This amazing story gets even more amazing. Notice that this man doesn’t even know who Jesus is, he doesn’t ask Jesus to heal him, and there is no mention of faith at all. This is a real oddity, a completely different perspective from the time that Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has made you whole.” Why did Jesus choose to heal this man in this way? This is a great demonstration of God’s mercy and grace. God sent Jesus to find this man, just as He sends the Holy Spirit to find us today. This man didn’t deserve to be healed any more or less than we deserve to be saved today. Yet, God, because of His great love for us, healed and saved this man, just as He saves and heals us today. Jesus is telling us the same thing that he told this man, “stop sinning”. Our response should be the same as this man that Jesus healed, we should go and tell others how we were saved, The message is simple, yet powerful! “It was Jesus.”. The Name above all names! The Name that requires a decision every time it is spoken. “What will you do with Jesus”?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
As small tots and children, we were taught prayers word for word. There were prayers to say before the meals we ate and prayers to say before we went to bed at night. These are wonderful experiences and great memories. But just as we moved from the “Dick and Jane” books, there comes a time when our prayers should become more personal. We are still presenting the same issues to God but now instead of rote memory, they should be from a heart that understands and knows that God not only hears our prayers but He answers them. Most of us may have had more faith that God would answer our prayers then than we do now. Those were prayers from innocent hearts and minds. Now, we have a lifetime of sins and doubts to overcome. But God is still the same God we prayed to when we were children and we must approach Him with that same childlike faith. We must become as little children in the Kingdom of God. Part of that process is to understand that all of our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus. God sees each of us as the righteousness of Christ. So, when we pray let us believe that we are righteous people, that God hears our prayers and that our prayers do have great power. Not because of us, but because of Jesus and His work that He finished at the cross. We can know that our prayers have great power because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying with us and the Holy Spirit is praying through us and for us.
Jesus had been a Friend, Teacher, Mentor, and Guide for the disciples for the better part of 3 years. Now in In preparing His disciples for His departure, Jesus tells them He is leaving for their good. What could possible be better than walking with Jesus? Who would lead them in His absence? Who would talk with them? Who would strengthen and encourage them now? Jesus told them there is an Advocate coming to do all this for them. The Spirit of Truth that would guide them into all truth. Just as Jesus had said about Himself, He also says about the Holy Spirit.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.–John 5:19 NIV
Why would this be better? As a human, Jesus could only be in one place at one time. He could only teach those within the sound of His voice. The Holy Spirit is not bound by human restraints. He lives inside of each of us and can be everywhere at once. Just think of it, God’s Powerful Spirit (GPS, if you will) with His own network that reaches everywhere and is never out of contact with you or His home station. Powerful enough to direct every human on earth at one time. So, if you are feeling lost, confused or needing encouragement, just stop and listen to the GPS inside you
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
God furnishes everything that the natural world needs to survive and produce bountiful crops. It is His plan that He established when He created everything in the universe. All plants would produce seed and fruit after its own kind so that the animals would have plenty to eat. Even though Adam and Eve sinned and were removed from the Garden of Eden, that did not change the law of reaping and sowing. Now, they would have to work for the plants to produce and feed themselves, but still the plants produced seed and fruit for them to eat and survive God’s plan for the Spiritual world is the same. He sends out His word and it produces fruit after its kind. Once the Word (the seed) is planted in our hearts, God sends out His Holy Spirit to water it causing it to be alive and active and productive. It might reproduce 30 times, 60 times, or in really good hearts it might even reproduce itself 100 times The really good heart is one that has the Seed implanted and waters that Seed every day with Scripture study and meditation on the Scriptures. That heart also communes with the Spirit of God everyday without ceasing. God’s Holy Spirit knows the heart of God and He searches our hearts so that the communication is effective and productive. Take time to study and pray and you will see the Word of God start to reproduce like fruit in those around you.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Jesus Christ died on the Cross at Calvary for every single person who has lived, is living and will ever live. Those who accept that fact as the absolute truth will make it to heaven, those who don’t won’t. It is a simple, plain message that even a child can understand and accept. Yet, there are those who refuse to believe it. They have their own god(s) and become very angry when they hear the name of Jesus. Why? Because every time the name of Jesus is heard, those hearing it have to make a decision. Some will say “Oh, I will decide later” not understanding that this statement is a decision not to accept Him. They want us to water down the message and allow for other ways to get to heaven. The Gatekeeper is on duty 24/7 and will not allow anyone to enter into heaven unless they can truthfully answer the simple question; “Have you accepted Jesus as the only way into heaven?” There is no negotiation, the deal has been sealed and everyone comes on the same terms. The foot of the cross is level ground, everyone comes just as they are and accepts Jesus the same way. The rich, the famous and the powerful must meet Jesus the same way as the poor, the unknown and the common man. The only way is to go empty-handed, humble and obedient. It isn’t a man’s plan that can be altered, it is the infallible, immutable plan of God.
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 NLT
41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” 43 So the crowd was divided in their opinion about him. 44 And some wanted him arrested, but no one touched him. 45 The Temple guards who had been sent to arrest him returned to the leading priests and Pharisees. “Why didn’t you bring him in?” they demanded. 46 “We have never heard anyone talk like this!” the guards responded..—John 7:41-46 (NLT)
Although Jesus spent a lot of time in Galilee, He had fulfilled the prophecy by being born in Bethlehem, as well as being born in the lineage of King David. While the crowd continued to discuss whether or not Jesus was the Messiah, the leaders and the Pharisees sent the temple guards to arrest Jesus. They wanted to silence Him because more and more people were beginning to believe His story. But the guards came back empty-handed. When they were questioned as to why they had not arrested Jesus, their reply was that they “had never heard anyone talk like this”. The guards had been touched by the words that Jesus spoke, so much so, that they refused to follow the orders they had been given. The Temple guards, which were the ones that the leaders and Pharisees commanded, were Jewish.They realized that this man was different from any they had heard speak. They would also have been familiar with the Old Testament and would have known about the powerful prophets, such as Moses, Elijah, Isaiah and others. Still, nothing they had heard affected them like the words of Jesus. The words were so powerful, it required them to make a difficult decision.
It is still the same today, when the name of Jesus is mentioned, we have to make a decision. It is “I accept” or it is “I reject”. There is no middle ground. 11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”–Acts 4:11, 12 (NLT) What decision have you made? Who do you say Jesus is?
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. –1 Cor. 1:13-18 (NIV)
Paul’s main objective was to preach the Word of God. Yes, he stayed in each new location until he had people in place to take care of the flock, but his heart was always on starting a new work in a new location. Paul isn’t saying new converts don’t need to be baptized, he is saying he has appointed others to do that part of the work. A lot of good pastors have “burned out” by not following Paul’s example and trying to do all the work themselves. A good preacher does not have to be eloquent or powerful in his delivery. What he does have to be, is obedient to the Holy Spirit. In our world today, it is even more apparent that the message of the cross is considered foolishness by those who appear to need it most. The world does not have an answer for Jesus, so they resort to ridicule and abuse of the believers. Jesus said this would happen, so it should come as no surprise to us. But we must remain faithful, knowing that Jesus suffered unto death on a cross. 1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.—John 16:1-3 (NIV)
— Post 04-24-2105