James 5

James 5: Anointing the Sick

                James explains that we should not focus on riches of the world, but rather riches of the gospel and of things not of this world. He urges us to learn patience, even as Job learned patience; knowing that the “…Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11)

Are you afflicted? If so pray. Are you merry? Sing a song. “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up…” (James 5:14-16) We learn that we can receive priesthood blessings when we are sick, with the anointing of sacred oil.

James also encourages us to convert others unto the Lord. If we do this, we can also be forgiven for many of our own sins. “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20)

Romans 7

Romans 7: Law of Moses Fulfilled

Paul explains that through Jesus Christ the Law of Moses was fulfilled; “…ye also are become dead by the body of Christ…” (Romans 7:4)

Paul goes on to explain that the law is not sin, in fact it is holy. We learn that the Law does not condemn, but it does reveal and define sin. Through the law we become aware of our guilt. The spiritual law cannot help a worldly man; being “…sold under sin” (Romans 7:14). Paul explains that Sin controls our actions regardless of our will. It is only by looking for help through Jesus Christ that we can escape the temptations of sin.

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 5

John 5: Salvation of the Dead

                After the feast of the Jews, Jesus left to Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem, Jesus stopped at a ‘sheep market pool’, which was called Bethesda. This pool had many lined up to be healed, but only for a short period after the waters were troubled could anyone be healed. A certain man, who had an infirmity for 38 years couldn’t walk and it made it difficult for him to jump into the water. The man asks for Jesus to help him into the water; however Jesus decides to just heal the man.

Jesus said unto him; “…Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” (John 5:8) and immediately the man was cured and took his bed and ran off. Soon after, a Jew spotted the man carrying his bed and was told him; “…It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.” (John 5:10) The man responded that he was cured by a man, and that man told him to take his bed and walk.

The Jews find out that it was Jesus who had been healing people on the Sabbath day, and begin to persecute Him. But Jesus responds to them; “…My father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17) But this only angered the Jews more, because Jesus had said His Father, was God! Jesus tells them; “…The son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19) Jesus goes on to explain that the Son does the will of the Father, but that the “…Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” (John 5:22) Everyone should honor both the Son [Jesus Christ] and the Father [God], for not honoring one, you dishonor the other. For God has given His Son power and authority (see John 5:27).

Jesus teaches about Baptisms for the dead; “…for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29) In modern day LDS temples, baptisms for the dead are performed so that those who did not have a baptism by the proper authority in this life can be baptized by proxy. Meaning, someone else is baptized in place of the deceased. Because without baptism, no one can enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore it is necessary that someone acting on their behalf is baptized in the flesh so that they can receive the baptism and the saving ordinances that come with it, while still in the Spirit. Later in the New Testament Peter also teaches about this; “…for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6)

Jesus explains that in the judgment day, He will be the one doing the judging; “…as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

                Jesus tells the Jews, that they received Moses and he came in the form of Moses. Jesus, being the Son of God comes in the form of the Son, and is rejected. Essentially Jesus is telling them; If you do not believe the Son, you do not believe in God. Moses wrote of Jesus, and rejects those who reject Jesus. Yet the Jews were so fond of Moses, yet not fond of Jesus.

Jesus ends with this wisdom; “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

Mark 2

Mark 2: Jesus Forgives Sin

                Jesus goes to Capernaum and enters into a house, the word gets out that He is there and people show up in droves! So many that there was not enough room for them in the house, Jesus preaches to them from the house and evil heals a man with Palsy. When the people wanted to get closer to Jesus, they actually broke through the roof of the house and lowered a man sick with Palsy through the roof. When Jesus saw the faith of the people he tells the man who is sick that his sins are forgiven.

Some of the scribes who were there began questioning to themselves; “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? …immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves… said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether it is easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins…” (Mark 2:7-10) The man with Palsy is healed and takes his bed and leaves.

Jesus departs to the seaside and finds Levi, sitting idle outside of the tax office and Jesus tells him to follow him, and he does. Jesus goes in to eat with publicans and sinners, but the scribes were confused and ask why Jesus would eat with sinners. Jesus responds; “…They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17)

                Jesus explains that while the Apostles are with Him, they have no need for fasting. Jesus also explains that “…The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27), in other words we need to honor the Sabbath day!

Matthew 9

Matthew 9:

Jesus Forgives Sins

In this chapter, in a way that only Jesus could, shoots down those who criticize him.

Jesus is lead to a man who is sick on a bed, afflicted with Palsy. He tells them afflicted man; “…Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Matthew 9:2) Some of the scribes that overhead this, said to themselves that Jesus blasphemeth, by telling a man his sins were forgiven. Jesus, knowing their thoughts asks them men; “…Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins…” (Matthew 9:4-6) Jesus then turns to the afflicted man and tells him to; “…Arise, take up thy bed ad go unto thine house.” (Matthew 9:7) Jesus put the scribes in their place.

Jesus passed by the tax office and saw Matthew sitting outside, he tells Matthew to follow him, and Matthew agrees. Later Jesus joins publicans and sinners for a meal. The Pharisees, trying to capture Jesus in some sort of scandal, asks Him; “…Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11) Jesus responds again in a way that shoots them down and puts them in their place; “…They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick…. For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)

While speaking to these men, a ruler came to Jesus and begged him to come and bless his daughter, who had just passed away. Jesus agrees and goes into see the young lady. While he is traveling to see the young lady, an old woman, who was stricken with a blood disease, touches the hem of Jesus’s garment. The lady, having so much faith said to herself; “…If I but may touch his garment, I shall be whole.” (Matthew 9:21) Jesus having felt her touch, turns (in a crowded area) and told the lady; “…Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made me whole…” (Matthew 9:22)

When Jesus arrived at the young lady’s house he tells them men there, that she is not dead, but sleeping. The men laugh at Jesus, but Jesus took her by her hand and caused that she would arise from her sleep.

After leaving the house of the young lady, two blind men approach Jesus and ask to be healed. Jesus asks them, testing their faith; “…Believe ye that I am able to do this? And they said unto him, Yea, Lord.” (Matthew 9:28) Jesus then touched their eyes and they were healed, having the ability to now see. They were very grateful, and the Lord swore them to secrecy. However, they spread the word of this miracle throughout the land. The fame of Jesus was spreading throughout the land, and his criticism spread as well.