Monthly Archives: January 2013


Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God

What does it mean to be “pure in heart'”? The word that means pure in  Greek is the word katheraros which figuratively and literally means pure, or clean. The word heart here in the Greek is kardia which is often used in the Bible to mean having to do with thoughts and feelings.

In other words, when our thoughts and feelings are clean, and free of sin, we will see God everywhere. I want to see God, don’t you? So in order to do that I have to have pure thoughts and feelings. That’s impossible! I can’t have pure, clean thoughts all the time! Of course, I can’t. I am a selfish human being. I am imperfect in my thoughts.

This is why Christ came to die for us on the cross. His righteousness covers our unrighteousness. When he went to the Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to be that pure clean voice in our heads so that those pure clean thoughts can exist and are we are able to actually see God.

Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

The Greek word here for Peacemaker here is the Greek word eirenopolos which refers to a person to brings a situation back to a relationship that benefits all parties involved. Again, this concept goes back to the Hebrew concept of Shalom or the idea that nothing is out of place, everything perfect, nothing is missing, and nothing is broken. When Jesus because our substitute on the cross, he became our peacemaker with God.

You know, we hear it often said “we are all the children of God”. That is not what it says here. it says that those who are peacemakers shall be called the “children of God”. When we decide to join Jesus as a peacemaker,  and accept the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and make it our goal to become the agents that God uses to bring Shalom into the world, we are then and only then able to call ourselves “the children of God”.

In the Old Testament there is an example of peacemakers. In Genesis 9:20-29 after the flood, Noah grew a vineyard and then from the grapes made wine and got drunk. He laid down in his tent and without covering himself, he fell asleep. His son Ham was the first to see him. Ham went and told his brothers (gossiped) to come and check out their inebriated father. Ham went out of his way to expose his father’s indiscretion. Rather than snickering with their brother, Shem and Japheth decided to protect their father from further humiliation. They couldn’t make him sober again, but they could do something to lessen their father’s embarrassment when he did sober up. Walking backwards so that they wouldn’t have to view their father’s “disgrace”, they  placed a blanket over him.

To be a peacemaker, we must learn to think like Jesus did when the woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought to him. (John 8:3-11).  Jesus, demonstrated the role of peacemaker.  The men who brought her thought that what she needed was to be condemned and stoned for her adultery. Jesus, however didn’t point out her sin, he pointed out that all human beings are fallible and sinful. After dismissing the accusers, he turned to the woman and gave her what the accusers could not give her. He gave her love that no other man had been able to give her, and then told her to sin no more. She didn’t have to resort to “looking for love in all the wrong places” any longer. She had found the superior form of love.

If we are to become pure at heart and become peacemakers so that we can see God, we need to guard our hearts and look not to expose the world that they are sinful. Our responsibility as Christians is to expose the world to what it means to be a peacemaker do what we know is the right thing for others. As it says in Philippians 4:8:

Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any raise, think on these things.


Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after Righteousness: For they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

Yesterday we learned that meekness doesn’t mean that we let everyone dictate our lives for us. What it does mean is that we allow God to dictate our life. To hunger and thirst after righteousness is an extension of meekness. It’s to have a great desire for God’s righteousness to prevail. It is our desire to be in line with his will. It is our desire to be instruments of his righteousness. God wants us to desire for the wrongs around us to be made right.

In Mattthew 6:31-33, he expounds on this. He says that we shouldn’t worry about our everyday needs if we seek his righteousness. He said that we seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, then all those things would be added to us.

It is not enough that we desire righteousness as we perceive it. As it says in Proverbs 14:12 that a person can follow a way that seems right to them, but that way leads to death. This is why it is imperative that we get into the Word of God and desire to know HIS righteousness. His desire is that we get to know him. Daily we are able to learn to know what is right for us in the sight of God through the word and through the direct communion of prayer. This scripture in Matthew 5:6 affirms out of Jesus own mouth that if we hunger and thirst for his righteousness, our needs will be met through him.

A few years ago, my husband and I were having trouble financially. Both of us had lost our jobs, neither of us had an income coming in. At the end of the year, when we figured our tax statement, we discovered that we made less than $4000 for the entire year. Never once during that year did we not have a roof over our heads, not once did we have to go without a meal. Not once did our utilities get turned off. What makes this even more amazing is that my husband paid more in child support than we made that year! We were seeking God and he provided in amazing ways!

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy

This statement represents the law of sowing and reaping. Jesus was letting us know that when we plant something whether it is in the physical or in the spiritual, we reap what we planted. If we plant corn, we reap corn not some other vegetable. If we plant corruption, we receive corruption. If we plant mercy, we get mercy.

So what exactly is the mercy that Jesus is talking about here?

The Greek word for merciful   is eleemon and it refers to the act of giving compassion. By being merciful, it leads to  eleeo  or mercy which is the act of receiving compassion.

This same word eleemon is used again in Matthew 18:33 when Jesus says “Shouldn’t you have compassion on your fellowservant even as I had pity on you.” This was part of the parable of the servant (Matthew 18:23-35 whom the king forgave but he refused to forgive another servant who owed him.

This passage in Matthew 18 has a lot to do with forgiveness, therefore, when Jesus said the merciful shall obtain mercy, a good place to start is in forgiving those who have wronged us.

If our our desires are truly a deep hunger and thirst for God’s  righteousness, we must also desire to forgive others with that same hunger and thirst..


Blessed are the Meek for they shall Inherit the Earth

What does it mean to be blessed? Here in Matthew 5:5 and the rest of this passage commonly known as the beatitudes the Greek word for blessed here is makarismos. means supremely blessed. Some translatorss translate the word to mean happy, however it means much more than that.

To be blessed means to be so completely satisfied that you want nothing more. If the word here had been written in the Hebrew, it probably would have been the word Shalom. Which means wholeness and peace. It’s a completeness that signifies total satisfaction, without remorse. no defect can be detected. Complete perfection. Its the feeling of satisfaction that you get when you have given your all to something and you look at what you have created and you are amazed that you were the one who created that masterpiece.

I have had that feeling when I read over passages that I have written. It is as though God himself had bent down and written the words through my hand. That’s the meaning of blessed here. Its in knowing that God is working in my life. That God is using me to influence others. That’s what true blessing is.

        Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth

How can we be blessed through meekness? We now know what it means to be blessed, now let’s take a look at what it means to be meek. Contrary to what some think, the word meek doesn’t mean being a doormat.  The Greek word here is prothumos which means to be forward in the spirit, or willing to do the will of God. It comes from two other Greek words pro which means in front of  or superior to and the word thumos meaning fierceness or indignation or passion. In other words, it means that a person who is meek is a person who is willing to something that is greater than his or her own passions. In Jesus was said to be meek and lowly in spirit (Matthew 11:29), and the word meek there meant that Jesus was willing to put aside his own personal fleshly ambitions to focus on doing the will of his father.

Wow, that gives a totally different spin on the word meek! This idea of being meek was not what I thought!

So what does it meant to inherit the earth? the word translated inherit here is the word  kleronomin meaning to share in being the heir of ghay the Greek word translated the earth,  Ghay meaning the solid (physical) part of the terrestrial  globe including ALL the occupants.

So does this simply mean that the meek will inherit the earth when the new Heavens and the New Earth are created at Christ second coming? The only key word here we have not get defined is the word shall.

The word shall is not actually a word in the Greek, rather it is attached to the word inherit. the word kleronomin is  in the present tense, not a future tense. Therefore this passage “the meek shall inherit the earth” means, the blessing (complete in fulfillment) of the inheritance of the earth comes when a person willingly sets down his or her own will to do the father’s will.

The primary reason I am writing this blog is so that I personally will sit down each day and study the word. By sitting and writing, I have been compelled to dig deeper into understanding this not just to share with others, but so that I can glean more from the word for my own benefit. I am certainly blessed by this study. I pray that you too have been blessed. I ask you to pray that I will grow in my obedience to the Father’s will and I will pray for you to do the same.

Picture of the Mount of Beattitudes

Chapter 5 of Matthew begins the passage known as the Beatitudes. I remember years ago at the church I attended at the time the elementary children had a program called The Bee-attitudes and there were posters about how “to be”. the idea is that if we want to be blessed by God, we would be blessed if we did these things.

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

There’s that phrase again, Kingdom of Heaven. The poor in Spirit get the Kingdom of Heaven. What does it mean that the poor in Spirit will get the Kingdom of Heaven? What makes someone poor in Spirit?

Poor in spirit does not mean being poor in the physical sense. Being poor in spirit means that re recognize that we don’t own anything. Everything that we have in this short life belongs to God. We are only stewards of what God owns.

How differently we would live if we recognized that all the we claim to own belonged to God. Imagine what it would be like if we do not identify with this physical world. If we knew that what we had belonged to the creator of the universe, that we simply were taking care of what belonged to him. We don’t own these worldly goods, it doesn’t own us. It belongs to the Lord God All Mighty, Jehovah our provider! We are here to do the Father’s business.

If we are poor (God owns it, we don’t)  in this physical world that we live in does not belong to us. Spiritually we recognize that our citizenship is in the Kingdom of Heaven. Compared to our citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven, our life as we know it here, even if we live to be 120, is but a vapor.

Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.

This is the promise of the resurrection. What Jesus is saying here is that we may be mourning now, but our mourning will last a short time. Our comfort in our loss is knowing that someday in eternity, we will again see that person we think we lost. It will be as though they were only asleep.

As Paul said in I Thessalonians 5:9-11: “For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died that whether we are alive or asleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do.”

Jesus promises us that if we recognize that this world has nothing to offer us, that if we recognize that we have a life that goes beyond this life, God will bless us. He wants us to more than just recognize that our ultimate citizenship is not in this world. We have been promised eternal life in Christ Jesus. Even in death, we are blessed!

Again as the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:21-23 “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot declare. For I am torn between the two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better. However, I know that I must stay here because I benefit you.”

When we recognize that our citizenship is not of this earth, that God owns it all, that our loved ones who died and are believers we will be with again. How can we be anything else but blessed?

Fisherman in the Sea of Galilee

In Matthew 4:17 Jesus has started his ministry on earth telling everyone that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

He then walked along the Sea of Galilee. In other places in the Bible and in history Sea of Galilee are the Sea of Tiberias, Gennesaret, and Chinnereth. this sea was source of the Jordan River. The Jordan River flowed from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. We can take a lesson from this when we recognize that the Sea of Galilee is the source. It was alive and teaming with fish and supported the communities that surrounded it. The Dead Sea however only receives water and has no outlet. It is a dead lake where nothing grows. If you take and take and take, you will be as barren as the Dead Sea.

Jesus wasn’t walking along the Dead Sea. He was walking along the Sea of Galilee and as he was walking, he comes across Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and he invites them and then the sons of Zebedee James and John to be his disciples to become “fishers of men”. He took these men and gave them a higher calling. There is no record of them wondering if they should go, whether Zebedee tried to talk James and John out of going, if Peter’s wife was worried about where the money would come from. None of these are recorded. It just says Jesus invited them and they went.

painting of Jesus Christ healing the sick

Throughout Galilee, Jesus started his preaching ministry. He went from synagogue to synagogue preaching the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven. But he did something more, he made a difference in the lives of the people around him. He healed people. He healed all kinds of diseases, but he also healed all types of torments. The word torments here is the Greek word basanos which is thought to come from the root word basia which means to walk, a pace, foot. In other words, this word basanos has to do with anything that makes us feel as though we were going to the bottom or down to the foot.

What Jesus offered and gave to the people were The promise of the Kingdom and the gifts of salvation and healing.

“Well,” you say,” that was Jesus and that was then surely that’s not for us today. God works differently today than he did back then. He uses medicine and doctors today, right?”

I’m not going to answer the question for you of whether trusting in the medical system is God’s work. That’s between you and God. What I will challenge you concerning you  though is what Jesus told his disciples:

At the end of Jesus’ ministry, John records in John 14:12 Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “Verily verily, I say unto you. He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works shall he do because I go unto my Father.”

What I am challenging myself (and you, if you’re up to the challenge) is this: If we believe the Bible as we say we do, why don’t we do the same works and even greater works than Jesus did? Why do we let the tormenter rule over our lives. Why are we ineffective in delivering others of their diseases and oppressions? Is it God who has changed or is it perhaps that we REALLY do not believe what he says? More importantly, what can we do about it?

After Jesus was tempted by the devil and the angels ministered to him (Matthew 4:1-11), he discovered that John the Baptist had been cast into prison. He left left his home in Nazareth and moved his ministry to Capernaum located along the sea coast in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim. Again, this action that he takes fulfills another prophecy. (Isaiah 9:1-2). As we have seen, Matthew is making a point of noting when Jesus fulfills Messianic prophecy.

At this point, Matthew sees Jesus as a great light for the people. This light in the Greek is phos a word means underived and absolute light–the opposite of all darkness. Our word “phosphorus” comes from this Greek word. Phosphorus has an underived light that doesn’t seem to come from anywhere, it produces light that seems to have no source. Matthew sees that Jesus is no ordinary man.

Jesus began to preach,  and his ministry begins with encouraging people to repent, but he does more than tell them to repent. He tells them that literally “the Kingdom of the heavens is at hand.”  What Jesus tells them is that the purpose of  re-establishing the kingdom of God over this rebellious part of God’s realm. this term is only found in Mathew’s gospel. It is a dispensational term and refers to the Messiah’s kingdom on the earth.

The parables that Jesus later tells here in Matthew that has to do with the Kingdom of Heaven applies to the time when the Messiah establishes his kingdom here on earth that lasts forever. The kingdom of Heaven was then and continues to be offered to anyone who wants to believe. What Jesus had to offer was an offer that would transcend forever.

In Matthew 4:1-2, we saw that the Holy Spirit told Jesus to go into the wilderness and fast for 40 days and 40 nights. We learned about the fast itself.

Fasting, we learned,  was both a physical and a spiritual  cleansing process. When Jesus finished his fast, he was hunger. This was when Jesus was tempted not once, but three times by Satan.

There are many people who would tell you that it isn’t fair to compare the Son of God’s temptations with our own. I don’t necessarily see that as a legitimate argument because as we will see here, his temptations were greater than ours ever could be.

The word tells us in I Corinthians 10:13 “There is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with temptation also make a way to scape that you may be able to bear it.”. Based on this passage, we have no legitimate reason to submit to temptations.

This passage in Matthew  shows how Jesus was tempted by temptations that are common to man. These temptations are commonly referred to as  the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life. By studying this passage, we can learn by Christ’s example how to overcome these temptations.

The First Temptation

In the first temptation, Satan tempts Jesus to turn the stones into bread. Jesus was hungry, and he could right then turn the stones into bread if he wanted. Jesus knew that he could do anything he wanted to do and turning stones into bread was not outside of his power. HOWEVER, Jesus knew that to turn those stones into bread was not in the Father’s will. He knew that God’s will for him at that moment was not for him to get his needs for food met in that manner. He knew that he needed to wait. He needed to be patient.He knew he was in a spiritual battle and he needed to fight this battle using spiritual weapons.

He used the Word of God to come against the temptation to give into his fleshly desires.

      He said “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” -Deuteronomy 8:3

The Second Temptation

Then the devil took Jesus up to the holy city (whether he was there physically or simply in the spirit, the passage doesn’t say) what it does say is that he took Jesus to the highest point on the temple which was at the highest point in Jerusalem. He then suggested that he jump to prove that he was the Son of God. Then Satan quoted, or should I say misquoted Psalms 91:11-12

This passage says “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up with their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

What Satan said was,”he shall give is angels charge concerning thee and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

Satan’s modus operandi is to make subtle changes in meaning. Notice in  the original passage, the angels were there to help him in his mission. Satan twisted it to mean that no harm would come to him, no matter what he did.

Jesus wasn’t tricked just because Satan quoted scripture. Jesus knew what the scripture actually said and he knew it in context. He said:

it is written, again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.-Deuteronomy 6:16

The Third Temptation

Then Satan took him to an exceedingly high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them and offered it all to Jesus under one condition, and that was that Jesus fall down and worship him.

The first thing to notice is that this was a definite temptation for Jesus. What Satan was telling him was that he thought he knew that there was no way for Jesus to win. Satan claimed to want to be the good guy and let Jesus have what he wanted. He could have the world, no questioned asked. Jesus didn’t have to do anything except worship Satan.

Jesus again quoted scripture. He knew that his father had him there on the mission of becoming the Savior of the World, that Satan was part of the problem, not part of the solution. He said:

Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written: Thou shalt worship God and him only shalt thou serve.-Deuteronomy 6:13

Satan left him and as Psalm 91:11-12 actually said, the angels came and ministered to Jesus there.

Christ in the Wilderness, Ivan Kramskoy

In the first couple of verses in Matthew 4, we see that after Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit leads him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights and when that period of time was past, Jesus was hungry.

The first thing that I notice here is that the Holy Spirit led Jesus. This wasn’t something that Jesus decided to do on his own because he thought it was a good idea or even that it was a tradition. It was neither. The average person of his day did not go into the wilderness and fast 40 days and nights. The Bible only mentions 4 men who fasted that long. Moses (Deuteronomy 9:9, 18, 25; 10:10), Joshua (Exodus 24:13-18; 32:15-17), Elijah( I Kings 19:7-18), and Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13).

The second thing to notice is the purpose of the fast. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. The wilderness was a desolate, dry place. Centuries earlier the children of Israel were lead out of Egypt (a symbol for sin) into the wilderness. The Israelites were sent into the wilderness where God spoke to them through Moses. They had been taken away from all other cultural influences and God fed them and kept them clothed for 40 years. During that time they were cleansed of Egyptian influences. The adults who would not forget Egypt died there in the wilderness. Once the Israelites were cleansed of their Egyptian influence, they were able to fulfill the mission they were given to go in and subdue the land of Canaan. Without the wilderness experience, I doubt they could have been as effective as they were.

The Bible does not tell about what Jesus experienced in the wilderness during those 40 days. However, based on the Israelites’ experience, I believe I can guess.I believe he spent his time praying and meditating on scripture. During the 40 days and nights of his fast, Jesus spent his every waking hour in communion with his father.  This was his time to get away from the Roman and Jewish cultures that he had grown up in. He may have even spent time with The Father outlining his ministry and all that he had to fulfill before the Roman soldiers led him to the cross.

Fasting for Physical Reasons

Although most people do not fast 40 days and 40 nights, people do fast in our culture for a shorter period of time. Many people fast simply for physical reasons. When we fast, our digestive systems shut down and our bodies have a chance to cleanse themselves of toxins. By fasting we help our bodies heal by giving the digestive system a rest. In today’s society with its harmful colorants and preservatives, fasting for physical reasons can help prevent many chronic diseases.

A couple of years ago I fasted when I had bronchitis.Prior to the fast, I had been taking over the counter medications that seemed to actually make the symptoms worse. Because of this, I stopped taking the medications. It wasn’t a planned fast though,  I simply wasn’t hunger so I didn’t eat. I just drank juices and water for about 2 weeks.

I broke the fast gradually. At first I ate fruits and vegetables, then slowly I added lean meats and nuts, then bread, and finally dairy.  I felt better than I did before I became sick.

Fasting for Spiritual Reasons

Fasting not only benefits us physically, but it also benefits us spiritually if we fast for the right reasons.

I knew a man once whose wife had decided to divorce him, so he started fasting to get God to make her reconsider. Did his wife change her mind? Of course not, the man was trying to manipulate God. Contrary to what some people believe, fasting cannot manipulate God into doing what we want him to do.

What fasting does is put our physical bodies under submission to the Spirit. The most effective Spiritual break through occurs when we are able to separate ourselves from our cultural situations. This occurs when we get into by ourselves with God.   If we would turn off our televisions, our cell phones, our computers, and fast physical desires, God is better able to work through us because we have submitted ourselves to him.

As I remember the physical fast I had and write about the spiritual fast, I think that it may be about time that I consider another fast. I can see how I am controlled physically by many of my own lusts. All the control I had over my body after that physical fast I had two years ago has disappeared. I am overweight and have little control over what I eat. What if I added more of the Spiritual component to it? What if I submitted more of my time to The Word of God and prayer. What if I turned off my television and severely limited the use of my computer. What difference would that make in my Spiritual Walk?

What are your thoughts about this subject?

John the Baptist preached and baptized people unto repentance. As Christians, we are called to repent and then be baptized for the remission of our sins. John showed us how to repent. The word translated “repent” when used in Matthew 3 meant to be totally repulsed by your sinful nature that you want nothing to do with it.

In Matthew 3:13-17  there are some very important things to note as Jesus comes onto the scene. Jesus coming to John the Baptist to be baptized. John said that he did not want to baptize him, because John said that he (John) needed to be baptized by him (Jesus). Jesus said that it was necessary for him to be baptized by John because it was “necessary to fulfill all righteousness”.

Why did Jesus do this? He wasn’t coming for the remission of sins because he knew no sin.He submitted to baptism for two reasons. First, as mentioned here, he did it to fulfill ALL righteousness. In John 1:31, he did it to be manifest to Israel.

When Jesus came up out of the water from being baptized, the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and landed on Jesus. Then John heard a voice from heaven saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Like John, Jesus was on a special mission. Both were sent by God and both had to fulfill what they were sent to do. Both did what God told them to do. Both suffered because of what God called them to do.

In verses 11-12 John had said that he baptized with water, but that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Whose fan was in his hand, and he would thoroughly purge his floor and gather his wheat unto the garner, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

This is an analogy of judgement that Jesus would divide the sinful from the believers in the end. John saw Jesus not as he was then, but as he would be in the future. In this passage both John the speaker, and Matthew the writer, are letting us know that Jesus is the Messiah that the Jews were looking for.

Here is one of several places in the Bible where the trinity of God is present all at the same time. Jesus the Son, The Holy Spirit and God the father are all here. Jesus being baptized, The Holy Spirit lighting on him like a dove, and God the father speaking that he was pleased with his son’s obedience. One of the most important facts that we can meditate on during our study of the Gospels is the concept of “doing the will of The Father”. If , like Jesus, we could focus our every waking hour to this concept, we could, like Jesus, revolutionize the world around us.

John the Baptist

If we read our Bible in order, Matthew 3 is the first place that we meet John the Baptist, and here we see him preaching a warning at the Pharisees and Sadducees. In Luke1:5-25, however we learn about the unique circumstances of John the Baptist’s conception.

A priest named Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth (who was also of the priestly line because she was an descendant of Aaron’s line) were old and had no children. One day while Zacharias was fulfilling his duties as a priest by burning incense when he went into the temple, an angel of the Lord (Gabriel) appeared to him.

The angel told Zacharias that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a son and name him John. John would not drink alcohol and would be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born. Because of John, many of the children of Israel would turn to the Lord their God. Because Zacharias did not believe what Gabriel had told him, he could not speak.  Elizabeth conceived.

Mary (with child with the son of God) went to visit Elizabeth when Mary was newly pregnant and Elizabeth was five months pregnant and when Mary announced her arrival, both Elizabeth and the unborn John were both filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary, then, prophesied concerning John (Luke 1:39-56) . John is born and the family wants to name him after his father, but Elizabeth said that his name was John.

When the family asked Zacharias, (because he had the final say), because he was still mute wrote on a tablet that his name was John. Immediately, Zacharias could again speak and the first words out of his mouth was to prophecy. (Luke1:57-79. John grew up strong physically and spiritually and lived in the desert until he began his ministry.

John’s ministry was as a priest and a prophet. He was the one to make way for the coming of the Lord.  John’s ministry was all about repentance. His represented the best of what man could offer before the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The best that man could bring himself to under the law was to learn that he full of sin and that sin was detestable. John’s ministry pointed at the only one who could save us.  That’s where Jesus steps in. He takes us beyond ourselves and into something truly amazing, but first we have to be willing to accept John’s baptism of repentance. We must recognize that we are not able to save ourselves. There is something far more complete–the immersion into the name (authority) of Jesus Christ.

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