46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
The Disciples - after their three year ministry with Jesus - had seen this Ministry house collapse. And they sat huddled. Beaten with knowledge - mostly they had run away from Jesus.
The women were left to care for the Body of Jesus.
This was finished.
And small stirrings of hope began.
Surely this was not true.
Jesus had left signs. The widow had received her only son back - alive in front of large crowds. Lazarus was alive. People were saying, the humbled and crushed disciples, were saying Jesus Was ALIVE!
Their opponents were the Temple and the officials. These people who did not even care to see a risen Jesus were to leave at the natural life span of Jesus. 70 A.D. And Josephus the General of Judea was taken to Rome to become a historian. Josephus was someone who had seen the Truth.
When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Modern scholarship largely acknowledges the authenticity of Josephus' Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities - "The brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" - considers this is the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity.
In the 3rd century, Origen of Alexandria was the first ancient writer to have a comprehensive reference to Josephus. And Origen refers to Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews by name, saying Josephus had stated the death of Jesus' brother James had brought a wrath upon those who had killed him.
James D. Tabor is Professor of Christian Origins and Ancient Judaism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he has taught since 1989. Recounts this passage is correct from Josephus.
Antiquities 18: Chapter 3
And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
When you read the gruesome atrocities of that day and why Pilate was recalled directly by the Roman Emperor in 36 A.D. for his overwhelming and repeat acts of violence. The numbers of men crucified and gutted in front, deliberately, of their loved ones. The violence and gore was extreme. You realized the depths of the extreme violence of this world. This following Jesus was frightening. And placed people in harm' s way. This was something only Love and the Truth would cause people to leave their comfort field.
It seemed very unlikely that the ministry of Jesus would continue.
God saw events differently as Jesus spoke of His 2 millenniums Church with His Disciples.
God sees further.
This IS the GOOD NEWS.
God sees us completely and transparently.
The Lord God Almighty sees us - as we really are.
And our Father God - wants to use His Reaction of Love - to save us and bring us into His Kingdom.
God is here
and Jesus in His Great Love - He Dwells with us!
Because of Jesus and His Love. God will dwell within us when we ask Jesus to Live in us:
Even as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and blameless before him.
In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will,
to the praise of His glorious grace!
Thank You, Jesus Christ Our LORD!
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †