John 15 English Standard Version (ESV)
I Am the True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant[b] does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
The Hatred of the World
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,[c] but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
Greeting the Faithful: grace and peace be multiplied
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Fruitful Growth in the Faith: giving all diligence
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter’s Approaching Death: witnessing the Lord Jesus Christ to the end
12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
The Trustworthy Prophetic Word: eye witnesses of His majesty
16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
(2 Peter 1 New King James Version (NKJV))
In the end days, many old guards are passing away. There is an urgency in making disciples. Today’s word is “make disciples“!
Bible verse are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV) (Boldness added.)
The first time the word disciple was mentioned in the Bible is in the following verse: Discipleship is closely linked to the word of God. The master is a teacher and practitioner of God’s words. The disciples are those who are taught God’s words and practice them.
Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples.
We read from the book of Matthew how Jesus and His disciples interacted: He called them and they followed. They came to Him and take orders from Him. He taught them in words and in practice of God’s words.
Matthew 4:18-19 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 5:1 [ The Beatitudes ] And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
Matthew 8:23 [ Wind and Wave Obey Jesus ] Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.
Jesus revealed to His disciples what God was interested in. God wanted souls to be saved. Jesus not only sent out His disciples He told them to pray for more workers for God’s harvest.
Matthew 9:36-3836 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Jesus gave His authority and power to the disciples so that they could practice what He had taught them. All they needed to do was to do what Jesus had authorized them.
Matthew 10:1 [ The Twelve Apostles ] And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power overunclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Matthew 10:24 “A discipleis not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
Jesus Himself continued putting into practice what He taught His disciples. He showed them how urgent and important the matter of bringing people into the kingdom of God was.
Matthew 11:1 [ John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus ] Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.
Jesus treated the disciples as His own close relatives.
Matthew 12:49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!
Jesus showed His disciples how His power could be used to override physical natural law and elements, such as supernaturally multiplying food when needed and walking on water as though walking on solid ground.
Matthew 14:19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
Matthew 14:26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
Jesus taught the disciples how to follow Him effectively and successfully. The key was to leave oneself behind and take on a new identity as a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), joined to Him, one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17). He told them that it was a privilege to be called and chosen as only few could make it. By being His disciples they could partake all that He is. He will be victorious and is giving them all. (Ephesians 1:3)
Matthew 16:24 [ Take Up the Cross and Follow Him ] Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” 17 Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, Matthew 26:19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. Matthew 26:26-27 26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
Jesus also taught the disciples one essential key to continue their connection to Him. Prayer overcomes the physical realm and its limitation. Prayer is a spiritual weapon and enables human being to break through the physical barrier and enter into the presence of God, who is Spirit. (John 4:23-24) The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of intercession and empowers those who pray. (Romans 8:26-27)
26: 40-41 40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Jesus made sure the disciples knew He is risen and rejoice in witnessing His resurrection. Knowing our God is alive and ever living makes us want to worship Him and witness for Him.
Matthew 28:7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
Matthew 28:9 [ The Women Worship the Risen Lord ] And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
Last word from Jesus to the disciples: They too must make disciples of all nations. This command is for us too. We too, have the calling and sending from Jesus, His Spirit, the authority of His name, and His words. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations for Jesus Christ!
Matthew 28:18-2018 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Jesus stated that knowing God and Jesus is eternal life. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. ” (John 17:3) Knowing God is indeed good news. Putting on the armor of God is about knowing God.
The second piece of the armor of God is the breastplate of righteousness. We read some Bible verses to see God and His righteousness, so that we know what to put on to stand against the spiritual enemies. God is righteous. God loves righteousness. God gives His people righteousness. Righteousness is a good news together with salvation! Righteousness and salvation are given to all who believe in Jesus. “…the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” (Romans 3:22)
Bible verses (boldness of verses are added by this blogger)
In the beginning, righteousness by faith in God: The testimony of Abraham.
Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
God knows men cannot attain the righteousness of God by their own effort:
4 Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the Lord.
Psalm 11:7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.
Psalm 24:4-6 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah.
(The above psalm is confirmed by Jesus’ teaching on “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” in Matthew 6:33)
The righteousness of God is good news as it comes with salvation. We are to proclaim this good news !
Psalm 40:8-10 8 I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.” 9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
Psalm 48:10 As is Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness. Psalm 71:15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them. Psalm 98:2 The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
Good news and bad news at the end of the present world: (at the return of Jesus Christ)
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Note: in another blog post, find more verses on how to put on the breastplate righteousness : http://citizenheaven.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/the-whole-armor-of-the-healed-righteousness/
At this late hour it may be a bit late for some Christians to learn to worship and praise God in spirit and in truth, just as the Lord Jesus has said God wants us to do.
This watchman used to think that way. However, after being filled with the Holy Spirit , this foremost ministry to God for each individual has come supernaturally. In the presence of the Lord , praise and sing in the spirit is effortless.
Often the songs come and flow like the gentle breeze or the flowing stream. Sometimes they become rapid and powerful like strong wind blowing or the urgent marching of footsteps.
Words from the Bible come too. Sometimes in the midst of worship. Sometimes at the end of it. Often they appear in the songs sung in the spirit.
Songs are interspersed with prayers as the Holy Spirit leads.
Worship in spirit is indeed a full time lifestyle. The New Creation lifestyle. A heavenly citizen lifestyle.
The book of Revelation clearly shows this. Worshiping the everlasting God is a forevermore lifestyle.
Today we read 1 Samuel 7. (NKJV). See how an intercessor led the nation to victory : repent, return to God, put away idols, pour out before God, fast and pray. Sacrifice.
Samuel Judges Israel
2 So it was that the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.
3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths [a] from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, [b] and served the LORD only.
5 And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” 6 So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the LORD. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.
7 Now when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”
9 And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. Then Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him. 10 Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, [c] saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 Then the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines. Also there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 He went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places. 17 But he always returned to Ramah, for his home was there. There he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.
Tenacity and courage are the marks of a true disciple. A disciple is in the world but not of the world. He has become different from his past and from the world.
A previous cowardly and fearful person has become courageous and bold, ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit. A former doubting and wavering person has become a man or woman of faith. A former uneducated and untrained working man or housewife has become full of wisdom and understanding in matters of God, preaching the Word of God without fear of man.
Let us read some passages from the New Testament Scripture for some examples of ‘boldness‘ of those saved and followed the Lord.
1. They witness with their lives: they become living proof of Jesus. Others (even the enemies) can see.
2. They pray effective prayer: God answers and grants them their request.
3. They have the power of hope: Jesus – the hope of glory in them.
4. They have faith: courage and boldness in the faith -in Christ Jesus Himself.
5. they live before God: made possible by the blood of Jesus.
6. They focus on one goal: speak the Word of God, made possible by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
7. They are like Jesus (as He is, so are the disciples) in this world, made possible by the perfect love of God.
HERE IS LOVE.
Jesus spoke of the poor. Poverty today is defined in the physical secular terms as “a denial of choices and opportunities for living a tolerable life.” But what does Jesus say? We read the words spoken by Jesus today to understand in our spirit what the Holy Spirit is speaking to each of us.
God blesses the poor super-abundantly. They are more prepared to receive what God gives in the spiritual realm. Their hearts are good soil for the Good News.
Matthew 5:3 [ The Beatitudes ] “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Matthew 11:5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.
Luke 7:22 Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.
Luke 4:17-19 …“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
Can social or religious humanitarian, political ideology/agenda and humanistic technology and modernization programs permanently eradicate economic ad social inequality, the root of poverty? The answer is no. Thousands of years had passed since human existed on earth. Poverty lasted, just as Jesus had declared.
Mark 14:7 You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.
What does Jesus expect us to do anyway? Both the poor and the rich are required to give, even when it appears we receive no earthy reward in the giving.
Mark 10:21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Mark 12:43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. Mark 12:44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Luke 11:40-42 40 Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? 41 So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over. 42 “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
Luke 14:12-14 12 Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. 13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”
Luke 14:21 “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’
Matthew 25:40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Matthew 12:18 “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
Matthew 11:10 For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’
Matthew 13:3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.
Luke 13:32 And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’
Matthew 20:18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death,
Matthew 21:5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
Luke 22:10 And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters.
Luke 22:21 But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table.
Matthew 10:16 [ Persecutions Are Coming ] “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
My born again favorite verses:
Galatians 2 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 5:16-17 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT)
(following verses in NKJV)
Philippians 4: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Romans 5: 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
I am led in my spirit to quote chapter 20 of John instead of continuing with Matthew today. Here is the account of what happened that day when Jesus was raised from the dead. who were the eye witnesses and how they each responded. Note the contrasts between one woman and the other disciples. Some were still walking by sight and seeing the physical. But one woman saw differently. She persisted in her belief and saw Jesus! However, our God is merciful. No matter how you have responded before, today, by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name !
New Living Translation (NLT) (The boldness of letters were added by this blogger)
20 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. 6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. 8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— 9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
16 “Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Purpose of the Book
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
The watchman celebrates a special day today (born on this day, many years ago when times were simpler, no means of communication across oceans except books and letters in prints. telephone and telegraphs were rare and only in emergency).
The Redeemed’s Revelation today: Who is the King of Glory? See the King of Glory! welcome the King of Glory! When the religious adults were still in doubt and questioning the Kingly authority of Jesus, the Son of God, the children were seeing and praising God. They accepted Jesus as Jesus truly is, the King of Glory, the Messiah, the Savior, as prophesied!
(All verse were quoted in NLT Bible unless otherwise specified; boldness added by this blogger))
7 Open up, ancient gates!
Open up, ancient doors,
and let the King of glory enter.
8 Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty;
the Lord, invincible in battle.
9 Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors,
and let the King of glory enter.
10 Who is the King of glory?
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies—
he is the King of glory. Interlude
9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,
“Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Praise God in highest heaven!”
10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked…
15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”
But the leaders were indignant. 16 They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”
“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” (‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’ NKJV)
23 When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”
…Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. 32 For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins…
42 Then Jesus asked them, “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.’
43 I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will produce the proper fruit. 44 Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.”
45 When the leading priests and Pharisees heard this parable, they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers.
The key word is “Transfiguration”. To us it is “transformation”. We need transformation by the renewing of our mind. The Lord Holy Spirit makes us more and more like Jesus. Take note how God’s glory prepares us to face persecution, even overcoming death as His resurrection power gives life to our mortal bodies!
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us …can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 4:7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, … that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
Matthew 17 (Partially quoted here; boldness added by this blogger. Please read the whole chapter yourself)
1 Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. 2 As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
4 Peter exclaimed, …
5 But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” 6 The disciples were terrified…
7 Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” …
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son…16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
17 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! …18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
22 After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. 23 He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” And the disciples were filled with grief.