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Breezin’ Through the Bible #22, A Different Kind of King

March 26, 2014

A Different Kind of King

Hear and see what Jesus said and did before you determine who he is. He is not the kind of king the Israelites expected. Could they put aside their preconceptions and accept him for what he is? Can we?

From the womb of her cousin Elizabeth, Mary learned the child she was carrying was divine, for “Elizabeth’s child (John) leaped within her.” Elizabeth told Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.” (Luke 1:42-45)

John grew up and became strong in spirit. He lived in the wilderness until he began a public ministry to Israel. An itinerant preacher and a voice shouting in the wilderness, John preached the arrival of the Messiah, baptizing people in the Jordan River to show they had repented their sins. Reluctantly he baptized Jesus, for he knew Jesus to be the Messiah without sin. The heavens opened and descended on Jesus like a dove, and a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved son, and you bring me great joy.”

Then Jesus went into the desert, where he was tempted by the devil for 40 days and 40 nights. He emerged, weary, but undefeated.

Jesus did not stumble into Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem or this world. His birth, life and death were the realization of a well-planned transition (or correction?) from Judaism to Christianity, for all the lame, the sick, the blind, the deaf, the poor and needy. He brought good news to all people and took away the sin of the world. Many misunderstood him, and In some quarters he was not wanted.

Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish ruling council, a teacher who came to Jesus at night to ask questions. Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born again of water and Spirit, for he said, “God sent his son not to condemn the world, but to save the world, so whoever believes shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3) In Christ all is made new. Could Nicodemus understand? Can we?

On his way to Capernaum, Jesus rested at Jacob’s well outside a small village in Samaria. A Samaritan woman approached to draw water. Jesus asked her to draw some water for him and she replied, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan. Why are you asking me?” She reminded him they were enemies, but Jesus replied that he would give her “living water”, and she would never thirst again. Jesus knew the woman had had five husbands and was living unmarried with another. Living in Samaria, she had no connection with the temple in Jerusalem, and was greatly in need of God’s love. “God is Spirit,” Jesus told her. “Those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” Bringing food, the disciples were surprised to see Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman.(John 4)

Continuing his journey to Galilee, Jesus went to a synagogue in Capernaum to teach, and there a man was posessed with an impure spirit. Jesus commanded the evil spirit to leave the man. The man shook violently, and the impure spirit was released.

Jesus traveled from town to village, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom. Twelve male disciples accompanied him and a few women supported him. Jesus’ kingdom included women.

John the Baptist had been put into prison for his teaching, and he could not hear Jesus, but he heard about Jesus’ message and his miracles. He sent messengers to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or is there another?” Jesus replied, “Tell him what you see and hear. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Jesus knew John was the messenger Elijah had predicted would prepare his way, but Jesus would not use his miracles or his teachings to enlarge his own reputation. His words and deeds were attributable to God. See them and believe, hear them and obey. Can we?

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