Category: Miracles in the Bible

The A-B-C to Salvation in Christ Jesus

 

Dear Reader – IF you have not accepted Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life – it is our belief that time is running out. To receive and accept Jesus as Lord is as simple as A. B. C.

A – ACCEPT that you are a sinner, and you need the blood of Jesus to cleanse you of your sins.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

B – BELIEVE  in you heart that Jesus is the Son of God and He came and died on the cross to take away the sins of Mankind.

John 3:15-18 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

C – CONFESS – Confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Romans 10:9-11 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

 

PRAY THIS PRAYER IF YOU BELIEVE THE ABOVE

 

Heavenly Father – I come to you as a sinner in need of the blood of Jesus who shed His blood on the cross of Calvary to forgive me and take away my sins. I ask that You forgive me and wash me and cleanse me with the blood of Jesus of all my sins Lord. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God. I accept Him today as the Lord and Saviour of my life. I ask Lord that you send your Holy Spirit to come and live within me and help guide my footsteps as I walk in the newness of the new life in Christ Jesus. I thank you Father for writing my name down in the Lamb’s Book of life. In Jesus name I pray. AMEN.

Brothers and Sisters – if you prayed the above pray for the first time – you are NOW born again. WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD.

I would encourage you to tell others of your new found faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Find a church that preaches and teaches the undiluted Word of God without fear of man, and start to grow in the Lord.

WELCOME BROTHER.

WELCOME SISTER.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

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Jesus Walks on Water

WEEK 52:

 

 

John 6:16-21 16 And when even was now come, His disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But He saith unto them, it is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

This was the 5th Sign Jesus did in the Gospel of John. In Matthew 14:22, Mark 6:45 we are told that Jesus had told the disciples to cross the sea. It was now dark and Jesus had not come to them. This is a trial of faith. We are doing His will and problems hit and it seems dark yet we can’t feel His Presence. Jesus wasn’t with His disciples, but He was praying for them, and now He now intercedes for us at the right hand of God.

Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing against them and they were struggling and in some danger (Mark 6:48, Matt 14:24). When we start doing something for God, spiritual winds from Satan may oppose us. Suddenly, a storm came down upon the disciples in the boat and the waves pushed them back. The sea represents natural, visible problems and circumstances, stirred up by the invisible winds (spiritual forces). But, if God calls us to do something, He will help us accomplish it. If we call upon Him, we will overcome by His power and we will make it to the other side. Surely they were praying for help and God heard them.  They had been rowing for a long time 25-30 furlongs – probably 3-4 miles – getting nowhere by their own strength.

Mark 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night He cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

The “fourth watch of the night” is 3.00am. Jesus knew they had been toiling. He came to help them, walking on the sea.  Jesus sees us and what we are going through. He knows what we are facing and He comes to us in the trials of life when we pray. They saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat – Mark 6:48 says “and would have passed by them”???  But that doesn’t make sense. He knows we are in distress – why on earth does it appear that He will pass by us? The thing is when we pray God immediately sends the answer, but we must receive the answer into our boat or it will pass us by. We must have the confidence in God, to believe we receive the answer in our spirit. Often God sends the answer, but people do not see it or are afraid of it. Jesus would have passed them by, for He respects our freewill. He will only come into our boat (our life) if invited. If we prefer to struggle on our own, He will let us do that.

“and they were afraid”.  Fear and unbelief can hinder us from receiving our answer by faith. The disciples were full of fear, believing He was a ghost, and they cried out in fear (Mark 6:49-50; Matthew 14:26).

Verse 20 But He saith unto them, it is I; be not afraid. He also told them to “take courage” (Matthew 14:27, Mark 6:50), for it takes confidence to believe God sends a supernatural answer to prayer and to believe you receive it. We do not fear when we know He is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Verse 21 Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.


This is a miracle (the 6th Sign),
giving us a wonderful picture of Salvation. 

We were struggling in our own strength, on the sea of life, trying to reach the other side (eternal life in God’s Kingdom) but failing. All seemed dark and hopeless, but as we start looking for God’s help, we see Jesus coming to us, drawing near. He has seen us and our troubles and wants to save us. Jesus, walking over the water is a picture of the risen Christ, who has overcome the gravity (force) of sin, Satan and death. Sin tries to pull us down, but Jesus has overcome it. We need to receive Christ and His overcoming, resurrection power into our boat (our heart and life). He often draws near to save people, but they do not see Him or are afraid to receive Him. There was a storm of fear in the disciple’s hearts, but Jesus is the Prince of Peace – He spoke peace into their lives “it is I; be not afraid”.

As we listen to His words of love and assurance our fear goes and we willingly receive Him into our heart. When we invite Him in, He always comes in (Revelation3:20). When we receive Him, peace comes – the winds then died down (Matthew 14:32, Mark 6:51), for we cease from our own works – our struggles to reach the other side.

When we have Christ we have eternal life – immediately the boat reached the other side. A miracle of instantaneous transportation! When we receive Him, we are immediately translated into the Kingdom of God and given eternal life (Colossians 1:12-14). Then we worship Him as the Son of God (Matthew 14:33). 

We overcome through Christ in us. When we struggle to fulfil God’s call and do His will, the power of the world is real, but Jesus has greater power (John 16:33). We can now overcome because the Overcomer lives in us (1John 2:14; 4:4; 5:4, 5). If we have received Jesus, we are overcomers, for by faith we are united to His overcoming life and have victory over all the power of the enemy.

Jesus walking on the water is a picture of His overcoming life. As He walked, it was God’s power that was holding Him up, not the water. It is impossible to walk on water and He did not really walk on the water, but on the Word and the Spirit of God. Jesus was not under circumstances, He was an Overcomer – He walked by faith OVER the water. As He took each step by faith, He was upheld by a power greater than gravity. 

Matthew 14:28-31 tells us how Peter also walked on the water. He shows us that we can from God but Peter knew he needed the Word to walk by faith. 

We are all called to walk on the Word of God, and as we take each step by faith, God’s power is released. We can put pressure on the Word of God and when we lean on it as we walk in faith, it will hold us up. There is a law (force) of sin and death trying to pull us down, but as we walk by faith there is a greater force (God’s power) holding us up, a higher law in us the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which sets us free from that law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). 

There are evil forces in the world but God’s power is greater and we overcome by just keeping our eyes on Jesus. If we sink it is not because of the power of the opposing wind, but because of unbelief.

If we start to sink, like Peter, we should turn our eyes back to Jesus and call to Him for help He will lift us up to walk again. We need not only to know the Word, but to have it established strongly in us through constant meditation (Psalm 1), so that when the winds blow and the waves beat against our lives we are not moved from the Word in our heart and our eyes stay fixed on Jesus.

With weak faith, we walk a bit, but when problems hit we start to sink. With strong faith we have decided to believe the Word whatever the circumstances. The Word is rooted in us and so when the wind blows we are not moved. When God gives us a Word, we need to establish it in our hearts, and then walk on it, acting as if it were true. As we do, God’s power will uphold us. We will walk on God’s power, overcoming the gravity of sin, the winds of Satan and the waves of opposition, as we look to Jesus, saying:

“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us”  (Romans 8:37).

 

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Jonah Survives Inside the Belly of a Fish

WEEK 51:

Jonah 2:1-10 1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, 2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. 4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about; the weeds were wrapped about my head. 6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. 7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. 10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

Let us try to imagine what it must have been like for Jonah. There he was inside the belly of a fish. It is utterly dark and the space is tight. There is just enough air for him to breath and around him he can feel the contents of the sea swirling inside the fish’s stomach. I bet he felt as though he had been buried alive, and he thinks his life is over – but then he realizes that he’s not dead and that with God, nothing is impossible – so he calls out to the LORD in genuine repentance. Jonah has come to his senses. He now realizes he’s been a fool to think he could resist God.

 Jonah is trapped. He knows that in his present state he cannot go to the temple and offer a sacrifice of atonement but he can turn his heart back to the temple and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. He  had made a vow to the Lord years before that He would serve God and though he’s broken that commitment by running away from the mission God had given him – now he surrenders, and entrusts himself into God’s hands, COMPLETELY –  now that he’s come to this place of complete surrender.

Are there any lessons that we can learn from Jonah’s story? Certainly there are. (1) Our God is the God of a second chance(s). (2)  He never gives up on us just as He loved the Ninevites and sent Jonah to warn them so they might repent and avoid His judgment. (3) He loved Jonah and was not going to give up on him. Jonah’s rebellion against the call of God was dramaticsomething very rarely seen in Scripture – Jonah’s determination to go completely against the will of God and flee in the opposite direction. (4) God went after him and brought him to precisely the place he had to be brought to so that he would come to his senses and repent.

Dear reader – there are times in our lives when we may be in the proverbial belly of the fish. Has God placed a call on your life? Or there has been some task He’s called you to perform, but you’ve balked, you’ve resisted, you’ve rebelled? Perhaps God has called you to enter the ministry or the mission field, but you’ve gone the other direction and boarded a ship headed for earthly wealth rather than spiritual treasure?  Could it be that God has told you to go to someone and seek reconciliation, but you’ve climbed aboard a boat of bitterness and resentment rather than forgiveness? It may even be simply that God has called you to go deeper with Him, to cast off the spiritual laziness and apathy that has marked your life recently and pursue Him passionately, but you’ve turned a deaf ear to the urging of the Spirit and the lethargy has only increased?

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The calling of God is irrevocable. If He has called you, He keeps calling you till you respond. If you resist Him and try to avoid His calling, He will keep hedging you in. He will go after you as he went after Jonah and He will do whatever He has to bring you to the place of surrender – the hardness of your heart will determine the extent of His action to break you!

It took 3 days before Jonah surrendered! Think of it – 3 days of sea slime and darkness. If you find yourself in the belly of trouble today – how long are you prepared to wait until you surrender your will to what the Father has called you to do? Will you wait 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, and 3 years? Do you think you can out-wait God? Can you outlast the Ancient of Days? It will be much easier on one in the long run IF one surrenders and follows His command – it will save so much heartache and possibly circulating the same mountain over and over and over again until one yields.

Deuteronomy 1:2-3 2 (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.) 3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them.

Deuteronomy 1:46 So ye abode in Kadesh many days, according unto the days that ye abode there.

Deuteronomy 2:14 And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them.

Scripture tells us that the Israelites were just an 11 day journey from Kadeshbarnea – which was located south of Canaan – to the Promised Land, but because of their consistent  rebellion against the LORD, they wandered in the wilderness for another 38 years.

Best yield NOW, rather than waste precious time running away from the LORD is what I would say – as I speak aloud to myself.

 

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Paul Heals the Father of Publius and Others

WEEK 50:

Acts 28:7-9 7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. 8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:

Publius welcomed the survivors to his estate, in which they were housed for three days. During this time he would have made arrangements for them to find suitable winter lodgings elsewhere on the island.

Of all the incidents that must have occurred during Paul’s three months stay on Malta, Luke described only one dramatic situation. In this case, it was Paul’s ability to heal the sick, which again showed that Paul came in the spirit and power of Jesus. It all began with the father of Publius, who was sick in bed suffering from fever and dysentery.

Paul went to Publius’ father, prayed and placed his hands on him and he was healed. What a witness! What a testimony! Paul did not require all the herbs and spices and seeds and bushes that the locals probably used to cure ailments – it was simply the Word of the Lord. When the islanders saw what happened, “the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured”.

Beginning with Paul’s safe landing at Malta and during his three months on the island, God had demonstrated His power through Paul in a direct way. After suffering privations of various sorts for well over two years, Paul’s life was changing for the better.

Paul’s presence on the island proved a wonderful blessing to the Maltese. They responded with kindness to the survivors.

Acts 28:10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.

The islanders were told that Paul was a prisoner awaiting trial. They were not perturbed by this – rather, the islanders bade Paul and his companion’s farewell by loading them up with provisions for their journey. Paul’s conduct throughout his three month stay on the island no doubt left a lasting witness of the God that he serves in their eyes.

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3 Hebrews Saved from the Fiery Furnace

WEEK 49:

Daniel 3:10-27 10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image: 11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was won’t to be heated. 20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

The king really did not need them to remind him of his decree. This possibly, is mentioned to him, to tell him there is no way out of punishing these Jews. The punishment had been set from the beginning for those who would not worship this false god.

The king was fair in asking them personally, if they were guilty of breaking his commandment. Nebuchadnezzar is giving them one more chance here, to conform to his command. He reminds them once more, that to disobey his command meant they would be thrown into the fiery furnace. He almost mocks God with his statement; “Who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hands”? He is saying, no god is more powerful than he is.

This is simply saying, they do not need time to think about this, they have already made up their mind. They can give him their answer immediately. The three men meant no disrespect. They did not have any defence, nor did they need to reconsider their commitment, since they stood fast for their God as the only true and living God. Their lives were in His hands as they indicated. They are not afraid of the fiery furnace, or of Nebuchadnezzar. They know God is their very present help in trouble. They are not speaking in an arrogant manner to the king. They are speaking their confidence in their God. If that is the way it is, they are more willing to face the furnace than to bow to a false god.

This type of faith is what we need, as well. The world beckons. It is our choice. Will we follow our God, even into the fire? Will we become afraid, and follow false gods of the world? This is another way of saying, We will serve God and no other. They will not worship things made with human hands. They have made their decision to follow the One True God and no other.

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Each person must make this decision. We cannot serve God and the world. We too must choose. An important note to point out here is that the LORD did not show up until they took their first steps into the furnace. They had to take that leap of faith believing that the LORD would deliver them – but if He chooses not to – then so be it. But, they had to walk that walk, and head towards the furnace of fire into the flames. As soon as they were in the furnace, God showed up.

“Visage” means “face”. This means that he was so full of fury that his whole face changed. The normal amount of fire would have burned anyone up who was thrown into it, but his anger caused him to say, “make it seven times hotter than usual”. The king’s fury at being defied to his face led him to cry for an intensification of the heat. He was not literally requiring the fire to be 7 times hotter as a gauge would indicate, or requiring seven times as long to heat, or 7 times the amount of the fuel. The king in his anger means intensely hot.

God does not always spare us from our problems He helps us with those problems. God is ever present with those who trust Him. This fourth person in the fire is the Son of God.

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

God is a consuming fire, so fire is nothing to Him. They put their faith in the LORD, and He did not fail them. He was in the fire with them, protecting them from its flames. This Divine presence will be with us in all of our troubles, if we will continue to trust in the LORD. God promises us supernatural protection in time of trouble, if we trust in Him.

Psalms 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

The king recognizes their God. He also recognizes they are in good standing with their God. Nebuchadnezzar will have great respect for them standing up to him in this. They are men of great faith. It is Nebuchadnezzar himself who calls them from the fire.

When God enacts a miracle, He supernaturally controls all details so that His power is unmistakable and there is no other explanation.

This was an eye opener for all the people present. They saw the might of the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. This was a great witness to all of them. They might have been in the fire, but God had been with them and protected them. No false god could do this.

There must have been conversions that day to the One True God. They had been protected so well, there was no smell of smoke upon them. It was as if God had them in a fire-proof capsule. He did, in a sense. They were covered with His robe.

The Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ covers us, and protects us from the devil. Thank You Father.

 

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Jesus Heals An Official’s Son at Capernaum (His Second Miracle)

WEEK 48:

John 4:43-54 43 Now after two days He departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. 45 Then when He was come into Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. 46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. 48 Then said Jesus unto him, except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 49 The nobleman saith unto Him, Sir, come down ere my child die. 50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the Word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. 54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

All 3 of the other gospels quote Jesus saying that a prophet gets no honour among his own people (Matthew 13:57, Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24). This was an ancient proverb with much the same meaning as our saying, “familiarity breeds contempt”. It seems an unlikely place to mention a lack of honour, but it highlights John’s emphasis on Jesus’ ministry, not in Galilee as the other 3 Gospels do, but the time He spent in Jerusalem. You see, unlike the other Gospels, John concentrates most of his story on Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem. Nazareth may have been where Jesus grew up, but for John, His real city was the Holy City – Jerusalem. So John shows Him being honoured in Samaria and Galilee, but dishonoured by the very ones and in the very place that ought to have been most prepared to glorify and receive Him.

Jesus returned to the little village of Cana where He had performed His first miracle. While there, an official of Herod’s court who lived in Capernaum went to see Him. This resident of Capernaum is an official in service of Herod Antipas tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, and considered a king or royal by the populace. Capernaum is located on the northern shore of Lake Gennesaret. Cana lies in the hills 25 miles to the west; a full day’s journey. But the man is desperate because his son was near death. Verse 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” In light of the man’s need, this seems a rather harsh thing for Jesus to say. If your child is dying, you’re frantic to find help. You’re not interested in just seeing a miracle because you’re bored and want a diversion.  Your child is hurting and you’re driven by desperation!   So why this harsh response from Jesus? Well – Jesus is not saying this to the father – He is speaking to the crowd who had gathered because of the reports of the miracles He had done in Jerusalem. They’ve come to see a show and are conditioning their faith on His complying with their desire to witness the spectacular.

Jesus performed signs and wonders as a way to validate His message and authority. The power of God verifies the truth of the Word. Our faith is built on the Revealed Word of God, what we find in the Holy Scriptures.

Romans 10:17 So then Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

At first, the nobleman’s faith was in the healing of his son. Once his servants met him on the way home and they told him that his son was healed about 1pm yesterday – the same time that Jesus had told him “Go thy way; thy son liveth” – his faith moved to the Person and identity of Jesus Himself as the Messiah. As a result the man and all his extended household –  immediate family, extended family, and servants — become believers. His faith had begun with seeing miracles, but it has gone deeper. He believes Jesus’ Word and later sees the results.

John wants us to see not only the grace of the healing, but the power of it. The boy was dying of a fever. The power of Jesus to heal is seen in the fact that He did it with a mere Word. He simply said, “Go thy way; thy son liveth” – and with that one Word, the physical chemistry of a boy’s body changed.  The power is seen in that distance was not a hindrance. The boy was 15 miles away in Capernaum. He could have been 15,000 miles away – it would not have mattered. When Jesus speaks with authority, there are no spatial limitations to His power.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

We must sometimes take Jesus at His Word and act before seeing the result.

 

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Sun Dial Goes Back 10 Degrees

WEEK 47:

 

 

2 Kings 20:9-11 9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? 10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. 11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and He brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

 “Sign goes back ten degrees”. Here is the first biblical mention of any means of marking time. Hezekiah requested this sign to confirm the LORD’s promise of healing. A sign is a physical event with a meaning that points beyond itself, and most often refers to an ordinary event with an extraordinary meaning implied. In the days of the prophets, like Isaiah, it was not unusual for God to give them a sign.

Hezekiah was not out of line in asking for a sign. Hezekiah was like many of us. He did not want to wait to see if God had answered his prayer. Three days was a long time to wait. He – like many of us today want an instant response from the Father. Hezekiah wanted the LORD to cure him of his disorder so that he would be able to go to the temple on the third day.

 “Shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees”? That is, the shadow of the sun on a dial plate. It was left for him to choose which he would like, as the confirming sign of his recovery. This is a very unusual thing to happen. This would be an obvious sign that could not be denied. NO! Hezekiah wanted absolute proof, so he asks for it to be reversed.

“Nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees”. Which was directly contrary to its natural order and course, whereby the miracle would appear more clear and manifest. Hezekiah had given a request for something that would be impossible in the natural sense. You must have impossibility, before you can have a miracle. God is not controlled by nature. God controls everything, including nature.

Evidently the supernatural turning backward of the sun’s shadow was a localized happening, but it was no less of a miracle.

 

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Paul Shakes off a Viper

WEEK 46:

 

 

Acts 28:3-6 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

It was cold and raining on Malta and the survivors began to gather sticks and wood so as to build a fire. Paul joined in as well, but as he was gathering firewood, he disturbed a snake, which clamped its jaws on his hand. The natives were very superstitious. When the natives who had gathered at the beach saw the snake hanging from Paul’s hand, they thought – “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live”. These islanders were superstitious, so they assumed that divine vengeance had caught up with Paul.

However, to their amazement, Paul shook the snake off into the fire and was unharmed. He seemed quite unconcerned about it, knowing he was under God’s care.

Psalm 91:13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Paul as an apostle of the Most High was a divinely protected person. Paul, the servant of Jesus, was coming in the same spirit and power as his Master. He proclaimed God’s kingdom, and in the process was victorious over all, including the forces of nature.

The natives began to get some sense of Paul’s divine connection. At first they were merely stunned by Paul not dropping over dead. Then their attitude toward him changed – “after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god”.

God hereby made Paul remarkable among these people, and so made way for the receiving of the Gospel. The Lord raises up friends for His people in every place wherever He leads them, and makes them blessings to those in affliction.

 

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Elisha’s Bones Resurrects Dead Man

WEEK 45:

 

 

2 Kings 13:21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

“He revived”. A dead man returned to life after touching Elisha’s bones. This miracle was a sign that God’s power continued to work in relationship to Elisha even after his death.

It appears that some Israelites were attempting to bury a man when something startled them, and they accidentally put the man into the tomb where Elisha had been lain. Elisha seemed to still be carrying out miracles for the LORD, even after his own death. When the supposedly dead man touched the bones of Elisha, the man was revived and lived.

The request of Elisha had been to have a double portion of what Elijah had. We know that Elisha saw him, when he was taken and the Lord did give the double portion to Elisha. It has been suggested that this miracle happened to completely fulfil twice as many miracles done by Elisha as Elijah. Elisha would have been one short of double had this not happened.

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Jesus Turns Water to Wine at a Wedding (His First Miracle)

WEEK 44:

John 2:1-11 1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, they have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him.

It is rather significant that John mentions the third day. He is referring to the third day after Jesus had left Judea. It was a two-day walk to Galilee, and they would have arrived on the morning of the third day. This mention of the third day is a reference to what is clearly evident elsewhere in the Scriptures: it is a reference to the fact of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus had not yet taken place, of course, but even in the prophetic Scriptures of the Old Testament there is a reference to the third day as being the day in which Israel would be spiritually healed and returned to her Lord.

Hosea 6:1-2 1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. 2 After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.

Here, then, is the first hint in this account of the significance of this miracle of changing water into wine: it was a miracle of transformation, of bringing life out of death. We are given here a hint of what this miracle symbolizes.

Cana was a tiny village in Galilee, not far from Nazareth. During the time Jesus’ family had lived there and they had made friends all over the area Mary was in Cana attending a wedding. The way this is worded, it sounds like Mary was helping with the wedding. As would be appropriate if Mary was an official part of it, it would stand to reason that this wasn’t merely commentary she was giving – it was an appeal for Him to do something about it. Here’s why. A  Jewish wedding feast often lasted for several days, and was accompanied by a lot of music, dancing, story-telling, all around plenty of food and drink which could last over 4, 5, or even 7 days.  That was a Jewish wedding feast! The bride’s family was responsible for providing all the refreshments, while others brought the entertainment.

 Everyone was to contribute to the celebration in some way. The only thing that could spoil the party was if it started raining, or if they ran out of food and drink, especially drink, which was wine. Even if it rained, they could move indoors – but if the wine dried up, people would pack up and go home feeling like they had not been given the proper hospitality. Worst still and forever after – the newlywed couple would bear the stigma of being stingy and rude. If you ran out of wine at your wedding, you would probably have to hang your head in shame for the rest of your life in that village. That’s why Mary went to Jesus. She knew who He was, and she thought He might have a solution to the crisis.

It sounds like He’s saying, “SO?!? What’s that got to do with Me”? But that isn’t it at all. This isn’t the “Woman”, of “Hey woman, get me a glass of water”! This is a respectful, “Ma’am”. Though Mary is His mother and their relationship is warm and close, Jesus shows a deep parental respect for her. He asked what a failure of the wine has to do with Him. He knows what she is suggesting, but He tells her that the time for Him to begin His ministry has not yet come. While this seems to shut the door on her request, there was something in the way He said it that encouraged her to press on.

Verses 4-5: 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

One of the rituals the Pharisees had spread among the people was an elaborate process for washing hands before eating. This ritual required a lot of fresh water, so 6 large vessels stood by for the many days of the celebration. Since the feast had been going on for a while, the pots needed to be refilled.

Verses 7-8: 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

With 120 to 180 gallons of wine, they wouldn’t have to worry about having enough. There would be more and enough to spare. Of course, the wine Jesus made was the best wine ever consumed. However, the miracle was witnessed only by the servants and the disciples. It was done quietly, without either the guests or the newlyweds even knowing.  Jesus performed His first miracle in near secret – and all for one thing – to save a young couple from a life of shame – to make sure the joy of their wedding wasn’t tainted by something as silly as running out of drinks.

The servants played a vital role in this first miracle too. They were told to fill the firkins with water – yet they knew the wedding guests needed wine. Bearing in mind that this was Jesus’ first miracle, so no one in the region had yet seen Him manifest His power and glory; it would have been so easy for the servants to refuse to obey that order. They themselves risked ridiculed, a beating, humiliation and possibly the sack. Why serve the guests with water when they require wine? It was a leap of faith that allowed the servants to follow through on the order to fill up the firkins with water. How absurd they must of thought! Mary had told them “WHATEVER” He says to you – DO IT!!! May that be our portion too – that once we KNOW that the Master has spoken – we will not procrastinate; we will not delay; we will not decipher; we will not pontificate; we will not defy Him – may we JUST DO IT!!! So while the setting and nature of this miracle may not fit our expectations, it’s perfect as the preface to Jesus’ mission. He came humbly and quietly to remove our shame and fill our lives with joy by making us His bride.

Our Saviour is able to take any seemingly impossible circumstance that we encounter and turn it around into an odour full of sweet smelling, flavoured, fragranced, beautiful and tasteful wine. He will do this for us IF we allow Him. IF we walk faithfully with Him. IF we believe in Him. IF we trust Him. IF we are anchored to Him. He will do it.

Verse 11: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him.

 

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