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Showing posts from June 19, 2016

Expectations and Obedience

Naaman was the commander of the army of Aram. "He was a great man…and highly regarded…He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy." (2 Kings 5:1) Raiding forces often dropped down into Israel and one of them took captive a young girl who was given to Naaman's wife to serve her. She had passion and cared for her new master even though she had been taken from her own family and country. She believed Naaman could be healed of his leprosy by Elisha. Her words spoken to Naaman's wife caused his wife to urge him to go to Israel, which he did. Naaman expected to pay for healing and brought many gifts to give in that regard. When he arrived at the king of Israel he was directed to Elisha. Elisha didn't even meet with him but told him to "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." (5:10) Naaman was incensed first by Elisha not even meeting with him, second by expecting a more regal healing process, a…

All gods and Jesus - Greater Than Series #8

In our present series we have seen that Jesus is greater than Solomon as a builder and a wise King. He is greater than Jonah in obedience. He is greater than Jacob in creating a family of God on earth. Jesus is greater than the angels in nature and power. He is greater than Moses in honor; greater than the high priest in offering sacrifice in heaven; and greater than Abraham in carrying out the directions of God the Father. The psalmist spoke of his greatness when he said, "I know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods." (Psalm 135:5) Jesus is greater than any man, any angel and any person or inanimate object that would be called a god. He is greater than and also better than, as used in the following verses in Hebrews: Better things that accompany salvation (6:9) Better hope to draw near to God (7:19) Better covenant through Jesus (7:22) Better promises founded on Jesus (8:6) Better sacrifices than that of the High Priests ability (9:23; 11:4) Better and…

Abraham and Jesus - Greater Than Series #7

The Bible begins with the development of a world of people who God deals with through the world wide flood and the creation of different languages at the Tower of Babel, but when we begin Genesis 12 all that changes. God narrowed His focus to one man, Abraham, and the progeny that would become the nation of Israel. Abraham was a remarkable man of faith and submission. God directs him to leave all that is familiar and go to a place he had never seen to receive a promised land. In obedience to the voice of God Abraham goes without objection. Then God promises a son, not to be his servant through adoption, or his nephew Lot, nor his son from Hagar, but his son from Sarah, Isaac. At the appropriate time, he sends Isaac and Abraham on a cross country hike to the place that would later become the Temple at Jerusalem and prepares to sacrifice that promised son as God has directed. God intervenes and Abraham's great test of faith is completed. (Genesis 22) In a discussion with the proud…

High Priest and Jesus - Greater Than Series #6

The High Priests of Israel, starting with Aaron who was appointed by Moses, had the task of leading the worship of God. He was also the one who went into the Tabernacle and later the Temple's Holy of Holies and offered the sacrifice for the sins of the nation once a year. He had to be pure in every way when he entered that place or he would be killed by God. "But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs (a High Priest) as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one…" (Hebrews 8:6) Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi which was the priestly tribe. He was from the tribe of Judah, but God here is saying that Jesus' ministry is superior to that of the High Priest who ministered in the earthly Tabernacle and Temple. Jesus ministers in the Heavenly Temple, before God the Father and the angels. He serves in this sanctuary, "the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man." (Hebrews 8:2) This makes Jesus superior to all the H…