Time after time, Jesus has tried to convince the religious leaders and Pharisees of His true identity. Even after seeing all the signs and works that Jesus had done in their midst, they refused to believe. How heart broken, Jesus must have been because of the rejection of His Jewish kinsman, the very people that He had come to save. They continued to deny that He was the Son of God, the Messiah that they were waiting to see. So, finally, He pronounces their death sentence to them. “You cannot come where I am going.” Jesus knew because of their hardness of heart, they would never accept the truth. They would remain in darkness because they refused the Light. Where Jesus was going and now is, there is no darkness. Darkness and light cannot be in the same space. Now, we are to bear witness of that Light, so that others will come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Pray that neither we nor they will ever have to hear those sad words: “You cannot come where I am going”.
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”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. — 2 Peter 3:9
God spoke everything into existence. Everything is held in place by the power of His word. Because everyone was “doing what was right in their own minds”, God destroyed the earth with the same water that had once covered the earth. Then He placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign to us that He would never again destroy the earth with water. Instead, the day is coming when He will destroy the present heavens and the earth with fire. We have once again arrived at that point where “everyone is doing what is right in their own mind” and not obeying the Lord. The Holy Spirit will not always strive with man and the time will come when God’s promise of destruction by fire will come. When? No one but the Father knows, but He is not bound by time, as we understand it. Our finite minds need eternity broken into small pieces so we can grasp it. That is not necessary for God. The One who is coming will come. While He is being patient with us, we need to be laboring in the fields that are white with harvest. It is not His will that any should perish and everyone will have more than ample opportunity to accept Him as Savior and Lord. But, we know that no matter how long He waits, there will be those who choose to go to hell rather than accept His free gift of salvation. Fill your lamps with oil, trim them to keep them burning and buy extra oil. Be alert! Be ready! The bridegroom is coming soon!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8 NIV
Paul is telling us to be spiritually alert, sober minded and armed for battle. The demonic forces are well-trained in deception and guerrilla tactics. They are very good at creating illusions that deceive “even the elect”.
24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. — Matt. 24:24, 25 NIV
So, what does it mean to be spiritually alert? It means that we have to be prayed up, full of the Holy Spirit and well disciplined in our study of the Holy Scriptures. Jesus defended Himself against the devil by quoting scriptures to Him. If Jesus needed the scriptures to ward off satan then we surely need them even more. We need to be aware of where we are weak. The demons know our weaknesses and they attack us in those areas. Don’t walk too near the edge of the cliff. If certain things cause you to be excessive or respond wrongly. stay a long way away from those things. Your pride will tell you that you can handle the situation but your Spirit knows better. Let the Spirit man rise up and mortify the flesh.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. — Romans 8:12-14 NIV
The battlefield is the mind, if we allow the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts, then we can win the battles.
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Cor. 10:4, 5 NIV
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.—1 Cor. 1:22-25 (NIV)
The Jews wanted to see miracles to prove the truth of the Gospel. Jesus had performed many signs and wonders but they still refused to accept Him as the Messiah. When the Pharisees had requested a sign, Jesus answered them: 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah–Matt. 12:39 (NIV)
They had seen that sign because after three days, Jesus arose from the grave. We are not saved by signs, miracles or wisdom, we are saved by grace through faith. Head knowledge has to become heart knowledge before we receive saving grace. The power that resurrected Jesus from the grave is more powerful than any earthly force and is still available to each of us today. The foolishness of Jesus Christ is wiser than anything in the world and it is still available to us today. We just need to persevere in our faith and ask the Holy Spirit to grant us wisdom. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.—James 1:4, 5 (NIV)
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them. 17 Then the Pharisees once again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “This man who opened your eyes — who do you say he is?” The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.” 18 The Jewish leaders wouldn’t believe he had been blind, so they called in his parents. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he see?” 20 His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him.”22 They said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That’s why they said, “He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him.” —John 9:16-23 (NLT)
About Jesus, some said He can’t be from God or He wouldn’t heal on the Sabbath. Others asked: then how can He do these miracles? No ordinary sinner could do this.” So, the discussion goes on and on. The Pharisees asked the former blind man “….who do you say He is?” The leaders called the parents to confirm that this man really had been born blind. They testified that he was their son and yes, he had been born blind. But because of their fear of the Pharisees, they denied knowing who healed him or how he was healed. Instead, they said, “he is old enough to speak for himself, ask him”. How sad that these parents could not celebrate the healing of their son because of their fear. Now, we must ask the same question and answer it for ourselves. “Who do you say He is?” Was he just a man? Or was that baby born in a manger early Christmas morning really the Messiah? That baby grew into a man who divided history to “before” (BC) and “after” (AD). His name still divides families and nations today. But that Man also gave His life so that you could be redeemed and live without fear. Accept Jesus and live a life of peace and joy that the world can never know. “Who do you say He is?”
46 As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die. 48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” 49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” 50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. 51 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well. 52 He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” 53 Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. 54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.—John 4:46-54 (NLT)
Jesus went about doing good, healing all kinds of diseases and sickness and raising people from the dead. When the official heard that Jesus was in Galilee, he went to Him and begged Jesus to heal his dying son. Jesus said “Go back home, your son will live.” The man believed Jesus and started home. On the way home, he met some of his servants who confirmed that Jesus was indeed correct. When we hear the words of Jesus spoken to us either orally or by the Holy Spirit abiding in us, do we believe? If we can believe Jesus for our eternal salvation, why is it so hard for us to believe that He can and will heal us? Paul tells us there is no reason for us to ever doubt that God will give us everything we need. 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?—Romans 8:31, 32 (NLT)
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. 24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.–1 Corinthians 1:20-25 (NLT)
God’s Holy Spirit has a job to do here on earth. It is to call the lost to salvation. Those that hear and accept the call find true wisdom and strength. It is wisdom beyond what any man can imagine. We should not find it surprising when we are rejected, scorned, or attacked for our beliefs. We need to remember the pit from which we were dug. In times past, before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were guilty of the same foolishness. We may not have been vocal or aggressive about our positions at that time, but our actions denied the existence of any belief in Jesus Christ. As we are told in Romans 8:29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. We cannot believe unless we are called by God’s Spirit. If we accept the call, then we have right standing with God and can participate in His glory.
10 Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask for something special to see from the Lord your God. Ask for it to be as deep as the place of the dead or as high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask. I will not test the Lord.” 13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen now, O people of David! Is it too small a thing for you to test men, that you will test my God as well? 14 So the Lord Himself will give you a special thing to see: A young woman, who has never had a man, will give birth to a son. She will give Him the name Immanuel.–Isaiah 7;10-4 (New Life)
Ahaz was king of Judah. Judah was being attacked by a coalition of nations and Ahaz and Judah were in deep trouble. God sent Isaiah with a message of reassurance, but Ahaz refused to honor God’s request. His refusal to ask for a sign was not faith, it was arrogance. God gave him a sign anyway. A virgin would bear a child and call His name Immanuel (God is with us). This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 1: 20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: 23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
And God is still with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us. That’s the Good News that we are to spread to the world. That is the hope that we have as Christians It is that hope that sustains us and gives us our joy. A joy that no one can take from us because “nothing can separate us from the love of God”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, no time, no where!!!! Rejoice, for a child is born!