Mark 15

Vs. 14, “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”  When I think about the response of the crowds, I wonder…how would I have responded?  How would I have responded if I was one of Jesus’ disciples during this time?  It was a chaotic last 24 hours for Jesus and all the disciples.  I still can’t bying myself to watch the movie Passion again.  I’ve watched it once, and cringe at the very thought of watching it again.  Yet, this is what Jesus did for me, this is what Jesus did for you.  Take some time in your busy day and evening to reflect upon this chapter and thank the Lord Jesus!  I hope one day I can grasp His amazing love to the full extent, but until that day, I pray we all keep reminding our hearts of Jesus’ love!

Matthew 15

Vs. 8, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  Jesus is quoting Isaiah when he is talking about the Pharisee’s and teachers of the law.  They came to Jesus accusing him and his disciples for not obeying the oral law that had been handed down generation upon generation (vs. 1-9)  Though cleansing hands were not part of the Law, their tradition was now at or even above God’s law.  Jesus, knowing their hypocrisy retorts back with an accusation of his own concerning honoring their parents.  To honor your parents were to support them, however, they were taking things of value in their home and “dedicating” it to God…thereby, not having to give those up for supporting their parents.  They were more concerned about washing hands than taking care of loved ones.  This all goes back to the condition of our hearts (vs. 10-20).  The faith of the Canaanite woman is remarkable because she was not only persistent, but during her efforts…she began to realize who Jesus really was.  We may think Jesus was harsh in this response, but he did this as a test for her and a lesson for us.  She was willing to eat the crumbs like a dog.  The Bread is Jesus, the Children is Israel and the dogs are the Gentiles (vs. 26).  Yet, the children of Israel were not even close to accepting the Bread of Life and she was willing to eat the crumbs.  And lastly, we look at the feeding of the 4000 (vs. 29-39).  Some have stated that this was the same event from the feeding of 5000, but it was different.  The disciples lack of faith/remembering regarding the feeding miracle also could be attributed to the fact that this crowd was largely Gentile and perhaps they didn’t believe Jesus would have done such a thing.  Besides, how many times in our lives has God done something and then the next week we lack faith?

 

Regarding application…Being Offensive.  Vs. 12, “Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”  Basically Jesus responds with a “So what?”  They are blind!  Let me preface this application with the fact that we must be wise in all that we do and how we represent Christ.  But we must also have tough skin.  When you decide to walk with God, people will be offended and you will be accused.  Accused of being a hypocrite, accused of being self-righteous, judgemental, etc.  Yet, Jesus would give us the reminder that we are not to be afraid.  We are to stand up against the injustices of this world and reach out the love of Christ.  Desiring love and acceptance from the world is hatred towards God.  So, I implore each of us to be more offensive in this life.  It’s okay if people don’t like you if you stand up for truth!

Jeremiah 15

Vs. 1, “Then the LORD said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!”  God would respond to Jeremiah’s prayer with this verse.  No matter who sought to intercede for Judah, God’s mind was made up…He would not relent.  God had chosen the Jews to be a blessing to the world, but now they would become abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth (vs. 4).  We must be careful to not assume God enjoyed what He was doing.  This brought incredible grief to our Lord just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem many years later.  We would see Jeremiah’s heartfelt response as he pleads his case to the Lord.  Jeremiah was nearly questioning his purpose and ministry…but God would bring him a test that many of us would find incredibly hard to endure.

 

Regarding application…God’s Food.  Vs. 16, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.”  Had Jeremiah forsaken God’s word during this tumultous time…He would not have lasted and endured.  We don’t simply read God’s word…even Satan & pagans do that….WE MUST EAT God’s word!!!  We must chew and taste the goodness of it.  We must let it digest into our souls and let it revitalize our very being!  When I come across a fellow believer who has told me they are struggling…the number one thing I ask them is, “Are you doing your QT’s?”  Every response I have heard so far is the answer, “NO”.  Brothers & Sisters in Christ…are we so dull & ignorant?  When we choose to not dine at the table of our King, we WILL grow weak.  His Word is the only thing that can sustain us in times of tribulation.  We must be grounded in it now, so that when the storms come, we are strong enought to endure.  I’ll never grow tired in reminding each of you daily why we must turn to God’s Word!  Keep your eyes elevated to Jesus!

Revelation 15

Besides being the shortest chapter in Revelation, this chapter is the preface to the final series of judgments which come on the earth during the Great Tribulation.  Before we mention that in greater detail, we are shown once again the believers who died for Jesus’ name in the tribulation.  They are singing the song of Moses, probably the same song Moses & the Israelites sang upon crossing the  Red Sea .  We saw the sea of glass in chapter 4, but this time fire accompanies it.  The fire indicating God’s wrath.

The 7 Vials (Bowls)

Satan at this time is pouring out terrible wrath upon believers…the Jews especially, but God will have the last word.) covers the last three and one-half years.).  The smoke signifies (vs. 8), signifies God’s judgment.  A note regarding order of the seven seals, trumpets & vials: Theologian, William R. Newell contends that the first six seals will be broken during the first three and one-half years, and that the seventh seal (  While the earthly temple may have been taken over by the beast, the Heavenly temple cannot be touched (vs.5).  Seven angels come out ready to bring wrath…7 being the number for completion (  A world that has rejected the Son of God, must now bear the judgment of sin.

Regarding application…Our Response.  “The cause of Christ can be painful and costly. It is about sacrifice. But the sacrifice is motivated by love, not fear. and the love is what sets us free.” Jeanette Thomason.  Just look again at the saints from the beginning of this passage.  Their response…as well as our response is to glorify & worship our Lord of Lords.  Vs. 3, “...Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.  Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.”  It is not our place to challenge or wonder if God is just…we must believe His ways are right…His ways are just…His ways are marvelous.  Our human intellect sometimes wants to think it is higher than God’s.  It saddens me to see people who once knew the greatness of God, turn to the world & it’s logic and now they scorn our God & challenge His ways.  May the Love & Wrath of God draw us closer, not further from Him!  Turn to the Lord today & Worship His Holy Name!  Know that we can Trust everything that God will do…no matter how hard it is to understand.