Category Archives: Jesus

Jesus’s Presence Challenges People.

Jesus presence is challenging- we all must admit that, because for us to believe He is who he said he was leaves us with the challenge of “What are you going to do with this? How are you going to respond?”

I on this have given three examples of people in Jesus’s day that let their own ambitions keep them from responding. Sure unbelief is a problem for many, but these people it was not the only thing holding them hostage, infact they may have been more convinced of Jesus being who he said then they led on- but there is often another heart issue we all as human’s face, our desires vs His plan/ and when these both are conflicting, we may even try to rationalize what we know away because we fear the implications.

It’s very human problem- Jeremiah says “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can understand it, who can cure it.”

Yet when we receive the Gospel through true and saving faith, turning from our old ways of sin and self will that have so often hurt us the most, and others- and then believe the Gospel and let Him lead- we are given a “New heart”- “I will give them w heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone” Ezekiel says.

So at the moment we are converted, God’s Spirit comes to reside in our hearts- yet even as Christians who are as 2 Cor says “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old has gone and new has come” we may still have a struggle with certain things Jesus wants us to do, or lay down, and we have a new mindset that desires to please the Lord and loves him yet sometimes we still have desires and let our wills conflict.

That is why Paul says “Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” but so often there can be a tug of war- after all we still have a physical body and must by God’s power rule over it by self control, we still have dreams and goals, not all are out of God’s will either but there is often patience and trust we must feed and we should praise God for his goodness as opposed to grumble.

Sometimes God does not answer a prayer for even a normally good thing with a yes right away/ sometimes it is “No, I have a better plan” but often, “Just patiently trust me and wait”

But these three groups below let them be held back/ we even see

(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

Luke 7:29-30 –

So sad, you do not want to get to the end of your life and then realize “I rejected God’s purpose for my life” like these Pharisees. Some wait until the sun is setting in their latter years to finally embrace Jesus and by then they look back on all their lost time. Some sadly do not even come to him at all, and forfeit life and eternal life to come. They settle for a wasted life here and miss out on eternal life to come.

This is not a hell fire and brimstone message but it is an attempt to make people consider, you want to live filled with purpose and not miss out on what you could truly have because your afraid of what it costs. Yet Jesus says “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his soul”

Jesus gave the invite to a rich young ruler who came to him:

A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’” “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:18-27)

In one account of this story, it says: “Jesus looked at him and loved him” and we can see the almost sadness cover Jesus face to when this man let possession and prestige and power hold him back.

Reader, are you holding back? If so ask yourself why and just by yourself take a fearless inventory to introspect your own heart. Jesus did not force this man to do anything yet he was sad he missed out.

He Was Exalted, Is Exalted, And Will Be Exalted

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10 –

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

John 3:14-15 –

I had the verse of Psalm 46 come to mind this evening and then all of the sudden I saw a connection, (John 3:14-15)

I never thought of these two verses as correlating but think they do. One of the greatest ways God is glorified is through Christ’s work on the cross – the Work of the cross subjects the once sinner, enemy of God- [by faith and revelation] we became subject and loyal to Christ Jesus and God our Father. He was indeed exalted high in humiliation and grief but reigns at the right hand of the Father exalted in glory and honor!

God is “Exalted among the nations” still even among those who fail to recognize Christ as the Messiah of God, the Son of God and God in human likeness. Yes because there is even them who fail to see him as his rightful name- but Jesus Christ still is either one of the most admired or for some controversial figure in history. Even those who fail to bow to his Lordship, many among the non Christians admit they admire and respect the life Christ lived. Though salvation must come through faith in His true divinity and trust in His finished work upon the cross, being raised from the dead for forgiveness of sins and new life— even many who have not reached this belief have often scarcely dared to discredit the life Jesus lived or what he did.

Finally, there is the exaltation of God in the return of The Lord Jesus Christ. He will lastly be exalted upon his return to judge the world.

for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Romans 14:11 –

Even the ones who deny him fiercely today will be silenced on that great day.

A Historical Account of Christ’s Prophesy Fulfilled

The Destruction of the Jewish Temple

In Luke 21, Jesus predicted an event that took place approximately 33 years after he had been gone from earth, which gives some evidence to His divine ability to predict the future and may give some doubtful skeptics something to chew on. The event is an actual historical event that Christ told his disciples about when he predicted the destruction of the Jewish temple.

Luke 21:5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

Matthew 24:34, leads me to believe he was talking about this event when he said, “34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” 33 years later his prediction indeed came true as as the Jews formed a united attack and rebelled against Roman occupation in 66 AD

Luke 21:20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles (Non Jews) until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

One of my sources describes it this way, “The Jewish Wars began in 66 A.D. and they were a direct revolt by the Jews against Rome’s authority. Titus with his Roman legions arrived at the outermost northern Wall of Jerusalem, the Passover of 70 A.D. The Romans built embankments of earthenwork, they placed battering rams and the siege began. The Roman army numbered 30,000; while the Jewish army numbered 24,000. According to Tacitus they were 600,000 visitors crowding the streets of Jerusalem for the Passover. After five months the walls were battered down, the great Temple was burned down, and the city was left ruined and desolate, except for Herod’s three great towers at the northwest corner of the city. These served as a memorial of the massive strength of Jerusalem’s fortifications which Titus of Rome had brought to rubble.

The legions of Rome brought the captives to Caesarea and after over one million Jews were killed, 95,000 captives were taken as prisoners, and among them was Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian. According to Eusebius, the Christians saw the might of the Roman army and through prophetic warning, fled to Pella.”
http://www.bible-history.com/jerusalem/firstcenturyjerusalem_destruction_of_jerusalem_in_70_a_d_.html

Another source http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/jewishtemple.htm describes the event in these such ways

(“In the year 66 AD the Jews of Judea rebelled against their Roman masters. In response, the Emperor Nero dispatched an army under the generalship of Vespasian to restore order. By the year 68, resistance in the northern part of the province had been eradicated and the Romans turned their full attention to the subjugation of Jerusalem. That same year, the Emperor Nero died by his own hand, creating a power vacuum in Rome. In the resultant chaos, Vespasian was declared Emperor and returned to the Imperial City. It fell to his son, Titus, to lead the remaining army in the assault on Jerusalem.

The Roman legions surrounded the city and began to slowly squeeze the life out of the Jewish stronghold. By the year 70, the attackers had breached Jerusalem’s outer walls and began a systematic ransacking of the city. The assault culminated in the burning and destruction of the Temple that served as the center of Judaism.

In victory, the Romans slaughtered thousands. Of those sparred from death: thousands more were enslaved and sent to toil in the mines of Egypt, others were dispersed to arenas throughout the Empire to be butchered for the amusement of the public. The Temple’s sacred relics were taken to Rome where they were displayed in celebration of the victory.) —http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/jewishtemple.htm)

Luke 21:24 They will fall by the sword and (will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.) Jerusalem will (be trampled on by the Gentiles) until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

(The rebellion sputtered on for another three years and was finally extinguished in 73 AD with the fall of the various pockets of resistance including the stronghold at Masada.

“…the Jews let out a shout of dismay that matched the tragedy.”

Our only first-hand account of the Roman assault on the Temple comes from the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius. Josephus was a former leader of the Jewish Revolt who had surrendered to the Romans and had won favor from Vespasian. In gratitude, Josephus took on Vespasian’s family name – Flavius – as his own. We join his account as the Romans fight their way into the inner sanctum of the Temple:

“…the rebels shortly after attacked the Romans again, and a clash followed between the guards of the sanctuary and the troops who were putting out the fire inside the inner court; the latter routed the Jews and followed in hot pursuit right up to the Temple itself. Then one of the soldiers, without awaiting any orders and with no dread of so momentous a deed, but urged on by some supernatural force, snatched a blazing piece of wood and, climbing on another soldier’s back, hurled the flaming brand through a low golden window that gave access, on the north side, to the rooms that surrounded the sanctuary. As the flames shot up, the Jews let out a shout of dismay that matched the tragedy; they flocked to the rescue, with no thought of sparing their lives or husbanding their strength; for the sacred structure that they had constantly guarded with such devotion was vanishing before their very eyes.)-http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/jewishtemple.htm

Some skeptics say that Luke is not a valid source, because it was written years after Christ lived. However, it is widely believed by many scholars Luke wrote Acts as well, which was written as a sequal to the gospel of Luke in 60-62 AD.

In the intro of Acts the author Luke says in reference to the gospel of Luke  (Acts 1:1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach )

 

If indeed this is correct, than Luke accuratly portrayed the destruction of the temple and the Jewish wars well before they occured. Since the Jewish wars began in 66 AD and the resistence was squashed aroud AD 70.

The book of Mark which is believed to be written anywhere inbetween 55-59 AD gives this account.

Mark 13:1-2 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Both Matthew and Mark are believed to be written well before 70 AD and the Jewish wars. According the the photo below and another web source.


http://www.gotquestions.org/Gospel-of-Mark.html .Date of Writing: The Gospel of Mark was likely one of the first books written in the New Testament, probably in A.D. 55-59.

The idea that the disciples wrote about the destruction of Jerusalem after the fact does not seem to pan out

When Jesus Claimed to be God.

Some modern skeptics and critics of The idea of Christ being God incarnate often say, “Jesus never claimed to be God, he only said he was God’s son.”

John 10:30 “The Father and I are one.”

 
But to the contrary, that is not what I see going on here. Jesus claimed he was one with God, if you ask me that is a pretty bold statement. The tenth chapter of John continues on this way:

SEE Leviticus 24:13-14 Then the Lord said to Moses: “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him.


The Jews of his day knew exactly what Jesus was claiming, otherwise they wouldn’t have picked up stones to kill him. To make the absurd claim that Jesus never claimed deity in scripture is to deny what happened here, and if the Jews of his time knew beyond a shadow  of a doubt who Jesus was claiming he was.