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Our DAILY GOSPEL DEVOTIONAL is the story of Jesus from Incarnation to Ascension. This is a chronology and harmony of the gospel accounts in which the ongoing narrative and doctrinal context are carefully considered. In one year we reflect on every passage of every gospel.
May God bless you as we follow the disciples on the journey through the earthly life of Jesus Christ.

Monday, April 24, 2017

I see you

Matthew 9:27-31…

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him. Think about it; blind men found Him. The news of Jesus raising the little girl from the dead would have caused quite a commotion, and the crowd obviously was a signal that Jesus was coming near. Are we discerning God’s movements?

Have mercy on us, Son of David. These men realized who Jesus was. “Son of David” was a messianic title (Romans 1:3), and the healing of the blind a messianic hope (Isaiah 35:5). This miracle shows yet another realm of the authority of Jesus; He can give sight.

Do you believe that I am able to do this? Jesus gives them the opportunity to pour out their whole heart. Yes, Jesus is God, and He knows our heart (Hebrews 4:12-13), but He wants us to strive for His heart (Hebrews 11:6).

According to your faith be it done to you. This does not mean that the amount of healing depends on the amount of faith. Rather, it simply means that these blind men received their sight from Jesus because they believed Him to be the Messiah. They had faith based on what they knew the Scripture predicted and what they had heard Jesus was doing. We see the Scriptures, and we hear the testimonies, but will we have faith? Keep looking, and keep changing (2 Corinthians 3:18).

See that no one knows about it. Jesus was revealing Himself as the Messiah, but at that time He was trying to control the situation because He was first and foremost coming for the problem of sin, and that would take the cross, not the throne. It was and is always more about the spiritual than the physical. Now that His death and resurrection have happened, we are supposed to go and tell everyone. Unbelievers are held captive by the enemy and are blind to the liberating truth, but Jesus has the power to give sight (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

Do you see Jesus as He is, or is He just some guy that people are talking about?


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Time for breakfast

Matthew 9:23-26 / Mark 5:35-43 / Luke 8:49-56…

Why does Jesus say that the girl is just sleeping, when it is clear that He understands she’s dead? The answer is that Jesus is giving us an understanding of His power over death (Hebrews 2:14-15). He spoke to her as if she was alive because God “gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Romans 4:17).

Jesus basically tells the girl, “Honey, it is time to get up.” Jesus is saying by His actions, “If I have you by the hand, death itself is nothing but sleep.”

We view our problems differently than God. We have a finite perspective and power, we are limited. God has an infinite perspective and power. He is not limited. We see Jesus as misinformed of our situation, and incapable of doing what we need. What we may see as a crisis, God sees as something else. We think it is too late, but God is always right on time.

The ordeal takes the people surrounding the place from weeping, to scornful laughter, to wondrous awe. That seems to be the way of most people who are born again by the Spirit of God. Not that the people in this story were born again, but that many people start out in the place of sorrow, and when Jesus is presented to them, they immediately act with scorn, but then after Jesus makes His true person and power known to them, they now stand in awe of their Savior.

Notice that she was given something to eat. She was brought back to life, but she would still have to live out her days in natural ways. You may have received the new birth, but you need new food. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed, so let us not run back to the jail cell, or be so hasty to place the shackles back on our feet. We must feed on Christ.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dealing with issues

Matthew 9:20-22 / Mark 5:25-34 / Luke 8:43-48…

This woman had endured many years of suffering and shame because of her issue of blood. Others would have considered her unclean (Leviticus 15:25-27), causing social and emotional hurt on top of the physical problems. She had to deal with loneliness because family and friends would have to remain distant, and she couldn’t worship with others in the prescribed way. Not only that, she spent all her money on physicians that could not heal her.

Many are like this woman was; many things can be the “issue” that seems to ruin anything we try to do. It may be emotional, some sort of obsession or other personality trait, or a problem area you want to let go of but can’t seem to get free from. You live with a poison, and though you have tried, you can’t seem to be rid of it. Just when you start to find your way out of the den of discouragement, that same something fouls it up and you find your way back “home” again.

Observe this scene, and realize the love of Jesus, who rescues those whose hope is dying.

She came in, to get what she needed. Jesus was on His way somewhere else, but the woman presses through the crowd, and she gets a hold of Him. That which went out of Jesus stopped that which was coming out of the woman. Jesus makes time for those who press in (Hebrews 11:6).

He calls out, drawing her near. Jesus becomes the pursuer, brushing aside the protest of the disciples, stopping the procession of people, searching for a person who knew they needed Him. Jesus is still looking for hurting people (Matthew 9:12-13).

She came back, knowing she could not hide, confessed and worshipped (cf. Hebrews 4:12-16). Jesus offers a word of extreme inclusion and acceptance; He calls her daughter. Jesus takes those on the outside and makes them part of the ultimate “in” crowd (Galatians 3:28).

She came to touch Him because of her faith; she was made whole because she fell down in humility, her pride crucified in front of the crowd. We just want our little piece of Jesus, but our confession and worship will have to go public if we truly want to deal with all the issues surrounding our “issue”. Perhaps it’s time to air out your dirty laundry (James 5:16).