Jesus continues to try to convince the crowds of who He is. “You are of this world” but “I AM not”. Then He said to them because you refuse to believe you will die in your sins. The people repeated their demand, “tell us who you are”. Jesus said “I AM”. He tells them that He only says what He hears from the one who sent Him. You would have thought that hearing “I AM” would have reminded these Old Testament scholars of what God told Moses when Moses asks Him, “Who shall I say sent me and God replied “tell them that “I AM” sent you”. But just as Pharaoh refused to believe and his heart grew harder, so it was with the religious leaders and Pharisees of that day in Jerusalem. Let us speak the words that we hear the Holy Spirit say to us and pray that those word will fall on listening ears and the seeds of faith will be planted in the hearts of those that hear. When we are questioned, we too, can say that “I AM” has sent us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Even after Jesus had fed the multitude, the people wanted more miraculous signs. Jesus corrects them on the Old Testament scriptures. Moses was their earthly leader, but Moses could not have produced enough manna to feed millions of people. God supplied the bread and when that wasn’t enough, God supplied the quails. Jesus uses this to teach them about the true Bread from heaven. God, in the human form of Jesus, came to earth. God is the Creator who breathed the breath of life into us in the beginning and God is the one who sustains life now. Earthly bread make feed us physically, but it cannot sustain us forever, The True Bread is the source of life. If we partake of that Bread, we shall have eternal life.
The trip from Judea to Galilee took Jesus through Samaria. It was a rough journey and Jesus, in His human form, was subject to becoming tired and weary, just as we are. The Samaritans and the Jews were not on the best of terms and rarely, if ever, spoke to each other. Yet, Jesus began to talk to this Samaritan woman and tell her things about her past and her present situation. She realized that He was a prophet and began to question Him about the difference in the traditions of how the Samaritans and the Jews worshipped God. Jesus began to explain these things to her and tells her that was the way things were but those things were changing. The Samaritan woman says that she knows things will change when the Messiah comes. It is then that Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah for whom she has been waiting. Jesus uses the words “I AM”. The same words that God had used when Moses asked God, “who shall I say is sending me?” Hearing these words, she immediately becomes a missionary and runs to tell the whole town about Jesus. When Jesus touches us, we have to tell somebody. Do we still have that burning desire to tell people about Jesus, the Messiah, the great “I AM” or has the fire gone out? If we no longer have that desire to tell others about Jesus, perhaps it is time to ask God to light the fires again.
34 Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction.35 Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them. — Joshua 8:34, 35 NLT
After God had given Jericho and Ai into Joshua’s hands, Joshua built an altar of uncut stones on Mount Ebal. There, they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar just as Moses had commanded them to do. Then Joshua read every word of every command that Moses had ever given to them. This was done in the presence of the entire assembly of Israel including all of the foreigners. Moses had written five books that contained approximately 124,910 words (depending on the version you use). At an average of 200 words per minute, this was almost an eleven hour reading. The building of the altar, the offering of the sacrifices and the reading of the scrolls was quite a lengthy service. This kind of devotion to God is what prepared the people for the southern military campaign. Perhaps, it is time for our country to take a break and worship God in this manner.
To be successful in the battles of this world, both natural and spiritual, we need the strength that only comes from the Lord. If each of us committed to spending a day in prayer, worship and thanking God for our country, then perhaps God would take those sparks and start a wildfire of praise that would envelop the whole country.
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. — James 5:16 NIV
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea..—1 Cor. 10:1-2 NIV
The children of Israel were shaded from the sun in the daytime by a cloud that also led them in the direction God wanted them to go, so they “were all under the cloud”. They all passed through the sea which is a form of baptism, Because Moses was their leader and led them out of bondage in Egypt, just as Christ has freed us from the bondage of sin, they were “baptized” into” Moses, just as we are baptized into Christ. The waters did not roll back of their own accord but were held back by the power of the Holy Spirit. Once the Israelites had passed over to the other side, the waters returned to their normal level and destroyed the enemy. The deliverance from their enemies is a shadow of our deliverance from the forces of evil. It was not a baptism of an individual because that person had believed on Jesus, it was a baptism of a nation, a washing away of the old lifestyle, to prepare that nation for total dependence on God through the leadership of Moses. Just as we are “washed by the water of the Word” to prepare us to live a life of Holiness completely dependent on God through Jesus Christ as we are led by the Holy Spirit.
26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.—Eph. 5:26,27 NASB
24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “Give glory to God by telling the truth, because we know Jesus is a sinner.” 25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” 26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?” 27″Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” 28 Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don’t know anything about him.”—John 9:24-29 (NLT)
Isn’t it strange how confused we get when we don’t know the truth? In verse 24, the Pharisees say “….we know Jesus is a sinner”, then in verse 29, they admit that they know nothing about Jesus. They don’t know the truth, yet they have just instructed this man to “give glory to God by telling the truth.” The man says that he doesn’t know whether or not Jesus is a sinner but he does know for sure that he was blind and now he can see. That was the truth.
When someone attacks our prejudices or a belief that we are not really sure is correct, we very often become angry. This is why the Pharisees were so angry. They stood to lose a lot if the people accepted the truth about Jesus. This could cost them their position and their livelihood. Still today, people become angry at the mention of the name of Jesus. A relationship with anyone requires that we be accountable. In today’s society, people do not want to be held accountable for their beliefs or their actions. It isn’t any fun to face our faults and realize that we need a change in our lives. But that is exactly what we need to do and that is what happens when we meet Jesus. He knows all about us and when we are confronted with the “real” us, sometimes it isn’t very pretty. 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.—Hebrews 4:12, 13 (NLT)
14 Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15 The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked. 16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. 19 Moses gave you the law, but none of you obey it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.”—John 7:14-19 (NLT)
It doesn’t seem to matter how many miracles Jesus had performed or how many times He had spoken, the people were always surprised when they heard Him. Jesus told them that the message He was giving them was not His own but it came from God the Father who had sent Him. Jesus reminded them that they had Moses law which said “Thou shalt not kill” but the leaders were determined to have Him killed, thus disobeying the law handed down by Moses. In today’s world, we must follow the example Jesus set. We must deliver a message based on truth as given to us by the Holy Scriptures. Our message should not glorify us, but it should glorify our Father, who is in heaven. As John the Baptist said: 30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.–John 3:30 (NLT)
When we speak the truth as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit to speak and that message is rejected, it is not us that is being rejected, but, rather, it is Jesus that is being rejected. So, don’t be concerned about being offended, just speak the truth in love and God will take care of the results.
30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”—John 6:30-34 (NLT)
Even after Jesus had fed the multitude, the people wanted more miraculous signs. Jesus corrects them on the Old Testament scriptures. Moses was their earthly leader, but Moses could not have produced enough manna to feed millions of people. God supplied the bread and when that wasn’t enough, God supplied the quails. Jesus uses this to teach them about the true Bread from heaven. God, in the human form of Jesus, came to earth. God is the Creator who breathed the breath of life into us in the beginning and God is the one who sustains life now. Earthly bread make feed us physically, but it cannot sustain us forever, The True Bread is the source of life. If we partake of that Bread, we shall have eternal life. 23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.—1 Cor. 11:23,24 (NLT)
25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.—Hebrews 12:25-28 (NLT)
God sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage in Egypt. Because of their stubbornness and disobedience to what Moses told them to do, the generation of people that left Egypt never made it to the Promised Land. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the whole multitude of people died in the land east of Jordan. Because of their faithfulness and obedience, Joshua and Caleb received the promised reward of entering into the Promised Land. They were allowed to partake of the blessings of eating crops they did not plant, drinking water from wells they did not dig, and living in houses that they did not build. We have a better message from a better leader than Moses. We have heard from God Himself. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and show us the way home. Those that do not believe the message He brought will be shaken and separated like chaff from the wheat. But if we remain steadfast and unshakable, we shall sit at the banquet table and enjoy the wedding feast that Jesus has prepared for us. We shall live in a city not made with human hands and spend an eternity with Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord. A better way that brings a much better reward.
28 Faith led Moses to establish the Passover and spread the blood on the doorposts so that the destroying angel would not kill the firstborn sons. 29 Faith caused the people to go through the Red Sea as if it were dry land. The Egyptians also tried this, but they drowned. 30 Faith caused the walls of Jericho to fall after the Israelites marched around them for seven days. 31 Faith led the prostitute Rahab to welcome the spies as friends. She was not killed with those who refused to obey God.–Hebrews 11:28-31 (GW)
The children of Israel had cried out to God for 400 years. They were holding onto the hope that God would deliver them from captivity. God heard their cry and sent a man who was both a prince and a shepherd (Jesus is our Shepherd and our Prince of Peace) to lead them out. When they were trapped between the Egyptian chariots and the Red Sea, they had only one hope. Would God desert them or lead them out? Because Moses had faith, God’s children walked across on dry land, not so for the Egyptians. For six days, Joshua led the army as they walked in complete silence around Jericho one time each day. The procession was led by armed men followed by the seven priests with rams’ horns. On the seventh day, they marched around Jericho seven times. At the end of the seventh lap, the priests blew the horns and the people shouted to the Lord and the walls fell straight down. Obedience and faithfulness brought the victory! Because Rahab was faithful and protected the spies, her family was saved and she is one of 4 women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. Faith brings salvation. We are “saved by grace through faith”.