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 9

John 9: The Miracle of Seeing

                Jesus passed by a man who was blind from birth, the Apostles assuming that this ailment was brought on by sin, they ask Jesus; “…Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents…” (John 9:2-3)

Jesus explained that the works of God would be made manifest in him, and Jesus reached down and spat into the ground and mixed it up with His finger to make clay. Jesus then applied the clay to the man’s eyes, by way of anointment, and commanded the man; “…Go, wash in the pool of Siloam…” (John 9:7) and the man went and came seeing! The scribes and Pharisees immediately questioned the man as to his miracle and wondered where Jesus was. They gathered together and exclaimed; “…This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was division among them.” (John 9:16)

The Jews go and question the blind man again, and some decide that he might be lying. So they call his parents and ask them if he was born blind. His parents answered in a comical way; “…We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.” (John 9:20-21)

So the Jews gather the man in for questioning again and he answers in a very simple way; “…Whether he [Jesus] be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:25) The Jews argue with the man and ask him how it was done that he could see. The man tells them that he had already explained once how Jesus did it, and yet they kept asking. He accuses them of not listening and for chastising the Lord, when they knew not God. He explains; “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” (John 9:33) The Jews were angered and cast the man from their presence, saying; “…Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?” (John 9:34)  Why did they cast him out and tell him he was a sinner? It is simple; they themselves were sinners and couldn’t admit the truth he was speaking.

When Jesus heard that he was cast out he goes to comfort the man and ask him if he believed in the Son of God. The man ask who the Son of God was, and when Jesus tells him that it is Him, he worships Him. Jesus explains; “…For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” (John 9:39)

John 6

John 6: The Bread of Life

                Jesus goes to the sea of Galilee, which is known as the sea of Tiberias, where a great number of people followed Him to hear from Him. Jesus calls for His Apostles to find food for everyone there, but they only could find a boy with five loaves of bread and two small fishes. Jesus said to His Apostles; “…Make the men sit down… And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were sat down… When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost… and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves.” (John 6:10-13)

                The 5,000 men that had just been fed were so astonished by this miracle that Jesus just performed, they desired for Him to be a King. Jesus, knowing their intentions of forcing Him to be a King, departs into the mountains to be alone. Meanwhile the Apostles depart by ship over the sea to Capernaum. The sea begins to rise from the wind and just off in the distance they saw Jesus walking on the water and were afraid. Jesus reached out to them saying; “…It is I, be not afraid” (John 6:20)

The next day in Capernaum, the group that Jesus had fed, followed Him to Capernaum seeking Jesus. He tells them that they only seek Him, because He fed them. Not because of the miracles Jesus had performed. Those gathered asked Jesus how they could obtain the very same manna that Moses and his people ate. Jesus explains that the work of God is that “…ye believe on him who he hath sent.” (John 6:29) and that the bread that they seek is only of this world. Jesus offers them true bread from heaven; “…I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I say unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.” (John 6:35-36)

                Jesus explains that anyone who partakes of the bread of life, the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ shall have eternal life. Essentially we need to actively pursue a good life, follow the commandments, receive a baptism by the proper authority, receive other ordinances which comes with covenants and promises, then actively partake in the Sacrament [water and bread] to keep renewing those covenants.

John 2

John 2: Water into Wine

                There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there, Jesus and His Apostles were also there. Some of the guests complain that there is no wine to drink and Mary tells them that they don’t have any more wine. Jesus tells His mother that He is still there and can help out. So, Mary tells the servants to follow any direction given by Jesus.

Jesus commands that all the water pots to be filled with water (all six at the party), and Jesus converted them into wine! But no ordinary wine, Good wine! From this miracle, which is explained as one of His first, the apostles believed on Him. Jesus leaves the party and heads to Capernaum where He goes to the Temple to find money changers…

Jesus was VERY displeased to find that His Father’s house had been turned into a den of thieves; He “…overthrew the tables; And said unto them… make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” (John 2:15-16) Those gathered ask Him what sign He would give that they might believe Him and He said; “…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19) The Jews were skeptical and said; “…Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?” (John 2:20) But, Jesus did not speak of the Temple they were standing in, but His own Temple, His body.

Jesus continued throughout the land and performed many miracles, but did not entrust Himself to many people, for “…he knew what was in man.” (John 2:25) In other words, Jesus was careful, because he knew that man could attempt to deceive Him, before His work was over.

Luke 8

Luke 8: Miracles of Jesus

                Jesus went throughout all the cities “…preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God…” (Luke 8:1)

Jesus relates the Parable of the Sower:

“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold…” (Luke 8:5-8) Jesus then explains to His Apostles that “…the seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are those who hear… The rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” (Luke 8:11-14)

Essentially those who hear the words of God and plant the seed of that goodness in good ground, they will rise up and produce good fruit. Those however that are around thorns (temptations or evils) will be choked out. Those who simply don’t have a standing will wither. We must plant our seeds of the gospel in good ground and surround ourselves with good things or else we will wither or choke.

After giving this Parable the Apostles along with Jesus travel by boat to their next destination, however a storm rises… The Apostles, scared, turn to Jesus and say; “…Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was calm.” (Luke 8:24)

The Apostles were scared and had forgotten the power of the Lord, after all they had seen many miracles by Jesus, yet forgot that He would not let them perish. Jesus turns to them; “…Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! For he commandeth even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” (Luke 8:25)

They arrive in the country of Gaderenes, which is against Galilee. When they were there they ran into a man possessed of many devils. The man’s name was Legion, and he had been possessed by devils for years. Jesus commands the devils to leave the man, and they do. But they plead to have a body, so Jesus permits them to enter into a herd of swine (pigs), which upon entering them ran off a cliff and choked in a lake. The man Legion proclaims the miracle of Jesus throughout all the land!

Jesus continues His journeys and while walking a woman, who had suffered a disease of the blood reached out and touched the garment of Jesus, in hopes of being healed. Jesus upon feeling the touch, stopped, and said; “…I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” (Luke 8:46) The woman admitted to touching Jesus and comes and kneels down before Him, Jesus heals her and says; “…Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)

Before Jesus could finish what He was doing, there came a ruler of a synagogue’s house that said his daughter was dead. He turns to the man and says; “…Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.” (Luke 8:50) Jesus explains that she is not actually dead, but sleeps. He comes into the girl and tells her to arise, and she does! Jesus tells the parents to tell no man of what they saw.

Mark 8

Mark 8: Jesus feeds the four thousand

The disciples who followed Jesus had been so devoted that they had gone for 3 days without food. Jesus had compassion on them and commanded His Apostles to bring Him forth all the bread that they had.

Jesus asks them; “…How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.” (Mark 8:5)

Jesus then commanded the multitude to sit on the ground and he took the seven loaves and gave thanks while breaking the bread. They also had a few small fishes, which Jesus divided and gave thanks.

In the end the amount of leftovers filled seven baskets. Jesus managed to feed around four thousand men, women and children with only a few small fishes and seven loaves of bread. After feeding the multitude of people, Jesus departed by ship to Damanutha. Immediately upon arrival the Pharisees came forth asking Him questions, and tempting Him for a sign from heaven.

Jesus “…sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.” (Mark 8:12)

Jesus then departed by ship to the other side, but commanded that His Apostles buy no bread from the Pharisees or from Herod “…Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15). Perhaps Jesus said this, because He knew that they had tampered with the bread or possibly poisoned it?

The Apostles were confused and did not understand how they could continue their journey without restocking their supplies, for they only had one loaf of bread. But after seeing the miracle of feeding four thousand with only seven loaves of bread, Jesus said unto them; “… Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?” (Mark 8:17-18) Jesus was most likely very disappointed that His Apostles had already forgotten of His marvelous power. Jesus continues to ask them about His abilities; “When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven…. How is it that ye do not understand?” (Mark 8:17-21)

How did they not understand? It is because they hardened their hearts!

Jesus and His Apostles then depart to Bethsaida, where the people brought a blind man to them, where they desired for Jesus to touch and heal the man. Jesus “…took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw bought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” (Mark 8:23-25)

Jesus then sends the man on his way and departed with His Apostles into the towns of Caesarea Philippi. On the way Jesus asks His Apostles “… Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” (Mark 8:27-29)

Jesus then tells them that He will be persecuted, killed and then rise again on the third day. Peter, who was in unbelief, disagreed with Jesus. Jesus then responded to Peter; “… Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” (Mark 8:33)

Jesus then leaves His Apostles and all that follow Him with this important message; “…Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall again the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)

Essentially Jesus tells His Apostles and all His followers that they need to follow Him in all things. Those who spent their lives in the service of God and others will not lose their life, but gain their life. Anyone who denies Jesus and does not follow Him are an adulterous and sinful generation, who will lose their souls to gain the riches of the world, which profiteth man nothing!

Mark 7

Mark 7: False Traditions

                  The Scribes and Pharisees come from Jerusalem to criticize Jesus for feeding many, with having them wash their hands before eating, as it is customary for the elders to do. Jesus answers unto them; “…Well hat Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:6-8) Jesus instructs them that just because it is tradition to do something, does not make it above the commandments or teachings of God. The people that were gathered with Jesus did nothing wrong, but simply failed to honor a tradition. Jesus explains that they were being hypocrites for saying they honored God, yet with their actions they were chastising His Only Begotten.

Jesus explains to those gathered, that only by what leaves man can defile him; “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22) These are the things that can defile man, not what they partake.

From here, Jesus leaves to the borders of Tyre and Sidon where he meets a Greek woman, who had a daughter who was possessed of an evil spirit. Jesus tells the lady that she will come home to find her daughter cured and freed from the evil spirit. Jesus then departs the land and goes to the sea of Galilee, near the coasts of Decapolis. Jesus is met by a man who was not only deaf, but also dumb in his speech impediment, He takes the man and hold him; “…and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue.” (Mark 7:33) and instantly the man was able to hear and speak.