Archive for month: November, 2016
Continuing our series Pattern of a Disciple, the third disciple I want to visit someone that followed Jesus every day, this person, was head and shoulders above the others because she knew what was going on and the others had no clue. It was only after His death, burial and resurrection, that the others had a clue. The three times that we see Mary of Bethany in Scripture she is always, always, doing the right thing.
Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead,[a] whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept[c] this for the day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
If we look at the same story in, Matthew 26:8-9, we learn that many of the disciples asked why the ointment wasn’t sold. One thing I want to point out is that she extravagantly gave to Jesus because the value of the ointment was one year’s wages and that was the amount of the Deniro.
You worked for a whole year in order to earn this amount of money and generally that is what an average person would earn. But here is the thing, she saved for three years, we learn that Jesus said, “…she kept this for my burial.” So all of that time, for at least three years, Mary understood who Jesus was and she kept saving so she could anoint Him for His burial. Did she know that Jesus was going to be executed?
Now, this is what I want you to understand because those that know God will do two of the things that Mary did; first, they will give extravagantly because she gave up her savings to ointment Him for His call and purpose.
Secondly, she understood the time that she was living and standing in and she was able to use her resources to bless and to move with God, instead of the other disciples who sat back scratching their heads saying, look at how she is spending all of her money.
Think about what set her apart? She knew God; she knew Jesus and she understood the time she was in.
Let me tell you that a woman in that culture and living in that society was really kept in the background of things, but she saved her money quietly and she anointed Jesus.
In Matthew 26, Jesus told the other disciples that what Mary was doing was all about Him, yet they looked at Mary as being wasteful.
Jesus told them that it is all about Him because they will always have the poor with them until the day He returns, but they would not always have Him. Again, what was Mary’s focus on? Her entire focus was on Jesus.
Continuing our series Pattern of a Disciple, the second disciple I want to revisit is John the Baptist.
With John the first thing we see about him is that his ministry is in the wilderness and people walked five miles to listen to him preach a message. He wore camel skin clothing with a leather belt and he has no love for the world or for the things in the world. John has left the world and is living off the land. He is completely void of any worldly things or ambitions.
The second thing is that he sought no glory or acceptance from mankind. He gave whatever God had given to him and he did not care whether those listening accepted his message or whether they loved or liked him at all.
John simply spoke the Word that God had given to him.
When you turn things around and need approval or acceptance from mankind, then God cannot use you as the instrument that He needs you to be for Him.
John spoke some harsh words. Today many of those words are taboo in the church. The words; repent, rebuke, challenge, change, you’re wrong, get it right, are all through the Bible.
John did not seek approval or glory from man and he was ok with being alone in the wilderness and not having a ministry team by his side.
When Jesus was asked who was the greatest in the kingdom of God – he said John the Baptist was the greatest of all born of a woman.
Let me ask you, what made John the Baptist greatest in the kingdom? He did not do any miracles? Look at Moses, he parted the Red Sea and Josaphat killed the invading armies and Joshua took over the Promise Land, yet Jesus said that John was the greatest in the kingdom born of a woman till that time.
Let me tell you that miracles are done by God through man but a chase, humble, spirit is done when you and I make the right decisions and that is what is great in the kingdom of heaven. This is what made John the Baptist great in the kingdom. God can make a donkey speak and He can part the Red Seam, because it is His power, but the power of your will to push away from the world along with the glory of man in order to serve and do what God is calling you to do, that is the decision John the Baptist made.
John was great because he did not seek glory.
Over the next few articles, we are going to study a few of the disciples, and see how they lived their life.
Each of the disciples lives were patterned toward the return of Jesus in their lifetime. In case of Christ’s return, they wanted to be found thinking and doing the will of the father.
Unfortunately, the life that we are called to as Christians has changed in the last forty years. It has become more like joining a club, than having a relationship with Jesus and doing his will. Read more
When Jesus is asked in Matthew 24 about what will be the signs of Your coming and the end of the world. He lays out a very elaborate, chronological and methodical picture of what things would be like before He returns. We read in, Verse 31, that part of this is the “…abomination that maketh desolate.” This particular verse where they set up the abomination and they take away the daily sacrifice is wedged right into Matthew 24 and we know that great tribulation begins after this. Read more