Wednesday, July 29, 2020

An unusual conversation

John 4

    This narrative is so different. The Lord Jesus is weary with the journey through Samaria. A woman arrives at the well for water and Jesus breaks tradition and speaks to her. He goes further and asks her for a drink of water. After some cultural and religious discussion, He directs her to her greatest need – the need to confess to a guilty life, sins of the past and present and the need to seek forgiveness. She is astounded that the Lord Jesus knew all about her. He then claimed to be the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

       The idea that she might be talking to the Messiah Himself was so powerful, she stopped bothering about collecting water and went to tell the people of the village – “Come see a man that told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

         Sure enough, these Samaritans listened to Jesus for themselves and were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

If He is the Messiah, it means He is the special prophet foretold by Moses, He is the Son representing God, He is the King eternal, He is the servant who died for the sins of others, He is the Lord of all.

The Samaritans received Him, and so do I.
Do you ? then tell HIM!

Please read through John chapter three and four . Maybe God is speaking to you. Don’t miss the opportunity to respond.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Jesus the suffering Messiah

An interview with the Lord Jesus

     Most successful men seek to have power over others. Often done by force, sometimes by political intrigue . Jesus was different. When they wanted to make Him a king, he walked away. (John 6)

     John chapter 3 is very helpful to understand the mission of the Lord Jesus. It records an interview with a very religious man. Nicodemus was a teacher of Moses’s law.  Nicodemus acknowledged Jesus as a man sent by God and Jesus replied – “ Unless a person is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” To the puzzled teacher , Jesus explained- 'we are born in the flesh  (with all its sinful tendencies), and we need to be born of the spirit ( with its heavenly connection)'.  Nicodemus was astounded to know that all his religious works were not valid if he wanted to be accepted by God.

      Jesus then revealed the true way. He said that no one can go up into heaven except himself, the son of man, who had come down from heaven. He claimed to be able to speak about things in heaven because he came from there.

       In the conversation, Jesus said that for people to be born again of the spirit, something else must happen. Just as Moses had put a brass snake up on a pole many years before, so Jesus, the son of man, must be lifted up on a cross. Then Jesus made a promise, ‘all who believe in Him would have eternal life’. 
       The record later describes Nicodemus seeing Jesus lifted up on the cross, and he believed in Him, not so much as a king, but as the Saviour who died to take our sins away and gives eternal life .(John 19)

      To understand that the Lord Jesus Christ died for us, makes all the difference. By His death we receive forgiveness, born again by the Holy Spirit to live in love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. That is so different to living in the flesh, the natural way. (Galatians 5)

      Even better it is to know that Jesus lives.

Today, look at the death of Jesus in this way and be blest.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Angels speaking

Jesus – Who is He?

Let us listen to the angels answer this question.
In the record of New Testament scripture we can read their words:

1. Matthew 1
The angel said to Joseph about Mary  "that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you will call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
The angel indicated the special conception and special mission of Jesus. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin means that He was born free from sin. Born to save His people from their sins meant He would become a sacrifice by dying for the sins of others – a Saviour.

2  Luke 1
The angel Gabriel appears to Mary with the very special news:  "Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father  David, and He will rule  over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
"The child to be born will be called the Son of God"

This special angel from the presence of God, made it very clear that this child was different to all others. The very name given – Jesus – means saviour. He would be more than a prophet. The name –Son of the Most High – much more than a man. He was to be the full and final representative of God the Almighty.( The word SON is about representation, not birth)
A throne – did Jesus rule on a throne? Just wait for another angel to clarify this in Acts 1. The promise made by Gabriel is that Jesus would be a King in a kingdom established by God. Not established by warfare, but beginning in Jerusalem, His kingdom has been established in the hearts of millions of people throughout the whole world.

Matthew 28.
The angel said "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, He has risen as He said...."

This statement from an unnamed angel is full of meaning. Firstly "fear not'. – the Good News dispels fear. Jesus often said 'fear not'.
Then the angel confirms that Jesus had been crucified. But best of all the angel states – "He is risen", and points back to the prediction of Jesus that He would be killed and rise again. This way the angel confirms that Jesus would be the Saviour by dying for the sins of the people. The announcement that Jesus was alive again, confirmed what Jesus had said was true and that God had now vindicated Him as the Son of God, the Saviour.

Acts 1:11
The two angels said:
"this same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way you saw Him go into heaven".

These two angels confirmed that Jesus had gone well beyond the clouds, into heaven itself. This with many other Bible verses states that Jesus is now indeed King upon the throne of heaven, at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
They also made it very clear that the Lord Jesus would return to earth from heaven. This has not happened yet.

Revelation 22
The Bible concludes "I Jesus have sent my angel to testify about these things to the assemblies. I am the root and descendant of David, the bright and morning star."

Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ responds
"Even so come Lord Jesus"

Let me know if you agree

Friday, July 3, 2020

New Testament - John 1

Reading John chapter one –  ( I am writing this primarily for migrants.)

The New Testament part of the Bible has four biographies of Jesus .
Matthew presents Jesus as the King. After a special genealogy, it records wise men coming from the East , searching for the baby 'born King. '
Mark records the activity of Jesus as the servant of God and the people.
Luke the doctor collects witness accounts of the perfect man, Jesus.
John gathers some of the evidence that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

In John chapter one, Jesus is given several titles.

'The Word' the Koran also gives Jesus this title.  It means that Jesus is the full and final communication of God to humanity. Not only what He taught, but more who He was and what he did. He is presented as actively living before He was born of the virgin Mary. He was actively creating the world.

'The Light'  His life is described as light illuminating the world. The remainder of John's writing explains this happening in the activity of Jesus, so continue reading  John's writings even if you cannot understand it all.

'The Lamb of God'.  This title for Jesus is special. John the Baptiser identifies the problem of sin. Instead of asking the people to try harder at keeping Moses law, he directs them to look at Jesus and believe in Him for the solution to the problem. Jesus as the sacrificial lamb, is able to take away the sin of the world.

'Son of God' .  We noticed this title was written in Psalm 2. We could read about the angel Gabriel giving the same title to the baby Jesus. In this chapter John the Baptiser identifies Jesus as the Son of God by the descent of the Holy Spirit on Him. John the writer gathers much evidence that this is true.

'Messiah'(Christ)  The Messiah is the Hebrew term for the Saviour promised in the Old Testament. Christ is the Greek word meaning the anointed one.  Jesus was the Prophet predicted by Moses, but Jesus was much more than a prophet as the book written by John records.

In this chapter we read of the joy that filled the heart of Andrew when he said " we have found HIM".. Read on and you too can have the joy and peace that comes through finding and believing in Jesus Christ the Lord.

John McKee