Hebrews 11

Hebrews 11: Faith

                                Paul explains that “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) He goes on to explain that by FAITH and not BY EVIDENCE; “…we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God [word of God=Jesus Christ]…” (Hebrews 11:3)

Often times people think they need facts and evidences; however we do things by FAITH and FAITH alone; for by faith…

“…Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” (Hebrews 11:4)

                “…Enoch was translated that he should not see death…” (Hebrews 11:5)

                “…Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark…” (Hebrews 11:7)

                “…Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…”  (Hebrews 11:17)

Paul continues with many other “by faith…” stories, however he explains that “…out of weaknesses were made strong…” (Hebrews 11:34) With Faith, anything is possible.

Acts 28

Acts 28: Paul Heals Many

Paul arrives at the island called Melita, the people on the island welcome the survivors and build a fire and provide shelter for them. As Paul gathered sticks for the fire; “…there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whome, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook of the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen: but after they saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.” (Acts 28:3-6)

Paul heals the father of Publius, a famous citizen, and many others. Because of his great works and miracles the people praise him and provide him with the things he needed for his travels. Paul finally arrives at Rome, where he meets the Jewish leaders, and again stresses that Moses and the prophets prophesied the coming of Christ. Paul quotes Isaiah; “…Go unto this people, and say,Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed….” (Acts 28:26-27) The Jews dispute amongst themselves. Paul spends two years in rented accommodation in Rome before his trial in Caesar’s court, freely preaching the gospel.

John 11

John 11: Lazarus

                In the town of Bethany there was a sick man by the name of Lazarus, who was the brother of Mary, the one who anointed the feet of Jesus. Upon hearing this news that He was sick, He stayed where He was for two days, then He told His Apostles that they should go down into Judea. But having been recently rejected from that are, the Apostles were confused as to why Jesus would want to go there again. Jesus teaches them; “…Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is not light with him.” (John 11:9-10) Essentially if we don’t have the light of God with us, we will always stumble among the world of darkness. We should always walk among others of good crowd, so that the light from all can shine together.

Jesus tells them that “…Our friend Lazarus sleepeth…I go, that I may awake him out of a sleep.” (John 11:11) Later Jesus told His Apostles, that Lazarus was indeed dead. When they arrived to meet Lazarus, they learn that four days had passed since he was laid to rest in his tomb. When Mary and Martha (Mary’s sister) find out that Jesus has come, Martha runs to meet Him, and says to Jesus; “…if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:21) But she knew the power of God and the miracles that Jesus had performed and says; “…I know, that even not, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” (John 11:22) Jesus reassures her; “…Thy brother shall rise again.” (John 11:23) Martha knew of the Resurrection and explains that she knows he would one day rise again, in the last day. Jesus then tells her; “…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on my, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25) Jesus asks Martha if she believe this and she responds that she does. Jesus then calls for Mary and she came running out of the house, those who were gathered with her followed her, thinking she was going to the tomb of Lazarus.

When Mary met Jesus she fell at His feet and cried, those Jews who followed her out of the house also wept, even “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) The Jews and all those gathered said to “…Behold how he loved him!” (John 11:36) and those same people wondered if Jesus could perform such a great miracle of raising someone from the dead. Jesus asked to see where Lazarus was buried and before entering the tomb, lifted up His eyes and said; “…Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 11:41-42) This is very interesting, because the people believed in Jesus, they were given signs. Throughout the scriptures people have asked for signs to believe, but it doesn’t work that way. Signs follow those who believe, and that is evident here. You don’t have to KNOW, you just have to BELIEVE and by BELIEVING, God will give you signs and wonders, to make you KNOW!

Jesus then “…cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.” (John 11:43) At that very moment, Lazarus came forth, bound in his grave clothes. Jesus commanded that those around him go and loose him from those bands. Many of the Jews gathered did believe on Jesus.

Some of the Jews who did not believe went their ways to tell the Pharisees, and they held a council; “…What do we? For this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (John 11:47-48) The Chief Priest Caiaphas came to the conclusion that Jesus must die for the nation, so that only one many perish and not the entire nation. Jesus knew of their desires and fled from the Jews, no longer teaching among them. He and His Apostles continued to teach in a city called Ephraim. During this time, the Feast of the Passover was occurring, and the Jews waited for Jesus to show, so they could capture Him.