Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Peter explaining Jesus


Peter speaking again. – Acts 3

Peter's second message to the people is similar but different. After healing the lame man, Peter explains:

An extract - "......  you denied the Holy and Righteous one, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you. You killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead."

This message is full of special titles for the Lord Jesus. As you read the chapter through , highlight them:

3  verse 13  -- God's servant Jesus

        14  --  Holy and Righteous one

        15  --  Author of life

        18   --  suffering Messiah

        22  --  the Prophet

On the basis of Jesus raised from the dead and glorified in heaven, Peter assures the Israelites that God can forgive, and could restore the promises of restoration for the nation. But as Peter finishes, he goes to the root of the problem:

"God, having raised His Servant (Jesus), sent Him to you first, to bless you by turning everyone of you from your wickedness." (Acts 3:26).  Before national restoration could happen there needed to be individual turning from sin, turning to God through His Son.

The sad history of this book, Acts, is that the Jews (Israelites) refused the offer, and eventually their very precious temple was destroyed and the land occupied by Gentiles.

This message is full of links to the Old Testament – more for next time.


Friday, April 22, 2022

Jesus Christ from God's perspective


Peter preaching – Acts 2

On the day of Pentecost, when so many people were focused on Jerusalem as the centre of Jewish worship, God demonstrated that He had a wider agenda. The disciples of the Lord were enabled by the Holy Spirit, to speak of the wonderful works of God in many different languages. God was reaching out beyond Jerusalem, beyond the Jews, to save people of every nation.

So Peter explained the life of Jesus:

"Listen carefully...............

In the last days God said :'I will pour out my Spirit upon all people ........'

Peter continues: " People of Israel listen. God publicly endorsed Jesus of Nazareth by doing wonderful miracles, wonders and signs through Him, as you know. But Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. With the help of lawless Gentiles you nailed Him to the cross and murdered Him. However God released Him from the horrors of death and raised Him to life again, for death could not keep Him in  its grip."

Peter concludes his message:

"Know for certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah (Christ the anointed one)."

My summary of this is  -  God at work

The end of the message brought promises of forgiveness, salvation, the Holy Spirit.

Read this account in Acts 2 again and remember Peter is speaking , not from himself, but by the Holy Spirit – speaking for God.

And many did respond in repentance and faith, showing their change of mind by baptism and joining with the disciples in commitment to the risen Lord and one another.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

A new day


The crucifixion was over. The body of Jesus lay in the sealed up tomb. For the Sabbath day, everyone had time to ponder the big questions – why?  How? Where?  When?

But the journey in Mark's record is not finished. The first day of the week has come and the women who watched Jesus die, had prepared spices for embalming. Mark with usual brevity, describes the ongoing journey. The sun had risen and the women are surprised at the tomb to find the large stone rolled away from the door. Venturing in, they see a young man in white who spoke:

"Don't be afraid. You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified: He has risen. He is not here. See the place where they laid Him"

To the women these words were unbelievable!

Mary of Magdala encountered Jesus alive from the dead, but the disciples were slow to believe the reports. Two other people were engaged in conversation with the Lord Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Finally the Lord Jesus appeared to the eleven and commissioned them to take the Gospel to the whole creation – a very great task for the stumbling disciples.  But the promise of salvation, the power of the Holy Spirit would make it possible.

But what of the journey with Jesus. The time has arrived for the parting of the ways. Jesus was now risen from the dead, with the appointed destiny being at the right hand of God in heaven. So as He blessed them, He was taken up into heaven to take up His rightful place as both "Lord and Christ".

The apostles went everywhere, declaring the good news that the once crucified Jesus was now alive as Lord and Saviour.

This story has no end. Through eternity we will praise the "Lamb that was slain"

We have reached the end of Mark's record, and I ask you to read it again taking note of the many things that are 'not normal'. These are signs of God at work.

Some will point out that I have not really explained why the Lord Jesus died.  Quite so, for I was following the narrative  recorded by Mark. I plan to follow these articles with teaching from Peter (Marks's mentor), who explains the "why" very well.

Stay tuned

If you don't have a Bible, try reading it in your own language from

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The end or not the end


The end of the road. To the human eye, confusion and disaster appear to take over. Judas decides to betray his teacher. The high court of the Jews has condemned Jesus to death for claiming to be the Son of God.

As the next day dawned, they bound Jesus and presented Him to the Roman governor. Pilate soon worked out that He was innocent, yet handed Him over to the soldiers to be crucified (execution on a cross).  After flogging Him, the soldiers decide to make fun of His claim to be the King of the Jews. They dress Him in a purple robe and place a crown of thorns on His head, then mock Him 'Hail King of the Jews'.

On the road to Golgotha, Jesus was too weak to carry the cross, so Simon of Cyrene carried it. Then at the place outside the gate of Jerusalem , they nail Jesus to the cross along with two criminals, Jesus in the middle. From midday to midafternoon a strange darkness covered the land. Before sunset, Jesus  was dead. Strangely, a rich man took the body of Jesus and put it into a new burial tomb which was nearby.  The Jewish leaders insisted that the tomb be sealed and a guard be set to prevent foul play. They thought it was the end!

But through discerning eyes the record is not confusion. Jesus has deliberately come to Jerusalem. He arrived as their King on the donkey. He had called on the leadership to acknowledge Him as God's Son. Then on that difficult night He had warned the disciples that this situation was permitted by the Lord God for a purpose.

In the courtroom trials, the Lord Jesus refused to respond to accusations of what He had done, but responded directly to questions of His identity – before the Sanhedrin "Son of God", and before Pilate "King of the Jews". In all the torture, one witness said "When He was reviled, He did not revile, when He suffered, He did not threaten".

When Jesus was about to be nailed to the stake, he refused the wine mixed with myrrh. Rather He chose to feel every pain, and understand the horrible shame of insults hurled at Him by all around.

But what about the unusual darkness at a most crucial time?   And then Jesus took control of the moment and yielded up His Spirit to God whom He called 'Father'!  The centurion soldier in charge began to understand  who he had executed:  he  said "Truly this man is the Son of God"  (Mark 15:39)

Jesus was dead, but God was still in control. His body would not be treated as other criminals. Rather, as prophecy had said,' he would be buried in a rich man's tomb'(Isaiah 53) – and so He was.  Witnesses watched all that had happened and most thought this was the end of the road.

But the is another day. Read on into Mark 16

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The difficult days


The journey with Jesus has reached a situation of conflict. Reading Mark chapter 14 presents the devotion of an unnamed woman. Then the treachery of Judas the betrayer. Then the fickle boast of loyal Peter. And then the sleeping apostles!

But I would like you to watch and listen to Jesus. He knows the Jewish leaders are envious of His popularity- even to the point of planning to kill Him. Instead of leaving the city to save His life, He leads His close followers into a deeper understanding of God about to do something special in the midst of seeming disaster.

Chapter 14:8 – He accepted the anointing of perfume for His burial.

14:24 – He announces that His blood being shed (being killed) was for the purpose of sealing a new covenant between God and people.

14:27 – He interprets the Old Testament scripture as predicting His death as a Shepherd.

14:28 He makes an appointment to meet the apostles after the resurrection.

14:36  In prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, He anticipates the impending suffering as dreadful, yet a deliberate cup of Divine purpose (read slowly through His prayers).

14:49 – Again He recognises, even in the actions of cruel men, the prophecy of scripture being fulfilled.

14:62 – Finally He begins to speak in the Jewish high court. His response to the challenge given is so important:

"I am (Messiah, Son of the blessed God), and you will see the Son of Man sitting at God's right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven."

This statement was so important, the high priest and his councillors called it blasphemy, worthy of death.

We also must react to this high claim!

   Shall we agree with the court?

   Or shall we with Thomas say "My Lord and my God"

The destiny of Jesus Christ is secure – after the death of the cross is the throne in heaven.

The destiny of you and me is totally determined by our reaction to HIM.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."  (Acts 16)

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Shock predictions

 It was coming to Passover week

The temple that had been expanded and embellished by King Herod was indeed something spectacular. A model of it can be seen in Jerusalem or on youtube. So I can understand the admiration of the disciples :- " Master look at these tremendous buildings". What a disappointment was the response of the Lord Jesus.

"These magnificent buildings will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another" (Mark 13:2)

       And so it happened , just as Jesus said – AD70, the Roman army reduced it to rubble and all that is left is the 'western wall'.

       If the Lord Jesus could so accurately predict that, then we had better listen to the remaining predictions of chapter 13. The highlight prophecy is Mark 13:26:

"Then everyone will see the Son of Man (Jesus) arrive on the clouds with great power and glory." This could happen soon.

When God rises up to judge the world, Jesus predicted that it would involve extreme horrors, but the end result would be good – righteousness will control the earth, Jesus Christ will be King, all of His subjects will be given honour, glory and authority. The crucial question now is – whose side of the impending conflict are we on – Jesus Christ or anti-christ. The urgency of the moment is found in the reply of Jesus :

" Don't let anyone mislead you" (13:5)

Religion has many deceptions. The commercial world is marked by corruption. The political world is often seeking to usurp the place of Jesus Christ.

Today, many despise Jesus.

Tomorrow Jesus will be King of kings and Lord of Lords.

If you do not have a bible to check this out, please send me an email.