John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

23rd lesson = God's Purpose in loving the Human Being


Jesus Prepares His Disciples.

The Purpose To Be Lived When Jesus Prepares His Disciples.
The Preparation Of The Twelve. The main purpose of Jesus of coming into the world was to die as the Lamb of God to heal the broken relationship between humanity and God and rise from the dead to give eternal life to human beings. However, his life, death and resurrection for the world would be useless unless the world would know about this. If the men to whom he entrusted his work were unfaithful to him, his coming unto earth would have been in vain. Jesus could have brought several hundred crews of Angels to proclaim his kingdom here, but the Bible tells us that angels desired to do this, but God gave this task to human beings. Their preparation was not easy because they were being trained for a work totally different from what they imagined to be the objective of the training. They began to follow Jesus without any intention of becoming preachers. Their hope was that, because it is the Messiah, he would establish a world political empire of which they would be administrators (v.tb. Mt.13).
The method by which Jesus changed their concept about the work he and the twelve had to do was by introducing Himself to them with all the fullness of his divine glory; so that no matter how different his way of speaking and acting was from the way in which they expected the Messiah to speak and act, they still would believe it was Christ, the Messiah. That's one of the reasons he performed miracles and was transfigured before their eyes, verify how John describes it in chapter 20.30,31. (According to Halley's Biblical Manual, Pg. 448, Ed Life).
Jesus explained in several occasions to his disciples that he would be crucified and rise again, but the twelve had difficulty understanding it at first. The passages in Matthew and Luke 16:21-23. 9:22 show us this scenario. In Mark. 8:31-33, Jesus clearly states here that it was necessary for the Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. In chapter 9:30-31 Jesus once again foretells his death and resurrection, and in chapter 10:32-34. While Jesus was beginning his journey here on earth as the Messiah he chose his disciples and from the first day He already started training them. This was the practical in the training , the coop-practice so to speak. They watched Jesus do His Ministry and as they observed Him, they were trained to do so as well.
Jesus knew that transforming these laymen into apostles was not an easy task, so with patience and with great wisdom he led them in every step of the way. It was necessary to make them aware that he Jesus was the Messiah as required to in Scriptures fulfill them everything that was written about Him. He used these twelve to start the Church of Christ here on earth, the Bride of the Lamb. Peter calls our attention in his letter, of the fact that the angels desired the task of preaching the Gospel; was not given to them, but to the human being - 1 Peter 1:12. The last week before the Crucifixion was very intense for both Jesus, the Christ, as well as for his disciples. The disciples had difficulties to understand some things that Jesus tried to teach them. The disciples witnessed several scenarios where Jesus was literally going through tough trials. They observed, and often did not understand what was going on.
Let's look at some of what goes on in the following situation. Jesus enters Jerusalem and is applauded by everyone as King; we know this passage as the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Here another episode happens that the disciples did not understand at the time.
In verses 14 to 19 of John chapter 12 describes the following:
Ø  V. 14 -15 "Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt". Jesus did this because He was fulfilling what was written by the Prophet Zechariah about him, and the Messiah had to fulfill all that was written about him: "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" - Zech. 9:9.  Except that on the day that this happened his disciples did not understand it.
Ø  The apostle herein mentioned that they remembered after Jesus was glorified that these things were written about him. Vs 16 - "At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him".
Ø  Vs. 17-19 = “Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!"
Both in my life and in yours, we go through similar experiences. Some things happen and God tries to speak to us through the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, but we do not heard or do not understand it and we are afflicted. Later on we go through another experience and it reminds us of what happened before and it seems like a light goes on in us and everything starts to make sense. I believe that after Pentecost when the Holy Spirit began to clarify things to them, the apostles must have said: now it sure makes sense what he said that day. Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus." Then we read that Jesus instead of introducing himself to the Greeks, at least the text does not tell us if he actually spoke to the Greeks or if he said the following to all who were there:
Vs. 14-18 =
24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.
28 Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." Jo. 12:24-28.
Jesus explains that unless a kernel of wheat which falls into the ground and does not die, it stays alone: but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Jesus was referring about his own death here. These words were very concentrated and a profound teaching; short, but contained the essence of what he was go through in a couple of days. I believe he said all this, to these Greeks to learn as well, that Whoever loves his life will lose it, and whoever hated his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Jesus makes it clear to them, if you love your life, you will lose it, and if you hate life in this world, you will gain eternal life. I think if I would have been there for the first time listening to Jesus say this, I would have said like some of the disciples said, what a tough speech this is who can understand it? The disciples and the Greeks, and all who were around him there; they probably did not understand at the time what Jesus meant by this speech. They expected that Jesus, the Messiah would reign now and get a wonderful future for the nation of Israel; and Jesus begins to speak about to fall in the ground and die? I think we would have been somewhat confused that day as well; with an explanation that made no sense at the time to anyone.
“On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" - Jn. 6:60. Some translation say: who can understand it? So if I like my life I will lose it. But, is this what Jesus really meant? Jesus knew their thoughts and knew what was going on in their hearts. Jesus makes a point of emphasizing that it is necessary to make a choice. Like Jesus did with Peter, He asked him: Peter do you love me, then take care of my sheep, stop running after something that you believe will give you success; in this case I cannot use you in my kingdom. Jesus goes on to say: Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there shall also my servant be. And if any one serves me, the Father will honour him. The Greeks received this education, you want to follow me, then come, but you need to make a decision whether you will be by my side or not, this is what Jesus clarified. This message also serves for you as for me as well. And then he gets anguished, and everyone there witnessed this time as well. Can you imagine what the disciples must have thought at this hour? Surely, they were uncertain what they should be thinking at this time. A little fear, and puzzled as well.
He speaks in front of the public: "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say?  'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" And God heard His prayer and answered: "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." Jo. 12:27-28. Look at that beautiful fellowship between God the Father and God the Son on earth. When the Son spoke God heard and answered. Hallelujahs! And then we read that the crowd heard a voice. "The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die" - Jn. 12: 29-33.
The people were confused; they did not really know what it was. I believe they failed to understand that this was God's voice sounding there, because Jesus himself said that people that are in the world do not see the Holy Spirit and do not know Him; but we know do. This reminds me of two verses that speak of the fact that the person that is not of God does not hear His voice; therefore they concluded that it was a thunder.
Let's read the verses:
o   “The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” - Jn. 14:17. 
o   “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” - 1 Jn. 4:6.
We know that the disciples saw it, as the Apostle John describes us what happened there at the time. Then Jesus says that: "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."  He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die" Jn12:30-33. Jesus makes a point to explain why all this happened. There were enough witnesses to declare that the Messiah had been introduced to them by the voice that came from heaven, God was speaking there to them. Many heard it, and it's something that cannot be disputed is many witnessed this. Please note as well as Jesus prepares his disciples, He prepares you and me at this hour. Jesus says: Now is the judgment of this world.
Jesus knew that with his death on the cross there, if he would fall as the wheat in the earth and die, this would bring the judgment to this world, the prince of darkness would be judged. And Jesus says, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me. He explains it briefly, everything we need to know that He is the Messiah who came to save that what was lost. We read in another passage in which Jesus says that no one takes his life away from Him, and yes, he who gives it of himself..
"No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father" - Jn. 10:18. Jesus makes it clear that He is always in control of the circumstances; he clearly states that no one can take away his life away from Him. So, of no one can take His life away from Him, and He gave it willingly for us; then we must agree that there was a very high purpose behind this action of His, relinquishing act of giving his earthly life, so that we can live. Jesus said He had the power to give it up and to take it back. He said: I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.
This is how Jesus gave us the purpose to be lived in “God is Love”.
“Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"  Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?"  But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken” – Jn.2:18-22.
As Jesus said destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days, in reality He was telling them that they could not do it; unless Jesus allowed them to do it. Everything was and is, and always will be in complete control of our God."  And we read that after Jesus was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. In this passage Jesus also indicates that he would resume his life after three days, after they crucified Him. Jesus, The Messiah is in control of everything. If, Jesus said if they did it with him, they will do it with us. Jesus was in control when they did it with Him, Jesus is also in control over what they will do to us or not. Oh glory, Praise God, Praise our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.
 In the Lord's Service 
I greet you in His Love
Antonina Penner.
Masters inTheology..
ISBN- 978-0-9881063-1-4
Copyright 2012/11/26 by: “Ministério Visão de Águias”.
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Rev. Billy Graham