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The Gospels Direct Our Focus Upon Jesus Christ, the Messiah
In our sweeping through the Bible, we come to The Gospels. I was asked to go through the whole Bible in ten weeks and I made it – just! This is part of that interesting and fascinating series.
The Gospel – which means ‘The Good News’ (‘Euangelion’ from which we get the word evangelist or evangelical) – and God gives us four pictures of the life of Jesus Christ, His Son, our Saviour and Lord.
These four books centre on Jesus – they focus our thinking – our minds – our attention – upon Jesus Christ.
This is a record of the life and ministry and teaching and death and resurrection of Jesus.
We are told all that we need to know about Jesus – particularly of His birth – how it came about – how it was planned – how John the Baptist His cousin was sent into the world six months before Jesus, to prepare the way.
There were TWO special babies born at that time.
We read from the very beginning of the role angels played – to Zechariah – to Mary and Joseph and the shepherds – and we learn that the enemy that tried to eradicate the people of God in Egypt when Moses was raised up, tried to annihilate the life of Jesus Christ and wipe Him out when He was quite young. Mary and Joseph had to take Him into Egypt – for His safety and protection – but also to fulfil the words of the prophets. Matthew 2 and Hosea 11.
We read of one incident in His early life when Jesus was 12 and taken to the Temple in Jerusalem – it is quite remarkable that His earthly parents lost Him! But His Father never lost Him.
Luke Chapter 3 – The Word of God came to John – John preached and baptised. Jesus came from Nazareth to be baptised by John – to fulfil all righteousness – and Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, by God the Father.
He is then tempted. After blessing, He is tried, tested, tempted. An experience of the wilderness is almost essential in the life of the man of God.
JESUS overcomes – triumphs – and returns to Nazareth – and even when reading the lesson in the synagogue and making the briefest of comments, everything appears so very different.
Jesus Christ calls disciples. Now this is what God had always been doing – calling men – Abraham – Moses – Joshua – Isaiah – Jeremiah – and others. Jesus begins by calling Peter and Andrew and James and John and Matthew – and a few others.
There is nothing radically new in God’s method. He uses men – people. God is deeply interested in people – in fellowshipping with people – in saving people from their sins – that is why Jesus came!
“You shall call Him Jesus because He shall save His people from their sins.”
Jesus Christ began to preach and teach – and heal the sick – and feed the hungry – training these disciples, for what was to follow. They were with Jesus for some three years – learning – observing – listening – asking questions – receiving all that they could receive at the particular point in their lives.
They asked about prayer – how to pray – teach us to pray. Luke Chapter 11 They had said prayers – but when they heard Jesus praying, they noticed something different.
There is a big difference between ‘saying prayers’ and praying.
There came that day when Jesus asked – Whom do men say I am? God the Father had revealed to Peter as to Who Jesus really was – the Christ – the Messiah. Luke 9 verse 18 – and in Matthew 16 verse 13 we are given a slightly fuller version.)
Back in Luke Chapter 9 we read of the gathering storm – the dark clouds of fierce and violent opposition are on the horizon. Jesus sets His face to go to Jerusalem and do what God the Father sent Him to do in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus speaks plainly and clearly regarding the cost of being a disciple.
There is more teaching – we have many of the parables.
Chapter 13 teaches us what to say in these days of disasters.
Verse 34 shows us Jesus concern for Jerusalem and for people.
Chapters 18 and 19 – on His way to Jerusalem – Bartimaeus receives his sight and that swindler Zacchaeus receives salvation. Never again would Jesus be in Jericho.
We never know when it will be our final Sunday – or last opportunity – make sure we have sorted out with Almighty God and with those around us, those matters and issues which require attention.
We read of Jesus final week – packed with teaching – as the opposition grows.
Then we come to Jesus final day on earth – the Passover Meal – prayer in the garden – the betrayal and arrest and trial of Jesus Christ – with dear Peter denying Him three times.
The Cross – we have a few details – but nothing gruesome.
This was the final time Jesus Christ appeared before the public – after that it was only to his disciples.
Then we come to the Resurrection – and His meeting with the women – with Peter – with two on the Emmaus Road – then with those gathered in the Upper Room.
For some 40 days Jesus meets with His Chosen Men – giving them Bible studies – cooking them breakfast by the Lakeside – and finally blessing them.
God is always wanting to bless people.
“O strengthen me that while I stand – firm on the rock and strong in Thee,
I may stretch out a loving hand – to wrestlers with the troubled sea.”
“Loving gracious faithful God – we give thanks for the Gospels – we give thanks for every part of Scripture. Help us to read and study Your Holy Word – feed us as we take time each day to read a portion of the Bible. Strengthen our faith so that we might be able to help others who may be struggling in this sin-ridden world – we pray in Jesus Name. Amen”
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