Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Seeing But Not Seeing

by Dean W. Masters

" Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him." (Luke 24:13-16, NRSV)

The news has had stories of some people who have been blind for a long time. Then through medical technology they could see. They could see items but their brain could not process all they saw. So at times they could see without really seeing.

The two men on the road to Emmaus saw Jesus but were kept from recognizing Him until a later time. These two had just gone through a huge ordeal with the crucifixion of Jesus, their leader. They thought the whole thing was over. They wondered if any of it was true. So they were going home.

When we go through hard times it is hard to see that Jesus is still with us. We may be facing a terrible disease. It may be the loss of a job. It may be the death of a loved one or good friend. During these times we may think that Jesus is not with us. We know that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. So we can be sure that Jesus will always be there if we just turn to Him. As He said,

"… And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”" (Matthew 28:20b, NRSV)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You that You are always with us. Help us to see that You are there even in the dark times and we have a hard time seeing You. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Thought: Let us look to Jesus and see Him at all times.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Son Of A Virgin

By Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child” (Matt. 1:23).

Mary was highly honored that she should be chosen to be the virgin mother of Messiah. This was a distinction for which every Jewish woman had hoped and prayed. But — now that she had heard the glad news from the angel Gabriel, she was to find herself in the most embarrassing position of an unmarried maiden with child. Little wonder that Mary hastened to the hill country to visit Elisabeth, the mother-to-be of miraculously-born John, later called John the Baptist. Who, in such a case, would better understand, or be better fitted to give sympathetic advice to Mary?

Mary remained with Elisabeth for about three months, or until the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:36,56), but now the real test lay ahead, for she must return to her home in Nazareth to face her relatives and acquaintances — and Joseph, her love. What would they say? And above all, what would he say? How could they be expected to believe her story? An angel had appeared to her, indeed!

In the record of Joseph’s reactions we are given light as to the extreme embarrassment in which Mary now found herself. Consider Joseph’s position. Mary was his “espoused wife.” Why had she gone away — and stayed so long? And now, what is this? She is found with child — not by him. Her explanation, if indeed she offered it to him, must have seemed most unsatisfactory. He could have charged her with adultery and had her stoned, but “being a just [Lit., “fair-minded”] man” he “was minded to put her away privily” (Matt. 1:19).

But “while he thought on these things,” with a heavy heart, “the angel of the Lord appeared unto him” and Joseph learned the truth; that she was indeed to be the honored mother of the Messiah of Israel, the Redeemer of sinners.

It was because our Lord was the Son of God, born into the world by a virgin and not partaking of Adam’s sinful nature, that He could go to Calvary and pay the full penalty for our sins. He “suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18).