July1 @ @ RandyP comments: devotion:FaithOfJesus kjv@Mark:15:1-15 THOU SAYEST IT - It is interesting to see how an fresh set of eyes would see this case. Pilate now comes into the picture, surveys the situation, sees that the chiefs are largely driven by envy, makes his ruling. kjv@Proverbs:27:4 says "Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?". Is it any surprise that from the time of Cain and Able to Jacob and his brothers to Saul and David and beyond, when it comes to religion envy rules the day? Why would a man be crucified on the charge of envy? Missing in this account are the efforts of Pilate to pawn Jesus off elsewhere. Offering a switch of venue or a switch of accused is a poor excuse for justice when the just thing to rule is that this man is innocent and that his enemies are mad with envy. But, Pilate does not, he plays it to his own personal advantage putting the judgment back into the hands of the mob. The chiefs know how to move/play this crowd, they have been preparing for this several days at least with the types of staged inquiries they had made of Jesus publicly. This skill comes with plenty of practice. We should be aware of the same. The faith of our Lord was to remain silent like a "lamb to it's shearers" as He was commanded. For us we told to take no thought for that day as the Spirit will tell us the words to say; to do as directed. Stephen was not quiet. Paul several times beaten near to death was not silent. Now that Christ has done His silence it is time for us to do His talking.
November15 @ @ RandyP comments: devotion:FaithOfJesus 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!