Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’” Matthew 11:4-6
But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. Moses said, “The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like Me from among your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.” And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, “And in Your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” Acts 3:18-26
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. John 3:16-21
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The Matthew passage above is Jesus’ answer to John the Baptist’s question (from prison and through his disciples), “Are You the One?” The Old Testament contained the prophetic record from which John the Baptist put together an incomplete understanding of the Messiah that led to his struggle with doubt. If he had gotten a complete understanding of the prophetic record of the Old Testament, he would have been better prepared for handling his imprisonment and not slipping into a state of doubt concerning the messiahship of Jesus Christ. We have the New Testament and when we struggle with doubt it is often because we do not have a complete understanding of the historical record of the Messiahship of Jesus Christ that it gives to us. When we examine the New Testament record fully we will find that Jesus Christ is “the One.” If we were to examine the basic tenants of the major world religions, we would find that Jesus Christ with His active involvement in meeting the true core need of mankind radically sets both Christianity and its founder apart from all other religions and their founders.
What a blend of the prophetic record and the historical record of Jesus Christ in the other two passages above. There is no other religious figure in world history who involved himself with mankind in a way that is anything like the unique involvement of Jesus Christ described above. Truly Jesus Christ is what makes Christianity radically different than all other “faith” systems. The fact that Jesus Christ was and is involved with us in the ways described above, should keep anyone from claiming that all religions worship the same God and bring us to the same end. Even if one wants to reject Christianity, it is not intellectually possible to lump it in with all the other religions of the world. Truly God the Father wants to deliver us from the penalty and power of sin through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. This provision was accomplished through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it is His wonderful means for blessing every inhabitant of this world throughout the ages of time. Radical indeed!!
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I am grateful that you meet my core need as my Savior from the penalty and power of sin. Thank you, Jesus that this provision was accomplished through your death, burial, and resurrection. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you and you alone are able to do this for me and all mankind. What an amazing way you extended yourself and became involved with mankind to meet our greatest need of all. I love you and worship you. Amen!
Posted on Tue, March 21, 2017
by Ken Hart