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Tag Archives: world

Peter and John before the Council

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. They said, “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old. (Acts 4:13-22, NRSV)

Peter and John healed a man and now the high council wonders what to do. They can not deny the miracle because so many have seen it and they can not do anything to Peter and John because everyone saw the miracle and knows it was done through them by Jesus. So what can they do?

They order them to be silent and to no longer share the news of Jesus. And of course, Peter and John cannot do that. They, as we, must share what we have been given with the world. Do you share the news of Jesus with the world?

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Seven Chosen to Serve

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:1-7, NRSV)

The beginning of Deacons, word and service.

These 7 were chosen so the apostles could focus on the word of God and help all to understand what God has called us to. These 7 were chosen to serve the community.

And because of their service, the word of God continued to spread and many were added to the body of Christ.

How can we all serve the word of God and help others to see the love God has for all of the world?

 

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Summary of Jesus’ Teaching

Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.” (John 12:44-50, NRSV)

Jesus came as light in the world to show us the love of God. Jesus doesn’t come to judge us but to show us the love God has for us, and so that the world might be saved.

So walk in the light and do not stay in the darkness, for He has come so that we might see love and share it with the world!

 

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The Plot to Kill Jesus

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death. Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples. Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him. (John 11:45-57, NRSV)

It is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.

Did Caiaphas know what he was saying?

Or was he just trying to get rid of the problem that Jesus was causing them?

Sometimes we say things we do not know where it comes from. Caiaphas was thinking that Jesus was going to die so the Romans would not harm the Jewish Nation.

He did not realize he was speaking of the saving of the world.

What do we say that we may not fully understand?

 

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Feeding the Five Thousand

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (John 6:1-15, NRSV)

Here in John, we see it is a young boy who is sharing his lunch, 5 barley loaves and 2 fish. Enough for him to have a meal. He shares it with Jesus who gives thanks for the gift and then distributes the food to 5,000 people in all. Now does that 5,000 include just the men, or the men and the women and the children? Any way you look at it though, 5 little barley loaves and 2 fish are nothing when feeding that many!

But Jesus took the gift, without complaint that it wasn’t enough and lifted and thanked God for what was provided. Then He used the gift for what it was intended, to feed.

How many times do we complain about the gifts we have been given and don’t use them for what they were given for?

God works through us using the gifts He has given us to use for the world.

Recognize your gift as this boy did and use it for the betterment of the world around you!

 

 

 

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Word Made Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. (John 1:1-18, NRSV)

And the light of the world came to be. God stepped down from His throne on high and took on our likeness and in human form came and dwelt among His people to show us how to live and to love.

The light came from heaven to shine among His people and to show them how to love others and live the way God intended.

Let us see His glory and reflect it.

Let us capture His light to give it to others.

Praise be to God, that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us!

Today the Word is with us.

Today the Word is in our hearts.

Today the Word is calling us beyond our selves.

Let us live with the Word and reflect His being to the world!

 

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The Vision of the New Temple

Then he measured the gate of the outer court that faced north—its depth and width. Its recesses, three on either side, and its pilasters and its vestibule were of the same size as those of the first gate; its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. Its windows, its vestibule, and its palm trees were of the same size as those of the gate that faced toward the east. Seven steps led up to it; and its vestibule was on the inside. Opposite the gate on the north, as on the east, was a gate to the inner court; he measured from gate to gate, one hundred cubits. Then he led me toward the south, and there was a gate on the south; and he measured its pilasters and its vestibule; they had the same dimensions as the others. There were windows all around in it and in its vestibule, like the windows of the others; its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. There were seven steps leading up to it; its vestibule was on the inside. It had palm trees on its pilasters, one on either side. There was a gate on the south of the inner court; and he measured from gate to gate toward the south, one hundred cubits. Then he brought me to the inner court by the south gate, and he measured the south gate; it was of the same dimensions as the others. Its recesses, its pilasters, and its vestibule were of the same size as the others; and there were windows all around in it and in its vestibule; its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. There were vestibules all around, twenty-five cubits deep and five cubits wide. Its vestibule faced the outer court, and palm trees were on its pilasters, and its stairway had eight steps. Then he brought me to the inner court on the east side, and he measured the gate; it was of the same size as the others. Its recesses, its pilasters, and its vestibule were of the same dimensions as the others; and there were windows all around in it and in its vestibule; its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. Its vestibule faced the outer court, and it had palm trees on its pilasters, on either side; and its stairway had eight steps. Then he brought me to the north gate, and he measured it; it had the same dimensions as the others. Its recesses, its pilasters, and its vestibule were of the same size as the others; and it had windows all around. Its depth was fifty cubits, and its width twenty-five cubits. Its vestibule faced the outer court, and it had palm trees on its pilasters, on either side; and its stairway had eight steps. (Ezekiel 40:20-37, NRSV)

The temple of God is very symmetrical. Things in God’s Kingdom line up and are equal. Unlike our world, where things get messy and are not always equal.

How is God calling you to help make things equal in our world?

How can God work through your life to bring equality to the world you live in?

Are you open to the coming baby in the manger to use your life to show His peace, mercy, and grace to the world in which you live?

 

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