Friday, September 18, 2020


Friday, September 18, 2020

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Hebrews 1:1-2


If you ever take a tour of the Holy Land one of the places you’ll visit is the ancient ruins of the city Capernaum. It is the fishing town that Jesus made his headquarters while he was in Galilee. Why did he make this his home? For one very good reason: It was Peter’s hometown.  What is remarkable is that you can go there today and see the erect walls of a small first century home. The home has been identified since the time of Constantine as Peter’s house.

100 feet from the front door of Peter’s home are the remains of the synagogue of Jesus. Standing there with the winds of the Sea of Galilee blowing through the ruins you can picture Jesus and Peter waking up on the Sabbath, walking across the street with the rest of the disciples, and attending services.  This being Peter’s home synagogue he probably had something to do with Jesus being asked to teach. It is a place where Jesus taught regularly. For a period of time he was there every week in the synagogue teaching as a visiting Rabbi. And as he began to teach, Mark tells us, the people were amazed...astonished at His teaching.

What amazed them is that when Jesus stood up to teach he didn’t say, “Moses has taught us”, or “the exodus teaches us”, or “the prophet Isaiah reminds us”, or “Rabbi so-and-so has said.”  No, when he stood up in the synagogue, he said, “I say to you.” All the other Rabbis told the people to offer a sacrifice at the temple for the remission of sins but Jesus said to people directly, “Your sins are forgiven.” The Rabbis all encouraged the people to believe in God. Along comes Jesus and he tells them, “Believe in God, believe also in me.”  The difference was astonishing.

All the other Rabbis got their authority from quoting the Scriptures and talking about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They referenced the Rabbis before them to support their positions.

But Jesus!  Here was something new. He was the authority. “I am the door; I am the vine; I am the gate; I am the Good Shepherd; I am the light of the world. His teachings echoed with something new, something astonishing. God was no longer in the past. God was in the present in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.  The astonishing thing about Jesus’ teaching was that he broke through the fog that the scribes had created and he spoke with the bright clear beam of heavenly light. He spoke straight from God, with a voice that penetrates the heart.

As believers we sometimes forget that other religions follow truths passed down from history or the minds of men.  Other men claim their prophets, gurus or shamans.  We follow the Son of God who gave spoke from the authority of God Himself. 

It is this same Jesus who followed up His words with action as we will see tomorrow.  His greatest actions however were reserved for His great sacrifice on Calvary followed by His powerful resurrection.  It is these acts which forged His words into eternal truth and empowered every promise He ever made.  Every word we read from the teachings of Christ should be read through the lens of the resurrection.  His authority is validated in these words…Jesus is alive!

Don’t be casual about reading His words as some great orator or spiritualist.  These are the words of the Son of God and His promises are for us who believe.  Jesus is Alive!

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." John 6:68-69

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