Category Archives: Devotionals

1-15-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update By Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead

John 11:1-46

Guy Roberson

There are several points that signify the importance of this miracle.  First, it is much longer than the previous miracles. Second, it is the only miracle to take place in Bethany.

We have seven miracles recorded in the first eleven chapters of John: (1) The turning of water into wine (2:1-11); (2) the healing of the nobleman’s son (4:43-54); (3) the healing of the impotent man (5:1-15); (4) the feeding of the multitude (6:1-14); (5) the walking on the water (6:16-21); (6) the cure of the blind man (9:1-41); and, (7) the raising of Lazarus (11:1-45).

The miracles of Jesus were important because they were signs of what He is and what He came to give to those who would believe and obey Him.  Jesus demonstrated that He was truly the resurrection and life (John 11:25, 26).

Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus that Lazarus was sick.  But Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” v. 4).  However, Jesus abode two days still in the same place. Then Jesus decided to go into Judea and told His disciples Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep (v. 7-11).  However, they thought Lazarus was merely sleeping and Jesus corrected them saying that he was dead (v. 13-14).

By the time Jesus and His disciples arrived Lazarus had laid in the grave four days (v. 17).  So, the question is why did Jesus wait four days to go and raise Lazarus?  Jewish people believed that the soul remained in the vicinity and would return and visit the body for two or three days hoping to rejoin the body. On the fourth day, the soul finally faced reality and departs. The fact that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days meant that there could be no possibility of his soul rejoining his body.   Therefore, the miracle could not be denied.

Many of the Jews went to Martha and Mary’s home to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house, perhaps needing to stay with the mourners (v. 20).

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee” (v. 21-22).  We do not have any idea that Martha expected a resurrection to take place.  The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, but the Pharisee did.  Martha did believe in a future resurrection.  Jesus saith unto her, thy brother shall rise again.  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

It was at that moment Jesus pronounced the wonderful statement in  v. 25: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. believest thou this?”

Jesus did not say I will be the one to raise him in the last day.  What He did say is I AM the resurrection and the Life.  This is an astonishing claim and declaration by Jesus and joins the other “I AM” statements found in the Gospel of John.  Jesus not only gives light to the world, but He is the light.  Not only does he help people thru the door to everlasting life He Himself is the door.

Let me take you back to Job and the question posed by him: :”If a man dies shall he live again?” That question has been in the mind of every human being since death was first experience on earth. Every culture, tribe and civilization has seen people speculating about the question of death. The obvious question is: When I die is that the end?  Is the whole of my existence summed up between the two points of birth and death as marked on the tombstones of people’s graves or is there something else, is there something more?  The answer is yes, there is much more.

Christ’s promise is the declaration of His personal assistance.  That is what He meant when He said, I am the resurrection and the life. Jesus will raise Christians to everlasting life. You must understand that the day when your body dies, that is not the day YOU die.  That is the day you will become more conscious of reality than you have ever experienced.  That is why the apostle Paul could say: “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Phil. 1:23-24).

Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted 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.  And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, loose him, and let him go” John 10:41-44).

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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1-8-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

They Picked Up Stones to Stone Jesus

John 10:22-39

Guy Roberson

Many false teachers have said that Jesus never claimed to be God.  As any Bible student knows that is not true. There are several times Jesus claimed deity.

In John 8:58, 59 “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.  Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

In our text Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.”  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?

The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:30-33).

When Jesus said, before Abraham was, I AM He was identifying Himself with Deity as discussed in Exodus 3:13-15:  “Then Moses said to God, ‘Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?’”  “I AM WHO I AM.” (Absolute Existence – always was, is, and will be) And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you. “Thus, you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God (Yahweh) of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’”

Exodus 3:13-15 is the most elaborate and emphatic declaration of God’s affirmation of His eternal self-existence to be found in the Old Testament.   God gives three answers to the question, “What shall I tell them your name is?”

1. In verse 14, God says, I AM WHO I AM.

2. Also in v. 14, God says, I AM has sent me to you.

3. Then in v. 15, The LORD God (Yahweh) has sent me to you . . . this is my name forever.  Yahweh is used here interchangeably with the term “I AM”.

The Jews had no trouble understanding that Jesus was claiming to be God (Deity) and that is why they were so mad and wanted to kill Him. For him to say “I AM” meant He is the I AM, Yahweh, I AM that I AM, the God of Israel, of the Old Testament. There is a total of seven statements by Jesus in which He states I AM recorded in the Gospel of John.

In response to their reason to stone Him, Jesus referred to the Holy Scriptures as their law and quoted from Psalm 82:6, “I said, “You are gods.”  The Greek word “theos” (god) does not always refer to Jehovah. It signifies a mighty one, a ruler, and especially a religious or sacerdotal ruler. Here the psalmist portrayed God as addressing corrupt judges.  Since it was against these unjust judges that God’s word of judgment was directed what basis did they have for accusing Him (the one whom the Father had sanctified and sent into the world) of blasphemy for saying, “I am God’s Son”? (John 10:34-36).

If Jesus did not do His Father’s works, they should not believe Him.  If, however, he did them, and they still did not believe in Him, they should at least believe the good works as being from the Father. The works of Jesus should have demonstrated that Jesus and the Father are one. Therefore, they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.  Yes, Jesus claimed to be God and He and the Father are One.

The attitude of the religious leaders demonstrates how far evil prejudice will drive a person. I challenge you to study carefully the life of Jesus Christ and as many atheists have come to believe in Him, maybe you will also.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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1-1-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional update

My Sheep Hear My Voice

John 10:1-6,27

Guy Roberson

Our text is a continuation of chapter 9 and one must have a working understanding of it to understand the text for this lesson:

John records one of the many great works of Christ – the healing of a man born blind (John 9:1-12).  This was such a demonstration of the miraculous power of Jesus that even His critics should have believed Him.

However, we see the Pharisees’ reaction to the healing in (v. 13-25).  ”This man is not from God, because he does not observe the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such miraculous signs?” Thus, there was a division among them. So again, they asked the man who used to be blind, “What do you say about him, since he caused you to see?” “He is a prophet,” the man replied” (v. 16-17). The Pharisees questioned the man’s parents, but they were afraid of the Jewish authorities.  They told the religious leaders to ask their son, because he was of age and could answer for himself.

This passage shows us the desperate lengths to which prejudice will drive wicked people.

1.         Agreed that one should be put out of synagogue if confess Christ.

2.         When the Pharisees could not frighten the blind man who had been cured, they expelled him from the synagogue.

3.         ”Are we blind also?” they cried. “If you were blind, you should have no sin–but now you say, ‘We see’; therefore, your sin remains.”

John 10:14-15 informs us that Jesus knows His sheep: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”  The apostle Paul put it like this: “God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’” (2 Tim. 2:19).  Because of His love for us Jesus left heaven and came to earth to pay the penalty for our sins and provide salvation for us.  Surely, if the Lord did this for us, then we should hear His voice and follow Him.

Until we learn of Him (Matt. 11:28-30) we will continue to wander around without any direction and find ourselves involved in problems that could be avoided if we would allow Jesus to direct our lives.

This requires us to hear Him and follow His will for our lives. The answer to this problem is to develop a greater trusting relationship with Him, but we cannot develop such a relationship with Him until we have studied His word and know how much He did to make it possible for us to be saved.

So. the big question for us is: Which shepherd are we following? Are we following some self-centered shepherd, or the voice and direction of the Good Shepherd? (John 10:11; John 10:14; cf. 1 Peter 2:25 – NKJV).

 

Savior, like a shepherd lead us,

Much we need Thy tender care;

In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,

For our use Thy folds prepare.

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Thou hast bought us Thine we are. —W.B. Bradbury

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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12-25-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update By Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Blends Two Metaphors

John 10:1-10

Guy Roberson

In this beautiful passage Jesus speaks of Himself as both the Shepherd and the Door (Gate).  The images of the shepherd and the door to the sheepfold are woven together in John 10, because both refer to Jesus. This explains how Jesus can be the door into the fold when He also enters the fold and leads the sheep out of the fold (vv. 2–5, 9) as the Shepherd.  Jesus often blended two metaphors together as we can see in the following passages.  Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35), and yet He gives the bread (Himself) to hungry sinners.  Jesus speaks the truth (8:45), but He also is the truth (14:6). Jesus imparts life to believing sinners (6:50–51), and yet He is life (14:6).

These two expressions (Shepherd – Door) must be distinguished from one another because they don’t mean precisely the same thing and yet they must not be separated because they are closely related.

In the text, verses 2-6, Jesus pictures a sheepfold in and around a village where several shepherds would keep their sheep and a gatekeeper would be on guard and in the morning each shepherd would be allowed into the sheepfold and would call his sheep and take them to pasture.  However, if the weather was warm and nice the shepherds would keep the sheep in the pastures overnight in a small sheepfold like the one in the picture and the shepherd would become the gate or door protecting the sheep.  This is the picture in verses 7-10. As you know the picture of shepherds and sheep have deep roots in the Old Testament (Psalm 23; Psalm 77:20; Psalm 79:123; Psalm 95:7).

This passage is a continuation of chapter 9.  Jesus is teaching that the religious leaders of that time had been called by God to shepherd His people but were like thieves and robbers who had no real concern for the wellbeing of God’s people. To understand this better you should read Ezekiel 34:2-16 as it reveals the attitude of God toward shepherds as Jesus was dealing with in our text. In Ezek.34:23-24 God spoke of His servant David feeding and being God’s shepherd, but this is a prophecy of the coming of Jesus who would perform the services prophesied. (David had been dead for a long time when Ezekiel prophesied.

“Therefore, Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate (door) for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate (Door); whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

What Jesus is saying about Himself is that the Kingdom is exclusive, not inclusive, and that it doesn’t have 15 doors or fifteen different ways to get into it.  There is only one door.  There is one meditator (I Tim. 2:5).  The flock of God has one shepherd, one door and the only way into the kingdom is that one door, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; John 14:6).  If there was ever a time when Jesus made a statement that provoked conflict among His contemporaries and people today it is this statement about Himself.  If you want to be inclusive of all the major religions in the world you are on a collision course with the Scriptures and Jesus.

This was according to prophecy: Psalm 118:19-20; 22-24:

Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord,
Through which the righteous shall enter.

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
23This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Christ is the door to salvation from sin and is the only way out of one’s old life of sin and guilt. I don’t know of a more desperate need on the part of people today than the need to know that their sins can be forgiven, that their guilt can be done away with, that they can be accepted, and that the door to the past can be shut behind them.

Have you entered the Kingdom through Jesus Christ?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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12-18-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update By Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Healed a Man Born Blind

John 9:1-41

Guy Roberson

Observing a man blind from birth the disciples asked Jesus, ““Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  This question was based on the false concept of that day that affliction was the result of some sin committed by the person.  Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned” but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So, the man went and washed, and went home seeing.

When the blind man was asked how his eyes had been opened he told them that the man they call Jesus had healed him.  The Pharisees decided to investigate the healing and so the healed man was taken to them.  Unable to criticize a clear example of the power of Christ they accused Jesus of not keeping the Sabbath (because He healed on the Sabbath). Others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?”  So, they were divided.  When the spiritually blind Pharisee asked the healed man, “What have you to say about him? He replied, “He is a prophet.” Then the Pharisees sent for the man’s parents and asked them who opened his eyes and they replied, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.”  They were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.

They then called for the blind man again and told him to give glory to God by telling the truth as if the man had lied about his being healed.  Again, they accused Jesus of being a sinner.  The man replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”  Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”  He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”  Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses!  We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

Jesus having heard that the religious leaders had thrown him out, found him and the man became a disciple of Jesus and worshiped Him.  Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”  Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

The religious leaders were unable to give an answer to the man’s sound reasoning and were greatly provoked as all who are unable to answer those who speak truth. Jesus had come into the world for judgment, that the blind would see and that the sighted might become blind.  The difference was based on the desire to do God’s will.  The physically blind often want a clearer vision of God and want to do God’s will. Those spiritually blind see themselves as righteous and not really needing God.  If those religious leaders had sensed a lack within themselves respecting their relationship to God, they could have come to see their error and could have been blessed by Jesus, the Son of God.  Refusing to recognize their spiritual blindness they could not be made free from their sin, because they deliberately chose to continue in unbelief.

May I ask, have we been healed by Jesus so we can see clearly and serve the true and living God?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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12-11-2018 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray

Luke 11:1-4

Guy Roberson

This chapter begins with Jesus having finished a prayer to His Father and the disciples asking Jesus to teach them to pray as John taught his disciples. Prayer must have meant very much to Luke because he places much emphasis on it.

Why the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray isn’t revealed to us.  Perhaps they noticed the confidence and fervor in the prayers of Jesus, or maybe they simply wanted instruction from their Lord as any sincere follower of Christ.  William Barclay said it was the regular custom for a Rabbi to teach his disciples a simple prayer which they might habitually use.

I believe it is interesting to realize that Jesus never gave them any instructions regarding their position in prayer such as kneeling, standing or prostrating oneself to pray. Neither did He instruct them in raising their hands or folding them to pray.

Prayer is not some sacred practice reserved for preachers and super Christians.  It is simply one communicating with God.  Furthermore, prayer is not an instrument to manipulate or control God, nor should one try to bribe Him by offering to do something for Him if He will do something for you.  Jesus further condemned the use of vain repetitions (Matt. 6:7). In other words, Jesus did not teach any special prayer techniques to achieve success in our prayers.  In this article we will consider the model prayer of Jesus, often called “The Lord’s Prayer” although it should be called “the disciples’ prayer.  Matthew records this prayer in a fuller version in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:9-13).  It is often asked if one may use this example when praying.  I believe that one may use it, with some modification, but we must not use it until it becomes empty repetition.  We will present a very simple explanation of this magnificent prayer Jesus taught His disciples.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name:” Jesus stresses reverence for our heavenly Father since the word hallowed means to be set apart or holy.  Since we have been born again (John 3:3-5) we have been inducted into the spiritual family of God and we are privileged to address God as our Father.  The phrase “in heaven” emphasizes the transcendence of God.  The psalmist spoke of the transcendence of God when he wrote: “For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods” Psa. 97:9).  But the term “Father” speaks of the intimacy and love of the Creator for His people.

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  At this point in the ministry of Jesus the kingdom had not been established.  The kingdom came on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.  From that point on the kingdom is spoken of as in existence.  The term “kingdom” can mean the rule and reign of God in human hearts and we can pray for that to take place even today.  This however, teaches us that we should always be interested in the purposes of God.

“Give us day by day our daily bread.”  This is a figure of speech regarding the necessities of life. Jesus is teaching that we must learn to put our trust in God for such needs.

“And forgive us our sins.” Now Jesus is asking us to realize that the greatest need man has is the forgiveness of sins and to stand in a right relationship with God. We can realized how important this is when we see Jesus nailed to the Cross and His blood being shed for the remission of our sins (Eph. 1:7).

“For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”  Our forgiveness is conditioned upon us forgiving one another. This is important for us to live in peace and joy with one another.

“And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.”  Though difficult to understand, perhaps Jesus is teaching us to pray for God to protect us from the trials, tests, and temptations the Devil uses to cause one to sin (cf. I Cor. 10:12-13). Furthermore, I would suggest that Jesus is teaching us to learn to depend on the providence of our Father.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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12-4-2018 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Visits in the Home of Mary and Martha

Luke 10:38-42

Jesus arrived in the village of Bethany where Mary, her sister Martha, and their brother Lazarus lived (John 11:1), although he is not mentioned in this visit.  We know very little about their background other than they appeared not to be married but comparatively well-off and independent.  From John 11 we learn that Jesus loved all three of them.  John also informs us that it was this Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair.

Even though the text mentioned that Martha welcomed Jesus into her house, Jesus was traveling with some of His followers which could have been 12 apostles and some of the women who supported Jesus (Luke 8:1-3).  Therefore, fixing a meal for that many would have been quite a chore.

While Martha was preparing a meal for Jesus and His disciples Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His word.  At that time sitting at someone’s feet meant that one was being trained as a disciple.  It may have been that Jesus was challenging the view of woman as held by the people of that day.  When the disciples came back they were shocked because Jesus was speaking with a woman (John 4:27).  It wasn’t just the fact of Jesus speaking with a Samaritan.  They were shocked because it was a woman.  A Jewish Rabbi Eliezer, from around the time of Jesus, is famous for saying: “Instructing a woman in the Law is like teaching her blasphemy,” “Let the Law be burned rather than entrusted to a woman,” “A woman’s wisdom is limited to the handling of the distaff” (meaning the work of women).  While other Rabbis did not agree, the mainstream of society frowned on a woman being taught the Word of God.  That Mary was comfortable sitting at the feet of Jesus may indicate that Jesus had established a precedent previously.  Along this same line, do you remember when His mother and brothers wanted to speak with Jesus, He answered and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’  And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and MY brothers!  For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matt. 12:46-50).  Observe, there are not just brothers in the family of God, but mothers and sisters also.

Back to our story, Martha was frustrated that Mary was not helping her prepare the meal. I think it is quite interesting that Martha felt comfortable to rebuke Jesus, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.”  The record states that Martha was distracted. The word translated “distracted” is Greek perispao,and means, “1. ‘be pulled or dragged away.’ 2. ‘become or be distracted, quite busy, overburdened.”  Notice Martha does not rebuke her sister Mary, but rather Jesus and appears to be rude to her guest. Martha is feeling like she has more to do than she can do herself.

Jesus seems to calm her by saying, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her’” (Luke 10:39-42).  Jesus recognized that she had a problem and needed help, but He took the opportunity to teach a much-needed lesson for all mankind.  Jesus is teaching that a person’s allegiance to following Him is higher than any other human responsibility.  Jesus taught this time and again.  While Martha was faithfully serving others, and this is a great lesson, following Jesus first and foremost takes precedence. The way we demonstrate that we truly love God and want to put Him first is by keeping His commandments (I John 5:3; I John 2:4-5).

German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe grasped the importance of priorities. He said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”  André van Belkum said, “Establishing the correct priorities in our lives is vital for our success as Christians.”  This is exactly what Mary did and Jesus commended her when He said, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

May I ask you, “What is your greatest priority in life?”

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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11-20-2018 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus and the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37

Guy Roberson

We have before us one of the most beloved stories in the New Testament and a passage preached on many times.

The parable told by our Lord is in response to two questions asked by a lawyer (an interpreter and teacher of the Mosaic law) and also referred to as a scribe according to Strong’s Concord.

He asked Jesus, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  The question is very important because it has to do with salvation.  Luke informs us that he asked this all-important question to “test Jesus.” In other words, he wants to see how well Jesus can answer such an important question.

Jesus asked him, “What is written in the Law?  How do you read it?”  The lawyer replied, “”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus said, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” This answer establishes what God has always expected: a heart relationship with Him—and a love relationship with other people.  Then the lawyer, wanting to justify himself, asked Jesus the second question, “And who is my neighbor?”  Now an expert in the law should have known the law teaches that “they were to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 23:22; Lev. 19:34).  There were not two laws, one for the Jews (Israel) and one for the Gentiles, or the Samaritans who were the outcasts, and the despised enemies of the Jews.

It is at this point Jesus told the beautiful story of the good Samaritan.  Jesus began by saying that a certain man was going down from Jerusalem.”  The road down from Jerusalem to Jericho was treacherously winding and was a favorite hideout of robbers and thieves.  The only thing Jesus tells us about the victim is that he had fallen among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  The racial victim of the victim did not matter.  All that mattered was that he was a human being and was in desperate need of help.

However, Jesus did tell us that two of the travelers were the Priest and the Levite (Jewish people), and the third traveler was a Samaritan.  Jesus spent no time describing the priest and simply tells us that he showed no compassion or love for the wounded man and passed by on the other side of the road so as not to get involved. The next person to pass by was a Levite and he did the same thing the Priest did and failed to show love and compassion.  Both men would have known the law and that God did not allow for failure to help those in need (cf. the passages above in Lev.), but they refused to obey God and ignored their responsibility to help an injured person.

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’”

The Jews would never have expected a Samaritan to be the hero in such a situation.  Two Jewish leaders, a Priest and a Levite, deliberately ignored the needs of the injured man while the Samaritan proved to be the neighbor to the man in need.  Jesus asked the lawyer a final question:   So, which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

The lawyer answered but did not admit that it was a Samaritan.  He simply said, “He who showed mercy on him.”  To the Jew there was no such thing as “a good Samaritan.” Please understand it wasn’t the Samaritan’s nationality that set him apart from the Priest and Levite, it was his compassion and love for a fellowman.

Surely, we should learn not be afraid to help people and to see each person in need as our neighbor.  Jesus was not telling this lawyer that he could get eternal life by obeying this aspect of the law.  He was simply reminding him what the law taught, and the law taught that God expects all people to be treated the same as we pointed out from Leviticus. Furthermore, Jesus nailed the Law to His cross (Col. 2:14-17) taking it away and replacing it with His will for man today (James 1:25).  But don’t think that love and compassion may be ignored today.  Jesus was truly the Good Samaritan because of His love and compassion for mankind.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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11-13-2018 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devoitional Update

Jesus Healed Ten Lepers

Luke 17:11-19

Guy Roberson

This is a very interesting incident in the life of our Lord for several reasons.  As you know, the story is often told to emphasize the need for mankind to be thankful to the Lord for His amazing blessings we experience. This very lesson regarding thankfulness is encouraged throughout the Scriptures.

Jesus and His disciples are traveling through the midst of Samaria and Galilee and were about to enter a certain village when ten men, who were lepers standing afar off cried, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  The word “mercy” means to have compassion, pity on someone.

Leprosy was reported as early as 600 BC in India, China, and Egypt. It is mentioned around 40 times in the Bible.  You will find very specific instructions regarding how to handle leprosy and other skin infections in Leviticus 13.  It was slow growing and a very painful disease and was infectious and contagious and therefore having contracted it one was shunned and forced to live outside of their community (Num. 5:2).  In the Old Testament only two people were mentioned of being healed of leprosy, Miriam (Num. 12:9-15), and Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria (2 Kings 5). Among defilements of ancient Jewish laws, leprosy was second only to a dead body in seriousness.  One will find where Jesus healed several people who were lepers (Matt. 11:5; Luke 7:22).  The leprosy that Christ healed was like what is today called Hansen’s Disease, a detestable infection that can greatly disfigure and destroy the human body.

Leprosy was mentioned many times in the Scriptures because it is a graphic illustration of sin’s destructive power. Leprosy represents God’s view of sin.  It is detestable, deforming, unclean and repulsive to all who saw the person.  While leprosy is a symbol of what sin causes, it is not a sin itself.  Our heavenly Father has graciously allowed medical science to develop a cure for this disease in today’s world.

Apparently, the ten lepers had heard of the miracles of Jesus and wanted to be healed. They must have been shocked to hear Jesus say, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”  These instructions were according to the Law of Moses which commanded those cured of leprosy to submit to an examination by a priest (Lev. 14:1-32). If they had recovered from some skin disease, they could re-enter their community.  How did they know to go and show themselves to the priest?  They were not cleansed until they were on the way. “And so, it was that as they went, they were cleansed.”  The Greek construction uses the preposition “en”, which can mean “in, when, while, during.”  Obviously, they trusted Jesus to do what they were told, even if they had not been cleansed at that moment.  Faith is always demonstrated in what one does (James 2:17, 14-16).  This is a tremendous example of learning to trust the Lord.  Do what we are told and trust Him for the rest.  When one obeys the gospel he or she may not feel they have been cleansed from their sins.  However, if one believes Jesus is the Christ, repents of his/her sins, confesses His precious name, and is baptized for the remission of sins, Jesus promised one will be cleansed by His precious blood (Eph. 1:7) and will be raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-5).  Believe it, it is so.

“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.”  So, Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” Being grateful is acknowledging where and from whom the gift has come and this man cleansed of leprosy came back to show his gratitude and with a loud voice.  This Samaritan was so thankful that he prostrated himself before Jesus in reverence and submission for the tremendous healing he had received. This man was not a Jew, one of the chosen of God, to show the light to the Gentile world.  The nation God created and blessed rejected their purpose for which God chose them and even rejected the One sent from heaven to save them. It is no wonder that Jesus asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”

May I ask, “Are we as grateful as we should be for our healing, the forgiveness of sins, and being permitted to live in a right relationship with our Father who loves and cares for us?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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11-6-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Sends Out the Seventy (Seventy Two)

Luke 10:1-16

Guy Roberson

Some Greek manuscripts mention 70 disciples while others mention 72.  Feel free to study this question on your own and make your decision. Whether 70 or 72 will not affect the teaching of this great passage.

We have read where large crowds were following Jesus.  Before going into some towns Jesus sent disciples ahead two by two, into every town and place where He was about to go (v, 1).

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.  Jesus is speaking of a spiritual harvesting of people for the Kingdom of God. However, the laborers are few.  The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to plead with God to call, equip, and send laborers into the harvest. The nations must hear the gospel. Yet, this can happen only as people go out and proclaim the gospel to the nations. It is our responsibility then to pray for laborers who will do this

Their message is the same as for the Twelve, “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you’ ” (10:9).  These Seventy disciples had an awesome responsibility, “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (10:16).  This means that he who honors, respects, esteems, helps, and supports the people of God; esteems, helps and respects God. As also: he who despises the people of God, despises God who became one with the people.

Jesus instructed these disciples to travel light (v. 4).  They should not be weighted down with numerous provisions because God would provide for them.  Their work was a priority.  This does not forbid churches supporting preachers.  To the contrary those receiving the benefits of the preaching were to support those doing the work (2 Cor. 11:8-9; I Cor. 9:4-14; Gal. 6:6).

Further, as the disciples traveled to preach they were to stay in one place and offer the blessing of peace on that home.  The invocation was not a trivial matter, since the blessing of God’s presence can enter or depart. If the disciples are welcomed, it is as if their hosts have welcomed God himself; if not, then blessing retreats from the home. There is no charge for lodging, because laborers should be paid for their ministry (1 Cor 9:7-14).

“Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless, know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town (v. 9-12).  The healing was a part of their preaching. As part of healing the sick, they described what the kingdom of God was about from what Jesus had taught and shown them.  The cities of Sodom and Tyre and Sidon were notoriously sinful. Jesus said that the cities that rejected His message were in more trouble before God than these, because they saw a greater work of God than any of those sinful cities did; yet they still rejected Him.  The cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum received much but repented little. It is a great mystery why some receive so many chances and such clear help yet refuse to repent.

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!.”  Jesus’ response to them shows yet again why the disciples must “listen to him” (9:35). Their excitement is understandable, but they must be careful to be excited about the right things.  It is so very important that we learn to listen to Jesus and apply His teaching in our lives and in the lives of those we attempt to teach.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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