Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

36. Jesus heals the leper- Matt. 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-15


-Jesus was asked by a leper if He was willing to heal the infectious and debilitating disease. Jesus moved with compassion was absolutely willing and He stretched out His Hand and touched the leper with immediate healing. The man was told to tell no one, but to present himself to the priests for purification in the sight of all. However, the healed individual spread the incredible news to everyone and Jesus’ popularity grew to the point that He had to retreat out into more unpopulated areas. His time had not yet come to present Himself as an earthly ruler, so He would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. *Application* How easy it is for us to get caught up in the popularity of the world when its accolades come raining down upon us. We tend to get conceited and proud and take our ease and joy in the moment. Too often we don’t see the bigger picture like Jesus did. He had God’s will always in mind and would not receive glory until it was ultimately the Father’s hour. He provides the example of not lifting yourself up, but to let Him exalt you in His way and in His time (Proverbs 37:34, James 4:10). Therefore, retreat, enjoy solitude between the Lord and you alone praying and seeking His face without the business and rush of the crowd.


Verse to Memorize- Luke 5:16


37. Jesus heals the paralytic lowered through the roof- Matt. 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26


-This event takes place in Capernaum as four men carry in a paralytic (could not walk, legs were somehow maimed). The problem for his friends was getting him in to see Jesus because of the crowd. They so desperately wanted their friend to be in His presence and had such faith that they dug a hole in the clay and straw roof of the house the people and Jesus were in and lowered him down on a stretcher into the midst of the Lord. Seeing their faith, Jesus forgave the sins of this individual first for the purpose of exposing the motives and unbelief of the Pharisees present from the surrounding region even unto Judea and Jerusalem. Jesus knew their hearts and their skepticism as He demonstrated His authority over sin and the physical nature of man. This caused all to be amazed and glorify Him since they had never seen anything like this before. *Application* When we come into the presence of God and see His authority and power firsthand we also are struck with awe and wonder at His amazing accomplishments. The most amazing thing we sometimes forget about is the fact that only He can take away our sins and shame. Thank the Lord and glorify His awesome Name for the great and mighty things He has done to deliver us from the domain of darkness into His marvelous Light (Ephesians 5:8, Colossians 1:13, 1 Peter 2:9).


Verse to Memorize- Mark 2:12


38. Jesus calms the storm and the waters- Matt. 8:18-27


-First we see in this occurrence Christ Jesus’ orders to get into the boat in order to go to the other side of the sea. There was a scribe there who wanted to go, but Jesus commented on His lack of a permanent home and His adventurous nature, which was always on the move. Another wanted to go, but needed to go and bury his father (earthly concerns over heavenly demands). Jesus’ command was to follow Him. The point was that the physically dead can care for themselves and don’t need any more attention. Jesus was direct with those who wanted to follow Him and tested the real desires of their heart in their areas of weakness. *Application* The Lord always will demand our complete loyalty and knows when we are not fully surrendered to His will. Following the Lord is no game, it is reality and it will cost you everything. Christianity is serious business.

-Once upon the sea with the disciples that actually followed Him, Jesus shows Himself as the King over even nature as He calms the raging waters that threatened to make the crew perish. He rebukes their lack of faith in this instance and in the end inspires admiration of His awesome deeds. *Application* This is one of several sea storm accounts in the Bible. The crew with Jonah and one of Paul’s adventures come to my mind. We see over and over again that God has control over the weather and the events that proceed from these acts of nature. They represent the times in our lives when we are desperate and cry out to the Lord for help and salvation. Once again we see that God responds and is primarily concerned with our ability to trust in Him through the storms and trials and struggles. Believe, believe, believe. God is your rescue and He wants you to know that.


Verse to Memorize- Matthew 8:20

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