Do Not Tell Anyone About This

Eyewitness: pp. 92, 93
Eyewitness Stories: Matthew 9:18-34 and Mark: 5:25-34
In Your Bible: Matthew 9:18-24 and Mark: 5:25-34

In the Gospels there are many accounts of Jesus performing miraculous healings. In two of these healings, Jesus made an odd comment. Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about this.

Jarius’s Daughter Healed

While Jesus taught, a synogogue official named Jarius came, knelt before him, and earnestly pleaded, “My little daughter is dying, but if you will come lay your hand on her, she will live” (Mark 5:22,23 Eyewitness Stories).

His faith in Jesus’s capability superseded his standing in the Jewish community. Yes, he was desperate. His persistent approach to the teacher astonished the crowd.

At Jarius’s home, Jesus made everyone leave except the parents and three disciples (James, John and Peter). Jesus raised the little girl who had died. He then requested food for her to eat. Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened (Mark 5:43a Eyewitness Stories.) The Gospel of Matthew states many did tell about this and the news spread throughout the area.

Two Blind Men Healed

Just after Jesus healed this little girl, two blind men followed him. They cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on us” (Eyewitness Stories Matthew 9:27). Jesus watched the blind men make their way to him inside the house. Then he asked, “Do you believe I can make you see?”

“Yes,” they answered. “We do.” (Eyewitness Matthew 9:28). Then Jesus touched their eyes and they were healed according to the faith of each man. In a demanding tone, Jesus said, “Do not tell anyone about this” (Matthew 9:30a Eyewitness Stories).

Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus’ amazing miracles. Thank you that when you do wonderful things for me, I can tell everyone about it and spread the glorious news of your power and love.

Questions: Why do you think Jesus met alone with some of those he chose to heal? Ponder being alone with Jesus, pleading your crushing need – does this help you better understand the hopeless who came to Jesus? How do the miracles help inspire you?

The Way God Likes To Work

Eyewitness: pp. 77,78
Eyewitness Stories: Matthew 11:16-27
The Message: Matthew 11:16-27
In Your Bible: Matthew 11:16-27

Jesus warned people who refused to repent in cities where they heard his message and saw his miracles. However, we might miss the importance a breakaway prayer following his reprimand. Jesus gives thanks to the Father for the way he likes to work.

People of This Generation (Then and Now)

Jesus taught and reminded those he is with God’s way. After asking what this generation is like, he tells them. Jesus said, “They are like children in the market place, whining to get what they want” (Matthew 11:1b Eyewitness).

Jesus/The Word speaks to the problems with unbelief and indifference:

  • Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum – Jesus came and spoke to them, but none believed. *
  • Tyre, Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah – They did not hear Jesus, but were wicked and a byword for iniquity. *
  • Today – We may be indifferent to the Gospel.

Jesus Talks with the His Father

The Gospel of Matthew shows how connected Jesus is with his Father. After these strong words, he discloses his thoughts in prayer. Eugene Peterson in The Message shows this best.

Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes Father, that’s the way you like to work” (Mathew 11:25-28 The Message).

Tender Relationship

When Jesus stopped praying he revealed this to the people: “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge” . . . (Matthew 11:27a The Message).

Sharing this, Jesus gives thanks to the Father for doing it the way he likes to work.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the tender way you work with me.

Questions: How does the relationship of Jesus to the Father help you become more intimate with the Father? How do you think God works with ordinary people?

* The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975, pp. 11-13.

The Father Shows What to Do – Jesus Does It

Jesus said, “My Father has always been at work doing good, and I must do the same” (John 5:17 Eyewitness).

Eyewitness: p.99
Eyewitness Stories: John 5: 17-24
In Your Bible: John 5:17-24

Healing a lame man in Jerusalem brought Jesus trouble because he did it on the Sabbath. He intended to tell religious leaders the Father wanted this result. But they were incensed that a man was healed on the Sabbath. This lesson passed them by. The Father shows Jesus what to do and Jesus does what he is shown.

The Father Shows Jesus Everything

They caught Jesus in another offense – he called God his Father inferring he was equal with God. “I assure you,” Jesus said, “that the Son can do nothing by his own initiative but will only do what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise, because the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does” (Eyewitness John 5:19,20).

What a joy for Jesus to meet physical, emotional, and spiritual needs each time the Father shows him. It’s not for mankind to get the blessing or healing, but for God to get the honor and glory through Jesus.

Honor Jesus

When believers honor the Son of God, this honor the Father. This mountain-sized stumbling block for the Jewish leaders should not be a stumbling block for us today. Yes, the Father shows and Jesus does it.

Prayer: Father, I’ll follow Jesus and do what you want me to do.

Question: How does the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) help us understand what the Father showed Jesus to teach believers to pray?

The Vine and the Branches

“When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relationship intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant..” (John 15: 4,5 The Message).

Eyewitness Stories: John 15: 1-10
The Message: John 15: 1-10
In your Bible: John 15: 1-10

During his ministry and particularly on the way to Gethsemane in his final days, Jesus wanted the disciples to understand the importance of staying connected with him.

The Vine and the Farmer

Vine, Branches, FruitJesus laid it out for them, “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer” [gardener/vinedresser] (John 15:1 The Message). He continues with welcoming words, “Live in me, make your home in me and do as I do in you” (John 15:3 The Message).  He explained, they were already pruned by the words he spoke to them.  We must listen to Jesus’ every word today too. Jesus promises it will prune all believers today.

Organic Relationship

“I am the Vine, you are the branches When you are joined with me and I with you the relationship [is] intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. . . “ (The Message John 15:5). This up-to-date wording will speak to your spirit. The Message uses intimate and organic to describe the believer’s unique right relationship with the Lord. Meditate on this. Selah.

Pruning Helps

Believers have the benefit of being pruned by Jesus’ words. Then the Father actually comes into the garden and cuts off branches not bearing fruit.

Be assured, believers will get pruned. “When you bear much fruit, you glorify my Father and show that you are my disciples” (John 15:8 Eyewitness Stories). Pruning is necessary and far better than getting cut off! Do not fear the pruning phase – welcome it.

Succinctly, believers need to line up with what God desires us to think, do, consider, step forward with, and stay away from. How can we know his desires? Abide in Jesus. Our best source, of course, remains the Bible and the gift Jesus asked the Father to send–the Holy Spirit.

Fruit That Lasts

Be assured, believers, we will get pruned. “When you bear much fruit, you glorify my Father and show that you are my disciples” (John 15:8 Eyewitness Stories). Pruning is necessary and far better than getting cut off! Do not fear the pruning phase. Welcome the process that keeps us connected and yield fruit that lasts.

Prayer: Father, thank you for showing me life building (organic) relationships that matter. I know I need it. I want to glorify you.

Questions: Have you ever been pruned by the Holy Spirit. How does the fact that it is quick to act in reminding or catching us actually help?

*Image courtesy of stoon/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tell What God Has Done In You

The Message: Luke 8:26-39
In your Bible: Luke 8:26-39

This fascinating account is better known for the pigs and demons than the main message. It presents us with a challenge and a guide as to what Jesus wants us to do – tell what God has done in you.

The Confrontation

Jesus arrived in Gerasenes, opposite Galilee, and met a man who was a victim of demons. When he saw Jesus . . . the unclean spirits screamed [from inside him] . . . “What business do you have messing with me? You’re Jesus, Son of the High God, but don’t give me a hard time!” The man said this because Jesus had started to order many unclean [6,000] unclean spirits out of him (Luke 8:28,29 The Message).

Changed Life

The witnesses to this event were scared and departed to their town. They reported this amazing but troubling story. When they came back to Jesus they found the man delivered and sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed, and in his right mind. It was a holy moment, and for a short time they were more reverent than curious (Luke 8:36 The Message).

Then the people of the village they saw only the loss of their commerce – pigs. They asked Jesus to leave – it was too much change, too fast, and they were scared.

Command to Tell Others

The man seeing the change Jesus made in him immediately wanted to go with his deliverer. Jesus commanded this man . . . “Go home and tell everything God did in you.” So he went back and preached all over town everything Jesus had done in him (Luke 8:39 The Message).

Prayer: Father, It’s often it’s not easy to tell people about what you have done for me. Many don’t care or are not concerned about your love. Help me find a way.

Question: How do you think the people who were mad at Jesus reacted to the man he had delivered?