Here is the entire week of devotions:
March 28—John 11:1-46 Raising Lazarus
Spiritual vs. Physical Perspective
This miracle shouts the two perspectives all over the place. Here are just a few:
- Lazarus’s sickness: Sisters and disciples want him healed/Jesus allows him to die to bring glory to His Father
- Walking in the light: the disciples speak of the Jews’ threat of stoning and Jesus responds about walking in the daylight. I don’t think He is speaking literally!
- Jew’s seek to kill Jesus: Thomas is ready to die with him (probably not!)/Jesus knows His time.
- Resurrection: How could Martha know that Jesus spoke of his resurrection? She couldn’t but I love her faith!
- Mary’s words to Jesus: She literally rebukes Jesus; interesting that He does not answer her, but weeps with them!
- Martha’s practical side: Lazarus will stink by now! Jesus knew!!!!
It is truly amazing that the chief priest and Pharisees still are plotting against Him! I hope this doesn’t sound skewed but that should encourage us as believers when the whole world seems to turn their backs on God, missing all that He has done!
APPLICATION: Praise God for His amazing power and love! Jesus wept while on this earth; He wept here and over Jerusalem. Oh, to have HIS heart for this world!
March 30—Luke 18:35-43 The Two Blind Men
Oh my! What a contrast from yesterday! This man (Matt. 20:29 says two blind men; Mark 10:46 names him as Bartemaus) is crying out to Jesus so much so that the disciples rebuke him. Mark 10: 32 sheds some light on the atmosphere as they left headed to Jerusalem. “they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him.”
It’s a somber group. Jesus has His face set, knowing what He would face there. It seems as though He doesn’t hear or notice the blind man, but then He stops and has him brought to Him. Here, He questions him: what does he want Him to do? It seems odd. He’s a blind man. Why does He ask? He already knows. Here, Jesus mentions that is it the man’s faith that healed him.
APPLICATION: I trust the Bible. Some may say the Bible is inaccurate because of the differences in the Gospel’s account, but that does not concern me. Different men from different perspectives, lots of people, lots of confusion—one truth: a man received his sight that day!
March 29—Luke 13:10-17 The Woman Healed of Infirmity
It would be an interesting study to compare the different conversations between Jesus and those He healed: did they approach Him or did He approach them, etc.? Here, this woman does not ask to be healed; in fact, she never says a word until she is healed. Then she glorifies God, looking up for the first time in eighteen years! Jesus has her brought to Him. Does He question her faith? No. Does he know what is in her heart? Absolutely!
Of course, it’s the Sabbath. Once again, Jesus is trying to get the people’s attention, especially the religious leaders. He rebukes them by reminding them of an Old Testament law which says that it was lawful to loose an animal and lead it to water, but they criticized Him for setting this daughter of Abraham free from Satan’s bondage. Praise the Lord that they recognized their fault and were ashamed AND “all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”
APPLICATION: Jesus knows my heart. He sees inside and out! He knows my needs more than I do and I don’t even need to speak them for Him to answer! Wow! What an amazing God and Savior we serve!
April 1—Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 Cursing the Fig Tree
Just a simple fig tree not bearing fruit! Jesus was hungry and hoped to have a bite to eat from this tree, but He only finds leaves! He curses the tree and when the disciples pass by later, the tree is withered—“ dried up from the roots (v. 20).” There are certainly many lessons concerning fruitlessness here, but His main point is faith—faith strong enough to move mountains!
“Have faith in God,” is Jesus’ answer to Peter’s astonishment. Jesus has raised people from the dead, fed thousands with next to nothing, calmed the seas and performed countless healings. What is it to Jesus to curse a tree!
The statement “dried up from the roots” reminds me of the Temple veil which was ripped from the top to the bottom (Matt 27:51)! God is in control. This tree was not struck by lightning, Jesus cursed it and it died!
APPLICATION: Why do I worry? Psalm 50:10 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” With Christ in my vessel I can smile as the storm as we go sailing home!
April 3—Matt. 27:51-53 Graves Opened
Wow! The graves may have been opened because of the earthquake but certainly earthquakes do not cause the dead to live!
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Matthew 27: 50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
The sequence of events following Jesus’ last words:
- The veil is rent—the way was immediately made open for all (This veil was a most elaborately woven fabric of seventy-two twisted plaits of twenty-four threads each and the veil was sixty feet long and thirty wide. The rending of the veil signified the removal of the separation between God and the people. Robertson)
- Earthquake—God shakes the very core of the earth!
- The graves opened/rocks broken—physical barriers removed
- Dead arise—The work was finished!
- Centurion’s declaration—the start of the Gospel word spoken!
God is not bound by religion, physical barriers, or even death to accomplish His purpose!
APPLICATION: Praise Him! Praise Him, all ye little children!
April 2—Luke 22:50-51 Malchus’ Ear
In verse 36, it seems as though Jesus is telling them to buy a sword, and yet by verse 50 Peter is rebuked for using it. Once again the answer comes with the spiritual meaning. Verse 36—be ready to defend the truth. Peter was not defending the truth, he was pushing his own agenda—making Jesus King of the kingdom!
APPLICATION: Thankfully, Jesus is there fixing the problem! Amazing! Oh, if only a miracle could have fixed some of my mistakes and made them disappear! But with each mistake comes a lesson that I need to learn!