Sometimes, they really do listen...

Recently, I saw this on facebook and I don't think that I could have had a bigger smile on my face if I tried!!!  She listened to us and remembered!!!!  It is times like these that I am glad to be a parent!!!  Instantly, I remembered the proverbs, but had to look it up because I forgot the exact verse...

Proverbs, Chapter 22
 6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.

 Darlene is not old, but has been over 30 for some time now!!!  As I write this, I know that I am bragging a bit, but please forgive me.  She made my day and I am proud of her!!! 

But Would It Be Worth Believing? by Jim McGuiggan

Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

But Would It Be Worth Believing?

For good or ill, the Christian faith embraces miracles. A miracle is not easy to define because it's one of those big rich words which, if you define it loosely-it is too loose to be useful. If you try to define it rigidly, to crowd it into a circle of words, there are aspects of it left sticking out. Even those philosophers who deny that a miracle can be defined, presume they know (without definition) what it is that can't be defined. But these are issues which must be dealt with in other literature and there's a mass of it.
By a miracle I mean an act of God, an act which by its timing, context, nature and character leaves us in no doubt that supernatural power is at work and that that supernatural power comes from the God revealed in the biblical witness.
I'm dealing with actual and biblical miracles rather than discussing their 'possibility' on philosophical and theoretical grounds. This means I'm taking the biblical texts at their face value. Whatever the theological purposes of the narratives, I'm following countless thousands of intelligent, competent and trusting people down the centuries in accepting that the writers recorded miraculous happenings in and connected with the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Some of the miracles are not as startling as others are. You know what I mean, there are some events in Scripture that get our attention and then there are others that make our eyes go big and round.
Christ's healing Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8), just by touching her calls for attention but Lazarus' coming from the tomb makes your jaw sag (John 11).
The raising of Lazarus helps us (because it is so starkly miraculous) to get a hold on what miracle means. He's been dead long enough to be in a state of decay, Jesus looks to heaven and addresses someone he calls 'Father', asking him to raise Lazarus. A mere man, one like the rest of us, couldn't have done what was done to Lazarus so someone heard the words of Jesus, someone invisible, and brought life and health back to Lazarus.
Now, not all the miracles are as stark and clear as this one. This event bore its own indisputable witness to the existence, presence and working of the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some, for various reasons, could be debated if they are looked at as independent events. But when they are allowed their place in the whole Story, in the development and context of the life of this Jesus of Nazareth, something is added to them and makes them more than acceptable as miracles--makes them, in some ways, fully expected.
Whatever else is true, the Christian faith has miracles at its heart.
It isn't the Christian Faith as the New Testament presents it if we strip it of all its supernatural elements and offer Jesus as a fine man and the New Testament scriptures as a source of some outstanding ethical teaching.
It isn't uncommon to hear people say it would be easier to believe in the Jesus of the NT if it didn't speak of miracles. I don't believe that. I believe if we are fair with the NT record we cannot believe in a non-miraculous Jesus. Nor could we make sense of the NT record itself, for so much of the speech in the mouth of Jesus would be inexplicable-it depends on his having worked miracles (see, for example, John 6, the whole chapter).
Maybe, just maybe, if we doctored the text, it would be easier to believe; but would it be worth believing?

Beetles and Thunderstorms by Jim McGuiggan

Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

Beetles and Thunderstorms

Believers and non-believers are both humans and have to live with the limitations that come with being human. However difficult it is do we need to retain some degree of modesty. Even if the believer knew beyond the possibility of doubt that there is a God who has shown himself to us in and as Jesus Christ it wouldn't follow that she knew everything about that God. It's amusing (and occasionally irritating) to hear people talk as if they had a direct line with God who tells them everything he thinks about everything. And no matter what they decide to do or say or think, it appears that God has given them explicit instructions in the matter. Must be nice to have that kind of assurance. It's almost amusing to hear some non-believers speak in the same oracular fashion. They don't profess to have an omniscient advisor but they speak as if with their own intellectual powers they all the answers. It's true that not all believers or non-believers are like this but there are enough of us to go around.
I'm sure we aren't to live as if we can't be sure of anything! G.K. Chesterton rightly chided those whose modesty wouldn't allow them to assert that 2+2=4 but in between that and speaking as though we had universal knowledge there is a great chasm.
A beetle born during a thunderstorm and dying before it ended might not have a balanced view of creation. Presumably adult humans will be able to acknowledge the reality of the storm but put it in perspective.
Maybe it's all right to make our judgements provisional. Maybe it's okay to speak with firmness and conviction while still acknowledging that new truths might lead us to re-think our conclusions or at least to reshape them a bit. Isn't that what we hear when Jesus the Christ said both, "Judge righteous judgements" and "Judge not"?
Being a convinced believer in Jesus Christ I speak (or at least try to) with conviction but if it could be proved that Jesus didn't rise I'd have to confess that my faith is vain and my gospel is nonsense. Maybe a long "conversation" with the biblical Christ would lead a non-believer to rethink his or her conclusions. Maybe one tiny life, even a sincere tiny life, isn't grounds enough to close the door to God.

LOOKING BACK by Gary Womack


The presents have all been handed out, company's gone, the Christmas decorations are coming down, used up Christmas trees wait next to garbage cans for pick up, and leftovers are the fare for the next few days. Now what? For many, this time of year becomes "the big let down." Coming days mean a return to the daily grind of living without the distraction of coming holidays - now spent. Attention focuses on what occupied our minds and our time prior to the frenzy of holiday preparations. This means, for many, a time of depression and anxiety as people slip back into a funk as thoughts return to loneliness, failed relationships, and reminders of lost loved ones that are missed during this time. Many are reminded, by the coming of a new year, of resolutions that failed to materialize - of good intentions that vanished into old routines. Old habits remain, as well as the weight, the debt, and the frustration of failure. Even the annual depression remains unbroken for those who vowed that this year would be different.
This is the result of a malady that many needlessly suffer from. It is the result of "looking back" without being thankful for the moment. The Devil exults with delight when we do this, because it results in the distraction of our attention from the goal that we should ever keep before us. If he can keep us preoccupied with our past, he doesn't have to work on us very hard to keep us off guard and unprepared for the Day that we should be looking toward. If you always find yourself looking in the rearview mirror, you are certain to run into your future unexpectedly. That's unprepared!
"Looking back" can serve a useful purpose as a pleasant reminder or a warning to not repeat past mistakes. However,the past should not be our home. If you constantly live in the past, you will never be prepared for the future, because faith demands that we look ahead. Remember, "...faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1)
Nostalgia is a big thing right now. Merchandising is ever more geared to appealing to baby boomers, from "retro" automotive design to "oldies music" radio stations. I enjoy 50's music, old cars, soda shops and Jimmy Stewart movies. I enjoy looking through old photos and reminiscing of more carefree days. But alas, we can't go back. Wishing we could go back is futile and counterproductive. However, if we could go back, we would all do some things differently and avoid some heartaches we suffered along the way. It has been rightly said, if our foresight was as good as our hindsight, we would all make changes to our past. But what purpose does it serve to wallow in the unchangeable past, only to suffer for it in the present?
Paul certainly had a "past" as we all do. He had much to "regret" in his life. He admitted, "...I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man..." (1 Tim. 1:13) "For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it." (Gal. 1:13) "For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church." (1 Cor. 15:9) How many times did he look into the faces of those he preached to and remember that he had been responsible for the loss and punishment of some of their own family members? While his past was a source of regret, he allowed it to become a reminder of God's grace. He said, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long-suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life." (1 Tim. 1:15-16)
Paul discovered the secret to contentment by putting the past behind him, learning from it but not dwelling on it, and then reaching ahead with deliberate focus on heaven's goal. In recognizing the futility of dwelling on the past, he wrote these words; "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3:13-14) His act of "forgetting" the past stands in stark contrast to his "pressing" toward the goal. Both are deliberate acts, but "pressing" ahead won't be accomplished if it is offset by a failure to "forget" the past.
Today is the yesterday that you will look back on tomorrow. Today is the only time that you can be in control of the outcome of your life and how you will look back on it. Now is the time to make your future a time of joy and not regret. The saddest story of regret is seen in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. (Lk. 16:19-31) Are you ready for your tomorrow, or do you have a loved one who is not ready for eternity? Now is the time to do what you may otherwise regret having left undone.
- Gary V. Womack - Dec. 8, 2003

Bible Reading, Feb. 5

Feb. 5
Genesis 36
Gen 36:1 Now this is the history of the generations of Esau (that is, Edom).
Gen 36:2 Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon, the Hittite; and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon, the Hivite;
Gen 36:3 and Basemath, Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebaioth.
Gen 36:4 Adah bore to Esau Eliphaz. Basemath bore Reuel.
Gen 36:5 Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the sons of Esau, who were born to him in the land of Canaan.
Gen 36:6 Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, with his livestock, all his animals, and all his possessions, which he had gathered in the land of Canaan, and went into a land away from his brother Jacob.
Gen 36:7 For their substance was too great for them to dwell together, and the land of their travels couldn't bear them because of their livestock.
Gen 36:8 Esau lived in the hill country of Seir. Esau is Edom.
Gen 36:9 This is the history of the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir:
Gen 36:10 these are the names of Esau's sons: Eliphaz, the son of Adah, the wife of Esau; and Reuel, the son of Basemath, the wife of Esau.
Gen 36:11 The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
Gen 36:12 Timna was concubine to Eliphaz, Esau's son; and she bore to Eliphaz Amalek. These are the sons of Adah, Esau's wife.
Gen 36:13 These are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These were the sons of Basemath, Esau's wife.
Gen 36:14 These were the sons of Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon, Esau's wife: she bore to Esau Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
Gen 36:15 These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz,
Gen 36:16 chief Korah, chief Gatam, chief Amalek: these are the chiefs who came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Adah.
Gen 36:17 These are the sons of Reuel, Esau's son: chief Nahath, chief Zerah, chief Shammah, chief Mizzah: these are the chiefs who came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Basemath, Esau's wife.
Gen 36:18 These are the sons of Oholibamah, Esau's wife: chief Jeush, chief Jalam, chief Korah: these are the chiefs who came of Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau's wife.
Gen 36:19 These are the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and these are their chiefs.
Gen 36:20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,
Gen 36:21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These are the chiefs who came of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.
Gen 36:22 The children of Lotan were Hori and Heman. Lotan's sister was Timna.
Gen 36:23 These are the children of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
Gen 36:24 These are the children of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. This is Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness, as he fed the donkeys of Zibeon his father.
Gen 36:25 These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah.
Gen 36:26 These are the children of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran.
Gen 36:27 These are the children of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.
Gen 36:28 These are the children of Dishan: Uz and Aran.
Gen 36:29 These are the chiefs who came of the Horites: chief Lotan, chief Shobal, chief Zibeon, chief Anah,
Gen 36:30 chief Dishon, chief Ezer, and chief Dishan: these are the chiefs who came of the Horites, according to their chiefs in the land of Seir.
Gen 36:31 These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the children of Israel.
Gen 36:32 Bela, the son of Beor, reigned in Edom. The name of his city was Dinhabah.
Gen 36:33 Bela died, and Jobab, the son of Zerah of Bozrah, reigned in his place.
Gen 36:34 Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his place.
Gen 36:35 Husham died, and Hadad, the son of Bedad, who struck Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his place. The name of his city was Avith.
Gen 36:36 Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place.
Gen 36:37 Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth by the river, reigned in his place.
Gen 36:38 Shaul died, and Baal Hanan, the son of Achbor reigned in his place.
Gen 36:39 Baal Hanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his place. The name of his city was Pau. His wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
Gen 36:40 These are the names of the chiefs who came from Esau, according to their families, after their places, and by their names: chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth,
Gen 36:41 chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon,
Gen 36:42 chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar,
Gen 36:43 chief Magdiel, and chief Iram. These are the chiefs of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession. This is Esau, the father of the Edomites.

Preparing The Way Of The Lord (3:1-12) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                 Preparing The Way Of The Lord (3:1-12)


1. Prior to the beginning of Jesus' public ministry, we read of the
   work of John the Baptist...
   a. Who preached in the wilderness of Judea - Mt 3:1
   b. Who at first had a very successful ministry - Mt 3:5-6
   c. Which was later cut short by his imprisonment - Mt 4:12

2. Though John's work was short-lived, it was clearly important...
   a. Each of the four gospels preface Jesus' ministry with that of
   b. His ministry prepared people for what was to come

[If we seek to understand the message and ministry of Jesus Christ, we
must start with the one who was sent to "prepare the way of the Lord".
In this study we shall begin by observing what we can regarding...]


      1. A call to repentance - Mt 3:1-2
         a. Lit., "a changing of the mind"
         b. Which change prompts one to turn from sin and turn to God
         c. Prompted by sorrow for one's sins, manifested by a zealous
            desire to do what is right - cf. 2Co 7:10-11
      2. A proclamation of the coming "kingdom of heaven" - Mt 3:2
         a. The term "kingdom" in Jewish thought meant "rule, reign"
         b. The phrase "of heaven" implies the source of such rule; 
            other gospel writers use "of God" - cf. Mk 1:14-15
         c. The rule or reign of God was about to be manifested in a
            special way; it was "at hand" (near)

      1. To fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah - Mt 3:3
         a. Which was to "prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths
            straight" - Isa 40:3
         b. I.e., to prepare people for the coming of the Messiah
      2. To fulfill the prophecy of Malachi - Mt 3:4
         a. Concerning the sending of Elijah - cf. Mal 4:5-6
         b. John came "in the spirit and power of Elijah", not that he
            actually was Elijah - cf. Jn 1:19-23 (cf. Mt 3:4 with
            2Ki 1:8)
      -- As the angel told Zacharias, his son John was to "make ready a
         people prepared for the Lord" - Lk 1:16-17

      1. People from Jerusalem, all Judea, etc., went to him - Mt 3:5
      2. They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins
         - Mt 3:6
         a. For he preached a baptism of repentance - Mk 1:4a
         b. A baptism for the remission of sins - Mk 1:4b

      1. When people came to be baptized, he expected to see fruits in
         keeping with true repentance - Mt 3:7-8
         a. He expected compassion for the poor - Lk 3:10-11
         b. He expected honest business dealings - Lk 3:12-13
         c. He expected fair treatment, contentment with one's wages 
            - Lk 3:14
      2. He told them not to trust in their heritage or ancestry 
         - Mt 3:9
         a. It was not enough to be Jews, descendants of Abraham
         b. God could just as easily raise up children to Abraham out
            of stones
      3. He warned them that the time of judgment was near - Mt 3:10
         a. The "ax" (God's judgment) was at the root of the trees
         b. That which did not bear good fruit would be cut off 
            - cf. Ro 11:11-23; Jn 15:1-6

      1. One mightier than he is coming - Mt 3:11
         a. Yes, John did indeed baptize with water with repentance
         b. But one (Jesus) was coming to baptize with the Holy Spirit
            and fire!
      2. Whose work would be to separate the wheat from the chaff 
         - Mt 3:12
         a. Using a "winnowing fan" (the Holy Spirit? cf. Jn 16:7-8,
         b. And burn up the chaff with "unquenchable fire" (the 
            Judgment? cf. Mt 13:30)

[We can learn more of the ministry of John the Baptist by studying the
other gospels, but what Matthew records is sufficient to make several
observations about how he was "Preparing The Way Of The Lord"...]


      1. John preached a call to repent - Mt 3:2,8
         a. Jesus did the same during His earthly ministry - Mt 4:17;
            9:13; 11:20; 12:41
         b. Jesus expected the call to repentance to be proclaimed in
            His name to all nations - Lk 24:46-47
         c. And so His apostles proclaimed the need to repent - Ac 2:
            38; 3:19; 17:30; 20:20-21; 26:19-20
         -- Unless we heed to the call to repent, we have not begun to
            understand nor act upon what it means to be true disciples
            of Jesus Christ!
      2. John proclaimed the good news of the kingdom, that it was near
         - Mt 3:2
         a. This was the same message proclaimed by Jesus - Mt 4:17;
            cf. Mk 1:14-15
         b. By His disciples, in the Limited Commission - Mt 10:7
         c. The theme of the kingdom was an important part of the
            gospel following the Great Commission - Ac 8:12; 14:22;
            19:8; 20:25; 28:23
         -- What came to be taught concerning the kingdom, we shall
            consider in another lesson; but it was "at hand" during
            Jesus' earthly ministry, and in existence following His
            ascension to heaven - cf. Col 1:13; 1Th 2:12; Re 1:9

      1. He spoke of Jesus as One who would baptize with the Holy
         Spirit - Mt 3:11
         a. This did not rule out Jesus baptizing in water, or that His
            disciples would
            1) Indeed, Jesus did baptize in water, via His disciples 
               - Jn 4:1-2
            2) He later commanded water baptism in the Great 
               Commission, which His disciples carried out - Mt 28:
               19-20; Ac 2:38; 8:35-38; 10:47-48
         b. But Jesus would also baptize with the Holy Spirit, as 
            promised - cf. Ac 1:4-5
            1) Which occurred at Pentecost - cf. Ac 2:1-21
            2) The result of which affects all who are saved - Tit 3:5-7
         -- Yes, John "indeed" baptized with water (as would Jesus),
            but John prepared the people for a work Jesus would do that
            went far beyond what he was doing!
      2. He spoke of Jesus as One who would separate the "wheat" from
         the "chaff" - Mt 3:12
         a. Jesus' work would divide the good from the bad - cf. Mt 13:
         b. His work would even cause division within one's family 
            - cf. Mt 10:34-39
         -- From what John said, we can expect that the effect of 
            Jesus' work would sometimes cause division, not peace!
      3. He spoke of Jesus as administering judgment - Mt 3:12
         a  Jesus later depicted Himself as judge - Mt 26:31-46
         b. He spoke of how His words would judge us in the last day 
            - Jn 12:48
         -- It is true that Jesus came the first time to save the 
            world, but He is coming again, this time to judge the 
            world! - 2Th 1:7-10


1. The ministry of John the Baptist was an important one...
   a. To "prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight"
   b. This he did by preaching the same themes, letting people know
      what to expect
   -- Of course, there was more, as John was to actually identify the
      Messiah to Israel

2. But when Jesus began preaching, people were more likely to:
   a. Repent of their sins
   b. Answer the call to be baptized
   c. Accept the good news concerning the kingdom
   ...for John had been preaching such themes in the wilderness of

3. In a sense, John's message is still needed today...
   a. There are many who turn the message of Jesus Christ into some 
      sort of "easy-believism"
   b. But John reminds us of the need to bear fruits in keeping with
      true repentance

As Jesus would say later, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do
not do the things which I say?" (Lk 6:46).  Are you showing true
acceptance of Jesus as Lord by doing the things He says?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

The Early Years Of Jesus (2:13-23) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                   The Early Years Of Jesus (2:13-23)


1. A remarkable feature concerning the gospel records is their
   a. Especially related to the early life of Jesus, following His
   b. Mark and John relate nothing about this period of Jesus' life
   c. Only Matthew and Luke record something about the first thirty

2. Other than the visit of the wise men, Matthew records only...
   a. The flight to Egypt - Mt 2:13-15
   b. The massacre by Herod - Mt 2:16-18
   c. The return to Nazareth - Mt 2:19-23

3. Why did Matthew record only these three events?  Are there any
   lessons to be gleaned from what we know of the early years of Jesus?

[In an effort to answer such questions, let's take a few moments and
first examine the text of Mt 2:13-23...]


      1. Precipitated by the angel's warning - Mt 2:13-14
         a. Joseph was told to take Mary and the Child to Egypt
         b. For Herod was seeking to destroy Jesus
      2. Remaining there until the death of Herod - Mt 2:15
         a. The sojourn and eventual departure from Egypt fulfilled
            prophecy - Hos 11:1
         b. For the exodus of Israel alluded to in Hosea was evidently
            a type or shadow of the Messiah's own call out of Egypt

      1. Herod's angry decree - Mt 2:16
         a. Having been frustrated in his original plans - Mt 2:7-8,12
         b. Ordering the death of all male children, two and under, in
            Bethlehem and surrounding districts
      2. Jeremiah's prophecy - Mt 2:17-18
         a. This terrible calamity had been foreseen - Jer 31:15
         b. For the exile of Israel alluded to in Jeremiah was likewise
            a type or shadow of the grief that would be experienced
            again in the region where Rachel was buried

      1. Joseph was directed via dreams - Mt 2:19-22
         a. First, to return to Israel, for Herod was dead
         b. Then, to go to Galilee instead of Judea, for Herod's son
            Archelaus was reigning in Judea
      2. Residing in Nazareth, another fulfillment of prophecy 
         - Mt 2:23
         a. The prophecy "He shall be called a Nazarene" was based
            upon the words of several prophets ("which was spoken by
            the prophets")
         b. There are at least two possibilities as to what is meant...
            1) "It may be that this term of contempt (Jn 1:46; 7:52) is
               what is meant, and that several prophecies are to be
               combined like Ps 22:6,8; 69:11,19; Isa 53:2-4."
               - Robertson's Word Pictures
            2) "Verse 23 alludes to Isa. 11:1, which states that a
               "branch" (netser, Heb.) will grow out of the roots of
               Jesse (cf. Jer 23:5). Under this view, "branch" and
               "Nazarene" share the same root (nzr, Heb.), and "branch"
               refers to the coming ruler of Davidic descent. Although
               they used a different word, other prophets also spoke of
               the Messiah in terms of the "branch" (Jer. 23:5; Zech 3:8; 6:12),

               and Matthew could legitimately say that this
               prediction was "spoken by the prophets" (vv. 6, 15)."
               - Believer's Study Bible

[It should be apparent that Matthew selected those events in Jesus' 
early life which were foretold by the prophets.  This assisted him in
his purpose to show his Jewish readers that Jesus was truly the Messiah
for Whom they were looking!  Now for a couple of...]


      1. This is seen throughout Jesus' life and the period following
         a. Herod the Great, upset at His birth - Mt 2:1-3,16
         b. Herod Antipas, who had John imprisoned and beheaded 
            - Mt 4:12;14:1-12
         c. The leaders of Israel
            1) Who plotted against Jesus - Mt 26:3-4; 27:1-2
            2) Who attempted to cover up His resurrection - Mt 28:11-15
            3) Who sought to prevent the apostles from telling their
               story - Ac 4:1-3,18; 5:40; 24:1-5
      2. We should not be surprised if the same should happen to us
         a. Jesus warned that such might happen - Jn 15:18-20
         b. Satan will certainly do all that he can to stop us
            1) He was behind the efforts to persecute Christ and His
               church - Re 12:3-5,17; 1Pe 5:8-9
            2) He made use of kings to war against the Lamb and His
               followers - Re 17:12-14
            3) And will do so again - cf. Re 20:7-9
      -- But as prophesied, all such efforts are for naught! - cf. Ps 2:1-12

      1. Jesus' beginnings did not prevent Him from doing great things
         a. Even though He lived in exile and relative obscurity at the
            beginning (in Egypt)
         b. Even though He was raised in a town despised by others
      2. The example of Jesus' humility ought to inspire us
         a. To accept the mind of Christ, especially in relation to our
            brethren - Php 2:5-8
         b. To accept whatever area of service we might have in life 
            - cf. Ps 84:10
      -- For those who humble themselves will be exalted at the right
         time - cf. 1Pe 5:5-7


1. What we know of Jesus' early years is very little

2. But it is sufficient to confirm that He was truly the Messiah...
   a. Who would be "despised and rejected by men" - Isa 53:3
   b. Against whom "the kings of the earth set themselves" - Ps 2:2-3

3. And it should be sufficient to remind His disciples...
   a. That we can expect the same treatment - 2Ti 3:12
   b. That we seek to emulate the same example of humility and 
      willingness to suffer for the will of God - 1Pe 2:21

Are you willing to humbly serve and even suffer persecution for Jesus
"the Nazarene"?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011