18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.” 19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body.22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said. 23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.—-John 2:18-25 (NLT)
The Jewish leaders questioned the authority of Jesus and asked Him for a sign that God had given Him the authority to cleanse the temple. Jesus agreed to their demand, but with an answer that completely baffled them. No one could build this temple in three days, it would take years. They eventually saw the sign that Jesus was referring to, but the leaders probably didn’t know it because of their unbelief. Human nature hasn’t changed, people are still looking for a sign. How often do we miss what God is doing because of our “little faith”? Jesus knows whether we really believe or not when we ask Him for something. We know the “temple” that Jesus was speaking about was rebuilt (resurrected) in 3 days. Is the Cross and the Resurrection enough for us or do we still need a sign? 37 Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. 38 But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”–John 10:37,38 (NLT)
When Jesus completed the work His Father had sent Him to do, He said “It is finished”.
13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem.14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” 17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”—John 2:13-17 (NLT)
Jesus celebrated the Passover according to Jewish law, because He had not yet been crucified as the “Lamb that takes away all sin”. Jesus was a great reformer, cleansing the temple of the illicit trade business was one of the first acts of His reformation. These people who were selling these animals in the temple were making a mockery of the sacrificial rites. According to the law, the animals were killed outside at the door of the Temple. (See Leviticus: 1-3). Parts of the animals would make the Temple area unclean. This disrespect for His Father’s house was what angered Jesus and caused His immediate reaction. Where is our passion level on keeping the “temple of God” pure? Do we cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God? Are we filled with righteous indignation when we see others being mistreated? What does God expect of us? 8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?—Micah 6:8 (NASB)
1 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” 5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.[b] 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. 9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” 11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.—John 2:1-11 (NLT)
As a man, Jesus first revealed His glory to the world at a wedding. There He performed His first recorded miracle by turning the water into wine The Master of the Ceremony was amazed that the best wine was saved until the end of the ceremony. If we do as these servants did and follow the leadership of Jesus, we will be at the wedding feast when Jesus reveals His total magnificent glory to his Church. The magnificent splendor of His glory is beyond our imagination. We will also find that Jesus has again saved “the best wine” for that time. He blesses us every day but it is nothing compared to what we will receive when we get to heaven. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.–Ephesians 3:20, 21 (NLT)
45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. 47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” 48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” 49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”—John 1: 45-51 (NLT)
Each of us must come to Jesus for ourselves. No one else can do this for us. Parents and Grandparents, regardless of how much they love and pray, cannot make this decision for you. It is personal and it is eternal. Just as Jesus knew Nathanael before He came to Jesus, so He knew each of us before we came to Him. He knows us at our very worst, He knows our unkind thoughts. No matter how sinful or how ugly it is, Jesus knows all about it but He still loves us. He is waiting with open arms to receive us. If you haven’t truly accepted Him as your Savior and Lord, then, please, “Come and See for Yourself”. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you will never be alone again.
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34
I saw this happen to Jesus,
so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.–John 1-32-34 (NLT)
This is the faithful witness of a faithful servant. He saw all the messages he had preached come to life in one Man/God. 1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.–John 1:1 (NLT) 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.–John 1:14 (NLT)
Not only do we have the witness of John the Baptist, but we have the witness of God Himself. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”—Matt. 3:16,17 (NLT)
Let us use these examples as an inspiration to be faithful witnesses. We do not need to worry about what we will say or do, if we are questioned about our Christianity. God has promised us over and over that He will never forsake us nor leave us. He goes before us, He is with us, and He is our rearguard. He has also promised to give us the words to say 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.—-Matt 10:19,20 (NLT)
Although these words were spoken to the twelve disciples as Jesus sent them out to witness, I believe they are just as true for us today when we make ourselves available for God to use. We need to store the Word in our heart by meditating on the Scriptures. Then whenever and wherever we go, we should remember God’s words to Joshua. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”—Joshua 1:9 (NLT) (emphasis mine)
35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.”—John 1:35-39 (NLT)
Do you ever sit and think about the time you answered the call of the Holy Spirit to “come and see”? Come and see the forgiveness of God, come and see the goodness of God, come and see the love of God. Come and see with your spiritual eyes, the One Who gave His life for you on a cross? Do you remember that experience? Do you remember when you invited Jesus into your heart? Do you remember the peace you felt? Do you remember just wanting to stay in His presence. just as the men “remained with Jesus all that day”? When times are tough and the going is rough, I would like to invite you to sit and remember that experience. Just sit in the presence of Jesus, loving Him and allowing Him to love you. The most amazing thing about knowing Jesus is that every day, we can “come and see”. Or as the Psalmist said, “taste and see”; 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!—Psalm 34:8 (NLT)
And when we do that, we find that His mercies are new every morning. Today, once again, take the time “to come and see”.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”.) 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said,“Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”). 43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.—John 1:40-43 (NLT)
Once we answer the call to “come and see” and we have “tasted and seen” that the Lord is good, our next step is to follow the Lord. While the plan of salvation is simple and free, following the example that Jesus set for us is not easy and it is not free. He gave up His glory in heaven, came to earth and died for us. Should the created expect to do less than that for His Creator? From the worldly point of view, this is asking a lot, but from God’s point of view, it is the best thing that you can do. The only way to save your life is to let it go. 33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it—Luke 17:33 (NLT)
For our sake, Jesus laid down His life, so that He could take it up again to be our Redeemer and Lord. So, we must lay down our lives for His sake. 23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?—Luke 9:23-25 (NLT)
”Come, follow me”! When we decide to this for Jesus, we find a life that is truly worth living.
24 Then the Pharisees who had been sent 25 asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?” 26 John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. 27 Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” 28 This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”—John 1:24-31 (NLT)
While Elizabeth was pregnant with John and Mary was pregnant with Jesus, Mary visited Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s voice, Elizabeth’s baby leaped within her womb. Even before John was born, He already knew his purpose and recognized his Lord. John stayed faithful to that mission. He is a great example of humility and faithfulness for us. We should be aware that God had a plan for us before we were born. It is our responsibility to determine that plan and follow it faithfully and humbly. We should never presume to do anything for God that He has not called us to do. God does not see success as the world sees success. What God wants from us is obedience and faithfulness. 22 But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams—1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)
19 This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” 20 He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” 22 “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,
”Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”—John 1:19-23 (NLT)
John the Baptist stayed faithful to His calling. He was sent to prepare the people to receive the Messiah. Because of the message he was preaching, people would ask, “Who are you?”, his answer was “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, clear the way for the Lord’s coming.” John’s boldness in standing for the truth eventually got him beheaded. The same thing is happening, on a daily basis, to our Christian brothers and sisters around the world. If we were confronted with the choice: “Deny or die!”, what would our answer be? Would it be: “I am a follower of Christ, I have come to tell you about the Lord’s return”? Or would we hang our head in shame? 32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven. 34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.—Matt.10:32-34 (NLT)
15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” 16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.—- John 1:15-18 (NLT)
John fully understood his mission as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. According to Isaiah, John’s purpose was to “prepare the way of the Lord”. John understood that as Jesus began His ministry that his own ministry would start to diminish. He was looking forward to that day. Jesus came to fulfill the law and redeem us from the curse of the law. He redeemed us from the curse of the law, but not from the blessings of the law. He came to make those blessings more abundant. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.—John 10:10 (NKJV)
Because His death on the cross finished (fulfilled) the law, we “have all received one gracious blessing after another”. Those that have seen Jesus have seen the Father. 9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?–-John 14:9 (NLT)
Those that were alive at that time saw Him physically and we have seen Him spiritually as He is revealed to us though the Holy Spirit abiding in us.
Jesus is the ONE! He is THE ONE AND ONLY ONE that can save us from sin!!!!
It is our mission to spread the Word to a lost and dying world.