Tag Archive: Jesus

The Resurrection Can Cause Trouble

The Resurrection of Jesus caused many problems for many people.

     Guards and their superiors
     People who cried for His crucifixion
     Citizens of Jerusalem suffering under the oppression of Rome

His resurrection still causes problems for people today.
His resurrection 100% establishes His identity and His message. Because He is who He is and His message is true, everyone must make a decision of what they will do about this truth.

We have only one of three options.

  • Reject the resurrection and His message
  • Believe it occurred but ignore what it means to us – essentially do nothing or very little about it
  • Accept, believe it and act on it

There are natural results to every decision.
Choosing one of the first two options places us outside of the salvation of God.
Choosing the third provides us salvation.
However, choosing the third means dying to ourselves and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.
This goes 100% against our nature.

Jesus Hangs with the Unlikely

God doesn’t always fit into our box.  Reality is much more complex and complicated than we would like to think it is.  We picture the kind of people that Jesus would like to hang around with and the kind of people He would choose to work with and then, the ones He actually chooses don’t fit our ideas.

In Matthew chapter 9, it says that Jesus saw a man sitting at the tax collector’s booth, named Matthew, and He said to him, “follow me.”  That doesn’t fit who we might expect Jesus to choose.  Matthew was a man working for the enemy.  He collected taxes for the Roman government, the oppressors of Israel. 

Matthew was also a man who liked to hang with the non-church crowd.  After Jesus told him to follow Him, He decided to have dinner with Matthew and some of his friends.  The church folk (the Pharisees) asked Jesus’ disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

Isn’t it interesting that the church folk did not see themselves as sinners?  Aren’t you glad that Jesus does indeed choose to hang out with sinners?  His response to the church crowd was, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Our salvation is not obtained (and retained) by our actions or our deeds, but by mercy, because of the grace of God.  Those who are righteous do not need forgiveness and grace, but those who are sinners do.  We need to recognize that there is not one who is righteous on their own – we all need forgiveness and grace.  We all need doctor Jesus and His mercy.

Our prejudice against those different than us reveals something about our soul.

Scripture reference Matthew 9:9-13

Word Notes volume 1

Word: Romans 8:1-2
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in
Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life
set me free from the law of sin and death.

Notes: Through the sacrifice of Christ we are set free from the bondage, torment, guilt, and punishment of the law of sin and death.  It is the law of sin and death that drives us to actions and attitudes of disobedience (see Romans chapter 7).  This law of sin and death has been conquered by the sacrifice of Christ – but only if we accept it and surrender to it, is the victory realized in us.

Thoughts – Thinking and Taking Root

To borrow a computer term, you are the administrator of your mind.  The administrator determines who, or in this case, what has access.   God has empowered you to control what goes on in your mind.

Lets examine that idea.  What level of control do we have and how do we implement this control? 

We cannot control what thoughts come into our heads, but we can control what we do with them.  Even Jesus, while on earth did not control what thoughts came into his mind, but He certainly controlled what happened to them once there.  In Matthew, chapter 4 we have the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness.  In this story Jesus was tempted in three different ways; self-fulfillment of physical needs, pride, and power.  Temptation comes in the form of thoughts.  The thoughts, or temptations, come into our head uninvited.  This is what Jesus was experiencing.  This was not the only time Jesus experienced temptation.  Hebrews 4:15 states, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”  Jesus was tempted in every way, yet He did not sin.  How was He able to accomplish that?

For the sake of discussion, consider temptations, or tempting thoughts, as ‘negative’ thoughts.  Lets look back at the fourth chapter of Matthew.   Each time a temptation, a tempting thought came to Jesus, He actively responded with a ‘positive’ thought.   Jesus’ source of positive thoughts was the scripture, the Word of God.  He responded to the thoughts of temptation with thoughts of the scripture. 

The other option for Jesus, and the option we too often choose, would have been to dwell on the tempting thoughts.  When Satan said to Jesus, via a tempting thought, saying “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread”, he knew Jesus was hungry.  Afterall, He had been fasting for 40 days and nights.  Jesus could have responded to that thought by thinking, “Wow, I am hungry.  And you know, I am the Son of God and i’m sure my Father wouldn’t want me to go hungry.”  I need to keep my strength up to do ministry.  I have the power to turn these stones into bread for myself.  Why not do it?”  The longer He dwelled on the thought, entertained the thought, the more opportunity He would have given it to take root in His mind, or his soul.  Jesus didn’t give it that opportunity.  He fought back in His mind, in His soul. 

This is the model, the process that Jesus used to be able to be tempted in every way and yet not sin.  This is how He overcame.  Can we do this?  Absolutely!  The same tools are available to us.  Plus we have the example and the indwelling presence of Jesus to help us accomplish this.

We cannot control what thoughts come in to our head.  We will have negative thoughts.  We will have tempting thoughts.  We can, however, control what we do with these thoughts when they come.  Will we respond to them with positive thoughts, with thoughts from the scripture?  Or will we dwell on them, allowing them to take root in our mind and creating a quagmire that we wallow in?  God, and His Word, can and will deliver us and provide us victory.

Stay tuned for the sequel to this article which will discuss how we can impact the thoughts that come into our head.