Ruminations in Theology


Jesus “Opened not His Mouth”

Jesus “Opened not His Mouth”


Posted By on Nov 28, 2020

On that dark night, Peter, one of Jesus’ disciple acted impetuously but sincerely when he wielded a sword and hacked off the ear of the slave of Israel’s high priest, Malchus. (Matt. 26:51, John 18:10).  Peter attempted to defend his Lord from the armed mob that came to arrest Him, however such protection was not needed by Jesus.  After miraculously restoring the man’s severed ear (Luke 22:51), Jesus said to Peter: “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:52—emphasis added).  This is a fascinating declaration by the Lord Jesus Christ and one worth investigating further.  In the time of Christ, a legion of Roman military was made up of 6,000 soldiers.  And yet, Jesus could have beckoned for more than twelve legions of angels to come instantly to His aid.  This would mean 72,000 warrior angels!  It is recorded in Scripture that a single Angel protected Israel by slaying 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night (2 Kin. 19:35).  So, multiplying 185,000 [men] x 72,000 [angels] equals 13,320,000,000.  Amazingly, if Jesus so desired, He could have had His angels slay more than 13,320,000,000 men!  This astronomical figure is nearly two times today’s world population.   Therefore, if Jesus chose to resist arrest and fight the Roman soldiers and the raucous throng that came for Him, it undoubtedly would have been ridiculously easy for Him to overcome: “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.” (Isa. 40:15).  Instead, Jesus went with them silently and without the slightest struggle; “He opened not His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7, cf. 1 Pet. 2:23).  O how fortunate it was that “the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?” (Matt. 26:54).  That the Son of God remained obedient to His Father’s will regardless of the circumstance: “…Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself…I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (Jn. 5:19a, 30b).  And what was the Father’s will?  Answer: for His Son to remain humble, obedient, silent, and suffer a horrendous death on the cross for undeserving sinners.  In other words, Jesus willingly received the cup of His Father’s wrath as propitiation for the sins of all believing mankind.  All things leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, and the crucifixion itself, occurred exactly as God preordained it: The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together...

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“And immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness.” Mark 1:12 When most Christians think of Jesus Christ’s suffering, they usually think of His crucifixion; when He atoned for the sins of those who would believe in Him.  It is true Jesus suffered excruciating physical pain at the hands of evil men, and infinitely more from His Father’s wrath poured out on Him on the cross (Acts 2:23, Isa. 53:10, cf. Heb. 4:15).  However, Jesus suffered His entire ministry: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45).  The moment after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, Scripture records the Holy Spirit immediately drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Mark 1:10, 12).   Of the three synoptic Gospels that record the Temptation of Christ, only the Gospel of Mark documents Jesus being forcefully driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit: “And immediately the Spirit impelled 1 Him to go out into the wilderness.” (Mark 1:12).   Interestingly, the Holy Spirit who only previously gently rested on Jesus “like a dove”, had violently driven the Suffering Servant into the wilderness to be tested.    Furthermore, God’s Word states Jesus fasted forty days in that arid, parched desert.  John MacArthur notes: [The Gospels] Matthew and Luke indicate that Jesus went the entire forty-day period without food (Matt. 4:2, Luke 4:2) …He had to face and conquer His strongest enemy even when He was at His weakest.  Mark’s description of Jesus’ temptation implies that the Lord was being tempted by Satan throughout the entire six-week period 2    Additionally, Jesus was ordained by God to suffer from the time of His Temptation to the time of His death on the cross. (Mark 1:12, Acts 3:18, 4:27-28).   Moreover, He suffered at the hands of man’s [and God’s] greatest foe, Satan.  It is a staggering truth to contemplate, that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:16).  Jesus suffered immensely in His physical life, so believers will not suffer in their eternal life: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21).  Hallelujah, what a Savior!    1 Impelled, Ekballo: To lead one forth or away somewhere with a force which he cannot resist.”, Biblehub.com, Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database.   Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.  2 John MacArthur, The MacArthur...

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“…they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.”  Acts 14:19b The Apostle Paul having just healed a lame man, so captivated the people of Lystra they extolled him and Barnabas as incarnate gods (Acts 14:8-11).  But envious, wicked Jews came from Iconium and Antioch and persuaded the multitude to turn violently against Paul.  Poisoned by Satanic lies of the Jews, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead (Acts 14:19).  Scripture records moments later when his disciples gathered around him, he arose and entered the city.  Amazingly, the very next day he and Barnabas traveled approximately fifty miles to the city of Derbe and once arriving there, preached the gospel (Acts 14:20).  The Lord must have performed a supernatural healing of Paul, for he was most likely a bloody pulp and in a moribund state, if not dead.  What is even more amazing than Paul’s miraculous survival, was that from Derbe he returned to Lystra–the very city where his murderers resided (Acts 14:21).   So why did Paul return to such a hostile and pernicious venue?  Most believers, if not all, would have fled fast and far from such an inflammatory environment; but not Paul, he did not faint from valiantly risking his life.  Selflessly, he hoped to encourage the brethren, who may have witnessed firsthand or heard of the pandemonium which culminated with his stoning.  Paul exhorted them to abide in faith, declaring: “…Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22b).    Paul’s fearlessness was not foreign to him, it was the power of the Holy Spirit engrained within him (Jn. 14:17, 2 Tim. 1:7).  For example, when he had called the Ephesian elders together, to instruct them with a parting exhortation, he said: “And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,  except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:22-24).   When Paul was departing Caesarea, he was warned by brethren there of the imminent danger awaiting him at Jerusalem: “…a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.  And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, ‘This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In...

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Goliath: An Easy Defeat for God

Goliath: An Easy Defeat for God


Posted By on Apr 17, 2020

“And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.” 1 Sam. 17:49 The David and Goliath battle has always been a very popular Bible story, for Christian and even secular people.  For most, there is a certain satisfaction reading about the underdog David, defeating the formidable foe Goliath. Comparing God’s tiny nation of Israel to the vast secular and hostile world is like comparing David, the small shepherd boy, a mere child– to the behemoth giant of a man, Goliath.  There is however one very significant factor in this apparent mismatch—God!  It is imperative to remember that God chose and set His eternal covenant love upon David and Israel.  Therefore, no enemy can harm “the apple(s) of God’s eye” (Ps. 17:8, Zech. 2:8).  God would deliver His beloved from their enemies and do so in miraculous fashion. That said, under the leadership of King Saul, the army of Israel went up against the Philistines in battle.  When they saw the imposing Philistine champion Goliath approaching, they became terrified and fled (1 Sam. 17:21, 24).  When the young shepherd boy David saw his fellow Israelites stricken with terror, he went before King Saul and vowed he would slay the giant Philistine, with God’s help (1 Sam. 17:32, 36-37).   When King Saul saw young David’s zeal, he capitulated to his request.  Now Goliath was well-armed and adorned with heavy protective armor: “Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span [nearly ten feet tall].  And he had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze [one hundred and twenty-five pounds].   He also had bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders.  And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron [fifteen pounds]; his shield-carrier also walked before him.” (1 Sam. 17:4-7–brackets added). Armed with a shepherd’s staff, a sling and five smooth stones retrieved from a nearby brook, the small shepherd-boy was unafraid and filled with confidence as he proceeded to battle Goliath (1 Sam. 17:40). David was secure in knowing the God of Israel would deliver Goliath into his hands: “Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in...

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Do Not Fear The Unknown

Do Not Fear The Unknown


Posted By on Apr 11, 2020

“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”                                       Matt. 10:28 Are Christians supposed to be afraid?  Does feeling or exhibiting “fear” of anyone or anything give glory to our eternal Creator?  Yes, we will experience times of sorrow and grief in life, but they should never take us to the point of despair.  Jesus ostensively commanded believers not to worry about life’s necessities: “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?” (Matt. 6:25).  Additionally, the Bible is clear regarding how Christians are to conduct life—not to be fearful of anyone or anything—but only to fear God Himself (Matt. 10:28, Luke 12:4-5).  When Jesus sent out His twelve disciples to herald the Lord’s kingdom, it was their first time out from under His auspices (Matt. 10:5-42).  It was a new chapter in the life of the fledgling messengers–no longer were they only followers of their Teacher but were formally being sent out by their Lord.   Being messengers of His gospel and the kingdom to come, is what Jesus had trained and instructed His disciples to do.  The disciples would traverse in “unknown” land, venues and temperaments.  It was a message met with hostility—Jesus forewarned them: “But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues;  and you shall even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.” (Matt. 10:17-18).  The twelve were instructed to walk by faith and trust in God because He would provide for them.  (Matt. 10:19-20, cf. 6:31-32). Jesus’ disciples were told to preach the message, no matter how difficult and how high the cost: “And brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death.  And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” (Matt. 10:21-22, cf. 34-36).  Imagine how Jesus’ strong words of instruction must have evoked fear and terror in the hearts of His disciples, for they knew they must obey their Lord.  Furthermore, He commanded: “And do not fear those who kill the body,...

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Two Overlooked Acts of Forgiveness!

Two Overlooked Acts of Forgiveness!


Posted By on Apr 11, 2020

Two Possibly Overlooked Acts of God’s Forgiveness “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”                                   Isa. 55:9 When many Christians ponder the account of the “thief on the cross” [actually “robber”], 1 they may overlook a powerful truth regarding the amazing nature of God’s forgiveness (Luke 23:39-43).  Attention is typically given to the thief’s immediate presence with in heaven upon his death: “absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8).  Although, this is a crucial truth to understand regarding the condition of the believer’s soul immediately upon death, another truth that could be drawn from the passage (Luke 23:39-43)–God’s profound pardoning of a sinner!  All four Gospels record Jesus crucified between two criminals, one on His right and the other His left (Matt. 27:38, Mark 15:27, Luke 23:32, John 19:18).  During the initial hours of the crucifixion, both robbers hurled insults at  Jesus (Matt. 27:44), but as their life blood drained from their dying bodies one of them was converted and believed in Jesus as Savior.  When the unregenerate robber continued to “blaspheme” Jesus (Luke 23:39), the newly redeemed one rebuked him: “…Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” (Luke 23:40-41).  Only moments prior he was an unbelieving condemned criminal, but as a newly transformed saint he affirmed Jesus’ innocence rightly “fearing” God.   Turning to his merciful Savior he humbly pled: “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:42).  When he uttered these words, Jesus revealed His compassionate heart.  Amazingly, even as Jesus was enduring His Father’s infinite wrath for the weight of the world’s sin, He mercifully said to the penitent sinner: “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43).  Would it not be comforting to have Jesus personally assure your salvation?  Think of the mercy and grace Jesus had for that criminal, despite having the knowledge that his entire life up until that point consisted of violent lawlessness.  This example defies human reasoning (cf. Jer. 34:34, Heb. 8:12, Rom. 5:8).  To Jesus, the robber’s wretched past did not matter–He had wiped his slate clean.  This incredible promise is indeed true for “all” who put their faith in Christ (cf. Jn. 6:37, 40).  God’s grace is truly amazing!    Another potentially overlooked act of God’s forgiveness occurred the moment Jesus died on the cross, Scripture reads:...

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