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Jesus Raises a Dead Man
If God can create two particles, the proton and electron and put these together in such a way that produced all the elements, and the elements combined to make millions of different living species, surely there is nothing that God cannot do. But there is a third invisible substance that God made: the human soul. After the chemical elements in the human body decay and return to water, gas and dust, the soul still remains and retains all the features and memory of the chemical elements that once housed it.
Jesus proved this the first time the day after He healed the centurion's servant as He passed through the city of Nain. His disciples were with Him, and many people who were following Him from town to town.
When He approached the gate of the city, He saw a procession of many people mourning a dead man who was being carried out. This man was the only son of his elderly widowed mother, so there was no one to care for her.
Jesus immediately had compassion for the widow, and told her not to weep. Then He went over and touched the bier. When he did so, those carrying it stood still and looked at Him. Jesus said, "Young man, I command you to rise up."
The dead man immediately sat up and began to talk. Jesus said, "Woman, I give you back your son." Then everyone in the funeral procession was seized with fear. They began praising God and said," A great prophet is risen among us! God has visited His people!" The word that Jesus had brought a dead man back to life spread throughout Judea and all the countryside around them.187
A soul had departed from a dead man, and Jesus caused it to return to the dead body, restoring the body back to perfect health.
Here is a question for those who believe in reincarnation in the form of animals: Do animals have souls? Has there ever been an instance of a dead animal coming back to life? History is full of reports of dead people returning to life; but is there any record of an animal returning from the dead? Not to my knowledge.
187. Luke 7:1117.
John the Baptist Sends a Message to Jesus from Prison
Why did Jesus demean John the Baptist after John was beheaded? John the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets; yet Jesus tells us that the least person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist. What an honor it must be to be admitted to the kingdom of heaven.
It so happened that when John in prison heard from his disciples of all the wonders that the Messiah was doing, John called two of his disciples and asked them to go and ask Jesus if He is the one who is to come, or are we to expect another?
As we will learn later, a serious problem has developed.
While Jesus was busy healing a great many people of their diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and was giving sight to many blind persons, the two disciples came up to Jesus, and said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, asking if you are the Messiah, or should we wait for another?"
Jesus answered, "Go and tell John everything that you have seen and heard. Tell him that you have seen sight restored to blind men, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, dead persons rise up and poor people are given hope. Tell Him that he is blessed who are not hostile or oppose me."
Was John now stumbling on account of Jesus?
The disciples left to report what Jesus said; and Jesus turned to the crowd and said, "When you went out to the wilderness to see John, what did you see? Did you see a slender reed that bends and shakes in the wind? If not, did you see a man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes and live delicately are only found in the houses of kings.
"So what did you see? Did you see a prophet? Yes, and I tell you that you saw much greater than a prophet. This is the one of whom it was written, 188 'Behold, I send My messenger [Aramaic meaning: angel] before your face to prepare the way before you.'
"I tell you truthfully that there is no prophet who has ever risen among those born of women who is greater than John the Baptist; yet even the least person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than him. All the people who heard it, even the tax collectors, were sanctified before God because they were baptized with the baptism of John.
"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been administered by austerity, abstinence and self-discipline, and the disciplined shall win it. Both the law and all the prophets prophesied until John. If you wish to accept it, he is actually Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear this: All the people who heard him, even the tax collectors, tried to justify themselves before God; for they were baptized with the baptism of John; but the Pharisees and the scribes suppressed the will of God in themselves because they were not baptized by John.
"To whom therefore, should I liken the men of this nation, and what are they like? They are like boys who sit in the market place and call to their friends and say, 'We have sung for you but you did not dance. We have lamented for you and you did not weep'.
"John the Baptist neither ate bread nor drank wine, and they said 'He is crazy!' The Son of man eats and drinks, and you say 'look at that glutton and wine drinker and friend of the tax collectors and sinners! But wisdom is justified by its entire works."189
Then Jesus began to reprimand the cities in which He had performed many miracles and yet they did not repent. "Woe unto you, Chorazin! Woe unto you, Bethsaida!" [Chorazin is about two miles north of Capernaum. Bethsaida is Peter's and Andrew's home town.]
"If I had done the works that I did for you in Sidon and Tyre, they might have repented in sackcloth and ashes by now. It will be easier for Tyre and Sidon in the Day of Judgment than it shall be for you."
Long before the Greeks and Romans ruled most of the civilized world, Tyre was to the Phoenicians like Rome was to Italy. Tyre and Sidon were sister cities on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where they worshipped Baal. The king of Tyre traded cedar wood for Solomon's temple in the time of David and Solomon.
Eth-baal, the high priest who slew the king of Tyre and became king, had a daughter, Jezebel. Jezebel married Ahab, the king of Israel, and introduced Baal worship in Israel. Jezebel's daughter Athalliah married the king of Judah and introduced the worship of Baal there. This angered God and the destruction of Tyre was predicted in Isaiah 23 long before it was totally demolished by Alexander the Great. Sidon was destroyed by both the Assyrians and Alexander on their way to Tyre.
Jesus went on, "And you, Capernaum, who have exalted yourself up to heaven, shall be brought down to Sheol; for if the works that I did in you had been done in Sodom, Sodom would still be standing to this day."
Sodom, you will recall, was a city totally given over to homosexuality, causing God to destroy it. Hence the name Sodomite is applied to homosexuals today.
"I am telling you that it will be easier in the Judgment Day for Sodom than it will be for you." [The Sodomites were never given an opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior.]
Jesus then began praying, "Thank you, my Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise men of understanding and have revealed them to children. Yes, Father, for that was your will."
Then He looked at the crowd and said, "My Father has entrusted everything to me, and nobody knows the Son except the Father, nor does anybody know the Father except the Son and to whomever the Son wishes to reveal to Him.
"Come unto me, all you who labor and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is pleasant and my burden is light."190
John baptized many who went to heaven through self-discipline. Many generations were followers of John the Baptist instead of Jesus, we will learn later. When we accept the wisdom of Jesus, and the knowledge that He was indeed God's only begotten Son, we are admitted, not because we are sinless, but because Jesus sacrificed His own blood to pay for our sins.
It was here that Jesus answered the question asked by many: "What about all the people in Africa and India and other places in the world that never heard of Jesus. Will they go to hell?" Jesus said that it will be easier for them in the Day of Judgment than it will be for those who learned about Jesus and rejected Him. Many pastors will disagree, but perhaps in the Day of Judgment, these people that never heard about Jesus will meet Jesus and will be given the opportunity they never had while on earth. I pray this will happen.
189. Matthew 11:219; Luke 7:1835; Isaiah 35:46.
190. Matthew 11:2030.
Give Love -- Receive Forgiveness
Jesus then traveled in cities and villages with His twelve disciples, preaching and telling people the good news about the Kingdom of God. He healed people of their diseases and mental disorders. Among these were Mary who was called Mary of Magdala or Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons were cast out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's governess, Susanna, and many others who gave Him money to support His ministry.191
Then a Pharisee came up to Him and said, "Teacher, I am having a banquet at my house tonight and would be honored to have you eat with us."
Jesus accepted, and here is when another of Jesus' great teachings took place. In His Sermon on the Plain, Jesus said that unless we forgive others, God will not forgive us. At this banquet, He taught that the more we love, the more we will receive forgiveness.
When Jesus entered the Pharisee's house He reclined as a guest. Another woman, whose name was Mary, heard about the banquet. This was not the adulteress whom Jesus saved much later saying, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. And it was not Mary Magdalene who loved Jesus more than any other person in the scriptures, because He had cast out seven demons that possessed her. This was Mary, a sinner and the sister of Martha and Lazarus of Chapter 95. Jesus would later raise Lazarus from the dead. When Mary heard that Jesus would be a guest at a Pharisee's home, she came, as it was the custom that when a banquet was given, all of the people were welcome to attend. Mary brought an alabaster bottle of perfume (incense) with her.
She stood behind Jesus at his feet, as He was reclining, and the tears gushed out of her eyes so much that they fell on Jesus' feet. Embarrassed, she got down on her hands and knees crying, and began wiping Jesus' feet with her hair. Then, in her deep love for Jesus, she kissed His feet and anointed them with her perfume.
When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus to dinner saw it, he thought to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who she is and her reputation. This woman who has touched him is a sinner."
Jesus read the Pharisee's mind, and told him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." The Pharisee answered, "Say it, Teacher." Jesus then told him, "There were two men who were debtors to a certain creditor. One of them owed him five hundred dinars, and the other owed fifty. Because neither one of them had any money to pay, he forgave them both. Now which one will love the creditor more?'
Simon said, "I think it would be the one to whom he forgave the most."
Jesus replied, "You have truly judged."
Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? When I came into your house you did not even give me water to wash my feet [as was the custom for special guests]; but this woman has washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not kiss me; but she, since she entered has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil (as was the custom); but she has anointed my feet with perfume.
"For this reason, I say to you, 'Her many sins are forgiven because she loved much; but he who loves little is forgiven little.'"
Then He turned and said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven." Then the guests began to think, "Who is this man who forgives sins?" So Jesus said to the woman, "Go in peace. Your faith has given you Life."192
How many of us have this much faith, and this much love for Jesus? The more faith we have and the more we love, the more we will receive forgiveness, not only from those that we have sinned against, but also from Jesus who we have sinned against.
192. Luke 7:36-50.
Never, Never Ever Blaspheme the Holy Spirit
God is very loving, and will forgive any sin except one. .
After the banquet at the Pharisee's house, Jesus and His disciples went to another house. And again so great a crowd gathered at this time until there was not enough bread to eat.
Then they brought a lunatic to Him who was blind and could not speak. When the man's relatives heard about it, they went out to seize him, for they said, "He has lost his mind and we have to capture him." Jesus then cast a demon from him and healed him so the man could speak and see. All the people were amazed and said, "Perhaps this man is the son of David."
When the scribes and Pharisee's who had come down from Jerusalem heard of it, they said, "This man does not cast out demons unless he is possessed by Beelzebub [Aramaic: Beelzevow], the head of the demons, is with him, and he is casting out demons by the head of the demons."
Jesus knew their thoughts and He said, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, it will be destroyed, for that kingdom cannot remain standing. If a house's foundation is broken, it cannot stand. If Satan rises up against himself, and Satan casts out Satan; he is divided against himself; how will his kingdom survive? If I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom will they cast out your children's demons? Your sons will be your judges for this reason; and if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come near you.
"When a swordsman is armed and keeps watch over his courtyard where he keeps his cattle and sheep, his herd is safe. No man can enter into a swordsman's house and steal his goods unless he is stronger than him and first takes away his armor in which he has trusted and binds the swordsman and then robs his house and divides his spoil.
"He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me will be utterly scattered.
"Therefore I say to you that all sins and blasphemies of which men are guilty will be forgiven. But he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty before the everlasting judgment of the world and is in danger of eternal damnation. Whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, not in this world n or in the world to come.
"Produce either like a good tree with good fruits, or like a bad tree with bad fruits. Oh you offspring of scorpions, how can you speak good things when you are bad? Your mouth speaks what comes out of your heart. A good man produces blessings from a heart of blessings and a bad man produces evil things from an evil heart. I am telling you that for every foolish word that men speak, they are going to have to answer for it in the Day of Judgment. By your words you are either be blessed or found guilty."193
When someone heals or prophecies or speaks in tongues or performs other miracles or even dances in the Spirit, don't even think that the person is doing it by Satan. Just tell yourself you do not know. Attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to Satan is the one sin that is unforgivable. Brothers and sisters, many Christians think that ministers who display the works of the Spirit such as healing, prophecies, knowledge and tongues are fakes. Likewise, many other Christians think that ministers that do have the gifts of the Spirit are not true Christians. My advice to all is, be very careful what you think or say, and pray often that any wrong thoughts you may have will be forgiven.
193. Matthew 12:2237; Mark 3:2030; Luke 11:1423.
Do You Need a Sign that Jesus is Real?
Before the Roman occupation, the Maccabeans were hereditary high priests. Mattathias started the Maccabean wars in 167 BC. In 141 BC Simon, son of Mattathias and the last of the Maccabean brothers, was accepted everywhere as high priest or king of Judea. Herod the Great (73 04 BC) was in line as a priest of the Maccabean family. He was appointed governor of Galilee in 47 BC by Julius Caesar. Then Mark Antony made Herod tetrarch of Galilee.
Herod endeavored to reconcile the Jews and the Romans, and in 40 BC was made "king of the Jews" under Rome. At first, he directed many public works, including the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem. But in later life he became cruel and tyrannical. As a priest, Herod knew the Biblical signs of the coming of the Messiah; therefore, when asked by the wise men where the new king of the Jews was, Herod, after consulting with his advisors, knew that He would be born in Bethlehem; so he had all the male babies in Bethlehem killed.194 Surely the scribes and Pharisees knew about the killing of the children in Bethlehem, including the prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15 of its occurrence, as did Herod.
After fulfilling Scripture, being born of a virgin, being proclaimed the Son of God by John the Baptist; after a voice from heaven loudly proclaimed to all the people, 'This is my son, with whom I am well pleased'; after changing water to wine, healing hundreds or even thousands of people of every kind of disease and infirmity, reading peoples' mind, disappearing when they tried to kill Him, speaking with authority never before witnessed and after telling the multitudes that He was the Son of God, some of the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus if he would give them a sign! Those who hear the word of God and do what they hear are fortunate, indeed.
Jesus answered the scribes and Pharisees, "This evil and adulterous generation wants signs; and no signs will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. As Jonah was in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights, so the Son of man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights for this generation.
"Even the men of Nineveh will rise up at Judgment of this generation and find them guilty. They repented through the preaching of Jonah, and you can clearly see that a greater person than Jonah is here now.
"The queen of the south will also rise up at Judgment against this generation and condemn them and find them guilty. She came from Arabia to hear Solomon's wisdom; and you can clearly see that a greater person than Solomon is here.
"When a demonic spirit is gone out of a person, it goes away and circles around in pagan desert countries where there is no water. It seeks rest, but does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to my own house where I came from'. As it comes and finds it warm and well furnished, tranquil and secure, then it goes and gets seven other spirits that are more evil than it; and they enter and dwell within that person; and the end of that person will become more wicked than it was before. This is what is going to happen to this evil generation."
While He was saying this, a woman in the crowd shouted to Him, "Blessed is the womb which bore you and the breasts that gave you nourishment!" Jesus replied to her, "Blessed are they who hear the word of God and obey it."
"No man lights a lamp and hides it under a bucket. Instead, he puts it on a lamp stand so that those who enter may see its light195. The lamp of your body is your eye. When your eye is bright, your whole body will shine; but if your eye is diseased, your whole body will also be dark196. Be careful therefore lest the light which is in you is dark. If your whole body is lighted and no part of it is dark, your whole body will give light, just as a lamp gives you light by its shining. This is how your light will shine before humanity, so they can see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."197
S. Ellis and Charles F. Home, first published in 1913, The Story of the
Greatest Nations and the World's Famous Events, Vol. 1; O'Brien, Patrick K.,
2,000, Encyclopedia of World History. George Philip Limited.
195. Matthew 5:15, 16.
196. Matthew 6:22, 23.
197. Matthew 12:3845; Luke 11:2436.
When Jesus left that house, on the same day He went to the sea shore and sat down, disturbed about the scribes and Pharisees that needed a sign. As usual, many people from all the cities gathered around Him. This time there were so many that He had to go and sit in a boat; and all the people stood on shore, waiting for Him to say something.
Jesus taught them many things by parable, and this time he said, "Listen to me: A farmer went out to sow his seed; and when he had sown, some seed fell on the roadside and was trampled under feet and the birds came and ate it.
"Other seeds fell on the rocks where there wasn't enough soil. It sprang up quickly because the ground was not deep enough; but when the sun shone on it, it withered because there was not enough moisture, so it dried up.
"Other seed fell among thistles; and the thistles sprang up with it and choked it, so it bore no fruit.
"Other seed fell on good and fertile soil. It sprang up and grew and bore fruit, some thirty, some sixty and some even a hundredfold. Whoever has ears that hear, listen"198.
Neither the people nor Jesus' disciples knew what He was talking about, but Jesus would explain it to the disciples (See Chapter 56.).
198. Matthew 13:19; Mark 4:19; Luke 8:48.
Imagine that you are a little child playing on the floor with your toys. God is sitting in an armchair, watching you playing, and loving you unimaginably more than you have ever been loved. God's love is overwhelming you so much that you can't stand it. You are thinking, "Please stop! Turn it off, Father, or I will die!" Your brother Jesus is standing beside you, talking to God. Jesus is God's only son, and you are God's adopted child. You love Jesus, and Jesus loves you. You are just as much a part of God's family as Jesus is. You look up to Jesus and admire Him more than anyone you have ever admired.
When Jesus finished telling the people about the seed, the rocks and the tares, He went back to the house where He was staying. His mother and His brothers James, Joses, Judas and Simon (Mark 6:3, 4) came and stood outside because the crowd was so large, and they asked a man to go inside and tell Him that they wanted to speak with Him.
The man told Jesus, "Master, please be aware that your mother and your brothers are outside, wishing to speak with you."
But Jesus replied, "Who is my mother and who are my brothers?" Then He pointed to His disciples and said, "Look, these are my mother and my brothers and my sisters, for all those who hear the word of God and do the will of my Father in heaven are my brother and my mother and my sister."199
Most of those in the crowd thought that Jesus was rejecting His mother and His brothers for His disciples; but Jesus was speaking a parable. Jesus loved His mother and His brothers, just as they loved Him; and that is why they came to talk to Him. Jesus can love you just as much as He loved His mother. Jesus can love you like you are the same as His brother or His sister.
Now you understand that Jesus did not reject His brothers and His mother, but that He will love you as much as He loves them, if you only do God's will and follow Him. Just listen to what He says and do everything according God's will. Could you ever be happier than to have Jesus and your Father God love you this much?199. Matthew 12:4650; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:1921.
Paperback by Robert Laing:
Theory - - Squeezing Common Sense Out of Science, Creation, Noah's Ark and Jesus
Another Web Site by Robert Laing: www.intelligentdesigntheory.info
Paperback by author available: Little Thinkers -- Squeezing Common Sense Out of Life's Toughest Questions
This book in paperback: History of Jesus Christ the Human God