from God (not varying degrees). What possibly may be the difference is the level of comprehension of one's utter guilt, that much was given to this servant and much was expected, that the expectation was not carried out, that what was carried out lead many of these tormented souls to this very place. Tyre and Sodom would not have this level of comprehension, but they would have the comprehension that they had lived vile and perverse lives. Those that sheepishly followed their leaders or peers into all manner of falsity and idolatry would know that they had been foolish and wrong, but they would not have the same responsibility for this eternal torment of others as would those given such responsibility over a great many. Interesting that this was tied in our reading to the momentary relief that the Pharisees felt in the debate over resurrection; they were right on one point, but yet absolutely wrong in the totality of their belief. The stumbling point for them was still Jesus being the Christ. This remains the stumbling point for many others as well including even the people who will prophecy and perform great works in the name of Jesus, but still refuse Him as their one and only Christ. Eternity is not a graduated scale of extreme torment to extreme serenity just as salvation is not a graduated scale slight acknowledgment to solely devoted. The faith of our Lord for His part is in absolutes. Absolute heaven and absolute hell. However He does know that on our parts, even the heaven that many will experience may be graduated by our comprehension of our responsibility to the dear ones there with us and how well we sought to fulfill our role in that responsibility. Clear (or clear-able) conscience may be our greatest eternal reward.
October9 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:22:1-6 THEN ENTERED SATAN - There are many actors on the stage at this time including Satan, but we need to make it perfectly clear who is directing the action. There is one thing happening, perhaps best described in kjv@Isaiah:53. This time now is between the Father and the Son. The rest is a side show. It is pleasing the Father to put the Son Jesus to this. These men believe that they have the power to make things happen. Even Satan thinks that he is getting one over. Nothing of the sort! If God's will was anything other God's will would be done. God had plenty opportunity to remove Judas. He had plenty of opportunity to strike down these chiefs and scribes. He had plenty of time to move Jesus to a safer location. Jesus knew it was Judas that would betray Him from the beginning kjv@John:6:64, knew that he was a devil kjv@John:6:70, knew that he was stealing from the purse kjv@John:12:6. Choices were made by Jesus all along in obedience to the Father's will that have led Him to this. All of these men have had choices as well, except they chose to play the part of wickedness. They have played their chosen part well, but it is not their show; they are not directing the action they are merely responding to the script. The faith of our Lord is not in worrying or keeping track of who is who in this passion or who is doing what. It is all the Father. It is all the plan. It is all in the Father's hands.
October10 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:22:7-38 I HAVE PRAYED FOR THEE - What does Jesus pray for Peter in this circumstance? That he not have to go through it? That he would clobber Satan over the head with cartoon wooden mallet? No, that his faith not fail. Was there a danger that it could fail? Why else would Jesus be praying? Does this not show an interesting side to the faith of our Lord's? Did He not pray for the others faith as well? Of course He did, but He knew the importance of Peter's faith within the group. Imagine the others had Peter's faith failed. At the same time, as much as there was the possibility of failure there was twice the confidence in the man He had hand picked, plus twice again the confidence that He had in the power of righteous prayer, two hundred times that in His confidence in the Holy Spirit's hand. If left to his own Peter's faith could very well fail (as could ours). But here is the thing, soon Peter will be receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit, the death and resurrection of Jesus will assure that. One hates to see a loved one have to go through this. If however, going through this comes out to mean that, the process becomes all the more hopeful. Peter at this point believes in a uncruxified Christ, one that has not died for sin, one that has not risen and ascended to right hand throne of God. He is most vulnerable to this type of satanic attack. Providing visual and symbolic remembrances will help, revealing what will happen to him in advance will help, making him repeatedly to feel a loving responsibility to feed His sheep after His departure will help. More than anything though to know that the very Savior is praying for the strength of his faith will be encouraging. It is hard to say theoretically what incarnate Jesus does and does not know at this point. What we do have however is an excellent discourse of how much He cared and how much He believed in others, how He steered others toward victory. The faith of our Lord seeks to prove His victorious strength in our human weakness. Get yourself on board that strength with unfailing faith.
October12 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:22:47-53 YOUR HOUR - The guards are there under orders, they are going to do what they are sent out to do. One has to wonder though what they are thinking individually as Jesus heals their buddy's ear. I believe that these are Temple guards; pretty easy uneventful duty til now. They are probably as unfamiliar with wielding a sword as is fisherman Peter. They are no doubt familiar with the crowds of followers Jesus has drawn to the Temple daily and the calls of Hosanna and probably not so familiar with the arguments being tallied by their bosses the Sanhedrin. Do they also know of the false witnesses being coaxed up? Here the man that has taken them to this park is pointed out by this possible messiah as having betrayed Him with a kiss. This possible prophet has called for calmer peaceful heads to prevail at this time and has questioned the chiefs and elders as to proceeding against Him as a common thief yet oddly in such secrecy as if they knew how the masses would react. Yet of all of this talk the most eerie statement is captain Malchus' ear and the look of startled awe in his eyes. What argument is there against that? The power of darkness is that to those serving it there is no argument involved. One does what one does because there is penalty and consequence to not doing it. One is not paid for thinking through the facts and coming to a rightful judgement. Realize however what these men are forced into questioning. Recall when you were a non-believer and the anxiety you felt approaching anything Jesus related. Translate that tense inner apprehension to these men and amplify it by the obvious fact that you are now called upon to enforce the capture of this Holy Man and take Him even to Pilate (the man who recently slaughtered a host of Galileans on your temple steps just to make a political point). There are times when one ear speaks louder than several mouths. This should have been one of those times. The faith of our Lord is voluntary towards it's duty to the Father. The duty of darkness is demanded and employed and coerced. These men will carry out what they have been directed to no matter what they believe personally, but so too will our Lord Jesus in His hour.
October15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:22:66-23:25 YE SAY THAT I AM - It is said by many that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God, that the gospels have been corrupted into claiming that for Him. Here Jesus claims that He would not be believed if He did tell it. Further He said that herefore after He would be at the right hand throne of God. Does that mean that that He was making the claim to be the Son of God? The chiefs, scribes and elders took it to mean so. How does one corrupt the fact that the well schooled Hebrew scholars and leaders sought vehemently to kill Jesus because of this blasphemous claim, that they falsified information on a trumped up charge of national perversion and sedition, that they accused him of claiming to be Christ which by prophetical necessity is the same Son of God, that neither of the state authorities could not find evidence for the trumped up charge and that the leaders still pursued the death sentence for Jesus over that of a seditious murderer? Jesus does not have to claim it at this point because everyone there knows that it is the claim that He is by implication making. The issue then (as it is now) is whether one believes the claim or not, not whether the claim has been made. Not believing that the claim has been made is cheap and lazy way intellectually of not having to believe in Jesus the Son of God. It is employed mainly by those other religions that want to borrow from the teachings/goodness of Jesus without having to take Him at His word. The faith of our Lord is in much more than words, it is also in accomplishments and reactions. What better way to answer whether you are Son of God than have your adversaries unwittingly and against their will prove it.
October19 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:24:1-12 WHICH WAS COME TO PASS - The faith of our Lord stands out in this passage as to how much He had entrusted to the future. His disciples and followers genuinely did not understand nor were they prepared even though He had told them plenty of times beforehand. Leaving them before they had the slightest clue, observing in their conversations and reactions their lack, knowing that they would be scattered and God's hand turned against them (kjv@Zechariah:13:7) all shows a level of faith equal in importance to the faith that He had in His own resurrection itself. It is clear that they were not going to understand nor believe until they had seen these things for themselves, they were going to be caught completely off guard. Along with their understanding was going to have to come their remembrance. It appears the Jesus knowing that their temporary understanding being so distant would have had approached everything said/done up to this time specifically in a fashion optimized for future immediate recollection once the actual act had been accomplished. Think of it as time released revelation. Add to His effort the effort of the pre-existing scriptures to further support and explain and we see that He has been operating in this time released mode all along. Now that the act is performed what does it all mean? That is what will be sorted out and realized in the days to come until the Holy Spirit comes to teach them all things. Makes me to wonder what else they thought they knew that they really didn't? What about us? The faith of our Lord is seen as a long term process leading man from the very point of creation forward to the point of believing and understanding and relying upon the righteous act between Father and Son onward to the new creature in Christ to the all things gathered unto Him Kingdom in eternity. That which has come to pass is about to become that divinely empowered trans-formative process that which makes all that they (the Godhead) have ever intended happen. Much of this happens in the spiritual foreground without our understanding. We should understand now that on our part it is largely left to reverence and humble acknowledgment.
October22 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:24:50-53 HE BLESSED THEM - Doctor Luke began this exercise as a means of detailing these events to foster certain man Theophilus' certainty in these matters. It is by no means an exhaustive detailing (how could any such work be given the subject matter?), but enough to be most convincing. The letter will become important as the years go on and other stories and fables begin to germinate. This letter along with a few select others will become the standard barrier to keep us grounded to the true faith in the midst of so much other chatter. Work will begin immediately by many to disprove it and disassemble it and detach it. It will be this harsh acidic test throughout the ages that will make it to standout to demand our more consideration. Two things in this passage should begin any examination, that they (those who saw all this) worshiped Him, that they were continually praising and blessing God, which is most likely the point years later where Theophilus first encountered them. Theophilus, like us must first consider why do these people behave in this manner and what/why they believe in this Jesus. The story is laid out so that any person of any intellectual ability can examine it and come to terms with their own beliefs. The Lord did not write these things down Himself as with other so called messiahs but relied upon the testimony of common down to earth men and their life long living and sacrificial reactions to what they had witnessed. Such proves to be a powerful indication of the veracity of said evidences. The faith of our Lord is in men being transformed deeply by His message, so deeply as to desire to testify on His behalf to others, so as to spread such transformation to many more as well. Many will come to know and praise/worship God because of Him.
October24 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:1:19-28 IF THOU BE NOT THAT CHRIST - Apparently if left to their druthers there would be no baptism. One would have to be either someone that they believed in long ago that that didn't believe and persecuted at that time or one would have to be one now whom they don't believe and are going to persecute shortly. All this over a simple baptism of repentance. This is not the baptism that Jesus will provide. Those who are baptized in this manner are only being prepared for the eventual baptism for the remission of sins that will come after the cross. We are not even sure how many of these souls followed through to the real deal; likely they were swept up in the moment and faded away unaffected. The preparing the way has more to do with the timing of the prophecies, one had to happen before the other. It made for quite a news worthy spectacle; other gospels have John calling these critics a broad of vipers. The faith of our Lord we have said is in the testimony of men like John, but it is also in the testimony of the prophecies and in the testimony of these men's actions against Christ. How would you like to explain to the prophets why you killed them and their Christ believing all the time that it was what God wanted you to do. John is not Christ nor Elias nor that prophet, He is the one who prepares the way of these testimonies.
October27 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:1:43-51 BECAUSE I SAYETH...THOU BELIEVEST? - We are beginning to see more of Jesus' nature and temperament now. Nathaniel could have made the Galilee comment in jest or he could have actually meant it, but Jesus first greets him saying "a man with no guile". If guile is meant as subtlness, no Nathan does not seem to be subtle. If it means deceit, Nate doesn't hold his perceptions back. If to mean craft, he does not have the craft of diplomacy. If either translation is the understanding then I see Jesus humorously matching wit with Phillip's friend here, using Nathaniel's tone to introduce His. Jesus himself has no guile, He will always come right to the heart of the matter, but amongst friends He'll make it clear in a form that they can more easily digest. Here it is humorous wit and a touch of "how did He know that" that has pointed Nathan to the essential beginnings of his belief; not in the things already done, but what they suddenly mean deep down and the anticipation of things ahead yet to be believed/seen. The faith of our Lord will be very transparent, open and on display for all that want to see, but so will the faith of the others around Him. For them the unfamiliar will become inviting and friendly, the unknowable will become trust-able, all creation itself will be observed as reverent and compliant to His greater majesty. For Him the growing and transformative faith of these and others will become more outwardly evident, receptive, fruitful to His purposes. Their faith is already drawing quite a gathering of other seekers.
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.
October30 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:3:1-21 EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY THINGS - Flesh and spirit, light and darkness, earthly and heavenly, born of water and spirit, these are all meant as stark stark contrasts. There is a vast difference between all that we've known of our existence to this point and all that there is yet to know. The heart and mind that we've used all this time to bring us as far as it has is not the same heart and mind that takes us the rest of the way. Look all around you through the course of this day and look at how far we've been able to come and how far further we could go if only unimpeded. Realize that no matter how far what we have was yet to go it is still only flesh, the earthly, the water of the womb, minus Him the darkness. Belief in the Son of God Jesus Christ is the birthing canal into the unimaginable life, the life of the eternal, the life of the communion with the Divine, the life of the fellowship of the redeemed, the life of the designed and created and promised and performed. To be of the Spirit one must be born of the Spirit. In order for anyone to be born of the Spirit Jesus must die, the travail of His soul on our behalf must please the Father, His resurrected portion must be divided amongst His strengthened. No one comes up with this portion on their own, it is a gift given to them that believe on His name and receive in themselves His Spirit. Born again, the first birth only can take us to the point of believing for the second. It is the second that takes us the rest of the way and He is it's entry point and it's light. But there are those that hate this Light, even if we tell them in earthly terms they do not allow themselves to believe. Second birth? How can that be? I see no difference! It is like a seed that is planted in the corrupt nutrient rich ground that must die to itself and give root to the life intended. To rot in it's own hardened shell and never take root is to never germinate and become anything other than complete rot. The faith of our Lord is that His death and resurrection will mean everything to us spiritually. As much as this present world means to us it is nothing to compare to the eternal glory to come. He must be the first raised from the dead. We must believe in His name, receive His Spirit, follow the process of preparing for the second life. Believers are His germinating seed becoming ready to burst through the shell and rot of this life into the glorious sunshine of the next life. What is flesh is flesh. What is Spirit is.....
October31 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:3:22-36 GIVEN NOT BY MEASURE - Isn't it interesting that the Baptist's mission of preparing the way by calling Israel to repentance/baptism didn't end at the start of Jesus' ministry and that along with the miracles and teaching Jesus is also having His disciples baptize followers just like John's? The baptism of the Holy Spirit mentioned earlier does not come into effect until after the death and resurrection of Jesus at Pentecost. Jesus has that Spirit in Him without measure, but it is not for the sharing at this particular point of time. John the Baptist has been moved and used mightily by the Spirit from even in the womb, but He is not filled with the Spirit in the same sense that we all as believers from Pentecost on will be. Jesus speaks the words of God like no other has nor ever will because He is the Son, He is from above, He is from heaven, He is above all, He is the bridegroom, He is filled without measure by the Spirit. It would be one thing to be skeptical of say a prophet until his word is proven, but to be skeptical of Jesus? What better source is one ever to have? Should one receive His testimony the seal would be set that God is true; one would have eternal life and of an answer of a good conscience one would then be baptized. Many many many were baptized by the two concurrent ministries driving towards the same goal, the soon baptism of the Holy Spirit afforded by the death to sin at the cross and the resurrection to new spiritual life. The faith of our Lord is that this stage of the testimony will lead men to receiving the further stage, testimony of the new life signed sealed delivered. No one fully receives the word at this time and He knows it, yet He is willing that they be baptized of water just the same until that time when all will be presented the Spirit to receive. Himself filled without measure, measuring out a goodly portion to soon fill the rest.
November1 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:4:1-26 IF THOU KNEWEST THE GIFT - Jesus is apparently avoiding/postponing conflict with the Pharisee's who are now taking notice of Jesus by the numbers He is drawing away from them in Judea. He takes the most direct route to Galilee venturing through the hated Jewish half breed land of Samaria. Jesus stops outside of Sychar and sends His band of Jewish looking fellows into the town to barter with the natives for food. A woman comes to the well to draw water just as she did probably twice a day, this time to find a lone road weary Jew sitting at the step of the well. What ensues is one of the most intimate conversations recorded in the gospels. It describes how Jesus pursued His way past her many defenses to bring her into an understanding of who He really was. First defense was ethnic, though they shared a common ancestry she made it a point to draw out their difference rather than their similarities. Jesus dislodged that defense by suggesting that who He was was someone that both and Jew and Samaritan had long looked forward to and that what He had to give was much anticipated by both. Her second defense was to claim ancestral rights to the lineage of Jacob. His response was to offer her more than an old decaying inherited landmark and to point to the vast difference of the shallow mountain runoff well's water to His eternal living water. Still calling Him "sir", her third defense is to make Him prove His offer. He replies by pointing her politely to a adulterous secret she holds that could not be known by any stranger. Now that she sees Him on the level of maybe a Jewish prophet, her fourth defense is to deflect His piercing gaze into her soul by diverting it to theoretical controversy as to the true singular sacred places of worship. It is an easy answer for Him to turn back on her for it does not matter where one worships as it does who the true object of that worship is given to. Her fifth defense is to put the concept of Messiah off into the future "well when messiah comes he will". Jesus declares "I am He". She has no other defense, she has only to believe His oath or not believe. There is no doubt that Jesus had many such conversations like this with a great many people. The few that we have recorded (like the previous with Nicodemus) are much glossed over and tightly edited with purpose. This seems to be one of the most open and free flowing of them all and show us a very intimate side of Jesus. He was not pushy, but very engaged and direct. He spoke in vivid pictures and concept that could be latched onto and remembered easily with time released multilayer payloads. He was able to work through her defenses with an intriguing honesty and sincerity and passion that she would come to respect. By the time the woman reaches her kinfolk she is convinced that He is Christ. The recorded record of our Lord is fast pace and compact with good reason. The faith of our Lord however is on a much deeper one on one plane that connects with the very core of the people He presents Himself to.
November4 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:4:43-54 EXCEPT YOU SEE SIGNS - I do not believe that Jesus was attempting to rebuke the nobleman by what He said, but was preparing Him. It is not as if the man had come to Jesus, sought a sign in order to have the confidence afterward to ask Jesus for a miracle then on his son's behalf. The man had heard of the wedding miracle in Cana and the buzz from the pilgrims returning from the Feast in Jerusalem and had enough belief so as to wait for Him during His brief delay in Samaria. The statement is to focus the man upon the Messianic claims and not on all the observable things done up to this. The strength of faith is not in what has been done prior, but in what is about to occur and why. As to why, many would consider that they like the man because they believe strong enough to receive the healing that the healing takes place; like a partnership with the healer, our faith/His power. Here you will notice that Jesus told the man of the healing before the mention of the man believing. What if the man had delayed in his believing until further down the road? Would the healing have occurred two hours later? I fear that people who believe that their faith in healing must be there in order to receive the healing are the same type of people who seek signs and evidences to buttress up their faith prior. They are close kin to the people have to have a healing or observe directly a miracle themselves before they would ever consider that the performer to be in the class of a Messiah. John has verbally taken us to three distinct spiritual climates so far, the hyper religious in Jerusalem, the distant and half bread in Samaria, and now returns to a commoner's middle ground in Galilee. He has had tremendous success in all three and now previous successes are beginning to compound or multiply on top of each other. Knowing these distinct base climates now, we should begin seeing strange evolution's and twist's of these bases as people begin to talk themselves out of what appears to be the long awaited messianic fulfillment and the efforts of the elite to regain their control. The faith of our Lord is that He can compel us toward the core belief in His Lordship. It is not all about His showmanship and what we might be able to have Him do for us personally, it is about His being and presence and authority over all creation.
November5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:5:1-15 WILT THOU BE MADE WHOLE - There are several points of interests in this passage. One, there is a great multitude of sick and diseased gathered at the pool, but Jesus is said to have gone to just one and then conveyed Himself away. Was it because of the Sabbath? Because of the number of years this man had suffered? Because of the hold this apparent non-biblical mythology had on the others? Could there be more for Jesus to achieve in His short stay than just the healing of all the sick? It is known that often times Jesus healed as many in a day as came to Him; some but not many on Sabbath. It is also known that healing does not guarantee belief toward salvation, the ultimate goal. Perhaps the answer is in what Jesus later said to the man "sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee". Could it be that healing indiscriminately for the sake of merely healing has it's unintended consequences? The immediate relief of oppression that results in the increases of sin which brings even greater sickness and disease? Who are these people that would believe in a angelic healing of only the first person into the water? Where in the Bible is there an account of a angelic healing of humans? Does not this angel mock the "respecter of no man" God Jehovah? People that believe in this pool angel and not the Son of the living God among us are exactly the type of person that would sin all the more upon their release. Maybe Jesus is sending a stern message to these people in the form of the message they are sending everyone else by their mythology. Two, Jesus did not mention the man's sin to him before healing him, nor did He mention his faith or forgiveness. The man was healed strictly by the command of Jesus. Jesus then made it a point to go back to the man and warn him against any further sin. We can not say that this particular long term impotency was a result of an earlier sin. We only know that something worse could come if he sins from here out. Third, the healing of a man thirty-eight years ill is of absolutely no interests to the Pharisees, only the movement of his mat on Sabbath. You could imagine their horror if eight hundred cripples had risen and taken up their mats. Fourth, this account is likely out of sequence meaning that John inserted it here to support his point previous or to come. If the previous, it is meant to go along with the difference in believing having seen verses believing it will be seen. The faith of our Lord is in merciful mercy, deliverance from the sin that binds all of us leading toward eternal salvation. There is more to His plan then spending our days by a pool waiting for the troubling of water, more than seventy five second place paraplegics having to be rescued from out the water, more than many rising and going home to do whatever it is they have coveted doing from their beds all this time, more than rebuking one man who has just been given back his life carrying his bed roll to who knows where. The plan is for life and that life is in Jesus.
November6 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:5:16-30 HEARETH MY WORD - This passage is an amazing display of our Lord's faith. The Pharisee's have just accused Him of thinking Himself equal to God. He reveals how that arrangement works. In His present state He will do nothing of His own self. What He see's the Father do, that is what He will do. He seeks not His own will. Think of all the things thus far we have seen Him do. Think of all the things that He is about to do. Think of the cross for which He is best known today for doing. Surely now the Father has not put Himself technically on the cross and died for sin, but literally He has shown that to Jesus. It is said that the Father has given the Son judgment, the cross is that judgment. Jesus has seen it, has understood it, has pursued it, will become it because He seeks not His own will. The judgment then for us is quite simple and straight forward. He that believeth this Son's word and He who has sent Him has eternal life. The Father is showing Him things along the way to do that will make that belief all the more believable for all men. When He makes the man at the pool whole, He see's the Father doing that. When He releases the legion of demons from the grave dwellers soul He see's the Father do that. What a clarity of vision He must have and need to upkeep. It takes constant prayer and devotion. He can see it written before Him in scriptures placed hundreds even thousands of years before Him. He can see it in the Holy Spirit moving Him from location to location. He can see it in His dreams and visions. He may be able to see the event right before the event occurs and know to do it. Whether He is shown an overview/outline/direction or the brilliance of detailed motions the effect is just the same. So not only is He equal, He has surrendered that equality in order to perform the will of the Father. He has not come to condemn any man in the way that we mean it for only the man himself by not believing in His word and He that sent Him can do that. Even the those in the graves shall hear His voice and raise up to be judged, those having done good by believing to the resurrection to grace, those having not believed to the resurrection of damnation. Many will ask "how could He do that?". The question is rather "why would man not do that?". Why would the Father do this? That the Son might be honored even as the Father is. It is an equality certainly, not though as a simpleton would think. The faith of our Lord is in a very intimate relationship to/with the Father who has given Him all things and is placing all things at His feet. As the Father has loved the Son, so the Son is loving of the Father. Not just in words and platitudes, but in actionable deeds and obedience's. Our faith then is in what the Son has shown the Father to be doing. As we love the Father, His Son having been seen by us to be sent, we see what it is we are to do likewise seeking not our own wills.
November7 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:5:31-47 WHOM HE HATH SENT - We come back to testimony and witness. If Jesus was to testify of Himself and have no other form of witness, there would be no difference between Him and every other wanna be messiah. He can be believed to be who He claims first and foremost because of what the evidences and witness is all around Him. It is not just because of what a man like the Baptist says about Him (important as that is), it is not just because of what a man like the Apostle like John is testifying to, it has everything to do with what the Father is doing through and around Him to confirm everything that they all are saying including Jesus. Crippled men do not just rise and walk, the Father makes it to happen. Why does He make it to happen around Jesus? Because Jesus is the one that the Father is testifying to. Not anyone can tie over a hundred mismatching prophecies together seamlessly, some without even being born yet. Why does the Father make it happen around Jesus? Because the Father's finger is pointing to Jesus. There is an honor that only the Father can give and He can only give it to one sinless person. All witness and testimony points to Jesus even the testimony of Moses. And if pointed to Jesus then away from those that the word does not abide in, away from those that seek honor among themselves, those that have not the love of God within. The key phrase is repeated throughout this passage "whom He hath sent". He did not just arrive or make Himself to be this. Not just any man can claim being "sent" without every single evidence past and present saying that very same thing. The faith of our Lord is not in what He says about Himself alone convincing us, it is in what everything (even creation itself) is saying about Him thus proving His claim. No man in and of himself can do anything on this scale unless it is the Father doing it for Him. He has been sent!
November8 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:6:1-15 WHENCE SHALL WE - It says that Jesus knew what He was going to do. He was going to feed over five thousand here on a grassy knoll with whatever they had present. In so doing He was going to examine the hearts of those there with Him; for their sakes. There had to be wondering among the disciples as to how this was going to happen, obviously it could not happen by any earthly means, but that did not stop the disciples from obeying the command and moving forward into the crowd with their baskets. We could say same thing about nearly anything spiritual still today, "how is this going to happen", "there is no earthly way". These things become an examination of our hearts also. Will we obey and move forward? The men could have been made laughing stalks ("What did you think was going to happen? Did you really think?"). They were not. Now is the examination of the crowd. Are you really going to reach up and grab that imaginary piece of something that the silly disciple of this strange man is going to pretend to hand you? It looks like they are handing out something however. Could it be? Now that you have eaten to your complete satisfaction what do you think? Was that fish? Was that barley loaf? Are there really twelve bushel baskets of left overs? Well suddenly, unexplainably, you think that this strange man is not so strange as it first seemed. You are thinking that He very well could be "The Prophet come in to this world". By the utter gasp throughout the crowd you know that others are thinking the very same thing. Some have taken to psalms and dancing, others to contrite prayer, as a whole there is awe and amazement. Now comes the examination of the reader two thousand years after. What, you don't believe in "The Prophet"? "The anointed One"? How could He? How is it? The gasps around you continue; different times, different people, different ways, gasps just the same. People who were once just as skeptical as you; now they too are dancing. You are right actually you know! There is no earthly way; yes. That does not mean that there is no heavenly way however. Why is it that Jesus knows what He is going to do beforehand, but chooses by doing so to examine our hearts? Because our hearts need to be examined. We need to be drawn out of our disbelief and challenged by what is bigger then we are willing to accept. What if one of the disciples just said "no"? "I don't believe in this"? "I am not going to entertain this any longer"? "I don't need to be tested in this way"? "Just say what it is you are going to say and we'll get along to Passover"? What if one of the crowd had stood up and shouted "you are all crazy"? "I'm going back down this hill and getting me some real fish, some smoked fish"? Ask yourself, was there anyone there that day that did this? Why not? We have been talking throughout about witness and testimony. How Jesus on His single testimony alone would not be legally convincing. How that with all the other testimony and the witness of all else that there was no earthly way for things to happen the case is much better made (It is that part this we choose not to believe). And with all of that the realization is made that it is God the Father pointing to this "Prophet" as if He has never before pointed or never again, the evidence is near insurmountable. That the sacrificial Passover depicting the blood of the Passover Lamb and deliverance from bondage is always close in the picture, the proving then is a test of our willingness to step out from our sin by His grace and righteous provision and to move forward. This crowd collectively decided to take Jesus by force to make Him king making the examination both wonderfully passed and horribly failed simultaneously. They are not yet willing to step out from their sin, only ready to make Him the chief of it. The faith of our Lord is that this too will one day pass, and that is why the proving. To get from where a soul is to where it needs to be takes a complete transformation, yet the soul no matter where in this process it is believes that it is already fully arrived. The proving is a reminder that this transformation is not earthly possible. It is heavenly if at all. Continually stepping out and obediently moving forward through this proving is to be our part of this transformation. Whence then shall we?
November9 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:6:16-24 BE NOT AFRAID - Between the point where Jesus left the people and where the people catch up to Him, there are three interconnected miracles (four if you count allowing Peter to walk on water); the walking on water, the submission of the wind, the immediate landing negating 3-4 miles of water. I would imagine each one of these fearful in their own right. You could imagine someone among your group standing up and commanding the wind to stop; and it does. You could imagine hitting shallow beach in the dark when you knew that you still expected more than 40 minutes of clear weather paddling left to do. Why these miracles were expended in conjunction on the same eve as the five loaves miracle is not hinted at; unless miracles just tend to string together or unless it was a continuation of the previous examination. Symbolically, if the loaves show God's heavenly provision when there is no earthly way to do it, then perhaps these show that when there is a earthly way (keep paddling or sink) but the tempest is prevailing it is God's heavenly provision that will both calm the storm and get you to the other side. What would keep us then from calling for that heavenly provision and receiving it? Either pride or fear; likely both. These lessons are only for the disciples and the true followers, the "Jesus for President" crowd don't need to be more emboldened. There is a point where one's (or the team's) confidence and ability will only get so far; likely to the point of drowning. That is when one must face their fears. Not with more self determination and effort but with Jesus as Lord. We, like they that night, seem more afraid of Jesus walking alongside us than we do our own boat capsizing. This comes from only seeing through our natural eyes. A man is simply not supposed to walk upon water storm or not. At the same time why wouldn't the Lord of Heaven and Earth be near to His disciples in their time of greatest need, even if it meant Him doing what can not naturally be done? There are going to be many tempests ahead of these men of various sorts. Their lives will constantly be on the edge of danger. That edge of danger however is often the crossing point between the natural and the supernatural (or the natural beyond how we define it). They will need to know this lesson. They will need to be fast learners and I believe that they are. Are we though? That's the question nowadays. Maybe right now our tempest is a much smaller situation, but our ability is being proven to be short of the need. Is our pride and fear going to keep Jesus outside of that boat or is He going to be allowed to do His thing? The faith of our Lord is that His truer nature is sufficient for calming the fear within us that we have against Him and the "extended natural". It is not that He has to create these situations to make us to realize this, there are plenty of these situations that we row into or create ourselves out there anyway. If you are going to try to go somewhere, be someone, land in the spot to which He pointed you, you are going to have to cross the edge into the supernatural at times. You will have to know this lesson... BE NOT AFRAID FOR IT IS I.
November10 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:6:25-59 VERILY VERILY - The phrase is not only Jesus pointing us to a truth, but highlighting the truth by use of the compound. Four times by my count it is said in this passage underlining different aspects of the same truth. kjv@John:6:26 questions us as to our motives for seeking Him. kjv@John:6:32 Just as the miraculous manna in the wilderness alone sustained Israel those near forty years, so to is the flesh and blood shed alone sustaining to us eternally. kjv@John:6:47 Belief in the person of Jesus Christ being sent by the Father and the all sufficiency of His completed work is the lone access to eternal life. kjv@John:6:53 The flesh that bore our sin and the blood that was shed for the remission of our sins/cleansing must be fully partaken of for there to be any life in our soul's present or future. Having then these four keys, why do we seek Jesus if not for this life brought upon us by His sacrifice and resurrection? What has it to do with anything less than that, like some personal temporal benefit or advantage? kjv@John:6:29 This very thing is the work of God. kjv@John:6:38 This very thing is the will of Him whom sent Jesus. kjv@John:6:44 No man can come to the saving knowledge of Jesus unless the Father draw him, kjv@John:6:45 unless the Father has taught him, kjv@John:6:39 that the Father has given us unto Him. In the context of what we had just been taught (us being proven our insufficiency) (the greater availability and sufficiency of His Divine power) we face the reality of our mortal predicament. There is no earthly way for us to become eternal; the life we have today is nothing but a spiritual death living forward towards a physical death. There is no life nor substance for our soul outside of Christ. We must rely solely upon the miraculous flesh and blood of the "Sent" and "Anointed One". This is the true manna from heaven. This what we should be laboring towards. The faith of our Lord has nothing to do with what the people want Him to be, everything with what the Father needs Him to be. The Father needs Him to be life unto the spiritual dead and physically dying. The Father needs Him to be their "Manna" now and eternally. The Father needs to draw us to this conclusion otherwise we would not come to this of our own. There is only one way for the Father to do this - to send Him down and to raise Him back up, to make us to believe in this. This then is the verily verily of truth.
November11 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:6:60-71 WILL YE ALSO - The proving began with Philip and Andrew. It ended with many leaving. Jesus knew what He was going to do beforehand and He also knew who was going to believe because of it; not many. We are told no one comes to Jesus but those who the Father gives. We also are told later in the end when Jesus prays in the garden that Jesus did not lose a one of those given except the son of perdition Judas. This would suggest that originally Jesus was given as few as eleven. The others involved such as the women that often traveled and served Him might either be part of that number in a different sense or will become part of that number fully at His resurrection. Remember that there can be a difference between being in the process of being drawn to Jesus by the Father and being fully given by the Father, between being taught of the Father and receiving He that has been sent. The length of this delay however may be a pre-cruxification dilemma as now we can be taught by the Holy Spirit of the entire completed work of Jesus without Him first having to perform it as here. I do not believe that this meant all of those who walked away this day stayed away either, only that they no longer walked with Him physically while He was here on Earth. In a real sense not even the eleven disciples are fully aware of what it is that Jesus will be shown by the Father to actually mean to them. They believe proportionately and somewhat selectively, but yet are said to be given. That Jesus knew this beforehand says a lot about the human heart and it's condition; that it cannot come to this saving grace on it's own; that it is a divine drawing and a spiritual process. The conviction and acceptance realized of this condition may well be the initial result of the drawing. Many left Him initially rejecting this truth. Some of that many are likely because of this pending conviction to return at some point. The faith of our Lord is definitely in the process performed by the Father and Holy Spirit. He can prove out the stark realities present in this condition because He knows that the divine process is in motion and ultimately effective. It seems to be a very long and deep process, but it is what sets us apart preparing us for the eternal. In this we know He truly is that Christ, Son of the living God.
November12 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:7:1-13 AFTER THESE THINGS - Fast forward about six months after the fall out. We are reacquainted with Jesus' own family. They do not believe either. There are two reactions likely when one does not believe the claims of Jesus, hate enough to tempt Him into that which He is not or will not do, hate enough to seek to pull Him down or hold Him aside or eliminate Him altogether. There is a reason for this hate in the world, because He testifies of the evil in it. It is against the Law for the Jews to hate each other the way that they hate Jesus. Jesus has deliberately kept Himself from Judea to keep this hate from festering too soon (or in the wrong way). It clearly illustrates what Jesus is up against even at this point of His ministry. This is not a delay in the ministry it is the work of His ministry taking effect. The leaders certainly expect Jesus to return either to His family or to Jerusalem direct. What a prize it would be for them to both have Jesus caught on their own terms and to have His dissenting brethren bring Him in. Willingly or not, consciously or not, the brethren's words ring with the provocative entrapping tone that the leadership would have planted all around them. They have become the Pharisee's messenger. It is important to the grand scheme for us later that Jesus' half brothers eventually did believe and played active roles in the early church. Far to often the popularity of an icon for good is countered and tarnished by a brother or son or nephew for the bad; and the opposition knows just how to play it. Jesus does secretly go; on His terms not theirs. I feel to be there for His family and for His champions near enough by. The pressure on them is immense. In a sense it is risky having left His group behind. In another sense it simply is not yet His time, it is all to happen on the Father's time clock. We benefit from this visit as well by seeing a glimpse of the not so disguised hatreds that Jesus is up against even to this day. The faith of our Lord is keenly aware of what He is up against and remains mindfully present to keep matters on His terms and not anyone else's. His faith is working forward publicly when it needs to be, reserved and patiently at others, even secretly and undercover when it serves the greater purpose. His ministry is not only about the words and the miracles, it is also about timing and using the processes of the heart to the fullest.
November13 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:7:14-24 JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT - There is no doubt that we all are prone to judging by the appearances. In this chapter alone we have the family judging what would be best for the ministry of Jesus based upon the appearances as they saw them (even though they did not believe His claims). We have Judean disciples discouraged because all of His recent work appears to be done in Galilee not Judea. We have on lookers judging Him by the appearance of Him not being properly educated (as if that made any difference as to doctrine). We'll soon have Pharisees judging a particular healing on a Sabbath when their own practice of circumcision on Sabbaths gives the same appearance, guards not taking hold of Him because of their perception of the authority with which He speaks, others briefly believing on Him because of the number of miracles He has performed, a attempt to instill the false perception by repetition that Jesus is from Galilee not Bethlehem and therefore not Christ, an attempt to paint the appearance of the guards and Nicodemus as clueless rednecks that know not the law, and certain people questioning the appearance that the Rulers may know that He is Christ but are hiding it. A whole lot of this minefield that Jesus is having to navigate through is sown by the fault riddled human reliance upon appearance and perception. Appearance is largely what ever one wants it to be. There are so many convincing directions that it can go all of which are likely wrong. Jesus says that His doctrine is not His own it is the doctrine of the Father who sent Him. He says that He does not speak of Himself nor seek His own glory. His says that if we understood this we would know Him to be true. They know not the Father so it gives the false appearance that He doesn't know what He is talking about. Face it, evidences that we base much of our doctrinal decisions upon are nothing more than judgments based upon appearances; it appears that most other people believe that, it appears that I will be hassled if I publicly believe this, it appears that more learned men then I see many holes and contradictions in the New Testament. Friend, it appears that you have let these gutless scholars and History Channel (Alien and Ghost History Channel) documentaries make all your decisions for you. The righteous judgment is rather simple. You give Jesus the same open ear and investment into hearing Him out as you would hope to have yourself when you are similarly judged. You investigate His claims and give it opportunity to either prove itself true or fable, but you do that effort yourself just as you would want Him to do for you. The faith of our Lord is that He knows the Father and the Father has sent Him. It is a hard truth to convince to those who know not God and who make their judgments solely on appearances, but He believes that it will happen and that we will begin slowly to judge all things by righteous judgment.
November15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:7:45-8:11 AND TAUGHT THEM - With everything that is going on around Jesus it is good to know that there are still people that want to hear Him and are willing to be taught. Wouldn't you have loved to hear what the teaching was on this day? We are not told what it was and it seems that many times He is "teaching what?" when what we are told about what interrupts it or occurred outside of it. Take the feeding of the five thousand and others, times when He taught all day or three days straight, we know not a word, but we do know what else took place. We do have some of His teaching mind you, the sermon on the mount, the Olivett discourses, weaves of parables etc.. Chances are His teachings were much like those. Perhaps they were exactly those just for a different audience and that is why we are not told about it (we've already heard it). Wouldn't you like to hear Him tell it again and again? There is the chance just as likely that it was something completely different, perhaps reading and teaching from the Old Testament stories or from the Law or from the Prophets. Wouldn't you have loved to hear His take on ancient world history? A walk through the book of Job? Instead, we are privy to what the Pharisee's are thinking, how their minions are processing their reactions. We also have what He taught as a result of these occurrences. This leads us to believe that as important and engaging as the mystery teachings of Jesus were, often times what was going on around them is more of what we need to know; at least right now. I imagine that in Heaven we will have the time and opportunity to catch up to these lessons. There will be plenty of occasion to go over to Joseph's and hear Joseph himself recount his time in Egypt. It will be good to hear Job himself describe what he was thinking. How about an evening with Stephen or Silas or Luther; diner with the Grahms? There will be time for this I am sure, but for now we are faced with the task at hand which is often best understood by the contrary reactions of reprobates. It is a look into the heart of sin, the thoughts of those who seek to entrap, the insults and slander and hypocrisy of those who should know better, the short sighted reasoning's and justifications of the power hungry. The teaching actually is all about the cross and everything that led up to it so that we would be able to know what it means with and beyond and because of it. The faith of our Lord is there early in the morning every next day; He is always back at it. A storm surge of opposition and scheming can be brewing all around Him and you know what He'll be doing and where He will likely be found - teaching. Thank God our Father for that!
November16 @ @ RandyP comments: FaithOfJesus *John:8:12-30 FOR I AM NOT ALONE - As far as I can tell the Pharisees are basing their rejection of Jesus on three key points. One, they do not know who He is. Two, they believe He is only testifying of himself. Three, there is no scripture relating to a p(P)rophet coming from Galilee. We know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Jesus does not address this with them Himself, therefore He must be leaving this to them or others to find out. He does address the issue of them not knowing who He is stating that unless one knew the Father one would not know the Son. Again the burden is left to them, if they wanted to know the Father it would be as easy as getting to know the Son. Then there is the issue of one verses multiple testimony which again comes down to what they are willing to accept. John early on in this book made it clear that the testimonies of others was to mean everything to the gospel case.
November17 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:8:31-41 NO PLACE IN YOU - It may be wise for a moment to strip away any preconception of sin. It seems that these people are so focused on sin as adultery or idolatry or immorality or the like that they cannot see that sin is still more than all of that. Let's put sin simply on the level of our belief. The Father sends his Son to die and be propitiation for every man's sin; Jesus is that Son. What do we do with that information? Do we say that we don't need the Son? That we are different than all others? That we are better than all of that? The only thing that would make us say that is our perception of sin. Minus everything else that can be perceived about sin, what God the Father has determined and provided must stand true. If God says that all men have the condition of sin and therefore sin and that the Son Jesus is the only antidote then we must take that at full value. Now we can add back in all the other understandings and realize that like all of the excuses and denials given by the Jews in this passage, every evidence suggests that their present condition is opposite to anything that they are willing to admit. They are captive to sin. They are captive in every aspect because everything that they do and say and reason leads them away from latching on to their only antidote Jesus. If the antidote is Jesus and you are strongly considering killing Him or minimizing Him or setting Him aside or making Him something other than He is and has come to be, everything that otherwise should occur naturally, you then are slave to sin, sin is holding you captive. Not bloodline, not ceremonial cleansing, not ceremonial sacrifice, not even devout/zealous attempts at morality can free you from the nature you are bond by; everything you are doing is dictated by that nature. If Jesus is the bulk and meaning and fulfillment of God's word and you take it to mean something other, then quite literally God's word has no place in you, even if you believe in it in every other respect. What is making you to do that is the very evidence of the masterful self justification and impulse of sin. Before you measure sin by all the obvious markers of murder and covetousness etc.. begin at the insistence of God's word. Understand how it is intended to make us free indeed. The faith of our Lord is in a future where all sin and all the influence attached will be long distant and fellowship with true continuance therein will be profoundly deep and eternal. A day when father sin has been abandoned for Father God.
November18 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:8:42-47 UNDERSTAND MY SPEECH - You may have noticed that everything that Jesus is saying is being taken entirely the wrong way. It is as if He is not talking at all, they cannot hear it. It is not even logical point and counterpoint, it is logical point and outright bastardization. Why is it that His speech cannot be understood? How prevalent is this? We see His opponents doing this, do we see His allies doing this as well? Is it universal? Chances are yes! If we were to add back in the topic from the previous passage of believers/continuers being set free indeed, we may have a clue as to what our bondage largely consists of. He states that the lusts of our father we "will" do; the language suggests that it would be impossible not to do his (the Devil's) lusts unless He Himself (Jesus/Truth) has set us free. At the point of this passage no one has been set free yet. Can we say then at this specific time that no one is from the Father yet and that no one truly loves Jesus? Is there anyone on scene that clearly hears God's words? No; therefore they hear not because they are not yet of God. If this hypothesis is true it would mean that the faith of our Lord is standing utterly alone at this time a complete foreigner to both friend and foe looking forward to a time after the cross when friends one by one would be crossing over into the adoption of the sons of men. Now we should ask whether this same universal condition still exists? For this we must caution believers with the words of kjv@John:8:31-32 that it is not merely the belief in Jesus that sets us free but the continuing in His word as disciples that reveals the truth and then it is this revealed truth that sets us free. If this means free from the bondage of doing the lusts of our former father then we see that continuance toward discipleship must then come first. If this hypothesis is true then it would mean that the Lord stands with some looking out as near strangers at a field of potential masses whose chains have been lifted but have yet to trust and experience the continuance up from the cellars into the open light of discipleship. We must then again ask... are we hearing the word of Jesus so as to continue in it? Do we understand what He is really saying or are we making it out to whatever we want it to be? Are we bastardizing it? As to the points I have already hypothesized about our Lord, one would think "isn't this a terrible and lonely thing we are watching Him go through". To this we must ask "is this not why He came"? The faith of our Lord is in making a way for the completely detached to come unto their true Father. God is their Father, but they have sold themselves over to another. There is no other course for them out unless He purchase them back first. Now maybe we can hear His speech!
November22 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:9:35-41 FOR JUDGMENT I AM COME - Think back to kjv@Matthew:11:25 and Jesus saying that God has hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes. If something is hidden then there is no seeing it. What one does see is something other than what God has hidden. So why would God hide it to begin with? The answer is in to whom He does not hide it, where it is revealed. The earthly wise and prudent seek their own answers and therefore are never in position for revelation. The babe is in a constant receiving state filled with curiosity and immersed absorption. Imagine the man now blind from birth and the many visually deprived conclusions and perceptions made over these many years. Imagine what it is like for him now being able to see. Imagine his wonder and awe and the newness of all the things he thought till now that he knew. On the other hand let's imagine him trying to explain what he visually sees to his blind friends of the color red or of sky or of mother. What the Pharisees are missing is that what should be evident to them instead is hidden because they believe not in God's Holy Son Jesus Christ, they have their own answers, blind as those answers are to the reality of all spiritual matters surrounding them. God does not have to make them to be blind because they are blind by their own self limiting definition. Worse yet, blindness itself does not have to mean sin, it could simply mean not having been presented occasion with Jesus as of yet, but sin can be added to one's blindness once having occasion with Jesus to reject and despise Jesus outright. Judgment in this respect is automatic and immediate. The judgment is like stepping out of the flying plane without a parachute after being told the absolute consequences; if you are wise and prudent enough not to need Jesus then you are wise and prudent enough not to see impact with the ground. The faith of our Lord is that if we become willing to see Him in His true light as if we were mere babes that He will be able to show us the things that are otherwise hidden, as if our eyes are opened for the very first time. Note that Jesus is asking this man of this in a spiritual sense after He has opened his eyes in a physical sense and he has seen for himself the darker side of those who he thought were his spiritual guides.
November24 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:10:22-42 I AND MY FATHER ONE - It is obvious that the Jewish leaders are not going to believe Jesus by what He says. He tells them what they need to hear and their response is "why do you not just tell us plainly?". He tells them to believe in His works and they say "He does this by the Devil". They pick up stones just like they have previously and nothing comes about again by it. What is becoming obvious is that their play is not to catch Jesus at His words and not to stop Him by their stones, it is to make a play for the hearts of those that are on the cusp of following Him. They have the advantage here. The peoples have been following them for a long long time. It is harder for most to break with the comforts of familiarity and tradition than the intrusions of truth. These leaders are now making the public impression that they are against this Jesus, that the people are being cursed by their own scriptural ignorance, that they have asked Jesus and asked Jesus and it always comes to stones clinched, that it is Jesus avoiding the questions/making the accusations/causing the divisions. They are presenting Him as being blasphemous even though He is simply stating that He is doing what the Father is commanding Him to do and in so doing the Father and He are one. The faith of our Lord surely sees through the play that they are making. It will make no difference. God's play will succeed.
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?
November27 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:11:38-44 SAID I NOT THEE - How then did the glory of the Father show upon the Son? By performing a work that made people to believe that Jesus had been sent by God to do the works of God. If you think about the many people in the gospels that confessed their faith that Jesus was good teacher, a prophet, maybe a future king, could perform miracles, they are mostly indistinguishable. If you think about the number that confessed Jesus to be the Son sent from God three stand out, Peter, the Samaritan Woman and Martha. Of the three only Martha believed for something as immediate and tangible as Jesus raising her brother physically from death. Now some see Martha as doubting in the end, Jesus was not going to let that stop this. I rather feel Martha had realized the horror and embarrassment that when Jesus did raise her brother he would be decayed and soiled and putrid. In other words, I believe that for her it was not whether Jesus was going to do this, it was the state that she was going to see her brother in when He did. Remember that Jesus had done this miracle (she was likely to know this) previously to the young girl. Regardless of what her comment meant, Jesus was willing to take this miracle all the way for the sake of those that would finally believe for the very reason that they should believe. You will notice that Jesus will soon die for man, there will be nothing similar to this miracle that man can do for Jesus. In this instance though, even before His own resurrection by God the Father, through Him God the Father would raise Lazarus from physical death with the intent of showing HIS Son to believers in the proper and glorious light. The faith of our Lord is shown in the form of praise "I thank Thee that thou hast heard me" and in the form of the command "Lazarus Come Forth". It is also in the understanding of how this was to be and to whom/for whom it was performed. Who is to tell Lazarus of what has happened? How to tell him? He may have heard Jesus say the time He taught at his house; he may have believed Jesus that He is the "Resurrection and the Life". Well now he and his sisters truly know! Now to tell the wailers.
November28 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:11:45-57 JESUS THEREFORE WALKED - It was no surprise to Jesus how the Sanhedrin/Pharisee coalition would react, it was part of the equation going in to the miracle. One only has to go back to the times of Moses before Pharaoh to see how miracles tend rather to harden the hearts of those it should have softened. It is as weighing in the one hand the tremendous weight of the many works and believers in the works of Jesus against the weight of what is self important in the other; the more weight added to the side of Jesus the more the scale tips towards self. Self is a communal property here, there is much investment into it by these individuals. It is no less true in our day. What we call freedom of will is clearly very territorial and pack like. Measure again the imbalance between the one sent doing the works of God and the several who find it expedient for all that the one man be put to death. It is the same measurement we face today. Why should the works of God be put to death (in our case explained away)? Because they threaten the so called works of man. They see it as a work to keep their place and their nation. Their place is as spiritual and moral leaders of a pitiful run down thoroughly dominated depraved frontier outpost of Rome, a vague resemblance in name only to the nation that by God they once possessed. That is the work that they put above God's? What is our's? So what does it take, we must ask, for them / for us to see matters on the ground as they truly are? The results and consequences of our possessiveness and self (pack like) justifications? How the works of God are sternly pushed aside as if to the wildernesses? These men gather to purify themselves and at the same time they issue a state wide edict for His capture. The feast is being prepared for. The faith of our Lord knows more of what it is up against ahead of time than we tend to know even after the fact because it knows the heart of man; all men; the real state. He will spend this time now with His disciples preparing them and their faith for the similar battles they will one day face themselves. He will walk no more openly amongst these hardened.
December2 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:12:37-50 I KNOW HIS COMMANDMENT IS LIFE - Similar to God hardening the Pharaoh's heart, He has hardened many of the chief priests. I don't know if it is meant that He enacts this upon them, rather that the thought of Him as now presented makes their hearts hard. It is like us saying "you make me sick". You of course do not make me to be sick, my guttural response to you is sickened. The thought of God dwelling in the flesh? For the hardened sickening. The thought of messiah not coming from their ranks, sickening. The thought of them not knowing God, but this unlearned fool, sickening. The thought of Him calling them hypocrites and children of the Devil and a broad of vipers, sickening. That He heals on Sabbaths, that He claims to forgives sin, that He associates with sinners and publicans, that every answer to them is a parable or puzzle to solve, that He is leading the uneducated masses and them into a head on collision with Rome; it is all just sickening to the chiefs. Worse yet, there are suspicious people among these leaders who seem to believe on this Jesus, but wont stand up for Him (which must go to show what type of people He draws). You can see how hearts can become hardened with very little external pressure from God, in fact it is likely to believed that they are doing God the favor for putting this revolting lunatic down. Here is the thing though, everyone knows that Isaiah said that all this would surround the "Righteous One"; that He would be denied and rejected and tremoved from the living. Jesus said that if a man hear His word and believe not, He (Jesus)judges the man not; His word (Jesus speaking the Father's command) judges Him. If God has forced a hard heart upon one then how can HE judge him? HE has not forced, we have responded that way in facing His truth. Why not judged until the last day? Because until the last day there remains that possibility that a person's heart can be changed; and if not changed, used to strengthen someone's that has. The faith of our Lord is that the Father's commandment equals life everlasting. Therefore He speaks what He has been told. One that believes on Him believes on the Father. That same word is eternal life to one and judgment of similar kind to another.
December3 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:13:1-17 THOU SHALT KNOW HEREAFTER - What information is it that Peter is without that He will come to know shortly that will make this lesson of the master washing the feet come to full light? He doesn't know that one pair of those feet has already put plans in place to betray our Lord. Another of those pairs of feet will deny Him. Other's eyes will drift to sleep when they should be on watch and pray not to enter temptation. One of those pairs will refuse to believe the other's testimony till he sees the resurrection with his own two eyes. Like Peter there are many things that we do not know about ourselves or those around us that the master knows and yet He does what He does because it is the right thing to do. Remember this because soon the role we are to play changes. Instead of our master washing our feet it will be us washing other's feet. There likely will be things that you come to know about the others that they may not even know about themselves that would cause a less Christ like person to simply walk away from. Perhaps it is people in your congregation, persons in your family or community, even key individuals within your ministry, perhaps it is not just one but all of them, because of what you know about them you may feel above humbling yourself to this level of service with. Our Lord went ahead with it; so should we. If anyone should be above this it would be the one whom all things had been given, who came from the Father and is going to the Father. Yet, Jesus loved His own which were in the world and loved them to the end. Let's ask it this way, these men have been with Jesus more than three years, at what point were they perfected? At what point did they fully believe to the complete saving and cleansing of their soul? The faith of our Lord put into this light is truly amazing. For three years the completion of this work upon these men has always been out into the future. It could even be said that the true work has only just begun. These men have loyally followed, they have some information, they have many amazing experiences, they have been made to feel part of the group and future of this ministry, however, it has all gone to help Jesus show Himself to the world as the Messiah. Now comes the individual transformations and the transformed group taking shape. Now it it comes to what a faithful believer in this Messiah is looks like and doing and why he is doing it. The faith of our Lord has been a total investment into what these men could be after He departs from them. So the investment comes round to us; it is now our holding. There is what you know about yourself and other people. There is what our Lord has faith that we will become. There is a lesson as to how best we show that we understand that lesson and how we show it forward to those whose weary feet like our's may need a little refreshing.
December4 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:13:18-30 TO WHOM I GIVE SOP - Why didn't Jesus out Judas right then and there? Let's put ourselves in the mind of Judas for a moment. Whatever it was that made him to inquire with the Sanhedrin in the first place he has probably carried in his heart long before that; one doesn't just jump to such a decision. Now he is carrying all of that plus the anxiety of it all now coming together into this supper attempting to disguise it. The disciples there with him are looking at one another sizing each other up. Peter the courageous spokesman is even timid about asking who Jesus means. Jesus though is leaving it hang out there over the room. Judas and He both know who He is talking about, yet it is left for everyone to ponder and search out for themselves. Judas has to be thinking "Master just tell them". Orelse maybe Jesus is thinking "Judas just tell them". The truth is Jesus is man enough (has better purposes) to not out Judas to the others and Judas is coward (disturbed) enough not to confess either to Jesus or the others. How odd it must have been to dip the morsel in the Lord's bowl and still not be noticed by the rest of the attendees. It is nearly impossible to get into the mind set of Judas. The faith of our Lord however sees this as a moment that they/we will all look back on with breathless amazement/confusion. As this event continues to hang over the crowd of believers today, what message exactly does the Lord's faith wish us to look back on? How easy it is to miss what is actually going on in any moment let alone the few epic ticks. One first sees Judas go out the door and thinks nothing of it (or finds another explanation for it). Next thing Judas is approaching with a platoon of temple guards. Suddenly one looks back and remembers that Judas did take up the sop. Days later one recalls Jesus never outed Judas, but then again He did; no one else was close enough to the moment though to know any different. If not close enough to this moment, what other moments are we too distant in?
December5 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:13:31-38 A NEW COMMANDMENT - You will remember the two great commandments "love the Lord your God with all your heart/soul/mind/strength" and "Love your neighbor as yourself"? You have also heard "love your enemy"? The new commandment puts a much more practical face on all of this, to "love one another as I (Jesus) has loved you". How has Jesus loved us? While many would rightly to lay down one's life, consider this, Jesus Himself has not at the point of saying this done has not yet done that and we are not all likely to be put into that situation and Peter here is offering that very thing. While the giving of one's own life in the right situation (for the right glory) can be the greatest form of love, there must also be something much more daily and practical. The key may be in verse 31-32; the direction towards which the glory is given by Jesus. Jesus' love for us was directed toward the glorification of His Father. He did not seek His own glory; love does not seek it's own glory. Neither did Jesus glorify the people that He showed love, but pointed them to the glory of the Father. In His presence His love covered a multitude of transgressions and yet made it clear that this was not the behavior of the world to come, that the only way out from this death sentence was the answer that the Father had sent. He never criticized or convicted individuals, only the groups of religious hypocrites that held the people down. He concerned Himself with the spirit of the law rather than the letter. All this and more done for no better reason than to glorify the Father who sent Him. Compare this to the sacrifice of two opposing soldiers giving their life for country, you can see how Jesus rightly could have died and risen for the sins of both and how that His commanded form of love exceeds even this so great a human form of love. How does that apply to our love for others? There is much that has been modeled for us that all boils down to the Father's glory. Peter was ready to lay down His life for his master, true/loyal/much to the point we thought Jesus might be teaching through this passage. Despite the best of Peter's intentions, it is a love pointed toward his own glory. If the command was to love the others as Jesus loved them, how then would this self sacrifice on behalf of Jesus have servered the others? Would it not step all over Jesus' time of glorification? Peter will one day follow where Jesus now goes, but it will be in a time and manner that better illustrates a love for the others such as Jesus has shown to all believers. In it's time Peter's sacrifice will greatly serve us and glorify Father and Son and Spirit. Until his time of ultimate sacrifice (or the possibility of our's) there will be much learning on Peters part (and our's) to know the true meaning of this new command. God will be glorified in Jesus and Jesus will be glorified in HIM straightway and then by all. The faith of our Lord is that He one day will be known as our Lord by this very same type of discipled love one to another. It is a love for others that seeks to glorify none but the Holy Trinity. To love God with all heart/soul/mind/strength and others as self by loving as Jesus has loved us.
December6 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:14:1-4 BELIEVE ALSO IN ME - We (most of us) believe in God. Okay! What is it about HIM that we actually believe that was not revealed about HIM by Jesus? Let's remove the revelations of God by Jesus for a moment. We could say that God created all things. True, but why did HE create all things? We could say God loves us. True, but what does love mean? We could say that everything works according to HIS plan. True, but what then is HIS plan? You see without the revelations of Jesus we know very little about God and what we do know is largely vague and uncommitted. If the commandment is to love God with all our heart/soul/mind/strength then actually there is very little about our God (minus the revelations of Jesus) for us to sink our teeth into. Perhaps that is just the way that we want it; that we we can all have our private piece of God to imagine and not have to come to definite terms of who actually HE is and who we are in relation to that truth. Jesus here says "you believe in God", excellent, but then adds "believe also in me". Why would He add that? Because He gives a depth to our belief that goes beyond a casual non-descript acquaintance or preconception. Because of Jesus we know not only that God created, we know why, we know how, we know through whom. Because of Jesus we not only know that HE loves us, we know how His love is shown, we begin to tangibly see it's size and shape and consistency and righteous backbone; it is no longer nebulous. Because of Jesus we not only know that God exists, we know HIS will and HIS objectives, we know what HE has spent so much time setting up and developing for our redemption to occur. It was said "no one knows the Father except the Son" and "no one knows the Son except those the Father has revealed Him to". Well the Father has revealed Jesus to these men by a great many signs and wonders and life transforming experiences. Now He faces His greatest wonder/revelation of all, dying for sins of all mankind, giving His life and taking it back. These men are troubled over it and also over their futures without Him. They will not be without Him though He assures them. He goes ahead of them to prepare them a place in His Fathers house; a house of many mansions. If He goes there, He will come again to receive them. The faith of our Lord is always displayed so that others might have the hope of Him even in the times of the unknown and uncertain. It is displayed like lamp to guide their feet, like a rope to tow them through their tribulations, like a float to hold them from sinking. It is not just the warm fuzzy nebulous sensed by all, it is the certain familiarity with a eternal Godhead that is reaching out to make itself know to all the creation that will listen. Step one - believe also in Jesus!
December7 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:14:5-14 HE THAT BELIEVE ON ME - This passage ties together two concepts of great similarity and importance, what we believe in Jesus and what we know Jesus to be. As you see the disciples are still yet struggling with the knowing Jesus in the Father and the Father in Jesus, more so than say Martha, Mary or the bind man. All of this time with Him yet the way, the truth and the life are still unknown to them; the ones His future ministry truly relies. Then comes the believing Jesus even to the point where they will be able to do works similar to Jesus. It seems odd that today we take this to mean just miracles, the disciples had already performed miracles and been quite successful at it without fully believing. Works do not have to equal miracles, in fact works could tie back to the previous passage of loving one another in ways that totally glorify the Father. Greater works than these could tie into the numbers of "loving one anothers" and their depth considering that the human heart was unable to do this ahead of Jesus' work upon it. Let me ask you this, is the greater proof of Father in Son and Son in Father that we can make the sun return six hours back to it's noon position or that millions of hearts that were once at complete and inescapable enmity with God irreversibly set in the clutches of sin and death have been made to believe on the name of Jesus to salvation and gratefully spread His word to the four corners of earth to the glory of God? If we first set our eyes and feet upon doing this the greatest of works then we would know in those times when for the sake of those others nothing remaining will do but the miraculous that certainly Jesus would do anything asked in His name to glorify the Father, that it would be done. We tend to read through this passage in a frame of mind similar to the disbelieving disciples. Where is HE? Show us to HIM? Prove it? Jesus is instead saying I've shown you all along, it is all here and now, it is taking place, you've seen Me so you've seen HIM, know and believe it, go therefore, do what I have commanded you. The faith of our Lord is quite literally for the full fledged believing and the knowing of man. How far the heart must go from where it was to where He needs it to be to start. Some it may take three years down the same road seeing the same things, being gifted the same spiritual gifts, before they come to the place of starting to pull these things together into one whole. Others it takes thirty years. For some four painful days. Either way that is the journey the heart must take from here to there to the start. Believing and knowing and then works (obedience's) greater than these, that is His faith in us.
December8 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:14:15-31 KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS - A conditional statement "If you love Me" is used to present an actionable practice "keep My commandments". The action that is being pointed to is illustrated in the Greek word Tereo #G5083 guarding as to prevent loss. It is a picture of a military fortress. It appears as if the commandments could be taken or lost or surrendered. It reminds me of the parable of the sower where birds of the air swooped down to snatch the word, where some seed fried up in the sun not having root in itself. Surely the command does have to be obeyed and acted upon (kept in another sense), but before even that can be done the protected meaning (the meaning Jesus has for us) has to be understood by being kept (in the primary sense) from the influences of self, life and world; thus the picture of a fortress. The meaning is detained, it is secluded, it is watched over. In order to do this one must first be aware that there are plenty of influences the change or corrupt or steal away the meaning; external and internal. "Love thy neighbor as yourself" can change to mean calling evil good and good evil. "Love one another as I have loved you" can come to mean what ever odd notion of self love you feel comfortable exhibiting. From whatever that understanding then becomes so then follows any form of obedience to it we care to offer. This is how we can come to the point where every single one of us believes that they have loved their neighbor as themselves without one ounce of the love of Jesus Christ being shed. What fools are we? In order to fortress the true meaning the true meaning must first be sought out and received. For that we have the Holy Spirit who will teach us and put all things into our remembrance. We cannot have the Holy Spirit unless Jesus has died for our sins and is risen back to the Father. Even today, this simple point of faith eliminates many a nominal Christian from receiving the true meaning as revealed/reminded. Their actions, though well intentioned, are not drawn out from the sacred fortress, they are drawn from the meaning altered or lost. The need is definitely for the revelation of the Holy Spirit, but also for the "keeping" of the revealed meaning and the obedient action upon the revealed meaning. For this we also need the strength of resolve. Why all of this? This is what it means to "love" Jesus. He/she that loves our Savior to this extent and in this manner the Father will love, the Lord will love, the two by the Holy Spirit will come and make THEIR abode with him/her. What peace this will leave with us. The faith of our Lord is in abiding with man. The way for Him to abide with us is as much in the true meaning upon which we base our obedient actions as it is in the concept that we even know to love Him at all. He will take care of His part in this and so then must we.
December9 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:15:1-17 EVERY BRANCH IN ME - How essential is bearing fruit to Christians? Other than our being ordained to bear fruit? According to this there are branches within Christ that could well be taken away. Can you imagine being a believer in Christ and not making the cut? There is a wide spread notion today that mere belief in Jesus equals salvation. Jesus here claims that it is not just believing but also abiding are the terms of salvation. How then does one become fruitful? One abides. How does one abide? One keeps His commandments. How does one keep His commandments? One gets to the heart of the message brought by the Spirit and protects it from the corrupting/attacking influences of self and world then acts upon it. What is the commandment? To love one another with the Love of Jesus Christ; the love of Jesus as presented by His laying down His life for ones that He calls friends. Now one might think that the command is to love others with all the love that we ourselves can muster. Jesus says that a branch cannot bear fruit of itself. This form of love then is fruitless. This love is the love of the branches in Christ that are fruitless. The branch that abides in Christ is the branch that His love and His word abides in and makes fruitful. This branch is ordained to go forth and bear fruit and it bears fruit by keeping His command. What better example do we have of the matrix of this fruit/love/abiding than how Jesus conducted Himself toward God the Father? Then there is the point made of the fruitful branches being pruned back in order to produce even more fruit. I believe that this second point becomes important to understand only if we are fruitful in the way He intends to begin with. The faith of our Lord is all about the fruit for therein is the Father glorified. Much can be told about the fruit we think that we are producing by what that supposed fruit means to God. Is it fruit that will remain?
December11 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:16:5-16 HE SHALL RECEIVE OF MINE - We have been negligent in speaking of the Holy Spirit as He is so much the faith of our Lord. What Jesus has performed here is certainly monumental, in every sense beyond human/angelic comparison. What Jesus has done is to bring to this world new life and to set it into motion. What the Spirit is about to do is every bit as much monumental as He is taking everything Jesus has done, setting it into our hearts, spread it, help us to live it. New life is life indwelt by the Spirit, we need the Spirit like we do living water; there is no spiritual life without. His mission is to glorify Jesus, to take what is now Jesus' (the glory that the Father has given Him) and shew it to us. Shortly in these chapters Jesus will be raised to the right hand throne of the Father with the keys to life and death and release from the chains of sin in His hands. The ministry of reproof is one of many things He does ahead of indwelling us. It is a ministry because it is much needed and ultimately very loving. Now that Jesus is proven to be where He is at, sin in it's entirety has become not believing in Jesus Christ, the seal of righteousness is that Jesus was raised, judgment is that the prince of this world is judged. These things Jesus now has. These things the Spirit shows to us for us see the light of and turn from our ways. What a monumental task just in this alone. Once inside the Spirit will guide us in all truth. Just as Jesus, the pattern well developed, He will not speak of Himself but repeat what He hears divinely spoken. He is also called the Comforter, a title perhaps relating back to the previous section describing the hatred and persecution believers will be subjected to. It is obvious that as complete and triumphant as our Lord's work is needed along with that is the effort of the Holy Spirit to really put that in the clearest light and to make full use of it. Man left to his own though filled with every good intention would only take this as far as what would serve him and shortly it would all die off. The faith of our Lord, though in man, is in man because of abilities He knows of the Holy Spirit. The right for the Holy Spirit to do these things will be bought and paid for by the blood and ascension, but it is crucial living work just the same; eternal in scope and daily in nature.
December12 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:16:17-33 DO YE NOW BELIEVE? - The disciples are caught at two things, they have questions they are not asking and they say that they now understand when they really don't. Could these traits be universal among believers? Just how much do we really understand of what Jesus just said two thousand years after the fact? What about the second reprise of going to the Father is different/plainer than the first? Jesus declares that hereto we have asked of Him nothing and He will be gone away (days of sorrow?) and in the same breath exhorts them in another day (day of joy when I see you again, shew you plainly of the Father?) to ask anything of the Father in His name. This comes moments after discussing the importance of having the Holy Spirit indwelling and the Spirit's role in bringing the new life in Jesus into our daily life. What day today is this? For these men it is hours ahead of being scattered and left to their own. For us it is a time of their tribulation when we believe in His ascension and the indwelling of His Spirit, but the world is set against us/Him. It is a time that the Spirit uses for gestation. A day ahead of seeing Him again. Then there is a day when we see Him again, a day when the promise and gestation is completed. There are many questions that in that joyous day we will want to ask and will finally be able to. How was this? Why did that? Is this going to be? And the Father who is plainly shown will answer. These things He has presented to us ahead of time that in the midst of these things we might have cheer knowing that He has overcome the world. So what are we assuming to hear from this passage that is not there or we barely yet understand? The faith of our Lord is in our voluntary submission (even blind) to the times and processes He has laid before us, depending solely upon the Holy Spirit for guidance and teaching/revelation and comfort. It is a new life similar for us to the wind where we do not always know where we have come out of or to where it is leading us, but we know that no matter where it blows us it is by God's breath. This even if scattering for a moment or travailing for days and months. DO YE NOW BELIEVE?
December13 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:17:1-5 GLORIFY - Some important facts about Jesus. One, He had a glory with the Father before coming to the flesh. Two, He has glorified the Father here on earth. Three, now that the work is finished He expects that the Father will return Him to His glory. Why is this all important? Because it glorifies the Father. There are other possible directions that this glorification could have come. The Father could have glorified HIMSELF. Deserved no doubt, but not the best way considering no one on earth knows HIM or even cares. The Father could have waited for man to glorify HIM. Deserved, but again not likely and quite corrupted, hollow and imaginary. The Father could have done great big miraculous things to draw the praise of man in, well HE had done that for millennium and couldn't keep man's belief or attention for more than a few ticks (telling us not so much about HIS glory, but our deprived nature). Jesus seeking His rightful glory could have gone about this differently as well. The whole thing is that both relied on each other to glorify the other; I glorify you and you glorify me, which is the way all things are meant to be. How did Jesus glorify the Father? He made the Father known, HIS truth, HIS righteousness, HIS will, HIS plan, HIS judgment, HIS mercy and a tangible/visible portion of HIS supreme power. He glorified HIM by not speaking or doing of His own, but obeying as He saw and heard; obeying even to the cross. How does the Father glorify the Jesus? The Resurrection and Ascension and Pentecost; no other messianic figure can lay claim to. The Holy Spirit which testifies of Him in similar obedient confirmation and subjection. The millions (if not billions) of believers that the Father has now drawn (made the Son known to). The returning of Jesus to the Glory He once had plus the addition of giving Him power over all flesh and His enemies at His footstool. We as believers can attest to Jesus selflessly glorifying the Father, the Father glorifying Jesus the Son; their glory is not just an empty theological word, we see it now with profound substance. The portion He has received from the Father now He is willing to divide with His faithful strong. We too have been called to glory and virtue and we see in Jesus and the Holy Spirit the perfect example of how glory is to be done. The faith of our Lord is that glory does not come from oneself, even when it is deserved as in THEIR case. Glorification is not hollow praise from the lips, it is full to over flowing with the commitment and diligence of continuing the obedient path; only then are the words not hollow or self serving. Jesus is the example of one glorifying another. His commandment? To love one another as He has loved us! Glorify HIM/Him by faithfully keeping this commandment with the meaning intended.
December14 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:17:6-19 THEM WHICH THOU HAST GIVEN - I am overwhelmed this morning with the sense that I have long misinterpreted this prayer of Jesus. The consequences to my theology will have to be sorted out, but I have the feeling that this prayer is meant for the eleven men there directly (us only indirectly). There are more than eleven disciples within miles of Him tonight, they are not mentioned. There are many that have followed and even hosted Him these three+ years, they are not mentioned. There are many that will believe on Jesus because of these men, they are mentioned later on but not yet. The fact is that these eleven are the humans that He has invested everything into. They are certainly spiritually weak and frail at this point despite their blessed experiences and discipleship so far, but their meekness is exactly what He is looking for. He refers to them as the "given". He refers to us as "those that will believe because of them". I have a feeling the He refers to His other many devoted followers in the region as the nucleolus of "those" or us. What about Martha then? What about Mary and Lazarus and the blind man? What about Nicodemus and the others this night being shunned by the Sanhedrin? Evidence now suggests that there is a mission much bigger than our personal beliefs and sacrifices that our Lord needs these eleven hand selected men to proceed with. A mission or calling that the remainder of us are barely spectators/receivers of. Jesus begins by praying not for the world, but for these eleven men for they are "THINE"; He is glorified in "them". He prays that they be one, that they have His joy fulfilled in themselves, that they be sanctified through HIS truth/word, that they be kept from evil. He prays this because they are not of this world, they are hated, they are sent by Him into this world. Now these words could certainly be applied to us as we are often in similar (lesser) situations. The spiritual warfare that would surround these eleven men would be perhaps beyond compare. It is because of them however, their being given, their meekness and their being used of the Spirit to the extent that they were that we even have opportunity to follow their steps. We call these men today Apostles; the pillars of our faith. This is who this prayer is for directly. Men like this Apostle John. If not for them we would not know that this prayer was even made. The faith of our Lord barely needs to be said here. It is a tremendous thing to consider that all of this is bestowed upon them for our benefit and for those that will follow after us. The mission spreads out and takes us in and we pass it on to the next each in our smaller ways. Our thanks to "those which THOU hast given". Our praise to HIM who meant this to the continuation of our Lord's ministry after His heavenly glorification.
December15 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:17:20-26 MADE PERFECT IN ONE - They that shall believe through their (those given Him) word are now folded into the Lord's prayer. All being one is the objective as we are made perfect in one. Not much said about the individual being made perfect outside of the "All". Why is it we approach as if we will be perfect with or without all the others? There are actually Christians that will have nothing to do with the All and believe that they are justified in doing so. Hmmm! I don't see anywhere in this that our Lord is having you stand aside while He is perfecting all the others so that then you will feel more comfortable joining back in. In fact, this could be read that the perception that the world has on whether Jesus was actually sent from the Father is based largely upon the oneness that they perceive in us. Read that the glory given by the Father to Jesus is shared with them that believe for the purpose that they might be as one. If we are not one then Jesus' glory is not being shared (not received), nor His love, nor the understanding the the Father and the Son and the Spirit and the Given are one. How then can such an individual's isolation be justified? One can say that is is too difficult, it hurts too much, it is too awkward or demanding. One can say that the others are too child like, too self centered, too worldly. Can that not also be said of you? The truth is that this is the path Jesus has set up for us. This is the path that He is using to perfect us. Easy no, not by our effort or resource. Painless no, perhaps the most painful obedience of all. You say the Father sent the Son... You say that the Father and Son are one... You say that the love of God is in you... now show it! Not just to whomever you want to show it to, but those whom God has commanded you to show it to. The "All those who believe because of their word". Not for you but for Him. Not because they are supposed to be perfect but because we are being made perfect in one. There is no other perfection for you to obtain, this is what it means to walk the walk and talk the talk. The faith of our Lord we have said all along is about process, a process we as believers are barely at the beginning of. If you separate yourself from the process it's effect on you ends. Jesus here is departing at a time when the disciples are not at the top of their game, there is in-fighting and posturing and they are each about to be completely broken down. You would think that there is a better time for Him to go when they are standing tall all on their own. He knows though now what is inside of them and He knows the power built into the process. And He prays this prayer knowing that the prayer is the pronouncement of faith in the process; a process that will eventually lead us to a perfection of all made in one.
December17 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:18:12-14 BOUND - Without warrant and without charge Jesus is seized by the officers of the temple in the presence and with the consent of at least one Roman captain. He is taken to the one time high priest without legal precedence to await preliminary trail by son-in-law (current high priest) who has previously declared the expediency of Jesus' death. This should tell you everything that you will need to know about the Sanhedrin's side of this legal mockery. Before we go too far into this and leave the impression that Christians are antisemitic it should be reminded that Jesus is giving Himself to the Father for the sins of all mankind. It is almost as if two stories were being played out here God's and man's and man's as dark as it is is being used to fulfill God's. That the Jewish priests are the instruments of this is as it should be. Yes they are unaware of what the grand scale and meaning of what this really is, but haven't they been this with their other sacrifices for quite sometime? No I wouldn't want to be these specific men as they commit the unpardonable sin. At the same time, for us to lump the entirety of Jews past and present into the same judgment and hold them in contempt/hatred is a horrible sin against those for whom our savior also (primarily) gave Himself. Instead, these men are to be judged as individuals just like we are; this chosen people to be judged one by one just as we would wish to be by them. We are judged by our belief in a common Savior, Himself a Jew from the seed of David. One might say "well the Jews do not believe in this Savior" to which I conclude "if to judge a whole people by the actions of a few despite the expressed intentions of Jesus, I doubt that we believe as well". The faith of our Lord surely knows at this point that long after His departure these divisions and partitions will continue and fester, entire denominations will arise that eliminate the Jews and insert themselves as the chosen in God's plan, but He continues on with the hope and confidence that even this will rightly pass. That many Jews presently do not believe in their Savior having come in Jesus may be just as much our imperfect/prejudiced presentation of Him to them as it is any theological/interpretive difference.
December19 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:18:19-24 WHY ASKETH THOU - How do a few powerful elite (but not powerful enough to do this deed on their own) sway the perception and support of enough others to get this job done? Think of those others as the jury. The prosecution's effort here is intended to grab the focus of the jury away from anything Jesus might be defending Himself by. The officer appears offended by the defendant's answer with the purpose of setting a definite tone of authority and gamesmanship by the defendant for the room fully in mind. Whether he was told to do this or whether he just felt it necessary we do not know; I believe it though to be staged. The high priest is seeking to set a similar tone releasing into the room air the scent that Jesus is being secretive for the blood hounds to sniff without having to prove it. Irregardless of any answer, the jury (many of the same) is left with the sense of Jesus disrespectfully toying with authority and that authority knows something that Jesus would rather hold back. It is all an act, but very effective in increments. One does not break the will at first, but bends it. Knowing that this ploy is in place our Lord's comments are as they should be, essentially "what is your intention in asking me that". Jesus is not going to defend Himself here. He has already proved Himself on a much bigger stage. His silence instead will be proof against intents and methods of His accusers. The trial is much the same in our age. His accusers are setting the stage for the jury by filling the air with nebulous scents; no need for proofs (less effective). The scent of holding something threatening back, the ora of descent and rebelion, the air of war mongering and brainwashing and alterior motive, the tinge of stirring crowds into fanaticism, all thrown out not to be answered (how could we) but to set the tone and put the adherent on the defensive. Where then is the Lord's defense? Is it really in us becoming more vocal and defensive? Or is it in us keeping true to what He has been teaching and commanding all along? Is not our love and fruitfulness in the knowledge of Him His best defense? The faith of our Lord is in the work that He has already been doing, it is in knowing from this initial work what in the future will be done. His faith is not in the trial or the defense or the court of corruptible opinion, it is in the righteousness of His Father. So must ours! Not everyone else is an accuser, they may simply be the jury. They should be aware of the tactic just the same.
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.
December22 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:19:1-16 EXCEPT IT WERE GIVEN THEE - Judas delivered Jesus to Caiaphas, Caiaphas to Pilate, Pilate to Herod, Herod back to Pilate, Pilate to the wishes of the mob. Who has the greater sin? Jesus in this case directly associates it with power/authority. Caiaphas delivered Jesus to Pilate. Caiaphas had been given the authority of high priest. Caiaphas had sought by various means to capture Jesus, Judas had approached the high priest but it was Caiaphas' decision to take Judas up on the offer, it was Caiaphas that had pronounced the expediency of one man dying, it was Caiaphas that not only had the scripture known to himself but had every further resource to investigate it with, it is Caiaphas that every other member of the Sanhedrin looks to and loyally follows.As for Pilate, this matter would have little concern to him if Caiaphas had not made it a concern; Pilate would just as soon had Caiaphas drag Jesus out to the desert and end it all secretly there. Herod was humored by the whole incident. The issue for Caiaphas boils down to Jesus making Himself to be the Son of God; there is no Roman law against making one's self such, so he has to make it appear the treasonous sedition presenting one's self as king. Let's go back then to the triumphant day of Jesus' entry with donkey and palms. Jesus had not allowed Himself ever to be portrayed as such until now. Why did He do it? He knew that it would be the last straw for Caiaphas. The moment Jesus ever portrayed Himself as He really is and on Caiaphas' turf that would be the tipping point as the entire matter was concerned. Caiaphas had long been after Jesus to kill Him, but know he had the power he needed over Pilate. Was it then Caiaphas? Now go back to the parable of Jesus stating that the keepers of the vineyard knew the son and wanted for themselves his inheritance. What reason would Caiaphas have to approach all of this in this way? Who would know and want Jesus' inheritance? (Think back to the Temptation a top the temple). Whose voice would have made Caiaphas to believe that Jesus was merely "making" Himself to be the Son of God? Who would have had the power to threaten Caiaphas of his own high position and authority? We began by asking who had the greater sin? Who had delivered Jesus to Pilate? I ask you, who had a hand with Judas? Who had a hand with Caiaphas? Who had a hand with drunkard Herod? Who had a hand with Caiaphas? Who had a hand with the mob? Who then delivered Jesus with the greater sin? Who had tried previously to get Jesus to volunteer His inheritance over to him? The faith of our Lord is in the process laid out and implemented by His Father. It is a process intended to go much farther and deeper than any one of us fully realizes because it is a process that needs to affect something none of us are fully willing to admit has happened to the whole of mankind. It goes all the way back to a garden with a man and a women and a serpent. A serpent that would bite the heel of the woman's seed and a seed that would crush the head of that serpent. Today is that day. That day is here. We know where the Son of God/Man has been all of this time, the question is where have we been? Where has that subtle serpent been? We know where Jesus' power is given from, the question is where has been our from? What other powers are there for us to get our authority from? Why is it that God has been so displeased and building to do something with all of this? Answer this and you will answer why it is Jesus must be raised back into the His ultimate power and why we must then un-yeildingly follow.
December24 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:19:28-37 HE THAT SAW IT BARE RECORD - Jesus is verifiably dead. If there were any suspicion they would have broken His legs. Why? So that He wouldn't have been able to lift Himself up to breath. If any other doubt remains it should be quenched by the intrusion of a spear through His intercostals into His heart. Whatever life force that could have remained came flooding out to the ground below as well as any other bodily fluids. It is important to us to know the finality of this moment. There is not anything anyone on the scene could have done to take this all back; no sudden pardon from Caesar or maybe if we just prayed hard enough. It is out of mortal hands. We have the actions of all involved and the testimony of John as eye witness. We have any of a number of people that could have said no John you've got it all wrong. Tradition has it that John was boiled in oil later in an attempt to get a confession out of him. Is there anything else that you would like to try to rationalize to make this event something different? Can you look back on this through the scriptures and find anything that was left out? Well there is the mention of some eternal kingdom and rule. When does that come into play? When there is a kingdom of like minded followers for Him to rule over. Why isn't there a kingdom of like minded followers yet? Because the Father hasn't glorified Him quite yet. Look through the scriptures. Tell me what other prophecy is about to be fulfilled? How can it be fulfilled, He is dead? He is dead isn't He? How do the dead come back to life? Why would they? What would it prove if they did? Any man could believe himself sent by God. Any man could believe himself to be a sacrifice for the obvious sins of mankind and even carry it through. No man could himself fulfill an impossible string of prophecies most outside of His control up to and including His death and resurrection except it be performed by someone other than he with the power to do it. When Jesus said that this other mysterious person cannot be known except by Him and who He reveals HIM to, how is it that He intended to reveal it? The faith of our Lord is that the very thing we are forced by His death and resurrection to consider is the very revelation of our Heavenly Father. This is HIS righteousness, HIS mercy, HIS eternal plan; this is HIS DOING. Why then would HE put in the hands of a few men's to testify of it? HE didn't. HE also put it in yours to bare record of!
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.
December26 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:20:1-9 AS YET THEY KNEW NOT - It is interesting to see the state of things as Jesus has left them. Remember, these are the very people Jesus has left the future ministry with. They seem totally unprepared; do they not? First of all, Mary doesn't seem willing to trust what she saw and had been told along the way to Peter and John; she appears to withhold information that we know from the other gospels leaving it all to their own inquiries instead. Second John, one of the two speed racers, willing admits that as much as Jesus talked about it neither man yet knew the Old Testament scriptures relating to the necessary resurrection. We can interpret this a couple different ways, either the men were just coming up short (a blinding of human pride say) or the information was being externally withheld (a purposeful blinding of sorts by the Spirit or such). The first option seems most likely, the second most intriguing. It may be that the initial apostolic contemplation of resurrection to His glory must come at the time after the crushing reality of the loss and finality of His death as a human is most deeply absorbed, when the guilt and shame of our own roles in this have been fully tasted. It is like tasting the bitters before the sweet. Think of the many believers today who grab on to the resurrection gospel without first grasping the ripping pain of His sacrifice. Do they really know the one without knowing first the other? Think of the many believers today that grab on to the pain and sacrifice without then grasping the glorification through resurrection gospel. Both halves are equally important, but there seems a proper order intended especially for these particular disciples who have been called to be the Apostles. Certainly there is a blinding of pride or doubt or such that each of us inflict upon ourselves. Certainly there is a blindness of newness and unfamiliarity with things spiritual, the thoughts of God not being ours and such. Why wouldn't it also be certain that there is an order and process (time released revelation) God is employing to reveal these things to those chosen to testify to and continue the earthly work of Jesus. Add now that Jesus knew and left the keys to His kingdom to this; meaning that the things that we are witnessing from these men and women are crucial first steps, a sign of the gradual unveiling, the crack of dawn growing brighter. What they have learned before this is set aside for an awakening. What they have learned before will by the Spirit be reintroduced into their remembrance. Now however is the rustling ahead of a new birth. The faith of our Lord is that we will know not by our own understanding, but we will know by His revelation. These men and women will be the first to know. They will begin to know when the Spirit is soon received. Already though they are sensing the motions of the heavenly fluttering near and surrounding them.
December27 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:20:10-18 MARY - What does it take to draw the purest faith out of a person? The answer may be different in every person's case. Do you see how differently the revelation of the resurrection is coming to different people.Mary hears her name called by a familiar voice and immediately she wants to touch but lo it is forbidden. Thomas hears and sees the sight but refuses to believe unless he can touch; he is allowed. Women go down and come back having the good news, travelers discuss the news with a stranger and the stranger while eating with them reveals Himself to be Jesus, yet Peter and John and others still sort through the mounting evidence but must themselves wait longer to see for themselves. Why so many approaches? Why not one big here I am revelation? My guess is that it is important to the drawing out of each person's faith.Some believe and so want to touch, but what must be drawn out is the part of that faith that has holy reverence. Others refuse to believe until they touch and suddenly reverence isn't the same immediate issue, the draw is toward that initial acceptance. Others (key individuals in this case) so want to see what the others are reporting, but must wait, drawing on that patience and a cool head. What would be most important in your faith to be drawn out at first glimpse? Perhaps by the appearance of Angels? Perhaps by the weary evening concluded by the eating together of bread and fish? Perhaps by a barrage of separate but similar eye witness reports (somewhat of an embarrassment of other's riches)? What is most needed drawn from you to start your faith off on the best foot? What is needed by the Lord to produce the faith and the irrefutable and glorious testimony He needs to ignite the new ministry of His gospel of complete salvation? I'd like to think that the events here are being properly timed and staged, that there is perfection and purpose to the righteous performance as it is being revealed. After all this is a once in an eternity event that intends to bare the entire weight of redemption.The faith of our Lord is in this exact moment and the reaction of His followers in it. He believes in this moment for their sake. He believes in this moment for our sake. This for Him is an exciting moment. This revelation moment may come in different ways to each one of us, but with purpose; the purpose of drawing out what is most needed in our faith.He said that His sheep would know His voice. His first whisper was Him perceived as a gardener to a deeply mournful and bravely seeking believer named Mary. How about yours?
December29 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@John:20:24-31 BECAUSE THOU HAST SEEN - What would of happened with Thomas had Jesus not returned for Him? Thomas would have to come into his belief just like any other of us; by the testimony of others. The thing is that there are plenty of Thomas's out there that have their mind fixed that there is nothing in these testimonies to believe, that it is something that they will have to see and feel for themselves. Is Jesus obligated to return for them as well? The thing is that that don't really need to see and feel in so many other areas of their lives, why is it so important to them in this particular case? They will take another's word when it comes to politics. They will take another's word when it comes to economics, investments, history, future prediction, court testimony, science, global warming, etc... They will also swallow rumor and innuendo and false premise and distortion and murmuring and intimidation and unjust balance. Why is it not their intellectual creed in these cases? The point is that we try intellectually to be these things and to a certain respect we are, but the reality is that it is close to impossible to be this in the broadest respect. Truth is that we are inescapably made to rely upon the testimonies and opinions of others. Yes it is difficult and error prone and requires discernment; even trust. Yes others have their personal motives and view points and see the same event with dissimilar details. But for men like Thomas (well meaning though they think that they are) to say to the others "no, I won't allow your word even into my preliminary consideration" or "you all are liars" or "this is something so much different than what Jesus told us that would happen; I think you are all reaching" such is not much more than self inflating pride. So you won't believe until you see for yourself. Well where were you Thomas when the rest of us saw Him? How many times do you think Thomas that He has to come back when you just happen to show up? Is Jesus really obligated to meet you on your terms and with your objections? In a sense it is important for the over all record that there was dissent observed in the group, at least for us that long after would follow, but in Thomas's case it is merely a stroke of God's grace that he was given another opportunity to satisfy his hypocritical and prideful demands. What if Jesus had not come to any disciple? What if He had appeared to the common public or to Pilate and Ananias instead? Would that have changed the fact of our Lord's resurrection? The faith of our Lord is in the testimony of others testifying to the veracity of His word. He didn't even attempt to write it down Himself. He may be the only major world messianic figure that went about it this way. Such a defense would be more than proper in a court of law. Why would it not in the court of individual belief?
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!
January1 @ @ RandyP comments: mFaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:1:1-17 - Our search begins today with the patience of God. You see the generations from Abraham whom the promise was made kjv@Genesis:12:2-3 to Mary's Joseph who received it? Further back even in kjv@Genesis:3:15 a prophecy is made that there will be a savior. In these names we likely see the impatience of man as well. It is a checkered path from there to here and here to where we are at largely because we see not the time span as God's patience but His absence. What could possibly be happening in the span that is worth the patience of either party? In the case of Israel it is the process of lifting them into the noticeable awareness and irritation of all the other nations. The establishment of Israel a nation that was not and the amplifying blessing/curse of the double measure was to make the peoples notice, the laws and sacred articles and Israel's continuous mishandling of them to prove to all their own sins, the up and down to show of God's mercy/longsuffering/righteousness. That now being irrefutably shown it was time for the promised one and here He is. We can look at the time from Jesus on as the time we have been aware of the time and process before yet remain of the mind that the length of delay equates to God's hiding or tolerance when in fact it equals opportunity for the last few to believe. In the times to come it will not be said by any that God did not give us the time, that He rushed, that He was impatient. It will be said what fools are we to think that God is anything other than righteous, that if He has given time than that time is for our soul's sake and for His name and plan's sake. we are told of the perfecting work of patience. It is time for that patience to work it's work on us. The faith of our Lord is in the totality of the time presented and the righteousness of the Father in allowing for it. He was there with HIM in before the beginning, He will be there with HIM beyond whatever end. Whatever time we have between that is a time of patiently keeping His commandment and faith; it having it's sanctifying way upon us.