Jesus Had To Shout His Message

Eyewitness: pp. 130-133
Message: John 7: 37,38
NIV: John 7:28,29
NLT: John 7: 15-39
In Your Bible: John 7: 1-40

At the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus was in the Temple teaching. During this time the Rabbis argued with Jesus about what was “work” on the Sabbath. The Jews circumcised boys on the Sabbath and Jesus healed on the Sabbath! Jesus was adamant! Neither was against God’s will. He had to shout his message over their objections.

Message from God

The people asked, “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” They were astonished by what Jesus said next. “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own” (John 7:15-17 NLT).

Jesus Challenges Their Thinking

The people were surprised to see him teaching in the Temple during the Feast. But no one would defend Jesus for fear of the Jewish leaders’ reaction. They knew where Jesus was from, but also knew that when the Messiah came, no one would know where He came from. It was a dilemma for them.

Jesus, teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me” (John 7:28,29 NIV).

Living Water

On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says” (John 7:37,38 The Message).

This is the same discourse he had privately with the Samaritan woman at the well (see John Chapter 4). Now, publicly Jesus vigorously appealed to all who could hear.

Yes, at the Festival of Tabernacles, Jesus had to stand and shout his message.

Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus’ amazing teaching. As he presented it different ways, it shows me how to share your words with different people at different times.

Questions: Why do you think Jesus had to keep telling the Jewish leaders and other people he actually came from God?

How would you explain living water to a new believer?

Private Teaching from Jesus

Eyewitness Stories: Mark 9: 33-48
The Message: Mark 9: 36,37
New Living Translation: Mark 9: 33-37
In Your Bible: Mark 9: 33-48

People marveled at Jesus’ miracles and his warnings. Jesus knew their thoughts. As they neared Galilee he took the disciples aside for private teaching on issues he knew they did not understand.

Have No Pride – Serve

Jesus and the twelve arrived in Capernaum and he needed to talk to them again privately. Jesus asked, “Back there on the road, what were you discussing so strongly about” (Mark 9:33b Eyewitness Stories)? He knew they were discussing which one of them was the greatest. Then Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else” (Mark 9:35b New Living Translation).

Don’t Cause Believers To Stumble

He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me— God who sent me.” (Mark 9:36,37 The Message).

The point here is that babes in Christ may be of any age. Be careful not to cause them to stumble. As we help them, they may feel God’s arms around them.

Self Examination

Now, if any part of you (hand, eye, foot, mouth… you name it) causes you to sin, keep it under the control of the Holy Spirit! You’re better off Spirit controlled than self-controlled. Kingdom living under Jesus’ love and the Holy Spirit’s guidance will keep you from missing the mark.

Jesus knew the disciples needed private teaching to reinforce and explain key topics he taught.

Prayer: Father, hold me in your lap and teach me once again. I love our relationship.

Questions: Jesus corrected his disciples for arguing over who of them was to be the greatest. How do you accept taking last place and becoming a servant to others?

What do you find that causes you to miss the mark when you do “self examination”?

Nothing Is Impossible with God

Eyewitness: pp. 122-123
The Message: Matthew 17: 14-21
In Your Bible: Matthew 17: 14-21

At the Transfiguration Jesus was in deep conversation with Moses and Elijah. Only three disciples (James, Peter and John) saw it all. In awe of this they realized that nothing is impossible with God.

Demon Possessed Boy

Jesus then came down to Caesarea Philippi where they met with the rest of his disciples and a large crowd. A man fell at Jesus’ knees pleading for mercy for his demon possessed son. The disciples prayed and wondered why the boy was not healed.

After his mountaintop experience, Jesus came back to the reality of his immense task. His teaching to the people and the disciples on Kingdom principles seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? (Matthew 17:17 The Message.)

When Jesus rebuked the demon, it came out of him. The boy was healed at once.

Discernment

Later when he talked to the disciples privately, they asked why they couldn’t cast the devil out. Jesus answered in a blunt manner, “Because you are not taking God seriously,” (Matthew 17:20a The Message).

Wow, these men had been given power and authority from Jesus to do miraculous wonders and help people (and they did). Now they weren’t taking God seriously! Do we do the same?

Believers, we need to be careful to do what God tells us to do and learn Kingdom Principles as the disciples did. Remember to use discernment in dealing with the devil. Jesus said, “This kind requires prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21 Eyewitness). Yes, the NASB adds that later manuscripts add verse 21 in Matthew.

Absolutely nothing is impossible with God.

Prayer: Father, thank you for guiding my prayers. Help me take you seriously.

Questions: How do you fail to take God seriously in everyday life? In what way(s) do you need to use discernment in praying for others?

His Works Are Spectacular

Eyewitness: p. 111
Eyewitness Stories: Matthew 15: 29-31; Mark 7: 31-37
New Living Translation: Matthew 15: 29-31; Mark 7: 31-37
In Your Bible: Matthew 15:29-31; Mark 7:31-37

Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon and entered the coast area of Decapolis. There he walked to the mountainside and as he sat down a large crowd gathered around him. Everyone was amazed as Jesus performed many healings. Indeed, his works are spectacular.

Afflictions Healed

People brought to the feet of Jesus the crippled, blind, mute, disabled, and those with many other afflictions. Really to numerous to count! Jesus healed all of them. Yes, [loudly] they praised the God of Israel.

Healing a Deaf Man

A deaf man with a speech impediment begged Jesus to heal him. He was brought to a private place away from the crowd. Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears, then spat and touched the man’s tongue. Looking up to heaven, he said, in a deep groan, “Ephphatha!” or “Be opened!” (Mark 7:31-34 Eyewitness).

Yes, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue set free, and he spoke clearly. Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news (Mark 7:36 New Living Translation). Again amazed at healing of this man, the crowd praised God, saying, “All his works are spectacular!” (Mark 7:37a Eyewitness).

Prayer: Father, thank you for meeting all my needs. I must admit that often I hardly notice. But WOW, sometimes you do things for me in spectacular ways. Selah.

Questions: Why do you think Jesus specifically healed some in need apart from the pressing crowd? Notice, the Eyewitness uses the word ‘spectacular’ but other versions verses use the bland ‘has done all things well’. How does spectacular impact you in reading this verse?