Praying: Non Christians and Christians

I am trying to write blog posts so that all would benefit. The way Christ lived his life is inspiring for all. However, I have overlooked something. Christian readers should be praying about their sins to Christ. Christ died to save us from our sins. To pray about sins you need to confess them, then repent and ask for forgiveness. You pray to Christ to forgive others their sins also.

Prayer: Everyone could pray a prayer of forgiveness. Christians pray to Christ for forgiveness.

Jesus and the Samaritans

John 4: 7-30. I am reading John, and I have come across an incident that is not covered in the other gospel books. Twice during this incident it is brought up that Jesus should not be talking to a Samaritan woman. The woman herself says in John 4: 9 “The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a women of Samaria?”

This is a significant encounter. He is talking with a woman from another culture. That is something that God wants us to do: interact with people who are different from us. Jesus was not supposed to be talking with a Samaritan. The woman goes on to say, “‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria? For Jews, have no dealings with Samaritans.’” The disciples’ reaction to this encounter is telling. John 4:27 “Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman,…”

At some point, Jesus is trying to make a point about being a good neighbor. From Wikipedia, “The parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ is a parable told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. It is about a traveler who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead…” A priest and a Levite come along but neither stops. “Then a Samaritan comes by. Samaritans and Jews despise each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured man.” I have heard this story many times, but never had it pointed out that it was highly unusual for a Jew to have a Samaritan be “the good person” in the story. “The Good Samaritan” turns out to be the good neighbor.

Both of these excerpts are examples of how we can use Jesus Christ as a role model.

Note: Notice encounters with people from divergent “groups” get along.

Prayer – Pray that you can grow as a person and a person of God

John the Baptist and Jesus Christ

One person who was important in the story of Christ is John the Baptist. He was actually a relative of Christ’s. His birth was somewhat of a miracle also. John’s father was Zechariah. Zechariah was told by an angel that his wife, who was too old to bear a child, would bear a child. This child would be a son and would be called John. “…And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God…and he will go before him in the spirit and the power of Elijah.” (Luke 1: 16-17) (This prophecy turned out to mean that John would be going out before Jesus to prepare people for Jesus’ coming.

Now, this John was John the baptist. One doesn’t have to be baptized to be taken up to Heaven. However, this is something that God would like people to do. It is sort of a seal to a pack. You can get baptized in a church, have a friend baptized you or do it yourself. Get a hand wet and say the following as you wet the top of your head, “I baptize thee (your name) in the name of God”, or I baptize thee (your name) in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Zechariah’s wife was Elizabeth. Elizabeth was a kinswoman to Mary. Mary had been told by the Angel Gabriel that she would bear a son after the Holy Spirit visited her. A few things Gabriel said were, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke1-32) Gabriel also said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

From “Who Was John the Baptist“ gotquestions.org, I learned that John wore clothes of camel hair, and he wore a leather belt. He was a preacher who lived simply. He was known to live out in the “wilderness” including mountainous regions. At one point or more in the Bible it refers to John’s disciples. He is an important figure and considered a prophet. He was doing his works when he said in Luke 3:11, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is combining after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Jesus come from Galilee to the Jordan River. He wishes to be baptized by John. Jesus is characteristically humble. In Matthew 3: 13-16 “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John…John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’”

Prayer – Pray for those people who are “ministering” to people. They could be ministers, but many people who have no title linked to ministering help people with their emotional wellness.

The Discovery at Christ’s Tomb

One blog, by Kelly Minter on the gospel coalition.org writes an article called “Follow the Women at the Tomb”. It is well written and flows nicely. She really understands what happened at the tomb of Christ on the Sunday following the meal on Thursday night. Remember, at that place and at that a time in history, a partial day counted as a full day. Though there was not much time in the day on Friday, that counted as one day. Then we have Saturday. The third day, which is when Christ was supposed to rise, would therefore, be Sunday.

There are four gospels and each one is different. I’m pulling from all four, but deciding (with help) which sections to pull from which gospel.

Sunday is when the women showed up to anoint Christ’s body; this was the custom at the time. Matthew 28: 1 “Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Mag’dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher.” The women are told by an angel to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. Also, they are to go and see him in Galilee. I noticed that the women departed with fear and great joy.

In Mark 16:1, three women brought spices to anoint Jesus. They were concerned that they needed someone to roll away the stone that was in front of the tomb. The stone was already rolled back. Inside there was a young man in a white robe. (Mark 16:4-5) An angel would like me to say that the young man is an angel. That certainly would be appropriate. The angel in the Bible tells the women that Jesus of Nazareth has risen. They are to tell the disciples that Jesus is in Galilee. This time the women are “trembling and astonishment had come upon them…they were afraid”. The way this is worded tells me that the women believe what the angel told them. Otherwise, why would they be astonished?

In Luke the stone was also rolled back. There are different versions regarding who sees Jesus first. I am going to use John’s version. Mary is outside the tomb and she has been weeping. She turns and sees Jesus standing there, but she does not know it is him. (John 20:14); John 20:15 “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Mary thinks that Jesus is the gardener and may have carried the body of Jesus away. Christ says Mary’s name and Mary calls Jesus teacher in Hebrew: Rab-bo’ni! Mary must move forward to “hold” (hug) Jesus as Jesus asks her not to. John 20:17. “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples.

In John, Jesus sees the disciples that same night (Sunday night). He says peace be with you and then breathes on them. John 20:22 “Receive the Holy Spirit”. A disciple named Thomas was not with them. Jesus comes eight days later. Thomas had said that he would not believe until he sees Christ’s wounds. Jesus shows him but then says: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. (John 20:29) As John says there are “…also many other things which Jesus did…” John 21:25. Jesus shows himself to the disciples off and on for forty days.

Since the women are doing the anointing (or planning to), I think it is appropriate that I pick a prayer for caregivers – paid or not. Not having guests in to see your “charge” or not being allowed to take them out except for very necessary appointments must be a trial. So, if you want an idea for a prayer today – how about caregivers?

Predictions About Christ’s Death and Resurrection

Throughout the Gospel, Christ is telling the Disciples about his death and resurrection. I found one site online that discusses one good prophecy that is made in the Old Testament on the topic. The site is ligonier.org.

If you have a chance, go to Isaiah 53 and read it, or go online and read it. I started reading Isaiah 53 and immediately realized that it is talking about Christ. There is “…he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrow.” Jesus carries our sins for us. (Isaiah:53 5) “ But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.”

The website ligonier.org covers verses pointing to the resurrection. “Isaiah 53 tells us that the Suffering Servant will ‘divide the spoil’, ‘see his offspring’ and ‘be satisfied when His sacrifice has brought righteousness to many.’” The prior verses from, what I can see and according to ligonier.org, comes after the death of Christ. To fulfill this prophecy, God’s Servant must rise to life to see and share the fruit of his label. After his resurrection, Christ spends forty days on earth. I found a site called jesusalive.cc by Steve Shirley. Steve’s article is about what Christ’ purpose on earth was during the forty days. Acts1:2-3 Christ gave commandments to the apostles (through the Holy Spirit), He needed to present himself as being alive, and Christ needed to speak of things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

Jesus made many prophecies about his death and resurrection. It distresses the disciples, but at times they are fairly silent on the matter. What Jesus is predicting is unbelievable. The disciples needed to take it on faith. Jesus started to show his disciples “…that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed on the third day and be raised.” Matthew 16:21 Peter gets upset at this news. In Matthew 16:22-23 it says, “As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.’ And they were greatly distressed.”

Christ’s death is hard to read about. However, Christ got mad at Peter for getting upset. He wants the disciples to believe that he will “be raised”.

Prayer – Prayers of thanks to God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit

Palm Sunday – Jesus Fulfills a Prophecy

I hadn’t thought that I needed to write more, but I had forgotten to listen to the church service for Elim Lutheran Church. I hear a single rap sound. Like a cane being rapped against the wall. This tells me that God is okay with something or that he wants me to do something. I listened to the church service. When it was over, God made another rapping sound. I figured out that he wanted me to write out the text from the Bible. This is very important to him.

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Jesus didn’t have to go back to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday – the Sunday before Passover. He needed to fulfill a prophecy, but he also made a conscious decision to do so. He knows that entering the city in such a manner (like a leader) will raise the ire of those in charge of running Jerusalem. Jesus rides into Jerusalem and is finally ready to be called the Messiah. Jesus has been to Jerusalem many times, but this time is special. Insights from featheredprop.com, “A Critical Study of Questions Regarding Luke 19:28-44.”

Luke 19:28-40 And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Beth’phage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples , saying, “Go into the village opposite, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat; untie it and bring it here.

If any one asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this, ‘The Lord has need of it’”. So those who were sent went away and found it as he had told them. And as the were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” and they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their garments on the colt they set Jesus upon it.

And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road. As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

I get some of my insights into Palm Sunday from: christiancourier.com “The Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

Hosanna is an expression of adoration or Joy. The trees nearby are Palm Trees. There are the multitudes with Jesus and there are multitudes of people gathering for the Passover (the meal that Christ has with his disciples and is referred to as “The Last Supper”) We get a bit more of the “picture” of what happens on Palm Sunday from Matthew 21: 8-11

Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest” and when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.”

After Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, he enters the temple and is upset and probably disgusted by what he sees going on in the temple. There are people selling pigeons (probably for sacrifice) and money-changers. Jesus overturns the tables and in Matthew 21:13 Jesus says, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you shall make it a den of robbers.”

By going into Jerusalem, Matthew tells us that Jesus is fulfilling a prophecy made in Zechariah 9:9

“Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.”

I get confused because in the Bible, Jesus goes into the synagogue, but in Jerusalem he goes into the temple. I will have to keep looking into this and also see what I find while I read the New Testament. I will have to see if the temple in Jerusalem is always called the temple. Jerusalem is a holy city for Muslims, Jews, and Christians. For Jews it was and is the holiest place on earth for them. Jesus was a Jew.

Christ Values Women Learning About Him – The Story of Martha and Mary

Jesus visits the home of Martha. Martha’s sister is Mary. They are the sisters of Lazarus (Lazarus is a friend of Jesus’s, and Jesus brings him back to life). Yesterday, I saw the verse that states that Mary and Martha are Lazarus’s sisters. I can’t locate it today.

This story is very important. It shows, among other things, that Jesus values Mary’s learning – a woman learning about Jesus and his teachings.

God let me know that this story is very important. I heard two loud noises- louder than is a “normal” yes noise. It’s hard to explain, but an angel verified that God wants me to say that this story is important to him.

Luke 10: 38-42 “Now as they went on their way he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”

Anyone who has had company and is trying to juggle the needs of guests in one’s home can relate to Martha. Maybe she is feeling overwhelmed at this point in time. According to Wikipedia, Christ does acknowledge her feelings by saying her name twice. “But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.’”

It just occurred to me. In this instance, Christ is treating Mary as he would a man. She is at his feet and is learning from him. Christ values Mary learning from him! That is a huge statement: Christ values women learning about him and his works.