Jesus Walks on Water (Journey 29)

Jesus takes an extensive tour in this journey. He first travels from a mountain near Bethsaida to Bethsaida near Capernaum, before heading over to Capernaum – and his tour may have likely went on further from here. We are reading in Mark 6:47-52; Matthew 14:24-33; John 6:16-21.

The Disciples were sent on a boat while Jesus escaped the multitude, to which, the Disciples on the boat again encountered a storm. The boat was off course and hard to row; however, Jesus came to His Disciples by walking on the water.

They were quite fearful and unsure what to say. Peter replies and says if it is really Him, then have him come to Him. Jesus told him to come, and when he did, he walked on the water to go to Jesus, but when the wind blew, Peter was fearful and sank crying to the Lord for help.

Jesus saved Peter, and wondered why their faith again failed them in a state of crisis. They saw His Power in feeding the 5,000; therefore, why did they not know His Power was still available to them.

What can we learn from this?

When Jesus goes to lead us, we need to listen. In Peter’s case here, the natural man gave in and did not listen to the spiritual man on the inside. We must have contact with the spiritual man to understand spiritual things. We must fully trust the Lord, for He makes the difference!

Gennesaret Welcomed Jesus

We are reading here in Mark 6:53-56; Matthew 14:34-36, as Jesus is welcomed into Gennesaret. They come to land South of Capernaum at the plain of Gennesaret. The sick are brought from everywhere and by simply touching His clothes, they are healed. He travels about in this part of the country, ending up at Capernaum.

What can we learn: No matter how far off course we may be blown, we will always be in a place where the Lord can work to help us and help others. We must depend upon the Lord, because He is our source of strength.

Events leading to Jesus’ Anointing (Journey 20)

Part 3: Jesus chastises three cities

Before Jesus is anointed, He deals with the behavior of three different cities. We are reading in Matthew 11:20-30, where Jesus has journeyed to other parts of Galilee at this time.

The Galilean towns of Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Capernaum were places where Jesus did much of His Work; however, some other cities were more immoral, such as Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom.

Because such cities witness the Ministry of Christ, but deliberately rejected Him, they would suffer more severe judgment than the Gentile towns that have not heard of Him or witnessed His Ministry.

Great privilege brings great responsibility, to which failure brings a greater judgment.

People refused to come to Christ and repent of their sins, because they were too comfortable in life and in their pride. However, many who were helpless turned to Christ, because they needed someone to help in their deepest needs, and through Him then came a New Relationship with God!

True refreshment is found in learning from Jesus and obeying His Teachings, to which, they found True Life!

What can we learn from this?

We must continue to come to Christ for rest for our souls, obey Him, and repent for our sins—which brings us into greater relationship with God. It is important for people to continue to come to Christ, refusing their vain pursuits, because their souls need saved from hell.

It may require self-denial, but it is completely rewarding in the end. Idolatry needs to end in any of our lives, because God is the only One on the throne and the only One worth worshiping!

We are given three commands:

  • Come unto me…
  • Take my yoke upon you…
  • Learn of me…

There are four things He said of Himself:

  1. I will give you rest
  2. I am meek and lowly in heart
  3. My yoke is easy
  4. My burden is light

Part 4: Jesus is anointed by a sinful woman in the House of Simon the Pharisee

We are beginning to see Jesus’ miracles on a more significant scale. We are reading now in Luke 7:36-50. As a whole, a Pharisee called Simon invites Jesus to eat with him. An immoral woman of the city anoints Jesus’ feet, weeps, and wipes His feet with her hair. Jesus exposes Simon’s self-righteousness and declares the woman’s sins be forgiven her, thus provoking inner questionings among the guests.

As most Pharisees were, Simon kept the Laws as well of holiness, and he thought of God as being more pleased with him than the outcasts (like tax collectors and prostitutes).

He was surprised that Jesus would allow a prostitute to wash His Feet, and in his view, Jesus did not have Divine Knowledge as He said He did. Otherwise, Jesus would know what kind of person this woman was, and would not allow her to touch Him.

Jesus knew the thoughts of Simon, therefore, He told a story that would contrast his attitude with the woman’s, to which, Simon would never come to Jesus needing forgiveness. He had no reason to feel any love or gratitude for Jesus; however, the woman had heard Jesus’ message of forgiveness and was sorry for her sins so much that she came in trusting in His forgiving love for people. She showed her loving gratitude in the most meaningful way that she could.

What can we learn from this?

Jesus purchased the most gracious gift: Forgiveness, and provides it to all who ask. No matter whom you are, what you are, etc., you are welcome to Christ’s forgiveness by humbly coming unto Him!

Let us not let the spirit of the Pharisee come upon us; rather, we only rejoice in Christ and are prepared to obey Him.

The Two Messengers from John the Baptist (Journey 20)

We begin in part two of Journey 20, where two messengers are sent to Jesus from John the Baptist. We read of this in Matthew 11:2-19; Luke 7:18-35, where Jesus is still around Galilee. John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth born about six months before Christ was.

Being in prison, John the Baptist didn’t know much about Jesus’ Ministry, which, likely upset him. Some reports he thought to be inaccurate, and some reports made John ponder if Jesus was really the Messiah he foretold.

However, Jesus sent word to him that He was ministering relief to the oppressed, which was foretold of Jesus the Messiah in the Old Testament. Of course, this was not the typical Messiah; one to bring political victories as the old messiahs would of the Old Times. Jesus, therefore, promised a special blessing for those who understood His Ministry and did not lose heart.

To prevent people from speaking harsh of John, because of the questioning, Jesus remarked many things of John the Baptist:

  • He was great
  • Was not weak in character
  • Was not uncertain of himself
  • Was not easily swayed by people’s opinions
  • Did not seek comfort
  • Did not seek prestige, power, awards, etc.
  • He was a Prophet as many of the Prophets who endured hardship
  • A man of endurance.

Nonetheless, John was the last and greatest predecessor Prophet before the Messiah; however, because he belonged to that era, he is less blessed than the humblest believer that enters the Messiah’s Kingdom.

In preparing the way for the Messiah and the entrance of the Kingdom of God, John was the “Elijah” of whom the Prophet Malachi spoke of (Malachi 4:5).

Those that believed and obeyed the preaching of John were pleased to hear Jesus’ remarks of him; however, the religious leaders that hated John couldn’t care less, to which, they were just even angrier.

Jesus turns His attention to the people of His day, to which, they are as many children playing in the streets with no cares. A lively wedding game or a slower funeral game would not be satisfying. The Jews were like such children, who criticized John, because he followed strict rules about food and drink, and lived as a hermit would in the desert.

After that, they criticized Jesus, because He had no rules on food and drink, and would honestly and proudly associate with disreputable people in their regions. However, God had a purpose in sending John and Jesus in their separate callings and styles. God’s Wisdom did have proof in the changed lives of those who accepted their messages.

What can we learn from this?

The Messiah’s “political victories” that He was supposed to have were not physical, Earthly victories; rather, they were Kingdom of God victories, ones that won souls for the Kingdom of God. This is His Ministry to be understood of helping people pass from death to Life, sin to Righteousness, darkness to Light, etc. He also asked John to trust Him, and we should be doing the same in trusting Him!

In addition, when people make remarks about us, persecute us, etc., Jesus will be there to defend us and call us what we truly are, to which, we are Righteous in Him! The multitudes are unconcerned about what happens to their souls; however, we must attend to God’s Word and build up our souls, so that we can help save those that are dying!

Unbelief is all around us, and there are plenty of people to save. Those who believe in Christ, their faith will be found to be praiseworthy of honor and glory to God—which is a sweet-smelling savor to God!

The Widow’s Son WAS raised from the dead (Journey 20)

We begin in part 1 on Journey 20 (out of 3 parts), to which Jesus is journeying from Capernaum to Nain, and then goes to other parts of Galilee. We are reading in Luke 7:11-18.

The town of Nain was a humble, small village north of Capernaum that has a beautiful view across the plain to Carmel and over the Nazareth hills past Tabor. Even the white peak of Hermon can be seen glistening in the sun! The village was once prosperous, but fell economically, and is now a wee hamlet.

Jesus went into a city called Nain. Many of His Disciples and many people went with Him. They met a funeral procession and Jesus raised a widow’s son to life. Fear came upon everyone and the rumor that a great Prophet was risen up among them went forth throughout all Judea and roundabout.

In the town just north of Capernaum called Nain, Jesus helps a widow’s son to life again. In this case, He did not do it on a request, but He went Himself, because He felt pity for this woman.

With her husband and her only son dead, she was possibly to deal with hardship and poverty for the rest of her life, and therefore, Jesus stopped the funeral and resurrected her son back to her!

What can we learn from this?

Here is one proof that Christ has power over death in the raising of the widow’s son. The Gospel call to all people, especially younger ones or lost ones, is to arise from the dead (the deadness of your sins) and come to life in Jesus Christ! He will give you Life and Life more abundantly!

If we’re ever in any chance to bring someone to Christ who we know or might know that is spiritually dead, we should try so, because Christ is able to work through us at any time to bring people from death to life!

It is important that we do so that we can help people have life and have it more abundantly. It is our duty as Christians to bring people from darkness into His Marvelous Light through the Power of Jesus Christ and His Will!

Servant of a Centurion Healed (Journey 19)

Jesus has journeyed now through Capernaum and Galilee several times; however, after leaving the mountain, He decides to stop back at Capernaum. We read in the Bible in Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10.

Note: A “centurion” was a Roman officer commander of a hundred soldiers, similar to “captain” in our modern days.

As Jesus was back in Capernaum, a Roman centurion asks Jesus to heal one of his servants that was dying (of palsy and tormenting). Jesus agreed to heal him; however, the centurion was unsure to have Jesus at his house, for he operated in a system of authority where he simply gave commands and it was done.

Therefore, he did not want Jesus to feel like this officer was commanding him. However, Jesus carried the authority of God and needed to say only the word, and the servant would be healed.

Jesus even saw the Roman’s faith, which was more than the Jews were. He used this very incident to warn the Jews that many of them would be left out of God’s Kingdom; however, Gentiles from countries everywhere scattered would be included, because of their faith.

What can we learn from this?

Just as this centurion concerned himself with his servant’s wellbeing, we should concern ourselves for our children and helpers, especially if they are physically or spiritually sick. We should be bringing them to Christ by faith and prayer, and observe the Lord’s Grace over them as He helps them.

Note the way that the centurion pleads to Christ, as if he is serving Christ as his Master, to which, we should be the same way in pleading unto God is that He is our Master. Many people will attempt to command the Lord to do this and to do that, as if we’re masters of Him; however, this is not the case, for He is our Master!

We do what He says to do. If we want to command healing over someone, we do it by the direction of the Master, not the direction of us. It comes down vertically from above, not from below to above. We may send our prayers up there, but they better be humble as to God’s Will, and not to our own wills.

We may all wish for total success, empowerment, total health, etc.; however, God knows what is best for us more than what we do. In the centurion’s case, he was searching for the healer and found Him, to which, the Word healed his servant!

The master of this servant obtained approval of his faith, and therefore, helped his servant become healed by the Great Healer. The healing of our bodies and souls is evidence of our faith in Jesus Christ, in that, no matter what we do; Christ will always be there for us!

The Twelve Disciples are Chosen (Journey 18)

Part 1: Jesus prays, and the Twelve Disciples are chosen

We begin in Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16, and Jesus journeyed from Capernaum around the shore of the Sea of Galilee to “The Mountain,” about 5 miles.

It was expedient that the Lord Jesus appoint helpers immediately (as He was in prayer for many hours overnight), twelve of them that is, to which, they would be commissioned to heal diseases and cast out devils.

They were known as “Apostles,” ones whom are sent out. He would continue to train them further until His Appointed Time had come (for His death and Resurrection of course), and then they would need to continue the work. This was all similar to the Twelve Tribes that formed the basis of the People of God.

The ones whom were called were Simon Peter (or Cephas), Andrew the brother of Peter, James the son of Zebedee, John the brother of James, Philip, Bartholomew (or Nathanael), Thomas the Twin (Didymus), Matthew (or Levi), James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus (or Lebbaeus, or Judas the son of James), Simon the Zealot (or the Patriot, or the Canaanite, or the Cananaean), and Judas Iscariot (or the traitor, the betrayer, or the one who betrays).

What can we learn from this?

When the Lord calls us to do something, we should do it to our best ability, with excellence, as we are specially called from Him directly! No matter what the Lord calls us to do, we must do it best as we can, which means we should be continually attending to His Calling for us! Just as a doctor is on call all the time, this is similar to our calling from the Lord that we should be ready anytime for apt in ministry.

Jesus Heals Man’s Withered Hand and Increases Faith (Journey 17)

We cover the next two parts of journey 17 of Jesus Christ, where He journeys from From Jerusalem to Galilee, perhaps Capernaum (85 miles), and then to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Part 2: Jesus Heals the Man’s Withered Hand

We read in Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11 – which Jesus makes many people marvel over the healing He came to provide.

If an animal fell into a pit on the Sabbath, the Jews would not hesitate to rescue it on the Sabbath; and yet, they accuse Jesus of healing someone on the Sabbath. No rules for the Sabbath have been listed for a person to keep the Sabbath holy; therefore, it is always right to do good things for people on the Sabbath, for it brings honor to God.

Saving life is much better than killing, and therefore, in this case, Jesus was helping to save a man’s life by helping with his withered hand. The Pharisees, however, couldn’t care less about “His Works,” and therefore, looked for ways to kill Him. Jesus left, though, to continue on His Work elsewhere.

This man’s hand that was restored is similar to what we saw in 1 Kings 13:6, where the king’s hand was restored by the “man of God.”

What can we learn from this?

Help those that cannot help themselves, as Jesus did for the man with the withered hand, especially when their circumstances are out of their control (just as the man with the withered hand, and the king with the withered hand). Let those with a hard heart come to Christ as He looks at the root of bitterness and can help remove the trouble for healing to flood in.

Part 3: Jesus Heals Great Multitudes by the Sea of Galilee

We are seeing Jesus at Galilee again doing phenomenal work in healing and increasing people’s faith. We read about this in Mark 3:7-12; Matthew 12:15-21.

Jesus quickly withdraws to work elsewhere, to which, this is further fulfillment of the Prophecy that Jesus would take the Gospel to all people. He never tried to be great, as He never hurt those who sorrowed, neither did He turn away those who had weak faith (even the weakest faith He didn’t turn away).

=> He knew it would increase what weak faith people had if He did things that would only increase it! He continued to heal people of so many infirmities and unclean spirits.

What can we learn from this?

Christ received people so often, and we need to receive people similarly by laying aside anger and debating, so that they may be encouraged and receive gracious kindness. If we are unable to show people encouragement or gracious kindness, we should ask for it from the Lord so that we may take after His Example.

What can we look forward to in Journey 18?

The Twelve Disciples are chosen. Don’t miss it!

Disciples Plucking Grain on the Sabbath (Journey 17)

Journey 17, Part 1: Plucking Grain on the Sabbath

This is a 3 part journey; however, only part 1 is covered today. We are in Mark 2:23-28; Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5, and Jesus is journeying from Jerusalem to Galilee, next perhaps Capernaum (85 miles), and then to the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

The Disciples eat grain while going through a field with Jesus on the Sabbath. The Pharisees see it and object. Jesus answers their objections. Do note: The things Jesus says and the things I summarize in each point here are not to necessarily negate the Sabbath, but actually make it better!

The Pharisees had criticized Jesus’ Disciples for plucking corn on the Sabbath, to which, Jesus defended them by referring to the two examples in the Old Testament. First, David and his men were very hungry and needed food expediently.

Now, they were rightly allowed to eat the holy bread of the Tabernacle, which only Priests were allowed to eat (as we see in 1 Samuel 21:1-6). Second, even the Levitical Priests worked on the Sabbath, for they had to prepare and offer sacrifices (Numbers 28:9-10).

Both examples had shown the Pharisees that in case of a necessity, the legal requirement of a specific law might be overruled, because of the following:

  • Life is more important than ritual.
  • Mercy is more important than sacrifice.
  • Jesus is more important than the Temple.
  • People are more important than the Sabbath
  • The Sabbath was given as a benefit, not for discomfort.

Therefore, since Jesus is the Messiah, He has all authority to decide how the Sabbath is best used.

What can we learn from this?

The Sabbath is sacred and Divine in origin, yes, to which, it is not to be used for labor. God never wanted the Sabbath to be a burden, but He wanted rest. The Sabbath was instituted for the good of humanity, so in living in a society of so much troubles and busyness, one may have a day to dedicate in service to God.

The rules and regulations given were not strict, but were as guidelines for what a Sabbath should be like. One should never neglect to appreciate at least one day of rest a week, especially dedicating it to service unto God, for this would be a chance to recuperate and recharge. Man’s keeping of the Sabbath is not a service to God, but a service unto God!

People could have many Sabbath Days a week, where they rest and dedicate service unto God; however, the point is in Jesus’ message here, is that needs can be met on a Sabbath Day, because they are of necessity.

The Sabbath was not a day to bring dread upon a person, but a day to enjoy and be happy of the life God gives us; a day of freedom, hope, recharging, relaxing, etc.

=> What we do on the Sabbath is up to us, not some law or code. The Sabbath was established before the Law, just as sowing and reaping was, and therefore, it will continue to be a Divinely inspired operation on Earth!

Man Healed at Bethesda (Journey 16)

We start in John 5:1-47, which is where Jesus has journeyed from Capernaum, passed through to Jerusalem, and onto Bethesda.

In a nutshell: Jesus goes up to Jerusalem for a feast, on the Sabbath. He heals a man with a thirty-eight-year-old infirmity. The Jews rebuke the man for carrying his bed on the Sabbath Day. After being found by Jesus in the Temple, the man tells the Jews who healed him. This enrages them, so they try with effort to kill Jesus. In a long discourse, Jesus reveals the secret of His Ministry.

Jesus came to Jerusalem for a feast, which was on the Sabbath Day. While visiting, He saw a pool where many blind and crippled people gathered around hoping to find healing. One of them asked Jesus for help, not to heal him necessarily (as this man did not know Jesus or who He was), but assist him to get inside the pool. Jesus responded otherwise by healing him instantly, and as that took place on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders became anxious to know who had done this.

Jesus urged the healed man to repent for his wrongdoing, as his troubles must have partly been the cause of wrongdoing of some kind. However, the man was so glad that he actually reported Jesus to the authorities that were looking for Him, and therefore, when they accused Jesus of breaking Sabbath Laws, He replied that His Father also works on the Sabbath.

Every day, the Father maintains the world, and cares for the creatures of the world; making the sun rise, rain fall, grass to grow, etc. on the Sabbath—which doesn’t break the Law. Jesus is united with His Father, and does not sin when He carries out mercy on the Sabbath. The Jews objected to Him even stronger, because they did not understand, especially when He said God was His Father.

Jesus told them that the work of the Father and Son are united, and they are separate, but one God (referring to two parts of the Trinity nonetheless). In healing on the Sabbath, Jesus was not acting against God’s Commands, but rather, being obedient to what He wanted. Because Jesus is God, He would do even greater works than this, including resurrecting the dead and bringing in final judgment.

Those who reject the Son reject and dishonor God; however, those who receive the Son pass immediately from spiritual death to Spiritual Life. When the dead are raised for final judgment, the Son will be the One to Judge them. However, there will be no condemnation for those who have received Life in Jesus Christ! This is a good bulk of the good news the Gospel entails!

Jesus simply acts with God’s authority; however, He would not give evidence on His own behalf in convincing the Jews, because God was His Witness, and Jesus accepted His Witness when the Jews refused. God as His Witness requires no other witnesses; however, the Jews wanted Earthly witnesses, which were available. Jesus decided to give them three, which would satisfy their requirements for witnesses, according to the Jewish Law found in Deuteronomy 19:15.

The first witness would be John the Baptist, whose announcement of the Coming of the Messiah was as an introduction of a lamp in a dark room—to which, people first welcomed Him; however, when they saw that He was calling them to turn from sin, they became disinterested. Many people did not recognize the truly spiritual reward for leaving things they loved to do, even if it did violate the Law.

The second witness was the Work of Jesus, to which, His Miracles were powerfully visible proof of the Presence and Power of the invisible God. Then again, though, the Jews couldn’t care less in believing what He was saying.

The third witness was the Old Testament Scriptures; what the Jews studied most diligently, because they thought keeping such commandments granted them Eternal Life. However, their studies did not lead them to accept the Savior of the world that the Scriptures actually pointed. Their unbelief will cost them eternal life, unless they accept Him now as Savior of the world.

The Jews typically looked for praise for their activities; however, Jesus did not. The Jews would welcome those who called themselves teachers; however, they couldn’t care less about those whom God appointed. Jesus would like for them to understand The Law of Moses’ real meaning, instead of arguing the rules and regulations.

They would welcome Jesus wholeheartedly, if they would open their eyes to see He is the Real Messiah! This Divine Being, Jesus Christ, is the Messiah—to whom; His Disciples are starting to realize it well in their hearts. Per the Jews’ rejection of Jesus, they are also rejecting Moses, as well as being condemned for the very things of the Law.

What can we learn from this?

All of us, in general, are immature in spiritual things; however, full provision is made to cure us of this, and that is our Messiah. Because many are spiritually blind, they need provision to unlock that darkness so that it may be removed, to which, they can see the Savior. Those that are so pained and afflicted now have a Healer, who is also our Savior, who is willing to touch us and provide healing. We can live more freely with our Savior helping us, which is part of the value of having such a Savior.

People place such value on things that are visible, but neglect spiritual things. However, those who do not neglect spiritual things will recognize the full value of spiritual things, and be able to access the Divine Benefits because of it. The Grace of God is sufficient for us to be able to have healing glory overspread our lives, so that we may thrive on our testing ground.

Christ saw it necessary to caution the man to repent, as being free from sin is part of His Will for us. Christ spoke of the wrath to come, and it is necessary for us to repent and move forward in His Will rather than continue one in condemnation. People that are loosed of the bondage of sin have the potential to return to their sin like a dog to his vomit (2 Peter 2:17-22; Proverb 26:11)—but Christ does not want this to occur, so He says, “Go and sin no more.”

The Divine Power of the miracle Jesus conducted proved Him the Son of God, which, we must declare Him the same per the miracles He provides, because He is the Divine One who makes intercession for us. Honor the Son and commit your plans unto Him just as the Son committed His Plans to the Father.

We need to do as we see Jesus doing, just as Jesus saw His Father doing. In all His Obedience to the Father, we must be obedient to our Lord as well; doing as He does and becoming more Christlike day by day.

Our Lord’s authority is as the Messiah, and the time was, is, and will continue to come when the dead should hear His Voice as the Son of God and have New Life and Life more abundantly.

Those in condemnation need to be rescued from the darkness and into His Marvelous Light, and live! Oh that we may all continue to hear His Voice and be continually drawn to His Immense and Infinite Power, so that we may recognize His Glory and Glorify Him even more!

Lastly, those that search the Scriptures must search diligently, not for how to improve their life by rules and regulations, but by recognizing that Christ is the Messiah proclaimed all through the Scriptures and see His Glory before us as He heals, saves, and frees the captives of bondage and condemnation.

Many people would like to keep it easy: “If I could just follow rules and regulations, I will guarantee myself a good life and live forever, because obedience to rules and regulations is easy.”

Instead, Jesus wants us to say, “All the Scriptures point to Jesus, who is the Savior, the One who forgave our sins and frees us from being captives of the Law; because the Law brings sin and death, but Christ brings life and life more abundantly.”

If such people would recognize the value of the Savior Jesus Christ, they would be freed of bondage to the Law and be able to live life eternally as they wish. If we’re going to reap the reward of everlasting life, we must do it the right and only way: Through Christ!

Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Journey 15)

Part 1: Jesus heals the paralytic

We begin this journey in Mark 2:1-12; Matthew 9:1-8; Luke 5:17-26, where Jesus comes from Galilee back to Capernaum.

Back in Capernaum, Jesus preaches to a large crowd that fills Peter’s house and overflows. Pharisees and educators were there from “every town of Galilee,” and from as far away as Jerusalem, thus revealing how well known Jesus was becoming. Healing power was, in a special way, ready to operate.

A paralytic is lowered through the hole in the roof, and Jesus forgives his sins and heals his body. The Scribes and Pharisees mentally charge Jesus with blasphemy in claiming power to forgive sins; but Jesus, knowing their thoughts, claims that the power to heal the body is evidence of power to forgive sins.

Jewish opposition has begun against Jesus, as a group of leaders has found out Jesus’ Works and Preachings. A paralyzed man had friends who had asked Jesus to heal him. They stopped at nothing bringing this man to Jesus—as they lowered him through a hole in the roof of where Jesus was. Soon, Jesus heals this man, and then He even forgave his sins.

The Jewish leaders noticed Jesus claiming to be God—for they knew only God could forgive sins. Therefore, the leaders determined either Jesus was really God, or that He was just a blasphemer. Of course, they thought just anyone could say someone is forgiven or healed. The healing can be proven visibly, though, however, forgiveness cannot—they thought. Those that saw the man was healed knew that Jesus is just as He says He is.

What can we learn from this?

Seeing these men carry the paralyzed man, we can see they indeed had faith. Through this, and other situations reviewed already previously, true faith and strong faith work in various ways—however, Jesus is willing to accept any of it and help. Christ proved the power to forgive sin by showing that He could cure the paralyzed man—for they had no techniques that could cure paralytics medically. We see that there are physical afflictions; however, sin is an affliction of the soul, to which, Christ can only resolve. The ones who need help will show their faith unto Jesus Christ by humility unto Him.

Part 2: Call of Matthew and a special dinner

This journey begins in Mark 2:13-17; Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 5:27-32. The next one to join Jesus’ group of Disciples was a tax collector named Matthew, who many people knew as Levi. Matthew took Jesus to his home for a meal and invited fellow tax collectors, as well as other friends to join Jesus and him.

Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) from his customs office to be a Disciple. Levi gives a great dinner in His honor at which many “publicans,” and “sinners” were guests.

This, of course, riled up the Jews, because they disliked or even hated the tax collectors and wished that all Jews would stay away from them. Therefore, when Jesus was having dinner with several tax collectors, this caused a ruckus in the Jewish leadership.

The Pharisees saw Jesus eating with them as well, and soon despised Jesus. However, He replied to them that if the tax collectors were really as bad as they claimed, then tax collectors were the ones that truly needed His help. God was pleased in Jesus’ showing of mercy to outcasts; however, He was not pleased with sacrifices of those that feel they are better than others are.

What can we learn from this?

People of many age groups become outcasts, and many times, it is by accident. Sometimes, it is on purpose. However, we must realize that if someone is being an outcast accidentally or on purpose, there has to be a reason internally that someone acts the way they do.

Pharisees and Jews despised these tax collectors, which only made the problem worse for the tax collectors. They did not care about the tax collectors, and commonly spoke against them—which only made the problem worse for them as outcasts.

Jesus came, however, in His mercy, to pardon the greatest sins, and give grace to change the greatest sinners to make them holy.

To make these tax collectors more faithful and fair dealing, a change of heart was needed about them. Because the Jews hated them, the tax collectors obtained an ill name, to which, Jesus wanted to change, because He knew that inside they could truly change. This is why He called Matthew to be a Disciple, is because He knew that Matthew could change so much that it would truly glorify the Lord and improve his work overall.

We see multiple times that the Lord did not ever waver in connecting with and conversing with sinners and outcasts, because He knew He could help them. He was unconcerned with what society said about them, because He knew that there is no discrimination for the Kingdom of God, and as He is building the Kingdom of God, He knows that there is no difference in race or type of people.

Part 3: Three parables that vindicate (clear blame of) fasting

We talk about this part where the parables are discussed of such: marriage, the old and new cloth, and wine skins. We read in Mark 2:18-22; Matthew 9:14-17; Luke 5:33-39.

John the Baptist’s disciples and the Pharisees agreed that Jesus’ Disciples did not fast or keep up with their normal ceremonies. They questioned Jesus, to which, He compares His Coming to the coming of a bridegroom to his wedding feast. In a time of such joy, no one really thinks of fasting, which is why Jesus’ Disciples did not fast while He was with them, but that Jesus eventually would be taken away from them and killed—to which they would fast again due to great sorrow.

Their eventual sorrow would be turned into joy again when they see Him rise again from the dead, victorious!

Jesus also reminded them that now that He had come, they should not expect the old tradition of the Jews to continue, because He had not come to repair, improve, or even update Judaism. However, Judaism was worn out and completely useless.

Jesus brought something new, to which, made Judaism as an old worn out coat (cloth) that could not be sown or as a brittle old wineskin that could not stand pressure of new wine. However, the Pharisees insisted upon their old worn out religion.

What can we learn from this?

Slanders will come against us, especially when we try to make a difference in people’s lives. It is up to us to bear them, so that, we keep things in order especially to the Will of God. We also should not cling to old traditions so much as to not accomplish what God wants for us. We must be willing to change, as God needs us to.