Category Archives: Devotionals

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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10-30-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update By Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

The Cost of Following Jesus

Matt. 8:18-22; Lk 9:51-62; Jn 7:2-11

Guy Roberson

Jesus warned and promised those who would consider following Him, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

In the texts for this article Jesus is discouraging those who would make the decision to follow Him without being sincere enough to pay the price for being His disciples.

Read the texts carefully and notice that Jesus is providing insight into what denying oneself really means.

Great crowds had been following Jesus because of the miracles, healing, and the free meals. Jesus knew their hearts and understood that they wanted the benefits of what He offered but didn’t understand what it would cost them to truly commit to follow as a faithful disciple.

One of the people in the crowd following Jesus said,” I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head’ ” (9:57-58). At first, one would conclude that this was an expression of real commitment because there was a constant conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders and the people knew this. If such a person came before the church at the singing of the invitation, we would weep and glorify God for such a person.  Why didn’t Jesus rejoice over this person who was choosing to become a follower?  Jesus was asking the man to consider first what is involved in being His disciple. Being able to know the man’s heart Jesus knew that he was making a rash commitment.  The decision to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus is not a decision for the moment but one for his life.  If we have not counted the cost of being His child, we will turn away at the threat of sacrifice and find something else to gratify our selfish desires. Jesus was saying, “if you want to be comfortable, then don’t follow me! Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.

While Jesus invites everyone to follow Him we need to understand that once that commitment is made we no longer belong to ourselves; we have been purchased by the precious blood of Christ and belong to Him (I Cor. 6:20) and it may very well be uncomfortable.

To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” It is generally agreed that the man’s father was still alive, and the man was stating that he had responsibilities of carrying for him and after he passed away he would then seek Jesus to follow Him. Jesus was not opposed to one fulfilling family responsibilities since the Scriptures teach: “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8).  Jesus is teaching that following Him must come before every responsibility we have. Jesus is emphasizing the urgency of preaching the message of the Kingdom of God because of the spiritual needs everyone has.  The kingdom must be first in our lives. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).

Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”  Plowing and looking behind is forbidden because the rows one is plowing would be crooked and the field difficult to work.  Jesus is teaching that His followers must put Him above everything else in the world.  The Hebrew writer said, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).  We were lifeless apart from Christ, dead in our trespasses and sins before our salvation.  Why would we look back at those things we have been saved from?  Once, as a part of the world system, we were alienated from God and strangers to His kingdom. Now, as those in Christ, we are citizens of God’s kingdom and members of His body.  Jesus is stressing that following Him is uncompromising.  Can you accept this.  If not, you cannot be His disciple.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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10-23-2018 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

“Who Then is Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Mat 18:1-35; Mk 9:33-50; Lk 9:46-50

Guy Roberson

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matt. 18:1).  The issue they were struggling with is not unique to them nor to their time. The disciples of Jesus had allowed selfish ambition to create a problem for them and we see it today both in the world and in the church.  Have you seen the bumper sticker: “He who dies with the most toys wins?”  That spirit is pervasive and stresses that success, satisfaction and happiness are found when one tramples upon others to gather everything that one can.

We see this same spirit in the church today when some think in terms of positions of power and privilege and compare themselves with others while exalting themselves over their brothers and sisters.  The nature of greatness in Christ’s kingdom differs from the world’s idea of greatness and we need to understand our Lord’s concept of greatness and apply it in the church.  Even though the sin those disciples had committed was very serious, Jesus was very gentile and kind in the way He dealt with them.

Jesus used an object lesson to teach His disciples about greatness.  After stating, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all,” He took a little child and set him amid them to force them to rethink their idea of greatness.  Allow me to ask each of us: What are our aspirations? What do we think is greatness?  Thomas a Kempis, the great medieval author, once said, “He is genuinely great who considers himself small and cares nothing about high honors.”  And a Christian said, “Great men never know that they are great, but small men never know that they are small.”  Paul said, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10:12).  Our problem is that we think too much of ourselves and too little about others. In Phil. 2:3 we are told to not be selfish, conceited, but to be humble and to prefer others over ourselves.  The wise man said, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips” (Prov. 27:2 NASB).

The disciples had the idea that in God’s kingdom there would be a hierarchy of saints with some being honored more than others because of their works. The Lord’s answer to this problem is humility, which is the very quality essential to enter the kingdom to begin our service to God. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  ”Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3-4). Conversion from spiritual death to life comes only to those who come to God helpless and trusting in utter dependence on Him to save them (Acts 2:38-39).  The standard of greatness in the kingdom is related to the way you enter the kingdom.  Jesus is emphasizing that the posture of humble trustfulness in the Lord is precisely the posture that the believer is to live the rest of his/her life.  In the kingdom, the one who is the most trustful, who is the humblest, he/she is the greatest in the kingdom.

It is vitally important to understand that this humility is not thinking that you are the lowest of the low.  Calvin said, “Nothing but the knowledge of God can produce humility in us.” And Sinclair Ferguson added, “Humility is not simply feeling small and useless – like an inferiority complex. It is sensing how great and glorious God is and seeing oneself in that light.”  This allows one to function in faithful service to God in whatever way God’s Word teaches and your ability allows.

While the world’s concept of greatness allows only a very few to make it to the top to achieve its kind of greatness, God allows every Christian to make it to greatness in the kingdom through humility.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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10-16-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Heals an Epileptic (Demon Possessed Boy)

Mat 17:14-21 ESV; Mk 9:14-29; Lk 9:37-43

Guy Roberson

This incident happened on the day after the transfiguration (Luke 9:37).  The inner circle of disciples had just experienced the wonder and grandeur of Jesus’ transfiguration, but now they descend to the real word of sin and confront a “faithless and twisted generation (Matt. 17:17).

“And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water” (Matt. 17:14-15).

The term “epileptic” is used only twice in the New Testament, in Matthew 17:15 and Matthew 4:24. The word translated “epileptic” comes from the Greek word for “lunatic.” In those days, the term could be applied to any type of seizures or behavior that resembled insanity.  It should be pointed out that “epilepsy” was the father’s assessment of his son’s problem. However, from Jesus’ treatment of the young man he was demon possessed: “And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead” (Mark 9:26).  Jesus did heal “epileptics” because Matthew said, ““So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics {seizures},and paralytics, and he healed them” (Matt. 4:24).

It was a pitiful scene: Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.  ”And wherever he seizes him, he throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid…. then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth” (Mark 9:17-18, 20).

“But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”  Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”  Then

the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose” (Mark 9:22-27).  And they were all amazed at the majesty of God (Luke 9:43).

What makes this story stand out regarding the miracles of Jesus is the fact that the disciples were impotent to heal the young man.  The father of the boy said, “So, I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him” (Matt. 17:16).  The disciples were surprised by their failure and asked Jesus, “Why could we not cast him out?”  Jesus said it was because of their little faith (Matt.17:19-20).  The disciples had been commissioned by Jesus to preach the message about the kingdom and He empowered them to perform miracles to confirm their message.  To accomplish their mission, they had to maintain faith.  With faith, his disciples would find that no insurmountable obstacle could keep them from accomplishing their mission.

Perhaps there is an important lesson for us in this story in the life of our Lord. The disciples had become powerless because they lacked faith and had become lax in prayer.  It is easy to attempt to live our lives by our own strength instead of the Lord’s. Remember Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me: (Phil. 4:13).  Draw strength from the Lord and spend time in prayer to remain faithful to the Lord.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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10-9-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

The Transfiguration of Jesus (Part 2)

Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36; 2 Pet. 1:16-18; John 1:14

 Guy Roberson

Why Was Peter’s Suggestion Misguided?

F. B. Meyer justifiably called this “a preposterous suggestion.” Because Peter was focusing on the wrong thing.

The experience of the Transfiguration was meant: To establish the Deity of Christ; point to the crucifixion of Christ; to strengthen the faith of the disciples and to establish them as witnesses to His Deity.

Peter’s proposal greatly dishonored Christ in that it put Christ on the same level with Moses and Elijah. Christ is not equal with any man because He is above all.

The Cloud Appeared:

“While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”  (Matt. 17:5)

IV. Four important things God said About Christ in His communication from the cloud during the transfiguration. 

The person of Christ: “This is my beloved Son.”  Emphasizing the Deity of Christ.

God’s passion for Christ: “My beloved Son.”  The love of God for Jesus Christ is beyond human measurement, yet He gave Him for us.

The work of Christ pleased the Father: “In whom I am well pleased.”

The precept about Christ: “Hear ye him.”

Conclusion:

First, it was a lesson for the disciples about who Jesus was.

Jesus was no ordinary man, nor even just a great prophet. He was indeed the very Son of God, the Messiah of Israel. God was confirming the disciples’ confession.

Second, the transfiguration shows us that it should be interpreted in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus. His death would not be the end of what He came to do.

Third, His death was Redemptive in Nature.  God’s plan from eternity (Isa. 53:10) was for the remission of sins through His precious blood (Acts 20:28).

Fourth, the transfiguration was about the authority of Jesus.  It was clearly demonstrated that Moses and Elijah served only a temporary purpose in the great eternal plan of God.

Fifth, the appearance of Moses and Elijah teaches us that there is life after death.  That God’s people will live beyond this life in heaven.

Sixth: The Transfiguration Lifts a Corner of the Veil Over Eternity: 

First, we are seeing proof of the resurrection. Life does not cease at death. Death is not the cessation of existence as some folk think.

Second, Moses and Elijah “appeared in glory” (Luke 9:31). This life has much suffering and humility for the saint, but the next life is one of glory. (I Cor. 15:54)

Third, the recognition in our future existence. Moses and Elijah were known by Peter, James, and John.

This tells us that we will know our loved ones and others when we get to heaven, I believe.

Amen. Come, LORD Jesus.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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10-2-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional update

The Transfiguration of Jesus (Part 1)

Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36; 2 Pet. 1:16-18; John 1:14

Guy Roberson

This is a remarkable and meaningful scene. Jesus had performed many miracles. The transfiguration was also a miracle, but it is unique because it happened to the person of Jesus.

We have no description about the appearance of Jesus that would cause anyone to think that He was anything more than just another human being.  To many Jews Jesus was just the son of Joseph (John 6:42

“He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”  (Isa. 53:2 ESV)

The Transfiguration changed that.

The Place: Mount Hermon — Mount Tabor

“Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.” (Luke 9:28)

“Hermon is still the glory of Palestine from whose heights one can view the whole of the land. It was a fit place for the Transfiguration” (A. T. Robertson). Others believe that it was Mt. Tabor.

Why did Jesus take Peter, James and John?  Many have referred to them as the inner circle. Perhaps He was to better equip them for leadership roles among the disciples. Deut. 19:15 “….by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.”

I. Meaning of Term TRANSFIGURATION:  It signifies a changing of form or appearance.  Jesus experienced a momentary glorifying change in His appearance.

The Descriptions Given: “He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matt. 17:2).  “His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them” (Mark 9:3).  “As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.” (Luke 9:29).  The Countenance of Christ:  Matthew is more specific than Luke, in describing the change regarding the face of Christ: He said Christ’s face was shining “as the sun.” Shining as the sun says the radiance of Christ’s face was not a reflection of another light but was from light within. This speaks of the Divine nature of Christ.

Disciples Were Impressed: John and Peter would go on to write epistles of their own, and it’s interesting that both tell of this incident. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (2 Pet. 1:16-18).

II. Appearances of Moses & Elijah: “And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him” (Matt. 17:3).  The first time Moses was ever in Palestine. He was shut out by God because of disobedience (Deuteronomy 3:23–27; 32:49–52); Two giants in the faith. These two servants of God were among the most revered among the Old Testament figures. Moses was the great law giver and Elijah was one of the great prophets.  Elijah is associated with and foreshadowed the ministry of John the Baptist (cp. Luke 1:17; Matthew 17:10–13; Mark 9:11–13); and Moses foreshadowed the ministry of Christ.

The Conversation Between Moses, Elijah and Christ: “And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His death which He was about to take place at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31).  Moses and Elijah were alive.  Moses lived 1500 years before this event and Elijah lived about 900 years before. The fact that these two figures “spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem” illustrates that the Law and the Prophets point forward to the Messiah and His sufferings (Deut. 18:18-19  Isa. 53).

III. The Impetuosity of Peter and His Proposal: (Luke 9:33)::  “Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus,   “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah “because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid” (Mark 9:6).  “…. not knowing what he said” (Luke 9:33).  Here he intruded into matters and talked when he should have been listening.

(to be continued in the next article) 

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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9-25-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Some Standing Here Will Not Taste Death

Matthew 16:27-28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27

Guy Roberson

In Matthew 16:16 Peter confessed Jesus to be the Christ. “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matt. 16:21).

Peter rebuked Jesus for saying this and Jesus accused him of being Satan because he was more interested in the things of men instead of the things of God.  Jesus tells his disciples that they must take up their cross and follow him because it is foolish to gain the world and lose one’s soul (vv. 24–26).

“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.  Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matt. 16:27-28). This was spoken just a few days before the Transfiguration and several months before His crucifixion. All three passages declare “some standing here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God” are consistent and do not conflict with one another.

Observe that Jesus speaks of the “Son of Man“ and this is a reference to the prophecy in Daniel.  ““I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven!  He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdomthe one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

Some have stated there are eight different interpretations that have been proposed by different religious teachers regarding this passage.  Instead of dealing with those erroneous positions I will approach this in a positive way.

One must realize that what Jesus had reference to had to take place in the lifetime of those standing there. That being true, then the circumstances of the day of Pentecost is the best explanation of the passage.

Daniel foretold that “one like unto a Son of Man” would come “even to the Ancient of Days” [God] and there he would be given “dominion, glory, and a kingdom” (Daniel 7:13-14).

All the prophecies concerning the establishment of the kingdom point to Acts chapter two when the Spirit and power came on the apostles and the first gospel sermon was preached and people became Christians.  From that point on the Kingdom is spoken of as in existence.

Jesus established in Matthew chapter 16 that the “church” He would build is the equivalent of the kingdom (Matt. 16:18, 19).  “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  In Acts 2:47 we read, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”  Paul stated, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).  If the Lord adds to the church those being saved and if He takes us from the power of darkness and conveys us into the kingdom of His dear Son, then the church and the kingdom must be the same.

Jesus announced that the kingdom would arrive with “power.”  The coming of the kingdom would be when the power of the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the lifetime of those standing there when Jesus made the promise in Mark 9:1.   Looking at Acts 2:1-4 we see the power coming: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” So, the Son of Man coming with power was in Acts 2 and the apostles were assured of the Lord’s presence as stated in Matthew 16:27-28).

It seems crystal clear that the prophecy in Matthew 16:27-28 was fulfilled when the Spirit and power came on the day of Pentecost fifty days after the death of Christ.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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9-18-2018 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

Mat 16:21-28; Mk 8:31-38; 9:1; Lk 9:21-27

Guy Roberson

 

“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

In this passage we hear the first of three predictions of the suffering and death of Jesus (16:21; 17:22-33; 20:17-19).

It is interesting to observe how closely the announcement of our Lord’s death is to Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ just a few verses before, and to what it means to follow Jesus as a disciple.  Notice that Jesus said He must go to Jerusalem to die.  This was essential to carry out God’s plan to redeem mankind.

Despite Peter’s bold confession as to who Jesus is, (Matt. 16:18), he now turns to rebuke Jesus for His prophetic words about His suffering and death.  Peter said, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”  At that moment, Peter became an enemy of the cross and Jesus declared him as such. Jesus then turned to Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Peter’s intention to preserve the life of the Lord was indeed commendable, but Jesus wanted Peter to understand that no motive is noble if it conflicts with God’s divine will.  We see such efforts today like Peter’s as people strive to serve God according their will instead of God’s will. Throughout Scripture the point is made that men are often mindful of the things of men rather than the things of God. Again, and again the Scriptures prove that even the sincerest individuals can be sincerely wrong.  Jesus’ rebuke to Peter is one of the most powerful statements in all the Gospels concerning obedience to God.

Jesus then began to teach His disciples and us regarding what is necessary for following Him: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25). There is no joy like the joy found in Jesus. However, the way to the greatest joy that could ever be experienced is difficult because it requires us to deny ourselves.  Jesus is talking about the level of commitment He expects from every follower. He doesn’t promise that the road to such joy will be easy: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt. 5:10-12).  Jesus realized that His disciples had developed the notion of an earthly kingdom and all the worldly riches, honor, and pleasure to go with it and He took this occasion to present the doctrine of the cross and what went with it—persecutions, sufferings, and even death. This required putting God first and all else second.  To take up the cross meant to patiently bear, every affliction and evil, however shameful and painful it may be for the glory of God.

Jesus stressed the importance of what He had just said by declaring: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or, what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  The central paradox of Christian living is that in grasping for temporal things, we lose the eternal — but should we sacrifice everything in this world, we gain eternal riches that are beyond comprehension. Jesus calls upon us to make choices.  What is our soul worth?  We know what our souls are worth to Jesus. He came and died to save us in eternity and to present us with a heavenly home.  The question for us is what is our soul worth to us?  What do we think we are worth?  Are we willing to put God first and serve Him whatever the cost to live eternally with Him?  Jesus then said, “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works”

Jesus also said,” Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”  This will be discussed in the next article.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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