Jesus said, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40, so we start our journey of giving God time to work in us, by praying along with one of my favourite hymns … El Shaddai by Graham Kendrick at this link …
A). Highlighting the division… (i). Those AGAINST Jesus…
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
A). Highlighting the division… (ii). Those FOR Jesus…
21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
B). (i). The ‘charge’ in the form of a challenge made to Jesus by the religious leaders at Hanukkah – (at the Festival of Light – which is held in what we call December.)
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
B (ii). Jesus’ reply…
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Note that others cannot take us out of the Father’s Hand – simply because He is greater than all. BUT – we ourselves can choose to go back, like Judas for money, or very nearly like Peter out of cowardice, and returning to what St Peter calls, ‘dog’s vomit’, in 2 Peter 2, see Proverbs 26:11; (ie our former lifestyle).
C (i). The religious leaders’ reaction to Jesus…
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him,
C (ii). Jesus’ response…
32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
C (iii). The religious leaders try to justify murderous intent…
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
C. (iv). Jesus’ uses Psalm 82:6 by way of reply…
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
C.(v). Jesus turns His back on them and walks away…
39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptising in the early days. There he stayed…
C.(vi). Result? Yet more followers!
(41) and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.”
(42) And in that place, many believed in Jesus. (Message)
Note 1). V. 40 Jesus had his disciples take over from John the Baptist, by immersing those who trusted in Him. (The literal Greek is ‘immersing’. Baptism is not a translation but just using Greek.)
Note 2). V. 41 Jesus couldn’t do much to help due to their lack of faith here.
Note 3). v.42 “And in that place, many believed in Jesus”.
Who is Jesus? ‘Who is Jesus?’ Jesus said, “I and the Father are One”, v.30.
V. 40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptising in the early days. There he stayed…
Have you followed the most elementary step which Jesus had exemplified in Himself to get His disciples to follow precisely – by receiving Immersion Baptism that follows on from turning to God. The Greek baptizing literally means immersing.
Prayer and Worship
“… He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Matthew 14:23.
Jesus taught His disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’; (Luke 11).
Listen here to Albert Malotte’s ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever;- Amen.
- The world. (ie ‘For those in authority.’)
- The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates
- Your own situation. (Suggest ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’.)
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