COMMENTARY ON JOHN 5

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

Chapter 5 shows you Jesus as Healer, Jesus as the Son of God, Jesus as Savior. You will also know the witnesses that testify that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the Christ of God, and why those who reject Him will be judged. NOTE: When I speak of “the religious elite” or “the Jewish elite,” I mean the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes (lawyers that specialized in the Law of Moses), priests, and rabbis.

Verse 1 — Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews, probably the Passover. God specified to Moses that this was one of three feasts that Jews are required to attend (see Exodus 23:14-17).

Verses 2-4 — The pool at Bethesda (house of kindness, in Hebrew) was described. A multitude of the sick, blind, lame and withered were there, waiting for the moving of the waters, because an angel sometimes stirred the waters, and whoever was first to enter the pool was healed.

Verses 5-6 — A man was there who had been in his sickness for 38 years. Jesus knew this man’s history, just as with the woman at the well. When Jesus saw him lying there, He asked him what would seem to be a strange question. “Do you wish to get well?” The word “wish” means, “prefer.” Who wouldn’t prefer to be well rather than be in this sickness, probably some form of paralysis, for 38 years? But Jesus asked this question so the man would reveal his heart by way of his answer (see Matthew 12:34).

Verses 7-9 — So the man answered, calling Jesus “Sir.” He did not know Jesus Christ. Notice that the man did not worship Jesus. He simply explained that he tried to get into the pool when the water is stirred up, but someone else always beats him to it. The man’s eyes were on the pool and not Jesus.

Is that true of you today? Readjust your vision as I show you what Jesus did.

He said to the man, “Get up, pick up your pallet (like a mattress) and walk.” IMMEDIATELY, the man became well (his body became sound and healthy). When Jesus speaks, it must be done.

Note that Jesus does not say, “Go, your faith has saved you,” nor “your sin is forgiven.” Why? Continue with me, and you will learn.

It was a Sabbath on that day. The Jewish elite said no one could do any kind of work at all on the Sabbath. You will see that they considered this act of God the Son to be a violation of the Sabbath established by God (Exodus 20). What irony! Men determine whether God is observant of His own laws! And yet, do we not do that today when we reinterpret the Bible and follow Satan’s lead in saying, “Did God really say?” (See Genesis 3:4.)

Verses 10-13 — The Jewish elite put the hammer down. What? You were cured on the Sabbath? Who was it that violated the Law? Who did this? The man didn’t know Jesus’ name. He said, “The one who said, ‘Pick up you pallet and walk.’”

The Jews pressed the man for the name of this violator of the Sabbath. But Verse 13 clearly shows us that the man did not know who it was. Jesus did not remain with the man after He spoke to him. Jesus had quietly withdrawn from him. He knew what was in this man’s heart.

Verses 14-15 — Jesus didn’t say, “Your faith has saved you,”’ because the man did not have faith in Him. Jesus didn’t say, “Your sin is forgiven,” because the man’s sin had not been forgiven. That is why Jesus came to him in the Temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

Behold, man at the pool at Bethesda! See! Understand that no one could heal you but God, and here you are, healed! God the Son has touched you. So do not sin anymore. In this case, the man’s illness was caused by his sin.

What is the “worse” that will happen, if the man continues to sin? Some who say that you can “lose your healing” use this passage to prove it. But I am not the only one who believes that Jesus is referring to judgment and damnation here. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The man was healed so that he might wake up and ask forgiveness and turn from his sin.

And man was healed so God would be honored and praised. But carefully note that neither the healed man nor the Jewish elite honored and praised God.

So the man now knew Jesus’ name, and reported Him to the Jewish elite.

Verses 16-17 — Because the religious elite now knew it was Jesus, they persecuted (were hostile toward) Jesus. He had done this wonderful God-work on the Sabbath. Shame on Him! But He replied that His Father is working (unceasingly at work) even now, and Jesus Himself is unceasingly at work. Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is still at work! What good news for you and me!

Verse 18 — Because of Jesus’ response, the Jews wanted to kill Him. Why? He not only broke the Sabbath but also called God, “My Father.” How could this mere man named Jesus be equal to God? It was blasphemy in their eyes, and they judged Jesus as a sinner of the highest degree.

Verses 19-20 — Jesus answered by giving them a lesson on what it is to be the Son of God, what it is to have an intimate, holy relationship with God the Father, as God the Son. (NOTE: When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we can say the same things He was about to tell them). Here’s what it is like, He said:

— I can do nothing of Myself; unless I see the Father doing it. Then the Son does exactly what He sees the Father doing.

— I can do this because My Father loves Me. I am His Son.

— Because the Father loves me, He shows me everything He is doing.

— And the Father will show you even greater works than the healing of the man at the pool at Bethesda (and the other miracles, healings, and deliverances recorded in the other three gospels). Why? So you will marvel; that is, you will wonder and admire.

As we continue in the Book of John, you will see the greater works.

Verse 21 — Jesus then told them one miracle that He would do. Just as the Father raised the dead, so would Jesus. He did that with Lazarus and others, when He walked the earth. But He meant more than that. Before you know Jesus, you are spiritually dead. But when you believe in Him, you are born from above and receive spiritual life, His life. And Jesus, the Son of God, said He will give life (zoe, life as God has it, eternal life) to whom He wishes. The Hebrew understanding is “whom He delights in.” God the Father and God the Son are not capricious. But God the Father and God the Son delight in those who come to God the Son and ask for eternal life, and the Father and the Son rejoice as they give people that life (Luke 15:6, 9)!

 

Verses 22-23 — The Father gave all judgment authority to the Son. This is judgment as to whether we are damned or saved. What is such a judgment based upon? We either honor (revere)the Son (and thus, honor His Father), or we dishonor the Son (judging Him as disgraceful and not worthy of respect, and thus, doing the same to His Father). He does not send us to damnation. We send ourselves, if we reject Jesus Christ.

Verse 24 — Truly, truly. A very important truth! If  you hear Jesus Christ’s word and believe in the Father who sent Him, you have eternal life. You will not be judged. You have passed out of death and into life.

Everyone’s position at birth is death. We are born sinners. Sin leads to judgment and death. But if we believe, we enter into eternal life. It is just like going through a door. The Door is Christ (John 10:9). We step over the threshold and see God’s kingdom for the first time! Our past sins fall away. We are forgiven. We hear His call to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. We obey. Our hearts are purified and filled with God’s actual love. We become witnesses that Jesus Christ is exactly who He says He is.

Verse 25 — Truly, truly! Another great truth! It is currently time for the spiritually dead to hear the voice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Those who hear will live. They will enter into eternal life, through Jesus Christ. Their bodies will fall away when they grow old, but they have God’s eternal Holy Spirit in them, and the part of them that cannot be weighed or measured — their spirits — will continue forever, in the very presence of God. And there is a resurrection of their bodies, as you will see shortly.

Verses 26-27 — Great truth continues. God the Father possesses and lives this eternal life. God the Son also possesses and lives this eternal life. And because Jesus Christ is also the Son of Man, having been born by the Holy Spirit and Mary, to become human while retaining His divinity, Jesus Christ has the authority to judge and follow through on it, fulfilling it.

Verse 28-29 — Great truth continues. An hour IS coming (but is not yet here) in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice. This is a warning of the coming judgment of all of the dead and the living. What is this judgment?

Those who did the good [not good deeds, but those who heard the voice of Jesus Christ, loved Him and obeyed Him] will to go to a resurrection of life (2Thessalonians 4:15-17, 1Corinthians 15:52). This is the first resurrection (Revelation 20:5).

Those who did the evil [who did not come to Christ because they loved evil and didn’t want their evil deeds to be exposed, per John 3:19) will go to a resurrection of judgment. This is the second death, the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Verse 30 — Jesus again repeated that He did nothing on His own. He does what He sees the Father doing. His judgment is just (right) because He does nothing by His own will, but only does what is the Father’s will. And the Father sent Him.

Verse 31-32 — And here is the proof. If there was nothing but Jesus Christ’s testimony of who He is, it could not be admitted as evidence of who He is.

But there is another who testified of Him. This first witness is the testimony of the Holy Spirit. Why do I say that? Because Jesus’ words about the testimony of John and the rest come after this. The Holy Spirit filled and remained in Jesus Christ after John baptized Him in water, as I pointed out in John 1. Your Bible probably capitalizes the “He” in this passage, when Jesus refers to the witness of the Holy Spirit. I agree with the translators.

Verse 33-35 — And John the Baptist has testified to the truth. But Jesus said His testimony does not need to come from man. Jesus said this so they might remember John the Baptist’s words, repent, and be saved. The Jews were willing to stand and rejoice in John’s light for just an hour. So very short a time! And many of the religious elite rejected John the Baptist entirely and refused to repent and be baptized.

Verse 36 — And even greater than John’s testimony were the God works that Jesus did. They were the works the Father gave God the Son to finish and make complete, and no one else could have done them but God. These testify that the Father sent Him.

Verse 37-38 — Even more, the Father Himself had testified of Him. In Matthew 3:17, the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” But the Jewish elite had never, ever heard the voice of the Father or seen His form. They had never been in His presence, but they were very religious.

It is very possible to appear to be very knowledgeable about the Word of God and very moral in your behavior, and yet not know God at all.

Jesus told the religious elite that His word, which they studied right-side up, upside-down and sideways, was not in them. They looked at it, but it never entered into them, so their hearts remained unchanged.

The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, able to penetrate even to the point of dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow, judging the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12). But the religious elite pick it apart and kill its power, because they have never known the One who inspired it.

Verse 39-40 — Jesus agreed that the religious elite searched the Scriptures, studying them intently, but they did so because they believed that knowing about God will give them eternal life. But Jesus said those Scriptures testify of Him! And yet they were unwilling to come to Him so they may have eternal life.

NOTE: The Old Testament (Tenakh) speaks of Jesus many, many times. It was the only Bible the early church had, until the New Testament books were written. And by it, and the verbal instructions of the Apostles, they were able to walk as Jesus walked. But what a gift we have in the New Testament! The eyewitness accounts and the written instructions are written to help us understand, and they convict, encourage and strengthen us!

Verses 41-43 — Jesus did not accept men’s praise (but we will see that the religious elite valued men’s praise greatly). Jesus fully and completely knew these who rejected Him. He knew their hearts. He knew they did not have God’s actual love inside themselves.

How did He know? Because He came in His Father’s name, in His Father’s love, having His Father’s authority, character, and power.

If the religious elite had God’s actual love inside themselves, they would have welcomed and honored Him. Instead, they rejected Him.

But they welcomed anyone who came in his own name, who did not have God’s love, authority, character or power. Their desire was to impress one another with their great knowledge, but it was empty knowledge because they never knew the Father.

Verse 44 — It is literally impossible for them to believe that Jesus is God the Son when they are so busy trying to impress one another with empty knowledge. They never sought to have the seal of approval of the  one and only God.

Take note, professors at seminaries across this nation and around the world!

Verse 45-47 — Jesus said He didn’t need to accuse them before the Father. Moses, whom they regarded as being like God, accused them. They set their hope in Moses, thinking if they obeyed the Law that God gave Moses, they would have eternal life. But eternal life comes only through faith in Jesus Christ.

They did not really believe Moses, Jesus told them, because if they did, they would believe Jesus, because Moses wrote about Him. But they did not believe Moses’ writings, or they would believe Jesus Christ, the One about whom He wrote. (See Luke 24:25-27.) Here is a PARTIAL list: Genesis 3:15, Genesis 12:3, Numbers 21:9, Deuteronomy 18:15, 2Samuel 7:12-16, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:1ff, Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 53:4, Daniel 7:13, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9.

All of Jesus Christ’s words offended the religious elite. He did not spare any words, but boldly told them that they did not know God at all. He was zealous for the Father and His house (Psalm 69:9). I am, too, because Jesus Christ is in me!

RESURRECTION POWER

[SW226] 03/25/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Resurrection Power”

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead! Hallelujah! And today, He extends the power of His cross and His resurrection to everyone who asks Him to work it in them.

The cross of Jesus Christ is the power for RECONCILIATION and the power of His resurrection is the power for EMANCIPATION!

May you have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church today.

I asked the Lord, what is the power of Your resurrection?

He prompted me to begin with the Apostle Paul —

Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

Everything he ever had been, he considered but dung (v. 8), so that he may gain Christ and thereby:

Know intimately and by experiencing Him — Jesus Christ

Know intimately and by experiencing it —  the power of His resurrection

Know intimately and by experiencing it — participation in His sufferings (crucifixion)

Being conformed to His death — the result of the first three “knows.” It was to assimilate, to cause himself to resemble it. Because everything he ever had been was dung to him, he could speak Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ.” So he knew — by experiencing it — resurrection power.

For believers at church at Ephesus who had experienced Christ’s salvation, Paul prayed for them to know (personally experience) this resurrection power that comes when we are filled.

He would not have prayed if they already had experienced it.

He prayed for these believers to know God the Father by experiencing Him personally.

He prayed for God to make these believers see, so they would know (perfectly understand in their minds) the hope of their calling and the riches of their inheritance, even the resurrection power of God!

He prayed for them to know the super-greatness of God’s power — resurrection power.

God raised us up, when we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:6). That is RECONCILIATION.

But Paul prayed for these believers, who are the church, to know — by experiencing —Him who fills all things. That filling is EMANCIPATION.

I stand with Paul as he says —

2Corinthians 2:17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

— Did Paul preach healing? No. That was not his message as he traveled about as an evangelist.

— Did Paul preach spiritual warfare? No. He gave us instructions about it, but that was not his message as he traveled about as an evangelist.

And yet, people were healed and demons were cast out even with handkerchiefs carried from Paul’s body (Acts 19:11-12). Evil spirits recognized Jesus, and they knew about Paul (Acts 19:15)! The attesting signs were the evidence that Paul was sent by God.

— What did Paul preach, then? The gospel of Jesus Christ (1Corinthians 15:1-8)! Paul resolved to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified (1Corinthians 2:2).

Why did Paul preach the gospel of Jesus Christ?

#1 — Our sin condemns us (Romans 5:18, 6:23). Judgment is coming.

#2 — Christ took our punishment for our sins on the cross, and through faith in Him, we have peace with God (Isaiah 53:5).

#3 — When He rose, He made it possible for us to crucify our inbred sin nature (Romans 6:6ff), and when we crucify it, we die to sin (Romans 6:1-2, 6-7) and are resurrected from its death, free from its power (6:9-11)!

That is why Paul preached Christ and Him crucified.

The purpose of the cross of Jesus Christ is RECONCILIATION, and  the purpose of Christ’s resurrection is EMANCIPATION!

HALLELUJAH!

I began with this — I asked the Lord, what is the power of Your resurrection?

It is power over sin for all who ask Jesus Christ to crucify their sin nature! No longer slaves to sin, no longer having sin as a taskmaster.

I tell you the truth, if the world, and the false religions, and the world-pleasing church would repent and believe into Jesus Christ, enter life, and be filled with the Holy Spirit, there would no longer be terror — except for Satan!

Freedom! Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2Corinthians 3:17)!

RECONCILIATION and EMANCIPATION!

The power of Christ’s death and resurrection far surpasses any kind of physical healing or deliverance. Preach it, and attesting signs will follow.

Behold, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who takes away the sin IN you!

Now, I will ask the Lord to manifest His attesting signs that this message is from Him, by healing and delivering you as I pray.

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 4

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

Chapter 4 gives us a glimpse of what Jesus will do in human hearts, if we ask Him. And we see the power of giving testimony vs. Jesus actual words, and a miraculous healing. Jesus’ influence goes far beyond all we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)!

Verses 1-2 — Jesus knew the Pharisees would persecute Him for making and baptizing even more disciples than John the Baptist. He was an even bigger threat to their religious power structure. And note that Jesus’ disciples baptized, but He did not. Why? His is not water baptism, but baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Verses 3-6 — Jesus began a long journey into Galilee, and passed through Samaria (36 miles from Jerusalem). He came to Sychar, a large city in Samaria. Jacob’s well was there. The reference may be to Genesis 26:22ff, and the well Jacob named “Rehoboth,” (broad place). Jesus is about to show many people the broad place (place of liberty) that is the kingdom of God.

He was weary from the long journey, and sat alone by the well, at noon. The disciples had gone into the city to purchase food (see verse 8).

Verses 7-8 A woman came to draw water at an unusual time of day; normally, water is drawn at sunset. In a few verses, we’ll find out why she came at noon. Jesus simply said, “Give Me a drink.”

Verses 9-10 — The Samaritan woman pointed out that Jews don’t talk with Samaritans. So why did Jesus speak to her? The people of Samaria worshiped God and other gods (see 2Kings 17:24-41), so they were shunned by the Israelites. But Jesus said that if she knew  1) the gift of God and 2) who it was that said, ‘Give me a drink,’ she would have asked Him and He would have given her living water.

It sounds like a riddle, but it isn’t. He is the gift of God to the world (John 3:16). And so He had much more to offer her than she could offer to Him. She could quench His natural thirst with water from the cistern, but His living water is the Holy Spirit (see John 7:37-39), a never-ending fountain of God’s eternal life and power!

Verses 11-12 — She wondered how He could give her water. When she asked, she was thinking of natural water. She likely had a jug with her, and a rope to lower it down into the well (Greek phrear, a hole in the ground, a cistern). He was empty-handed, so how could He give her this living water? Was He greater than “our father,” Jacob (indicating she was a descendant of Abraham), who gave them this well?

Verses 13-15 — Jesus told her that everyone who drinks of the natural water from Jacob’s well will thirst again. It is just natural water.

But His living water is not natural water. And whoever drinks of the water He will give (through the baptism of the Holy Spirit), will never thirst again. How do I know it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit He is speaking of, and not the first step, which is salvation through faith in Christ? Because John identifies this living water as the Holy Spirit WHO WAS NOT YET GIVEN BECAUSE JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED (restored to His original position at the right hand of God the Father). That living water was given in Acts 2, baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.

When you are filled with God, He is an unending source. The water He will give will become “like a well of water springing up to eternal life.” Eternal life is the water in His fountain! [NOTE: My translation, the NASB, says “well,” but the original Greek is “fountain.”] Cisterns will run dry. His fountain springs up, gushes, and leaps! What gushes forth? Eternal life! It is the rushing, flood-stage rivers of eternal life flowing from our innermost beings, as in John 7:38, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. It flows out to others, and yet we never run dry!

The woman then asked Jesus for His water, but she was still thinking in the natural. She didn’t want to have to come all the way to the cistern to draw water. He said if she drank His water, she’d never thirst again. So she wanted His water.

Verses 16-19 — Now we find out why the woman came alone to draw water at noon rather than sunset, like the others in Sychar. Jesus changed the subject on her, to drive home the fact that He wasn’t talking about natural things. He  told her to call her husband, knowing full well that she has had five husbands, and the man she now had was not her husband.

She said, “I have no husband.” He then told her what had transpired in her life, though this was the first time they had met. And she understood that He was from God and called Him a prophet. There was no other way for Him to know her history. It was because of her history, because she was an adulteress, that she was shunned by the people of her city and forced to go out to the well at noon, the hottest part of the day.

Verse 20 — The woman told Jesus that her ancestors worshiped on the mountain where Sychar was located. God was worshiped in Samaria, at one time. But then many gods were worshiped there, and the Lord sent Northern Israel into exile in Assyria, except for a small remnant. She called into question worship of God on the mountain versus God in Jerusalem. The Jews said God could only be worshiped in Jerusalem, because the Temple was there, signifying God’s presence, in the Holy of Holies.

Verses 21-22 — Jesus responded by saying, “Believe Me.” If you will believe Him today, He will show you that the time is not only coming, but is now here (see Verse 23), when you are able to worship God the Father regardless of where you are geographically, be it the Temple, a church, or a dungeon (see Acts 16:25). This is the first time “the Father” is used in John 4. There is the Father, and then there is Jesus.

In Samaria’s worship of God, they omitted the historical books of the Old Testament (Tenakh), as well as the Prophets and the Psalms. They did not know the full Word of God, so they did not know God.

But “we” worship what we know, He said. The Jews worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and did not omit any of the Tenakh.

And He said salvation comes from the Jews. What did He mean? The Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied to be a Jew, born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Isaiah prophesies, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given,” followed by many Messianic titles (Isaiah 9:6-7). So from a Jewish mother and the Holy Spirit comes Jesus Christ the Jew, the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15), the Savior of both Jew and Gentile (non-Jew), the gift of God to whoever will repent and believe in Him.

Verses 23-24 — Referring back to Verse 21, Jesus said an hour NOW IS when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. They will not just go through the motions and say the right words (lip service). They will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and will truly worship Him, because God the Holy Spirit is in them, leading them into true worship. No more rote rites or mouthing words, but the Spirit, large and in charge, connecting us to the Father and the Son 24/7!!! Halleujah!!!

God the Father is spirit — He is not human — and those who worship Him MUST worship Him in this way, and in truth — truly worship, not just outward acts and not just knowing “Christian-ese.”  It is essential to be filled with the Holy Spirit, after salvation, in order to worship God as He commands.

Verses 25-26 — The woman began to make the connection. First, she identified Him as a  prophet, but then she remembered that Messiah was coming. He would know everything, too, just like this Jesus.

And Jesus said, “I who speak to you am.” He is saying I am the I AM, I am God the Son, the always existent One. I am the One who spoke My name to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). I am God, and was with God before I was sent here. I am the Messiah.

Verse 27 — The disciples returned with food, and found Jesus talking with a woman, and a Samaritan at that! Just the two of them, alone! Oh, the shame! Yet no one questioned Him.

Verse 28-30 — The woman now realized that this Jesus was the Messiah, and left her waterpot (that would be like you leaving your wallet or smart phone) and went into the city. She testified that Jesus told her everything about herself, and asked, “Is this the Christ?”  They went out of the city and came to Him.

Verse 31-34 — The disciples were like I used to be. They were focused on food, on bringing Jesus food, on the questions in their minds about Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman. “Rabbi, eat,” they said.

So He told them that they didn’t know what nourishes Him and satisfies Him. They wondered if someone already brought Him food.

So Jesus made it very clear that what nourishes and satisfies Him is to do the will of God the Father and accomplish the Father’s work. What is God’s will and God’s work? Speaking to the woman, revealing that He is the Messiah, and her testimony causing the whole city to come to see Him and be saved!

Verse 35-37 — Jesus corrects His disciples’ focus. Lift up your eyes and look on the fields! The saying in Israel and among the disciples themselves was, “Four months and then the harvest.” He said, “That’s what YOU say!” That was the natural harvest. But God’s harvest is here and now and continual. The fields are white (the color of the heads of grain)! Lift up your eyes and look!

Already those who reap God’s harvest are being paid and are gathering fruit for life eternal. Salvation is already happening!

If we look and see and act, we will find that the one who sows the gospel seed and the one who reaps (leads a person to salvation) are able to rejoice together. The sowing and reaping can happen one after the other, with no waiting! One will sow, and another will reap. It is an immediate harvest. The seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful! It is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16)!

Already! There is an urgency in Jesus’ words! Don’t be lazy. Your pay awaits! The fields are ready! Get out there! Lift up your eyes! Look!

Matthew 9:38 adds that they should beseech (beg) the Lord of the harvest (Jesus Christ) to send out workers into His harvest. The word “send out” means “eject, thrust out!” Urgency!

He said He sent His disciples to reap that which you haven’t worked for. I am the Sower (Matthew 13:3), I have done the work, and you get to reap what I sow. You have entered into My labor.

I have personally experienced His words in this verse. Those who have come to salvation through an encounter with me were prepared in advance by Him. I had very little to do with it — all I had to do was be there. Their hearts were already prepared, sometimes through words the Lord spoke through me, and sometimes entirely apart form me. Therefore, I cannot boast, except in Jesus Christ. Amen!

Verses 39-42 — The first action of the residents of Sychar was to respond to the woman’s testimony about Jesus being the Messiah. They went out to Him. He stayed there two days. And when they heard His words, they no longer needed to rely on the woman’s testimony. They knew Jesus Christ was the One, the Savior of the world. My NAS Bible stops there, I don’t know why they omitted the additional two words in the original Greek — “the Christ.” Those are essential words. No Bible translation is perfect, but the NASB is generally pretty accurate compared with the original texts. They certainly missed this one, though.

Verses 43-45 — Jesus completed His journey to Galilee. He knew and stated in other Gospel accounts that a prophet has no honor in His own country (where He was brought up). Everyone knew Him as the carpenter, the son of Mary and Joseph (Mark 6:3).

So Galilee’s residents welcomed Him, because they had been at the Feast of Passover in Jerusalem (John 2:13) and had seen what He had done — cleansing the Temple, and the miracles that are in the other Gospel accounts.

Verses 46-47 — Jesus went to Cana, where He had done the sign (attesting miracle) of changing water to wine. A royal official approached him. His son was at Capernaum, sick, at the point of death. He begged Jesus to come and heal him.

Verses 48-54 — Jesus replied that the Jews won’t believe He is who He says He is, unless they see signs. They had no faith in His words and His exhortations to repent and believe. They were accepted by them only because of the signs He did. It is still true today. So sad! We won’t bow at His words, but we are wowed by His wonders.

The royal official persisted, even with the rebuke of Jesus. He said, “Sir (not Lord or Rabbi), come!” Heal my child before he dies!

So Jesus said, “Go, your Son lives.” Jesus did not have to be physically present in order to heal and deliver. Time and space do not inhibit God’s ability to act. He can do it from anywhere! I was not healed of the incurable disease MS in a church, but in my living room, in the middle of the night —  just the Lord Jesus Christ and me.

And the man believed Jesus’ words — when Jesus commands, it must be so. So he turned toward home, but his slaves met him and told him his son was living. When did it happen? Exactly at the hour Jesus said, Your Son lives. And the royal official and his whole household believed in Jesus Christ.

This was a second sign. At the end of the Book of John, he tells us that Jesus did so many more signs and wonders that there aren’t enough books in the world to record them all (John 21:25). But the Holy Spirit directed John to use a specific set of miracles in his gospel. Why? John 20:30-31 tells us these have been written so you would believe Jesus is the Christ and would have life as God has it, eternal life.

HIS ENTRY INTO HEARTS

[SW225] 03/19/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“His Entry Into Hearts”

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, when the church celebrates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But He wants you to focus today on His entry into your heart.

Imagine the scene in Jerusalem! The people received Jesus as a king who they thought would free them from Roman rule, but He is a different kind of King who offers a different kind of freedom — complete freedom from sin’s rule in them, and it happens when He enters a human heart.

We all are born with a heart problem called sin, and only Jesus Christ can heal us.

Texts: Psalm 84:5-6, Mark 1:1-8

Psalm 84:5-6  — How blessed is the one whose strength is the Lord, and in whose heart are the highways!

Do you want to be blessed? Or do you want to be called “blessed” by the Lord? There’s a difference.

Do you want the Lord to give you stuff, or do you want to give HIM to others? Freely you have received — His command is “freely give.” (See Matthew 10:8.)

But to freely give, a place must be made for Jesus to make a triumphal entry into your heart.

Then your heart problem will be healed so you will be a blessing to others, just according to Psalm 84:5-6, making valleys of weeping into places of fountains, sources of satisfaction that never dries up.

How does Jesus make a triumphal entry in your heart?

— You must make a highway for Him

How do you make a natural highway?

— Clear trees and brambles and brush

— Cut down hills

— Break up the rocks

— Use the broken rock (gravel) for the base

— Level the highway’s base

— Pave it and mark it

Then you have a highway.

It is the same in your heart and mine. It is a highway of repentance, confession of sin, and forgiveness (Mark 1:1-3, Isaiah 40:4-5) —

— The trees and brambles are the things “not of God” that are in your heart. You know what yours are, just like I knew what mine were.

— The hills are your pride. Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up at the proper time (1Peter 5:6).

— The rocks are the hard places in your heart, where you have not yielded to Jesus.

Confess them to the Lord, repent and ask Him to forgive you.

Then you are ready for the next phase of construction:

— The broken rock (gravel) results when you fall on Him (Matthew 21:44).

— The highway base can then be leveled, because broken rock is easy to smooth and level.

— The final paving and marking is done by prayer; you say, “O Lord, come in!”

Then your heart’s highway is prepared for Jesus Christ to triumphantly enter!
And look at what happens to you!

— You are blessed because you receive Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire (Mark 1:8, Matthew 3:11), and Jesus and the Father come to dwell and rule and reign in you (John 14:23). Your heart problem is healed!

— Because you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you become a blessing — even fountains and springs of satisfaction for others — as you go (for you cannot imagine sitting, or seeking blessing only for yourself!).

— You go from strength to strength (Psalm 84:7), saying with the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

— You appear before God (Psalm 84:7), because your heart is pure and cleansed (Matthew 5:8, Acts 15:9).

— The early rains come and cover you, and the people, with blessings

Why should you care?

— Your heart problem is fatal. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

— Jesus is coming again, and He will look for you to be doing what He has asked all of His church to do (Matthew 24:45-51). You must be ready and at work!

Do not be like the people of Jerusalem who wanted Jesus to come and free them. They were only thinking of their own needs. Prepare the highway and make Jesus King in your heart!

Then He will free you from sin’s rule in you, and make you a blessing for others, because every heart has a problem, and needs His healing, through you.
Make yourself ready! Build a highway! Repent, confess your sin, and ask Jesus to forgive you.

He will surely enter your heart, you will go out and make fountains in places of weeping, and He will find you ready, when He returns.

Now I will pray for your hearts, and for your hurts.

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 3

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

Chapter 3 is so rich with meaning and truth. The whole of the Bible is that way, too. It is like honey from the comb. Come, partake!

Verse 1-2 — Not all Jewish leaders rejected Jesus Christ. Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, and he came to Jesus at night (so no one would see him). He called Jesus Rabbi, which is a title of respect. He said he and others knew that Jesus came from God as a teacher. He was right, but he did not yet see the full purposes of God in sending God the Son.

How did Nicodemus and the others know Jesus came from God? Because of the signs, the attesting miracles, that Jesus did. They could not be done unless Jesus belonged to God. Nicodemus had seen the signs, but he did not yet see the King (Jesus) or the kingdom of God.

Verse 3 — Because Nicodemus did not understand the kingdom, Jesus began to teach him. Truly, truly (literally, Amen, Amen) — anytime you see these words together, pull up close and listen carefully. He’s about to speak a very important truth.

Unless you are born again (literally, born from above), you cannot see the kingdom of God. You are blind to it and cannot enter it.

Imagine the implication of being born from above. It goes back to John 1:12-13. To be born, we must be formed in our mother’s womb. This “born from above” means God must work an extreme degree of change in us. We must be re-formed in God’s image, so we are identifiable as children of God.

We are not born of blood (human means) nor are we born of the will of the flesh (because a man and a wife have relations), but born of God. He becomes our Father, and we become His children. And no one can see the “big picture” of God’s kingdom unless that re-formation has been done. Then our eyes open, just like when a child comes out of its mother’s womb. We see for the first time.

Verse 4 — Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, could not comprehend what Jesus had just said. He responded in terms of natural childbirth.

Verses 5-8 — Truly, truly. Another extremely important truth is about to be spoken. Jesus explained that this is not a natural birth. It is a supernatural, spiritual birth. It involves water (baptism of repentance), and the Spirit (baptism of cleansing of heart, per Acts 15:9). And it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God unless this birth has happened.

That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit. What does that mean? I should have written about this in John 1, but maybe the Lord had a reason for explaining it now rather than then.

I was born of flesh. I was born to my parents, Richard and Jane. I am a mixture of Richard and Jane, having some qualities of each in my physical being. And so, I was born through humans, and was human and nothing more. Now Psalm 139:13 truly says that God knit my physical body in my mother’s womb. Natural life originates from Him, also.

But when I was born from above, I was born of the Spirit, and God put a portion of Himself, of His Spirit, into my innermost being, my heart, my own spirit, the part of me that can’t be weighed or measured.

Nicodemus was amazed when Jesus said he must be born from above, but Jesus told him he should not be amazed.

Those born from above, those born of the Spirit, are like the wind. You hear the wind, but you cannot see the wind itself — just its effects. So you have no idea where it came from. How did wind come to be? We can talk about the jet stream  and fronts and other weather and scientific terms. But where did it originate? We do not know. If we don’t know where it originally came from, we surely can’t know where it is going.

You can hear those born by the Spirit. You see the God works that they do. You see God’s nature in them. But until you are also born by the Spirit, born from above, you do not know where those born by the Spirit came from, and you do not know where they are going. They move around and speak according to the Spirit’s leading. They are no longer children of flesh, but children of God. They are in His kingdom, and His kingdom is in them, because they are born of God, of His Spirit.  Where are they going? To live with Him eternally.

That may sound impossible. But I am here to tell you it is real, and there are many like me who have been born from above, who have a portion of God in us. We were changed, entirely re-formed, when it happened. We saw God the Father for the first time. He opened our eyes.

Verses 9-10 — Nicodemus still didn’t understand. Jesus asked him how he, as THE teacher of Israel — a ruler among teachers, the top teacher — couldn’t understand. After all, as the chief teacher, Nicodemus knew the Tenakh (the Old Testament) like the back of his hand. But he only knew the words. He didn’t understand what God had announced from the beginning. He couldn’t connect the dots to see the prophecies of the kingdom of God.

Verses 11-12 — Truly, truly. Another great truth was about to be spoken by Jesus. He said we (those of the Spirit) speak of what we know (God), and testify of what we have seen (the kingdom of God, which we can now see because we are born from above). But Nicodemus and others do not accept our testimony.

Jesus spoke of natural birth and natural wind, which are earthly things, and compared them to being born again from above and what those born by Spirit are like. Those are heavenly things. Nicodemus did not understand anything that Jesus said, even the earthly comparisons. So how would Nicodemus believe if Jesus told him heavenly things?

He did not understand that Jesus spoke of a total re-formation of humans so that they become something they absolutely could not become on their own. I could not be born naturally without the action of my parents. I cannot be born from above except by the actions of God the Father and His Spirit.

Verse 13 — Jesus told Nicodemus another heavenly thing. At the time He spoke to Nicodemus, He was descended from heaven, sent by God the Father. Jesus called  Himself the Son of Man, because it was necessary for Him to be born by the Holy Spirit’s touch upon Mary, in order to accomplish the mission for which He was sent. The One who would take away sin of the world needed to be born of a human, and yet fully God, sinless and perfect. Only God the Son fit the bill.

Verse 14-15 — Jesus referred to a passage Nicodemus would have been familiar with. Numbers 21 records a plague upon the people of Israel in the wilderness — fiery serpents. The Lord told Moses to quickly make a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole. Whoever gazed intently at the serpent would live. It was an Old Testament symbol (a “type”) of Jesus Christ. When Jesus was lifted up onto a cross, with all mankind’s sin upon Him, He was unclean, like the serpent. But whoever looks intently upon Him and believes, that one will not only live, but will have eternal life.

What is eternal life? It is zoe in Greek, it is life as God has it, and it is in us when we are born from above, by the Holy Spirit. Not only is this eternal life in us when we are born by the Spirit, but it is the promise that death has no victory, death has no sting (1Corinthians 15:55). It is the promise that when our bodies fall away, we simply continue on in the presence of God, forever. Our bodies die, but we do not. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ, that one has this eternal life.

Verse 16-17 — God loved the world so much, He so loved the world which He and His Son created, that He gave His only begotten Son. His Son was given by Him as a gift. We do not need to pay for His Son, we can’t work really hard to become worthy to take this gift. What gift have you ever had to work for? It is a gift, something God holds out to us, and says, “Here. This is for you.”

Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. There are two choices that all humans have. Perish, or have everlasting life. The word “perish” means destruction in a prolonged form, a destruction that does not end, for those who reject God’s gift of His Son. They remain under God’s wrath (John 3:36).

To have everlasting life is to have life as God has it, now and forever. Hallelujah! All fear of death is gone (Hebrews 2:15).

God so loved the world — God is love (1John 4:8, 16). Does the fact that He is love mean God loves sin (willful disobedience)? No, He hates sin (Isaiah 61:8, Jeremiah 44:4). Does the fact that God is love mean God loves that we are sinning? Not at all, but He offers us a solution, out of His love for us.

Do you see the difference? He does not love sin, nor the fact that we are sinning. But OUT OF HIS LOVE  for His creation, He offers us the solution to sin, His Son Jesus Christ.

He offers Jesus as a gift, something we don’t have to work for. He offers His Son, the One who existed in beginning, who was God and was geographically with God.

Why His Son? Jesus Christ is the only One who is qualified to take our past sins upon Himself and create the way for us to become born from above, by the Spirit.

He offers His Son, who rose from the dead and ascended to heaven and was glorified and poured out the Spirit. He offers His Son, who commands believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire, so our hearts are purified, we have power over sin, and we have His unmistakable divine nature in us, because we are filled with His Holy Spirit (2Peter 1:4).

God didn’t send Jesus Christ into the world to judge the world. The words He spoke will judge those who refuse Him. He came so that those in the world may be saved. Saved from what? The willful disobedience that God hates, the sins that humans commit because of it, the sin that results in perishing. The payment (wage) you earn for sinning is death (Romans 6:23). It is eternal destruction.

Verse 18  — You might say, “God is cruel, because He sends people to hell.” But here, Jesus tells us that people send themselves to hell. Everyone has a choice. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you will not face God’s judgment at the end of things. If you do not believe, you have already been judged, because you have refused God’s gift. You have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. You have not believed that He is who He says He is, and that His words are not only true, but the truth above all truths.

Verses 19-21 — Here is how we are judged. The Light, Jesus Christ came into the world. Some men loved the darkness (sin) rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. Everyone who is evil not only rejects but hates the Light. Such ones do not want to come into the Light because their evil deeds will be exposed by His Light.

But if you believe in God the Son and live out what you believe, you come into His Light, and your deeds are seen as God deeds, worked through you by Him. Others can detect God’s Spirit in you.

Verse 22— After Jesus spoke with Nicodemus, He and His disciples went to Judea. He spent time with them. The Apostle John says that He was baptizing (water baptism for repentance and forgiveness of sins), but it was His disciples who actually did the baptizing in water (John 4:2). It  was not yet time for Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Verses 23-25 — John the Baptist wasn’t in prison yet, so he was also baptizing in Aenon, because there was much water there (a hint that he was baptizing by immersion in water).

John the Baptist’s disciples had a discussion with a Jew about purification. And they came to John the Baptist, telling him about Jesus and His disciples, and how He was baptizing (though it was His disciples). And all were coming to Jesus. They wanted to know why someone else was doing the same work, when John the Baptist had been called by the Lord to do it.

Verses 26-29 — John the Baptist said he received his marching orders from heaven. His disciples were his witnesses that he was not the Christ, and that he was sent ahead of the Christ.

Then he spoke of the bride and the bridegroom. He said this bridegroom has arrived for His bride. John the Baptist was the friend of the Bridegroom, whom he is about to identify as Jesus Christ. He stood and heard Jesus Christ. And he rejoiced greatly because he heard the voice of this Bridegroom, so much that his joy was made full. He was filled to overflowing with joy. He had finished his work, preparing the way in hearts for mankind to receive Jesus Christ. (I will not go into an explanation of Jewish wedding customs just now, but John the Baptist referred to them with the words he spoke.)

John the Baptist recognized Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and as the Bridegroom. Who is His bride? The church, which is all believers in Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 19:7).

Verses 30-33 — John the Baptist continued. He (Christ) must increase, but John the Baptist must decrease. He meant that he and his ministry were about to fade into the background, and Christ’s ministry was to be in the forefront. He confirmed Jesus Christ came from above, and is therefore above all. He is God the Son, greater than John the Baptist, who was born from the earth, who was not conceived in his mother’s womb by the Holy Spirit. He speaks from an earthly position, because he did not come from above. The One that comes from heaven is God the Son, and He is above all.

Jesus Christ testified of what He saw and heard in heaven, before He came to earth. He testified of it, but no one received His testimony. They heard it, but they didn’t absorb it into themselves. They rejected it. But John the Baptist received Jesus Christ’s testimony, and he set his seal — he guaranteed — that God is true.

Verse 34-36 — John the Baptist received the Spirit in the Old Testament way. He was baptized for a specific purpose, in a limited way, to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. John the Baptist confirmed that Jesus was sent by God and spoke God’s words and noted that the Spirit remained upon Him in an unlimited way (without measure). God had done a new thing.

John the Baptist confirmed that God the Father loves the God the Son and has poured out and given all things into His hand.

John the Baptist ended his words to his disciples by saying he who believes in Jesus has everlasting life, but he who rejects and does not obey Jesus will not see life, but the wrath of God abides (remains) on him, because he rejects God the Son whom the Father sent.

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 2

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

Verses 1-2 — So there was a wedding on the third day. That would be Tuesday on the Jewish calendar. Why would someone plan a mid-week wedding? We’re going a little deep here. What happened in Genesis 1 on the third day? In Genesis 1:10, on the third day, the Lord spoke and the land and water separated, so there was dry land and bodies of water. And He saw that it was good. And then, on that same third day, He  spoke and vegetation came, and He saw it was good. Two “He saw it was good” statements in one day! That’s a double blessing! So couples often married on Tuesdays, so their marriages would be doubly blessed.

Jesus’ mother was at the wedding, and both Jesus and His disciples were invited. Mary probably was related to the bride and groom in some way. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have done Verses 3-5. It would not have been proper for her to direct such things, unless she was a relative.

Verses 3-4 — They ran out of wine. In Jewish culture, to run out of wine at a party dishonored the family. So Mary, being a relative, said to Jesus, who was also a relative because she was His mother, “They have no wine.”

“Woman, what does that have to do with us?” Calling her “woman” is not derogatory. He is not insulting her, but He may be separating Himself from her motherhood over Him, since His ministry is about to begin.

He said His time had not yet come. What does that mean? Was He saying that it was not yet time for Him to begin doing miracles to show that He was the Son of God? It seems that way, if we go to Verse 11. But He did a miracle, as we will see in a few verses. None of what transpired here was a surprise to Him, as with Nathanael.

But we can go deeper, as usual. We will see, as we go, along that the Holy Spirit inspired John to write of the actual events, but also to hint at the deeper meaning of them.

Who was bringing the new wine of the new covenant (Matthew 9:17)? Whose blood was represented by the wine He shared with His disciples at the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:28)? On the cross, He began the new covenant between God and man (John 3:16 and many other places we’ll review), when His blood was poured out onto the earth. He is the embodiment of new wine, sweet like grape juice, unfermented, and non-alcoholic, pure and clean. But it was not yet time for His crucifixion.

Verse 5 — Mary said to the servants, “Whatever He says, do it.” Great word! Whatever instruction or command Jesus Christ gives you, do it! And God will be revealed and glorified through what happens next.

Verses 6-7 — These stone waterpots contained water combined with ashes of a red heifer, used by the Jews for ritual washing and purification (see Numbers 19:2 and forward). There are a lot of hints of Christ in the ritual described there. For example, He was crucified outside the camp (Jerusalem), and His death provides us with cleansing, if we come to Him. The waterpots were large containers, 20 or 30 gallons each. Think about their size as we continue.

Jesus ordered the servants to fill them to the brim, and they did. I tell you, when He takes you — a jar of clay (2Corinthians 4:7) — and fills you to the brim with His new wine, you will be changed! Oops, I’m giving away what happens next.

Verses 8-9 — Draw some out now, and take it to the headwaiter. So the servants took a sample to him. The headwaiter brought the bridegroom. Why? It had become wine. When did it become wine? When Jesus said, “Draw some out now.”

The servants knew they had drawn wine from clay pots they had filled with water. And they knew when He said, draw some and give it to the headwaiter, it was wine! They knew Jesus had done a miracle. It is impossible to change water to wine. It defies all natural law.

That is how God operates. The Bridegroom (John 3:29) gave the bridegroom new wine. The Bridegroom gives the church (His bride) His new wine.

Verse 10 — The bridegroom came to the headwaiter, who said the good stuff is served first, and the lower quality stuff is served later, when everyone has drunk freely. But look! This wine is excellent! You’ve kept the good wine until now!

Jesus is the good wine. He is the best. It was time for Him to be sent by the Father. And so He tastes better than anything previously experienced (Psalms 34:8, 1Peter 2:3)!

Verses 11-12 — So this was the beginning of the signs Jesus did in Cana and Galilee. And by them, God attested that Jesus is God the Son, and glorified Him by proving that He is God the Son. And as a result, His disciples believed in Him.

Then He went to Capernaum, the city He chose for the center of His ministry (Matthew 9:1).

Verse 13 — It was the Passover, a feast established when death passed over the Jews in Egypt, just prior to their release. Every Jewish man was required to be in Jerusalem for this feast. The place was packed with people.

Verse 14-17 — Jesus cleans house in the Temple. There was business going on there. But His Father’s house was to be a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7), a holy place where such things were not done.

What was the business about? The pilgrims who had come for Passover needed sacrificial animals to offer in the Temple. The Jewish religious ones in the Temple, who sold the animals, cheated those who bought them. The Pilgrims were required to buy them with Temple money. So their Roman money had to be converted to Temple money. The weights and measures were rigged in favor of the Temple. So, if you gave them a dollar, they said it was worth only 50 cents in Temple money. Thus, they robbed the people. Well, that was one way they robbed them.

But they also robbed them of the experience of entering a holy, sacred place and sensing the presence of God. The Father surely was not present as they cheated His people.

Well, Jesus was not “gentle Jesus meek and mild,” as some of us have been taught. His disciples remembered later that it was written of Him in the Old Testament, “Zeal for Your house consumes Me” (Psalm 69:9). He is a righteous judge, and will someday judge the works of those who are His, and the works of those who do evil. You will see it in John 5.

He judged the robbers in this passage. Matthew 21:13 records that He called the Temple a den of robbers. Not only did they rob the people, but they used the Temple to plan their next caper.

I wonder how much robbery takes place in today’s churches, with the sale of trinkets, books, and cool coffee shops just outside their sanctuaries.

Verse 18 — The Jews wanted to know who gave Jesus the authority to cleanse the Temple. Who gave Him authority? The same One who gave Him authority to cleanse your temple (your heart) to make it a place where His Spirit dwells and has full rule and reign. You will see that in John 14. It is God who gives Jesus Christ authority. He is God’s Son.

Verse 19-21 — So, destroy My body, Jesus says, and I will rebuild it in three days. Yes, He did. He rose from the grave three days after He was crucified and placed in a tomb! But the Jews did not understand Him. They thought He meant the Temple, the building in Jerusalem. But the Apostle John makes it clear in Verse 21. He was speaking of the temple of His body.

Verse 22 — So, when Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, the disciples finally understood what He said in Verse 19. And they believed the Scripture (Hosea 6:2 and Isaiah 53:10) and the word Jesus spoke.

Verses 23-25 — So while Jesus was at the Passover, many believed in His name. They believed He was who He said He was. They believed because they saw the signs, the attesting miracles that proved that He is God the Son.

But Jesus did not entrust Himself to them (believe them), because He knew what was in all of mankind (in their hearts). (See Jeremiah 17:10.) He didn’t need anyone to explain man to Him. He Himself knew what was in man, way back from before Adam sinned, way back in beginning, before time was and before the earth was formed. He was the Lamb prepared before the world was founded (Revelation 13:8, King James Version). He knew man inside and out, because He made man. Through Him all things were created, at the command of the Father (Hebrews 1:2).

 

MIRACLES CAUSE REPENTANCE

[SW224] 03/04/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Miracles Cause Repentance”

The purpose of the miracles Jesus Christ did when He walked the earth was to cause people to repent, turning to God. What do you receive when you repent? What happens if you don’t repent?

Texts: Matthew 11:20-30, Matthew 9

In Matthew 11:23, Jesus singled out Capernaum. Why did Jesus tell them they would go down to Hades, and that Sodom would have it easier on the day of judgment than them?

Chorazin and Bethsaida aren’t specifically mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew as Jesus walked the earth, but Matthew 9 records what happened in Capernaum, His own city (Matthew 9:1), his ministry’s base camp.

Amazing miracles were done by Jesus in Capernaum —

Matthew 9:1-8 — A paralytic, brought by his friends, was forgiven of his sin and instantly healed of his paralysis! The crowds were awestruck (struck with the fear of God), and glorified God. That is, they believed this miracle done by Jesus was a “God work,” and praised God for it. They repented, turning to God.

Matthew 9:20-22 — A woman with an issue of blood was healed of her illness when she touched His garment and was saved when she fell down before Jesus to worship and praise Him! She repented, humbling herself and turning to God.

Matthew 9:18, 23-26 — The synagogue official came to Jesus, bowed down before Him in worship, and asked Him to raise his daughter from the dead. And she was raised from the dead! He humbled himself and repented, turning to God.

Matthew 9:27-31 — Two blind men approached Jesus, called Him “son of David,” believing He was the Christ, the Messiah, and believing He could heal them. And Jesus opened their eyes. Then they broadcast everywhere that Jesus had set them free! They repented, honoring Him as the Christ, and turning to God.

Matthew 9:32-33 — Jesus cast out a demon from a deaf and mute man. This had never been done before. Jewish exorcists had to know the name of the demon to cast it out. This man could not speak the name of the demon because he was mute. But that was no problem for God the Son. The crowds were amazed and exclaimed, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!” They repented, honoring Jesus and turning to God

Matthew 9:35 — Jesus went through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness!

BUT, that’s not all that happened in Capernaum —

Matthew 9:3 — When Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Your sins are forgiven,” the scribes, who thought they were wise and intelligent, did not rejoice and praise God. They did not repent and turn to God. They said among themselves, “He blasphemes.” Jesus told them they were thinking evil in their hearts. He knew their thoughts. These had a form of religion, while denying its power (2 Timothy 3:5), and they accused God the Son of blaspheming God the Father.

Matthew 9:10-13 — When Jesus went to sinners to eat, drink and speak the gospel to them, the Pharisees spoke to His disciples and rebuked Him. They did not rejoice that sinners were hearing how they could be reconciled to God and their sins could be forgiven. They did not repent and turn to God.

In response, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for doing only outward religious acts (ritual sacrifices), but lacking compassion. He also accused them of being self-righteous, because they thought they could keep themselves clean by not having contact with sinners.

Matthew 9:34 — After the demon was cast out of the deaf and mute man, the Pharisees were saying that Jesus cast out demons by the ruler of the demons, Satan. They directly blasphemed the Holy Spirit by attributing the Spirit’s work to Satan (Mark 3:29). They did not repent and turn to God.

Matthew 9:36 — Jesus felt compassion for the people, because they were distressed and thrown down and were like sheep without a shepherd. The scribes and Pharisees never set a captive free, as He did.

Matthew 11:18 — Jesus’ accusers said He was a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of sinners! Amen! I am glad He was a friend to me, and forgave me and delivered me from my sin!

And as for John the Baptist, they accused him of having a demon. That was because he called them to repentance.They never repented and turned to God.

The consequences of rejecting Jesus Christ as God the Son:

Matthew 11:20-24 — Denunciation. He defamed His accusers, railed at them, chided them, taunted them, and upbraided them. He rebuked them.

He said if He done these miracles in the pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon, all the people would have repented and turned to God. But His accusers in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum never repented, never praised God, never worshiped Jesus Christ. They never rejoiced to see God’s work. They only questioned and accused Him.

So, it will be more tolerable for those pagan cities on the day of judgment than for His accusers. Why? They should have recognized God’s Son and given Him the praise and honor He deserved. They should have turned away from having a form of religion while denying its power (2Timothy 3:5), and turned toward God.

They will not be exalted to heaven, but will descend into Hades (hell). If wicked Sodom had seen His miracles, they would have turned to God and praised and worshiped Him.

The scribes and Pharisees claimed they knew the Scriptures. So they knew that He was fulfilling every prophecy about the Messiah. But they refused to worship Him.

The blessings for those who repented

Matthew 11:25-30 — Revelation of God the Father and God the Son.

And this was well pleasing in God’s sight, to hide these things from those who think they are wise and intelligent, and reveal them to those who are childlike in believing God. This pleased God immensely!

1Corinthians 1:19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Verse 27 — Intimate knowledge of God, through Jesus Christ.

Verse 28-30 — For those who are weary and heavy-laden with outward forms of religion, and come to Him, besides healing and deliverance:

—  Rest, rest for their souls

— His yoke

— Rest for their souls

— His easy, good and kind yoke,

— His pleasant, light burden

In today’s church, there are those who are outwardly religious, who are wise and intelligent in their own eyes, who always resist the Holy Spirit and persecute God’s messengers (Acts 7:51-52).

They see Spirit-filled believers doing works that only can be attributed to God. And they say, as the Pharisees and scribes did,

“What you are doing is done in the power of the devil.

“You have a demon.

“You blaspheme God.

“Who do you think you are?

“By what authority do you do these things?

“You shouldn’t associate with sinners.

“You are giving people false hope.

“Those things aren’t for today.”

They have an outward form of godliness, but they deny, disavow, reject and even try to negate, the power of God in a human heart and life!

To them, the Lord says, “Repent!

“Turn away from your outward works of religion. Humble yourselves!

“Turn to Me, honor and praise My Father and Me! Rejoice in what I am doing, and I will gladly bless you with a revelation of My Father and Me!”