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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: 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: Jesus The Baptiser!

Matthew 3:11-12

I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

How is it possible that a mere carpenter from Nazareth will baptise people with the Holy Ghost and fire? Only God can pour Himself out and baptise with the Holy Ghost! The Holy Spirit is God, not an influence of God. Isaiah 44:3 makes this clear. In that verse, Yahweh says, “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:”

In the light of this scripture, how does anyone sincerely believe that Jesus was merely a man? For Him to be the Baptiser in the Holy Ghost, the giver of salvation, means that He is God! Furthermore, in this instance, it should also be noted that Jesus is not making this claim for Himself. Rather, it is John the Baptist who is declaring the divine authority of Christ. Did John get it wrong? Was he in error? No indeed! Consider these words, “Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: and “all things that John spoke of this man (Jesus) were true” John 10:28-31. QED.

According to our scripture, Jesus is also to baptise with fire, this is in sharp contrast to being baptised with the Holy Ghost. While the saved are described as being baptised with the Holy Ghost, the damned will be, by contrast, baptised with the fire of the wrath of God. And who is responsible for both these baptisms? A carpenter? A good man? A moral teacher? No! Only God can take responsibility for this kind of action and for John to say of Jesus, He will baptise with the Holy Ghost and fire is to say that Jesus is God.

Notice also that Christ will thoroughly purge his floor. It is His floor! Notice also that He will gather His wheat, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. These words cannot be misunderstood. They contain a recognition of Christ’s deity, power, ownership and lordship. The floor, the wheat, the garner and the chaff are all His own property. This is no mere man that John is talking about. According to the commentator Barnes,

“By the floor, here, is represented the Jewish people. By the wheat, the righteous, or the people of God. By the chaff, the wicked. They are often represented as being driven away like chaff before the wind, Job 21:18; Psalms 1:4; Isaiah 17:13; Hosea 13:13. They are also represented as chaff which the fire consumes, Isaiah 5:24. This image is often used to express judgments. Isaiah 41:15, “Thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.”

Albert Barnes: Commentary on the New Testament

In our passage, (Matthew 3:11-12), John the Baptist clearly gives us an acknowledgement of Christ’s deity. To watch Jesus at work is to watch God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: The Healing of the Nobleman’s Son

“The nobleman said unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die” (see John 4:46-53).

This nobleman had made an arduous and difficult journey to plead for the healing of his sick boy. Jesus, however, looked into this man’s heart and said, “Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” That’s a sharp rebuke.

I like this nobleman. He didn’t become angry when corrected; he didn’t get offended. He didn’t get into a huff. Instead, he continued to press Jesus, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

He is to be commended but notice the weakness of his faith. He’s got faith, but it has room for growth! Notice how He asks that the Lord should “come down” to Capernaum. He believed that Christ could heal if He was close by, but not if he was far away; Jesus he thought could work a miracle at short range, but not at a distance.

Before we get too critical of this man, we must ask if we are not just like him. Do we not sometimes think, “If Jesus were here in real life, I wouldn’t be in this trouble. Or, “if Jesus were here in person this prayer of mine would be answered.” We too often only believe in the Christ of the short range!

Then in Verse 50, “Jesus said unto him, Go your way; your son lives.”

Notice the graciousness of our Lord. He doesn’t demand that the man’s faith increase before He acts. If Jesus had been a legalist, he would have required more faith. Legalism and religion say, “Put this amount in and you’ll get this amount back—do this and do that, and you’ll get a result—But Jesus doesn’t treat this man that way! Our Lord is God in human flesh (John 1:14) showing us what God is really like! The Lord Jesus does not reject the man’s imperfect faith; the boy is in Capernaum, and Jesus is 25 miles away in Cana, and the nobleman thinks that Jesus can only heal if he is in the same place as his child.

“Come down with me so that my child might not die.” The Lord’s answer is not, “Brother I see your weak and imperfect faith. To move me to action you will have to have increased faith. To get higher faith you will need to take a class on the subject. The seminar I recommend for you is called ‘Advanced Faith and How to Get It’. It has six easy lessons and is on sale, this week, for a special price of $36.”

No, in grace, Jesus says, “Go your way your son lives.”

We read, that Jesus did not go down to Capernaum to see the sick boy, but only spoke the word, “Your son lives.” Almighty divine power went with that little sentence. That very hour the patient began to get better. Christ merely spoke, and the cure was accomplished. Strictly speaking, He didn’t even speak. He merely spoke to tell the man what He’d already accomplished.

Christ silently commanded the healing, and the deadly disease disappeared. Think about it…this is the kind of thing that only God can do.

Look at Jesus; He healed the boy even though He was 25 miles away, just by thinking Him healed. This is the power of God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Our Defender and Judge

January 15, 2020 5 comments

In the New Testament,

Repentance is mentioned 70 times;

Baptism is mentioned at most 20 times;

The New Birth is mentioned 9 times;

The ‘Lord’s Supper’ is mentioned 6 times;

But …

The Second Coming of Christ is mentioned no less than 318 times!

Mark it down, Jesus is coming back! In fact, one verse in every 25 verses throughout the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation, points to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Listen to this, it is appointed once to die. And after death? The Judgment (see Hebrews 9:27).

Now, I´m not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I can tell the future. It´s the Judgment!!! That´s mankind’s destiny. However, there is no need for the Lord’s people to fear this event. The good news is that the blood of Christ has already settled all charges against us (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:26). The blood of Christ, God incarnate, has doused the flames of Hell for God´s elect.

In addition to that, our lawyer, Christ Jesus, is our Last Day Judge. They are one and the same. We are doubly saved and safe (1 John 2:1; John 5:13). Let’s say it again, our lawyer is our Judge!

Yes, you read that correctly. The end time Judge is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the very one who is presently our advocate.

This is why we read in 2 Timothy 4:1, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;”

In Old Testament times, defending the accused was such a sacred duty that the judge refused to delegate the work to an attorney. He served as the defender of the accused. The Jewish Encyclopedia explains: “attorneys at law are unknown in Jewish law.Their legal code required judges to always lean to the side of the defendant and give him the advantage of every possible doubt.”

What a system! God, Himself, defends and judges the accused among His people. May we feed and meditate upon these glorious gospel truths.

Christ, the good news from Heaven, is our Advocate and Judge. We are and will be defended against all the accusations of Satan. Our eternal salvation does not depend on how useful we are, but on how efficient Christ is in saving sinners.

Jesus is our King, our Priest, our Advocate and Judge. What a remarkable arrangement. Talk about a deck stacked in our favour. Our advocate is the Lamb who was slain for the sins of His people. No charges can, therefore, stand against us. Bring on an onslaught of accusations. They are routed by our heavenly legal dream team. The blood of the Lamb saved us 2000 years ago, and now Christ ever lives to apply the benefits of His purchase to His people. We are safe! We are saved.

Remember, we are not secure in our salvation because of our grip on the Saviour, but rather because of His grip on us. He loved us before time began. He came here Himself in the person of Jesus to secure our redemption with His blood. He sought us until He found us. Do you think that He will now let us go back into our sins and be lost again? Away with such nonsense! If a child of God ends in Hell, Jesus, the One who claimed to be the Truth, is made a liar because He has promised His sheep they will never perish (John 10:28).

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Jesus, The Great “I AM”

January 8, 2020 2 comments

John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.”

According to the Old Testament, the ultimate name of God is “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). This same “I AM” appeared in the New Testament calling Himself Jesus. It is no wonder then that many of the Jews, in those days, thought Christ to be demon possessed.

Others thought Him mad: No sane man could come up with the audacious utterances that flooded from the lips of this carpenter! The Jewish leaders knew fine well that when Jesus announced, “Before Abraham was I am” He was claiming to be God. Every Hebrew who knew his stuff was aware that the ‘I AM’ was none other than Yahweh —the One True and living God who had spoken to Moses at the Burning Bush. But now this brash upstart of a Nazarene tradesman dares to walk around claiming to be Him.

The lead up to Jesus’ claim of being the Covenant God of Israel, the ‘I Am,’ is fascinating. The troubled Pharisees were, as usual, debating Jesus when Abraham was mentioned. One of their number as he, no doubt, sat stroking his grizzled beard, asked with a voice of disdain, and I paraphrase,

“Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead: who are you making yourself out to be?” (John 8:53).

Jesus floored them with His answer, claiming that Abraham had not only seen his day but also (unlike the Pharisees) had been glad. This was too much for the religious stalwarts of Jewish society. Was there no end to the carpenter’s impertinence? Indignant, they responded with no small degree of sarcasm saying, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” In other words, you haven’t even reached retirement age buddy, and yet you claim to be old enough to have seen the Father of our Nation.

Then Christ proceeds to drop a bombshell by announcing, “Before Abraham was I am.” In the Greek, the words for ‘I am’ are in the present tense (Ego eimi): Literally, Jesus was saying, ‘Before Abraham was I am continually!’ The Jews knew exactly what He was saying. They knew Christ was claiming, once more, to be the eternal God. Jesus was saying, “I am eternal. I have no beginning and no end. ‘I AM.’ There never was a time when I came into existence for I have always been. I am the eternal God standing here in human flesh.”

Notice how the Jews knew exactly what Jesus was claiming. See how they took up stones and tried to kill him. Stoning was the standard way by which blasphemers were executed. This attempted stoning, therefore, is a vital piece of evidence for it demonstrates that the Jews understood full well that Jesus was claiming to be God.

So how say you? The ancient Jews knew what He was saying and were enraged. They knew that Christ Jesus, by the claim of being the I Am was declaring that He was neither a created being nor a good teacher sent by God, but rather He was announcing Himself to be the eternal Yahweh who exists from all eternity.

How long then will you halt between two opinions? If Christ Jesus is the Mighty God, worship Him, trust him and follow Him. If He is not, rank Him alongside the evil workers of history. If you say He is only the Son of God but not God, you make Him a blasphemer. Why in the world would you want to follow a blasphemer? You should, instead, count Him as one who has, in a sinister fashion, led countless numbers to their doom in a lost eternity. But whatever you do, do not patronise Him by saying He was a good moral teacher, but not God.

We must never forget when Jesus declared Himself to be ‘I Am’ He was declaring Himself as the Eternal self- existent One.

He was saying, “I am the One who has existence in Myself.”

He was saying, “I am the one who made all things, and without Me was not anything made that is made.”

He was saying, “I am the one who sustains all things and upon whom all things depend.”

He was saying, “I am the one who decrees how long all things on earth continue for they continue only as long as I support them.”

He was saying, “No one exists without my permission and power, and when I take away their breath, they die.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Yahweh Walks on Water

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus had just fed 5000 people, and now it was time for Him to get alone and pray. He, therefore, sent the disciples away in the boat but when the disciples were in the middle of the lake, the wind picked up. The waves got higher. This was more than a squall for the boat was being beaten (v 24, lit. tortured, tormented). Fierce as this night at sea was, it is not the wind, not the waves, not the storm that frightened the disciples. It’s Jesus. The disciples are afraid when Jesus shows up.

Jesus’ walking over the sea is filled with a meaning that we miss if we don’t understand the mentality of the people of Jesus’ day. In their minds, the sea was the manifestation of death. The sea was that which swallows. It was perhaps even a demonic power. So, when Jesus walked on water, He was not only showing His control over creation; He was also showing His power over death. Jesus was treading under His foot the ancient serpent (see Gen. 3:15). But the disciples didn’t know that it was Jesus who was walking towards them.

So, put yourself in their shoes. You have left Jesus up on the mountain and have been struggling to row the boat across the sea for hours. You are tired, wet, and frustrated. Now, around 3 AM, a figure comes strolling towards you over the sea, death, and the dreadful serpent.

They cry out in fear (verse 26) believing Jesus to be a ghost, an apparition, perhaps even the Lord of death himself. But Jesus calls them and preaches the gospel to them. Preaches the gospel? Yes! He says, “ It is I” (verse 27). He, Jesus, is the gospel.

In English, we, unfortunately, lose the most important thing Jesus says here. Jesus isn’t just saying, “It’s Me.” He is saying, “I am.” Remember when Moses asked for God’s name (Exodus 3:14-15), God responded, “I am who I am.” God gives Himself the name Yahweh. Later, God will define what Yahweh means, “A God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). Jesus is taking the divine name, Yahweh, and applying it to Himself.

Peter pipes up, and we must dismiss a common belief about Peter in this text. Peter walking on water is not an act of faith. Peter’s request to walk out to Jesus comes from Peter doubting Jesus’ words. “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (verse 28).

It is absurd that Peter makes this demand. Here is Peter doubting Yahweh manifest in the flesh. He questions the Creator of heaven and earth. He is challenging the God who answered Job saying, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world? Do you keep the sun rising and setting? Did you tell the waters, ‘You can come this far’? Have you been to the source of the sea? Have you walked in the recesses of the deep?” (see Job 38:4-18).

But does Jesus scold Peter for his doubt? No! Jesus graciously tells Peter, “Come.” At that word, Peter gets out of the boat, and he too walks on the sea, death and the serpent. Peter isn’t enabled to walk on the sea because of his faith. Peter walked on water because of the word of Jesus, “Come.” That one word carried Peter from the boat, across the water, toward Jesus.

Notice what causes Peter to sink. He doesn’t fear the storm, the waves, or his distance from the boat. He fears what is least threatening to him – the wind (Matthew 14:30).

The same happens to us when we lose our focus on Jesus. If we focus on our circumstances or anything that isn’t Jesus, we sink like a stone.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Praying in the Name of Jesus

November 13, 2019 Leave a comment

John 16: 23-24 And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Why must we pray in the name of Jesus?

First, before we answer this, we need to realise that,

When we pray in Jesus´ name, we are not simply adding a little formula to our prayer to make it work.

It’s not as if God is listening and saying, “Nah, I don’t think so. Nope, nope, nope. Oh hang on, they said, ‘In the name of Jesus’. Oh, okay, since you put it that way.”

No! When we pray in Jesus name, we are declaring dependance on Christ alone for access to God. Ephesians 3:12 says, “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” There is no access to God but through Christ. In John 14:6 Jesus taught,”No one comes to the Father but by Me.” They that attempt otherwise to come to God without Christ will find the door tightly shut. That´s one of the reasons why we pray in the name of Jesus.

Another reason is that,

When we pray, in the name of Jesus, we are declaring that Christ Jesus is our mediator.

We are confessing that there is no access to God without a Mediator. Consider this, “… your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).

Sin had distanced us from God and bolted the door to heaven. However, Christ opened that door wide.

He has paid for our sins. “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

When we pray in Jesus name, we are, therefore, admitting the bankruptcy of our own name. Our name cannot move heaven and earth. The Father is not thrilled with our name…but when we are identified, by faith, with Christ we now come to the Father in the name of our mediator, the Lord Jesus. He is our righteousness. His is the lovely name, the name that declares Christ alone is our mediator.

As we pray in Jesus´ name…We identify with the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus has literally given us His name to use. When we use that name, we are confessing that He is ours and that we are His. It is like going to the bank of heaven, knowing we have nothing deposited. If we go in our name, we will get absolutely nothing. But Jesus Christ has unlimited funds in heaven’s bank and has granted us the privilege of going there with His check book.

Not only so, but,

Praying in the name of Jesus, is declaring to the Father that we are submitted to His will.

Jesus’ authority rested with his submission to the Father, so our authority also rests with our submission to Him. To ask in His name is to ask according to Christ´s nature, and His character is one of submission. This, by the way, is why prayers that ask for things contrary to the Word of God will never be answered.

We cannot ask God to bless adultery in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our sin in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our bitterness in Jesus’ name.

We cannot ask God to bless our plans for robbery in Jesus name.

Praying in the name of Jesus is a bold declaration that we are submitted to His will.

What a beautiful name Jesus has. It’s a simple name, a strong name, a saving name, the supreme name and it’s the asking name.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: Christ is God Over All

Romans 9:5 “Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came who is God over all, blessed for ever. Amen.”

My! My! My! How the opponents of Christ’s deity detest this verse. They re-translate it and claim it doesn’t say what it says. “It’s really a doxology,” they declare, or the word “God,” they protest, should be omitted. Yet here it stands, this bold declaration of Christ’s deity, in a passage where Paul is arguing for the privileges of the Jews … not the least of which was that, when God became a man, He became a member of their race and had, therefore, become kin to them.

Notice how this verse declares the dual nature of Christ. He had come in the flesh (human nature) and yet was entirely and thoroughly the Lord God from heaven. At the same time as being human, He was and is the Mighty God.

Furthermore, He is unmistakably declared to be ‘over all’ which means there is no one above Him. Since He created all and governs all, He is over all angels and created beings. It was the Lord of Glory Himself who came to redeem us. We were in trouble, and God Himself came to the rescue.

The God of the JWs (Jehovah Witnesses) didn’t love us enough to come here to save us. He, according to them, created and sent someone else to do the job. Perhaps their god didn’t want to get his hands dirty? Or maybe it was because he didn’t like the idea of suffering, rejection and humiliation? Or possibly he was occupied with more pressing matters? But whatever the reason, he, according to them, stayed in Heaven and sent a substitute to represent Him. But Jesus is man´s substitute not God´s.

The JW theory can be likened to a man who while walking over a bridge with his son spies someone drowning in the river below. His heart is so smitten with concern that he asks his son to jump over the side to rescue and save the drowning man and the son willingly complies with the request. But this is not the story of the God of the Bible! He laid down the vestiges of royalty, wrapped himself with humanity and came here Himself to rescue and save us from the river of death by bearing our sins on his own body on the cross. As Horatius Bonar said,

‘Turn your eye to the cross and see these two things, – the Crucifiers and the Crucified——-See the Crucified. It is God himself; incarnate love. It is the God who made you, suffering, dying for the ungodly. Can you suspect his grace? Can you cherish evil thoughts of him? Can you ask anything farther to awaken in you the fullest and most unreserved confidence? Will you misinterpret that agony and death by saying that they do not mean grace, or that the grace which they mean is not for you? Call to mind that which is written, – “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” 1John 3:16.

Horatius Bonar: Christ Died for the Ungodly.

In the scheme of thought which denies Christ’s Deity, we are presented with a god who was unwilling or unable to come here himself and rescue us. We must then ask, had that god become too frail to undertake the mission? Did he need someone more energetic and youthful to complete the task? Candidly speaking, this business of God creating some super-angel to do His redeeming work leaves God looking somewhat suspect in His sincerity and commitment to us. Frankly, I’m not impressed with a god who would not come here Himself to rescue me! A god who stayed in heaven while I was utterly ruined on earth cannot melt my heart. A god who delegates my redemption to another cannot command my loyalty. On this matter, I take my stand with Luther who said,

“Wherefore, he that preaches a God to me that died not for me the death on the cross, that God will I not receive.”

Martin Luther: Smalcald Articles.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com