8-13-2015 Jesus Was Home-Schooled

“Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22 NKJV). So began the education of the greatest, purest man who ever lived. “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover” (Luke 2:40-41 NKJV). By age 12, Jesus knew enough to sit “in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions,” astonishing them “at His understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46-47 NKJV). During the next 18 years, Jesus “was subject to” Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:51). He was “home schooled” with God and His Word uppermost in His life. That worked for Him!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#education, #home-schooled, #jesus

6-3-2015 What Is YOUR “Truth?”

Jews delivered Jesus to Pilate as an “evildoer.” Jesus claimed His kingdom was “not of this world” and to “bear witness to the truth.” “Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?” (John 18:29-38). Pilate’s decision was, “I find no fault in Him at all.” Pilate’s decision was based upon “the truth.” “The truth” did not depend on whose heart it came from, but from absolute facts. “Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?” (Proverbs 22:20-21 NKJV). Each person does not determine their own “truth.” Don’t ask, “what is YOUR truth,” but ask, “have you learned “the truth?” Truth in, truth out.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#jesus, #kingdom, #pilate, #the-truth, #your-truth

Why I love the gospel according to John

I love the gospel according to John. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying anything remotely negative about the synoptics; but John’s gospel is raw truth for a spiritually cooked world.

John set the religious world straight in the first-century when it came to who Jesus was, and it’s something that his letter still does to this day. It amazes me how the succinctness of his writings on the only begotten Son of God, who came to be the sinless Lamb of God, can correct pages, and even centuries, of religious error and confusion in only one, two or three verses.

For example, I read a comment the other day that tried to paint Jesus as someone who sinned because he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. Their line of thought was that since God cannot be tempted to do evil, and Jesus was tempted to do evil in various ways while in the wilderness, it must therefore mean that Jesus was not God-in-the-flesh due to his temptation, and that Jesus actually sinned by being tempted in-and-of-itself. Besides the fact that Hebrews 4:14-16 teaches that Jesus was tempted, without actually giving into those weaknesses and sinning himself in order that he might be our compassionate high-priest who is able to identify with the weaknesses that we struggle with, thanks to John’s gospel we know that it was Jesus himself who challenged his accusers (people who were angry that Jesus claimed that God was his father) to convict him of sin if they could (John 8:46). It was a challenge that went unanswered! All it takes is one verse from John’s gospel to settle whether or not Jesus was a sinner and capable of being offered for our sin as the sinless Lamb of God.

I also saw another comment/article the other day that tried to disprove the Deity of Jesus based upon an observation that presented several scriptures that refer to God as the sole creator of the universe, the earth and everything that is contained within each of them. To further their point, they even referred to the scriptures where Jesus himself made reference to God as the creator of man and woman in the beginning without making any reference to himself. These points would be fine and well if it weren’t for what the rest of the scriptures teach on the subject. Case in point, there’s a couple of verses in John’s gospel that just so happen to mention that Jesus (the Word) was at the beginning and that nothing that was made without him (John 1:1-3). So again, all it takes is a couple of verses from John’s gospel to settle the issue.

John’s gospel was written for a time when a lot of people were questioning just who Jesus was…a time that’s a lot like today, and that’s why I love his letter that teaches people about the good news of Jesus Christ!

This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” (John 21:24-25)

#gospel-according-to-john, #jesus, #religion, #settling-questions-about-jesus

An illustrative preacher

Jesus was not only a preacher of illustrations, he was an illustrative preacher.

Jesus didn’t fall into the “do as I say and not as I do” category. Besides the personal claims that he made about himself, this “follow what I’m doing and what I’m teaching” mentality was the main distinction between his ministry and the ministry of the majority of his contemporary Jewish leaders. Jesus’ adversaries couldn’t convict this rabbi of sin in word or in deed. He even challenged them to do so, and then made a preaching point out of it! (John 8:46)

This element of Jesus is not only what separated him from the preachers of yesterday, it’s an element that still does so. After all, it’s easier to give illustrations in a sermon than it is to be an illustrative sermon isn’t it? Telling stories are one thing, but giving someone something to talk about in a good way is a different thing all-together. And yet a living illustration is what we’re called to be (Matthew 5:14-16).

Remembering that Jesus was an illustrative preacher is why I follow him; it’s why I try to not get too stuck on me. I try to be a good example but I know who the example is.

Jesus’ illustrations still teach basic principles to his listeners to this day (think the good Samaritan, the blind following the blind, the prodigal son, and many more than what this space allows), but these illustrations have the effect that they do because he didn’t only teach with illustration – he taught by illustration.

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,” Acts 1:1

#example, #jesus, #preachers

The Blessed!

When John was in prison, he sent some of his disciples to Jesus. Though he acknowledged Jesus was the One he had been given the mission of preparing the way for by the sign shown at His baptism (John 1:32-34), it seems John was desiring some confirmation. Perhaps he had that need because, being in prison, things may not have appeared to be going according to expectations. Personal expectations have a way of causing questions to arise and for some it even leads to discarding entirely the proofs that confirm. Therefore, Jesus sent the followers of John back to relate what they had heard and had observed of the power of Jesus.

We read. . .

(4) And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: (5) the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. (6) And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matthew 11:4-6 ESV)

Who else had power to do such? On another occasion, some who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah were urged by Him to at least “believe the works” (John 10:38) because it was those works done in His Father’s name that bore witness about Him. (John 10:25) In spite of the personal Messianic expectations held by some, God’s plan was unfolding as He intended and Jesus was to be acknowledged for Who He was and is!

There are many today who refuse to accept Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of the world. Some even claim to be offended when His name is mentioned. They don’t mind prayers being ended with “AMEN”. They may not even mind God being addressed in the prayer because that reference has come to mean different things to different people. However, to bring the Name of Jesus into it narrows things down more than some are willing to accept. Still, it must be learned what the Lord’s place is between us and the Father. (John 14:6) In Him is found the path to blessing both now and forevermore.

As Jesus stated, blessed is the one who is not offended by Him. Unfortunately some are missing out on the blessings associated with Him now and the hope relative to the place for eternity He has gone to prepare. May our life reveal the difference Jesus is presently making in our life so that others might be drawn to the power that can make all the difference for them as well.

Have a great day ENJOYING THE BLESSINGS OF LIFE UNITED WITH CHRIST! – Carl Hanson

“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

#blessings-in-christ, #jesus, #john-the-baptist, #name-of-jesus, #offense

The free and the cost

Jesus freely fed thousands.

Jesus freely healed an untold number of people.

Jesus freely gave signs that pointed to who he was.

Jesus freely gave his blood to cleanse a lost humanity from sin.

But Jesus also said to count the cost if we’re going to follow him.

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?” (Luke 14:26-30)

#discipleship, #jesus

The Consolation of Israel – What Consolation is it to You?

In Luke 2:25 we’re told about a man, by name of Simeon, who was waiting for the consolation of Israel.

In Luke 2:25ff we’re told that this consolation had arrived in the form of a young baby boy – it was Jesus.

Have you ever thought about this name (consolation) that was applied to Jesus? What does it mean to you?

#consolation, #jesus, #word-meanings