When Celebration Gives Way to Confrontation: Does Jesus’ Activity In the Shadows On the Sabbath Offend You

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters ten through twelve of this New Testament book. The more I think about and consider the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative of the Lord Jesus Christ the more I am brought face to face with the fact that the movement and manifestation of Jesus was directly linked to the Jewish feasts which were ordained and appointed by the LORD through Moses the servant of the LORD in the wilderness of Sinai. Time and time again we find Jesus’ movement in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John being linked to the Jewish feasts which were celebrated at appointed and ordained times during the year. Three of the feasts which we know for certain Jesus went up to Jerusalem to celebrate and observe were the feast of the Passover, the feast of Tabernacles, and the feast of Dedication. You cannot understand the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John and not come face to face with the fact that Jesus’ movement and manifestation was intrinsically linked and connected to the Jewish feasts which were celebrated in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that beginning with the second chapter and continuing through to at least the twelfth chapter of this gospel you will find Jesus regularly and routinely in the Temple of the LORD which was present in Jerusalem. In other words, not only would we find Jesus in the midst of the city of Jerusalem at the time of the Jewish feasts, but more often than not we also find Jesus in the Temple of the LORD. Beginning with and as early as the second chapter of this gospel we find Jesus in the Temple—undoubtedly at the time of one of the Jewish feasts [perhaps the Jewish feast of the Passover]—and not only in the Temple at this time, but after making a scourge of cords overturning the tables of money, driving out those which bought and sold in the Temple, casting out that which was bought and sold, and emphatically declaring concerning the Temple that it was to be a house of prayer and not a house of merchandise. How absolutely and incredibly powerful it is to read this gospel narrative and not only find Jesus’ movement being linked to the city of Jerusalem, and not only linked to the Jewish feasts ordained and appointed by Moses, but also being linked to the Temple of the LORD.

            There is not a doubt in my mind that when you read this gospel narrative concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you must needs understand and recognize it in terms of Jesus’ movement and ministry being directly linked to the feasts of the LORD and the Temple of the LORD. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found in this gospel narrative and understand the movement and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as being wonderfully and powerfully connected to the city of Jerusalem, the Temple of the LORD, and the Jewish feasts which would be celebrated in the midst of the city. You cannot and must not seek to understand the movement of Jesus the Christ in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John outside of and apart from this reality, for the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of the LORD would be a powerful place of confrontation and controversy between Jesus of Nazareth and the Jews. In all reality, I would dare say that the entire gospel narrative written by the apostle John is a book that is centered upon this confrontation between Jesus and the Jewish people—those who were offended with and by His words and works. The more I read the words found in this gospel narrative the more I am brought face to face with the awesome reality that this gospel is one that has at the very heart of it a confrontation between Jesus and the Jewish people—one that was explained and expressed in the opening chapter of the gospel. It is in the opening chapter of this gospel the apostle John clearly sets forth and lays out the foundation for the activity we find within and throughout the gospel narrative as the offense of the Jews, the persecution of the Jews, and the intention and motive of the Jews to slay and destroy Jesus would be intrinsically linked and connected to the words which are found in the opening chapter of this gospel narrative. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the first chapter of this gospel narrative concerning the manifestation of Jesus the Christ in the midst of the regions of Judaea and Galilee, as well as within the city of Jerusalem during those days:

            “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, AND THE WORLD KNEW HIM NOT. HE CAME UNTO HIS OWN, AND HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT. But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me. And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him” (John 1:1-18).

            THE WORLD KNEW HIM NOT! HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT! These two phrases could very well serve as a tremendous foundation for the gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John, for all throughout this gospel narrative we find the Jews and the people of God in controversy and confrontation with Jesus the Christ. The more you read the words which are found within this gospel the more you will be brought face to face with the awesome reality that although Jesus came unto His own, His own received Him not. Not only this, but we find that although the world was made by Him, the world knew Him not. The entire gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John centers and hinges upon this failure to know and this failure to receive Jesus the Christ—despite the fact that He was indeed the Word which became flesh and dwelt among men. The Word which was in the beginning with God, and the Word which in the beginning was God would take on the form of human flesh, and would dwell among us, and yet the world knew Him not, and His own received Him not. This is something we must truly recognize and understand when we seek to understand the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, for the words which we find in this gospel narrative bring us face to face with the awesome and tremendous truth that the direct manifestation of His own receiving Him not is manifested in the confrontation and controversy that would exist between Jesus and the Jews. What’s more, is that this failure and refusal to receive the Lord Jesus Christ would be manifested in the Jews’ offense with Him, the Jews’ persecution of Jesus the Christ, and the Jews’ desire and intent to slay, kill and destroy Jesus. There would be times within this gospel narrative—at least two to reference—where the Jews would take up stones with which they would seek to stone Jesus for the words which He spoke and the works which He performed. There is within this gospel narrative an incredibly powerful picture of this animosity and offense within the hearts and souls of the Jewish people, as the Jews would take and find great occasion to be offended with Jesus the Christ concerning the words which He spoke and the works which He performed among them in their midst. We cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this powerful truth, for at the very heart of the gospel written by John is that although God loved the world and sent His only begotten Son into the world that whoever believes on Him should inherit eternal life, the Jews which were present during those days would indeed and would in fact take great issue and find great offense and fault with Jesus. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the third chapter of this gospel narrative concerning the encounter between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus who came to Him by night:

            “Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, BECAUSE HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD. AND THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, THAT LIGHT IS COME INTO THE WORLD, AND MEN LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THAN LIGHT, BECAUSE THEIR DEEDS WERE EVIL. FOR EVERY ONE THAT DOETH EVIL HATETH THE LIGHT, NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT, LEST HIS DEEDS SHOULD BE REPROVED. But He that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:10-21).

            HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT! HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD! MEN LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THAN LIGHT! THEIR DEEDS WERE EVIL! EVERYONE THAT DOETH EVIL HATETH THE LIGHT NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT! Please don’t miss and lose sight of these words which Jesus spoke unto Nicodemus who was a Pharisee which came unto Jesus by night that he might hear and listen to Him speak. These words which Jesus spoke unto Nicodemus must be understood in light of that which is found in the first and opening chapter of this gospel, for while it is indeed true that the world was made by the Word and the world knew not the Word, and while it is indeed true that the Word came unto His own and His own received Him not, it is also true that men loved darkness rather than light. These words which are found written and recorded within this passage of Scripture help paint an incredibly powerful picture of the rejection of the Jews which would be manifested within and throughout the gospel narrative written by the apostle John. The more I read and consider this gospel narrative the more I am brought face to face with the fact that although it is indeed a gospel concerning the Lamb of God which came to take away the sins of the world, it is also a book that is centered upon the Jews and their reception and rejection of the Lord Jesus the Christ. It is absolutely impossible to read this gospel narrative and not encounter and be brought face to face with the awesome and powerful reality that it is a gospel that is replete with account after account of the offense of the Jews with and toward Jesus, and their offense with Him because of the words which He spoke, as well as the works which He performed. More often than not you will find a work which Jesus wrought during those days offending many of the Jews who would immediately seek to kill and destroy Him. This would begin and would be manifested as early as the second chapter of this gospel narrative when Jesus would enter into the Temple, and after making a scourge of small cords would overturn the tables of money, would drive out those who bought and sold, and cast out all those things which were bought and sold.

            There is not a doubt in my mind that the events we find toward the end of the second chapter of the gospel narrative and the Jews response to Jesus’ entrance into the Temple of the LORD and bringing cleansing to it is a powerful picture of that which was to come within the rest of the gospel narrative. I firmly believe that Jesus’ actions in the second chapter of this gospel narrative would serve as a powerful portent, precursor and symbol of that which would take place in the upcoming chapters within the gospel. In fact, more often than not the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of the LORD would serve as a battleground of confrontation and controversy between Jesus and the Jews—and not only between Jesus and the Jews, but also between the Jews and the LORD their God. The more you read and study the words found within this passage of Scripture the more you will be brought face to face with the tremendous truth that the entire gospel narrative written by the apostle of John would describe Jesus’ movement and manifestation in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, and the response of the Jews to the words He spoke and the works which He wrought. It is true that there were those times within this gospel narrative we find Jesus in Galilee where He would perform certain miracles—miracles such as turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and healing the nobleman’s son who came unto Him from Capernaum—however, a vast majority of the manifestation and ministry of Jesus the Christ within this gospel would center around the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of the LORD. You cannot read this gospel and not encounter Jesus teaching in the Temple—and not only Jesus teaching within the Temple, but also confronting the Jews which were present during that day and generation. There were specific references within this gospel concerning Jesus teaching within the Temple, but more often than not there would be confrontations which would take place in the midst of the house of the LORD. What’s more, is that within the gospel narrative of the apostle John you will find the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD as being essentially a battleground—a battleground for the hearts, the souls and the minds of those present within that generation. It is absolutely undeniable and unmistakable when reading the words found in this gospel narrative that the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD would indeed and would in fact be a place of worship, however, it would also be a place where the Jews would have to be brought face to face with their receiving or rejecting Jesus—and not only receive Jesus, but receive Him as the Word made flesh, as the Bread come down from heaven, as the Light of the world, as the Shepherd and as the Way, the Truth and the Life.

            If you take the time to read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will be brought face to face with the powerful truth that it appears to be a gospel of confrontation—a gospel where the Jewish people would be provoked with and by the words and works of Jesus in their midst, and would be forced to make a decision how they would respond and react to those words and works. The entire gospel narrative written by the apostle John is centered upon this confrontation which would take place between the Jews and their Messiah—and not only with their Messiah, but with their belief and understanding that Jesus was truly and indeed the Messiah. What’s more, is that as you read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find that the words and works which Jesus wrought during those days would be for many a source of confidence, trust and belief in Jesus as the Messiah, while also at the same time being a source of offense and fault with Jesus. This would particularly and especially be true if the works which Jesus would perform among them in their midst would go against and violate their tradition and would be performed and completed on the Sabbath. The more you read the words found in this gospel narrative the more you will find that usually the core progression of events was the work which Jesus would perform, and how that work would produce within the hearts and minds of the Jews offense and fault, and how that door of offense and fault would ultimately lead to an even greater provocation with the words which Jesus would speak. Moreover, I find it truly astonishing to think about and consider that as much as the Temple of the LORD was indeed a place of worship and prayer before and unto the LORD it would also be a place where the hearts, the minds and the souls of men would be laid bare and exposed before the LORD and where they would be forced to deal with their view of this Jesus of Nazareth.

            The Temple of the LORD would be the source of great contention, confrontation and controversy in the second chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, as the first provocation of the Jews if you will centered upon Jesus’ willingness to show up in the Temple, disrupt what was taking place in the midst therein, and would essentially clean house. There is not a doubt in my mind that as surely and as certainly as Jesus would cleanse the physical Temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem that sanctuary and house would be a greater picture of an even greater cleansing that would need to take place—namely a cleansing that would take place within the hearts, the minds, the souls, and the lives of the Jews during those days. If you think about the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Corinthian saints you will find the apostle writing and declaring unto them that they were indeed the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that the living and eternal God would indeed and would in fact dwell among them. Not only this, but if you read the words which Jesus spoke unto the Jews after they asked Him what authority He had to perform such actions in the Temple you will find Him declaring unto them that if they destroyed this temple He would raise it again in three days. The Jews—upon hearing these words—immediately grew and became offended with Jesus’ words because of how long it had taken to build the Temple which stood among them. The apostle John writes how the temple which Jesus spoke was not the physical Temple which stood among them in their midst, but rather the temple of His body. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this awesome and powerful reality, for when we read of Jesus entering into the Temple and brining cleansing into the midst of it—what we are actually seeing is a powerful picture of something much greater which the Lord sought to do during those days. While Jesus the Christ would indeed and would in fact enter into the Temple of the LORD and overturn the tables of money, and would drive out those which bought and sold, and cast out that which was bought and sold, so also would Jesus show up in the midst of Jerusalem, in the midst of Judaea, and in the midst of the Jews and bring cleansing in the temples of those which were present during that generation. The cleansing which we find Jesus performing in the Temple would indeed be a powerful picture of a deeper and greater work which would take place in the midst of Judaea, in the midst of Galilee, and even in the midst of the city of Jerusalem within the hearts, the souls and the minds of the people of that generation.

            The more you delve into the gospel narrative written by the apostle John the more you will find that the opposition and persecution Jesus experienced and faced from the Jews would more often than not begin with a work He would perform among them in their midst—perhaps a work which was done in the open in the sight and hearing of those of that generation, or a work which was done in secret and in private. This is actually something that must needs be considered when reading the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, for as you read the gospel you will find that there were times when Jesus would engage in a work which would be done in secret, which would be done in private, and which would essentially be a hidden and concealed work out of the eyes and ears of the Jews of that generation. Moreover, there would be times when Jesus would engage in a work that would be done in secret and in private, and yet that work would be manifested in the sight and presence of the Jews of that generation, and it would be the result and manifestation of that work which would ultimately and inevitably lead to a confrontation and altercation with the Jews of those days and of that generation. It is truly something worth noting that more often than not within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John—although the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and although the movement and ministry of Jesus the Christ would be directly linked to the Jewish feasts of the LORD, and even though Jesus would teach publicly in the Temple of the LORD there would be those instances when a personal and private work would be done within the lives of certain who were present within that generation. What’s more, is that within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find a personal and private work which Jesus would engage in being made public and brought into the light. It would be once this personal and private work was brought into the light in the sight and hearing of the Jews the work would immediately instigate a firestorm of offense, persecution, opposition, and resistance of the Jews toward Jesus the Christ. It’s worth noting and pointing out there were certain instances within the gospel narrative when the personal and private work Jesus would produce within the life of a son or daughter of Abraham would be brought into the light—and not only brought into the light, but would also provoke the Jews of that generation. WHEN A PRIVATE WORK PROVOKES IN PUBLIC! WHEN A PERSONAL WORK INSTIGATES IN THE LIGHT! WHEN A PRIVATE AND PERSONAL WORK IS BROUGHT INTO THE LIGHT AND INCITES RESISTANCE AND OPPOSITION TOWARD JESUS THE CHRIST!

            As I sit here today I can’t help but think about two distinct works which were wrought within the lives of two individuals in a personal and private manner, and that work which was wrought in private would not only be brought into the light, but would immediately and instantly provoke the Jews. If you read the fifth and ninth chapters of this gospel narrative you will find that there were two distinct works performed by Jesus—two works which were done in private and in the secret place which would provoke the Jews upon it being manifested and brought into the light. Upon reading the fifth chapter of this gospel narrative you will find the powerful description of the man at the pool of Bethesda who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years whom Jesus would not heal at the time of one of the Jewish feasts, but would also heal on the Sabbath day. It would be the healing of this man that would greatly provoke the Jews to offense, to persecution and to opposition when you consider how once this man’s healing was brought to light—when the testimony and evidence of His healing was brought into the light—it would greatly provoke the Jews when they learned and discovered that it was Jesus who healed him. Jesus would heal this man in private, and Jesus would command this man to rise up and take his mat and move forward from that place, and it was the carrying of his mat—the carrying of that upon which he had been bound for so long that would greatly provoke the Jews to offense and persecution of Jesus the Christ. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that Jesus would heal this man in the personal and private place of the pool of Bethesda, and it would be the man’s healing and the testimony of that healing that would first provoke the Jews, but it would be the Jews learning that it was Jesus who healed him that would so anger and provoke them. What’s more, is that as you transition to the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find that it was the healing of the man born blind that would also provoke the Jews to offense and to an even further persecution of Jesus the Christ. Jesus would heal this man who had been born blind, and it was the testimony and evidence of his healing that so angered and infuriated the Jews during those days. Oh it’s important that we recognize and understand this truth and reality, for it is possible that Jesus the Christ might work a personal, a private and intimate work within your life, and while that work might very well be performed in the secret and private place—when that work is brought out into the light it might very well provoke those before and around you. Not only this, but that work which Jesus might very well have worked and might very well work in your life might provoke others to anger and offense with Jesus Himself. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the fifth and ninth chapters of this New Testament gospel:

            “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, He saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered Him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:1-18).

            “And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said,  A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, GO to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? HE said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? How then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that He was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: wwe know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? How opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? Will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the wordl began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on Him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord I believe. And he worshipped Him” (John 9:1-38).

            Pay close attention to the words which are found within these two chapters, for not only do we find Jesus within the city of Jerusalem at the time of the feasts of Israel, but we also find Jesus in the Temple of the LORD during and at the time of the feast. Within each of these passages we find Jesus still in Jerusalem yet outside of the Temple—and not only outside the Temple, but bringing healing to two different and two distinct individuals. In the fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find Jesus going to the pool of Bethesda and after learning that one among them had been thirty eight years with an infirmity he brought healing and wholeness to him by commanding him to rise, take up his mat, and go on his way. In the ninth chapter we find Jesus encountering and coming upon a man who had been born blind, and upon seeing this man born blind and hearing the words and question of the disciples—not only did Jesus emphatically speak concerning this man that he was born blind that the works of God might be manifest in him, but Jesus would also give him his sight. In the ninth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find Jesus spitting in the dirt, making clay from the spittle, anointing the eyes of the man who was born blind, and instructing him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. We would later learn that when Jesus brought sight to this blind man He would do so on the sabbath day—and not merely in the sabbath day, but also at the time of one of the feasts. It’s necessary that we pay close attention to the words which are found in these narratives, for within them we find Jesus the Christ bringing healing during the feasts of Israel, as well as bringing healing on the sabbath day. We must note and point out when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that when Jesus healed the man who had the infirmity for thirty and eight years, and when Jesus gave sight to the man who had been born blind, He did so on the sabbath day. It was Jesus’ healing both of these men—and healing both of these man on the sabbath day—that would so anger and infuriate the Jews which were present during those days and within that generation. Oh please do not miss and lose sight of this awesome and powerful truth, for it has the awesome power and ability to dramatically change and alter how we see Jesus the Christ.

            Upon reading the gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will indeed find the movement and ministry of Jesus the Christ being intrinsically linked and connected to the feasts, you will find the movement and ministry of Jesus being linked to the Temple of the LORD which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. Not only this, but you will also find the movement, the manifestation and the ministry of Jesus the Christ being linked to the sabbath as Jesus would deliberately and intentionally heal to men—each with different diseases and infirmities—on the sabbath day. In all reality there would be two distinct realities that would link these two men together—the first being that Jesus brought healing into their life, and the second that they received healing on the sabbath day. Not only this, but both of these men would experience persecution and opposition from and by the Jews because of the work Jesus wrought within their lives. In the case of the man who had the infirmity thirty and eight years he would receive persecution from the Jews because he carried his mat on the sabbath. What makes this truly captivating is that the Jews were angered with and by this man for carrying his mat on the sabbath, while the Jews were angry and offended with Jesus because He had healed a man on the sabbath. The fact that the Jews were so angered and infuriated with and by this man who carried his mat on the sabbath day is actually something worth noting, for here we have this many not only receiving healing within his life after thirty and eight years, but we also find this man carrying the testimony and evidence of his healing and miracle among the Jews on the sabbath. No longer and no more was this man confined to the pool of Bethesda and one of the porches and porticos there, but this man would now be able to move freely among the Jews. In the case of the man who was born blind he too would experience persecution, opposition and affliction from the Jews—not only because of the miracle and healing which had taken place within his life, but also because of the words he spoke and testified concerning Jesus the Christ. The man who had been born blind would not only testify of Jesus that He had caused him to see, but also that Jesus was truly and indeed a prophet, and that he must needs be of God, for the LORD does not listen to sinners.

            THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HEALED! THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HEALED AND PERSECUTED! Scripture is unclear whether or not these two men would ever meet and whether or not their paths would cross, but I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if these men would have met and shared their encounters with Jesus—and not only their encounter with Jesus, but also their encounter with the Jews. It should be noted that not only did these men have an encounter with Jesus the Christ, but these men would also have an encounter with the Jews as well. These men would have an encounter with Jesus as He would bring healing within their lives and upon their physical bodies, and they would have an encounter with the Jews through opposition, persecution, condemnation, criticism, accusation and judgment. I wonder what it would and could have been like had these men had their paths crossed, and as they both shared their narratives of how Jesus encountered them during one of the feasts of the Jews, and how Jesus healed them on the Sabbath day. I wonder what it would and could have been like for these men to experience each other’s testimonies and realized how Jesus had wrought a personal and private work within their lives, and how that work would so infuriate, anger and provoke the Jews to persecution and opposition. What a truly remarkable and astonishing reality and concept it is to think of the lives of these two men and how Jesus would find both of them on the sabbath day during one of the feasts of Jerusalem and in the midst of a crowded city of Jerusalem. DURING A FEAST IN THE MIDST OF A CROWDED CITY JESUS FOUND YOU! DURING A FEAST IN THE MIDST OF A CROWDED CITY JESUS FOUND ME! Oh it is truly something worth noting that not only did Jesus bring healing into the lives of these individuals, but Jesus would bring healing within and upon their physical bodies at the time of a feast and during a time when the city of Jerusalem would have been flooded with great crowds and multitudes of people.

            When we read the fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find that the man who had the infirmity for thirty and eight years whom Jesus healed could not identify who it was that healed him because that one had conveyed himself a way in the midst of a great crowd and multitude that was present in the midst of the city. There is something truly astonishing, captivating and beautiful about this, for in a crowded city at the time of one of the feasts of the Jews Jesus would find each of these men right where they were. Please don’t miss this, for neither of these men needed to find Jesus in the midst of the crowds and multitudes of people which were in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. Neither of these men—both of whom had their own unique infirmity for an extended period of time—had to navigate their way through the great crowds and multitudes of people there in the city of Jerusalem, but would instead experience Jesus coming and meeting them right where they were. Both of these men would experience healing from Jesus—not only on the Sabbath, but also during one of the feasts which the Jews would celebrate at the appointed time during the year. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind that when we read the words found in these chapters we are brought face to face with the incredible truth that Jesus would find these men in a crowded city at a time when the Jews would come from all over that they might observe the feast. How absolutely powerful, captivating and beautiful it is to think about the fact that these men would both be in a place which they might have been in for years, and it would be int hat place Jesus would find them—despite the fact that the city would undoubtedly be crowded. In fact, I would dare say it might have been the desire, the will and the plan of the Father to find these men right where they were in the midst of a crowded city, and on the sabbath day that their healing might be manifest among the Jews. I firmly believe that Jesus would not only find these individuals in the midst of a crowd that He might bring healing unto them, but Jesus would find these men in the midst of a crowd and bring healing into their physical bodies that their healing and testimony might provoke the Jews who were present in the midst of the city. It would be Jesus who would provoke the Jews to opposition, offense and persecution through His deliberate and intentional healing of these two men whose miracles would be weeks and months apart, and yet who would be linked by the sabbath, and by Jesus finding them in the midst of the crowd during a bustling city of Jerusalem.

            I sit here today and I am absolutely and completely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that Jesus found each of these men right where they were—and not only where these men were, but also when He did that He might bring healing unto them. What’s more, is that the man in the fifth chapter would have an infirmity for thirty and eight years, while the man who was blind would be blind from birth. Jesus would indeed find both of these men at the time appointed by the living God—regardless and despite the fact that the one would have an infirmity thirty and eight years, and the other would be blind from birth. Jesus would find both of these men on the sabbath, in the middle of a feast celebrated by the Jews, in a crowded city, and at the appointed time of the living God. It would be in both of these men’s lives Jesus would bring a powerful sense of healing and wholeness, as Jesus would indeed give unto them healing in the personal and private place that their healing might be manifested in the public’s sight and hearing. It would be once their miracle—which was done and performed in private—would be manifested in the midst of a crowded city that the provocation of the Jews would begin and would quickly escalate there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It would be when the healing and wholeness of these men—that which was done in a personal and private place there in the crowded city of Jerusalem—was brought out into the light that the Jews would be so provoked to offense and opposition that they would raise themselves up against Jesus that they might not only persecute Him, but also might seek to slay and put Him to death.

            As I sit here today thinking about and considering the awesome truth and reality surrounding the healing of these two men within the midst of the city of Jerusalem I can’t help but be brought face to face with the fact that although their healings took place in a private and personal place they would both be brought into the light. Although Jesus would heal the man who had the infirmity thirty and eight years at the pool of Bethesda, and although Jesus anointed with clay the man’s eyes who had been born blind an instructed him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, and would perform both of these acts in a personal and hidden place both of them would be brought into the public light in the midst of the city of Jerusalem—and not only would it be brought into the light in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, but it would also be brought into the light during a time of feasts which were taking place in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It’s truly something worth thinking about and considering that Jesus would find both of these men in a personal and private place away from the public eye, and would bring healing into each of their lives. What’s more, is that healing would be manifested in the midst of the city of Jerusalem during a time of the Jewish feasts that it might provoke the Jews during that generation. What makes these healings so provocative is not that they took place during the time of the feasts of the Jews, nor that they took place at all, but rather that they took place on the sabbath day. The controversy the Jews had with the healing of the man who had the infirmity was that it was performed on the sabbath day, and that it violated the Law of Moses and their tradition. The controversy the Jews had with the healing of the man who had been born blind was also directly linked and connected to the fact that the day Jesus had anointed his eyes and sent him to wash in the pool of Siloam was that it was also performed on the Sabbath. Here in the midst of the city of Jerusalem during the time of the feasts of the LORD—during a time when the city would have been crowded with people—Jesus would find these men and would heal them away from the crowd and away from the multitude, and would essentially steal Himself away from them. In the case of both of these men Jesus would bring healing and wholeness to these men and would then convey Himself away in the midst of the multitude which was present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem during those days. This is something that is worth noting and considering, for it’s almost as though despite the fact the healing would take place in the private realm it would be invited into the light that it might deliberately and intentionally provoke the Jews.

            Would it shock and surprise you to think about the fact that the same Jesus who would dare fashion a scourge of small cords and enter the Temple to bring cleansing is the same Jesus who would bring healing in the private realm within the lives of men and women, and would then deliberately and intentionally allow those healings to wander into the light. We cannot and should not say that these healings took place in the dark, for the apostle John clearly speaks to and references Jesus as the Light which shines within and upon the whole world. With this being said, however, we must readily admit and acknowledge the fact that these miracles and healings would both take place in the personal and private realm, and Jesus would then convey Himself away after bringing healing that each of these men might wander in the midst of the city of Jerusalem completely healed, whole and restored. Pause for a moment and think about what it would have been like for these men to walk and wander out of the shadows and out of obscurity and into the light after Jesus healed them and brought wholeness within their lives. Oh I would dare say that Jesus was deliberately and intentionally provocative during those days, for although He would heal in private, and although He would seemingly heal in the shadows, He would heal on the Sabbath knowing that it would be the healing of these men who would bring a great reckoning to the hearts and minds of the Jews. Jesus would heal each of these men in the shadows, and Jesus would heal each of these men away from the crowd and away from the multitude, and yet He would allow both of those healings to be brought into the light, and both of those healings to be manifested in the midst of a crowded city of Jerusalem at a time of the feasts of the Jews. Jesus would heal each of these men in the shadows away from the crowds and away from the multitudes that they might deliberately and intentionally bring the Jews to a place of confrontation, reckoning and controversy—not only before and with the Father in heaven, and not only with Jesus the Christ, but also with themselves, with their traditions, and with everything they believed.

            ALTHOUGH THERE WOULD BE HEALINGS IN THE SHADOWS THAT WOULD BE BROUGHT INTO THE LIGHT THERE WOULD BE AN ACQUITTAL IN PUBLIC AND A RESURRECTION AT A GRAVESIDE THAT WOULD ALSO PROVOKE THE JEWS DURING THAT GENERATION! JESUS WOULD HEAL THE MAN WHO HAD AN INFIRMITY THIRTY AND EIGHT YEARS AND JESUS WOULD GIVE SIGHT TO THE MAN BORN BLIND IN THE SECRET AND IN THE SHADOWS, YET JESUS WOULD RAISE LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD IN A VERY PUBLIC SETTING! JESUS WOULD DELIVER THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN THE ACT OF ADULTERY IN A VERY PUBLIC SETTING THERE IN THE COURT OF THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD!

            As you read the words which are found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will encounter and come face to face with those personal and private works which Jesus would perform seemingly in the shadows and in the secret. Such works would be wrought in private and in places away from the crowd and away from the multitude—this even during times of the feasts of the Jews which would be celebrated in the city of Jerusalem. Despite the fact that the city of Jerusalem would be bustling with people from within and throughout Judaea and Galilee there would be those instances and those occurrences when Jesus would deliberately and intentionally find those individuals who were away from and outside the crowd and the multitude and would bring healing and wholeness within their lives. Not only this, but it would be away from the city of Jerusalem and away from Judaea and Galilee Jesus would encounter the Samaritan woman at the well—that place where He would not only speak to and offer her living water, but also emphatically proclaim and speak unto her concerning His being the Messiah. It’s interesting and worth noting that it would be in Samaria Jesus would declare unto the Samaritan woman, saying, “I that speak unto thee am He,” thus making the declaration that He was truly the Messiah. It would be unto the man born blind and yet whose sight Jesus restored He would ask if He believed on the Son of God and would then declare unto him, “Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.” Both in Samaria and in Jerusalem Jesus would make emphatic and powerful declarations concerning His identity as HE would not only speak of and declare Himself being the Son of God, but also His being the Messiah. How absolutely incredible and powerful it is to think about the fact that Jesus the Christ would not only engage Himself in those personal and private works in the shadows—away from the crowds and away from the multitudes—and would then steal Himself away and allow those works to be brought into and manifested in the light. There were those times within the gospel narrative where Jesus would produce those works within a personal and private setting away from the crowds and in the shadows, however, there would be those times when Jesus would be very public with His dealing with men.

It would be in the eighth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find the very public deliverance Jesus wrought in the life of the woman caught in the act of adultery from her accusers and those who would stone her, and it would be in the eleventh chapter of this same gospel we find Jesus producing and bringing about a very public work of raising Lazarus from the dead and bringing him back to life. With this in mind I invite you to consider the words which are found in both of these chapters concerning a public deliverance from curse of the Law and from the sting of death. How absolutely incredible it is to think about the eighth and eleventh chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John and how within these chapters we find Jesus delivering a woman from the curse of the Law which was death, and Jesus would also raise up and restore Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead for ten days. This woman would be caught in the act of adultery and would not only be brought into the house and sanctuary of the LORD, and Lazarus would actually be permitted to die and his body buried in the grave and remain for four days before Jesus would show up at the grave and speak those words that would raise Lazarus from death to life. It is truly something absolutely wonderful and remarkable to read both of these chapters and see how Jesus produce these great and powerful works within the lives of these two individuals—one from condemnation and one from death. Jesus would deliver this woman caught in the act of adultery from those who would accuse and stone her, and Jesus would deliver Lazarus from death which would seek to hold and keep him bound in the grave. Oh consider if you will these very public works Jesus would produce in the midst of that generation and these words would also greatly provoke the Jews—and not only the Jews, but also the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of Israel, and the Pharisees:

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the Temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto Him, Master, This woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, NO man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).

Then when Jesus came, He found that He had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off? And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believedst thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying, unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go” (John 11:17-44).

The words which we find in these two chapters bring us face to face with two very public works which Jesus would do in the midst of Judaea—the first delivering a woman from her accusers while not condemning her, and the second in raising a man from death to life thus delivering him from the grave. What makes this most interesting is when you think about the fact that Jesus delivered both of these individuals from stones. As you read the words found in the eighth chapter you will find Jesus delivered the woman caught in the act of adultery from the stones which men would cast at her, while in the eleventh chapter Jesus would deliver Lazarus from the stone which was rolled in front of the grave in which his body was laid. Oh, pause for a moment and think about how absolutely astonishing and remarkable these two thoughts and realities are, for both of these public works would involve stones—the first stones of condemnation and the second a stone of death. It would be in the Temple of the LORD Jesus would deliver this woman caught in the act of adultery from the stones of condemnation which would have been readily hurled against her, and in the eleventh chapter we find the LORD delivering Lazarus—not only from the grave, but also from the stone which lie before and at the entrance of the grave. What adds even more weight and significance to this is when you think about the fact that within the gospel narrative written by John stones would even be used in direct connection and relation to Jesus. There would be two distinct occurrences and occasions when the Jews sought to stone Jesus because of the words which He had spoken among them, and on both occasions Jesus would be delivered from the stones that would be hurled against Him. It’s truly something worth noting that this same One who the Jews sought to stone would Himself turn around and deliver others from the stones which would be raised up within their lives. How absolutely astonishing and remarkable it is to read the words found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John—specifically the words found in these two chapters—and think about how the LORD would deliver two different individuals from the stones which would be found within their lives. This same one whom the Jews sought to destroy with stones would Himself deliver a woman who was caught in the act of adultery from the stones that would be hurled against her, and would call for the stone in front of the grave of Lazarus to be removed from the entrance of the grave.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I feel it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the awesome and powerful reality that both of these very public works—one in the court of the Temple, and one at a graveside in Bethany—would involve Jesus delivering individuals from the stones which would be raised up within their lives. I can’t help but think about the narrative of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and how the Pharisees brought her in the court of the Temple of the LORD ready to stone her according to the Law of Moses, and how Jesus would not only deliver her from her accusers and from the stones of accusation, but would also condemn her not. It’s interesting and worth noting that Jesus would ask the woman where her accusers were—a question which would be met with this woman’s attestation that there was none to accuse her. What a truly wonderful and beautiful reality to think about how not only did Jesus deliver this woman from her earthly accusers, but He would also choose not to condemn her for her sins. That one who had every right—not only as God in the flesh, but also as the ultimate Judge of the Law of Moses—to cast a stone at this woman would choose not to condemn her. It’s worth noting that while the Law demanded judgment, while the Law demanded a penalty, and while the Law demanded death and stones, Jesus would offer and extend unto this woman grace and mercy. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering the narrative which the apostle John wrote and come face to face with the fact that Jesus would indeed deliver this woman from those stones which would have been hurled against her—even if those stones might very well have been justified according to the Law of Moses. Jesus would deliver this woman from those stones which would be hurled against her, and would even allow those stones to remain in the dirt and dust that was found in the court of the Temple of the LORD. What a truly awesome and captivating truth and reality this is to think that Jesus would deliver this woman from stones of accusation and stones of judgment, and in that place of deliverance from stones He would offer her grace and mercy instead of condemnation. Instead of accusation He would offer grace, and instead of condemnation He would offer mercy.

In the case of Lazarus we find him actually being sick and dying as a result of being sick. Not only would we find Lazarus dying as a result of being sick, but we also find his body being buried in a tomb, and being buried in a tomb for four days. Not only this, but a stone would be rolled in front of the entrance of the tomb, which would essentially keep those from the outside from entering in. What makes the narrative of Lazarus so absolutely and incredibly unique and powerful is when you think about and consider the absolutely awesome and powerful truth that when Jesus showed up at the tomb and when Jesus would show up at the grave Jesus would call for them to take away the stone from the entrance of the grave. One thing that is unique about the narrative of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery is that although Jesus invited those who were without sin to cast the first stone, He would never command, nor would He instruct them to drop the stones which might have been in their hands. Jesus would never once demand and ask those in the court of the Temple of the LORD to drop the stones which they would have happily cast at this woman, and yet one by one the stones would fall to the ground and the accusers would depart. In the case of Lazarus, however, we actually do find Jesus speaking about the stone that would be raised up within his life, for Jesus would call for the stone to be rolled away and removed from the entrance of the grave. In the case of the woman caught in the act of adultery the stones would fall to the ground, while in the case of Lazarus the stone would be rolled away. THE JESUS WHO CAUSES STONES TO FALL TO THE GROUND AND STONES TO BE ROLLED AWAY! It is something absolutely astonishing to think about and consider how not only do we find Jesus causing stones to fall to the ground to deliver from accusers, but He would also cause stones to be rolled away to deliver from death.

Bringing this writing to a close it’s absolutely profound and powerful to think about the fact that the gospel narrative written by the apostle John would have within a powerful deliverance from stones—not only stones of accusation, but also stones of death. It would be in the very court of the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD Jesus would deliver this woman caught in the act of adultery from the stones of accusation which would be hurled against her. It would be at a graveside Jesus would deliver Lazarus from the stone that would be rolled before and in front of the grave, thus signifying the finality of death. The stones would fall to the ground in the court of the house of the LORD, thus indicating deliverance from accusation, condemnation and judgment, while the stone which was before the entrance of the tomb in which Lazarus’ body was laid would be rolled away that he might be delivered from the grip and power of death. In the eighth chapter of the gospel narrative written by John we find Jesus delivering a woman from stones which would have produced death, while in the eleventh chapter of the same gospel narrative we find Jesus delivering Lazarus from that stone which would secure both his death and the grave. What’s more, is that within the gospels we find that stones would have absolutely authority, nor power, nor dominion over Jesus the Christ as twice the Jews would seek to stone Him and would be unable to, and on one occasion a stone would be rolled before and in front of His grave. How absolutely powerful it is to think about and consider the fact that just as those stones which the Jews would seek to hurl at and against Him would have no dominion or authority over Him, so also would that stone which was rolled before and in front of the entrance of the tomb have any authority and dominion over Jesus. The gospel narrative written by the apostle John would have an absolutely powerful picture of deliverance from stones—not only deliverance from stones of accusation, but deliverance from stones of persecution, and even stones surrounding death. Although stones would be rolled in front of and before the entrances of the tombs of Lazarus and Jesus, neither stone would remain in their place as men would roll away the stone at the entrance of Lazarus’ tomb, and as an angel would roll away the stone at the entrance of Jesus’ tomb.

Oh that we would recognize and understand that the stones which would be rolled before and in front of the tombs of Lazarus and Jesus—stones which were rolled in their place to keep that which was dead bound inside—would be rolled away and removed in order for that which was dead to come forth. Oh that we would understand that stones must fall that the accused might go free without and apart from condemnation, and that stones must be rolled away that the dead might be raised from death to life. Oh that we would recognize and understand the incredible and tremendous power, authority and dominion found in the person of Jesus the Christ to not only bring deliverance from stones of accusation which would produce death but also deliverance from stones at graves which would be used to secure death. There would be two occasions when stones which were rolled before the entrances of tombs and graves would be removed and rolled away in order that those which are dead would be able to be raised from death to life, and would come forth from the graves. How absolutely captivating and remarkable this truly is when you take the time to think about and consider it, for it demonstrates the absolute and incredible truth surrounding Jesus the Christ, and how the same Jesus whom men could not stone is the same Jesus who would not let another be stoned. Please don’t miss this, for the same Jesus which would Himself be unable to be stoned would also be the same Jesus that would prevent another from being stoned. Despite the fact that the Pharisees and the Law demanded this woman be stoned, Jesus would deliver her from the stones which would be hurled against her. What’s more, is that those stones which would be rolled before and in front of the tombs and graves of Lazarus and Jesus would be rolled away that those which were dead might be raised to life and come forth from the tomb. What a truly awesome and powerful God we serve—a true and living God who calls for stones to be rolled away from the entrances of graves, and who calls for stones of persecution and accusation to fall to the ground.

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