Ancient Words: Miracles of Jesus, Suspending the Law
One can’t help but stand in awe and amazement as Jesus controls the laws of nature in various ways during his 3-year ministry. Changing the water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana, calming the stormy wind and sea for the frightened disciples on Lake Gennesaret, walking on the water in the night’s third watch, feeding 5,000 (men only in the count) with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish on the hillside of Galilee, pronouncing a death on a fruitless fig tree, sending an evil spirit into a herd of swine, calling a large catch of fish into Peter’s empty net, and so on. As Son of God,, Jesus suspended laws of the universe to the amazement of onlookers—at least for some. Others perceived these events as tricks of his trade and that he, Jesus, was a son of Beelzebub (Satan).
In the walk to Emmaus, eyes were opened and hearts burned as Jesus taught the scripture about himself. What a struggle it was for this Son of Man to display his power over creation in present time only to have so many doubt even among his chosen 12. Eyes remained closed and hearts remained hard at the trial before Pilate. The struggle was consummated at the cross and in the empty tomb. Jesus thru his final miracle of defeating death—opened eyes and burned hearts ablaze as Christianity took hold on the day of Pentecost. The people, called the church, finally got and understood the message. Jesus was and is Lord of creation and mankind. He is the Messiah, the promised one, the Savior of the world. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In Christ Jesus alone is all power, glory, wisdom and honor.
The people responded to Peter’s sermon and the Eleven. They repented of closed eyes and hard hearts, they were baptized and washed clean and then demonstrated their baptism, their commitment; they met in daily fellowship and breaking of bread, they sold their possessions and shared with their neighbors so that no needy was among them, they had joy and were of one heart and mind. It was no longer they who lived but Christ by his Spirit took up residence in them. About 3,000 began to experience suspending the laws of nature. The Spirit was afire, people were alive in Christ, they no longer lived for themselves but for one another because of what Jesus did at the cross. Christ suspended the law of death—forever! Now that is a miracle that should make the whole world stand up and take notice. The church in Jesus’ day understood and applied this new law of the Spirit as they set aside the law of sin and death: Rom 8:1-5 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Reap what you Sow
In this world that we live in there are some basic laws and principles that will never change. The law of Gravity that Isaac Newton discovered is one of them. But not to get so scientific let’s look at a few that are more relational and make sense to us. If you start a bank account with $20.00, unless someone is kind enough to deposit more into it, you won’t be able to withdraw more than $20.00. If you punch a time clock and only clock in for 15 hours, odds are you are not going to get paid for 40 hours. If you go around being mean to people all the time, there’s a good chance that people will not be lining up to spend time with you. I have heard people say that “life is what you make it.” Well, when it comes to life and the life to come, you get out what you put in. The apostle Paul was explaining this point in Galatians 6: 7-10. His message to the Galatians was simple. You reap what you sow. And in doing that they should look for ways to do good and help others along the way. If they invested or sowed into the things of God and not themselves, and if they were persistent in helping others along the way then they would surely reap the rewards in the end. That message is true for us today as well. Since how we live will determine our ultimate outcome we should spend our lives in service to God and looking for opportunities to help others. There is no fooling God. He sees and knows all. In the end it doesn’t matter how good we think we did. The proof will be in the amount of what was deposited.
Captain Jason Perdieu is corps officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado.