THE GOOD NEWS FROM JESUS – Part 3 conclusion

Prayer hands

Luke 4:18-21 (New Living Translation)

“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, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.” … The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!

 

In his earthly ministry, Jesus did heal a number of blind people. However, his message here is addressing spiritual blindness – an inability to see and understand God’s plans and purposes for the world and for our individual lives.

When Jesus states that he has come so the ‘oppressed will be set free’ – the people felt he meant he was going to deliver them from Roman conquest, but as always Jesus was referring to spiritual oppression. A condition that involves wicked Satanic domination over a person’s spirit, sometimes in the form of demonic possession.

The good news for those who heard him read that passage from Isaiah, and to us, is indeed that the time of God’s favor has come through Jesus, and He is destroying the wicked works of the Devil. How can we enjoy this favor from God?

Apostle Paul states in Romans 10:13 (NLT) that whether Jews or Gentiles “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” 

FREEDOM from Satanic captivity resulting in ungodly habits, and eyes to understand God’s loving plans and purposes, is now available to us through Jesus. Speak with Jesus in sincere persistent prayers today, asking for freedom and spiritual enlightenment. May the Lord answer your prayers speedily, Amen!

 

Image: Praying Hands (Wikimedia)

 

THE GOOD NEWS FROM JESUS – Part 2

Peanut

Luke 4:18-19 (New Living Translation)

“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…”

 

Who are these captives? We read in the gospel that when Jesus died, many graves were miraculously opened and The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead” (Matthew 27:52 NLT).

There are Christians who hold that these were Old Testament saints held in captivity by Satan, but now have been set free by Jesus and are in heaven with him. There are others who teach that these were ordinary people who had died in Jerusalem and God raised them up as a sign that Jesus will rise from the dead. While there is disagreement over this, there is no disagreement over Romans 7:21-25 (KJV).

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…”

Apostle Paul states that we are all captives to the power of sin, such that even when we want to do good, we experience an internal power influencing us towards sin. This is  why many are addicts or captives to destructive habits – over food, alcohol, clothes and jewelry, gossiping, pornography, love of money, and countless other vices.

What is that sin or vice that forcefully holds me captive? There is no shame in admitting to it in prayer and asking to be free. Jesus has come to set the captives to sin free, reach out to Him in prayer, in faith, and be FREE! Amen!!!

 

Image: Sprouting new life from an old seed… (Wikimedia)

 

THE GOOD NEWS FROM JESUS – Part 1

Street Painter View of Jesus

Luke 4:16-21 (New Living Translation)

When he [Jesus] came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:

“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, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he [Jesus] began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”

 

The above passage is about Jesus introducing his ministry to the people after his 40 days fasting and being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. This is Jesus laying out the five big goals behind the work he will do while he walked on Earth. Let’s consider the first of these in today’s blog – “bring Good News to the poor.” 

Let’s start with the bad news – at creation, Adam was given rulership over the Earth, to rule under the guidance of God. Satan dethroned Adam, gaining authority and power over the Earth, including over our bodies, our soul, and our spirit. Satan uses this power to strongly influence every human person to live ungodly lives.

So, what is the good news?

It is that Jesus has set up the kingdom of God on Earth, side by side with the kingdom of Satan. Jesus has invaded the Earth and is forcefully establishing his own area of authority and power over our spirit, soul, and eventually our bodies. I can now choose to follow Jesus and live under the resurrection power of the kingdom of God.

Believing in Jesus, joining a Church, and diligent study of the Bible to understand God’s character, is how we join the kingdom of God. When God is satisfied with the number of people who have entered into the kingdom of God, this world will end, and a new world made up of only members of kingdom of God, ruled by Jesus, will begin.

This is the good news in summary. Are you in or out? Holy Spirit, please give us all a clear view of the good and beautiful kingdom of God, Amen!!!

 

Image: A street painter’s drawing of Jesus (Wikimedia)

HOW DO YOU SEE JESUS?

Related image

 

Matthew 17:1-2 (New Living Translation) – Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. 

Mark 9:2-3 (New Living Translation) – Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. 

 

This is one of the many mysterious events in the Bible. The passage is a recollection of the night three of the apostles were given a glimpse, a brief view, of the Spirit of Jesus. How different and glorious this was from the flesh and blood Jesus.

The apostles saw for themselves the great overwhelming power under the veil of Jesus body; they saw his mighty Spirit that could not be killed even when his body died on the cross. Their view of Jesus was never the same again after this encounter.

HOW DO YOU SEE JESUS?

What do you see? If all you see are the images from movies, television, and artwork in books, you are not yet seeing the real Jesus. To see him, get your Bible, and read the gospels prayerfully, over and over again – and before long you will begin to see him, to understand him, and to experience his great power at work in you.

Great God in heaven, help us to see the real Jesus, like the apostles did, in the fullness of his majesty, power, authority, greatness and glory, Amen!!!

 

FATHER, HELP US TO BE LIKE JESUS!         

Jesus washing feet

John 13:3-5 (New Living Translation)

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet…

 

Feet washing during the period when Jesus lived was a necessity. People wore sandals and walked on dusty roads; many developed hard stinky feet. When they got home they washed their feet before going indoors. In the homes of wealthy people, their feet and feet of their visitors were washed by slaves and servants.

In some wealthy Jewish homes, they would not allow the Jewish servants to do the feet washing, they would assign the task to the gentile servants – because they considered feet washing an embarrassing humiliating task.

So when Jesus decided to wash His disciples’ feet before the last supper, they were very surprised! There was no servant in the room, and none of them was going to carry out the task of washing the feet of the others. Jesus – Messiah, God, KING of Kings, LORD of Lords, put on a towel and washed the feet of these common men.

Yes, the disciples had observed a lot of humility in Jesus – but this feet washing was such a self-less and shocking act of service!

To be like Jesus – to have such a giant humble heart for divine service, is a challenge Jesus has placed before every Christian. How am I living up to this challenge? Not very well I must confess. How are you living up to this challenge?

Our Father, who art in heaven, help us to be like Jesus, Amen!!! 

 

Image:Jesus Washing the Feet of his Disciples (Albert Edelfelt) (Wikimedia)       

 

THE RESURRECTION – OUR LIVING HOPE AND GREAT EXPECTATION!

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1 Peter 1:3 (New International Version) – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

1 Peter 1:3 (New Living Translation) – All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation…

 

Throughout history, there have been many who doubt that Jesus lived and walked the Earth; some others accept that Jesus did live and preached the gospel but he died and did not resurrect. These claim that Christianity is a fraud and the claim to resurrection of the dead to a new life where death has no power is fake news!

I sympathize with all who hold these views. Truly the chief claim of the Christian faith, that Jesus is the messiah who died for our sins and rose from the dead after three days, is quite incredible, beyond belief, and a miracle of great power too good to be true.

To accept that the resurrection happened is to accept that JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD to who we will all give account of how we lived our lives on Earth. Many people just don’t want to accept that we will give account of our lives – with the righteous rewarded with bodily resurrection to a new life, where disease and death have no power.

To us, followers of Jesus, his resurrection is a guaranty of our own future resurrection – because Jesus rose from the dead, ‘now, we live in great expectation’ that we will rise from the dead to be like him, and be with him. To us, followers of Jesus, death is not the final word, glory be to God in the highest, hallelujah!   

Happy Easter – its a season of great joy, as we look forward with great expectation to our own resurrection to a new life, where death has no power over us, Amen!

 

Image: The empty tomb (Source: Wikimedia

OUR DESTINY IN JESUS CHRIST

Jesus

Acts 10:34-38 (New Living Translation)

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

 

In the above passage from the book of Acts, Peter is preaching to Cornelius, a high ranking official in the Roman army, recalling how Jesus went about ‘doing good and healing’ all who looked to him. The Jews had many prophets in their history, who did amazing things, but Jesus surpassed all of them.

Since the death and resurrection of Jesus, the world has been experiencing the Christian era, the period between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to heaven, and his second coming, this time around to rule the world. What would the rule of Jesus look like? It will be similar to what happened when he came the first time.

A critical difference will be that the goodness and healing powers of Jesus will extend to people in every nation around the world. It will be a time of peace, love, prosperity, and health. His coming again, will usher in a time of joy and gladness for all peoples on the planet, Jews and gentiles. All the world will see Jesus doing good, healing all.

This is our destiny and nothing can stop it from coming to pass, hallelujah!   

Image: Jesus the Redeemer (Source: Wikimedia)