Friday, January 28, 2011

I wish my prayers were answered like this!

Jesus is accosted by a man with a real need.
He was a man with leprosy. It was deadly, incurable and made the sufferer both ostracized and poor.

His request was simple.

Matthew 8:1 "When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

I believe, he was saying. I don't know if you WANT to help me, but if you DID want to I am sure you could.

Jesus response was immediate and amazing:

3 "Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

I wish all my prayers were answered this decisively. This quickly. This fully!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jesus made praying seem so natural!

Jesus spoke of prayer. It is said he got up in the predawn to pray to his Father God.

Here he lays out the most simple words about prayer.

Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

We have taken this to mean that God is a Santa Claus in the sky. Ask for anything, and it will be given to you.

But in Jesus world, his relationship with the Father was so intimate, if He asked, it would be done.

Because God is a good God. And He loves us...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jesus had gone viral

At this time Jesus had gone viral.
He was the hot topic, the big show, the amazing teacher/healer.

The crowds were thronging to see him.

He chooses to do something intriguing.

Matthew 5:1 "Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them."

Jesus did not want to tiltillate. He wanted to teach.

What is recorded and written down goes on for three chapters. It made quite an impression!

"He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

He said... blessed.
Favored by God. Honored. Beneficially singled out.
Commended. Exalted. Praised.

That is how Jesus began his teaching ministry.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Mohammed did no miracles

Mohammed did no miracles.
Budda did none either.
They never even claimed to do miracles.

We are being introduced to Jesus, in the New Testament.

He calls some grown men, who are at work. He makes no apologies. Does not prioritize - "Hi, come follow me after your work is done for the day"

Nope! Come follow me. Now. Drop what you are doing. My call takes precedence over everything else in your lives!

And they do so. What kind of a person was Jesus to command this level of respect? Of obedience? Of priority?
18 "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him."

That is not the end of today's story.
Jesus did miracles.
Lots of them!
23 "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[g] Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him."


Mohammed did no miracles.

Budda did none either.
They never even claimed to do miracles.

But Jesus did!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.

Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum, near by. It was just him. A carpenter. He began to preach.

He had a master plan. But to anyone who knew him in that period, he was just a carpenter that used to preach.

12 "When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— ...

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

His message was one of transformation and hope. Repent. Change your ways. The kingdom, the kingdom of heaven is near.

Little did anyone know who heard him that he was God - God incarnate. That he had come as Savior of the world. That he would divide history. That he had come to die for sinful man, as the sinless Lamb of God - who came to sacrifice himself for the sins of mankind.