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Archive for the ‘miracle’ Category

Read what the Word says about bread.  It will stimulate your imagination.  Bread is a symbol of sustenance.   Our Lord’s model prayer mentions the giving of daily bread by the Father.

The relationship with bread is throughout this section of the Gospels.

Think about these questions as we enter into Mark Chapter 8. . .

Compare the feeding in chapter 8 to the feeding in chapter 6. Beyond the difference in numbers, 4,000 versus 5,000, what are the:

a. Similarities in both feedings?

b. Differences in both feedings?

Look at how Jesus addresses the leaven of the Pharisees in Mark 8:12-16

a. What brings up the matter?

b. Why does Jesus chastise or criticize His disciples about their thoughts on the matter?

“Do you still not understand [who I am]?” (8:17, 21).

a. Why is this question of importance for Jesus’ disciples?
b. Why is it important for us to understand this, too?

Get ready for these and other questions as we go further into the Gospel of Mark this week.  God be with you.

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43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.  When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. – Luke 8:43-47 (NIV)

25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.  – Mark 5:25-29 (NIV)

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. – Matthew 9:20-22 (NIV)

This woman was subjected to years of agony without remedy.  She suffered for years without any help.  No matter what she tried to do for herself, she got no better and her health continued to drift in a spiral downturn.  Under the care of her doctors, the woman only grew worse, not better.  She was in a bad situation.  She was in the need of a healing.

The woman heard about Jesus somehow.  Maybe someone told her.  Maybe she overheard someone else talking about Him.  It could be that she got word about Jesus from those who had seen, heard or followed Him while in some other area of the region. 

She heard about Jesus and made her way to Jesus.  She forced her way into His presence.  He worked her way to get near to Him.  The woman fought her way through the thick of the crowd, slipping in her and ducking out there, just to extend her frail hand to swipe His garment a little bit. 

As sickly as she was, she was able to squeeze her hand between those closest to Jesus.  She might have reached between Peter and John or James and Andrew, but she stretched out her hand and touched His garment.  She reached out to Jesus in faith.  She sought her healing through the Lamb of God who caused the blind to see and the dead to rise again.  She reached out to Him, seeking His power to somehow heal her hurting body.

When she touched the edge of His robe, she was healed.  She was freed from her pain and suffering.   She found deliverance from the horrors of her poor health.  The Lord made her whole by the power that escaped from within Him.  He healed her in an instant. 

He changed her without ever having to ask her whether she had health insurance or her family medical history.  Jesus did not investigate her background information or verify her proof of residency before He could see her.  His disciples did require a co-payment or an at-the-door offering with the caveat of “Or, whatever you can give” added on as a trailer behind their request for monetary compensation.  That’s not how it went down.  That’s not what went on.

Jesus can heal us without anything else to get in the way.  He can make us whole.  He can fix us where we need fixing the most.  He can make us better.We do not have to live with the dread of defeat.  We do not have live in such agony and torture.  All we have to do is seek Him out and reach out for Him.  He offers us a healing that will cause all of what ails us to cease and provide us with peace and rest.

Let Jesus have all of your troubles and leave them in His hands.  Trust Him with all of your faith to deal with your issues.  He can do more with them than we ever could.  Let Him handle it.

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NIV Thinline Bible6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.- John 5:6-8 (NIV)

Expect A Miracle, My Life and MinistryThe Greatest Adventure Stories From the Bible: The Miracles of JesusOral Roberts is quoted as sharing how Jesus desires to heal the whole person, not just the part that is ailing them.  Jesus asked the man who laid among many invalids such as the blind and lame did he want to be made well.  He did not ask if the man wanted to get his feet healed or to get help moving into the pool as the angel troubled the water.  No, Jesus asked the man about his desire to be made whole.  Jesus asks this of the lame man by the pool.  The lame man lacked initiative to the point where he did not ask anything of Jesus.  When asked by Jesus, he just went into his sob story about not having anyone to push him into the pool.

Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?: Healings in the Gospels Jesus did not ask that.

Despite the man’s response, Jesus healed him.  Jesus helped him.  Jesus performed a miracle in the midst of the lame and the sick.  He did so for this man and commanded him to do something for himself, too.

Jesus expects the same of you.  He wants you to get up off your duff and do something.  He’s not healing you from your wounds for your own good.  He’s not helping you just for the sake of helping you.  I have said it before and I will say it again: God wants something for us and He wants something from us.  Perhaps, some of us are not getting what God wants for us because we are not giving God what He wants from us.

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”- Genesis 17:15-17(NKJV)
Sarah: Women of Genesis
You have keep this in context.  God said what He would do through Abraham and Sarah in their old age, and then. .  . Okay, okay.  Let me say it another way.  God shared how He would bless the man and his wife with a child, even though they both were beyond the years of conception and . . . Maybe I just should say it a different way.  God informed Abraham that He would use Hs supernatural abilities to rid Sarah of her barren reproach, giving Abraham an heir of his own seed, his own blood, his own lineage.  Yeah, that’s right about the place that the old man fell on his face.  In worship?  He was in laughter, creating images in our minds of him most probably nearing tears with an ache in his side to go with it.
Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old?
And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?

That’s not the most reverent response to God known to man from the sound of it.  Abraham seems to take it a notch above a snicker with outright laughter if we take this at the surface.  Yet, let us not jump on Abraham so fast.  Genesis 18 complicates the matter even further when the Lord appears as three men approaching Abraham one day. 

Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” So he said, “Here, in the tent.” And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.)  Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”- Genesis 18:9-12 (NKJV)
THE GENESIS RECORD

Just like her husband, Sarah laughed at the idea.  She, too, saw it as an impossibility for her and her husband to rear children at their advanced years of age.  No matter if it is the Almighty God Himself or these three men entertained by Abraham, the idea presented to both husband and wife seems comical and causes both to laugh.

Was it really a laugh? Was it truly laughter? Were they both the same type of laughter?

The same root word is used in our English translation for “laughter” and “laughed,” making any distinction or differentiation between the two difficult.  You would think that both were similar if not the same.  Yet, Henry Morris points out in The Genesis Record that Abraham’s laughter was “with joy and surprise… not a laugh of doubt.” It is different from Sarah’s laughter that warrants the rebuke of the Lord in Genesis 18:13.  Morris calls Sarah’s laughter “cynical.”  Dr. Morris surmises that “her faith needed to be strengthened.”

Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be wit Sweatshirt X-Large WhiteUnlike the interaction with Abraham alone, the theophany in Genesis 18 leads to the Lord questioning Sarah’s laughter.  Despite Sarah’s denial, the Lord breaks through all of the mess and addresses the child of promise issue again, repeating the promise before both Abraham and Sarah.  Ultimately, He poses the deepest question that could be asked of any believer- whether they need their faith strengthened or not: Is anything too hard for the Lord?

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When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, Do you want to be healed?- John 5:6 (ESV)

Deliverance is derived from the Divine.  Deliverance is disseminated by the Divine.  The Divine has the power to deliver us from whatever may plague us in this world.  The believer’s faith rests in Him.

Jesus approached this one man among many sick and suffering people.  He asked this man directly if he wanted to be healed.  The man offered an excuse and explanation of his current situation.  That wasn’t what Jesus asked him. 

Jesus wanted to know if this man wanted to have his situation changed, not whether he could change his own situation or not.  If we could change our own situations by our own power, many of us wouldn’t have ever heard it when someone else shared their testimony or said that they were praying for us.

When Jesus asks directly, we need to respond directly.  Jesus wants to know if we are ready, not why we haven’t done this and that or gotten here or there.  Being in need doesn’t make everyone ready to receive.   Notice that Jesus had to step over some other folks to get to this man.  The Word says that there were many who could be called: blind, lame, and paralyzed. 

It was obvious that when Jesus picked out this man for a particular purpose.  Didn’t the blind smell His scent? Didn’t the paralyzed see Him step over themselves and others? Didn’t the lame sense His presence despite the pain running through their bodies? I would imagine that at least one person probably wondered where He was headed and whether He knew what type of place He had entered on that day.   Yet, that is how Jesus works.  He can use His interaction with one among many to spark inspiration within the entire crowd, giving people hope that they can hold onto day by day.

If you are willing, the Divine can deliver you.  He can heal you.  He can remove the pain in your heart and soul.  He can touch your spirit by mending it with His Spirit.  Let Him be your hope.  Let Him become your help. 

Receive your deliverance from the Divine and be made whole once again, restored by the risen and resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.- John 12:11 (KJV)

Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus.  He emerged from the grave and lived on.  His living was not in vain by any means.  Surely, Lazarus lived on as a testimony of the very power of Jesus.

The Gospel of John speaks of Jesus as deity, as God, and as part of the Holy Trinity.  Jesus demonstrated His power in raising Lazarus from the dead, but Lazarus’ life testified about the power of Jesus over the grave simply by his living.  It is said that many believed on Jesus because of him.  The people came not  just to see Jesus but to also see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead  (John 12:9, KJV).   Even the chief priests sought to kill Lazarus, according to John 12:10.

How live our lives will serve as a testimony to others.  Some will accept it and embrace us.  Others will reject it and seek to diminish our testimony.  Just live it out in faith.  Someone will see what the Lord has done in your life.  Perhaps, after they hear your life’s story and your testimony, they will seek the Lord for themselves and allow Him to enter into their heart.

 

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“. . . And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
Joshua 4:7 NKJV

The children of Israel needed these stones. They didn’t need them erected as an idol. They needed these stones to serve as a reminder, a memorial of what God had done on their behalf. These stones would not simply serve as a conversation piece. Joshua shared: They will be a sign among you. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these rocks mean?’ These stones would allow the children of Israel to share their testimony with their children and their children’s children.

It’s one thing to have testimony, but many of us need to have lives that serve as a voiceless testimony of God’s goodness to us. People need to see God in our lives as much as they hear about Him from us. We need to demonstrate and display the change that God has made in our lives. People will see it. Although they may not recognize it, they will see it as something different that sets us apart from others.

Proverbs warns us not to remove the landmark set in place by our forefathers. In Proverbs 22:28, the Word teaches that the landmark was set in place for a reason that was given to those who came before us. Let us learn about that reason before we set our hearts and minds on removing it. In Proverbs 23:10, greed is addressed by warning people not to remove the ‘ancient landmark’ or oppress the poor by taking their land. Our obsession with accumulation may make us oblivious to the way we treat others, even our ancestors and their legacy.

With a lifestyle that respects the past, people will see us as blessed and ask what does it mean and how did we arrive at such a place in this life. We will be able to share about His goodness and His mercy towards us. God wants to work through us to reach others. Let the ancient landmark serve as a reminder to us that our lives our on display before the entire world. Keep it as a memorial.

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