3 Things Jesus Did After The Resurrection

Acts 1:3 tells us that after the resurrection there was a period of forty days in which Jesus appeared to His disciples. We see three things that Jesus did during that time.

1) Jesus restored His disciples’ faith & gave them hope

Jesus’ crucifixion devastated His followers. In Matthew 19:27 Peter said to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you.” And in John 6:68 he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” In John 20:9 we also learn that they “did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.”

From the perspective of His followers, while Jesus was being crucified, everything they had hoped in and believed in was dying before their eyes.

So after His resurrection Jesus set out restore their hope.

We see Him appear to a sobbing Mary Magdalene in John 20:15-18. With one simple word, “Mary”, Jesus restored her faith and gave her hope.

Then in John 20:19-30 Jesus appeared to the apostles and “showed them his hands and side”, which had been pierced for their sin. Then we’re told the apostles were “overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” They had misunderstood. What the world had meant for evil, God meant for good.

2) Jesus taught His disciples how the scriptures pointed towards Him

As we saw earlier Jesus’ followers did not understand what the Scripture said about Him. That’s why once their faith was restored Jesus moved to ground their faith through Scripture.

We see this in Acts 1:2-3 where we find Jesus giving the apostles commandments and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Again in Luke 24:27 we see Jesus, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, explaining to His disciples what was said in the Scriptures concerning himself.

And again in Luke 24:32 where the disciples’ “hearts burned” as Jesus “opened the Scripture” to them. They once were blind to the truth of the Bible but Jesus gave them spiritual sight.

3) Jesus sent His followers out to share the good news

With their faith restored and strengthened, Jesus’ final instructions to the Apostles in Matthew 28:19 was to “go and make disciples of all nations” by sharing with the world the great things that Jesus has done.

2 Very Different Prayers

Today we’re going to study the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector and learn why God accepted one and not the other. The parable is found in Luke 18:9-14:

Some Background

“Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.” (Luke 18:9)

Jesus told this parable to people who were trusting in their good works to make themselves right with God. These were people who did good things, and thought that because they received praise from men, they would also receive praise from God. But Proverbs 14:12 tells us that “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

The mistake they made was looking at things from man’s perspective instead of God’s perspective. Jesus had met people like this before in Luke 16:15 – “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.” (Luke 18:10)

Jesus begins by holding up the best and worse society has to offer – Pharisees and tax collectors.

The Pharisees:

– Were a sect of Judaism. Their name means “separate”. They sought to live separately from the godless by strictly following the law.

– Believed in many of the same things Christians believe — the resurrection of the dead, future rewards and punishments, angels and demons, the providence of God and the books that make up the Old Testament.

– Put great emphasis on good works such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick and caring for orphans.

– Were loved and respected by the people. Mothers would pray their sons would grow up to be Pharisees.

Tax Collectors:

– Worked for Rome. The Roman government didn’t collect their own taxes. They divided the empire up into districts then sold the rights to collect taxes in each district.

– Were often Jews and were considered traitors because they served Rome.

– Made their money by overcharging people. For example if Rome said a person owed $100, a tax collector might charge $200, and pocket half.

– Were described as having a life of “unrestrained plunder, unblushing greed and shameless business”.

Now we would expect the Pharisee to be right with God and the Tax Collector to be condemned. But that’s not how the parable goes.

The Prayers

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’” (Luke 18:11-12)

Notice two things about the Pharisee’s prayer:

1) The Pharisee makes no mention of his sin. People tend to have the ability to see sin in others but not in themselves.

2) The Pharisee holds up his religious deeds as the reason he feels he’s right with God

Now let’s look at the tax collector’s prayer.

“And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13)

1 John 1:9 tells us that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And that’s what the tax collector did. He knew his sin was great, and that he had no way of paying for his sin, so he simply begged God for mercy.

Who Are We Comparing Ourselves To?

“’I tell you, this man – the tax collector – went down to his house justified rather than the other; For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)

1 John 1:8 reminds us that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” That’s the Pharisee. He deceived himself into thinking he was without sin. Instead of comparing himself to God’s perfection, he compared himself to man’s imperfection.

Here’s another way to look at it: Let’s say I offer you a glass of water. You look at the glass and notice that it looks dirty. You say, “You know, this glass looks dirty.”

I respond, “Oh, the glass is contaminated with deadly bacteria, but don’t worry, it’s filled with spring water.” Would you drink it? Of course not, because it doesn’t matter how clean the water is, the glass has contaminated everything within it.

Think of the glass as our hearts and our deeds as the water that fills the glass. Some people lead very bad lives — like our tax collector — they fill their glass with ditch water.

Others – like our Pharisee — lead wonderful lives. They fill their glass with spring water. They boast because their glass is filled with spring water while the tax collector’s is filled with ditch water.

But it doesn’t matter whether your glass is filled with ditch water or spring water, the glass is dirty. The good deeds you offer God to earn your salvation are contaminated through sin and He cannot accept them.

But God will give a new glass to any one who asks.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezek 36:26)

Christ’s heart is pure, and His work is pure, and His sacrifice on the cross is pure. Romans 5:9 tells us that those who call on Christ to save them are now “justified by His blood” and “saved from wrath through Him.”

Our good deeds, then, are not done to earn our salvation but done out of appreciation of our salvation.

God doesn’t take good people and make them better, nor does He leave bad people without hope. God, through Jesus Christ, takes sinners and makes them a new creation, forgiven, able to stand blameless, able to be called children of God.

3 Things The Good Shepherd Does

Jesus told this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. – Luke 15:3-7

Jesus, as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), does three things for His sheep:

1) The Good Shepherd Searches

– Notice that the shepherd is anxious to recover the lost sheep — He leaves the ninety-nine immediately to go after the one who is lost.

– Notice the shepherd doesn’t give up until the sheep is found — He goes after the sheep “until he finds it”.

– Notice the shepherd isn’t angry at the sheep — He is joyful when he finds his sheep.

In the same way, Jesus came to “save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) He “came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

2) The Good Shepherd Finds

– Notice the shepherd carries the all the weight — The sheep is carried “on his shoulders”.

– Notice the shepherd holds the sheep safe — The sheep are safe, held firmly in his grip.

In the same way, Jesus carries the weight of sin for us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) He also holds our salvation safe and sure, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28)

3) The Good Shepherd Brings Home

– Notice the shepherd shares his joy of finding the sheep with friends — “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep!”

– Notice the shepherd brings the sheep all the way home — “…and goes home.”

In the same way, when a person comes to Christ “there is rejoicing in heaven” And Jesus leads us to heaven, “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)

You Are God’s Precious Jewel

“‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels.'” Malachi 3:17

Jewels are precious things; the Hebrew word for jewels means a treasure. A treasure is made up of costly things: gold, and diamonds and rubies. To God, Christians are His jewels, His own special treasure!

They are jewels for their sparkling quality.

Their holiness shines and sparkles in God’s eyes! They “shine like stars in the universe.” (Phil 2:15)

The godly are jewels for their scarcity.

Diamonds are not common. In the same way, the godly are scarce and rare. There are only a few to be found. There are many false professors (just as there are many fake diamonds) but few true Christians.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matt 7:13-14)

The godly are jewels for their price.

God values the saints so highly that He parted with His best jewel to obtain them — Christ’s precious blood was shed to ransom these jewels! “With your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Rev 5:9)

Christians are jewels for their beauty.

Christians are jewels which adorn the world. Hypocrites dishonor true religion and give it a bad name but living a godly life honors the gospel. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16)

God the Father has chosen these jewels, and has set them apart for Himself.

Christ has bought these jewels with His blood.

The Holy Spirit has sanctified them.

They were sin but He made them into His jewels! Thank God who has brought such a change in you! From lumps of dirt and sin — He has made you into His jewels!

– Thomas Watson

8 Things Noah’s Ark Teaches Us About Jesus

Finding Jesus in unexpected places…

The Bible is about Jesus Christ. If we study carefully we can find Him on every page – not just in the New Testament, but also in the Old Testament. “Here I am,” our Lord said, “it is written about me in the scroll” (Hebrews 10:7).

One place we find Jesus in the Old Testament is in “type”. A type is an example or illustration that points to a person or an event. Finding Jesus hidden in type is a most exciting and rewarding study. As it says in Proverbs 25:2: “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

So let’s study Noah’s Ark as a type of Christ and see what we discover.

1) The Ark was provided by God, through grace

“God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark…’” Genesis 6:13-14

Before the flood came God provided Noah a way in which he could escape. Why? Because “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)

God doesn’t change. He’s still righteous so He must judge sin yet He’s still merciful and “takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Ezekiel 33:11) Through His grace He has provided a way to escape before judgment comes. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8) So our salvation was not a spur of the moment decision. Before you were created God knew what it would cost Him to have you spend eternity with Him and He thought you were worth the price.

2) The Ark’s design was revealed in advance

“And this is how you shall make it…” Genesis 6:14-15

God gave Noah very specific instructions as to how the ark was to be built. In the same way, in the Old Testament God gives very specific details about Jesus’ life and mission. We refer to these details as Messianic Prophecies.

For example, the Old Testament tells us that Jesus would be the Son of God (Psalm 2:7), that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), He would be an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10), and that He would be raised from the grave (Psalm 16:10).

3) The Ark had a window above

“You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above…” – Genesis 6:16

Noah and his family were not to look down or around for their salvation, they were to look up towards heaven. In the same way the believer is to keep his eyes focus on Jesus and not on the world around him or hell below him. Jesus is always taking our eyes off the temporary and refocusing them on the eternal. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

4) The Ark had rooms

“make rooms in the ark…” – Genesis 6:16

Just as the ark had rooms, Jesus told us that in His Father’s house “are many mansions” or literally, that the Father’s house has many “dwelling places”. (John 14:2)

When we come to Christ we receive more than just forgiveness for our sins, we become a part of God’s family. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)

5) The Ark had only one door

“…and set the door of the ark in its side.” – Genesis 6:16

There were two groups of people during the time of the flood – those who survived and those who didn’t. The ark was the only way means of salvation. Those who survived walk into the ark through the one door.

In the same way there are two types of people in God’s eyes – those who will be judged and those who are forgiven. Jesus is the only means of salvation and the only door into heaven. “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.” (John 10:9) And again, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

6) The Ark was a refuge from the storm

“…I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark–you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Genesis 6:17-19

The ark was a place of refuge from the storm. Jesus is our refuge from God’s wrath. “Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:9-10)

7) MAN WAS INVITED IN

“Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark…” – Genesis 7:1

Noah was invited into the ark to rest from the storm. Jesus gives us an invitation to rest from life’s storms. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

8) They were secure in the Ark

“So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.” Genesis 7:16

The Lord shut Noah in the ark and He kept him secure. In the same way we are not saved by works, but by grace. We have trusted in Christ for our salvation and as a result we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14) And again in John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”

Christ – The Desire of All Nations

“They shall come to the Desire of All Nations…” – Haggai 2:7

1) Christ is called the Desire of all Nations because all things that are desirable are in Him

Beauty is in Christ, bounty is in Christ, riches and honor are in Christ. Jesus Christ is the treasure hidden in the gospel, the pearl of great price; he is the sun in the firmament of the Scriptures, whom to know is everlasting life; he is a spring full of the water of life, a hive of sweetness, a storehouse of riches, a river of pleasures, where you may bathe your souls for all eternity!

What are all the crowns and kingdoms of the world, all the thrones and scepters of kings, compared to Christ! Christ is the fullness of the Godhead; the riches of the Deity are in him! “In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” (Col. 1:19)

Fullness of grace, fullness of knowledge, fullness of love, fullness of glory. He is lovely to the Father, lovely to the angels, lovely to the saints, and lovely to the soul.

2) Christ is called the Desire of all Nations, because his desire is after all nations

Christ has thousands of angels before him, and ten thousand daily minister unto him yet He shows infinite love to those in whom there is no loveliness.

Our Lord Jesus has a great desire for the poor nations or else he would never have left his crown, his royal court, his Father’s bosom, his glorious robes, to come into this world, to be spit upon by men, and to be murdered by men.

“Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.” (John 6:64). Christ knew before he came from heaven what cruel treatment he would have on earth. But Christ had a desire to uncrown himself so He could crown us, to put off his robes so He could put on our rags, to come out of heaven so He could keep us out of hell.

Oh! how Christ desires that souls come to him. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 10:28) And again in Luke 14:23 “‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.”

3) Christ is called the Desire of all Nations, because He alone, makes us desirable

“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God!” (1 Peter 2:9)

Why are the saints desired above all others? Is it for their heritage, breeding, learning, riches, greatness, or honor? No, no! It’s none of these, it’s because Christ is formed in them, and married to them; they have the new name, the new nature, the new heart, the new spirit!

“Has made us kings and priests to His God and Father.” (Revelation 1:6) Christ has made every believer a king! It’s Christ’s beauty that makes us beautiful; it is his riches that makes us rich; it is his righteousness that makes us righteous! He alone makes us truly honorable, and desirable. Christ is the Desire of all Nations because He make us desirable.

– William Dyer

Three Different Groans

In Romans 8 we find three different groans.

1) Creation Groans

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” – Romans 8:22

The sufferings of animals in hard service to give food, or to provide clothing, must fill the ear of Heaven with groans. The sighs of thousands of acres, condemned to bear crops, must be heard across the broad expanse of space. There is a discord, an oppression, which constantly cries out. It’s been said that nature is like a captive crying aloud for release.

2) The Saints Groan

“We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” – Romans 8:23

We wait for our adoption, for the manifestation of our sonship, for the redemption of our bodies from the curse of the fall. And as we wait, we groan under the pressure of the present, the weight of mortality, and with eager desire to see the coming of the Lord.

The Spirit Groans

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” – Romans 8:26

The pressure of sin and sorrow in our world is heavy, but these groans foretell life, not death. They are full of hope, not despair. They are the pains of birth, not the agony of death. Out of the agony of the present the new heavens and earth are being born.

– F.B Myers