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The Wednesday Word: Never Man Spoke Like this Man

The Pharisees, fearing Christ’s rising popularity, had dispatched an arresting party to apprehend Him (John 7:32) … but they came back empty handed. ‘Why didn’t you arrest him?’ demanded the furious leaders. The answer came back, “Never man spoke like this man (John 7:46).

What made the would-be arresters answer this way? What did they mean by “Never man spoke like this man?” Was it because He spoke with great majesty?

Yes, without doubt He did, but so did Isaiah.

Was it because Jesus spoke with great pathos? Yes, He did, but so did Jeremiah the weeping Prophet.

Well maybe it was because he spoke with great authority. That’s true. Every word Christ spoke was laced through and permeated with God’s authority. But Moses spoke with great authority too.

Well, maybe it was because He spoke with great humanness. Absolutely true, he spoke with great humanness but then so did David.

So why did they say, never man spoke like this man? Here are a few suggestions.

The Prophets said ‘He is coming’ … that’s their strain and that’s their refrain. But Jesus said “I am come.”

“I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

“I am come a light in the world that he that trusts in me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).

“I am come to send fire on the earth” (Luke 12:49).

Moses didn’t say those things about himself. The heroes of the faith didn’t say that. No one had been waiting for them.

Never man spoke like this man!

And, no prophet ever said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). For all his majesty Isaiah didn’t say anything like that. No prophet could indeed say that for to claim to be the ‘I am’ was to claim to be God.

And no man ever said, your sins are forgiven (see Matthew 9:2). But Jesus said it. Moses had a lot to say about sins, but he didn’t ever say, “I Moses, forgive your sins.” Isaiah for all his majesty didn’t say that either. David didn’t say that, and Jeremiah didn’t say that. The prophets weren’t anywhere close to saying that.

Never man spoke like this man!

And no prophet ever said, “I go to prepare a place for you and if I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself” (see John 14:1-3). Jesus promised to return. He didn’t say He’d try to return. He didn’t say He’d make his best effort to return but He said He would return. Jeremiah couldn’t say that, Moses for all his authority couldn’t say that. And Isaiah for all his majesty couldn’t say that.

Never man spoke like this man!

The officers had been sent to arrest Jesus, but His words arrested them. His words stunned and apprehended them. His words laid hands on these officers and seized them.

They were overwhelmed with the majesty and authority of His speech.

Never man spoke like this man!

No prophet ever said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). Moses for all his thundering could never bring his listeners into a place of ‘No Condemnation.’ Isaiah couldn’t do it. He couldn’t speak like this.’

But as for Jesus, ‘Never man spoke like this man!’

To Him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness (Acts 10:43). In other words, the Prophets looked forward to Christ’s arrival. They were the servants, but Christ was the Son over the house (see Hebrews 3:1-6).

Never man spoke like this man!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Wednesday Word: “This New Doctrine”

When the apostle Paul was at Athens, (see Acts 17) he was told that the gospel he preached was a new doctrine. How wrong his critics were!

Evidently, they did not know that in the ancient Hebrew writings, CHRIST JESUS is the great theme. No sooner had sin entered mankind than the Lord God prophesied about the coming one (Christ) who would bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). From that point on, the tone was set. There was a deliverer coming.

Consider how the following point, in types and figures, to this One who was to come. Here are but a few examples.

Abel’s Lamb: It was accepted as a substitute for Abel. It had done no wrong but was slaughtered for Abel’s sin. Likewise, Christ, the innocent one was slaughtered for us.

Noah’s Ark: All the people in Noah’s Arc were safe. Likewise, all in Christ will be saved.

Isaac was bound to the altar by his Father. Christ was bound to the cross, by His Father (see Isaiah 53:4–5, 10).

Joseph was rejected and exalted, …Similarly Christ came to His own and they rejected Him but now He is exalted.

The blood of the Passover lamb and the elements of the Passover feast all pointed to Christ (see 1Corinthians 5:7-8).

The writings of the psalmist David and the prophets also abound with allusions to the coming Saviour (see Psalm 22; Isaiah 53). Indeed, the doctrine of Christ is no new thing. It is from eternity (Revelation 13:8).

Which brings us back to Acts 17. The philosophers of Athens brought Paul to Mars Hill, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine of which you speak is?”

New doctrine indeed! Jesus a new doctrine? Ha! Was Athenian philosophy older than the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world? Was Greek philosophy older than the precious promise of the seed of the woman? And was Greek philosophy to look down despairingly on the antiquity of the Hebrew prophets of whom we are told that “to him (Christ) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins ” (Acts 10:43).

Athenian philosophy was a mere “Johnny-Come-Lately” in comparison to the doctrine of Christ!

But those arrogant Greek philosophers were more to be pitied than scolded. They knew nothing of the Scripture promises concerning the Lord Jesus. The mass of these men, as it transpires, had no heart for Christ, but through infinite mercy and grace, perhaps a few were brought to salvation (see Acts 17:34).

New doctrine indeed!

Jesus remains the sum and substance of the scriptures. It is no wonder then that the Father announced from the excellent glory, “This is my beloved Son; hear him” (Luke 9:35).

Let me ask, have you heard Him? Or are you, like the Athenians, living with a salvation of your own devising and invention.

But hear the word of the Lord, “Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” (Acts 16: 31).

The New Testament gives us abundant instances of faith in Him. Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms and rejoiced in God’s salvation (see Luke 2:25-30).

Peter confessed Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16).

The dying thief confessed Him as Lord (Luke 23:42).

Thomas called him, ” My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28)

What is it that keeps you back from Him? Do you still think you must get better first? If you wait till you are better, you will never have salvation.

Do you think you are too great a sinner? Saul of Tarsus was the chief of sinners, and Christ saved him.

Do you think this salvation is too cheap? Too cheap? It cost the Lord Jesus his life.

Change your mind about Him. Receive Him by simple faith, and you will be saved. He’s no new invention. He’s the Eternal God come to rescue and to save.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Storms and the Majestic Saviour Part 2

October 7, 2020 2 comments

Mark 4:35-41

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace,[a] be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How[b] is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

There are a number of storm stories in the Bible. Mark 4:35-41 is not the least of them. Jesus had told the disciples that they were going to the other side of the lake but in the midst of their journey a ferocious storm blew in and the disciples panicked. They forgot that Jesus had spoken and had given His word.

What word?

The word about going to the other side. That was the Lord’s promise to them. What we can learn from this, however, is that between the providing of the promise and the provision of the promise there is often a problem. And it’s there, amidst the problem, that Jesus demonstrates His divine power and majesty. It’s there, during the storms of our life, that He also tests us to show us whether or not we believe in His Word, His Majesty, His Deity and His absolute power.

But something worse than the fact that Jesus leads them into the storm is that in the midst of the storm, He goes to sleep. Have you ever been in a storm and it seemed as if Jesus has forgotten you? It seems He is sleeping. If this describes you, don’t panic! The storm may have come, but Jesus hasn’t gone anywhere, He’s right with you.

May we not be like the disciples. They forgot that Jesus was in the boat with them; they were in His presence, but they forgot this. They forgot that He was there, they forgot His word to them, they forgot that they were going to the other side.

But you know the story, the disciples have a panic attack and waken Jesus with the cruelest of words, “Don’t you care that we are about to perish?” Have you ever felt that Jesus didn’t care for you? One look at Calvary will expose the error of that thinking. See him there, suspended between heaven and earth, bearing our curse. See Him there, the dying lamb, the interceptor of the wrath of God. How can you imagine that He doesn’t care for you?

Then, in one of the great scenes of the Bible, the Creator of the universe arises from His sleep, stretches Himself to His full height and rebukes the storm and tells it to, “HUSH!” The winds got quiet, the waves got quiet and even big Peter got quiet. The disciples knew that they were in the presence of sovereign majesty. It’s no wonder then that they asked, “behold what manner of man is this that even the winds and the waves obey Him?” And, it’s no wonder that they were amazed; Jesus had just given them a revelation of His deity!

These men would have known the Old Testament scriptures and now they were beginning to connect the dots! They were beginning to see that when Jesus calmed the storm, He was demonstrating that He was the LORD, the almighty Yahweh of Psalms 107.

Here’s what it says,

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.

Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he brings them unto their desired haven” (See Psalm 107:23-30).

Here once more we are faced with incontestable proof that the Jesus of the New Testament is the Yahweh of the Old. In the Old Testament it is Yahweh to whom the people cry in the storm, but to whom did they cry in the New? They cried to Jesus, for Jesus and Yahweh are one and the same! He wants us to look to him especially in times of trouble.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Storms and the Majestic Saviour Part 1

September 30, 2020 2 comments

Mark 4:35-41

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace,[a] be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How[b] is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

In Mark 4 we encounter one of the great storm stories of the Bible. Among the many things we learn from it is that being Christ’s followers doesn’t grant immunity from trouble.

If the truth be known, all of us face various kinds of storms in our life. This is why we continually need to be bathed in the gospel. We need to know that the One who has bought and paid for us has the power, ability and willingness to take us through whatever storms we face. Why would He purchase us with His blood and then discard us when we face difficult times? Why indeed?

In our story, in Mark 4, we see a wonderful picture of Christ Jesus the Majestic One. This is important for it is as we see Him in His majesty that we are encouraged to trust Him. We, as His followers, need to grasp the good news of Christ’s absolute power and sovereignty. Since He is the sovereign ruler of all, He can easily calm the storms in our lives and deliver us.

Do we really believe that our Saviour is all-powerful? Do we believe that He has all the power necessary to get us through crisis? As we go to the Bible, we see that there was something about Jesus, —–As Sinclair Ferguson says, “a compelling, divine, majestic sovereignty that moved and conquered the hearts of men.”

Observe it at work, in this passage, as He tells his disciples to get into a boat and sail across the lake to the other side. Well what’s majestic about that? Consider this, these men were experienced fishermen and I’m sure some of them must have smelt the storm brewing; they knew how to read the signs. —-Yet they followed the master right into the storm. This is a case of divine majesty at work.

We see this divine majesty demonstrated throughout the life of Jesus. Think about how, for example, Christ walked up to Matthew, the businessman/tax collector, and simply said, “Follow me” and Matthew instantly got up and left everything behind … except his pen. Christ did the same to Peter and the fisherman immediately left his nets. If you don’t think there’s anything special in this, just try it yourself. Just go into a thriving business and try commanding the owner to leave everything to follow you. That puts it into perspective doesn’t it? Jesus spoke and people followed. He’s majestic!

Observe also how, in this passage, Jesus says with the same authority and majesty, “Let us go to the other side.” I’ve looked this phrase up in the Greek and do you know what it means? It means, “Let us go to the other side!” That was the word of the Lord. There was no way, then, for that boat to sink since Jesus had said they were going to the other side. So, watch how these fishermen follow the carpenter and how the carpenter leads them straight into the heart of the storm.

We need to understand this; following Jesus is never easy! He has the persistent habit of leading us into difficult situations. We need to learn from this that, as a Christian, the desire to have a trouble-free life is a non-starter! It’s not going to happen. The good news, however, is that it’s there, amid the storm, that we encounter God. He is the God who hears our cries. As Spurgeon says,

“Because God is a living God, He can hear.

Because He is a loving God, He will hear.

Because He is a covenant God, He has bound Himself to hear.”

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Mary

Doubtless, Mary, the Mother of Jesus was a wonderful woman. However, the Church of Rome calls her ‘the Mother of God.’

What a ¨terminological inexactitude! ¨

Logic, however, would dictate that, if she is indeed the ‘Mother of God’, she must have preceded Him, for the mother is first then the child. But the genealogy of Mary, according to Luke’s Gospel, stops her lineage at Adam (Luke 3:38).

As for the history of God, the Scriptures declare, Him to be ‘From everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90: 2). How then can Mary exist before the everlasting One?

God is the Creator of all things. He created Adam. Mary was the creation of God through Adam but not the ancestor of God. Yes it´s true, Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus, but she was not and never will be the parent of the Eternal Creator.

Having incorrectly called her the Mother of God, the Papacy, in addition, calls her the ‘Mother of the Church.’ Did the Church proceed from her? Did she give birth to the church? I think not!

But, according to the Papacy, not only Jesus, but Mary, Joseph, and other saints as well as angels, make intercession with God on behalf of men. So emphatic is this teaching that in the Compendium of the Catholic Faith authorized by Pius X, Mary is stated to be the most powerful advocate with God next to Jesus for it is impossible for her to go unheard by Him, seeing He is her Son.

Nevertheless, the Scriptures state, ‘… there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’ (l Timothy 2: 5).

Jesus declared, ‘No man comes to the Father but by Me’ (John 14: 6).

He also said, ‘Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). There is nary a word to indicate that Mary must placate and soothe Jesus on behalf of sinful man.

Which is to be believed, the Scriptures or the Bishop of Rome? Apart from the birth of Jesus, there is nothing told in the Bible concerning Mary other than that which is ordinary and human.

Now, consider this, the wise men offered their gifts to the young child Jesus–not to the mother (Matthew 2: 11).

The aged Simeon said things that caused Mary to wonder, … which she certainly would not have done if she had been the Mother of God (Luke 2:25-32).

Mary, in her song, before the birth of Jesus attributed her salvation to God her Saviour (Luke 1:47). Only sinners need a Saviour.

Notice how Mary made no attempt to perform a miracle at Cana, she left it to Jesus to do what He thought best (John 2:5).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the coming work and comfort of the Holy Spirit; but not a word of our Master is recorded in Scripture referring to His mother also being a comforter and teacher of men.

Nowhere does the Lord Jesus indicate that Mary should be worshipped. The opportunity was afforded Him to do just that when the woman in the crowd cried out how blessed His mother was. He deliberately refrained from endorsing any such notion, but says only, ‘Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it’ (Luke 11: 27-28).

Let´s say it again, Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus through the power of the Highest. Afterwards, by natural generation she was the mother of four sons and at least two daughters, thereby doing away with any reason for ever calling her the perpetual Virgin (Mark 6:2-3).

Let´s say it again, Jesus is God. In fact, He is the God-Man. He has two natures in one person. Mary was in no way mother to His deity but rather to His humanity.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

So determined are some Arminians to deny the almightiness of God and the invincibility of His will that they have appealed to this passage for proof

November 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur Pink“He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them” (Mark 6:5). So determined are some Arminians to deny the almightiness of God and the invincibility of His will that they have appealed to this passage in proof that the power of His incarnate Son was limited, and that there were occasions when His merciful designs were thwarted by man. But a comparison of the parallel passage in Matthew 13:54-58, at once gives the lie to such a blasphemous assertion, for we are there told “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Thus it was not any limitation in Himself, but something in them, which restrained Him. In other words, He was actuated by a sense of propriety. The emphasis both in Mark 6:5, and Matthew 13:58, is on the word “there,” for, as the context shows, this occurred at Nazareth where He was lightly esteemed. To have performed prodigies of power before those who regarded Him with contempt had, in principle, been casting pearls before swine; as it had been unfitting to have wrought miracles to gratify the curiosity of Herod (Luke 23:8)— elsewhere He did many supernatural works. In Genesis 19:22, the Lord could not destroy Sodom until Lot had escaped from it, while in Jeremiah 44:22, He “could no longer bear” the evil doings of Israel — it was moral propriety, not physical inability.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Elders Represent the Knowledge of Christ in the Church-Conclusion

This brings us, finally, back to our beginning text, wherein is shown the manner in which those who preach and teach the church must regard those whom they teach; in other words, their example of living by the Spirit imparting the grace of God in Christ Jesus to their own lives, in various circumstances, demands that they see the results of that great sacrificial death in those they are preaching and teaching the doctrine of Christ too.

The proposition put forth is that of not seeing those who are bought by the death of Christ as if they were in their carnal estate, but as if they are already in their eternal estate. The second proposition put forth is that the first is done because they no longer look to Christ as He was before His glorification, but indeed, as having died and risen in glory. We might well reverse these propositions thusly: Since Christ has suffered death for those He purchased for God, and has risen in glory as the first to be resurrected, preceding all those encompassed in that propitiatory death, we do not look at Him as He was before that death, but as He is, sitting on the right hand of majesty; since all He died for are, indeed, encompassed in His death and resurrection, we view them according to the work of our Lord which was completed upon their behalf. These propositions necessarily entail our looking at one another according to the new creation God began in the resurrection of His Son, so that we all consider ourselves according to that new creation, and not in light of the old creation, which has commenced passing away, and which new creation will be fully realized at the eschaton, where we are given, of God, those new, glorified bodies which will be like our Lord’s glorified human body, to dwell in the perfection of God’s completed new creation eternally, per His glory in Christ Jesus.

 
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Elders Represent the Knowledge of Christ in the Church-Part 5

Now, we are up to chapter 5 of this second epistle to the Corinthians, and the theme of temporal loss, followed by the comfort God gives through His grace in Christ, as patterned by the elders for the sake of each member of the covenant community to emulate that pattern by the same grace, continues immediately.

The first four verses of this chapter reach all the way back to the apostle’s words in chapter one:

2 Cor. 5:1-4: For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life (cf. 2 Cor. 1:3ff.) Again, we see the thrust of the apostle in sharing his and his companions’ trials with the Corinthian believers, a further unfolding of the reason for these sufferings and the comfort that accompanies them in the lavishly bestowed grace of God our Lord Jesus Christ has earned for us; a grace that is bestowed so abundantly because it is of the eternal and infinite riches of God in Christ (Eph. 1:7-8). This is the grace that not only saved us, but is conforming us – even giving us the desire to be conformed – into that image of our Lord, and this transformation is proven not only by the shared sufferings of the shepherds of God’s churches, but among the saints, as they apprehend the meaning of the apostle’s words.

 
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Elders Represent the Knowledge of Christ in the Church – Part 4

Continuing our look at the pastoral perspective of these first five chapters of 2 Corinthians. as we go quickly through chapter 4, we see the apostle citing again the mercy of God as the reason for not losing hope, which would be a direct reference to what we were told in chapter 1 of this epistle, as well as similar statements in our current chapter.

Paul appeals to the conscience of the Corinthians by stating his doctrine is not by using the word of God in deception, trying to change that which God has revealed, and includes his companions’ pastoral endeavors in this appeal, again citing that such commendation is “in the sight of God.” (v. 2). Then, no doubt in consideration of those who denied that the apostle was, indeed, an apostle of Christ (and, by extension, the other apostles of Christ, as well as those who joined him in his ministerial endeavors were, indeed, God gifted evangelists and elders – 2 Corinthians 11:12-14), Paul speaks of those to whom his gospel is hidden, and how it is the god [1] of this world that has so hidden it from such false believers and false workers (vv. 3-4). This is followed again by the fact that they are proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ as His servants, and that God has shone the light of this gospel into the formerly darkened hearts of Paul and his companions (and, by extension, to all who are saved by His grace, such as the Corinthians reading this epistle, and future generations of believers, such as ourselves) to give the darkness dispelling light of His glorious knowledge in the face (person) of Jesus Christ.

 
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Elders Represent the Knowledge of Christ in the Church – Part 3

Chapter 3 of this second epistle to the Corinthian church gives Paul’s defense of his authority in and of from God further weight, as he stresses that not only is he not seeking to appeal to or please men by his words, but that God has written that upon the hearts of those he is writing to, so much so, that they are “our letter of recommendation,” and the weight of this letter of recommendation is not even their own testimony (although such is implicit in a secondary sense), but the fact that the law of God has been written on their hearts as surely and more effectually than it was on the tablets of the decalogue (vv. 1-4), and that is the entirety of the foundation for Paul and his companions confidence, which confidence has, as its sufficiency, God, and which confidence is communicated in all that they suffered, will suffer, are consoled in, and share with the Corinthians for the sake of their being built up in the grace of God.

 
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