Digging The Word

"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure." PSALM 119:162

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jesus Passion For Reverence

Does your worship honor God?


John 2:12-16  After the wedding He went to Capernaum for a few days with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples.  13  It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem.

14  In the Temple area He saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; He also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money.  15  Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers' coins over the floor, and turned over their tables.

16  Then, going over to the people who sold doves, He told them, "Get these things out of here. Stop turning My Father's house into a marketplace!"

17  Then His disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: "Passion for God's house will consume Me."  18  But the Jewish leaders demanded, "What are You doing? If God gave You authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it."

In the previous post Jesus revealed his glory at a wedding. He changed pots that had just been filled with water into the best wine without even touching the pots. Jesus glory was revealed in this miracle yet the guys that were directly involved in the miracle didn't get it. Jesus left that ceremony with his mother, his brothers and his disciples but the servants didn't go.

Three things that show us that Jesus is God:


✔  Jesus passion for reverence, John 2:13-17
✔  Jesus power of resurrection, John 2:18-22
✔  Jesus perception of reality, John 2:23-25

-John MacArthur "Jesus Displays His Deity"
Jesus made the 85 mile trip from Capernaum to Jerusalem to attend the first Passover during his three and a half years of public ministry. Since there were so many people that wanted to be in Jerusalem to celebrate, his 30 plus hour walk must have been with a mob of people.

When the thousands of people reached Jerusalem they needed to exchange their foreign money for the currency used at the temple and they needed to have an animal for their sacrifice. The religious leaders saw the need as an opportunity to make a load of money.

It would be next to impossible to focus on having a time of worship in that crowd. I think that it would look more like a noisy flea market with sellers trying to get you over to their booth and then there would be the noise and smell of all of those animals. And you think its difficult to worship when a baby cries in church.

This story may not look like a miracle to you but can you imagine the possibility of one man armed with a makeshift whip forcing that many people out of the temple? The crowd or the temple police or even the Roman authorities didn't do anything to stop Jesus.

Sincere Worship

Romans 12:1  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.
Almost all of Jesus miracles were prompted by love and compassion for people but in this miracles Jesus passion for his Father's house is the motivation for this miracle. Jesus never tolerates irreverence toward God. The Old Testament prophets told us that the Messiah would be passionate about cleaning up the temple. The Jews expected the Messiah to come and attack the Gentiles but instead, the Messiah came and attacked them.

The things that break God the Father's heart are the same things that break Jesus' heart. If we are close to God then the same things will break our heart as well. How well do you tolerate insincere worship? Do you sing lyrics to worship songs without any thought to what you are singing?

God's greatest joy is when his people are praising him with sincere, repentant hearts and our greatest joy in life should be to bring joy to the one who made us and gave us the riches of heaven as our inheritance. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unbelieving Waterboys

The servants knew where the wine came from but they didn't believe.


John 2:1-12  The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there,  2  and Jesus and His disciples were also invited to the celebration.  3  The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus' mother told Him, "They have no more wine."

4  "Dear woman, that's not our problem," Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."

5  But His mother told the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."

6  Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.  7  Jesus told the servants, "Fill the jars with water." When the jars had been filled,  8  He said, "Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies." So the servants followed His instructions.

9  When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over.  10  "A host always serves the best wine first," he said. "Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!"

11  This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed His glory. And His disciples believed in Him. 12  After the wedding He went to Capernaum for a few days with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples.

Jesus told his disciples that there would be greater proof of who he is and now it's just a few days later and they are getting to see it. (John 1:50) Jesus has spent 30 years in private with his family and now the time has come to step out into public ministry. He has recently gained a few disciples and now his first miracle that initiates his public ministry is about to happen with his family present.

Wedding were a big deal back then and it is a major embarrassment to run out of wine. This is the biggest social event that they had and it was a chance to forget about how hard life is and have a good time. It's interesting that Jesus ministry was different from that of John Baptist, "who came neither eating nor drinking," Jesus was involved in the everyday events of life. (Matthew 11:18-19)

Mary is concerned about the potential embarrassment and she knows that Jesus has the power to fix the problem. However she doesn't push Jesus in a corner and try and force him to do it. She makes him aware of the problem and then tells the servants to do anything that he asks them to do.

Imagine being a servant in this home and you are probably tired from working this week long wedding event and now Jesus asks you to fill some water pots that total over one hundred and fifty gallons. You probably groan as you think about the extra work that you are forced to do.

Now imagine being told immediately to dip some of the water out and take it to the head waiter, allowing him to have a sample and finding out that the water that you put in those pots was no longer water. You are standing there as the man announces that the best wine has been saved for last. What would your reaction be?

Help Me Believe

Mark 9:24  The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"
The purpose of miracles to to reveal God's glory to us and help us believe in Jesus. It is too bad that when the supernatural is revealed to us we don't always see it. There were two different reactions to Jesus first miracle.

Everybody remembers that the miracle helped the disciples grow in their belief in Jesus. That fact is documented at the end of the story but what about the guys that were up front and close to the miracle?

The guys that were directly involved, the ones that did everything as Jesus told them, that knew that Jesus didn't even touch those water jars and they knew that there wasn't anything deceitful going on. The scripture states that they knew (John 2:9) without question that the water was changed into wine. They just walked away and pretended that nothing happened.

Miracles can be so difficult to see. It wasn't just this group of servants, almost everybody in Jesus hometown missed out, and there was the crowd that was mourning the death of Jairus' daughter that actually laughed at Jesus. (Matthew 9:24-25, 13:54-58)

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. – C S Lewis

We can be just as blind to the miracles in our own lives. Every day of our lives are filled with miracles great and small that are a result of God's love for us. Some of them are everyday things that we just expect with little thought about why they happen. Some of them are big things that we prayed for and yet when they happen we just don't think about where it came from.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord so that I can see you at work everyday!
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stairway To Heaven

Jesus gives us access to God.


John 1:45-51  Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, "We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth."

46  "Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" "Come and see for yourself," Philip replied.

47  As they approached, Jesus said, "Now here is a genuine son of Israel--a man of complete integrity."

48  "How do You know about me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, "I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you."

49  Then Nathanael exclaimed, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God--the King of Israel!"

50  Jesus asked him, "Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this."

51  Then He said, "I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the One who is the stairway between heaven and earth. "

We have seen in the first chapter of the book of John a great amount of proof that Jesus is God, the testimony of John the Baptist, the testimony of God when Jesus was baptized, and the testimony of the first disciples should be considered if you are investigating who Jesus is.

As we saw in the previous post, Andrew couldn't wait to go and tell his brother Simon about Jesus, Philip had the same reaction and went to find Nathanael and invite him to "come and see" Jesus for himself.

As they approached, Jesus gave some information about Nathanael that he couldn't have possibly known, Nathanael was convinced very quickly that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God that they have been waiting for.

John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Nathanael was right to call Jesus his king but he didn't realize that his kingdom is not of this world. Jesus told his disciples that they will see greater proof in the days ahead that he is the Son of God. They are going to witness some amazing events in the next three years that will solidify their faith and make them sure of Jesus. Just wait until they see how much he loves them!

Romans 5:1-2 ESV  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Jesus changed everything, his work on the cross gives us access to God, like a ladder connecting earth to heaven, he made it possible for us to come to God. My relationship with God is changed, I don't need to go to a priest and I don't need to offer a sacrifice, I have peace with God for eternity. I get to live each day knowing that I am loved beyond measure and I know that I have access to God. (John 14:2-3, Hebrews 4:16)

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 

I have access to the riches of heaven, not only for my eternal future, but as a resource for daily living. I should live each day with strength and confidence that this world doesn't offer. I need to show them Jesus and invite them to "Come and See" for themselves.

Thank you Lord for giving me access to heaven!
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