Chapter 2 Print
Jesus Christ the Son of God
I would love to give a brilliant account about the life and work of Jesus Christ but I could not do it better than the Bible. The order that the first four books of the New Testament were written was Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. These four books about Jesus Christ in the New Testament contain an account of his brilliance, candour, love of humanity, courage to face the onslaught of the enemy Satan/devil/Lucifer, love to face the people and bring Salvation to even the people who cry against him.
There is no love greater than the love of God and Jesus Christ the Son of God brought that love from God into humanity and loved us as mankind can love each other and as God loves us.
Having said that this chapter on Jesus is not going to be a treatise on the life of Jesus Christ the Son of God but a few examples of his life and works in relation to us.
Jesus Steps Out in Faith
When Jesus was around thirty years old, he went to see John the Baptist to be baptized by him in the river Jordan. John was preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven was coming soon, and when Jesus arrived John recognized him, (they were cousins), but John also knew of the greatness of Jesus. John baptize Jesus and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus (like a dove), and a voice came from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
God was pleased with Jesus because of the life he had led, as a good Jew, in following the laws of his religion. But many Jews did that and they did not elicit an open comment from God. Jesus was not only law abiding but he was also probably righteous; he lived life in love and charity with his neighbours, as well as following the laws. But we can see in Ecclesiastes that God treats everyone the same; that is, the righteous and the unrighteous are all blessed by God. So I do not think that God commended Jesus for being righteous. I think that God was pleased with Jesus because of the compassion he felt for the oppressive situation that his fellow Jews lived under; that compassion was so great that he decided to do something to mitigate the effect of the oppression.
The Jews themselves knew that God would send them a leader, the Messiah, and they waited in expectation of his coming. Politically, the Jews were in the grip of Roman "protection" or occupation. The Romans had power over many countries at that time, annexing country after country into the Roman Empire. For example, at the time of Jesus, Rome ruled the whole of the Mediterranean world, either directly or by influence over the native rulers, who became "client kings" of Rome. The Holy Land became a Roman protectorate in 63BC.
By 37BC, Herod-the-First, became the sole client King, but on his death (in 4BC) he divided the area up between three "client kings", Archelaus, Herod Antipas and Philip, and these three kings were nominally in charge of the country, as client kings for Rome, when Jesus was alive. Taxes were collected from the people for Rome and also for the client kings. The Jewish people lived by Roman rule but were allowed to adhere to their own religion.
The Jewish nation was looking for the Messiah who would be a warrior king, just like King David. That is, a man whose connection to God was such that his prayers would be answered. They wanted the Messiah's prayers to reflect their prayers, and that was to be free of all foreign oppression.
The chance of Israel uniting under one of the client kings was negligible, so the Jews were looking for the Messiah to be one unifying leader to bring them back to the glorious days when King David's army fought and conquered their enemies. Jesus was a disappointment to them because they were feeling the oppression of being taxed and ruled by the foreign power of Roman authority
From the ministry of Jesus Christ, we can see the philosophy that Jesus lived by. He must have seen the oppression of the Jewish nation by the Romans, but he, and his parents before him, had been born during Roman occupation, and he lived, despite the confines of the Roman Empire, as a Jew. What Jesus was upset with was the cruelty that Jewish people with power inflicted on the poor or unhealthy in society. I can see that he empathized with the majority of the population of Israel who were the people in poverty, struggling to survive in an oppressed country, and also struggling to be good Jews in a situation where temple officials and religious leaders blocked the pathway to heaven through the temple.
Jesus knew the scriptures in thorough detail, and was eagerly listened to by people from all walks of life. When he taught the people, even the scribes and Pharisees would go to listen to him. But religious leaders taught that people should follow all the laws of Moses plus the other laws made up since the time of Moses. Jesus taught only the laws of Moses (five hundred of them); and the greatest being the ten commandments, and even these Jesus could paraphrase into "Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart and with all they soul and with all they mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matt: 22:37-40) Jesus simplified the pathway to heaven so that people could simply follow two great commandments. He also treated people to a glimpse of many attributes of God through his life and teaching, plus deliverance and healing.
We go back to Jesus again and we left him at his baptism by John the Baptist and God's pronouncement over him. The first thing that Jesus Christ did after the baptism was to go off on his own into the wilderness for a period of time. It must have been a time of intense clarification of his knowledge of God, and God's relationship to His people. It must have been a time when he figured out what he, as an individual, could do to help the poor and afflicted in society. Jesus knew the danger of becoming noticed in a world of oppression. He had to be brave enough to face the Romans, plus the kings of Israel and the temple officials and religious leaders. These were the people with power. But Jesus contained and directed his anger to the religious leaders. It still led to his death, but he did get time in his life to display the love of God to his beloved people.
Jesus Christ is tempted by the devil
During his time in the wilderness, Jesus was tempted by the devil. The devil must have been listening to the conflict that Jesus had been going through, between Jesus the man, (who wanted to live), and Jesus the Son of God (who wanted to help the poor and needy back to a right relationship with God.) The devil must have heard Jesus asking for God's help to do the work of bringing the lost people back to God. And as usual, the devil steps in with his conditional help and said, "I can help you!" "And when the tempter came to him, he said in Matthew 4:3-4 (3) If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Jesus replied with a quote from Deuteronomy 8:3. (4) "It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
The devil must have watched Jesus with some trepidation, knowing that it would take all his cunning to entrap this man. He must have worked out that Jesus would be happy simply to feed everyone, and he taunted Jesus with doubt that he was the Son of God, urging him to prove his Holy status by changing stones into bread. Jesus knew that his status as the Son of God was between him and God, and he did not have to prove it to anybody, including the devil. The devil confused Jesus' desire for the fundamental requirements of life, (normally bread), with what Jesus wanted for the people, which was the bread of heaven. The bread of heaven being the spiritual filling of their body with the certainty of the word and the everlasting love of God. Jesus saw the people as lost and being lead astray, they needed guidance to eternal life. Jesus already knew that God provides food, as he had done to the children of Israel in the desert when Moses led them out of Egypt. Jesus rebuked the devil by quoting scripture to him.
Then the devil tempted Jesus Christ the second time
Luke 4:5-8 (5) And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (6) And the devil said unto him, "All this power will I give thee and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will, I give it. (7) If thou wilt worship me, all shall be thine." (8) And Jesus answered (with a quote from Exodus) and said unto him, "Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
Had the devil heard Jesus wrestling with the knowledge that he had to stand up and tell the people about the Kingdom of Heaven, and that they probably would not believe him? Jesus knew that people respected and listened to people with power. Jesus also knew that he had neither status nor riches that would show his authority. But Jesus did know that he had the power of the Holy Spirit in him and he had the attributes of God available for his use in his ministry because he had heard God at his baptism. Jesus had to decide to believe and act on the word of God.
The devil offered to supply what he thought Jesus needed, and that was earthly authority and power plus wealth. All Jesus had to do was to bow down to Satan. Jesus knew that such a gift and action would make him a slave to Satan, and Jesus also knew that he should only worship and serve God. The devil worked hard to try to attract Jesus Christ the Son of God to work for him.
Jesus Christ is tempted by the devil a third time
After that rebuke from Jesus, the devil decided to taunt him again. In Luke 4: 9-12 it says: (9) And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: (10) For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: (11) And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." (12) And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." (Again a quote from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:16)
Again the devil was getting Jesus to question if he was the Son of God, and cunningly wanted Jesus to either prove it or destroy himself in the fall. Either way, the devil would have won because he would have succeeded in getting Jesus to do what he wanted, (even if the angels did catch him,) or Jesus would have died if they had not.
Jesus knew that we should not tempt the Lord God. We can read Job and Jonah in the Old Testament and note that God takes a little time to get here; so jumping off anything into an abyss is stupid.
It is a good job Jesus knew his scripture. These tricks of the devil must have worked on many good people. Jesus rebuked the devil each time by referring him to the scripture. He did not enter into a discussion with the devil; he simply quoted what he knew about God and the devil was defeated.
Jesus had not accepted any power from the devil. He knew he needed power and he accepted it from God Almighty, the power coming to him through the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not limit the power of the Holy Spirit. He did try to keep it exclusively for the Jewish nation, but his mind was changed when he encountered the heart-felt love and compassion Gentiles had for each other, and their desire to know God Almighty. Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit is God's gift to humanity, and God is not limited to race, creed, colour, affluence, poverty, or language; God loves everybody. Jesus eventually accepted his God-filled status, and also loves everybody and that includes you and me.
After this time, Jesus returned to Galilee, and people realized that he was special. He taught in the Synagogue and everyone praised him. When he got to Nazareth, his home town, he went to the Synagogue on the Sabbath day and got up to read the book of the prophet Esaias. In Isaiah 61:1&2, he found the place where it said "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Jesus then closed the book and said, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
This statement was an indication of what he felt his ministry to be. During his time on earth he did all of these things and it seems to me that he did even more than that.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
What would it mean to have the Spirit of God upon any of us? We would suddenly become changed in a mighty way. The anointing by God does come to us, but we might hide it in the belief that the world will punish us for letting our difference show. When God anoints anybody, they will always be different. They can then make the choice to live in, and up to, the promises of God towards mankind and towards heaven. God does not limit his power to accommodate mankind. It is mankind's will power that can facilitate the limiting of God's power within a person. (In this, mankind is encouraged by Satan.) Jesus Christ accepted God's power, subjugating his misgivings, fears and doubts, when he conquered Satan in the wilderness.
Jesus then went back to his hometown to announce his new status as the one who had been anointed by God. In accepting this new status, Jesus Christ accepted being God like, and he exhibited the attributes of God that confirmed that God Almighty is the God of Love.
The love and compassion God feels for us is without bounds, and I know this because Jesus exhibited this in his lifetime. It is not a hypothetical theory; it is a living fact born out by the teaching and healing ministry and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus was anointed by God and accepted the anointing with courage and fortitude. Jesus accepted himself to be Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Heal the Broken hearted
The world, even today, is crowded with people living in oppressed situations, but they are not the broken hearted unless they have given up hope. It is unbelievable how people can live utterly desperate lives yet, because they have hope, they can face each new day.
I presume, in the time of Jesus, the broken hearted in the world were that way because their eternal future was denied them. The struggle to stay in a right relationship with God was dependant on following the ten commandments and the first of these was broken when they had to bow to the Roman Caesar, because he was dubbed as a God. It was further thwarted because the Pharisees and Sadducees had a difference in their concept of heaven. The Sadducees did not believe in life after death and resurrection. The Scribes and the Pharisees seemed to confuse what heaven would be like for everyone and they were not happy at the prospect of the poor living in heaven with them. Jesus said of them in Matthew 23:13 "But woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."
Jesus Christ made the pathway to heaven available to all. He did not think well of religious officials that confused the people. When he came out of the wilderness, he began teaching in the Synagogue. When the crowd got big enough, he taught people wherever they could congregate.
He collected disciples around him and taught them about the righteousness of the ordinary people who endured hardship but valiantly stood for what was right. He said "Blessed are ...the poor in spirit; ...those that mourn; ...the meek; ...those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; ...the people who are merciful; ...the pure in heart; ...the peacemakers; ...and the ones who are persecuted for righteousness sake." All of these people have a place in heaven and are blessed by God. Both the poor and the rich could be all of these things and be in a right relationship with God. It did not depend on anything that money could buy. Once Jesus clarified this fact there was, and is, no going back to the confused state where only the rich knew how to be blessed by God, and get to heaven when they died. Jesus gave people hope, and their hearts could no longer be broken.
Preach deliverance to the captives
The captives were not specifically those in prison, (although they might be captives,) they are people who are made captive by Satan/devil/Lucifer. And once the devil has got hold of someone, it takes someone with more power to move him on. Because Jesus Christ triumphed over Satan in the wilderness and knew that his life from the beginning to end was without the influence of Satan, i.e. sin free, he claims the authority of God to move this evil of Satan, out of people and their lives.
Captivity by Satan comes in many forms, physically, psychologically, socially, and in Governments, to name a few. As we note in Luke 4:6, (And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it) Satan/devil had a free rein upon the earth, but Jesus brought Satan's control of the earth to an end. Jesus could do this because he was without sin in his life. Jesus cast out all demons from individuals and released the people to be God's holy people.
In the deliverance ministry of Jesus Christ, we too can do our part in casting out demons in the name of God Almighty, Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Holy Spirit, so that the people are no longer captives of Satan. It is in the name of God in Jesus Christ the Son of God that we command Satan and his hordes of demons to move. We are not victorious in ourselves when we say the words to move demons out; it is Jesus the anointed Son of God who is victorious. (We have to be careful to leave this ministry to Jesus Christ and be his servants, because the devil is close and will try to trick us into thinking that we ourselves are powerful. The devil will try to trick us in a similar way that he tried to trick Jesus in the wilderness.)
Recovery of sight to the blind
This can be taken in two ways. The first way could be that people would, through Jesus Christ, be able to see the pathway to heaven, and they would thereby be able to keep their sights on the Lord.
The other way is the literal sense where Jesus Christ heals the blind. Jesus did that too. In fact Jesus Christ the Son of God healed people of all kinds of illness. God said "I am the Lord that healeth you." (Exodus 15:26) and Jesus lived up to the Spirit of God-filled promise in his body, when he reached out and healed the sick.
The New Testament tells of twenty-six specific healings and indicates that Jesus Christ the Son of God did hundreds more. Jesus healed the blind, the dumb, the possessed of demons, the lame, the deaf, those who were paralyzed, and even raised the dead, and did many other sorts of healings. Jesus was not limited in his healing ministry. He healed people who were with him and those who were miles away from him.
Jesus said that whatever we bind on earth is bound in Heaven, and whatever we loose on earth is loosed in heaven. So whatever sickness Jesus bound to stop its progress is bound in heaven, and by the Spirit of God the people are no longer afflicted by it. The Holy Spirit goes everywhere in earth and heaven, and distance does not complicate the healing by the Holy Spirit. The same with a loosing prayer, with the Holy Spirit distance does not matter and it is loosed on earth and in heaven and can be facilitated over distance. So when Jesus loosed prayers of healing (over distance) he had faith that the Holy Spirit would complete what he requested. Jesus opened our eyes to the practical relationship that God has with us all, we are no longer blind to that relationship.
Set at liberty those who are bruised
This is victory over all afflictions, physical, spiritual, social and societal. To be bound down with worry and responsibility is debilitating.
One of the men Jesus healed was paralysed. Jesus said to him. "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee." Subsequently, after an altercation with the Pharisees and teachers of the law, Jesus also said to the paralysed man, "Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thine house." Both commands Jesus used do not include healing of the body, but the man did get healed.
People talk about being paralysed with fear. Who knows what stopped this man from moving, but Jesus was aware that it was fear of sins committed that was binding the man, causing him to be paralysed and not move at all. Jesus set him at liberty.
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord
Jesus Christ the Son of God taught people about the Kingdom of Heaven. People get caught up today in concepts of the end of the world and it was similar in the time of Jesus. We are trying to work out what is going to happen to us at the end of our life. When we die, heaven is also an unknown that people want to know about, so Jesus described heaven as paradise. In Luke 23:43 Jesus says to the two men who are crucified next to him: "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Jesus, the anointed Son of God, made a powerful impact on the world by living the attributes of God: love, compassion, mercy and truth, (to name a few.) He did not hurt the people in any way. As a Shepherd, he was good to his sheep (the people) and was indeed the Good Shepherd. He used only a stick, not a sword, to fight off evil, his stick being the word of God. He did not back down when he came face to face with evil. He "used" God to defeat the face of evil but he did not destroy it. Destruction is the devil's tool of control, and Jesus did not play the devil's games.
In Deuteronomy 7:10 it says of God
"And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face."
It is obvious that in God's time all of the beings that hate God will be repaid by God in the way that will be decided by God. Jesus knew this and he did not interfere with God's wisdom and timing.
Jesus built a new way of life for all people who want to follow him. This new life requires courage and endurance in all the goodness of mankind. Evil is always there to actively block the good in mankind and society, and Jesus taught us to counteract the evil with more and more goodness, kindness, beauty. Look around at God's creation and you can see beauty, from the minuscule to the massive. God has made everything beautiful. Jesus made his interaction with the people in whom he could see God, beautiful. There were no harsh words for the people who looked to God. Jesus healed all the sick, the mute spoke, the crippled were made well, the lame walked, and the blind saw, leprosy was cured, the deaf were healed to hear, the dead were raised, the demented were made sane and the maimed were made whole. Jesus protected the weak in society, opposing the oppressors when necessary, yet he did not destroy them. At one time his followers wanted Jesus to call down the wrath of heaven upon the people that opposed him, but Jesus refused such an action. Jesus showed in his life that God is indeed the God of Love.
The secret of Eternal Life
The life of Jesus Christ is an example of the way we should approach organized Religion. We should do all the requirements of a righteous and religious life but we should not worship the religious life as if it holds the secret to eternal life. We each and every one of us hold the secret of eternal life in our own hands when we choose, using our own free will, how we want to live and what our relationship with God will be. What organized religion does is indicate to us what kind of behaviour is acceptable to God. When we study it we find that, as St Paul put it, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" so Jesus Christ the Son of God died for our sins and by accepting Jesus into our heart, and his sacrifice for our sins, we are cleansed to be able to stand before God with Jesus Christ the Son of God. The clergy are paid to study the Bible and to bring the information to us in an easy to manage form. It is our responsibility to use the information wisely.
Our faith in God is dependant upon our knowing God and we cannot know what the best relationship we can have with God is unless we take the time to learn about God. Many people are looking for God. They embrace all kinds of religions, Eastern, Western, from the North and from the South. They make up their own religion, which are sometimes based on old religions, and call it collectively New Age Religion. People worship land, trees, sky and planets and everything that God has created. They are looking for God in God's creation.
The secret of eternal life that is worth living, is to live life here on earth in a righteous way so that we are worthy of being in the presence of God and other people of righteousness. In Proverbs 12:28 it says "In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death."
The Power of Christianity
We in the west frequently ignore the religion of the local Christian Churches. They are spurned because the general thought is that Eastern religion offers supernatural power and Christianity doesn't. They are so wrong. Christianity has power beyond belief. We are sent out by Jesus Christ to heal the sick, cleanse the leper, cast out demons; pray to God; bless food and drink and also houses; not to worry about anything; to pray for what we want and to keep the faith so that even mountains (problems) are moved; to be gracious to the needy; to preach the gospel (but not be stupid about it, i.e. wipe your feet of the dirt when exiting a town that has not received the gospel, that is leave them to their own fate); tread on serpents and scorpions (fallen angels and demons); have power over unclean spirits; raise the dead. There has never been anyone in the history of the whole world that could do all the things that Jesus did and it is even better than that. Jesus said that we as his followers would be able to do greater things than he did because he goes to the Father, and from heaven Jesus will help us do the mighty works that are even greater than he did.
Not only is Jesus powerful but in his name we are powerful too. All this came about because Jesus learnt about God and was obedient to His word. We are able to be as Jesus was because Jesus put into place his sacrifice of his body as a sacrifice for the remission of sins of the whole world, and through his sacrifice we are made clean of sins and are thereby fit to stand before God in Jesus name, and request for miracles and get them to happen. It is because of Jesus Christ the Son of God that God looks at us and takes our request seriously. Without the sign that we prayed to be cleared of our own sin in Jesus name we would not be able to stand before God unless we are actually sinless (as babies). It is Jesus who brings us there to request our miracle from God. (Serious sin cleansing is in chapter 16.)
Jesus knew the scriptures and was able to glean from them a very thorough knowledge of God, but also by living his religion in his life he found a path of stepping-stones to faith in God. Jesus took the promises of God seriously. Jesus knew that God Almighty the creator of everything has all the power, and if we also believe in God and pray believing that we already have our request granted as an automatic gift from God, then whatever we believe we get.
Miracles and Jesus Christ from God
When Mary wanted her son Jesus to help out at the wedding feast because they were running out of wine Mary called her son over, told him what the problem was, and then instructed the servants to simply do whatever Jesus told them to do. Now I don't know about you but no matter how special my Mum thought I was I am sure that she would not have expected me to perform a miracle. Jesus must have performed miracles in her presence before. Mary told Jesus the problem and walked away and left him believing that he would solve it. Now days I suspect he would have used his credit card for the money, but Jesus used his credit card with God. He lived a righteous life, performing all the requirements that his religion expected of him, and he knew that he was right with God. God was ready to grant any request that Jesus asked for. Jesus asked for water to be made into wine and God granted his request. Just as God had sweetened the water at Marah as set out in Exodus 15:23-25 when Moses had asked for it and believed that God would do it.
There are miracles in the Old Testament that indicate that God's faithful servants have control of water. Moses divided the Red Sea so that the children of Israel could cross and not be captured by Pharaoh's army. The water at Marah was sweetened through Moses' prayer to God so that the Children of Israel could drink. At Rephidim and in the Desert of Zin Moses struck the rock and water poured out for the people to drink. The River Jordon is stopped and the children of Israel pass over dry-shod. The River Jordon, near Jericho, is divided by Elijah and later by Elisha and they pass over to the other side. Jesus Christ, as God's faithful servant continued this tradition when he changed water into wine at Cana, stilled the tempest of the Lake of Galilee, and walked on the Sea.
In the Old Testament prophets raised the dead. Elijah raised the widow's son from death at Zarephath. Elisha raised the Shunammites son from death. In the New Testament of Jesus Christ, Jesus raised the dead. He raised Lazarus, his friend in Bethany, even though he had been dead for a few days. He raised the widow's son (who was about to be buried,) and he raised Jairus' daughter from death.
In the Old Testament it can be seen that God in fact can control food supply and will do it when asked by a good and righteous servant. Moses asked for food and they got Manna sent daily except on the Sabbath day of each week. The widow of Zeraphath's meal and oil were increased when Elijah prayed for it to happen. Elisha has a similar problem with a destitute widow sharing what she had and his prayers multiplied her oil. Elisha also prayed and cured a deadly pottage to make it fit and palatable to eat. And he prayed and twenty loaves of bread fed a hundred men until they were well fed. In the New Testament of Jesus Christ the Son of God, Jesus fed four thousand people on seven loaves of bread and a few fishes, not only that but he had seven baskets of food collected from the scraps. And again Jesus fed five thousand people with five barley loaves and two small fishes, he blessed the food and then distributed it and everyone ate until they were full. This time the fragments of food left over filled twelve baskets.
Jesus accepted that God is all powerful and said "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be open to you" Jesus believed and followed his belief by his actions
In the Old Testament it is known that prayers for healing are answered. When Miriam (Aaron's sister) is struck by leprosy, Moses shouts at God to "Heal her now, O God I beseech thee" and she is healed, (although it did take seven days.) Jesus also healed lepers. Ten lepers came and asked to be healed and Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priest (who were the authority that could proclaim the sick, cured) and as they journeyed they were cleansed of leprosy. (Again it took a period of time for the skin to change and to show the healing.)
Jesus went around the countryside healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness. We do not know the exact number of people who were healed through Jesus. Most of the people were ordinary people and were mentioned as part of the "many." To the writer of the Gospel of St Luke the fact that ten lepers were healed was not remarkable but that one returned to give thanks, that was remarkable, also that Jesus told the one healed leper that his faith had made him whole, as a way of explaining how healing works.
King David prayed for what he wanted and never relinquished his zest for life. He prayed earnestly whether it was a need or a thank-you prayer, or that the Holy Spirit would stay with him. He had a very full prayer life, as the psalms of David showed. Jesus Christ also had a very full prayer life and the Bible says that he often went off on his own to pray. Jesus also taught others how to pray, for example "The Lord's Prayer." Jesus always blessed food and told his disciples to bless a house or place when they enter it. Spoken prayer is our relationship with God, as Jesus put it in Matt 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened". In the healing ministry of Jesus Christ the Son of God on earth today our part is the praying. King David and Jesus have a lot to teach us about prayer.
Parables are used in the Old Testament as a sort of prophecy intermixed with comparison. Nathan used a parable of a "Poor man's ewe lamb,' to open King David's eyes to what he had done by taking another man's wife and having the husband killed. Another example of a parable in the Old Testament is in Isaiah. Under the parable of the vineyard God excuses his severe judgement on covetousness, lasciviousness, impiety, and injustice.
Jesus uses parables, that is: natural things are spoken of but the instruction conveyed is spiritual.
When Jesus was asked by his disciples why he taught the people in parables, Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 6:9-10). Jesus replied (Matthew 13:11-15) "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
A parable is pleasant to listen to as a story, yet if we think about the parable and how it pertains to life and eternal life we get a lot of very direct information from it.
Jesus himself explained some of the parables to his disciples. One can be found in Matthew 13. There is the parable of the sower of seeds who sowed seed and it fell by the wayside and was eaten by birds (v4) and is explained in verse 19 as the seeds of knowledge were sown by God but the people did not understand so the "wicked one" came along and took away that which was sown in the hearers hearts. In verse 5 Jesus said that some seed fell in stony places and began to grow but because they could not be sustained by a root system they withered and died and Jesus explained that in verses 20-21; the seed of knowledge in stony places is heard and received but the hearer does not have any root knowledge and when the lesson learnt is put to the test they lack understanding and they give up even though they know that what they have heard is good. (That is why we go to Church, to learn more about God and His heavenly kingdom.) In verse 7 it says that some seeds fell among thorns and were choked by them and Jesus explained in verse 22 that the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word so that it is no longer spoken of and told. But some seeds fall on good ground (in verse 8) and brings forth 100, 30, 20 fold. In verse 23 Jesus explained that the person that received the seed on good ground and understood it, and he bought forth fruit in that he told others about it. One simple little story was able to be a very deep and practical lesson.
The great thing about a parable is that it is an interesting story that becomes a puzzle to be solved so we do not forget them as easily. Jesus told around forty parables that are quoted in the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark and St. Luke.
The life of Jesus is told in the New Testament and the telling of his life is much more that I could ever describe in this short chapter. Read about Jesus Christ the Son of God in the Bible and believe in him and his work (as our Lord, Saviour and Redeemer) and you will reap the benefits of a loving relationship with God.
Jesus Christ the Son of God
The greatest gift to mankind that Jesus gave was his life. That was the whole of his life from birth to death. The creation of Jesus Christ the Son of God came about through God's desire to recreate a new Adam. A man without sin. All of humanity is descended from Adam, the first man created by God. God's original wish for mankind through Adam the first man was thwarted by the devil, but it was fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ the second Adam. Jesus was born from a virgin and not from any of the generational seed of Adam. God created Jesus in the Virgin Mary's womb. At his birth Jesus came as the Son of God to earth and lived an exemplary life from birth to death, so that in the innocence of Jesus Christ the devil was defeated. Jesus then rose from the dead bringing certain knowledge that there is life after death and the devil could no longer confuse mankind with that fear of everlasting darkness.
The devil claimed victory over mankind when he tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God and therefore sin. From then on mankind was so longer pure before God since we all are born into the sin of Adam because he is the prototype of mankind.
Jesus Christ the Son of God (the new Adam) lived a life without sin. He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, but he still did not sin. His greatest triumph was in fact the crucifixion where yet again he kept his mouth from sinning, He did not sin with his lips even though the devil expected to win as Jesus was sorely afflicted with whatever pain and suffering the devil could get people to do to him, even to death on the cross, Jesus still did not sin.
With the death and resurrection of Jesus we get a new Adam, a new firstborn of creation. The rules that the devil lived by meant that he could afflict all creation because of the sin of Adam. Now by the same rules Jesus could save all creation that are born again into a relationship with Jesus Christ himself. We can ask Jesus into our heart. We can pray to be cleansed of all our passed sins and can then choose to walk forward in the goodness and righteousness that is God's desire for all mankind. Now we can choose between sin and death with the devil, or goodness and life eternal with the resurrected Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God Almighty. Jesus came to save us from sin and death.
When we talk about being born again it is simply asking Jesus into our life and heart. It is so easy to come to Jesus Christ because he loves us all as God loves us all. Jesus and God are ready to forgive us for all our sins when we ask it of them. Jesus Christ will come into our heart, if we ask him to, and with him in our heart the old Adam of sin is ousted and the new Adam of Jesus Christ the Son of God is then present in our heart. The devil then no longer has the right to be in our life, it does not stop the devil from visiting but with Jesus in our heart we can use our free will to move the devil out. The devil's tenacious grip on our life has been loosened by Jesus Christ, and we can choose to move the devil out. If we keep the devil out of our life we need to choose to do good in our relationships with ourselves, others, the society and the world, (the word righteousness is an easy word for that.) When we are born again in Jesus Christ we can move forward, in our life, in the way that does not cause us to feel separate from God and ourselves. With Jesus Christ the Son of God in our heart God will help us. As Ezekiel says in Ezekiel 36:26-27
A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Our born again life with Jesus allows us to enter into the Kingdom of God, through those gates at our death. When we come to judgment Jesus will be able to say Yes I know this person, I have been with him/her in life. Our relationship with the resurrected Jesus Christ brings us directly into a closer relationship with God in life and in death.
The name Jesus or Jesus Christ always refers to Jesus Christ the Son of God.
The synonymous names of the devil are Satan, devil, and Lucifer and all three names refer to the one evil being.
Copyright © Cheryl Shepherd - Canada