4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3 The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ 4 But he answered, ‘It is written,
“One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you”,
and “On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’
7 Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour; 9 and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ 10 Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
“Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.”’
11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
Jesus Begins His Ministry in Galilee
12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
15 ‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death
light has dawned.’
17 From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’
18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Today's Scripture for Wednesday Holy Week is John 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. This is the day the New Covenant was celebrated. Jesus suddenly had a lot to teach. In a time of great trouble.
The first Communion was given. We readily remember Judas took communion and Satan entered into Judas. No one needs to speak up for one who would betray our Hero, God's Son, our Savior Jesus.
Besides, it isn't relevant to Holy Week.
Except - all the people at the table, minus John and Jesus, taking part in the New Covenant of Salvation did Judas words and actions to Jesus - The Son of God.
They sat witnessing the Incredible Life of Jesus. His Vast Miracles and were in Awe and Wonder of GOD. They were witnessing the creation of a new Heaven at hand - in front of them - and they - RAN out on Jesus.
If only Jesus had chosen better educated men - not so backwater - people who were more trained - people without a mortgage - maybe those voted "Most Likely to Succeed" - people without kids or a spouse - people who know the Bible better and don't stumble or look ridiculous - Professional Witnesses to GOD - You Know What I MEAN - NOT ME!!! NO, don't say it like that, say - People who are Effective for God!
How divided were the groups of good guys and guys?
- They know the miracles. Blind, see. Deaf, hear, Lame, walk, Lepers, cleansed, children - raised, Lazarus - raised. Poor have good news preached to them.
- They have known for quite some time - three Passovers - so, Three Years. Jesus has been claimed and claimed about as the Son of God.
- They know Jesus is a son of Joseph - Nazareth glosses over the - event.
- The Sadducees in the still obtainable Sadducean Council Talmud get stuck on Mary's paternity. (Not discussing Joseph's Lineage.)
- Jesus just had a time of Parade and Acclamation.
- Jesus just offended the money guys in the Temple.
- Both sides of the aisle offered up commentary pro and con.
- Then infants and babies offered up commentary. Ever one got quiet for a while.
- They all went home to think. Over-think.
One more unusual event. Hmmm.
They all take a meal of Bread and Wine. The one that lots of the 72 disciples got really fussed about and said, "See You Later." When Jesus first explained The Plan.
The Event ? The First Communion with Celebrant Jesus Christ Son of God the Lord.
The Reaction? Two men stay loyal to God. And Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea and the multitudes of women who showed up to create an avalanche of love and grief for Him. Simon of Cyrene arrived.
The Counter Reaction? Eleven men and the Sadduceen Council's Night Group, Herod and Pilate - the Guard employed by the Roman Emperor - Do this -
- They do what's Comfortable to Them.
- They Play it Safe.
- They Play with Words.
- One Dimensional Accusations are Thrown.
- Apparent Goodness is the Law.
- True Goodness is Discarded.
- Miracles are Not Valued.
- Value jobs, positions and family above Justice.
- Their Primary Concern are institutions.
- The bottom line is Self.
- Their Hope is placed upon their own reliability.
- They are Faithless.
- No Love is shown.
- Many hope another person will Act.
- They are not interested in The King, but the Prince of Safety. The Prince of Status Quo. The Prince of Delegation. The Prince of Call Someone Else. The Prince of What is Reliable.
How could God's Only Son, Jesus - have had the First Communion go so wrong?
God was letting Himself see what the human equation is like for those who travel by their own power.
How sad, desperate, terrible life can be.
Surely this Table would be Blood Red for All Eternity
- the remnants of this First Communion -
"Come now, let's settle this," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool."
God has a Plan. He calls that Plan - The Book of Life.
And HE Sanctifies that Plan with a Name. - Jesus - The Lord of Lords. King of Kings. Creator of all things.
And HE Seals His Plan - with the Holy Spirit of God.
When? When does God send the Holy Spirit???
When? Jesus - The Highest Name of above all names - Speaks His Word.
the Son of Man be lifted up,
that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’
There is only One who is Good.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.