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Apr 27, 2015

Real Talk with Roderick

Moving On (Acts 1:15-26)

Between the ascension of the Lord (Acts 1:9) and the arrival of the aforementioned Anointing (Acts 1:5,8; 2:1-4) there is a period referred to as those days (ταῖς ἡμέραις - Acts 1:15). It was during those days that the disciples of Jesus spent their time together in prayer and supplication in an upper room (Acts 1:14). At some point in the mean of that while Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples1 to address an issue: Judas is gone.

Peter's description of the that state of affairs is interesting. Rather than starting with the negative fact that Judas was no longer in their number he begins with the positive - Scripture had to be fulfilled (ἔδει πληρωθῆναι τὴν γραφὴν). Does it matter? Certainly! It is the difference between seeing first the problem and seeing first the hand of Providence. It is the difference between focusing on Judas' failure and focusing on Scripture's fulfillment. Some people naturally look at a situation and become overwhelmed by the sight of obstacles. Others look into the same situation and see the opportunities. It is hard to be an effective leader if you can only present the problem; to truly inspire people you have to also see clearly the problem and the possibilities that exist in the same dark situation. 


    Godly leaders see the enormity of intimidating issues in light of the fact that with God nothing is impossible. They confront their problems with a courage that comes from confidence in the risen Christ, the meaning of His cross, and the calling that is on their lives.


Peter is such a leader. And according to the calling that is on his life he is again, having been restored and supernaturally enabled to understand Scripture (Luke 24:45), strengthening his brethren (Luke 22:32).

    Among them Peter takes the leading place, as to a large extent he did during the period covered by the Gospel narrative. His denial of Jesus in the courtyard of the high priest might well have discredited him irretrievably in his colleagues’ eyes, but the risen Lord’s personal appearance to him and recommissioning of him rehabilitated him and ensured for him a position of leadership never to be forfeited.67

    Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Book of the Acts (p. 44). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.


The Positive Perspective of Peter (Acts 1:16-19)

The rugged fisherman addresses his fellow disciples with a candid and positive description of what has taken place: Scripture has been fulfilled.

  • Judas' Fall was Foretold (Acts 1:16-17; John 13:18; 17:12; Psalm 41:9) - Jesus had prepared His disciples for Judas' defection. In their last supper together He had said that His betrayal would be facilitated by someone who had the audacity to eat that meal with Him and then act with unthinkable meanness by betraying Him to His enemies. When the Lord reveals this information He quotes from Psalm 41:9. It is with this in mind that Peter says that there is a up side to what we have seen - Judas deception and defection was all part of the plan.

 9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me. Psalm 41:9 (NKJV)

  • Judas' Fate was Foretold (Acts 1:18-19; Matthew 27:3-10; Zechariah 11:12-13) - What else did Peter have in mind when he said the Scripture had to be fulfilled? Although it was not part of Peter's speech Luke says that even the way Judas dies was predicted: (1) the thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15), (2) the return of the silver to the temple (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:3-5), (3) the money being used to by the potter's field and that field would become the place where Judas would die (Matthew 27:5-10). The Scriptures foretold that Judas would use the betrayal money to buy the place of his own death. It is with this in mind that Peter says that there is an up side to what we have seen - Judas died according to plan.


    Peter cites two passages, one regarding the removal of Judas from his place and position, the other regarding the filling of his vacant place by another. Both passages deal with the enemies of the theocracy during David’s time; it is thus that they apply to Judas who by his traitorous act stands forth among these enemies as their chief representative. All those enemies of David’s time are the type of whom Judas became the great antitype. It is thus that the Holy Spirit spoke about Judas in advance. When he spoke through David, Judas was fully foreknown. When he quotes Ps. 69:25, Peter renders the LXX quite exactly and makes only verbal changes that retain the full meaning. David’s plural is, however, made a singular because the passage is used specifically with reference to Judas.

    Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles (pp. 48–49). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.

The Prescription of Scripture According to Peter (Acts 1:20-22)

Peter anticipates the work that is coming and he sees something wrong with the state of affairs: we are down one apostle. He has accepted the call on His life and the summons to strengthen His brethren (Luke 22:32). To see the significance of what Peter is doing we need to consider his profile:

  • Clueless but Desires the Best God Has to Offer - John 13:6-10
  • Promising Insight by Lacking Humility - Matthew 16:13-23
  • Willing to Get Out of the Boat to Walk on Water - Matthew 14:27-32
  • Willing to Get Out of the Boat to Get to Jesus Faster - John 21:7-10
  • Opened Understanding - Luke 23:45

Did Jesus know that Peter was going to do this? Did Jesus know that the big fisherman would taken it upon himself to lead his fellow disciples into a decision, a destination, and a new disposition on recent events. He counted on it (Luke 22:32).

the decision to move on is sometimes more important than the direction.

Regardless of what many think about whether or not the disciples should have chosen another apostle we need to be mindful of three things: (1) Peter is a leader chosen by Jesus to take charge, (2) he sees a problem with the missing man, and (3) he is willing to get out of the boat and even fail in trying to get them closer to Jesus. I will follow a man like that - especially after Jesus has opened his understanding.

  • Judas' Role has been Removed (Psalm 69:25) - There will be no more betrayal among the twelve. His role was predicted and necessary for the Scriptures to be fulfilled. But it is no longer needed and will not happen again.
  • We Have to Move On (Psalm 109:8) - Peter takes a passage from the Psalter and says that the fallen must be replaced. Why? When James the apostle dies he is not replaced. Judas did not finish in faith but apostatized. Where James was faithful in his church-founding role until death Judas was unfaithful in life and was never restored. His office had not truly been fulfilled. 

Peter is pressing his team to acknowledge the failure, to focus on the fulfillment, and to forge ahead.

The Product of Peter's Positivity (Acts 1:22-26)

  • disposition (Acts 1:22) - these people have embraced the call to be witnesses. they are surrendered and committed to the commission.
  • new type of prayer (Acts 1:24-25) - praying to Jesus and thereby acknowledging His divinity

Making it Plain

  • Face your fault.
  • Focus on fulfillment of the calling that is on your life.
  • Forge ahead.


1disciples in NKJV but ἀδελφῶν in the NU text.


Apr 19, 2015

Real Talk with Roderick

While We Wait (Acts 1:9-14)

Obey (Acts 1:9-11)

His final words are the "these things" (ταῦτα εἰπὼν) from Acts 1:4-8. Among these things are two commands: (1) wait for baptism (Acts 1:4) and then (2) be witnesses (Acts 1:8). Regarding the latter, God's goal of having witnesses for Himself is ancient (Deuteronomy 4:6; 30:19); even Creation is called to serve Him in this capacity (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:19-20). If there is no one ready to raise their voice to declare God's goodness the stones under our feet are ready to do the job (Habakkuk 2:11; Luke 19:40). It was to this great work that Israel was called out from among all peoples - to bear witness to the nations. But where Israel failed to fulfill this calling the Son of God succeeded (Luke 4:16-19). And those that become His disciples take up His work by becoming His witnesses. When describing the ongoing witnessing mission in the work of Jesus and the life of His disciples FF Bruce says it well: 

The close relation between God’s call to Israel, “you are my witnesses,” and the risen Lord’s commission to his apostles, “you will be my witnesses,” can be appreciated the more if we consider the implications of Paul’s quotation of Isa. 49:6 in Acts 13:47.32 There the heralds of the gospel are spoken of as a light for the Gentiles, bearing God’s salvation “to the end of the earth”; here “the end of the earth” and nothing short of that is to be the limit of the apostolic witness.

Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Book of the Acts (p. 36). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Regarding the command to be witnesses (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8), the heavenly hosts are leading by example and encouraging the disciples to get going with the work:

Luke intends his readers to understand these men to be angelic messengers, like the two men who appeared to the women at the empty tomb of Jesus “in dazzling apparel” (Luke 24:4).39 In both instances the fact that there were two suggests that they are viewed as witnesses, two being the minimum number for credible witness-bearing (Deut. 19:15). On the former occasion the two men bore witness to Jesus’ resurrection; here they bear witness to his forthcoming parousia.

Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Book of the Acts (p. 38). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Apr 19, 2015

Real Talk with Roderick

New Work


Could I get anybody to make that sound that you make before you spit? You know Jesus he spits. And it's in today's lesson. 

Listen in on this Real Talk to learn about the new work.



In His grip by His grace 


Apr 12, 2015

Real Talk with Roderick

Reaching the Reachers


I got a question for you. Who did Jesus come for? For all of us? Let's take a moment at look at Matthew 9.

Listen in on this Real Talk to learn about reaching the reachers.


In His grip by His grace 


Apr 12, 2015

Indispensable Preparation (Acts 1:1-2)

Before presenting more history to Theophilus (meaning: dear to God) Luke speaks summarily about his previous writings. He tells his recipient that the former account is to be regarded as a comprehensive (πάντων) record of Jesus' works and words (Acts 1:1). Modern readers have come to know that prior work as The Gospel According to Luke. That record stops at the point when Jesus, having given his disciples a work for insight and a word of instruction, was taken up into heaven (Luke 24:51):

* A Work for Insight: His Teaching and His Touch (Luke 24:44-48) - It is imperative that these men, soon to become the leadership for His church, understand the faith they will promote. How else will they be able to teach others (Matthew 28 :18-20)? And so Jesus teaches onthe history of His ministry, the violence that had recently transpired, and now His own resurrection from the dead. The things that have happened are all to be seen as fulfilling prophecies presented in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:27, 44).  But more than His teaching is needed. If the truth of God is to be really received there must be a softening of hard hearts, an opening of blind eyes, and a sharpening of dull minds. And so, beyond expounding upon the Scriptures the men are changed (Luke 24:45). Jesus gave them a new aptitude for understanding Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:14-15).


Opened he their mind (διηνοιξεν αὐτων τον νουν [diēnoixen autōn ton noun]). The same verb as that in verses 31 and 32 about the eyes and the Scriptures. Jesus had all these years been trying to open their minds that they might understand the Scriptures about the Messiah and now at last he makes one more effort in the light of the Cross and the Resurrection. They can now see better the will and way of God, but they will still need the power of the Holy Spirit before they will fully know the mind of Christ.

Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Lk 24:45). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.


* A Word of Instruction: Tarry (Luke 24:49-53; Acts 1:2) - The Promise of His Father was none other than the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49). Lest the disciples begin to believe they could start reaching the world based on strong resolve (Matthew 26:30-35; Luke 24:46-48) Jesus makes it clear that they do not yet have the power to do the job. Thus He commands them to wait in the city of Jerusalem until the power was received - the Person of the Holy Spirit. He would enlighten the disciples, enabled people to receive their message, and empower them for the work of being witnesses. The command to preach in His name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem, could not begin until they had been equipped like John the Baptist (Luke 1:15) and Jesus Himself (Luke 3:21-22; 4:16-19).


Witnesses are appointed by God and anointed for the work. Apart from both His election and enabling they cannot be effective.


Infallible Proof Examples (Acts 1:3)

What were the infallible proofs of Jesus' resurrection. There were many (John 20:30; 21:25). What follows is a sampling of what is recorded in the gospels and one provided by a former enemy of Jesus.

* Displaying Scars from His Crucifixion (John 20:19-29) - 

* Displaying Signs from their Calling (John 21:1-23; Luke 5:1-8) 

* Disclosure to their Larger Company (1 Corinthians 15:5-7) 


Apr 5, 2015

The How of Spirit Filling (Ephesians 5:15-21)




Darlene, the boys, and I were walking a paved path in Walker Ranch Heritage Park. The boys were small and were either being pushed in a stroller, or were trying to learn to ride their bikes. Roderick Jr. had learned the basics and was enjoying a good time riding near the family on the trail. Caleb, being about two years younger than Roderick Jr., was still working to comprehend and apply the basics of bicycling; things like braking were not readily appreciated and thus not practiced. Stopping was usually more of an event than a decision. Although his bike was equipped with everything required for a safe biking experience, because he did not readily understand the fundamentals, his time in the park that day was nothing less than scary.

The path we were on was a circuit. As we came around the trail there was a decline toward a turn that would need to be negotiated by anyone wanting to stay on the path. As Roderick and Caleb met the decline for the first time they both experienced a bit of excitement. Roderick allowed gravity to work toward building a good speed. He enjoyed the speed and went down the hill without any problem. As he neared the bottom he pressed backward on the pedals to slow the bike. Caleb was a different story. The same forces of nature that produced fun for Roderick were producing terror in Caleb. His bike was speeding up without any effort on his part. The end of the decline was approaching and it just did not seem to poor Caleb that he was going to be able to negotiate the turn. And stopping by using the brakes was not an option… he was not sure how they worked.

His mother and I, taking notice of his quiet screaming and calm terror, took to advising our son: “Use the brakes, Caleb! Use the brakes!” Our voices went unheeded and Caleb spilled out on the concrete of the path. I ran to my son, now crying over his accident, and began helping him back onto his bike. Over the next few minutes we reviewed braking. Caleb would pedal for about five inches and then pedal backward. After allowing him to do this a few times we resumed our walk around the circuit. And before too long we came again to the place where the trail had previously turned into a decent into unmitigated terror.

As Caleb began to go down the path Darlene and I, being the proactive people that we are, began taking measures to prevent the problem experienced earlier: “Use the brakes, Caleb! Use the brakes!” We yelled it early and with gusto. But it was too no avail because our little boy was already gripped by gravity induced panic. Caleb was yelling out as his bike accelerated down the hill. Although we kept calling out truth to him he was, by vice of inexperience, unable to apply what was being said. And it was then that I began to receive insight into the outcome. Whether or not it was merely intellectual or spiritual I began to see, prior to the actual outcome, that my son was not going to use the brakes. Perhaps it was the fact that his legs were straight out to each side with the toes of his shoes pointing skyward.

Roderick Jr., having already reached the bottom of the hill, had dismounted and was standing out of harms way. He too had the gift of insight that I had received; it told him not to be on that path at that time. Standing next to his bike he watched as Caleb came flying down the hill, certainly unable to negotiate the turn required for staying on the path, expecting that he would go into a rocky gorge some feet away from the trail. As expected Caleb flew past Roderick and into the rocky area. He was out of sight and his parents were now gripped by morbid thoughts of what had happened to their young cyclist. I ran down the hill to determine what could be done for my son. As I reached the end of the hill Roderick Jr., pointing in the direction that Caleb had gone, said “He went that way, Daddy!”

The bike was worse for the wear and Caleb… he was fine. I picked up my boy, the battered bike, and walked out of the rocky area with a profound spiritual truth wrapped in the object lesson of Caleb and his bike:

God has equipped Jesus’ followers with the tools and power for abundant life in His service even when things are going down hill. However, many of us lack the training and experience required for experiencing that life.

The Purchase of Life (Ephesians 5:15-16)

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

In his letter to the church at Ephesus Paul has already shown that God has (1) planned a great escape for sinners from the penalty of sin, (2) taken great pains to liberate sinners from the power of sin, and (3) provided everything required for living holy in the midst of a fallen world. The word then translates οὖν(therefore); a reasonable conclusion is being introduced in verse 15.The apostle says, in light of all that God has done in the providing of our salvation, it is logical that his readership would look (Βλέπετε) carefully to ensure that they are [walking] circumspectly. The word translated circumspectly (ἀκριβῶς) calls to picture the idea of accuracy and dogged determination (Matthew 2:8; Luke 1:3). The believer is being directed, in light of God’s amazing grace, to live with intentional biblical accuracy. In the phrase that follows Paul further clarifies; Ephesians, “conduct yourselves not as fools, which is inconsistent with your heavenly provision in Christ (Ephesians 2:6) and identity in Christ, but as wise people.” How? By redeeming the time.

The notion advanced is that time formerly wasted in activities of no value to God (1 Peter 4:3) should now be redeemed unto God for His purposes. Insofar as the Ephesus believers belong to God, what they own belongs to God. Every waking moment is to be volitionally made to count for the calling on their lives; it is not their time. It is to be purposefully sought after and retrieved with the intention of bringing the time under the lordship of Jesus. And why does Paul encourage his readers to buy back the season?  The answer is given in the phrase that follows: the days are evil (ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν). 

A passive stance in the presence of active evil will always result in actual loss.  The believer, in light of pressing wicked agendas, cannot be less than aggressive in living for God; excellence is never an accident. 

By taking back time that was wasted and bringing it to God for His service we effectively say, “Your kingdom come, Lord. Your will be done, Lord, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)”  Paul says that the Ephesians are to see [to it] that, in their sphere of influence, the ever aggressive evil of their day does not find them foolishly failing to acquire all time for God’s glory.

The Profit of Living (Ephesians 5:17-18)

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

Any attempt to use time effectively must be evaluated in the light of Lord’s expressed will. Sincerity and sentimentality are not acceptable substitutes for biblical obedience. While heart-felt service in Jesus’ name is essential, it is not sufficient. God revealed His will through the Scriptures and fully expects His servants to serve Him according to that revelation (Luke 12:48; 1 Corinthians 10:11). At this point the recipients of Paul’s letter are clearly being commanded to apply themselves to getting an understanding (συνίετε, understand) (Proverbs 4:5-7). To understand what the will of the Lord is (συνίετε τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου) would mean availing themselves of every opportunity to seek His will in prayer, in patient listening, and persistent pouring over the Scriptures.[1] The alternative, though it is appealing to the eye (1 John 2:15-17), is nothing short of wasted living. Satan offers counterfeit products and substandard services that all lead the users into bondage:


10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)


17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  (Romans 14:17)

As strong drink stimulates the physical forces and men are prone to turn to it for help over the difficult places, so the child of God, facing an impossible responsibility of a heavenly walk and service, is directed to the Spirit as the source of all sufficiency.  Every moment in a spiritual life is one of unmeasured need and superhuman demands. – Chafer, Lewis Sperry, He That is Spiritual

Let no one imagine, however, that [ministry can] be engendered by human ingenuity. Jesus made it abundantly clear that his life was mediated only through the Holy Spirit. …The superhuman work to which [we are] called demand[s] supernatural help – an endowment of power from on high.[2]


Those who live without the hope of things getting better express their depression by escaping from reality with any opportunity. The good life, based on the desire for the dulling of the senses, is the gone life.


The Prescription for Filling (Ephesians 5:19-21; Exodus 40:1-2, 9-10; 33-35; 2 Chronicles 5:13-14; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. 9 “And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy. 10 You shall anoint the altar of the burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar. The altar shall be most holy.  (Exodus 40:1-2, 9-10)

What is the purpose of anointing the tabernacle and all of its utensils? It has the effect of setting it aside as holy. Even common things become sacred when they are anointed with oil with the intent of consecrating them.[3] Moses is setting the tabernacle aside exclusively for God’s service.


33 And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. 34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  (Exodus 40:33-35)

God has responded to the dedication of the tabernacle by filling it with his glory. Notice that when the glory or goodness of God has filled the temple of God the flesh can no longer operate.[4]


1 So all the work that Solomon had done for the house of the Lord was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and all the furnishings. And he put them in the treasuries of the house of God. (2 Chronicles 5:1)


13 indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying:For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

This sounds great. But how does it apply to us? More specifically, what does it have to do with being filled with the Holy Spirit. Everything! The dwelling place of the Spirit of God was a tent. Then it was upgraded to a stationary building. Finally it has been upgraded to being the body of the believer. This is what Jesus was referring to when he was discussing the miracle of raising the temple in three days.

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” 18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” 19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

His enemies thought that He was referring to the physical building surrounding them. However, the Lord Jesus was talking about His own body (John 2:13-22). After His baptism by John the Baptist Jesus received the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:13-17).

16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (2 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The summons and sign of the Spirit’s filling is a yieldedness that is manifest in (1) the singing of spiritual songs, (2) saying thanks in all situations, and (3) submission to the saints in the name of the Savior.



The Provision and Power of the Holy Spirit: Saved (Ephesians 1:13)

God has provided his Holy Spirit to his children as a comfort to them in this world. The Spirit gives us the energy and inspiration to fulfill the high calling of the Christian life. Apart from receiving Christ as Savior there is no possibility of spirit filling; the gift of the indwelling Spirit is only for those who have made a decision to follow Jesus. Along with being declared righteous, the person that receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior also receives the Spirit to help them in the work of serving God and growing into the likeness of Christ. If you would like to experience the filling of the Holy Spirit you will have to begin with indwelling. How? By faith you can receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior and Lord. When you do you also receive the Holy Spirit.

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 whois the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Practice of Spirit Filling: Surrendered (Ephesians 5:15-21)



[1] The word is (NKJV) cannot be found in the underlying Greek text. While it makes the English translation easier to read it also adds specificity where the ambiguity of the passage was not unintended. Without the is the command is not tied to the present; it becomes a more general directive to understand the will of Jesus for all seasons historical, contemporary, and eschatological.

[2] Coleman, Robert, Master Plan of Evangelism, p. 56, 59.

[3] Consider the example found in the life of king Saul (1 Samuel 10:1-6; 24:6,10; 26:9, 11, 16, 23).

[4] In order to see that the glory of God is His goodness consider a few passages from the Pentateuch. Moses requests a view of the glory of God (Exodus 33:18). God responds by saying that He will make His “goodness pass before” Moses (Exodus 33:19). In fact, when the glory of God is declared it is “abounding in goodness” (Exodus 34:5-6). Paul asserts emphatically that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). While some would make the glory of God his intellect or power to create, based on these passages, it is His unmatched goodness. The angels do fly around the throne saying, “Intellectual! Intellectual! Intellectual!” They cry, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8)

Apr 5, 2015

He Ain't Here - Part 1 (John 20:1-2)

It is early Sunday morning and in the cover of darkness heartbroken women are going to the tomb of their recently fallen Rabbi, their former Leader, and the One they believed to be Messiah in order to show genuine if not effective kindness (Mark 16:1; Matthew 28:1). Only a few days earlier these devoted followers had watched their innocent Jesus vilified by His enemies, suffering with the results of a scourging that had taken chunks of flesh away from His back, and then crucified before their eyes. And then they saw and heard His pain as He hung on a cross in shame crying out to His Father about being forsaken (Psalm 22:1; Mark 15:34). Finally they saw His body buried (Luke 23:52-55); they were eyewitness to the place of Jesus burial and thus they know exactly where to find it even in the darkness of dawn (John 19:39-40). Their plan is to anoint His bloodied, broken, and now decaying body with an offsetting aromatic collection of spices.

Why are they doing this? Jesus' body had already been prepared with nearly 100 pounds of myrrh and aloe before it was buried. Were they unaware of what Nicodemus (John 3:1; 7:50; 19:39-40) had done? This seems unlikely as they were present when the body was buried and such a large quantity of spices and wrappings would have been noticed. Further, the wrapping would have taken time. Since the women were present when Jesus died and when He was buried it is logical to think that they were near when the body was prepared by Nicodemus. Why are they doing this? Because such was their devotion: 

  • Using their possessions to provide support for His ministry (Luke 8:3; Mark 15:41)
  • Employing expensive oil in anointing Jesus head and washing His feet with their hair (John 12:3) 

These things were all part of their dedication to Jesus. And even after His passing their devotion undaunted. Their plan, in view of what had already been done for Jesus' body, is not necessarily logical but it is loving. They are at the tomb in the wee hours of the morning to anoint a decaying body that had already been prepared for burial because they love Jesus. It is illogical but the acts of love keep coming. As we think on their crazy love for Jesus we are reminded of God's crazy love for us (John 3:16). But things are not going according to plan.

They saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb (John 20:1). Based on the other gospel accounts we know that they also noticed the body was gone and that they tried to tell these things to the other disciples. But the other disciples could not understand what had happened (Luke 24:11-12). Two of Jesus' closest disciples go to see for themselves. What they find will leave one disciple confused and the other disciple convinced.