• Tony Birkhead

The Main Event Week - 2



Nothing will stop the work of Jesus!


INTRODUCTION

Has someone ever challenged your position of authority by asking, “What gives you the right to do this?” How did you respond?

Have you ever asked that question of someone?

Those who have authority have the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. Often, we are grateful for those who have authority because they serve everyone else by casting vision and maintaining order in whatever organization we are in. Other times we might feel, for a variety of reasons, that authority figures should not have authority to begin with.

In today’s passage, we’re going to look at Jesus’ divine authority, an authority that was questioned by the established religious leaders of Jesus’ day. While some were grateful for Jesus’ leadership, cultural influencers and teachers questioned His right to claim the authority of God. Our goal is to understand the nature of Jesus’ authority and to grow in our loving obedience to Him.

The context for this passage is Jesus’ healing a man who was sick for 38 years. The man had some kind of disability or paralysis. Sick people gathered at the pool of Bethesda because they believed that from time to time, an angel would stir up the water of the pool and the first person to enter the water after this occurred would be healed. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to get well (v. 6). The man said he did not have anyone to help him get in the pool before someone else got in ahead of him. Then Jesus told him to get up and walk (v. 8), and the man was healed. Then we are told, it was on the Sabbath that this happened (v. 9). The issue of healing on the Sabbath becomes the primary source of conflict that elicits Jesus response in this passage.

KEY SCRIPTURE

John 5:1-21

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4]5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

JOHN 5:1-18.

In this passage, Jesus healed a man who was sick for 38 years. The man had some kind of disability or paralysis. Sick people gathered at the pool of Bethesda because they believed that from time to time an angel would stir up the water of the pool and the first person to enter the water after this occurred would be healed. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to get well (v. 6). The man said he did not have anyone to help him get in the pool before someone some one else got in ahead of him. Then Jesus told him to get up and walk (v. 8), and the man was healed. Then we are told, it was on the Sabbath that this happened (v. 9). The issue of healing on the Sabbath becomes the primary source of conflict regarding Jesus’ authority.

Why did John specifically mention that this event happened on the Sabbath? What were God’s people to do on this day?

The Sabbath was intended as a day of rest—it was a gift for man, made by God. On this day, God’s people were to do no work, but there were no restrictions in the Law about caring for the sick or helping others. The Pharisees had added their own traditions to God’s Law, declaring even the tiniest violation a flagrant disregard for the Lord. By healing this man and calling him to walk and carry a mat on the Sabbath, Jesus was declaring His authority, and the Pharisees were incensed. What gave Jesus the right to do what He did?

Why would Jesus exercising His authority anger the Jewish leaders? Why did the Jewish leaders not think Jesus had the authority to do what he did?

What is Jesus’ explanation for why He healed the man on the Sabbath? What does this explanation reveal about the Father? How does this truth apply to us today?

Jesus reaffirmed what the Jewish authorities also believed—that the Sabbath rest was built into creation because God created all things in six days, then rested on the seventh. That set the pattern for man to work six days then rest on the Sabbath. But Jesus also showed these theologians what they would have likely agreed to as well: that when the Bible says God rested on the seventh day, it doesn’t mean that God ceased being active in the world. Jesus denied that God was some nebulous power who merely propped everything into place and set it in motion. Rather, He was affirming that God is the omnipotent Lord who governs everything that He makes moment by moment.

A Jew would have agreed that God was providentially active on earth because a Jew understood that God’s domain of authority is infinite, rising over the restrictions that men face. Finite, restricted man must practice a Sabbath in recognition that God was ultimately master of their domain, but God need not. But in v. 17 (and in other places throughout the Gospels), Jesus claimed that what was true for the Father and the Sabbath was true for Himself: “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” In other words, Jesus declared that He had the authority of the Father to be a work in the world as God led Him to be. Jesus was equal with God.

JOHN 5:19-20.

According to v. 19, what is the nature of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Son? Is Jesus capable of acting independently of the Father? Why or why not?

It is impossible for Jesus to do anything that would set Him against the Father, as if Jesus were another God. Such behavior would deny Jesus’ Sonship to God the Father. At the same time, Jesus’ claim that he can and must do whatever the Father does makes Him as great as the Father. So Jesus is not a different God—He is God, yet distinct from the Father.

According to v. 20, how is it that Jesus can do what the Father does?

The basis for Jesus’ authority is the Father’s love for Him, manifested through the Father’s nonstop communication to Jesus about all He does. In turn, Jesus demonstrates His love for the Father through perfect obedience, even to the point of death on the cross and the resurrection! So because God perfectly loves the Jesus the Son, the Son perfectly loves the Father and lives obediently with the authority of the One who loves Him.


MOVING FORWARD

  • Why can you trust Jesus’ authority over your own life?

  • In what areas of your life are you not trusting Jesus’ authority? What steps do you need to take to submit to His loving leadership?

  • Is there a non-Christian in your life who could benefit from understanding Jesus’ loving authority? Pray for an opportunity to share with them this week.


PRAY TOGETHER

Give thanks for Jesus’ loving obedience to the Father, and the authority that gave Him for our good and His glory.


COMMENTARY

JOHN 5:1-21

5:1–9a. The story of the very weak or paralyzed man begins with a typical statement of the setting. Verse 2, however, is a little confusing because there seems to be a word missing in the Greek text associated with the word “Sheep.” As a result translators and commentators have made a number of guesses from “gate” to “town” or have made “sheep” modify “pool” and left open what was there. The “Sheep Gate” of the NIV is at least an acceptable solution. “The Sheep Gate” was a small entrance to the city in the northeast segment of the wall near the temple.

When Jesus went to Jerusalem, he did not spend his time in elite hostels; nor did he concentrate his ministry merely in the temple or give attention to the rich and famous who could help him politically and financially with his ministry. He concentrated on people in need, which for the elite of society was part of his problem. In this story he visited the pool below the temple where the helpless dregs of society lay in a pathetic state. Most “proper” people probably avoided places where they had to pass among the sick and suffering both because it was an uncomfortable setting and because of the potential for violation of ritual purity rules. But Jesus went out of his way to visit such a place, and he found there a paralytic, helpless man, who had experienced the wilderness of abandonment for what seemed to have been an eternity: thirty-eight years (5:5).

The man’s response to Jesus’ question, “Do you want to get well?” (v. 6), revealed both his poor understanding of God and his sense of hopelessness. Instead of answering the question, he gave his gloomy testimony and his perception of how God works. The only hope evident in his testimony was his commitment to a myth of a periodic miraculous troubling of the pool, which allegedly brought healing to the first person able to jump in. The reader should recognize that vv. 3b–4 (present in the KJV) are a later scribal addition to the story, probably inserted into the text by an early copyist who believed in such mythical manifestations and who sought to support the man’s belief pattern by such a statement. In terms of an explanation it is possible that the man’s theory here may have been based on the occurrence of an interesting natural phenomenon in which at high water times the pool apparently was infused by a periodic influx of spring water that stirred the pool with excess water. The question here is not one of the possibility of miracle but of the message of the text.

The important thing to notice first is the man’s poor view of God’s grace. Over the long period of time of living with his problem the man had seemingly become convinced that God operated on the basis of “first come, first served.” Another of his problems was that he undoubtedly felt a sense of abandonment because of his helpless condition and his lack of support from others, particularly in times when he thought healing might be possible. He apparently had become negative, as some sick people do, and he was ready to blame others. This attitude did not change after his healing and was likely part of the reason for Jesus’ later warning (5:14). In response to the man’s perception of God and of God’s grace, it is interesting that Jesus is not portrayed here as a theological logician or debater. Jesus did not dispute the man’s poor theology or his view of angelic visitation. He simply told him to get up and take his mattress or bedroll (krabbaton) out of that place (5:8). Surely amazed and overjoyed, the man followed Jesus’ orders (5:9a), but that was not the end of the story.

5:9b–15. The opponents of Jesus, here designated purposely as “the Jews,” pounced on the helpless man who had just experienced the incredible joy of entering the promised land of a new existence. But these Jews were not interested in the man’s joy. The term “the Jews,” when used by the evangelist, defines Jesus’ religious opponents in the Gospel (cf. also 1:19 concerning the Baptizer). The term is not used merely as a racial designation because the man here was also a Jew. The Jews in this story were not interested in the well-being of people but merely in their rules and traditions. They serve the author’s literary art as symbols or flat literary figures representing a certain perspective (namely rigid, doctrinaire, noncaring, religious leaders). These doctrinaire religious figures are the ones who were responsible for the death of Jesus, and this chapter defines their role. All they could see was a man carrying a bedroll and breaking the Sabbath law, which was formulated to support their understanding of the Torah principle in Exodus 31:12–14.

The confused man had been caught in the very act of breaking the rules of the rabbis and did not know how to deal with his problem. So he sought for a quick defense by blaming the healer (John 5:11), even though he did not know who he was (5:13). It is doubtful that the man in this story really understood the significance of Jesus. The blaming, self-centered, self-preservation pattern of his former life continued after the healing as he turned from the Healer to investigators (the Jews) and reported Jesus to these authority figures. One implication of the story is that no one should be surprised by the responses of people. Not everyone accepts merciful acts with gratitude (cf. the nine lepers of Luke 17:17–18).

5:16–18. These verses represent the formal introduction to the controversy scenes of the Festival Cycle. The focus is on Jesus’ identity and his relation to the Sabbath. The man’s report to the authorities is pictured as transferring the investigation committee’s hostility from the paralytic to Jesus (5:16). Indeed, the statement that the Sabbath issue was the reason why the Jews “persecuted” Jesus is John’s way of formally defining for the first time in this severe way the authorities’ relationship to Jesus. But the issue of the Sabbath is transposed into an even more serious charge in the discussion that follows. That charge will become the reason for the crucifixion. As a result, the argument that follows is strategic to Johannine theology. There is an interesting presuppositional agreement between the rabbis and Jesus. Both recognize the sense of God’s constant working in the world (defined by Christian theologians as the doctrine of providence). It is assumed that God continues to work on the Sabbath or the world would collapse. Yet the issue for the rabbis revolved around the fact that humans are not God and therefore must not try to act like God. But here is the point the evangelist was making. The working of Jesus is precisely the Johannine proclamation: Jesus is the Son of God and therefore the representative of God (cf. 20:28). So (a) if God can continue to work positively in creation on the Sabbath and not totally rest, and (b) if one can recognize that the works of Jesus are the works of God, then the question follows: Why are not the works of Jesus on the Sabbath legitimate?

The battle was thus joined. In fact, it was moved to a more intense level when Jesus called God his Father (5:17). The Jews recognized the argument immediately and from that point pursued him not merely for Sabbath breaking but also for blasphemy (5:18). They understood that he was not merely claiming to be a child of God in the general sense but in a very special way. Accordingly, they charged him with “making himself equal with God” (5:18). Jesus’ claim would violate their understanding of monotheism and would surely have reminded them of the serpent’s temptation to “be like God” (Gen 3:5). Such a claim, therefore, would undoubtedly be categorized by the rabbis as sinning with the high hand (a direct challenge to God), unless the claim was true. And that was precisely the claim of Jesus and the early church. That claim, however, must be carefully understood. Jesus did not claim to take the place of God or be an alternative to God, which is what the Jews meant by “making himself equal with God” (5:18; cf. the charge at 10:33 and “claimed to be the Son of God,” 19:7). What Jesus, as the One and Only Son of God (1:14, 18), claimed was to be sent by God, on mission for God, doing the works of God, obedient to God, and bringing glory to God. That is not the role of one who displaces God but one who is a representative or emissary of God. It is in fact the pros ton theon of the Prologue in the context of being theos (1:1). Here then is both the equality and the subordination that will be the focus of this chapter.

5:19–20. The second response of Jesus in this conflict exchange involves two of the twenty-five uses of the double amēn (lit., “truthfully, truthfully, I say to you”; 5:19, 24) sayings in John. The use of this form is an obvious Johannine signal that the words are extremely important in the understanding of Jesus and his ministry. But the reader should notice that at this point (5:19) the story moves away from dialogue to monologue. The reader, therefore, receives the impression of being in a courtroom scene where Jesus is delivering an address that is a kind of combination defense summation and judge’s decision.

Although the Jews had focused their hostility on the equality aspect of Jesus’ relation to the Father (5:18), Jesus countered their anger by highlighting his dependency on the Father (5:19). Here then are two perspectives about Jesus: the powerful divine Son of God and the humble Messenger of God. Christian theology always struggles with these two aspects (sometimes called the two personae) of Jesus. The dangerous tendency today of some is to de-emphasize the divine exalted nature, and the tendency of others is to de-emphasize the self-effacing human nature of Jesus. The key is to find the balance between the two. The quest for this key was evident in the early Christological debates and the ensuing attempts to formulate the early creeds.



DAILY QUIET TIME GUIDE


HOW TO HAVE A DAILY QUIET TIME

The QT Guide is designed to help you MOVE with God through Bible Reading, reflection and prayer. It can be completed in about 9 minutes.

UPWARD: 1⁄2 Minute Preparing Your Heart:Invest the first 30 seconds preparing your heart. You might pray, “Lord, cleanse my heart so You can speak to me through the Scriptures. Make my mind alert, my soul active, and my heart responsive. Surround me with Your presence during this time.

FORWARD: 4 Minutes Listening To God:Take the next four minutes to read the Bible. Your greatest need is to hear a word from God. Allow the Word to strike fire in your heart. Meet the Author!

INWARD: 2 1/2 Minutes Talking To God (Prayer):After God has spoken through His Book, then speak to Him in prayer.

OUTWARD: 2 Minutes Preparing your Action:Ask yourself this question: How can I take today’s Quiet Time and put it into action throughout my day?


DAY 1

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

In the early 1800s, a young missionary named Adoniram Judson wrote a letter to his future father-in-law. In it, he wrote asking for the hand of Ann Hasseltine:

I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home, and died for your and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?

(Quoted in Courtney Anderson, To The Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson)

It’s difficult to imagine receiving a request like this for a daughter’s hand in marriage. But when laid against the backdrop of the Great Commission in today’s devotional verse, I realize exactly what Jesus’ command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” might mean for any follower of Jesus.

Adoniram Judson did marry Ann. And they did spend their lives together in the mission field (primarily in Burma). However, Ann’s decision to marry Adoniram was not an easy one. But when she did decide to do so, she wrote this in a letter to a friend:

I feel willing, and expect, if nothing in providence prevents, to spend my days in this world in heathen lands. Yes, Lydia, I have about come to the determination to give up all my comforts and enjoyments here, sacrifice my affection to relatives and friends, and go where God, in his providence, shall see fit to place me.

The Judson’s risked everything to obey Jesus’ command. But not simply because they were so good, but because they were so convinced of the “world of glory” awaiting those who belong to Jesus.

Adoniram’s letter, and Ann’s too, helps us see that the conviction to share the message of Jesus Christ flows from our great desire to be with him, and to have the whole world join us as well.

Adapted From: http://shortdailydevotions.com

DAY 2

And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

Luke 4:42-43

Ministry success is easily attributable to Jesus. He captivated thousands because he taught “as one with authority” (Mark 1:22). He was like no one they had ever heard. He would preach to thousands, heal the sick, and spend time with the untouchables. At one point, his renown was so great that people tried to make him king by force (John 6:15). Jesus could have stayed where he was and regularly had large crowds gather in his presence. But what did Jesus do with this “ministry success?” Did he set up headquarters, hang up signs, pass out flyers, and increase seating capacity? Did he stay with the people begging him to remain and bask in their adoration? Absolutely not. That’s not how Jesus defined ministry success.

REAL MINISTRY SUCCESS-Jesus focused only on his God ordained purpose: to teach the truth. Jesus says this in passages like John 18:37 and Mark 1:35–39, as well. Jesus didn’t look to the crowds as proof of his success in ministry. He didn’t pull his identity from people flocking to hear, see, and touch him. He did and said only what the Father led him to do (John 5:19). It can be tempting to look at success in ministry as a numbers game. The more people that come to our church or ministry, the more successful we are in the kingdom. Jesus is a great example for what success looks like as his followers. Jesus teaches us that success is not merely defined by popularity or crowds, but by obedience to God and his purpose for our lives. Simply put, by faithfully following Jesus himself. But don’t misunderstand me. I don’t define faithfulness as merely plodding along, barely making a ripple for the Kingdom of God…not even close!

What’s the root word in faithfulness? Faith! Jesus didn’t simply bumble along. He had absolute faith in what the Father had called him to do. So much faith that he bet his entire life on it.

To faithfully pursue God’s purpose means two things:

To desire his will more than your own glory.

To believe he will accomplish his mission in you and through you.

ARE YOU PURSUING GOD’S MISSION?

So, are you pursuing God’s mission for you? Your mission field might be:

Your family,

Your workplace,

Your school,

Your neighborhood,

Your vocational ministry,

Your volunteer work,

Or anywhere else.

Adapted From: http://shortdailydevotions.com

DAY 3

“I have said these things to you, that in me you have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

I’ve never lived through a time like this. Coronavirus seems to have changed the world overnight. But today, Jesus’ promise in John 16:33 brings me to the brink of grateful tears. And I believe there are three simple things we can each hold on to today. Trust Jesus. We can trust Jesus’ promises. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is on the throne of the Universe right now.

Revelation 4 describes the scene of eternal worship in heaven. Powerful, angelic beings praising him. Twenty-four ancient elders casting their golden crowns at his feet. My goodness—what a king we have in Jesus! We can trust Jesus because he is faithful, true, and has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Jesus makes good on his word. Expect Trouble. Trusting Jesus doesn’t mean things will be easy peasy lemon breezy, though. In fact, Jesus knew the disciples were about to have a majorly difficult time. He was about to be arrested, unjustly convicted of crimes he didn’t commit, and crucified.

The Twelve were about to feel scared, isolated, and alone. And their lives would be filled with more trouble still…

Peter would be crucified.

James would be executed by the sword.

John would be boiled alive and then exiled.

Matthew would be stabbed to death in Ethiopia.

Andrew would be crucified in modern-day Russia.

Thomas would be run through with the spears of four soldiers.

Philip would be put to death by the Romans.

Simon the Zealot would be killed in Persia after refusing to sacrifice to a sun god.

Trouble is a guarantee. Jesus doesn’t sugarcoat our sin-ruined world.

He says straight out, “In the world you will have tribulation…” BUT. Take heart. Why? Because Jesus has overcome the world and all of its troubles. Give Hope. Jesus tells the disciples to have hope, to reach down deep into their souls and grab onto the real foundation of their faith. He doesn’t deal in fluffy promises or bait-and-switch lies. Jesus declares that he has conquered the place of pain. Bad things happen—but our good King stands in the gap for us between here and heaven. Because of the hope we have in Jesus, we can give hope to others.

How are you giving hope?

How are you feeding faith?

How are you walking with people through real trouble?

The Church shines in the darkest of hours.

Take heart my friends. Trust Jesus, expect trouble, and give hope.

Adapted From: http:// shortdailydevotions.com

DAY 4

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Romans 14:7-12

In the New Testament, Lord is a commonly used title for Jesus Christ. Although it is rare to hear this term used in our daily life, there’s a similar word with which we are all quite familiar: boss. That’s basically what Lord means—one possessing authority. In the Word of God, Jesus is described as the head of the church, the ruler over all creation, and the Lord of Lords and King of Kings (Col. 1:15-18; Revelation 17:14).

Christ’s reign covers everything that happens in heaven and on the earth. No one—not even someone who denies His existence—is free of His rule or outside His authority. Although Satan tries to convince us that freedom is found in doing what we want, the only way to be truly free is through submission to Jesus Christ.

Have you submitted to His rule over your life? Jesus’ authority might cause anger or fear in those who haven’t yielded to Him. But we who have trusted in His goodness, surrendered to His authority, and experienced His lovingkindness take great comfort in knowing Him as the Lord of our life.

Adapted From: http://intouch.org

DAY 5

And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

Acts 1:7

I’m a student of Bible prophecy, and I believe the Lord could come back at any time. I believe we’ve seen signs of the times and prophecies fulfilled before our very eyes, not the least of which is the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.

At the same time, I have seen people who claim to have discovered special Bible codes and to have determined the day of Jesus’ return. Yet Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).

As the book of Acts opens, Jesus is alive, and the disciples return to an old idea: “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). They still didn’t quite get it. They were excited that the Lord was alive again, but they were saying, in effect, “Okay, we are back to business as usual. It’s really weird the way You got crucified, but You’re alive, and it’s wonderful. Now, let’s get the kingdom established.” They still thought Jesus was coming to establish an earthly kingdom and overthrow the power of Rome.

But Jesus responded, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (verse 7). He was saying, “This is not the thing for you to be concerned with right now.”

Jesus was saying to them (and to us), “Don’t be so worried about when I am coming. Rather, focus on what you are to be doing while you await My coming. Don’t worry about the when. Just be ready, because it could happen at any moment.”

As we look at history, we see that the Roman Empire eventually crumbled . . . but the gospel prevailed.

Adapted From: http://harvest.org

MOVING FORWARD

One of the best ways to fight temptation and grow in your daily walk with Jesus is to memorize His Word. Begin to commit His words to your memory this week.

Memorizing may be as simple as repeating the passage aloud 10 times each day or writing it 5 times each day. It may be that you place a 3x5 card on your mirror to remind you each day. Whatever it takes you won’t be let down with His Word in your mind and heart. Consider this…

“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

John 5:17

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