Jesus Did Another Odd Thing

He looked upon them, fully aware of their condition. “Go show yourselves to the priests” (Eyewitness Luke 17:14).

Eyewitness: p. 175
In Your Bible: Leviticus 13:2; Luke 17:11-19

We pray asking God for help. We may not see immediate results, but we know he will answer in the best way. Knowing this we might thank him as we ask. It’s in his timing to show results. It’s in our timing to show thanksgiving and praise.

This account of the ten leprous men, is found only in Luke. Ten leprous men received mercy/healing. But what else did Jesus want?

A Request of Jesus

Jesus traveled between Samaria and Galilee on his way back from Jerusalem. As he came to a town, ten leprous men came to him. They weren’t allowed to come too close to people and according to Jewish Law they must warn everyone by shouting “Unclean. Unclean.” The men cried out to Jesus for what they wanted. “Lord Jesus, have mercy upon us” (Eyewitness Luke 17:13). This sincere plea came from the heart of each man. Jesus, fully aware of their condition, had compassion for them. Oddly, what Jesus did was to show his mercy and remind them what the Law required.

Jesus said, “Go show yourselves to the priests” (Eyewitness Luke 17:14). As they went away, the lepers received their healing.

However, only one came back to Jesus. He saw he had been healed and said with a loud voice, “Praise God! He fell at Jesus feet and thanked him” (Eyewitness Luke 17:16).

God’s Mercy Is Healing

“Didn’t I heal ten men?” Jesus asked. “Where are the other nine? Except for this foreigner, no one has returned to give glory to God. Stand up now and go. Your faith has made you well” (Eyewitness Luke 17:17-19).

Naturally, Jesus wanted to see all of these who were healed. He wanted them to know the they were clean because they had faith in him. Jesus’ desire is for mankind to know God is merciful, loving, and caring. Oddly, the only one who returned was a Samaritan!

Application: Simple words from Jesus are not merely simple words. He knew the key required for this healing was their faith in him. The leprous men received all they asked of Jesus. Yet only one returned and praised the source. Believers must remember to thank Jesus.

Prayer: Father, help me realize all that you do for me. I thank you for eyes and ears to see and hear you. You bless me in so many ways. I don’t ever want to forget to be thankful.

Question: Why do you think the nine lepers did not return to give thanks? Why do we miss what God is doing? Is our focus too much on ourselves?

Jesus Did Odd Things

Jesus said, “You are about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him [Lazarus]” (THE MESSAGE John 11:15).

THE MESSAGE: John 11:1-48
In Your Bible: John 11:1-48

Jesus was beyond the Jordan

Jesus was beyond the Jordan

Only a few times does the Bible mention how much Jesus loved friends. Lazarus was one of them. He lived in Bethany, where his sisters Mary and Martha also lived. Jesus was teaching on the other side of the Jordan, when he heard Lazarus was sick.

New Reasons For Believing


He said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son”…but oddly, when he heard Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. After two days, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea” (THE MESSAGE John 11:4-7).

Here THE MESSAGE brings out Jesus’ emotions better than most versions. The disciples thought Lazarus was asleep. Then Jesus became explicit – “Lazarus died! I’m glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You are about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him” (THE MESSAGE John 11:14,15).

When Jesus finally got to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. They had already prepared his body and taken it to the grave. Martha said, “Master if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know whatever you ask God he will give you” (THE MESSAGE John 11:21,22). She thought it was more than odd that he took so long to arrive after getting word. She was distraught.

Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life


Lazarus' Tomb

Lazarus’ Tomb

Jesus replied to Martha, ….“I am, right now, the Resurrection and the Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all….” (THE MESSAGE John 11:25,26).

Mary came to Jesus and fell at his feet weeping. The Jews with her were also weeping. Jesus wept too. Jesus heard the crowd say he’d done many miracles for others. Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of the blind man.” This made Jesus angry, then he said, “Remove the stone” (THE MESSAGE John 11:38).

Note: Of the forty-six Bible versions I checked (BibleGateway.com), only THE MESSAGE, Living Bible, and Eyewitness used the strong word angry for Jesus emotions toward the crowd and their comments at the tomb of Lazarus.

Thinking logically, the sister of Lazarus, Martha said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench, he’s been dead four days.”

Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God? Go ahead and take away the stone” (THE MESSAGE John 11:39-41).

They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here, I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me” (The Message John 11:41,42).

Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out (THE MESSAGE John 11:43,44). The only thing left to do was unwrap him. Glory!

Application: Jesus knew his task was to bring God glory. He made sure all knew Lazarus was dead. This odd act of waiting successfully challenged unbelief of all who were present. God got the glory in raising Lazarus to life.

Prayer: Father, help me see your desire in things around me. Show me how to take action and be your instrument to meet needs of people around me.

Question: Why do we balk when we know God shows us to do something odd…. Something that would make us look awkward or maybe even foolish? If God directs us to do or say anything, why don’t we do it?

Map from: Baker’s Bible Atlas, Charles F. Pfeiffer, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1961,1973,1979, p.190.

Picture from: Tomb of Lazarus from The Holy Land, Plurigraf-Narni-Terni, Riproduzion Vietata, Finito di stampede, bel febbraio, 1975.

When Jesus Says, “If You Love Me”

Jesus said, “People must love me enough to do what I say. Then my Father will love them and we will come live with them” (Eyewitness John 14:21).

Eyewitness: pp. 224,226
In Your Bible: John 3:16; John Chapters 13 and 14

This is the season for romantic love or friendly love. But today we will focus on God’s love.

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Jesus brought captivating “Good News.” Because people had not heard that God loved them, the disciples and early followers, took almost three years to grasp the strength and impact of this message.

God So Loved

Most people hear John 3:16 before they become believers. This verse shows how much God loves mankind. Only God can give agape love. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not die, but live forever (Eyewitness John 3:16).

* Vine’s Expository on New Testament Words, says this:
Agapao love as used of God, expresses a deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential love towards the Giver.

Near the end of Jesus’ ministry, he taught and demonstrated many important things to the inner circle of disciples (John Chapter 13).

  • Jesus washed the disciples feet – modeled serving.
  • Had his last supper with them – celebrating commitment for his return.
  • Told them he was going away to the Father – but would return.
  • Gave a new commandment – love one another.

Philip seemed confused, so Jesus replied, “Don’t you know that I am the in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not due to my own initiative. The Father lives within me and does his work through me. Believe in me when I say I am in the Father…..” (Eyewitness John 14:10,11).

How to Show Love for the Father


There is a direct tie between listening to Jesus and obeying what he says. Jesus explained what the believer gains:

  • If you love me, you’ll be happy for me that I go to the Father – He’s greater than I am.
  • If you love me, you will do what I tell you to do.
  • If you obey my instructions, you show your love for the Father.

How can we miss this? We should listen and do it all.

Application: Jesus pointed the way to please the Father. Jesus also gave followers the key – believe in him, rely on him, and trust him. Listen to him when he says, “If you love me,” there is more to follow.

Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We know he pleases you, help me to listen and do what he says. I want to please you too.

Question: Do you struggle with Jesus’ teaching? Keep my commands. Love one another. Believe in me. Listen to me. Show you love for me. prove your love for the Father. If we do not abide in him the struggle will go on. How do we abide in him and live in him?

Image courtesy of idea go / FreeDigital/Photos.net
* An Expository of New Testament Words, Vol 3, W.E. Vine, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey USA, Love pp. 20-22.

Jesus Gets Angry

His Followers were reminded of the passage from Psalms: Passion for your house burns like fire within me because those who offend you offended me (Eyewitness Psalm 69:9).

Eyewitness: p. 39
In Your Bible: Psalm 69:9; Mark 11:15-18

Most of us have read the account of Jesus turning over the merchants tables in the outer court of the Temple. This shocking event reveals both his humanity and divinity. But there’s more! What may be missed in the action of overturned tables, animals being displaced and money flying everywhere – Jesus was angry because God’s Temple was desecrated.

Jesus Anger in the Temple


Jesus gave good reason for his violent action when he said, “The Scriptures say the Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a hangout for robbers” (Eyewitness Mark 11:17).

As we look at this more closely, we see Jesus’ comments and actions are based upon his closeness to the Father. Passion burns like fire within me because those who offended you have offended me (Eyewitness Psalm 69:9).

When the Temple, His Father’s house of prayer, was insulted, it broke Jesus’ heart……..and made him mad as well.

Do We Get Angry?


Here we understand the pain Jesus felt at the desecration of His Father’s house. We see his reaction. He shows us how we should feel today when we see his Laws and His house (different in many ways, yet still his house) is desecrated.

Jesus’ message was simple and profound. He asked the Father to come to believers so they will be reminded of everything he said and did. This includes shocking actions and anger he demonstrated in the Temple in Jerusalem. With Jesus in us, we should know his voice, feel his anger and his passion.

Application: When our thoughts, thinking, actions are aligned with those from the Lord God, we will be offended by what we may see around us – actions contrary to God’s thinking. Then how should we act?

Prayer: Father, guide me minute by minute in my daily walk with you. Thank you for promising to guide the thoughts and intentions of my heart with each step.

Question: How does this view of Jesus’ actions at the Temple affect your thinking? Why are we not more offended at ungodly things we see around us? Jesus was always in communication with the Father – are we trying to do that?