A Christian Journey

Archive for March, 2015

But Jesus

“This they said to test Him, hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger.”  John 8:6  Amplified

In looking at Jesus humanness this scripture verse jumped out at me because of what He did. There are many unanswered questions about Jesus and this is one of them. What did he write down? Not to be disrespectful, but was this the first doodle?

The Scribes and the Pharisees have asked Him a serious question. They brought to Him a woman caught in adultery, telling Him the law says she should be stoned. Then they ask Him what He thinks about that, what would His sentence be for her. They were trying to trick Him so that they could accuse Him and belittle Him in front of the people. His response is nothing, he does not answer, but stoops down and writes with His finger on the ground. We aren’t told what He writes, but they persisted in asking Him. Finally, He stands up and tells them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The first obvious lesson here is to be careful of accusing others of breaking the law when you have likely done it yourself. We are all sinners saved by grace. The second thing I get from this is to not be so quick to answer. I have learned that over the years when asked something I will often say, let me get back with you. Wisdom dictates we ponder on something before giving a quick answer. Sometimes quick answers cause regret.

No, we don’t know what Jesus wrote on the ground, but He did. I’ve heard it said that when you see in the Bible “but God” or “but Jesus”, to pay attention because it means they are intervening. Jesus stood up for this woman and it changed her life, remember though, that after He defended her He told her to go and sin no more.

Not Welcome

“And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people and cured them.” Mark 6:5   Amplified

As we enter the week before the remembrance of our Lord’s crucifixion we continue to look at His humanity. It’s helpful to me to see Him as completely human, though He was completely divine as well. That’s something our finite minds have trouble wrapping around. For me, to see His humanity is to see how well He understands me. I love my dog but I don’t know what it feels like to be a dog. Jesus knows what it feels like to be a human being.

Our verse today is interesting as it tells of His journey back to Nazareth, His home town. He went to the synagogue He knew so well and was teaching. The people He grew up with listened to Him and asked each other questions about Him. They wondered how He became so knowledgable and wise, wasn’t He a carpenter, wasn’t He the son of Mary, weren’t His brothers and sisters still living there? It says they took offense at Him and were hurt, this hindered them from believing and acknowledging His authority. They were caused to stumble and fall.  Jesus told them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and among his relatives.” Then our verse today states He was not able to do even one work of power. How is it that the Almighty could not overcome their lack of unbelief? I believe that’s where we see His humanity, He let their unbelief hinder Him. How often do we fail to talk to our own family about spiritual things or even witness to them to get saved? Jesus understands how we feel, though He didn’t let them stop Him from witnessing and neither should we. The next verse says He went about the surrounding villages and taught.

It’s sad that His own town didn’t believe, but maybe later some did. I’m sure Jesus was sad at that too, as we are sad that family members are lost. Let us continue to pray for them and those in our sphere of influence and maybe one day those lost ones will open their heart to the Lord.

Peculiarly His Own

“He did not tell them anything without a parable; but privately to His disciples, those who were peculiarly His own, He explained everything fully.”    Mark 4:34  Amplified

Jesus used parables to explain spiritual things because as a human living on earth He understood how the human mind worked. Yes, I know that God knows how our mind works, He created it, but Jesus had an earthly grasp of it.

In our verse today Jesus had just told the crowd the parable of the sower casting seed on the ground. Some seed fell along the path, some on rocky ground, some among thorns and some on good soil. He then explained that the seed sown is the Word and the soil are people. The seed along the path is taken lightly and the devil comes and takes it away. The seed sown on the stony ground, is received and welcomed but then troubles come or they are offended and they fall away. The seed sown among thorns is received but has no root, the worries, cares and pleasures of the world overtake it like weeds and suffocate it. The seed sown on good soil takes root, is received, accepted, welcomed, and bears fruit.

The Bible, the Gospels, God’s Word are not that hard to understand, but you have to WANT to understand. Jesus understands us and will help us when we seek Him for understanding.

Tired As He Was

“And Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down to rest by the well.”  John 4:6a  Amplified

Looking at Jesus humanity is sometimes difficult because He was so led by the spirit. In our verse today, though, His physical body is what we see holding Him to earth.

In Jesus day most people walked if they wanted to go somewhere. The Lord and His group of disciples were moving all around telling others about eternal life. While traveling from Judea to Galilee He went through Samaria and, as our verse tells us, rested near a well.

My focus is not on the conversation He had with the woman there, though this is a story I love. No my focus is on his humanness, his flesh, his body and the earthly effects He felt. The verse says He was tired from His journey. We would all agree that God doesn’t get tired, nor would He have any other earthly feelings.

What this speaks to me is that even though we sometimes get tired from all that we do, even for the Lord, we must always have our eyes, ears and hearts open to minister to others. That’s what Jesus did in this verse. A woman came to the well to get a jar of water, He told her about the living water and she eventually believed He was the Messiah. In fact her whole village was saved! All this was done because he was tired from His journey.

The Spirit will help us in our fleshly tiredness to go on if we seek the Spirit’s help.

Is It Your Time

“Jesus said to her, Dear woman, what is that to you and to Me? My time has not yet come.” John 2:4  Amplified

In continuing our study on Jesus humanity we have the story today of Him turning the water into wine. Now you’ll notice in our verse that He is telling His mother that it was not yet his time. She had told Him that they had run out of wine for the wedding, and He was telling her that it was not time for Him to perform any miracles. When we continue reading this story though, He does perform a miracle after all. So why did He tell her that?

To me we see Jesus humanity here. He knows He will be starting His ministry, being baptized was the first step. I think in His humanity He was hesitant to perform the first miracle, for once He did that then there was no stopping the progression. He knew in his flesh where the progression led, to Calvary, and He may have been trying to put that off, in His flesh.

Mary had to do for Him like a mother bird has to do to her chicks, push them out of the nest. She knew it was time for Him and so she told Him the need they had at this wedding. Turning water into wine is no major miracle, they could have done fine without it, but He had to start somewhere.

Let me be a mother hen to you that read this and try to push you out of the nest. We are often hesitant to take a step toward something we’ve never done, our humanity holds us back. Don’t fear though, God is holding your hand and He will hold you up if you will take that step out of your comfort zone to do something for Him.

Tell The Storm About Your God

“Then Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted, tested, and tried by the devil.”  Matthew 4:1  Amplified

As we continue to look at Jesus humanness we see that after His baptism He was led into the wilderness to be tempted, tested, and tried by the devil. Wait, what? The Holy Spirit led Him to be tested, tempted, and tried? We don’t like to think of the Holy Spirit or God leading us into temptation, at least I don’t. I think of Him protecting me and saving me from temptation, testing, and trials. In Mark 1:12 it says the Holy Spirit drove Him out into the wilderness. Even in the Lords prayer Jesus told His disciples to pray that the Lord lead them NOT into temptation because He understood it was hard to handle.

To me, this is the best example of Jesus humanness. He was alone, hungry, thirsty and being tested, tempted, and tried by the devil. Have you ever been alone, hungry and tested, tempted, and tried by the devil? Of course you have and so have I. The key to this, to me, is how Jesus overcame this time in his humanity. He used the most powerful weapon on earth that we are given, the Word. Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power, making it active, operative, energizing, and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life and the immortal spirit, and of joints, marrow (the deepest parts of our nature), exposing, sifting, analyzing, and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” That’s a very long verse but such a powerful one.

God uses our testing, trials and temptations to strengthen us, not defeat us, but we must follow Jesus example. Whenever the devil tried to get Jesus to weaken, He fought him with the word. The first temptation was regarding Jesus hunger when satan told Him that if He was hungry to turn the stones into bread. Now Jesus could have done that, but He was strengthening Himself through denial. He replied with scripture, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Deuteronomy 8:3. Jesus is explaining to us that there is physical bread and there is spiritual bread, and the latter is more needful.

In the next trial satan said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God (he always tries to make us doubt), throw yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” So we see here the devil trying to counter with scripture himself. That speaks to me about being careful when doing battle with someone over what the Word says. We must be wary of that as people have a tendency to make the Word say what they want it to say. Jesus again quoted from Deuteronomy (6:16) saying, “You shall not tempt, test, or try the Lord your God.”

Lastly, the devil took Jesus up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and said to Him, “All these things I will give to You, if You will bow down and worship me.” Surely satan knew Jesus, as part of the Trinity, had created everything so it was already His, so why did he ask Him that? Remember, we’re talking about Jesus in His humanity, I suppose in His “weakened state” maybe the devil thought Jesus was more vulnerable. That speaks to me of my vulnerability in my flesh, and to stay strong keeping my eyes focused on God.

Jesus replied to old slewfoot by telling him, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.” Deuteronomy 6:13.

It’s wonderful to know scripture, but you may feel it’s hard to memorize, but you can always write them down and read them, I highly recommend that. When temptations, trials and testings come read the Word out loud, it will strengthen you and defeat the devil.

In Matthew 4:11 we’re told that after this the devil departed and angels came and ministered to Him. Doesn’t that sound wonderful, you can defeat the devil too, try it.

He Sets The Example

“But John protested strenuously, having in mind to prevent Him, saying, It is I who have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”   Matthew 3:14  Amplified

As we continue to look at Jesus’ humanity, our verse today is about His baptism. Now surely we would all agree, as John spoke in this verse, that Jesus should be doing the baptizing. Why would the Son of God need to be baptized by man? Jesus replied to John by saying that it was fitting for both of them to perform completely whatever was right. What did Jesus mean by that?

We could surmise Jesus was saying that because He was in human form and to show us what should be done, He would do it as well.

Jesus sets the example for us throughout the gospels. We will have a life of joy and peace, even in adversity, if we will follow His example in every area of our life.