21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”
28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.
When God decided to bring His Only Son here - God planned carefully.
And what God used other than climbing onto our Death Bed and taking Death from us - with Mercy and Love - Father God used - WORDS.
He knew we need to communicate to clearly understand all things.
Jesus could talk about Father God. You probably talk sometimes. Are you willing to talk about Father God? We should never share our faith. Ever. Until we want to say, "I love Jesus. I have found comfort in hard times. I have found joy in difficulty. I have seen affliction melt away. I know what I know what I know - Heaven and Jesus are for real and for my hope and my future. Why don't you come with me? Forever."
Sharing Love. God would tell us WHY He would choose to Run to us. What HE sees in us. The pleasure of Creating us. Billy Graham says, "I've seen the last chapter, This is going to turn out WELL."
Amen and Amen and Amen.
We cannot aspire to be Father GOD, we can REJOICE - Father God comes to us. He is trust worthy. His 12 Open Gates of Heaven - echo His Prayer Policy.
Prayer is always answered.
Oh, you thought?
Jesus called this - Our Father.
So... what's holding you up here?
You know you need your life to have more put-together-factor going on with higher general conduct? Peter ditched Jesus. Paul consented to Christian murder without trial. Moses killed a man. Jacob cheated his father and brother. Eli, Samuel and Hezekiah were poor fathers. God has one set of goals - Save the World in His Grace - Jesus Christ. We are ALL Sinners. God says so.
We have to make this repartee a bit more jazzy than normal.
You don't want to be a missionary? Usually God uses our talents and we LIKE to use our Talents.
We have other plans. Right. So where and WHOM gave you the desire for those plans? Peter's mother found having Jesus going her way - was beneficial.
Oh, I'm not religious. Stunning. God had the Temple built and HE used HIS Greatest Works - Outside the Temple. You might have something in common with Father God!
Would you like to hear a little bit about Father God? Ok, if it doesn't take much time. That right there - that door is OPEN. The best invitation I ever heard was used in "Walk Across the Room." True love said, "I'm going to Heaven forever. I can't bear the thought of you not being there with me." (I see this " " that is wonderful in you.) This worked for my father-in-law - his grandmother told him he had to trust Jesus to be able to do this for him.
I don't believe the Bible is the Authority of the Holy Spirit.
Thomas Jefferson - looked for the Truth that warmed his heart, like the Disciples felt their heart strangely warmed as Jesus came to them.
The Bible. What about the History of the World. How for 400 years the World's Largest Empire trembled in fear for the Victory of Jesus as King of Kings over death. Emperors in 16 years were in fear. They sent legions across the Mediterranean to slay more boys and grown men in Nazareth for having the gall, sheer gall, to die for the belief - "Uncle" Jesus IS GOD. The Roman Emperor sent his nephew. Constantine. Constantine slaughtered all the descendants of Mary and Joseph he could find after torturing them for a week. Constantine had to - he'd have died not to. Those men and boys died so bravely - Constantine began a journey with Jesus and Christianity we have the sheer gall to debate 1,700 years later. Yep, Herod was not the only king to attack.
Oh the Bible is too old to matter and written about 400 A.D.
No. 300 Chapters of the Bible are available today - - - From the first or second century and INTACT. Papyrus 46. That Bible in your hand can at ENORMOUS COST.
When Jesus died, Claudius was Emperor of Rome. It was Claudius who imprisoned Paul, the first time. In the remote, far away country of Judea, the name of Jesus Christ and His promises and His word, created unease for Claudius. Imagine this could occur in the time there were no mass methods of communication. It is historical fact.
Claudius – Imprisoned Christians. Reigned 25 -54 AD. Emperor during the death and resurrection of Jesus. Imprisoned Paul, for his first imprisonment, house arrest.
Nero – Tortured, burned and vilified Christians. Blamed them for burning Rome . 54- 68 AD
Galba – Put St. Paul and others to death. 69 AD
Otho & Vittelius– only 4 months as Emperor
Vespasian – Sent Titus to destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD, it was the natural end time of Jesus’ life. It is said it is the prophecies Jesus spoke of, His forgiveness was given to the people of His generation. In that destruction, the Temple of the Jews has not been built in 2,000 years. (In 300 A.D, a third temple had the materials gathered, but earthquake, war and fire put an end to that.) Jewish Sacrifice has not been practiced for 2,000 years, it is forsaken. The Jews don’t even know why. God said Jesus was the sacrifice for you.
Titus – See Arch of Titus, still standing, in Rome today. The Temple Tools minus the Ark of the Covenant, is carved in the marble. The profit from the sack of Jerusalem is used for the Coliseum. The Coliseum was used to burn Christians until Constantine naively adopted Christianity thinking Christians would be model citizens. Still a triumph for the 1,100 Bishops, Priests, Christians proclaiming Jesus Christ for 300 years even if they would be burned alive for it.
Domitian – Hauled St. John from Ephesus and exiled him to Patmos. Continued to be fearful of Christians. Conducted one of the fiercest battles against Christians. Under Domitan, the Church split in half. Domitan Heresy - the Church is only for saints. Domitan tortured until Christians surrendered every fragment of the Gospels and New Testament he could find. 81-96. Because of Domitan – we have the word traitor . Part of the Church wanted to forever exile anyone who lied to get out of torture or gave up Scripture. Forgiveness is the business of the Church and Jesus Christ.
Because of Domitan, we only have 15 fragments of the Gospel before 96 AD. But these portions exist and date to 30 AD.
ARE YOU GOING TO TELL ME THESE MEN WERE AFRAID of the scaries? No, the name of Jesus Christ opening His arms to slaves, lepers, women, the poor, the wife of the steward of Herod’s household, Nicodemus of the Sanhedrin Council and Josephus. Jesus converted thousands, leaving Jewish rabbi letters saying it would be the end of Judaism because of the incredible miracles of healing, restoration, life transformation and complete hope. These are letters confirming the Gospels where the Rabbi is extremely unhappy. Josephus, the Israeli General turned traitor, turned Historian says Jesus was the Christ and his brother James formed the later Christian Church until martyred in 62 AD.
Trajan (c. 53 - 117) Philosopher Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan on the subject of the Christians and the response of Trajan to Pliny the Younger. On Early Christian Writings. How to torture Christians to discredit the claims of Jesus Christ.
Hadrian (c. 76 - 138) Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- Persecution Under Trajen...... The forenamed authors, Antoninus and Equilius
Antoninus Pius (c. 86 - 161) Instead of stirring up persecution against the Christians, he extended to them the strong hand of his protection throughout the empire. Rather than give occasion to that oppression which he regarded as inseparable from an emperor's progress through his dominions, he was content to spend all the years of his reign in Rome, or its neighborhood. Under his patronage the science of jurisprudence was cultivated by men of high ability, and a number of humane and equitable enactments were passed in his name. 161 – 180
166 Christian persecution returned - The period was one of ever-increasing calamities. The earthquakes which had alarmed Asia under Antoninus were but the prelude to more serious convulsions. The Tiber rose to an unprecedented height and swept away the public granaries. This was followed by a famine, and that by a pestilence, which spread from Egypt and Ethiopia westward. Everywhere on the frontiers there were murmurs of insurrection or invasion. The year 166 was long known as the "annus calamitosus," and it was in that year that the persecution broke out and that Justin suffered. These calamities roused the superstition of the great mass of the people, and a wild fanaticism succeeded to an epicurean atheism. The gods were wrath, and what had roused their anger but the presence of those who denied them?
Marcus Aurelius (c. 121 - 180) The Thundering Legion incident (174)
During the war with the Quadi in 174 there took place the famous incident of the Thundering Legion (Legio Fulminatrix, Fulminea, Fulminata) which has been a cause of frequent controversy between Christian and non-Christian writers. The Roman army was surrounded by enemies with no chance of escape, when a storm burst. The rain poured down in refreshing showers on the Romans, while the enemy were scattered with lightning and hail. The parched and famishing Romans received the saving drops first on their faces and parched throats, and afterwards in their helmets and shields, to refresh their horses. Marcus obtained a glorious victory as a result of this extraordinary event, and his enemies were hopelessly overthrown.
That such an event did really happen is attested both by pagan and Christian writers. The former attribute the occurrence either to magic (Dion Cassius, LXXI, 8-10) or to the prayers of the emperor (Capitolinus, "Vita Marci", XXIV; Themistius, "Orat. XV ad Theod"; Claudian, "De Sext. Cons. Hon.", V, 340 sqq.; "Sibyl. Orac.", ed. Alezandre, XII, 196 sqq. Cf. Bellori, "La Colonne Antonine", and Eckhel, "Doctrina Nummorum", III, 64). The Christian writers attributed the fact to the prayers of the Christians who were in the army (Claudius Apollinaris in Eusebius, Church History V.5; Tertullian, "Apol.", v; ad Seap. c. iv), and soon there grew up a legend to the effect that in consequence of this miracle the emperor put a stop to the persecution of the Christians (cf. Euseb. and Tert. opp cit.). It must be conceded that the testimony of Claudius s the most valuable of all that we possess, as he wrote within a few years of the event, and that all credit must be given to the prayers of the Christians, though it does not necessarily follow that we should accept the elaborate detail of the story as given by Tertullian and later writers 161 - 169
Lucius Verus (co-emperor) (c. 130 - 169) with Marcus Aurelius
180 - 192
Commodus (c. 161 - 192) All these who failed to follow the decree were brought to the senate and were tried. This decree was a forceful attempt to put down Christians completely. But the followers who believed in Jesus Christ refused to accept this and many were ready to face the trial. "The Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs" written.
Persecution slows down -
Didius Julianus (193) .
Septimius Severus (193-211) Edict makes it illegal to convert to Christianity; persecution especially in North Africa
ca. 203: Perpetua & Felicity martyred in Carthage (North Africa)
Severus Alexander (222-235)
Gordian I and II (238)
Gordian III (238-244)
Philip the Arab (244-249) .
Trajanus Decius (249-251) 250: Major Empire-Wide Persecution; Christians required to participate in Emperor Worship
Bishop Fabian of Rome martyred; Bishop Cyprian of Carthage exiled; Origen of Alexandria tortured to death
Trebonianus Gallus (251-253)
Aemilian (253) .
Valerian (253-260) ca. 258: Bishop Cyprian of Carthage martyred
Claudius Gothicus (268-270) .
Aurelian (270-275) some persecutions
Numerian (283-284) .
Diocletian (284-305) Major Empire-Wide Persecution begins ca. 303; confiscation of Christian churches and books; arrest, torture, and execution of many Christian leaders. + + + Personally sends troops (Constantine) to Nazareth, the Bishop of Caesarea Eusibius records Diocletian offering clemency to the nephews carefully recording their ancestry to Jesus Christ. All refuse and are tortured and put to death. Diocletian sends troops to Turkey to place the Bishop Nicholas in prison.
& Maximian (286-305) Major Empire-Wide Persecution begins ca. 303; confiscation of Christian Churches and books; arrest, torture, and execution of many Christian leaders
Constantius Chlorus (305-306)
Maxentius (306-312) .
Licinius (311-323) 311: Edict of Galerius: toleration for Christians, allowing them to worship openly
Constantine (307-337) 313: Edict of Constantine (Edict of Milan): toleration for all religions, including Christianity; ends persecutions
Constantine's position on the religions traditionally practiced in Rome evolved during his reign. At first he prohibited the construction of new temples and tolerated traditional sacrifices; by the end of his reign, he had begun to order the pillaging and tearing down of Roman temples
The triumph of Christianity is actually a very remarkable historical phenomenon (A GOD THING) ... We begin with a small group from the backwaters of the Roman Empire and after two, three centuries go by, lo and behold that same group and its descendants have somehow taken over the Roman Empire and have become the official religion when it was people believing in Jesus Christ and having life transformations in hope in the life of Jesus Christ and the promises He brought.
John 1:35-42 ~ He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
So many people praise You. We join their voices in Salvation. And Gratitude.
We lift up our concerns to Your able hands. Knowing You hear all of our prayers. We lift up the ones we Love in peace. You give rest and comfort. Especially for the weary. Your Goodness and Your Plans will carry us along this journey of Life. We can trust in You, Jesus. We rest this Nation in Your hands as well.
In the Strong Name of Jesus. We Pray. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †