I have been
reminded from Zimbabwe that a new article is overdue.- thank you. I have been
very busy doing a course in TEASOL – to teach English as a second language. If I
was much younger, this skill would enable me to travel many places teaching
English, however I shall be content to help the many migrants in Toowoomba.
Now for something I have been enjoying from John 12:
This chapter concludes the public ministry of our Lord. It
hassome very serious conclusions about
the final judgement of all who have rejected Jesus Christ as the Lord from
heaven. But the part I find encouraging is the inclusion, by the writer, of the inquiry of the
Gentiles to see Jesus. On several occasions John the writer highlights the
grace of God embracing the whole world (John 3:16).
Some will remember the chorus
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
And so He does.
Gentile philosophy was about triumph by strength of might or
argument, but the Lord by contrast says His path to triumph is through
humiliation and His death on a cross (Lifted up).
On several occasions the Lord made it clear that “he who
humbles himself will be exalted” and most important is for this exaltation to
be done by the Father. Glory here and now is very temporary. Honour in the next
life will be forever.
Luke presents much detail surrounding the life of Jesus – external evidence and
internal evidence. It would seem as though he interviewed many people and then correlated
the biography of Jesus in chronological order. This includes dates, rulers and
places that have been ratified by archaeologists and history.
account of an angel appearing to Mary is most significant. It tells of heaven’s
involvement in the appearing of Jesus and the character of the child to be
record of His birth brings in many different persons as witnesses – Angels, Shepherds,
Simeon, Anna etc.
records the incident in the Temple when the boy Jesus astounds the doctors of
law with His questions.
Luke gives much detail about the adult life of Jesus. His baptism, His temptation in the wilderness by the devil,
His visit to Nazareth where he was rejected. He moved to Capernaum, where the
people praised Him, but the Lord Jesus moved on to the many villages around the
sea of Galilee. Over and again He is presented as the dependant man, who spent
much time in prayer to God. His journeys were marked by compassion for the
needy. His words brought life and hope to perishing people. He was seen as one
who was not obsessed with money, but instead gave much, even Himself for
glorious Names attributed to Him by Gabriel remained ever true, but His claim to be the Messiah was vindicated by
His humble service to God and mankind. Miracles He did for others. Recovering
the lost was His priority.
His connections with His disciples He was both demanding and compassionate.
Taking up the cross to follow Him was fundamental, and yet as He understood how
fickle they could be, He showed love and forgiveness.
takes us deep into the holy suffering of His sensitive soul as in the garden of
Gethsemane where He prays in agony. The
perfect man (the last Adam), is seen to understand the pain of rejection and crucifixion.
The record of the cross is graphic and the grief real.
end – a man who did not fail, now raised
up from death to be seated at God’s right hand, honoured at the highest place
Read the account of Luke for yourself. If you have no Bible, send me an email - I have spares
John Wesley, who here makes six key practical points:
If you desire to read the Scriptures in such a manner as may
most effectually answer this end, would it not be advisable,
(1) To set apart a little time, if you can, every morning and
evening for that purpose?
(2) At each time, if you have leisure, to read a chapter out of
the Old and one out of the New Testament; if you cannot do this, to take a
single chapter, or a part of one?
(3) To read this with a single eye, to know the whole will of
God, and a fixed resolution to do it?
In order to know His will, you should,
(4) Have a constant eye to the analogy of faith, the connexion
and harmony there is between those grand, fundamental doctrines, original sin,
justification by faith, the new birth, inward and outward holiness;
(5) Serious and earnest prayer should be constantly used before
we consult the oracles of God; seeing ‘Scripture can only be understood through
the same Spirit whereby it was given.’ Our reading should likewise be closed
with prayer, that what we read may be written on our hearts;
(6) It might also be of use, if, while we read, we were
frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to
our hearts and lives….
And whatever light you then receive should be used to the uttermost,
and that immediately. Let there be no delay. Whatever you resolve begin to
execute the first moment you can. So shall you find this word to be indeed the
power of God unto present and eternal salvation.
The writer begins with the
greatest glory of Jesus :-
“The Son of God”
thistitle lies the greatest expression
of God represented in the person of the Son. No greater glory is seen in Jesus.
This is the one who could look up into heaven and say “Father... the glory that
I had with you before the world began.....” (John 17).
But from this point, Mark’s
gospel describes the very active servant of Jehovah. In chapter one He is the
servant promised in the Old Testament. Then He is the servant identified with a
sinning people by baptism (He did no sin, but gave His life as a ransom for
sinners). At this beginning His voice is clear – “The kingdom of God is at
hand, repent and believe the Gospel.”
As the servant of the Lord moves forward,many wondered at His miracles.
greater glory lay in this – He did not claim or seek glory for Himself. Proud
humans claim the glory of success for themselves, but not the Lord Jesus. Mark,
the failing servant, highlights the frequent calls by the Lord to sacrificial
shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and
servant of all.”
This humility was exemplified in the Lord Himself:
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
In one sense there was good reason to question whether He was
the Messiah – no human glory, no human credentials, no army etc, Yet His claim
to be the Messiah, the Son of God was so clear :
Mark 14:62“I am, and
you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with
the clouds of heaven”
Wherein was the problem – they knew not the scriptures (eg
Isaiah 53) nor the power and purpose of God.
In true form to the ‘Servant
gospel’, it concludes thus – “ He was taken up into heaven and sat down at the
right hand of God.” (16:19)
Well did the prophet say “Behold My servant”(Isaiah 42)
Read it for yourself and discover the glories if the Servant
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