When Jesus saw Mary weeping, he wept.
Mary had suffered the loss of her brother, and she wept, and Christ wept with her. This was God's heart for Mary's suffering, and this is God's heart for your suffering.
Jesus did not give reasons for the tragedy, or say to her that it was for the best. Jesus did not say this was her lot in life, written in the stars, or God's best plan for her. Jesus did not look for good things that led to this, nor good things that might come from it...
When Mary's heart broke, Jesus was 'moved deeply in spirit and troubled.' (John 11:33) He asked where her brother lay - and Jesus moved towards the tragedy, the darkness, the loss. Then the word simply states, 'Jesus wept.' (vs.35)
When at the tomb, we're told again that Jesus was, 'once more deeply moved.' (vs.38)
Jesus believed, prayed and called Lazarus forth from the grave. But what impacts me today, 2000 years later, is that the heart of Jesus for your pain, my pain, remains the same, and comes to us by his Holy Spirit. Jesus weeps with you. Jesus is 'deeply moved and troubled' by your sorrow. Jesus is 'once more moved' by your broken heart. Jesus moves towards you in this pain, and comes to heal, forgive, restore, and open the gates of heaven for you to come in.
'Jesus said, 'I am the door, and anyone who comes through me will be saved.' (John 10:9)
For more on knowing Jesus Christ personally, please visit: https://1peter1three.weebly.com/first-steps.html
This title is jarring - Jesus as Serpent - but it was Jesus himself who made the analogy. What did he mean?
Many years before Jesus was born into the nation of Israel, this same people were led by a man named Moses. They were a 'family' at this point (a big family of many tribes, thousands in number), and they were wandering in the wilderness. God was leading them through the prophet, Moses.
At one point this people group began to grumble against God, complaining about their hardship. As a result, the Lord sent venomous snakes among them, and these snakes would bite the people, and they would die. The people began to cry out to Moses and God, saying they had done wrong. So God instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent, and set it up in the camp where people could see it. God said that if anyone was bitten by a snake, they could look up at the bronze serpent, and if they did this - lifted their eyes to the bronze serpent - they would be healed and not die. (Read this account in Numbers 21)
Jesus, over a thousand years later, said these incredible words, with an incredible promise:
'Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.' (John 3:14-15)
Like the Israelites in the wilderness, we have 'grumbled' against God, turned our backs on his leadership in our lives. This has left us 'bitten' by the mortal serpent of sin. We are destined to death, and eternal separation from God. When the Israelites recognized their sin, and cried out for help, God gave them something to 'turn towards', to believe in, as a way to show sincerity in their repentance.
In the same way, my friends, God has offered us a 'way' to walk free from our sin. He has provided us his Son, Jesus Christ, and calls us to turn and look to him for life. Jesus, crucified by man, was 'lifted up' in the camp for all to see, like the serpent. And he calls us to lift our weary eyes and look to him now for life, for salvation.
With a heart of repentance, and a heart of belief, lift your eyes to Jesus today, and be saved!
'...everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.' (John 3:15)
For more on taking a 'First Step' of faith in Jesus Christ, please visit: https://1peter1three.weebly.com/first-steps.html
When you watch the news... When you listen to what people say about other people... When you think about what was done to you... When you think about what you've done... When you think about your own thoughts...
Jesus said, 'You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' (John 3:7)
Maybe you've heard the phrase, 'born again', but when Jesus said it to Nicodemus no one had ever heard it before. And most of us don't realize that the first part of this phrase was, 'You should not be surprised by my saying...'
Why should we not be surprised by Jesus - God in the flesh (John 1:14) - telling us that we need to be 'born again'? Because every one of us is weary at the darkness and damage of our own lives!
There comes a time when there has been too much damage to patch something up, to refurb' it. We throw it out, and buy a new one. We start again. Jesus came not to cover up the old, or patch it up... He came so our sinful life could die with him, and rise with him to a new life. He came so that we could be 'born again'. Honestly, if I look at my life, my heart, my record, my despair - it does not surprise me that God would whisper, 'You must be born again.'
For more on taking a 'First Step' with Jesus into a new life, please visit: https://1peter1three.weebly.com/first-steps.html
Do you hurt? Is your heart broken? Do you ache?
Jesus said that he came for the hurting and weary. Jesus said that he came to 'seek and save the lost.' (Luke 19:10) Are you lost?
Jesus said that he came to gather you in his arms. (Matthew 23:37) Do you need his embrace today? Jesus said that he came to forgive. (John 8:11) Do you need forgiveness? Jesus said that he came to heal the broken heart. (Mt 12:20) Does your broken heart need God's healing?
Jesus' name actually means, 'God with us.' (Mt 1:23) Do you need to feel God with you? Jesus came not to bring us more 'words', but to bring us power to change. (1 Cor 4:20) Do you need power to change today? Do you need power to change your own heart, soul, and your life path, your job, your relationships, your legacy?
If you die with Jesus today, you will rise with Jesus today - into a 'new you'! Do you need a new start?
Jesus said if we repent of our sin - that is, if we actually take action, turn away from it, throw it out, cut it off, drop the call... - and if we believe in him, we will be saved! We will in that moment pass through the 'door of salvation' into a new life.
'Jesus said, 'I am the door, and anyone who enters through me will be saved!' (John 10:9)
For more on taking that 'First Step' with Jesus, please visit: https://1peter1three.weebly.com/first-steps.html
You are where it all happens! Not in a church building, not a camp or conference… Not in a committee, fraternity, sorority, golf club or masonic lodge… You – ‘God in you’ – is where it happens! Let me explain…
Jesus came to bring the ‘word off the page’. We are told that he was the ‘Word of God made flesh.’ (John 1:14) So God is no longer just ‘written words’ or ‘scripture’ to us, he is flesh – Jesus Christ!
Jesus also came as a ‘stone’ in God’s greatest construction – the very dwelling place of God. We’re told that Jesus is the ‘living stone’ and ‘chief cornerstone’ of God’s presence. (Eph 2:20; 1 Pe 2:4) And we are told that we – if we repent of our sin and believe in Jesus Christ – that we, too, are ‘living stones’, part of that same construction of God, his ‘dwelling place’. (Eph 2:22; 1 Pe 2:5)
God became ‘flesh’ to reach us, to connect with us. Jesus stepped into our world, so that he could actually ‘dwell in us.’ (Col 1:27) So in Jesus, God comes to us, and dwells in us – and we become ‘living stones’ in God’s dwelling place!
My friends, in Jesus Christ you are the church! You are the ‘living stone’, not just earthly bricks and mortar. Christ – through faith and repentance – lives inside you, and you are where God is, where truth happens. In Christ you do not go to church, you are the living stones of church.
Have you let Jesus into your heart, and become the very dwelling place of God?
‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?’ (1 Corinthians 6:19)
For more on taking ‘First Steps’ with Jesus, please visit: https://1peter1three.weebly.com/first-steps.html
Peter Walker. I hope you enjoy these reflections. Please feel free to comment!:)