Archive for May, 2013


 

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Unless the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus’s personality to us,  it is not possible to really know Him, and see for ourselves what kind of awesome Person our King actually is.  When read aided by the Holy Spirit, the scriptures do give us some clues, even some clues regarding Jesus’s sense of humor.

One example can be found in Mark 3: 17 when Jesus was appointing His disciples.  He called James and John, “The Sons of Thunder” because they had very explosive personalities.   One can detect our King smiling while giving these men that title with His love for them.

Another example would be when Jesus was walking ahead of His disciples along the path (Mark 9:33-37)  and His disciples quietly began discussing which one of them would be the greatest in the Kingdom of God– speaking quietly enough so that He would not hear them.   Nevertheless, He DID hear them, as the Son of God hears everything!   He didnt let on He heard them though, and I am sure He thoroughly enjoyed asking them out loud, “What were you discussing on the way?”

They , silent and embarrassed, did not respond to Him-   and knowing full well what they were discussing, He took a child in His arms and told them how anyone who receives one such child, receives Him.  “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” He said.

Only as we get to know Jesus intimitely- do we discover more of Jesus’s great sense of humor in the scriptures as well as incidents in our daily walk with Him!   I had one such incident in a dream recently.    When I would be outside eating lunch during the Summer, I would see alot of those cute yellow or white cabbage moths fluttering around the grass.   I learned from a very dear pastor how my pastor’s grandfather would see these butterflies fluttering outside of his shed window where he would go to pray and spend time with the Lord.   In Italian, he would make a poem about these butterflies, that read something like, “butterfly, oh butterfly, fly up to Heaven and tell my Lord I love Him!”   So I will say the same prayer when I see a butterfly–  and go one step further and tell the butterfly to kiss my Lord’s face- and rest on His nose!

Well , some months later, I had a dream of myself joyfully laughing and falling onto the ground in a meadow of buttercups.  A little girl (who looked alot like me at 4 years old in a little dress) was playing with the buttercups and I was laying on the ground looking up into the sky laughing.  Suddenly this little cornflower blue butterfly flew right up to my face and onto my nose-  resting there while opening and shutting it’s wings.   In the dream, the little girl giggles at the butterfly on my nose and tries to see if she could make the butterfly’s blue color rub off on my nose.  The butterfly fluttered away and I woke up totally at peace.

This dream was from our Lord as a response to my prayer to Him 🙂  He really DOES have a great sense of humor folks!

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One of the first synagogues that Jesus spoke at after His baptism in Jordan and His wilderness experience in the desert was the synagogue at Nazareth- His hometown.   This , no doubt, was out of an affection for that despised village He grew up in that He wanted them to be amongst the first to be blessed by the Father.    When He read the torah to them and spoke as the Holy Spirit led Him, they  felt the unction of the Holy Spirit behind His words and had His full attention.  Then, as is often the case even with we Christians,  they began to reason and rationalize what He was saying, and asked, “Is not this Joseph’s son?– and He is saying He is the Messiah?!?”    Scepticism turned to wrath after Jesus called them on their disbelief toward Him.  Like Joseph’s brothers   who threw Joseph in a pit, seeking to kill him for His many visions and dreams,  they sought to push Jesus over the precipice ledge outside of that synagogue.    Passing through the midst of them, He went away.

Jesus could have left them push Him over, and the angels would have caught Him in mid-air.  By letting the people push Him off of the precipice,. Jesus  would be giving into satan’s previous temptation in the wilderness not to rely on the Holy Spirit, but rely on His own means in convincing others.   What a spectacle that would have been to convince the villagers that He was, indeed, the Messiah–  however, Jesus never resorts to dramatic schemes to appeal to mankind.   He knows that drama appeals to a person’s soul, but not to their spirits.    Isaiah learned this centuries ago when he called fire to come down from Heaven to consume the alter sacrifice.   Yes, the doubters were confounded and believed– for a time–but then they reverted back to their old mindset again.   God had to show Isaiah that He reaches man not through the loud, but through His still small voice.    The villagers in the synagogue initially listened to the Holy Spirit’s still small voice at first, but then they let the noise of their own human reasonings and rationalizations interfere.

When Jesus “passed through the midst” of the crowd , He didnt suddenly become invisible.  Without a word, He looked directly in the faces of His attackers, and the Holy Spirit looking RIGHT at them with Love and Truth through His pure eyes caused them to step back and let Him walk through and away from all of them.    He never pushes His will on anyone that does not receive Him;  He   simply walks away– yet walking away, He leaves an opportunity to open one’s heart to Him.  

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There was a reason that the temple soldiers put a blindfold over Jesus’s eyes when they scourged and beat Him for Pilate.   They didnt want to look in His pure eyes which would only convict them of thier brutality.   To look in Jesus’s eyes is to look directly at the Holy Spirit.   We are reminded of the Isrealites wishes that Moses cover his face after walking down the mountain from visiting God-  Seeing God’s glow in Moses eyes and his expression made the Isrealites uncomfortable.   To see God is to die- and this especially means, to die to the self life.   We do not want to die to our self-life and egos, therefore, it is more comfortable not to look at God.

Another point the Lord shows me regarding His experience at the precipice is that when we are backed into a corner and there is no way out– the Holy Spirit MAKES a way out for us without us needing to resort to our own plans and schemes.  In the devotional book, “God Calling II:  God at Eventide”,   a compilation of Jesus’s actual messages to two anonymous British women in the 1930’s – 40’s,   We read Jesus’s own words:

Antagonism- “…And He Passing through the Midst of Them…”:

“Face evil undaunted, and it will fall back, and let you pass on and do your work for Me.  The maddened crowd had sought to cast Me headlong, but they made way for Me,an dthrough their midst I passed unhindered.  Do not be surprised to find antagonism where you meet evil because you are a Home of My Spirit and it is My Spirit that arouses antagonism.  Go on your way so quietly and trust in Me. 

In My strength My follower need not flinch, but boldly facing evil, will overcome evil with good.  you follow the dauntless Christ.”

 

 

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The Holy Spirit revealed to the prophet Isaiah that there would come a “Root out of dry ground”, which would be the coming Messiah- Jesus of Nazareth, our King in Exile.  How true that was!    Jesus Christ willingly left a Realm that contained unselfish Love, Beauty, Freedom, Joy on many different levels to incarnate as a fragile baby on a fallen arid planet containing  selfish love, man-made ugliness, grief and slavery on many levels. There is a line in the old hymn, “Ivory Palaces”, that reads: “Out of the Ivory Palaces, into a World of woe-only His great eternal love made my Savior go.”  He incarnated willingly out of love for the Heavenly Father, and out of love for mankind- to bring us back to our Father.  He knew the price He would have to pay.  This price was not only His physical sacrificial death at Golgotha, but constant spiritual attack by Satan and his demons directly and indirectly through fallen humans, a life of constant stress and poverty and maltreatment starting as a baby throughout His entire earthly life.  He never considered Himself, however, and with His eyes always fixed on our Father in Heaven, He suffered with Joy and perfect calmness.

After Jesus’s baptism in the Jordan river, He was compelled– driven by the Holy Spirit to go into the desert for 40 days without eating anything.   It was a very long 40 days with temperature extremes, loneliness, great fatigue, hunger, thirst,  satanic and demonic spiritual harrassment and temptations.   This desert experience for Jesus was prophetic for Him of what He would experience throughout His Ministry.   After His preperation in that desert, He would again experience all of which He suffered there physically as well as on a spiritual level the remainder of His life on this Earth.    He was willing to pay that price; to drink that Cup prepared for Him by our Father.

Satan tempted Jesus while in that desert, and while Jesus is the Son of God, He refused to rely on His Divinity to block satan.  Instead, He relied on the Holy Spirit to counter all of satan’s attacks.  Suceeding through the Holy Spirit,  satan was left confounded, and the scriptures say he left Jesus “For a season”.    After Jesus’s desert experience, satan would return again and again throughout His ministry– even trying to bait Jesus through His disciples.    An example of that is when after Jesus informed His disciples He would suffered a mock trial and be crucified, Peter blurted out, “God forbid Lord, this will NEVER happen to You!”     Peter meant well, but satan instigated that remark through him.   Jesus forever had to be on guard of satan baiting and tempting Him through even those who loved Him.   As a Lion , Jesus strongly and emphatically rebuked Satan:   ” get behind me, satan!!  He said– not at Peter but at the invisible instigator of Peter’s comment.    Then looking at Peter, He corrected Him , “You think not as God thinks, but as man does” .    As the good Shepherd, Jesus also was on constant guard of the enemy’s tactics toward His disciples and the people through the pharisees.    Many times the pharisees would try to plant doubt in the disciples minds, by cornering them away from Jesus and asking them loaded questions as to why their Master breaks the Sabbath, etc..   and Jesus would overhear and quickly come to the disciples aid.

When Jesus spoke to the people,   satan tried to discredit His Mission by instigating one of His enemies to set Him up for embarressment — only to be silenced as Jesus would reply to their challenge with a response of total Wisdom.   Morning by Morning, Jesus connected with the Father through the Holy Spirit not only for spiritual sustenance while working for the Father amidst Earth’s ruins , but especially for the spiritual strength of those the Father had given Him.  In the gospels, we read of Jesus telling Peter that satan had desired to “sift him as wheat” but that He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail him.

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Yes, Jesus is definitely a young Root that sprung forth out of dry ground.    The dry ground was not just the arid desert-like conditions of the Middle East, but also the spiritually arid conditions of this fallen World in which He suffered fatigue, loniliness, constant threats, etc.    Nevertheless for the Joy that was set before Him, He endured His sufferings throughout His life up to the last minute of His crucifixion where He surrendered His spirit back to the Father.     After His death, the Holy Spirit ressurrected Him and He is again physically alive today.  He continues to suffer with the joy set before Him on behalf of all who serve Him in every age up to the end of His exile– when He will return to this Earth and set up His Father’s Kingdom.

The Lord and King

 

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