Holy Spirit and Four Births

Brian Houston in his 2019 Christmas message to Hillsong Church spoke on Holy Spirit’s role in the Christmas story.  It is something that is easily overlooked, yet is the very heart of the story as that is how a virgin became pregnant.  This made me think of the other times the Spirit was present at the birth of things.  Now, these births cause the world and secular thinkers’ great displeasure and they often have very unnecessary things to say about each of them!  

Genesis 1: 2 – The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  The Spirit was at Creation – the birth of this Age that tells the story of His people.  The “world” cannot accept that God created the world and oversees His planet.

Luke 1: 35 – The Holy Spirit and the Power of the Highest will come to you and hover over you.  The Holy Spirit supplied the “50%” of the DNA that Mary did not get from a man.  The “world” really has a hard time with this.  Joseph even had a “hard” time with this until God sent an angel to him.  This Story, the Christmas Story, is what sets Christianity apart.  This is no less a story of Creation as the one in Genesis and unless the Holy Spirit opens your heart to it you will not believe.

Acts 2: 2-4 – On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit blew into Jerusalem and hovered over the Upper Room and 120 praying believers and birthed the Church of Jesus Christ.  The “world” does not like this either!  All sorts of attacks have been launched against the Church, but the Holy Spirit has always reserved a believing “120” to pray and carry His message to the harvest fields.

John 3: 3 – Unless you are born again you will not see the Kingdom of God.  The Holy Spirit will hover over you to get you born again.  He will not make you accept Jesus and the Good News of the Kingdom.  But if YOU decide to leave the “world” behind and go the opposite direction from it (repentance); Holy Spirit will birth something in you and fill you with all the power needed to live a righteous life.  See Following Jesus at the top of the page and Happy Birthday!  

Featured pic is from http://www.LumoProject.com.   

Kingdom – On His Way to Jerusalem


This part of the study on Jesus’ Kingdom is going to appear to be rough in its style and appearance, because it is my study format:)

I am looking at Jesus’ movements loosely after the feeding of the 5000.  I want Matthew to be my reference point but Luke and John add interesting movements and stories that need to be added.  I will try to join them as best as I can.  That means I will start in John about five months before Jesus’ Passion.

  1. John 10: 22 has Jesus in Jerusalemat the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah.  He makes the Jews made so He “escapes”.
  2. Jesus goes to where John baptized on the east bank of the Jordan. John 10: 40.
  3. Bethanyis Jesus’ next destination to raise Lazarus from the dead. John 11: 17
  4. Because of a plot to kill Him He goes to a village called Ephraim that is in the desert.  John 11: 54 We would call it wilderness – English and Hebrew ideas on this topic are opposites of each other. 
  5. Capernaum– dealing with the Temple tax. Matthew 17: 24
  6. Samaria and Galilee border – healed ten lepers. Luke 17: 11
  7. Crosses the Jordan Riverto be on the east bank. Matthew 19: 1
  8. Crosses back to west bank and goes to Jericho.
  9. Goes to Bethany/Bethphage and the Mount of Olivesfor the “Triumphal Entry”. Matthew 21: 1, Luke19: 28

From Capernaum to Jerusalem is about eighty miles. I believe all of this walking was for a reason.  Jesus went to the east bank in order to cross the Jordan, like Joshua, “conquer Jericho” and then proceed to Passover.  Yes, it is out of order from what Joshua did but I still see the symbolism in the travels. 

The Passion From The Psalms


The Psalms are awesome! They are songs that were and still are sung but they are also prophetic.  This post is just a glimpse at all of the foreshadows of Jesus’ life and Passion. David wrote many of the Psalms and this collection is centered in his first book (1 to 41).

I feel that the three prayers Jesus prayed in the Garden are also in Psalms.  I have tried to sort out something that might sound right but the task is huge.

These came from the NIV (more or less), I tend to capitalize pronouns that refer to Jesus/God. 

  • Psalm 40: 7 to 8 – The beginning of Jesus’ ministry – I have come to do Your will 
  • Psalm 40: 9 to 10 – His ministry– I do not hide Your righteousness or conceal Your love
  • Psalm 42: 4 – Triumphal Entry– Leading multitudes to the house of God amid shouts of joy.
  • Psalm 45: 7 – Dinner during Holy Week– Anointed with joy and my robes smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia.
  • Psalm 35: 14 – tears in the Garden– mourning, bowed my head, weeping
  • Psalm 6: 6 – praying in Garden– worn out from groaning, weeping
  • Psalm 31: 9 – Jesus in Garden– My eyes grow weak with sorrow, soul and body with grief
  • Psalm 10: 2 – Judas /mob– hunt down the weak
  • Psalm 17: 11 – mob– they have tracked Me down to throw Me down
  • Psalm 27: 2,3 – the mob in the Garden– My foes attack me, they will stumble and fall
  • Psalm 41: 9 – Judas– My close friend who shared my bread lifted his heal against me!
  • Psalm 55: 13 to 14 –Judas– my companion, friend, that walked with me 
  • Psalm 10: 15 – Judas– call him to account for his wickedness
  • Psalm 44: 10 – Disciples in the Garden– we retreated before our enemies and they plunder us (young man lost his tunic)
  • Psalm 44: 13,14 – Disciples– You made us a reproach, a scorn, as people shake their heads at us.
  • Psalm 38: 11 – disciples running in the Garden and not being at the cross– friends avoid me because of my wounds, stay far from me
  • Psalm 42: 10 – On the cross/Pharisees– my bones suffer agony while they say, “Where is your God?”
  • Psalm 11: 1 – Pharisees– flee like a bird to the mountains (Luke 13:31)
  • Psalm 41: 6 – Pharisees– They gather slander to spread it abroad
  • Psalm 37: 12 – Council plotting
  • . Psalm 38: 12 – Council– set traps, talk of my ruin
  • Psalm 38: 19+20 – Council/enemies– hate me without reason, repay my good for evil
  • Psalm 13: 4 – Pharisees– enemy will say, “I have overcome Him”
  • Psalm 35: 16 –trial– Pharisees gnashed their teeth
  • Psalm 35: 11 – Jesus’ trial– ruthless witnesses come forward
  • Psalm 38: 2 – Roman beating– arrows pierced me, Your hand came upon me
  • Psalm 38: 7 – Beating– back is filled with pain
  • Psalm 22: 12 – beating– many bulls have surrounded Me
  • Psalm 31: 11 – on road to the cross– those who see Me flee
  • Psalm 22: 16 – the cross– they pierced my hands and feet
  • Psalm 22: 18 – Roman guards– divided my garments cast lots for my clothes
  • Psalm 49: 5+6 – On the cross, why Jesus died– Wicked deceivers surround me, ransom for life is costly, should live forever and not see decay
  • Psalm 14: 7 – Why– Oh, that salvation would come out of Zion
  • Psalm 3: 2 – Pharisees/thief at the cross– many say “God will not deliver Him
  • Psalm 22: 7+8 – at cross– hurl insults, He trust in God let Him deliver Him
  • Psalm 42: 3 – On the Cross/Pharisees– Men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
  • Psalm 31: 5 – Jesus on cross– into Your hands I commit my spirit
  • Psalm 22: 1 – Jesus– My God why have You forsaken Me 
  • Psalm 31: 9 to 18 – Part of the pray in the Garden and His trip out of the city
  • Psalm 35: 19 to 26 – prayer in the Garden, trial, and the darkness(26)
  • Psalm 38: 21+22 – in the Garden/on the cross– do not forsake me, come to my help
  • Psalm 39: 9 – Silence– would not open my mouth
  • Psalm 38: 13+14 – Jesus’ silence– cannot open my mouth, offer no reply
  • Psalm 22: 15 – thirst– strength dried up, tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth
  • Psalm 34: 20 – no bones broken(first Passover lamb in Exodus)
  • Psalm 35: 4 to 6 – why darkness– turned back in dismay and their path is dark and slippery
  • Psalm 23: 4 – When Jesus went to Hell– Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
  • Psalm 40: 1 to 3 – the Resurrection– lift me out of the pit, set my feet on a rock
  • Psalm 16: 10 – Resurrection– the Holy One will not see decay
  • Psalm 17: 15 – Resurrection – In righteousness I will see your face when I awake
  • Psalm 18: 4 to 7 – Resurrection– the earth trembled and quaked (much of Psalm18 talks of things that happened)
  • Psalm 22: 24 – Resurrection– not disdained the suffering of the afflicted One
  • Psalm 19: 3 – Pentecost– no speech or language where their voice is not heard

Yes, I am sure there are others but this is a start.

John 7 – Jesus’ Timetable

John 7

Sometimes when you are studying one thing something else catches your attention, this is one of those things – John 7.  It is not part of the Passover to Pentecost time period but comes several months after Shavuot or Pentecost.   All of the crops are in, and this is an important event for the Jews that commemorates the forty years of the Exodus.  It is one of three Feasts that everyone was to go to Jerusalem and celebrate.

Part of the reason John would put this in his Book (v. 1 – 5) is to show the change in Jesus’ earthly family after the Resurrection, they were in the Upper Room praying with the rest of the disciples instead of doubting.  You need to remember that Jesus would still have a victory ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, so His time was not ready.  Jesus was not going to be pushed into doing things out of the timing of the Father.

In verse fourteen, of chapter 7, “halfway” into the Feast would have been the fourth day and was between two sacred assemblies.  There were specific offerings for each day see (Numbers 29: 12 – 40).  John 7: 37 places the rest of the chapter on the last day, but all of the way to chapter 10: 21 seems to be in this general time period.  If John 8:1 is correct it may have occurred the next day after the Feast.

John 10: 21 – 42 is the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah which is in December, so there is a time gap.  But one thing that stands out in these three chapters is the number of times they were going to apprehend Jesus or stone Him, remember “His time had not yet come.”  Much of this rage is because of miracles, challenging their practices, and claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah.  THE important thing that Jesus stated in most of these conversations and is very important for us today is who gets the glory and the credit for the miracles.  Jesus gave the glory to the Father!

I realize that Jesus is His name and that Christ is a title; so, there are times when one should be used over the other.  It just seems that too many preachers forget to use the name, Jesus. Paul in his writings will use the terms Jesus Christ and Christ Jesus; there is a subtle difference here that our society seems to forget.  Jesus Christ is “man-God” while Christ Jesus is “God-man.” (Sorry, I forget where I first read this; it may have been in Vine’s Dictionary.)  If someone is not/can not use the name Jesus, properly, I suggest you RUN.  It is amazing how many people use the name of Jesus as a point of authority when cursing but do not believe in Him.

Passover to Pentecost – Lord of the Sabbath

Lord of the Sabbath

In Matthew 12:8, Mark 2: 28, and Luke 6:5 is the story of the disciples harvesting and eating grain on the Sabbath.  Jesus’ replied to those complaining, “The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.”  Then not much more is said about this passage/idea. In John’s story of the crucifixion that statement is made very clear!

John’s Gospel has the most references to Passover, especially the three that Jesus spent with His disciples, but the last one, John 12 -20, will be our focus for this blog.

  • John 12: 1 timestamps the action as “six days before Passover.” This is when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet.
  • John 13: 1 is “just before Passover” and it would have been the Thursday of that week.Jesus sends Peter and John off to prepare for the eating of the Passover meal.  But Thursday is before what the Jews would call the “Day of Preparation”, when they would kill the Lamb and paint the doorframe.
  • John 18: 28 is early on Friday morning the “Day of Preparation” and the Jews are trying to stay “Clean” so they can eat the Passover.
  • John 19: 14, 31, and 42 again mentions the “Day of Preparation.” Christians now call this Good Friday.  This is when the Jews would have killed the lambs and is when Jesus died.
  • John 20: 1 is “early on the first day of the week.” Christians call this Easter!

So why does this make Jesus Lord of the Sabbath?  Is our communion really the same as the Passover sharing of wine and bread?  Is Easter and Passover the same thing?

I will answer these questions this way: Jesus and the disciples broke tradition and ate the “Passover Meal” and shared communion twenty-four hours to soon. So even though these things happen around Passover they did not happen ON Passover!  Jesus did something new but He had to so that He could fulfill the requirementsof Passover.  It is probable that He died just as the lambs were being killed in the Temple for the Passover meal.

I see this as Jesus doing what had to be done to fulfill all things of the Law!  I am not sure that for us it should cause a major change in traditions, but it does show that Jesus is Lord over the Sabbath and all of our holidays.

SECOND THOUGHT – Did the disciples understand what was happening when they ate early?  If they did were they questioning Jesus as to why?

pic : http://clipart.christiansunite.com/1395312061/Communion Clipart/Communion005.jpg